India Volunteer House

Main Features

  • Orientation in Dehli including dinner with a host family
  • Transfers to Himachal Pradesh or Jaipur City
  • Food and accomodation in a Volunteer House during project
  • Workshops (Henna, India dress) as part of orientation.
  • Projects: Education, Welfare, Women empowerment
  • From 4 to 12 weeks
  • Optional weekend tours available
An attentive audience

Volunteering in India with EIL Ireland

This programme offers volunteering programmes in the inspiring Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh or the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan.

Volunteers live together with other international volunteers and are supported by local staff.  

You can spend your day assisting local teachers in schools teaching English or Maths, playing games with the children and making sure they get regular health check ups. Or maybe you would like to participate in health workshops for adolescent girls, or make a difference volunteering in an orphanage or a school for children with special needs. Not only do these programmes offer the chance to volunteer with reputable projects in the area, they also include exciting and varied cultural learning experiences such as Yoga and Indian cooking workshops. These programmes are specifically designed to offer you a real experience of India, where you will enjoy meaningful cultural interaction and opportunities to travel and experience the wonderful surroundings.

The volunteer activities in these programmes primarily relate to education and child care in various institutions that we have identified as appropriate for volunteer and local intervention. We constantly seek expansion of the positive influence of the programmes by including new activities that can engage volunteers in gainful activities for the local population.

Volunteers will visit the local projects as part of their orientation. Projects vary depending on the needs of the location, volunteers should be prepared to be flexible with regard to their project placement. Teaching and Education, Women Empowerment and Child care are the common activities that we offer in the Himalaya region. Most of the volunteer work will be carried out in the mornings. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to get involved in extra afternoon volunteer work (see below).

Teaching and Education

Volunteers teaching in rural schools has been one of the most successful interventions of our local partner and the most popular activity. Volunteers participate in educational enhancement for students of primary school specifically in the areas of English, Maths and enhancing creativity. In order to promote participation of more and more volunteers in this activity, you will be provided with detailed workbooks and guidelines for teaching. Those participants who have no formal education or practical experience in teaching can also carry out this activity comfortably with the help of aids provided.

The volunteer activities in the field include:

  • Regularly teaching children English and Mathematics in the schools.
  • Creating a playful environment and enhancing the creativity of the children through painting, playing games, singing etc.
  • Working with local teachers in creating low cost teaching material and to train them in making education more fun for the children.
  • Each volunteer will take responsibility for the everyday attendance of a few children to the school, aim to improve overall interest in the school and reduce drop-out rate.
  • Ensuring regular health check ups for the children in each school through cooperating with the local doctors and hospital staff.
  • Creating basic hygiene awareness amongst children on a regular basis.

Welfare project in Jaipur City
Welfare project in Jaipur City

Welfare and Child Care

In addition to the attention at schools, early childhood care and education is an area of critical need in rural areas. Drawing upon experience over the last few years our partner has taken up the responsibility of maintenance and care of local child care centres, and volunteers are encouraged to get involved. Also called Anganwari, these centres carry out holistic child care in the area.

Volunteer activities include:

  • Personal attention and care to the children coming to the center everyday.
  • Give assistance to the local worker for record maintenance for each child based on health, vaccination, growth and nutritional condition.
  • Making and feeding the children a specially prepared nutritious meal everyday with the help of a local worker.
  • Continuous survey of all pregnant women and new born babies in the area for regular health check ups and vaccination.
  • Creating a colorful and enjoyable environment for the children with games, stories and other creative activities (all material support and training would be provided by the host organisation)
  • Developing the motor skills of the little children through various games etc

School for Children with Intellectual Disabilities: Thakardwara (Himachal): Since June 2005, international volunteers have been working at this school. As a result of this intervention, the number of students has grown and attendance of children has become much more regular. Severely understaffed, the two teachers in the school are often struggling to give adequate attention to each of the approximately 20-odd students enrolled in the school. The volunteer activities in this institution would include: assisting teachers in completing assignments for the students, organizing education and fun activities for the children, and visiting students' homes for sensitization of the family towards their children with special needs.

Intense learning!
Intense learning!
Stephen SugrueCorkIndia

Women Empowerment

A variety of educational and confidence building activities are organised for the benefit of adolescent girls and women of the local community by volunteers. These activities are geared towards expanding the horizon of this often neglected section of the community with the purpose of giving them a sense of self-worth and empowerment.

Volunteers contribute significantly in the areas of:

  • Computer training: In the fact developing world the knowledge of computer can give the students a employability advantage and make it easier for them to access modern means to information and expression. Volunteers can make use of the well tested and developed modules of imparting basic computer skills to enthusiastic local girls and women.
  • English classes: In an increasingly unilingual world , knowledge of English can make a huge difference to the confidence, employability and social status of an individual. With English not being the first language in the rural areas, people from a vast majority of Indian population miss out on quality opportunities of gaining confidence in the sue of language. Volunteers, with their involvement in teaching English to local women can help the project achieve a multitude of objectives like empowerment and increasing employability.

Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata
Mora CliffeKilkennyIndia

Extra Afternoon Volunteer Options in Himachal:

If you would like to get involved in more volunteer work than your core option offers. You may have the option to further volunteer work which can include the following:

- Additional tutoring for slow learning children:

With the help of regularly updated records of school children, interested volunteers can take up special classes for children that need more tutoring at their homes. This activity can have the additional benefit of building more confidence in the community about volunteers’ work and awareness about the need for regular schooling.

- Maintenance of institutional facilities:

During some afternoons, the volunteers can take up maintenance, renovation and decoration of their various work places like schools, daycare centers etc. Such work will not be available on a continuous basis and hence may be seen as an extra activity that the volunteers would carry.


Sightseeing Himachal Pradesh
Sightseeing Himachal Pradesh


This Himalayan location is situated around the regionally important town of Palampur in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The camp is located 30 kms from Dharamsala, the capital of the exiled Tibetan government and centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture, adding another cultural dimension to the program to the numerous opportunities that the programme offers.

Exploring Jaipur
Exploring Jaipur

Jaipur City

The Pink city is a jewel in the Indian heritage. Being part of the Golden Triangle of tourism in India, it is one of the most visited and photographed cities in the world. It has famous sites such as The Wind Palace, Amber Fort, and Jantar Mantar.

Arrival and Orientation

You will arrive into Dehli International Airport, where you will be picked up in the airport and transferred to overnight accommodation. Following this you will be taken directly to accommodation in Dehli for your orientation.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation will be at a local facility in the area that you will be working in. Rooms will be based on a minimum of 3-4 people sharing and bedding and simple furniture will be provided. The bathroom may or may not be en suite, depending on the location of accommodation. There will be no "shower" but you will have access to bucket baths of hot water. Work placements will be in deprived villages that receive little attention from the official side. Most meals are included and will consist mainly of vegetable and sometimes fish curries, Indian breads, rice and fruit.

Recreational Activities

There will be plenty for you to do in your free time. There will be access to special workshops on aspects of Indian culture including yoga and Indian cooking. Some volunteers take up the opportunity to borrow a bicycle and tour the local countryside. Some plan excursions to local points of interest, whereas others will just take the time to relax. Most Friday evenings, volunteers arrange a small party or get together to celebrate the end of the working week.

Project Support

Throughout your stay in India you will have the support and guidance of a coordinator and their team. They will be able to help you with any questions or advice you may need during your stay and provide you with competent assistance. The staff will be on hand throughout the day.

In addition, we will provide you with a 24 hour emergency contact number before you depart, so that you can contact one of our staff in Ireland at any time should you need to.

Start Dates 

Please contact us for 2016 start dates.


Six-month tourist visas are issued by the Indian Embassy. You must have proof of onward/return travel.

The EIL Development Education Network

Our volunteers work and live alongside local people in local communities in some of the most deprived areas in the world. It is in response to their experiences that the EIL development education programme was set up. On their return to Ireland we ask our volunteers to be the voice for the stories of the people they worked with and to highlight their experience of poverty and inequality. Then together we campaign to make a difference by promoting global justice, human rights, fair trade, debt relief and greater equality and respect among the peoples of the world. Our goal is to see global justice and equality reach the top of the Irish agenda.

The Application Process

Applying for the Volunteer Abroad programme is a straight forward process: after receiving your application and CV we will contact you to find out more about your interests and motivation for wanting to be a volunteer. We then send your information to our colleagues in the country of your choice and they make your placement. As soon as they confirm a suitable placement for you, we will send you all the information necessary to finalise your preparations. Although some countries can accept late applications, you should send your completed application 12 weeks in advance. The earlier you apply, the more time we have to find the most suitable project for you.

What you need to do:

  • Complete the application form and send it to us together with 2 recent passport photos, €350 deposit, and recent CV.
  • Do a telephone interview (or in person if you live in Cork and/or want to call in).
  • A confirmation letter of enrolment will then be sent within 10 working days.

If you prefer we can send you the application form by post.

For more information about applying to volunteer with EIL please see How do I apply? or contact Cliona.

We guarantee no hidden costs.

We encourage you to compare our costs with other organisations and a careful comparison of what is included and what is not included is always advisable.

What is included 

  • Pre-departure orientation and support
  • Pickup at the airport
  • All transfers by dedicated or public transport required by the programme. 
  • Accommodation on the basis of minimum occupancy of 4.
  • All meals during the working days
  • Three-day orientation on arrival for volunteers including workshops on Henna, Indian Dress and dinner with an Indian family.
  • Dedicated on-site assistance of an English-speaking translator 
  • All material required for various activities during the volunteer work like colour pens papers, sports equipment etc.
  • Debrief workshop on return to Ireland
  • Invitation to join EIL Development Education Network
  • Other facilities provided in the field for comfort and recreation of volunteers include:
    • Amenities like refrigerator, DVD player, television etc.
    • Video and books library; Board Games.
    • Information and assistance for independent excursions during the weekends.
  • Excursions:
    • For an extra €200, 2 x 2-day excursions are organised for participants. For more information, contact us.

What is not included

  • Visa Fee
  • Flights
  • Medical, liability and travel insurance (available for €10 per week)
  • Personal expenses

Costs 2016

3 weeks: €1,460

4 weeks: €1,610

6 weeks: €1,940

10 weeks: €2,480

8 weeks: €2,200

12 weeks: €2,740

Volunteer & Travel Programme: €200 extra

Medical, liability and travel insurance available for €10 per week.

Prices are subject to change.

Visit our WHY PAY? and FUNDRAISING pages.


Writing things like this isn’t easy but I suppose I better start with a little bit about myself. My name is Steve and I’m 23, hailing from Cork. When I finished school I chose to do a degree in Commerce with German in UCC which I absolutely loved and sadly have just finished! I now work for an accounting firm in assurance and audit meaning that at some point in the near future I will hopefully be a big scary accountant. While I was away volunteering we were often asked why we chose to do it. For me there was never an obvious answer. I knew during my final year at college that I wanted to...
Through the rice fields teachers and students make their way from Hosadu school in Mulikatte to a family home. There the neighbourhood gathers for a function (celebration) where the snake god is worshipped..
Cork-based Manus Temminghof, spent six months volunteering in Kundapur in Southern India. During his time there, he volunteered as a teaching assistant in a local school and lived with a host family. His beautiful pictures offer an interesting insight into life in Kundapur, and capture the wonderful colours of this part of the world. If volunteering in India is on your bucket list, contact the Global Volunteers team today to begin the process of signing up: [email protected] /021 4551535.
Tent School Project in Yadthady, India
Hello from Kundapura! I finally have some time to write about my experience during my first month in Kundapura, India. Everything is so different here that I find it hard to keep up with my own journal! I discover something new every day… from small things such as bus drivers driving bare feet, monkeys trying to steal mangos, women working hard while wearing they beautiful sarees in mint condition… to amazing things like hearing some sound in the forest near my host family’s house and trying to guess what animal it is!! I am volunteering in the tent school project in Yadthady. I take 3 buses...
Manus, who's currently volunteering in Southern India for 6 months
Cork-based Manus decided to leave beautiful Kinsale behind to sign up for a 6 month volunteer placement in southern India. Here is an update of how he's getting on. "Anyhow, I am doing great. I love the country, the friendly people, my host family and my job as a teacher. Going to school and making childen happy is so good. The children are grateful and so am I. They always say "thank you" and want to shake hands. It is making my life more colourful amongst all these bright and fantastic colours here in India. I have been taking lots of pictures and at an engagement or wedding people often...
Hi Vicky, you have been in India for a few weeks now, how are you getting on? What are you doing on your project? Any tips for people thinking of Volunteering in India? I am doing 3 weeks in Palampur. This is my second week in and so far.I really like it! It is very hot and I have been told that it is not usually this hot (36 degrees) it is usually cooler and wetter. But a lot better than New Delhi which was 47 degrees for the week that I was there! The house is very big and there are 4 people to a room. I have my own room as I was the only volunteer here for the first week. Another girl has...
CIT Student Adam Peerbux updates us on his progress as a volunteer in Jaipur So, I am in Jaipur, India doing an eight-week volunteer programme through EIL Intercultural Learning. I live in a six bed-roomed, three story house, shared with volunteers and interns as well as the support staff. The house is situated in the Jai Jaiwan II Colony south of the 'Pink City' (Jaipur). The colony is a gated community and an area of wealth and hierarchy within the caste system of India. For example, there are armed guards on the roadside as judges, high ranking officials and officers reside in this area...
I was in India for 4 weeks, traveling for 1 week and volunteering for 3 weeks in Palampur, a town located in the foothills of the Himalayas in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. In the mornings I worked with children aged 1-4; I loved it and ended up really bonding with some of the kids. Main topics we taught the children were the alphabet, numbers, colours and animals, often through songs, colouring and play. The project is funded by government, paying for the teacher's wages and the children's food at lunchtime. This is a good incentive for local parents to send their children to the...
Well after traveling 23 hours two connecting flights and two Indian bus rides which was an experience!.. We finally arrived in Himachal. The smells and humidity of Delhi and Jaipur will never be forgotten. Trying to sleep in 49 degree heat without A.C and a basic fan blowing the hot air around the room will not be missed!. The scenery of the beautiful back drop of the snowy Himalayan Mountains when you open your door in the morning would take your breath away. On arrival we settle in and explored Palampur market which is typical traditional market found in rural India towns. Each stall...

"The best experience of my life so far": last post from Aedin in India

I have come to the end of my time volunteering in Delhi. 7 weeks feels like 7 days – I wish I had longer here. I’ve had an amazing time in the school. I’ve fallen completely in love with the children for their friendliness, openness, their sense of fun and their beautiful smiling faces. They are the happiest people I’ve ever met in my life, despite living in dire poverty and suffering from debilitating diseases like polio and MS.