If you thought that India is unsafe for women travelers – then now is the time to fix your thoughts! A couple of weeks back, Volunteering Solutions hosted a group of 8 women volunteer travelers, who came from different parts of the world and bonded for life. To tell the truth, each one of them contributed in their own ways and shared their volunteering experience in India with VolSol.
These women, who were all above the age of 50 years, joined the Summer Volunteering Program, with the aim to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged kids by teaching them some basic lessons and adding some colors to their education center. And not just that – but they extensively traveled across New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Amritsar, clicking happy pictures at all the famous tourist spots of India.
“India has been on my bucket list for a while, however as well as seeing the usual tourist attractions and heritage sites, I wanted to see more of the day-to-day lives and culture, and give something back to the community.
After much research, I decided on Vol Sol as their 3 week Summer Programme offered a good combination through a varied itinerary at a reasonable cost. On booking, I was provided with a login to my Vol Sol account, which contained a fully detailed itinerary and helpful information on visas, climate, culture etc and Sahil, our coordinator was always helpful with answering any questions.
On arrival in Delhi airport, I was met by a smiling Vol Sol face and transported to the volunteer house, which was in a nice residential area of south Delhi and situated in a gated community with plenty of markets, shops, and restaurants within walking distance.
On our first day, we had a detailed orientation from Volunteering Solutions explaining our first week in Delhi, which would be in a volunteer school where we would be helping children from the slums to improve their English.
Travel to and from the volunteer school was by auto rickshaw, an experience in itself, given the Delhi traffic! The children ranged between 4 and 14 years and were of mixed ability but so willing to learn and absorbed everything like sponges. It was hard work but so rewarding.
Saying “goodbye” to the children at the end of the week was really emotional but we left with many thank you cards, hugs, and happy tears together with the thought that we may have played a tiny part in helping to improve the future for these gorgeous kids.
After an overnight coach journey, we arrived in Palampur in the foothills of the Himalayas and our new accommodation for the week was in a countryside volunteer house with magnificent views of the majestic mountains.
Again we had a full orientation from Dr. Bobby who explained that we would be renovating two classrooms in a non-government school for very poor children. It was hard work sanding down walls, plastering and then applying two coats of base paint before designing and completing the artwork for the walls.
It was so rewarding at the end of the week when we handed over the clean, bright and fun classrooms to the teachers who were so appreciative. The children were just adorable and there was plenty of time to play with them during the breaks. Again the Vol Sol team, Dr. Bobby, and Amit were frequently around checking on our progress and making sure we were OK.
Our final week included a camping/trekking trip in the mountains, sightseeing In Dharamshala, Amritsar, Agra and Jaipur with everything expertly arranged and fully escorted by Parag of Vol Sol who really went out of his way to ensure we had the best time ever.
Would I do it again? – absolutely, it is so much more fulfilling to actually take part in making change happen than just donating cash and you actually get to see where your money goes.
Would I choose Vol Sol again? – absolutely, they are a very professional organization who provide an excellent combination of volunteer projects and sightseeing ensuring you are safe at all times.
So, if you are thinking about volunteering and fancy India then I would definitely recommend Volunteering Solutions.
Thank you and happy travels.”
If Gill’s experience has tickled your wanderlust soul and you are also dreaming of exploring the country differently, then come and join us for an exciting Summer Volunteer & Travel Program in India along with other like-minded people.
Drop us a mail at [email protected] to know more about our programs!
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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