Support and Services to AVI Participants

Some people think that first time traveling to an unknown country like India may not be safe and comfortable. To keep our international volunteers free from this trauma, AVI ensures that the volunteers get full support and guidance from our expert staff right from the moment of their arrival to the time of departure.

Participants are greeted by an AVI staff immediately upon their arrival at Jaipur airport and transported directly to our camp. You will be briefed by our representative about your transfer and the 1st day’s activities.

After the arrival to the camp it’s time for important practical information

On the first and second day in the camp, volunteers are given detailed presentation about the staff, accommodation, volunteer work, project area, cultural sensitivities, dress code, dos and don’ts, safety and other issues relevant to the volunteer work. At the same time, volunteers pay their visit to all our work areas to get familiarized with the community and the children. Then, after taking volunteer’s interest and choice into consideration, they are being allotted their work area.

All time availability of support staff for cooking, driving, maintenance of the facilities and to assist volunteers in all walks of their activities.

Local transportationto and from project placements are provided for comfortable and safe travel with hired means of transport. Volunteers are accompanied and supported by AVI staff during all the activities throughout the programs.

During your whole volunteer stay, informative and interactive sessions relating to India’s history, geography, culture, languages etc. are organized. Here you have to be active! What do you want to know? What are your thoughts, your reactions? What shall we talk about?

Accommodation and food

As a volunteer, you will get a unique insight into the Indian rural life when you live with AVI’s personnel on a large farm, located 15 minutes from the town of Sikar. Madan Singh, his family and the AVI’s staff also live at the farm. Besides, buffaloes and cows also have their place at the farm. The farm is run entirely by AVI’s staff and volunteers have access to around the clock presence of promoters and cooking staff, who are all familiar with the areas and project areas. The staff’s constant presence means convenience and safety of the volunteers. It provides good opportunities for meetings, social gatherings, common measurement occasions and preparatory work in cooperation with the staff.

The volunteers live in well ventilated, fan equipped double rooms with two or three single-beds. The common area, decorated with pillows and cushions in authentic Indian style, is spacious and can be used for resting, socializing and workshops. On the farm volunteers have access to:

  • TV, DVD and mini library
  • Internet access with Wi-Fi
  • European toilets and showers
  • Shareholders fridge
  • Purified water
  • Indoor and outdoor games

You are served homemade vegetarian fresh Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea with cake. The food is often locally – much of dairy products comes directly from the cows on the farm and some of the vegetables come from the family’s own farms. All food served is excellent to eat.

Schedule of a typical working day

Time Activity
07:30 to 08:30 Wake up & be fresh/ go for morning walk
08.30 to 09.00 Breakfast with Tea/Coffee
09:00 to 09:15 Travel to the work areas
09:15 to 12:15 Volunteer work
12:15 to 12:30 Travel back to camp
12:30 to 14:30 Lunch and relaxation
14:30 to 16:30 Cultural workshops/language, historical lessons, activities at work areas or work planning while enjoying the afternoon tea
16:30 to 18.00 Shower/laundry/play games/ feedback/kitchen help/work planning
18.00 to 19.00 Yoga and Meditation
19:00 to 20:00 Dinner
20:00 onwards Interaction/recreation/free time

Learn about Indian culture

You will get opportunities to take part in lessons that provide more knowledge about India. The lessons will focus on Indian History, Economy, Geography, culture and Indian life style. You will also get to learn about the caste system and women and girl’s vulnerable situation in India. Additionally, you will receive lessons in Hindi for you to be able to communicate with the children and residents of the project area. You are also offered various cultural workshops, such as yoga and meditation, Indian cooking, Indian dressing and henna painting.

To discover Indian traditions, customs and the Indian way of life, you get many opportunities to visit the fascinating textile shops and markets, local shows and festivals. You can also participate in social celebrations such as weddings and birthday parties.

Weekend excursions

As a volunteer, you will work in Hathi Tiba or Banjara Basti from Monday to Friday, about 15 to 20 hours per week. AVI’s English speaking staff accompanies you all the time – you are never alone. Work in Banjara Basti and Hathi Tiba is divided into different projects – depending on the number of volunteers in place and the needs that currently exist.

The holidays can also be used for individual excursion in the immediate surroundings, such as in Sikar. At the weekend, AVI’s staff to arrange excursions and tours to give you as a volunteer additional opportunity to discover and enjoy India in the best possible way. The following tours are offered to them:

Agra visit to Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, 3 days / 2 nights tour.
Transportation by public buses from Sikar to Agra and back. We use auto-rickshaws for local sightseeing in Agra. You will be accompanied by an AVI guide throughout the trip.

Pushkar – Camel safari with overnight stay in the desert 3 days / 1 night in hotel & 1 night in the desert camp.
Transportation from Sikar to Pushkar and back by private car, camel safari with dinner, accommodation in tents and breakfast in the desert. Own private guide throughout the trip.

Jaipur – “The Pink City” 2 days / 1 night hotel.
Visit to City Palace and Amer Fort (possibility of Elephant riding upto the fort) with local guide, visiting the historic bazaar.
Transportation from Sikar to Ranthambore by Car with private driver, Jungle safari with lunch, dinner and breakfast, accommodation. Own private guide throughout the trip.

Ranthambore : Jungle safari with overnight stay in a hotel.
Transportation from Sikar to Ranthambore by Car with private driver, Jungle safari with lunch, dinner and breakfast, accommodation in the hotel. Own private guide throughout the trip.

WEEKEND EXCURSIONS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR PROGRAM FEE.
AS SUCH, PLEASE BRING SUFFICIENT MONEY FOR YOUR TRIPS.

PRICE OF WEEKEND TRIPS WOULD BE CALCULATED LOCALLY SOON WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS AND DURATION OF THEIR STAY.

PLEASE CONTACT US TO KNOW YOUR PROGRAM FEE AND ITS MODE OF PAYMENT

The program fee includes:

  • Extensive “Pre-Departure Information Pack” with all relevant information
  • Accommodation on the farm (with two or three single-beds and fan), access to European toilets and shower rooms and a private refrigerator.
  • Access to internet with Wi-Fi.
  • Three meals per day; Breakfast, lunch and dinner with afternoon tea / coffee.
  • Pick up and drop off at the Jaipur airport by bus or car.
  • Lessons in Hindi, Indian history, geography, Hinduism, caste system, women and girls vulnerable situation, etc.
  • Cultural workshops- Yoga and Meditation, Indian cooking, henna painting, try traditional Indian clothing etc.
  • Local transportation from accommodation to project with auto-rickshaw (tuck-tuck).
  • Preliminary information via e-mail and telephone.
  • Materials needed for operations during volunteer work.
  • Round the clock help and support of English-speaking guides in the camp and the project site.

The fee does not include:

  • Flights tickets
  • Health cum travel insurance
  • Phone calls
  • Vaccinations
  • Other personal expenses

Staff Team

We have a small and dedicated staff team that have been with us since the beginning, drawn from the local community they are bilingual in Hindi and English and highly experienced in encouraging volunteers to work as a team, meeting individual requirements and giving their best to ensure that volunteers have the experience of a lifetime.

Passport and Visa

You should hold a valid passport for the entire duration of your travel. You will need to obtain an Indian Tourist visa to get an entry into the country. The purpose of your visit is as a tourist. If you mention that you wish to work or volunteer it will complicate your application.

Tourist Visas are generally issued for 3 to 6 months by the Indian Embassies/Consulates. The visa is effective from its date of issue and not from the date you mention in the application. Extension of Tourist visa is not possible while you are in India. This can only be done in Indian Embassies that are located outside India.
If you require detailed information before hand, please visit the Indian embassy web site or make a personal visit to the embassy in your country.

Vaccinations

All updated information about vaccinations is available at www.who.org. There are no compulsory vaccinations to enter India, however, it is recommended to undertake the following: Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, and Typhoid. Please consult your doctor and the above mentioned web site for updates and special warnings.

Please inform us of any allergies you may have, so that we are prepared to make special arrangements for you.

Insurance

Insurance is not included in the participant’s program fee. You must ensure that you obtain adequate cover for your health and travel depending upon your needs and preferences for the whole duration of your tour before traveling to India. You may contact Signhild Ornberg at avi.signhild@gmail.com – the contact person in Sweden – she can help you. Or, visit http://www.gouda-rf.se/page588.aspx? owner=103&country= SE&agent= 75277