Volunteer Stories

Work With Elephants ( Amanda Kennedy, U.K )

My flight arrived early but within 5 minutes sukret was there to pick me up. Great Service. The accommodation was very good, the guesthouse had everything you could need including wifi internet, dry your clothes and a shop nearby that everything. The food was very tasty, available on demand and plenty of it – they were always offer more if it required.
Taxidriver drove me everywhere and he was awesome! I found that most of the time. I get into the tuk-tuk and I didn’t know where I was going but I always went somewhere exciting! I will miss our samosa parties in the tuk-tuk a lot. He was on time, his driving was great and his smiley hallo, good morning at 4:30 a.m was always much appreciated.
Govind was my project supervisor and he really made my trip amazing. He was very helpful with any questions. I am yet to find one he couldn’t answer. He included me in things outside the project with his friends and family and I loved every minute of it. Sukret was also extremely helpful and answers my questions promptly. He was always around to check everything was ok.
I would give VWI 10/10, I had an awesome time and want to thank everyone involved. I would highly recommend this company to future volunteers and will come back the next time I am in India.
I did the elephant project for 3 weeks. Everyday we left at 4:30 a.m and started by cleaning the elephant enclosure picking up her poo with your bare hands , washing and scrubbing the elephant, then dressing the elephant ready to go to amber fort. Once the elephants had left we made bundles of food for them to eat later. Some afternoons we would make chappathi’s for elephants. The mahouts were great fun and always got involved with whatever they were doing, and the elephants were amazing.
I was bit nervous about going to India with VWI, but there was absolutely no need to be. The staff at VWI was professional, friendly and couldn’t have been more accommodating. They were very inclusive and I really enjoyed getting involved and learning about India culture firsthand. I was treated so well – I loved meeting the families and their friends. My sari will remind me of all the great times I spent with them. The project itself was really enjoyable with a highlight being washing the elephant in the elephant pool on my last morning. The sightseeing trips on the weekends were very well organized and included everything. Jaipur is a wonderful city to live in. I got to experience all the projects offered by VWI; this organization does a wonderful job. All projects are well-run and because all transportation food and accommodation is organized for you, all you have to do is enjoy every minute of the experience, the end of my time in India came a bit too fast.

Theatre Volunteer Work ( Steve Hughes, U.K )

I did not know what to expect and was a little nervous to begin with. But everyone made it very easy. The Children were an inspiration and it was a pleasure to attend and teach them all. I bonded very quickly and it was hard to say goodbye and my tears almost came when one Boy was upset that I was leaving. I would thank everyone to grab this opportunity with both hands. It is Amazing I would like to give 10 out of 10 marks to VWI. I have learned so much and had the best experience. I hope to come again soon. The project staff members were very helpful and Govind was a Big Help to assist me with theater teaching for children. Transportation services Brilliant! The Taxi was always on time and the driver very friendly with always smile on his face. The accommodation was very nice and the family was very friendly. The Food was very good and enjoyable. I definitely recommend Theater Project for future volunteers.

Work with Children for Repartition (Valentina Trunzo, Italy )

It has been for me an unique experience where I had the chance to really live into Indian culture and learn as much as possible about Indian culture, surrounded by really nice people and doing a fantastic activity with kids that are able to give you more than what you give them. I have a good pick up service in time; I could not expect a better one. The Host family & food was good. The transportation service, staff members all were good. I would like to give 10 out of 10 to VWI.

Work With Elephants ( Nicoline Pederson, Denmark)

I spend 4 wonderful weeks working on the elephant project. I had a tough start because there were some problems with my baggage in Delhi airport, But Sukret was very helpful through it all, so no matter what happens, just take it easy, and you are in safe hands. I will admit that I Had times when I just thought that everything was new for me here, it such a big culture difference. I come here for 4 weeks so on my beginning days I learned how to get around the city. The transportation is really cheap in India. I saw the entire tourist place on weekend sightseeing and did a lot of shopping. The staff members were really nice to introduce me for their families and taking me to different places. The work with elephants is amazing. On a normal day I got pick up from the host family at 4:30 a,m and was home again at about 9 p.m. Most of the days I cleaned the elephants area, washed and scrubbed the elephants and made food for them to eat. But I also experience to bath the elephant in the lake ride. Every day you have the program coordinator with you to the project, so you are never alone there is always someone to talk with and to answer your entire question. And that makes feel really safe and comfortable. I had an amazing time volunteering. Definitely a place I would love to visit again. Hard Work but really amazing elephants. All the people whom I met here is very welcoming and sweet. I like to give A Big 9 mark from 10 to VWI. The project Staff members Really great! Could not wished any better. It was great to write with Sukret, and he always answered really fast. I am really picky with food and I don’t like anything spicy, but the family was very nice to make sure there always something I could eat.

Work With Elephants ( Sian Smith, U.K)

I was gladly met at the airport upon arrival and transported to guest house. The Host family was very welcoming and humble. The food was very nice, the family were happy to serve more if wanted. The transport to the project everyday was prompt and reliable with the driver being very friendly. The project staff very friendly and welcoming; each member was very helpful in all areas, making the trip in India a lot more enjoyable. I like to give 10 out 10 marks. The elephant project gave a great insight to the different lives people lead. Working with the elephants was enjoyable. They were very sweet and the workers were friendly. I would love to return to take part in the project.

Work With Elephants ( Germaine Friendrich, Germany)

The Indian People i met were very friendly and helped me all the time. The work with Elephants is hard but the elephants such amazing animals. I would like to come again to do this project. They will stay always in my heart. VWI is the best volunteering organization in India. I would like to give them A+ grade in all their services – Airport Arrival Pick up Transfer, Accommodation & Food, Transportation, Project and staff members. They showed me Jaipur Sightseeing and by volunteering with them help me to learn about the Indian people, history and culture.

 

Work With Children ( Irene Heejung Lee, South Korea)

Working with the VWI was the best choice ever. Especially not only teach children but also learning more deeply about the organization was insightful. (Example – mobile van clinic). At the beginning, I did not like that fact I only could stay/work here 5 to 6 hours where I wanted stay longer with children. So thanks so much for being flexible and accommodated. Also visiting famous places in Jaipur (sightseeing included chokhi dhani, monkey palace) was so great and I love meeting families and friends of Sukret, Govind, totram ji and host family house as I value fine experience with local people and personal connections. Peoples in India have been so inclusive and welcoming so I had amazing fine participating like kite festival and wedding ceremonies. VWI has well chosen staff for their work and you guys have been very professional, friendly and lovely. I love the fact that VWI made things so easy for me include transport, pick up daily, accommodation includes food so that I could focus my time and energy more important thing like Taabar project. So I really appreciate it.I found staff at the project site very helpful if you ask questions and be open. Don’t expect them to come to you; here in India you open and say hello first if you want to become friend with them. Love working from early morning so I can utilize well of each afternoon for more teaching, shopping, visiting etc. Project staff love me stay longer hours and showing deep interest for in what they doing. Also I had opportunity to visit the Elephant house although it was not my project. It was so good to experience and see other VWI projects so definitely consider doing for future volunteers. It is not very easy work what VWI do accommodate each individual needs, so thanks for doing your best and help me to have colorful, fun, meaningful and memorable time in India. I recommend to future volunteers to use your service.

Work With Children ( Mark Wardle and Olivia Wardle, U.K)

We are father and daughter come in India to visit someplace and also volunteering. We had an amazing time during our volunteer work in India. It was brilliant working with the children project. We everyday spent 5 hours to care the children at the center; where we educate the children, play games with them and also every day dance. Both of us are very satisfied with the project which VWI has offered us. Really glad to give them 10 out 10 for Overall Experience and Satisfaction. Everything was fantastic with us Food, Accommodation, Transportation & Project Staff Member. Really recommend the project for future volunteers.

Work With Children ( Rebecca David, U.K)

As my first volunteering experience this has been a very enjoyable trip, combining volunteering with sightseeing, local festivals and cultures. It was lovely to have flexibility to do as little as much as possible with VWI staff being very accommodating in my requests. From the first correspondence to the end of my visit, I receive lots of information, support generously and kindness. Not only did the VWI staff arrange accommodation, transport and sightseeing visits to local areas but also invited volunteers for lunch and dinner at their homes. It was also good to see another school for children care as it was not in our project. I also visited the mobile van clinic which stands everyday in slum areas to provide free medical facilities to children & people.

Work With Children ( Alexandra Miller, Australia)

Thank you for such a amazing volunteering week in India. I participated in the street children project for 1 week teaching classes of English, mathematics, arts and games to previous street kids of Jaipur. Got also opportunity to see the Mobile VAN project for slum children & make chapti’s in Elephant Village. It was an amazing and rewarding experience, and I would definitely like to come back again. On top of volunteering we also joined celebrating the holy day kite festival, visiting Krishna temple at night and celebrating angazement and wedding party with VWI staff; yeyyyyyy

Work With Elephants ( Michele Bend, U.K)

I really enjoyed the experience, would like a bit more time with them. Mahouts are very friendly, our program coordinator was a star and totaram ji ( taxi driver ) was great. I was in project for 3 weeks; on weekends I had visited Sightseeing’s of Jaipur, Agra & Ranthambore Tiger Safari. VWI arrange fantastic services. Loved last day with tigers. Thank you Sukret. Higly recommend the project.

Work With Elephants ( George Hader, Australia)

I had an awesome time with the elephants. They are amazing animals and I am glad I spend time with them. The accommodation was fine, the food was very tasty. I am glad I got to spend time with the family at the wedding and be very happy that the way they take care of me as I am part of their family. All in I had great experience but I will definitely come soon for long time. Thanks to VWI for all your help.

Work With Children ( Alex Taucher, Australia)

Most insane crazy fun filled; this project is great way to enhance the travel experience- turning it from a self indulge holiday to something way you actually have make a difference in someone life. Not to mention the amazing side activities like riding elephants the extreme consumption of chai, feeding monkey peanuts if you are lucky. Going to 12 hour Indian wedding. If this is your first experience volunteering in another country, VWI is great way to get you started.

Work With Children ( Hannah Uren, Australia)

Excellent communication and Organization skilled Sukret; very professional email. I had an amazing time to help the children in the project. I help children to teach them basic English, Mathematics, Drawing painting , music – dance and many activities. So really loved the project. Thank you so much VWI; I had a fantastic time in Jaipur. Totaram ji best tuk tuk driver ever. I would definitely like recommend to future volunteers to work for the children.

Work With Elephants ( Matthew & Stella, U.K)

We are husband & Wife. Both of us really enjoyed the project it was great to work with elephants. Feeding them, clean up their living area, help the mahouts in their daily work- everything was fantastic & a great experience for how to care these big elephants. The host family house is an excellent location and the family was very welcoming and helpful. When we told them our bad was too hard they found another for us. Everybody on project is very much looking after us and very kind. Really back again with our kids next summers.

Work With Elephants ( Jasmine, U.K)

The family house that I stayed in was lovely, and all the family were welcoming to me, before I aimed at the project, all my emails were answered very quickly and professionally. During my stay both program coordinator and tuk-tuk driver were very friendly and helpful, and visiting their houses was a great experience, so thank you to them for their hospitality. However I was rather disappointed in starting days as I had to woke early in morning but after few days it been in my habbit as I understood the care works needs from morning hours when elephant woke. I everyday work from morning 5 a.m to 9 a.m. I also come in afternoon hours twice a week when we make chapati’s for elephants. I have took care of 5 elephants and really want to bring all of them to my home. Really sad that my project finish needs to go home for study again. Will come definitely next time. The children project I visited, only for 2 days on the other hand was great and I felt I was contributing to something, so I would recommend all the projects which VWI offer.

 

Volunteering in an Orphanage ( Cristina, Romania)

Volunteering in an orphanage is like space traveling, like going to a completely different world for some time. People may ask me why do I say that and the answer is not one that sets the heart at ease. A human being is born, most of the times, in a family, having a mother and a father that will care for them for the rest of their lives, uncles, aunts and grandparents that will always think about them and a home in which they can grow and develop their talents and skills. But those things don’t happen to every soul that is being brought to life. There are those children that will never know the love of a parent and the comfort of a home. Those children are left alone and in the best case scenario they go to an orphanage.
It’s a completely different world the one in which they live, than the one most of us live in. By us I talk about people who have been blessed with loving families. But even though orphan children don’t get to experience the life in a family, they are very loving and will always be happy to greet a volunteer that will be good to them. My time spent there is filled with happy memories. I got to help them with homework, to teach them English, but I also got to play with them. Somehow, even if I was a complete stranger to them, they let me get close to them and we got to share nice memories. This experience also helped me appreciate even more my own family and be thankful for every moment I spend with the loved ones.
VWI does an amazing job by organizing its volunteering programs. It helps bring a change for the better in the lives of children who don’t get a good start in life. I strongly recommend VWI to other people because they do a job that every human should do, that is helping the ones in need.

Volunteering in Teach English in Rural Area (Ruby Joseph, USA)

Arriving at New Delhi Airport to the amazing bustle, noise, colours and crowds that are unique to India, I felt a little bit nervous and was wondering what my next four weeks of teaching English in an Indian school, away from my friends and family, would bring me. After arrival to Airport I come jaipur by a Volvo bus which was so luxuries IT took 4 hours to reach the Jaipur. The VWI team member tapan was waiting me at the Bus Stand he drop me at my host family. My host was so nice and lovable they welcome me very well manner. They said me Namaste ( Hello ) that was my first Hindi word which i learn on first day. I was having a very neat and clean room with attach bathroom.
During my school time I had to teach 3 hours in different sections of classes. and I then had the afternoons off to sleep, use the internet, plan lessons, do some marking or go shopping in the town. Peoples here in India are so friendly you can’t feel yourself stuck at any place,everybody is so helping. The experience of teaching gave me so much confidence and taught me new skills but I also found that learning about the Indian culture and customs was just as an important and valuable part of my trip. I wear salwar suit, the traditional dress for rajasthani women, eat and learn so many Indian dishes. I really feel myself fall in love with the culture of a country so different to my town. I have taken away from my trip many fantastic memories, brilliant new friends, new skills and confidence and an excellent feeling and able to understand why this part of World called Incredible India.

Theatre Workshop (Maria, Spain)

My experience in a VWI theater workshop was – how can I put it so that I fully express it? – brilliant. As an aspiring artist, it is always great to get the chance to do what I love the most and at the same time help people by doing it. I worked with the children in a school from Jaipur, India. At the end of my volunteering work there, the children performed in front of their teachers and colleagues at the school.
The work started with our introductions and at the beginning I had no way of knowing how talented the children would be, but I soon found that out. Some of them were really good at dancing so we practiced a traditional dance and 2 modern dances. Some of them had good acting skills so they learned the roles for a drama. During the 2 weeks that I have spent there, the children and I had a good time; we laughed, learned new things, bonded and discovered more about ourselves. I was received there with joy and it always felt like home. Even though they don’t have the facilities that a theater workshop from a developed country has, they still try to do their best and give good performances for their friends, colleagues and teachers.
I am glad I got the chance to do this. I discovered that no matter the place, the conditions of life, talent can be found. It is better for people who look for talent not to disconsider a place just because it is poor. And it would be nice if the talented children that I encountered there with the help of VWI would get a better chance in life and people would help them develop their skills.

Work With Elephants (Jennie Crossan, U.K)

I had a wonderful time during my elephant program in Jaipur with VWI. It’s really been so lovable moment for me when i was with the elephants. I was working with the elephants for 4 weeks and looking at the 5 elephants. Working with the elephants is quite hard but so enjoyable. My days with the elephants starts early as I have to wash the elephants, clean them out, give them good massage, scrub their body with brush, making the bundles of hay for them to eat. The elephant village is so huge & really been adorable to see lots of elephants in groups & when they make fun in the lake. The village really needs volunteers  to be giving the care to elephants & help the mahouts for their hard work as there is lack of people to support them. Well on the project i am staying with one more volunteer in an Indian host family which really been helpful for us to get to know about the Indian life & culture. The food which we eat is so delicious. Our Indian mother is such a nice cook, everyday she makes new Indian dishes for us to eat & she has taught me few dishes to prepare during my stay. It’s really been great to interact with Indian family. Indian culture is so different from U.K it’s really been good to learn about different aspects like religion, the festivals of here, the traditional things, clothes of man & women and other things which people normally do in their daily living. Here are so many things which u can take in your camera, to write in your blogs & make memories for your lifetime. I must say in the end to the people to be work with the elephants as these animals are also part of our life.

Teaching English Project with Women Empowerment ( Anna Gordon, U.K )

Working with the children and women was very rewarding and they are fantastic! It’s worth making lesson plan through as we were surprised how much control we had. It was a great week though, the host family made us feel at home and Jaipur is brilliant place to explore. Thank you VWI! Challenging but well worth the effort. I would like to give 10 out of 9 marks to the organization. The project staff members were Helpful + reliable + very good! The arrival pick up service was very good; one of the staff members was there to meet us at Bus Station.

Children Project + Women Empowerment + 1 day Elephant care (Miriam Gordon, U.K )

Staying with the family was brilliant and being part of the projects was amazing as they are doing good work. I would like to 10 out of 9 mark to VWI. The project staff members were very helpful with translations + directions. The arrival pickup service was excellent; car and team member were waiting when we arrived. The accommodation & food was lovely. We were using Tuk-tuk is the best transportation service to go everyday for the project site. You can explore many things on the road if you travel in Tuk-Tuk.

Teaching English Project with Women Empowerment (Tim Gordon, U.K )

The arrival pick up service, Accommodation & food in Family, Transportation and project staff members all were excellent. I would like to give 10 out of 8 marks to VWI. Both of these projects is challenging, but excellent well worth doing it.

Work with Children for Repartition (Melita Gordon, U.K )

Working with the Children from the railway station who were in transit to return home after being exploited was wonderful. They were responsive, fun and great characters. We learnt a lot together. The Director of the Organization is impressive. Thank you for the Opportunity. I would like to give 10 out of 10 marks to VWI for everything. The project staff members were very helpful for logistics and translation very accessible. The arrival pick up service was excellent, on schedule as promised. The host family members were very friendly, warm, relaxed and helpful. The autorikshaw driver was great, Big thanks to him.

Street Children Program (James Aprelia, Germany)

I was a volunteer in a program created by VWI for a month in 2010. My work involved teaching street children different ways of how to stay healthy but I also worked there as a professor. I am half Indian and so my mother taught me Hindi and this made it easier for me to get along with the children, and so I did not get to use the help of the translator that much. Before coming to Jaipur, I knew that the welfare level of the people is not high, but I have to say it was a bit of a shock when I saw with my own eyes how the people live there.
I never thought that people can have it so bad anywhere in this world and still be so opened to foreigners. I was amazed to see how good the children reacted to my presence there. It is sad to say that children don’t get any chance at a normal development, at a normal childhood, and basically at a normal life. Even now I remember their faces, the way they looked at me with their eyes, it was like they were waiting for something, waiting for the bad to be over. Even if they are at a young age, they are more mature than grown ups because they had to face the harsh things of life with no one to protect them. I hope that what I taught them will help them keep a more healthy and safe life.
There is a huge need for volunteering and projects to protect those children. After coming back from India, my wife informed me that I will be a father and this determines me even more to support VWI in its work for the protection of children. Every child has the right to a family, to a normal life and happiness.

Women Empowerment (Hans, France)

During the summer of 2010 I was a volunteer in Jaipur, India. I went there in a program designed for women empowerment. All my life, the best role model I had was my mother who passed away at the beginning of the year; she did great things for me and I know how important the role of women in society is. Because of her I became an activist for women rights in underdeveloped countries.
Before the summer of 2010 I never went to Jaipur, but after what I experienced there I plan on going again next year. There is a huge need of schools in which those women can get an education, can develop skills and they need to learn that they can do more in life than just raise babies. Unfortunately they don’t get to experience all that there is to life because they are not given the chance to do so. VWI is trying to change that and give them the opportunity to a life that is more fulfilling but in order for the organization to do so, there is a need for other people to get involved and help organize things and raise money. The lack of funds makes it very difficult for schools to be built and this makes it very difficult for women to develop their full capabilities. I have encountered there women that had acute senses towards exchange/economy and if they would be able to get a proper education I am sure that they would be able to get their own businesses running and this would offer them a level of independence and self reliance; they would stop depending so much on the man they marry.
I hope that my words can be heard and more people can take initiative in trying to help them, try to work with VWI to make their rights respected.