WHY we need you in India
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: BODHGAYA SCHOOL & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
LOCATION: BODHGAYA, INDIA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
This placement is centered around a rural school just outside of Bodghaya. The school is an educational institution that truly caters to the most vulnerable communities many of which live in extreme poverty.
The students come from the surrounding villages (approx 600 population) which lack basic infrastructure and without this school, would have virtually no access to education. For these agricultural driven communities, the reality of unjust social hierarchy simply does not allow children of poor families to receive an education.
The school is the first of it’s kind in this area as such it has faced incredible resistance from the village elites with a lack of understanding of the community benefits associated with ‘new’ knowledge systems and formal education opportunities.
Slowly but surely, the pupil base has grown exponentially over the years harnessing a powerful spirit of pride, acceptance and opportunity.
As a volunteer guest you will receive truly incredible Indian hospitality, as you are welcomed by hundreds of intrigued and appreciative smiling faces. There are a myriad of inspiring activities you can get involved with that will make a lasting difference to the school and community.
Bodhgaya is a fascinating and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage location and the site where Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One in approx 525 BC. Bodhgaya, is famous for Mahabodhi temple which stands above the Bodhi Tree. Its architectural effect is mesmerizing.Inside the temple, there is a colossal image of the Buddha in sitting posture touching the earth by his righthand. Within the temple grounds you will be witness to thousands of devout Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world in colourful burgundy and saffron robes, congregated to worship at the feet of Buddha.
Outside the temple, you will see a crazy, buzzing mish mash of diversity, colours, culture, food stalls, rick-shaws, wild dogs and of course, severe poverty. Venture further out from the city centre, into the local villages, and this is where you will experience the true heart of India. This is where the IVI placement operates.
-Special Needs School
-Essential Children’s Nutrition
-Maternal & Health Education
-Safe Birthing Kits
-Basic Vocational Training
-Develop Fundraising strategies
-Draft grant applications
-Primary skills development
-Inter-cultural Dialogue program
-Basic nutritional care
-Ground water provisioning
-Vocational training such as computer training, carpentry, plumbing, sewing and clothing, diesel engine repair, organic gardening etc
Food & Accommodation
The volunteer centre is safe, clean and comfortable. We have eight rooms with living hall and separate kitchen. Each room has double beds and attached western toilets. It is very close to world heritage Mahabodhi Temple.
Volunteers can choose from basic single, double or dorm style rooms depending on availability. All standard amenities are included such as beds, mattresses, sheets, pillows, towels, water purifier, fans & coolers, mosquito netting, western toilet, cleaning supplies, chairs and tables.
Three vegetarian meals a day (2 on weekends). We provide fruits, bread and butter with tea or coffee for breakfast. For lunch, we offer non spicy or spicy Vegetarian meals (Rice pulses and green vegetables, Soup and Salad) for dinner, we again provide non spicy or spicy authentic Indian vegetarian food
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
Anyone seeking to experience first hand the richness of Indian community spirit while offering services to those in need. Knowledge of the Hindi language is a major advantage. Many do speak some English, however it is very scarce in the rural areas.
What you will experience is the most incredible welcome, warmth, friendliness, acceptance, and Indian hospitality. Be prepared for a celebration where children shower you with flower petals and then performed a series of native hindu and Indian songs and greetings.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
- Introduction meeting, General rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and insuring you have all your documents.
- Indian Do’s and Don’ts, Cultural introduction, learning about the countries history
- Tour around the accommodation and local area.
Airport pick-up is included in the volunteering cost unless specified.This may involve either a local pick-up by your volunteer host or a public transport ticket where necessary. These details will be finalised with you upon making a booking as this will depend on your arrival information.
Each day can be different and depends on your skills/ where you would like to be working. You can volunteer at the school, out in the community or on medical projects. It’s really up to you to decide where you would feel most comfortable and make the biggest impact.
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organise additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist.
No extra requirements for this program.
India is an eclectic and intoxicating cultural experience like no other! Home of the famous Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges river, and over 1 billion people of varying languages, cultures and beleifs, India is sure to push you to the boundaries of your comfort zone.
IVI is focused on establishing sustainable employment and education through volunteering efforts in India. Children in some of the regions we service have not had basic nutritional background. Over 950,000 newborns per year in India die from infections. Education about health for families provides a strong foundation for self-care in the communities we service in India.
India’s climte ranges from tropical down south to alpine up in the northern mountain regions.
From April until the start of October is summer, and in most places in India, is very hot. In June the monsoon rains start in Kerala down south, and move inland. Further north and in the rural areas of Rajasthan, it can get pretty cold from December to January- sometimes as low at minus 5 degrees!
Be prepared for some hot temperatures but if in the Sikkim region, bring along some warmer clothing as it can get cold in the mountains.
India is a country FULL of culture! From the beautiful colours, different religions, ancient traditions and the smells of spices- India is a country like no other. It’s the the second most populous nation after China, with over 1.2 billion people.
The most prominant religions are Hinduism and Buddhism and around 13% of the popualrtion are Muslim. Because there are so many religions, India celebrates a large number of festivals throughout the year. Some of these include Diwali, Holi, Eid and Good Friday.
In India, the cow is considered to be a Holy animal and you will see cars either driving around, or simply waiting if a cow is in the road holding up traffic! In some parts of India it is forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol.
You will see many temples in India, as well as colourful clothing, particually the sari’s that the local women wear, and many cultural dance shows and activities.
33 Years Non Profit Experience
IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
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