Family holiday with volunteering in India
This includes airport transfers, meals, accommodation, staff, projects.
Description of Family holiday with volunteering in India
This week long family holiday in India is focused on a wonderful volunteering project whereby you can fully immerse yourself in a community. Although volunteering is often thought of as something for gap year students or empty nesters, for example, we have worked with partners on the ground to create opportunities for families who also want to make a difference. While also having a very different type of holiday.
The adults on this trip will be supporting teachers in a Kerala school in the beautiful and family friendly region in the south of India. The children will be joining other students in the classroom for an educational adventure of a lifetime and an exciting cultural exchange. All in all, we believe that this is a very rewarding volunteering in India experience. This programme is also ideal for single parents seeking a travel and volunteering experience where they are working with other likeminded travellers. Please note that we are not working with vulnerable children in care homes or shelters at all.
In this Kerala volunteering programme, we not only put the safety and well being of the schoolchildren whom we work with at the forefront of what we do, but of course our visiting families too. You will be accommodated in a safe and welcoming accommodation in Fort Kochi, where breakfasts and lunches are prepared by our in house chef. You will also have support staff throughout the trip to help you with any concerns or interests. This is in addition to the project coordinator who works with both you and the school. Your project coordinator will make sure that the work you are contributing is suited to your experience and interests as well as the age of your children.
Your working days are from 10am until midday, with a break for lunch, and then 3pm-5pm. We work with a number of volunteering projects in Kerala, all community based and usually in the slum areas of Cochin, not too far from your accommodation in Fort Kochi, and travelling to the volunteering project every day by auto rickshaw. The volunteering work is aimed at supporting disadvantaged young people who need encouragement and extra teaching in subjects ranging from English to PE. You will be working alongside the local staff at all times.
Leisure time in Kerala
As your working days are not too long, there is plenty of time for you and your family to enjoy some of Kerala’s natural and cultural highlights, which we can help you organise. Some of our family favourites include cooking classes, seeing a Bollywood movie, visiting markets, cycling and of course going to the beach.
We also recommend adding a longer excursion onto your trip such as taking a houseboat out on the backwaters, or visiting the hill stations and tea plantations. Again, we can help organise this for you, with the additional services of a driver guide. Such excursions are optional extras on this particular holiday.
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1 Reviews of Family holiday with volunteering in India
Reviewed on 19 Sep 2016 by Rayner McKenzie
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Seeing the enthusiasm of the children and how welcome we felt at the schools. Feeling connected to the local community and other volunteers whilst staying in the comfortable volunteers house instead of a hotel. Also the delicious authentic Indian food cooked by a lovely local lady at the house.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Make time for a bit of relaxation before the project and after as the travelling is very tiring and we would have liked to have had more time to spend in India. Make sure you read all the helpful teaching tips that are sent beforehand so that you are properly prepared.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We do feel that our holiday benefited local people by helping the local teachers, supporting local shops and businesses.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was an amazing experience to work together as a family whilst teaching at the local schools. We all loved the experience and the people from the volunteering organisations were so helpful and kind and made us feel very welcome. We would definitely do a volunteering holiday of this kind again.
PlanetOur volunteer placements in India are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too by choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives. Our local partners are leaders in sustainable tourism. All activities and itineraries are designed in collaboration with the villagers themselves, based around the principles of community-based tourism. We are committed to providing local people with a complimentary source of income while still continuing their traditional way of life.
All of our participants receive pre-departure guides. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.
Our Volunteer programs are lasting and meaningful and have a long term impact on the communities we work with. These children have little access to quality education.This is where the volunteers come in. In order to attend formal school in Thailand students must be at a certain academic level and you will be helping the children we work with to reach this standard. For the children, a good understanding of English opens up many more opportunities in the future particularly in Tourism.
We have a strong child protection policy and require police checks and DBS from all our participants. Staff who take photos are required to ensure they are up to a standard approved by our local partners or schools. We have strict expectations of volunteers as far as how they interact with the children. We also give no information to the volunteers about the children’s backgrounds.
We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is an issue in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally.
PeopleThe benefit of this project is manifold. By working in the local community schools we are helping underprivileged children with their education through volunteers who can support them and aid them. A lot of children do not have education reinforced at home, are lagging behind in class as they do not follow what is being taught or have learning disabilities. Our volunteers help such children to come up in class and teach them life skills that will help them. This program also supports teachers who also need helping hands in classrooms that are too big usually. A lot of teachers are not well trained, use rote learning methods only and schools lack teaching resources. With our support we can help train teachers to use limited supplies and make their class more learning conducive. Part of the cost of this trip is used to buy resources for school that will help teachers, students and volunteers.
We also want to ensure that Teaching projects are following the guidelines of responsible travel.
We also protect children by having Qualified teaching applicants taking classes only. Non qualified applicants can assist teachers only and are vetted before they are accepted onto the project.
We Make DBS checks compulsory and have a training day for all teaching volunteers before going to the project. All volunteers also have read and sign our child protection code
We emphasis or encourage long term applicants of 4 weeks minimum.
When you work on the construction program you will be helping the community greatly by installing a water sanitation for the family. Some of the families have toilets in the village but do not have a waste disposal unit (called septic tank in India) and thus human waste goes into the rivers that surround their house which is not hygenic. You will help in building a septic tank for the families who do not have one and thus improving sanitation.
A further way we support our community is by employing local staff - they are the cultural ambassadors, know multiple dialects of the sub-continent and can easily facilitate local interaction and thus guide our travellers in general best practices (e.g. how to avoid encouraging a “begging” mentality, how to be sensitive in photographing local people, etc.) as well as specific tips on how to avoid running afoul of local customs. More importantly they will earn an income through employment.
To give you a true understanding of life in a country we will arrange your accommodation in home stays with a family or will house you in a very local area. When you go on any tour we use local hotels and small businesses. Wherever you stay you will be eating locally grown food and delicious local delicacies!