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This project is designed to support, educate and care for Saligao'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.

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Location of the Project:  Goa, India
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Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 8 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Goa International Airport (GOI)
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Volunteer Work:  Teaching and community work
Age:  18 - 70 (This project may accept volunteers who are under 18 with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.)
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 10 international volunteers
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Important Note:  A tourist visa is required to enter India and most volunteers apply online. A visa cannot be obtained for a stay exceeding 180 days.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a volunteer house
Food:  Three meals a day during the week; 2 meals a day on the weekend
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Airport Transfers:  Included on arrival
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
Orientation:  One-week orientation designed to familiarize you with Indian culture and customs through activities such as yoga, language and cooking lessons and visits to local cultural and historical sites.
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24-hour emergency support

What's not Included

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

Goa is one of India's most cherished states. Located on 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 Saligao, which is about 20 minutes away from the coast.

Orientation Week (included):
Before your volunteer placement begins, 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, join two 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.

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. 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 computer skills.
Please note: This placement has a minimum 4-week committment. 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 Senior Home special. As a volunteer, you will not only provide the residents with basic care such as cleaning the home, preparing 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 rehabilitation 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 on the beach. Since the beachside restaurants are closed, the dogs have less available food during this time of year.

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 our in-country partners. At this project, you will help teach basic English in a creative way and provide a fun and stimulating environment.
Please note: This project is available from June to March only. During the months of April and May, summer camps are organized for the children.

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. Projects may also be affected by monsoon season, between the months of June and October.

A typical day: You will go to your morning project from about 9:30 am – 12:00 pm, and return 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. 
 

Internet
Internet:  WiFi and Internet access available at the volunteer center.
Laundry
Laundry:  You can wash your clothes by hand if you’d like. There are laundry services available for an additional fee.
Accommodations
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, pending availability.
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.

Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:

  • Basic English 
  • High level of independence and emotional strength
  • Motivation to work with children and/or animals
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Police clearance form

Program Add-Ons (for an additional fee):
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 this program.

Volunteer Experiences
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