All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! (subject to
school holidays – see dates below.
From 2 weeks up to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa
No qualifications required, just a love of children and
a desire to help.
Full Price List / Other
►Full pre-departure support and assistance,
►Payment Protection insurance
►Accommodation and Food
►Meeting you at Madurai airport
►Transfer to your accommodation
to and from your project
►Local in-country team support and backup
►24-hr emergency support.
►Certificate of Completion
What's not included
Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to the airport
Who can do
This project is open to all nationalities and all ages
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out,
grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in
caring for children, teaching or working with children
overseas while doing voluntary work, projects abroad or
Also available as a summer placement or short break in
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the Indian culture
The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and
knowing that you made a difference to them.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding
of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head
and shoulders above most others in the job market.
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
Our care projects are based in the bustling temple town of
Madurai in Southern India.
children you'll work with mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy,
Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children
are slow learners and dyslexic. The aim of the school is to help the
children to study, build confidence and develop essential life
The children at the school speak very little English so at times you may
find communication hard. However, they will be delighted to have you
there and you'll certainly be popular throughout the whole school. You
can also book onto one of our Tamil courses to give you some knowledge
of phrases that you can use with the children - it'll also help you make
the most of your time in India.
At the Centre you will probably be working in many different areas, so
you should be flexible and adaptable. Some of the areas where you'll be
able to assist include:
arts and crafts
their hand-eye co-ordination skills
(or watching!) the daily yoga sessions which help the children with their
children to sew and embroider
involved with music and dance classes
children eat or go to the toilet
older children in the garden
the physiotherapy department
the children; every day at 3pm is playtime and the children all bundle
outside for half and hour of fun! Be prepared to be in great demand at
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS IN THE SOUTH OF
Please keep in mind that school holidays can
change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this
can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to
travel around and explore the country.
First Term Vacation: 22 September to 1
Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2013
Pooja Holiday: 14 to 15 October 2013
Bakrid: 16 October 2013
Thevar Jayanthi: 30 October 2013
Diwali Holiday: 4 to 5 November 2013
Second Term Vacation: 24 December 2013 to
1 January 2014
Pongal Holiday: 13 to 16 January 2014
Summer Vacation: 14 April to 2 June 2014
Exam Periods: (approx):
Quarterly Exams: 11 to 21 September 2013
Half Yearly Exams: 3 to 13 December 2013
Annual Exams: 1 to 14 April 2014
going to state the obvious and tell you that I’ve had an absolutely
amazing time, I don’t want to leave. I’ve loved Anbagam, “Hello,
how-are-you-fine!” and Faisel’s Yorkshire ‘Hallooo’ made me feel right
at home, Emo boy, cute boy, Jayne’s boy, Nandri boy, downs boy, and all
of them. I’ve loved shaking their sticky hands and made to feel
really wanted! I’ve loved my evenings & weekends, freezing in the
concrete tent in Kodaikanal, catching waves in Pondicherry, candle-lit
chats. Loved it all!
For a complete Indian experience we can arrange for you to stay with one of
wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only
will be made to feel part of the family, you’ll also gain a great insight
into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with
their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they
return to the country later especially to visit their family.
You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses
you'll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are
cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you on request.
All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’
walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short
auto ride into the centre of town.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared
for you by the family and is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a
varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You
will need to make provision for your own lunch.
Cooking together in the host family accommodation
Got any questions? Please email us:
THE EARLY INTERVENTION CENTRE
In January 2008, the government helped to fund an Early Intervention
Centre at the school for up to 50 children from babies to the age of 6. They have
a development therapy unit, speech therapy, occupational therapy and
physiotherapy units to cater for the children. The Centre allows the
parents to stay with their child during school hours to gain a greater
understanding of how to care for their child.
The children are very talented and they enter many competitions, often
taking home first prize. In November 2007, the Centre hosted a Talent
Show and 20 other schools for mentally challenged children in the state
of Tamil Nadu took part. The Centre walked off with first prize in the
group dancing and solo contest along with fancy dress. No doubt the
children will be practicing for a festival or a tournament when you are
here and it will be great fun for you to get involved!
This is a worthwhile project, working with children with mental, physical
or emotional disabilities who are very much in need of love and attention.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll
contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on
details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have
access to all the documentation and information which we've put
together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your
Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you
throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on
your placement and on your return home.
The documents you'll have access to also include a Country
Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on
your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment
Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we
can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.
As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is
different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the
most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in
mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in
all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this
On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our
will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn
about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how
to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.
LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:
INDIA REALLY HAS
IT ALL, from the hot sultry deserts of Rajasthan, the
Taj Mahal and the majestic Himalayas in the north, to the idyllic palm
fringed beaches and ancient temples of the south, plus a multitude of
wildlife parks! The way to best enjoy
India is to absorb it - the warmth of the people, the beauty, the
smells, the food, and the wonderful hospitality!
Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the
southern state of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine
city’ for the famous jasmine flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city
of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river of nectar that flowed after blessing
from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’,
Madurai really does have a
temple or shrine on practically every street but it is most famed for
the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike flock
to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple
is named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and
is an enormous structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and
The inner courtyard contains another 7 towers, again all highly
adorned. It will take your breath away.
Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was
the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. It is full of
cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe inspiring Sri
Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls and
Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and
shake your hand and even ask for your autograph! You will be in demand
everywhere you go and you’ll feel like a celebrity, such is the warmth
of the Indian people.
If you’re after an overwhelming experience, then
Madurai is a certainty for this!
been named ""Gods own Country" by the locals for its stunning scenery,
wildlife, beautiful beaches, picture postcard towns and the breaktaking
backwaters. It is also the home of Ayurveda medicine, an ancient
system using essential oils and vigorous massage to aid medical
complaints or just for pampering - a one hour massage is an
unforgettably relaxing experience.
Kerala also has one of the best wildlife
parks in the country; Periyar. A huge array of activities are on offer,
jungle trekking and jeep safari’s which take you off the beaten track in
the hope of spotting an elusive tiger although you are more likely to
see elephants, boar, monkeys and many species of birds. You can also
take an elephant ride, boat ride, visit spice and tea plantations, watch
martial arts – it’s an action packed weekend and only 4 hours from
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you
arrive in your new country, please
Support & Backup:
To read about the excellent
& Backup we provide before you leave and during
please click here.