The importance of the program lies in improving the English educational standard at our school. The local children do not have access to better educational opportunities such as a lack of trained teachers, learning resources, poor infrastructure, financial viability and many others. It is important for the children to learn English comprehension skills for a better future. The volunteers who come give the children a new found confidence in learning English. The volunteers provide a new perspective and methods of teaching to the children.
The school is located in a village in the foothills of the Himalayas. The locals live a basic life and the village has a strong sense of community. You will find most of your needs are provided in a nearby town. The volunteer will be living in a local homestay/hotel. The rooms are comfortable and basic.The basic room provides a bucket shower and Indian squat toilet, however, at an additional charge we can provide a western toilet and a regular shower. Meals will be provided by a local family who will cook your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals are basic, but we can provide tailored meals according to your needs at an additional cost as well.
The school is a primary school, with the number of students always fluctuating. However, on average each class has about 8-10 students. There are 10 classes, from lower kindergarten to grade 8, 4-14 years old. The school building is basic and differs from each school we work with. The school runs from 7:30 am-12:00 pm in the summertime. In winter, the school runs from 8:30 am-2:00 pm. In general, up to grade 5, the students learn 6-7 subjects, and after grade 5 they learn 8-10 subjects including English as a compulsory subject, science, maths, social studies, environmental science, Sanskrit, general knowledge, drawing, arts and crafts, and of course Hindi.
The volunteers would be working with Naveen, the volunteer coordinator, alongside the teachers of the school. Naveen will welcome you and situate you into the classes, explain the educational set up, the local culture, customs and way of living. He will also explain the do's and don'ts of the local culture and living.
The volunteers are expected to be proactive and talk to the teachers, lead a lesson once they have understood the system, create a positive environment for learning. Volunteers can expect to learn Indian education system, method and how it works. They will also get a close purview of the local culture, religion and general way of living. If the volunteers have teaching supplies they would like to bring, they may do so. However, it is not required.
A typical day starts at 8:00 in the summer and 9:00 in the winter. After breakfast, you are expected to arrive at school and start teaching the classes assigned to you according to the schedule. Each period is 45 minutes long before the break at 10:00 am in summer and 11:00 in the winter. After the break, each period is 30 minutes.
You are expected to teach only English and each period is a different grade level. There are textbooks that we use for each class that you can teach out of. Naveen will assist you in the classroom from the beginning until you are comfortable. The school day ends at 12:30 pm in summer and 2:00 pm in winter. From there you will have lunch and have some rest.
You can be part of the local culture, get invited for the tea at local houses, and take advantage of your visit by hiking in the mountain trails. Our community is known for celebrating life through festivals, fairs, and weddings which you can be welcomed in.
Typically our volunteers arrive from Delhi and either take a train or plane to Dehradun. If you arrive by plane it is best to take a private taxi to the center of the Dehradun city called Prince chowk. Typically our volunteers spend one night here to recover from the long travel. From Prince Chowk, you have to take a bus or private taxi to Barkot, the name of our village. The taxi/bus ride is about 5 hours including a lunch break of 45 minutes. Naveen will meet you in Barkot and take you to the village and show you your room.
We run the programs throughout the year except for the month of March and June. We do still have options if you are interested to volunteer in those months as we can run after-school programs too. The volunteer needs to notify his/her arrival dates at least 10 days before and get confirmation for the same.Free-time activities
Our community is known for having many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Also there are lots of weddings that take place in certain months. There are world famous treks, hiking trails which you can choose to do. Also you can visit Yamunotri temple a popular pilgrim center, which is at 10,000 feet above the sea level. Visit a 12th century old Shiva temple preserved by Archaeological survey of India.
The people at our place are quite welcoming and they do invite you to visit their villages over a meal and particularly over a cup of tea. Volunteers necessarily don't have to work 6 days a week, if they request time off to explore, we will be happy to give them free time.
The rooms are basic in nature with Indian squat /western toilets and bucket/regular showers. The rooms are quite spacious, neat and clean. The rooms have attached toilet and bathroom. The rooms are located in walking distance to the school.
The food is vegetarian in nature. The food consists of various local grown vegetables, pulses, lentils, grains. The food is absolutely healthy and hygienic as it is cooked. The breakfast usually consists of porridge, Indian bread along with one vegetable, chai, omelet, local pancakes, biscuits, paranthas, french fries and other local cooked snacks.
Lunch and Dinner usually comprise of various daal(pulses), rice, Indian bread, pudding, sweet dish and others. Tea would be served two times a day that is one in the morning and one in the evening. While at the project site you shall get tea. Snacks would be served with tea.
In case you want non-vegetarian food(meat or vegan options) those could be provided at an additional cost. In case you don't want to drink the fresh mountain spring water/ tap water you can buy bottled mineral water from the local shops. The local shops also have snacks and sodas you may purchase.
- Physical Education
- Teaching / Instruction
- Sports Coaching
- Reading / Writing
- General Education
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Driver's License Needed
- Background Check
- Must be at least 21
- Orientation or Training
- 4 weeks
- adaptable and flexible to new environment, cutlure and people