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India - Childcare and Teaching in Palampur & Dharamsala

Volunteer in beautiful northern India working with children in local schools or childcare centers. Become immersed in the colorful Indian culture at the base of the Himalayan Mountains.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectPalampur, India (35km from Dharamsala)
Project LengthMin 3 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportIndira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi)
Volunteer WorkTeaching or childcare options
Number of ParticipantsUp to 40 international volunteers
Age18 - 80

What's Included

AccommodationHome-stay or volunteer house
FoodThree vegetarian meals per day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersPickup included from 06:30am to 10pm
Internet Free at local office
Orientation Cultural orientation week with excursions in Delhi
Recreation Yoga class once a week
Local travel Bus fare from Delhi to Palampur
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration

What's Not Included

Flights, visa (required), personal expenses, laundry


Palampur is a fascinating green hill station and a municipal council in the Kangra Valley in the nothern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is surrounded on all sides by tea gardens and pine forests before merging with the Dhauladhar ranges. Palampur is the tea capital of northwest India but tea is just one aspect that makes Palampur a special interest place. Its abundance of water and proximity to the mountains has endowed it with a beautifully mild climate. Only thirty-five kilometers away (just 30 minutes by a local bus) is Dharamsala, a town with unique Tibettan Buddist roots and home to the Dalai Lama.


About the Project

There are two project options that participants can choose from in Palampur. The first is a childcare program that takes place in childcare centers that are in need of volunteers to assist the professional care-takers. The second option gives volunteers the opportunity to work in both primary (elementary) and secondary (high school) schools teaching english, math, computers, and other basic subjects to students.


Orientation Week

During the first week upon arrival in India, volunteers will be given an extensive and fun orientation week in India's exciting and bustling city, Delhi. This week will focus on a cultural introduction to the country, basic language instruction, familiarization with the cuisine, introduction to the popular attractions, and a brief history of India in order to give volunteers a better context for their volunteering projects and their time spent in this unique and beautiful country.

During this week, volunteers will have the opportunity to visit the Dilli Haat ethnic craft market, tour the the Akshardham Temple (the largest Hindu temple in the world), take Hindi language classes, learn about cultural topics such as the arranged marriage system and family systems in India, watch a Bollywood movie, and eat at an authentic Indian restaurant. 

This is a fun opportunity to familiarize volunteers with the country they will be contributing to, while also meeting other like-minded volunteers from all around the world. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Following orientation week, volunteers will continue on to their designated volunteer projects. 

Childcare Program:

You will help the staff in their daily work consisting of cleaning, feeding, and engaging the children in various activities. The age of the children ranges from infant babies to four years old. Daily work is 5 days/week for 3-4 hours per day, and responsibilities include:

  • Spending time and playing with chilldren
  • Teaching basic English and elementary math
  • Maintaing and decorating the day care centers
  • Making educational toys
  • Helping professional caretakers with general tasks

Teaching Program:

Here you will help in primary and secondary schools teaching subjects like English, math, computers, and more.  You are encouraged to bring your own skills, such as sports, arts, and music to broaden the education of the children. The age of the students is between 5 and 15 years old. Daily work is 5 days/week for 4-5 hours per day, and responsibilites include:

  • Assisting the teachers in and out of the classrooms
  • Carrying out administrative responsibilites given by management and teachers

Days off are usually Saturday and Sunday.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: volunteers stay in either of two volunteer house accommodations in Palampur. In both the accommodations, there is separate kitchen for the volunteers and a cook for cooking the volunteers meals. Volunteers are placed in the accommodations depending upon the distance from the project and the type of program they are doing. Living is comfortable and volunteer houses have electricity and running water and hot water heaters. In the volunteer house, volunteers are provided with basic bed, mattress, pillow, bed sheet and blanket and a quilt depending on the temperature of the area. Volunteers can expect to share a room with other volunteers.  The accommodations are within walking distance of most of the projects.

Food: volunteers are provided with three (mostly vegetarian) simple meals a day. Breakfast is comprised of tea, bread, butter, jam, paranthas (Indian bread stuffed with vegetables) or any other traditional Indian dishes. Lunch and dinner might consist of dal (lentil curry), mixed curry, vegetables, salad, roti (Indian bread), and fruit.

Laundry: no laundry service, but very cheap to send your clothes to a laundry shop.

Internet: internet is available at the local office but can be slow. 


Travel Highlights

Given that volunteers are given weekends off, this is an opportunity many of our participants use to explore the area. There are many different attractions that Palampur and India have to offer. Volunteers in the past have enjoyed exploring the infamous Indian architecture of the Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar, or the Temples of South India; experiencing the various cultural festivals going on throughout the year such as Diwali, Holi (festival of colors), Dussehra, and Durga Puja; or familiarizing themselves with the local cuisine and dance. 


Minimum Requirements

  • Motivation to work with children and experience new cultures
  • Police background check
  • Good level of English
  • Full travel & medical insurance
  • Immunizations (consult your doctor)
  • CV / Resume
  • Minimum age 18 years


Important Notes

A tourist visa must be applied for and obtained before travelling to India. A tourist visa cannot exceed a stay of 180 days. It is the sole responsibility of the participant to secure the appropriate visa before travelling. Please consult your local Indian consulate. 

Important: due to problems with Kingfisher Airlines, there are no flights currently from Delhi to Dharamsala. You will need to travel between these two cities by either train or bus.

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