Volunteering holidays or volunteer travel combines travel with volunteering for a charitable cause. Those who go for such type of vacations, typically share a desire to “do something good” while experiencing new places.
We list five working-holiday ideas, from conservation of crocodiles in Chennai, to teaching school students in Kerala.
The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology
If you always wanted to emulate Steve Irwin and be a crocodile hunter, then The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology is the place to be.
One of the largest reptile zoos in the world, the Mahabalipuram-based CrocBank, as the institution is often called, was founded by Romulus Whitaker. Aimed at promoting conservation of reptiles and amphibians, the bank is the first crocodile breeding centre in Asia.
As a volunteer, you will be involved in zoo support and maintenance, education and outreach. Maintenance would mean feeding the inmates, care and upkeep of the zoo enclosures. Sounds exciting, right? Interacting with visitors and giving reptile talks to promote the reptiloid cause, would also be part of the job. To know more about the CrocBank read here…
Wildlife Conservation Society
Another option to contribute to the cause of wildlife conservation in India. Volunteering with the non-profit Bengaluru-based Wildlife Conservation Society, will provide you the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of tigers and elephants.
As a volunteer with WCS, you will be involved in training local wildlife staff and students in research methods, promote public awareness of endangered species and habitat loss. Field accommodation, travel and food expenses will be provided. To know more about WCS, read here…
Just as Pele, the Black Pearl, was born in a Brazilian shanty town, Nagpur-based Slum Soccer aims to uplift underprivileged children from the slums through development of soccer skills. Goes without saying that only those with a good understanding of the sport; should volunteer.
Volunteers will have to arrange for their own food and housing while volunteering. To know more about Slum Soccer, read here…
If you have always been concerned about where your food came from, loved pesticide and chemical free vegetables and grains and obsessed with the idea of getting your hands dirty, then head to the Dehradun-based Bija Vidyapeeth (The Earth University) of the non-governmental organization Navdanya.
Run by prominent environmental activist Vandana Shiva, the Vidyapeeth allows you to volunteer and study agriculture for an entire season or to simply experience a farm life for a few days.
As a volunteer, you would have to handle rice threshing, cleaning and transplanting, vegetable sowing, tree planting and also, meal preparation. To know more about Navdanya, read here…
Missionaries of Charity
Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa, has become synonymous with humanitarian efforts. If you believe your calling lies in caring for the needy, the destitute and the sick and downtrodden, then head straight to Kolkata.
You do not have to write to the Sisters or call before you arrive; however, you need to register as a volunteer before you can start working in the centres.
Serving food to the hungry, caring of the terminally ill and the mentally challenged, providing support and care for the old and the forsaken could be part of your daily routine. To know more about how to volunteer with Missionaries of Charity,