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India - Teaching and Community Work in Goa

Volunteer in Goa, one of India's most treasured and beautiful regions. Work with impoverished communities by teaching and inspiring its members towards a better future.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectGoa, India
Project LengthMin 2 weeks - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportGoa International Airport
Volunteer WorkTeaching and community work
Number of Participants5 - 10 international volunteers
Age18 - 70
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are 17 years old and younger with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.
Visas You must apply for this program 1 - 2 months in advance in order to have enough time to get your visa processed.

What's Included

AccommodationShared rooms in a volunteer house
Food3 meals a day during the week; 2 meals a day on the weekend
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival when volunteering for 2 weeks or more
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details are sent following registration
Orientation A week-long introduction to Goa and Indian culture
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, some weekend meals, visa (if required)


Goa is one of India's most cherished states. Located halfway down India's western coast, Goa has long been renowned for its natural beauty and warm, humid climate throughout the year. It's no mystery why Goa is consistently ranked among India’s top tourist destinations, with its golden sandy beaches, coconut groves, vibrant green paddy fields, and dense forests. This project is located in North Goa, in a small countryside village called Thivim, which is about 30 minutes away from the coast.


About the Project

This project is designed to support, educate and care for Thivim's community members who need it most, from young orphan children to abused women to elderly people without families.  This project sends volunteers to different locations where they can provide assistance to these disadvantaged individuals and help them gain a sense of security and stability.  


Orientation Week

Before your volunteer placement, you will enjoy an exciting orientation week designed to familiarize you with the rich Indian art, culture, climate and customs.  During this week, you will participate in yoga, language and cooking lessons, 2 self defense classes, as well as travel to many of Goa’s cultural and historical sites, including Old Goa, local temples, a spice plantation, and traditional markets.  This introduction week covers issues such as adapting to a new culture and culture shock and helps volunteers ease into Indian culture. This is also a great opportunity for you to bond with your fellow volunteers and get to know your surroundings.  The orientation program runs from Monday through Friday, giving you the weekend to relax or explore the area on your own before you start volunteering at your project.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

After your one week orientation, you'll be assigned to a specific project depending on first, the needs of the community and then personal preference. You may focus on one program alone, or combine two programs (ie - participate in one program in the mornings, and another in the afternoons). These projects include:

Slums Outreach Project: Many of the children living in the slums around Goa cannot afford to go to school. This project aims to organize fun, educational activities for these children in order to inspire them to learn and give them some much needed attention. You’ll play games and sports, sing songs, and do some arts-and-crafts, all aimed at teaching the kids basic English, while giving them the attention and love they need and deserve. You might also expect to prepare and teach your own lessons as well, depending on the local need. Some volunteers may also be asked to assist with some painting and renovation work as well.

Women's Shelter: The women and children that live at this shelter have left abusive or unhealthy home environments in the hopes of finding a better life. Here, your efforts will be geared towards providing support for the women and children in different ways. This can include supporting the women while their children are at school, and then helping the kids with their homework when they return, helping the women find employment, and teaching them comupter skills. Please note that you must be registered to spend 4 weeks volunteering in Goa in order to work at the Women's Shelter and that there are not many women at the project during April and May, as they are usually visiting their families during this time.

Elders Care: Public services for the elderly are limited in India, which makes this Old Age Home special. As a volunteer, you will not only provide the residents with basic care such as cleaning the home, prepring food, distributing medicine and bathing the residents; you will also act as a friend, talking with the residents, listening to their stories and helping to keep them entertained.

Animal Welfare: At the animal rescue center, volunteers make a lasting contribution by caring for injured cows, dogs, cats, and goats. The center's patients are mainly animals injured in motor accidents and orphaned young animals who could not survive on their own. The rescue center provides emergency surgeries, medication, and rehabilitiation as well as adoption services. Volunteers have a range of possible tasks, including rescue and rehabilitation, animal husbandry, construction of enclosures, animal transportation, preparing meals, first aid and more. During monsoon season between the months of June and October, volunteers may also be involved in feeding the wild dogs who migrate to the beach area to escape the seasonal rain.

Teaching Project: Set up in 2009, this project provides education to about 25 children from the ages of 3 – 5. It is run by three full-time staff members and is funded by donations from local shop owners. At this project, you will help teach basic English in a creative way and provide a fun and stimulating environment.  Please note that this project is available from June to March only.

Holidays: During some holidays, the children will be out of school and the Teaching Project will not be running. During this time, volunteers will be primarily involved in repairs and renovations and other outreach programs. 

A typical day: You will go to your morning project from about 9:30 am – 12:00 pm, before being picked up and taken to the volunteer house for lunch. Then, you will be taken to your afternoon project at about 2:00 pm for a few hours.  You will be picked up around 5:00 pm and taken back to the volunteer house for dinner and time to relax and spend as you please.  


Program Add-Ons

Consider joining this special program before or after your volunteer placement to add another dimension to your experience in India:

Body and Mind Week: Learn about yoga, meditation practices, and Ayurvedic treatments to improve your health and well-being.  

Please note that there is an additional fee for these programs.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: You will stay at the volunteer house in Goa, a beautiful Portuguese-style house, which includes a garden, kitchen, western toilets, hot showers, and a computer. The rooms are shared between 4-6 people with en suite bathrooms and there are fans available for use. Upgrades to double or private rooms are available for an additional fee. 

Food: You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Indian foods, consisting mainly of vegetarian foods including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about twice per week. You can also use the kitchen facilities to cook for yourself or eat out at any of the local restaurants.

Laundry: You can wash your clothes by hand if you’d like. There are laundry services available for an additional fee.

Internet: WiFi and Internet access available at the volunteer center.


Minimum Requirements

  • Basic English 
  • High level of independence and emotional strength
  • Letter of consent from a parent or guardian (if under18)
  • Motivation to work with children and/or animals
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Police clearance


Important Notes

You should to apply to this project at 1 - 2 months before your chosen start date in order to ensure that you have enough time to obtain the proper visa.  The visa process is lengthy and can take up to 2 months.


Here's an excerpt of Simone's experience:


"A volunteer who taught at the other school came back one day saying that she this was the happiest she felt this year. I never thought about it before she said anything, but as soon as her words were spoken I knew it was true. It truly is a magical experience."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Chloe's experience:


"I am so glad that I went on this trip, and I highly recommend a volunteer trip of some sort to everyone. I also highly recommend doing it alone. Even though I had wished I had someone with me during the first few days, I’m glad I didn’t now because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to make new friends that I probably wouldn’t have made if I had gone with a friend or family member."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Camille's experience:


"To be honest, I was a bit scared when I first left my country to volunteer in India, but the minute I got picked up from the airport by one of the coordinators it was amazing. I have nothing but positive things to say about this program and volunteering in India and recommend it to anyone. It is a wonderful program and a beautiful country."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Bridget's experience:


"I was greeted by a young Indian boy in a shirt donned in peace signs and blue waves, we took my luggage to the car and off we went! The drive was only 45 minutes but oh did I wish it went for longer. Driving along to the familiar sounds of Bob Marley and all the new pop queens, I was glued to the window bounded by tall, sky scrapping coconut trees, big blue water, floating casino cruises and fresh fruit markets sprawled along the side of the road. Boy was I happy to call this place home for next two weeks."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Alex's experience:


"The biggest accomplishment that our group achieved while volunteering was the introduction of toothbrushes to the slum children. One afternoon we went to the local market and bought 40 toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a lot of hand sanitizer. The next day we came to the slum and gave each child a toothbrush. Before their snack we got them all to wash their hands, and after their snack we had them all line up and brush their teeth."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org to read experiences written by GoEco volunteers from all over the world!

"I worked in the orphanage and a school where I had great experiences. I only wish I had more time there. The center is a place that becomes home."

- Michelle, USA, GoEco Goa Volunteer 2011

"The food was delicious, and the accommodation was lovely. Everything went perfectly smoothly. Every morning at around 7:30 after breakfast we went to the orphanage to play with children, many of whom were disabled. I also traveled to different beaches around Goa on weekends."

- Sally, UK, GoEco Goa Volunteer, 2011





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