Q. 1 Why do you choose AVI’s Volunteer programs?
A. AVI offers reasonably priced volunteer opportunities to its international participants, all time supported by English speaking guides and other staff while ensuring their safety and comforts at the living camp as well as at the work area. A true cultural immersion, delicious Indian food, learn local language, customs and traditions while making a real difference in the lives of the less fortunate people of India. Our placements are carefully selected while considering needs of the local communities and suitability for the volunteers.
Q. 2 What kind of volunteer work is available?
A. AVI provides opportunities to its participants to involve themselves into activities that relates to teaching basic English and Maths to the street children, health and hygiene, women’s empowerment, child care, community awareness and working with disables. AVI constantly keeps researching to explore new areas to expand its programs by developing new initiatives and volunteer activities which meet the needs of the local populations.
Q. 3 What durations are available for volunteer programs?
A. You can volunteer with AVI for 2 weeks to 6 months. Also, it is extendable upon your arrival to the project. The program start dates are completely flexible. As such, you can arrive and depart on any day that suits you the most. However, we advise you to consult us before booking your flights for India as; we try our best to club your arrival with some of our other participants who already have booked their flights.
Q. 4 Who will pick me up from the airport?
A. One of our staff will be available in the arrival hall of Jaipur Airport to pick you at your scheduled arrival time and date while displaying a placard with your name written on it.
Q. 5 Where do I apply for a Visa for my trip?
A. You need to obtain a tourist Indian Visa to work as an AVI volunteer from Indian Embassy/High Commission located outside of India. It is not possible to extend your Indian visa while being in India.
Q. 6 What qualification(s) one needs to be an AVI volunteer?
A. There are no qualifications required to be an AVI volunteer. Just manageable conversational English with willingness and patience is enough to work in our volunteer project.
Q. 7 Is there an age restriction to be an AVI volunteer?
A. One should be 18 years and above to volunteer with AVI independently. However, children of any age are welcome provided they are accompanied by their parents/guardians
Q. 8 Will I have time for sightseeing & in-country travel?
A. You will be free to explore rest of India and enjoy local excursions/sightseeing tours during your volunteering or thereafter.
Q. 9 Does AVI organize trips to important places around the project?
A. AVI organizes reasonably priced local excursions and sightseeing tours to historical places like Jaipur, Pushkar, Mandawa, Nawalgarh, visit to Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world and tiger safari in Ranthambore. Cost of these excursions is not included in the program fee. That will be calculated separately based on the number of participants, duration of their stay and services they would like to avail during their trips.
Q. 10 What kind of accommodation will be provided during my stay?
A. You will be accommodated in a rural farm in clean and comfortable rooms mostly on twin sharing basis with European toilets, 24 hours running water and electricity.
Q. 11 What kind of food will I get during my Volunteer placement?
A. You will be provided with freshly cooked Indian seasonal food three times a day at our rural farm with rice, chapaties, lentils, salad, yogurt, two or three vegetarian dishes and fruits with tea/coffee during lunch and dinner. Eggs, pancakes, paratha, butter, jam and bread slices are added in breakfast. However, occasionally volunteers are allowed to cook food of their own choice.
Q. 12 Do I need Insurance?
A. You should be adequately insured for your health and travel for whole of your volunteering period. Insurance is not included in your program fee.
Q. 13 Do I need to carry cash for my personal expenses or ATM’s are available?
A. Food, accommodation and general transfers are included in your program fee. However, you would need money to buy things for your personal use like snacks, drinks, telephone, presents, trips, shopping etc. All these things are rather cheap in India. ATM (cash point) machines are available in all the major cities and towns to draw money from your bank account by using credit/visa cards.
Q. 14 Which items should I bring along for my trip?
A. You may bring personal medicines, walking shoes, sun glasses, a torch light, light clothes e.g. Linen trousers and T-shirts during summer months or heavier clothes e.g. long sleeved tops, jacket during winter months. Please don’t forget to carry sun screen cream and mosquito repellent.
Q. 15 Can I bring along children with me?
A. AVI welcomes children and families at its volunteer project.
Q. 16 Can I come with a friend, my family or in a group?
A. AVI welcomes you on its volunteer project along with your family and friends.
Q. 17 Do I need any vaccinations before I leave for my trip?
A. You must consult a travel doctor from your country well in advance and take the necessary vaccinations before arriving India.
Q. 18 Can we bring clothes to give away to the children at the schools?
A. While we do not encourage volunteers to give away things at the schools since they will not have something for each child in their group, many volunteers give away clothing or other items to their parents silently to avoid overcrowding. Past volunteers have given clothing and other items to the street kids.
Q. 19 How can we do laundry?
A. Facilities are available at our rural camp if you can do your laundry manually. However, services are also available on payment in case you want to avail it.
Q. 20 Can we receive mail and packages?
A. you can receive letters/packages that are posted on the address mentioned on the Contact Us page of our web site.
Q. 21 Will there be internet access available?
A. Internet access is available with wi-fi at our rural camp. Of course, speed would be rather slower than you are used to.
Q. 22 How much spending money should I take?
A. It’s difficult to give an exact figure as it depends on what you choose to do while you’re in India. We recommend that you anticipate spending 100 Euro per month whilst you are volunteering to cover your daily needs. However, if you intend to travel at weekends or have plans for post program travels we recommend that you take extra.
Q. 23 Will I be placed with other volunteers?
A. This is a group based program and you will be living and working with other international volunteers.
Q. 24 How many hours will I work for?
A. You will be working for 15 to 20 hours in a week from Monday to Friday with weekends on Saturdays and Sundays. However, you may involve yourself for more number of hours in case you have interest in other social activities.
Q. 25 Will I get orientation upon arrival at the project?
A. Orientation will be arranged soon upon your arrival at our rural camp that includes welcome meeting with introduction to the AVI staff as well to the camp facilities, detailed lectures on our project, the communities we work with, Indian History, Geography, culture, customs and traditions, female child and women’s situation in Indian society, religion, Indian caste system and about places that have historical and religious importance. It is a great opportunity for you to be introduced to the country and its culture.
Q. 26 What if I am taken ill?
A. It takes 10 minutes by car/tuk-tuk from AVI camp to the town Sikar where plenty of good hospitals and doctors are available to provide reasonably good medical facilities. And, patient can be referred to Jaipur which is 2 hours drive by car in case there is a serious health hazard. There are plenty of hospitals and good doctors in Jaipur who provide proper treatment of nearly all types of diseases.
Q. 27 Can I talk to ex volunteers?
A. Please visit the link- Testimonials where you can find the email addresses of our former volunteers to know about their Indian experiences.
Q. 28 How to pay for the program fee?
A. We will raise and send an invoice of your program fee to enable you to make ‘Wire Transfer’ through your bank. We will acknowledge its receipt soon it is credited in AVI’s bank account.
Q. 29 How much program fee I have to pay?
A. Please Contact Us to know our price.
Q. 30 What services do I get in the program fee?
A. The following services are included in your program fee:
- Comprehensive Pre-Departure Information Pack
- Pick and drop from/to Jaipur airport by AVI representative
- Clean and comfortable accommodation mostly on twin sharing basis
- 3 Meals a day- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with afternoon tea
- All time support of English speaking staff in the camp as well as at project
- Orientation lectures on different interesting topics.
- Cultural Workshops- Henna Painting, Indian dressing, cooking & Hindi language lessons.
- Yoga and Meditation from Monday to Friday.
- Local transportation from camp to work area and back from Monday to Friday
- Certificate of participation on completion of your volunteering.
Q. 31 What I have to manage on my own?
A. Generally the following things you have to manage:
- Flight tickets
- Travel cum medical Insurance
- Personal Expenses