UK: +44 (0)1903 502595
info@budgetvolunteering.com

WORTHWHILE VOLUNTEERING ABROAD
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

INDIA: CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH LEARNING AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES IN MADURAI

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Work with a large institution that cares and schools approximately 160 children ranging from babies to the age of 45. The children mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children are slow learners and dyslexic.

You'll help with arts & crafts, hand-eye co-ordination skills, yoga sessions, sewing and embroidery, music and dance classes, and lots, lots more!

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 2 weeks to 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
Projects are available all year round, subject to school holidays. You choose your own start and finish dates.
Requirements:
Minimum age 17, or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian. No qualifications or experience required.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Meeting you at the Airport
  • Accommodation
  • Food (excluding lunch)
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Daily transport to and from your project, Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in working with children or education, or care.

BACK TO PROJECT MENU

PROJECT CONTENT

The aim of the school is to help the children to study, build confidence and develop essential life skills. The children you'll work with here mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children are slow learners and dyslexic.

At the Centre you will probably be working in many different areas, so you should be flexible and adaptable. Some of the areas where you'll be able to assist include:

  • Helping with arts and crafts
  • Helping with their hand-eye co-ordination skills
  • Taking part (or watching!) the daily yoga sessions which help the children with their flexibility
  • Helping the children to sew and embroider
  • Getting involved with music and dance classes
  • Helping the children eat or go to the toilet
  • Helping the older children in the garden
  • Assisting in the physiotherapy department
  • Playing with the children; every day at 3pm is playtime and the children all bundle outside for half and hour of fun! Be prepared to be in great demand at this time!!

The children at the school speak very little English so at times you may find communication hard. However, they will be delighted to have you there and you'll certainly be popular throughout the whole school.

ou can also book onto one of our Tamil courses to give you some knowledge of phrases that you can use with the children - it'll also help you make the most of your time in India.

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS:

In India school holidays can change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to travel around and explore the country.

2018 SCHOOL HOLIDAY DATES

• Pongal Holiday: 13 to 17 January 2018
• Republic Day: 26 January 2018
• Mahavir Jeyanthi: 3 March 2018
• Good Friday: 30 March 2018
• Summer Vacation: 22 April to 5 June 2018
• Independence Day: 15 August 2018
• Bakrid: 22-23 August 2018
• Vinayakar Chathuri: 12 September 2018
• First Term Vacation: 24-30 September 2018
• Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2018
• Diwali Holiday: 17-19 October 2018
• Thevar Jayanthi: 30 October 2017
• Second Term Vacation: 24 December 2018 to 2 January 2019

Exam Periods: (approx):
• Annual Exams: 8 to 21 April 2018
• Quarterly Exams: 11 to 23 September 2018
• Half Yearly Exams: 11 to 23 December 2018

BACK TO PROJECT MENU

ACCOMMODATION

For a complete Indian experience we arrange for you to stay with one of wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family, you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses you'll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you on request.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There are no internet facilities in the host family accommodation, but less than 1 minute walk away there is an internet café and costs less than £1 an hour.

All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the centre of town.

FOOD:

Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.

BACK TO PROJECT MENU

THE EARLY INTERVENTION CENTRE:

In January 2008, the government helped to fund an Early Intervention Centre at the school for up to 50 children from babies to the age of 6. They have a development therapy unit, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy units to cater for the children. The Centre allows the parents to stay with their child during school hours to gain a greater understanding of how to care for their child.

The children are very talented and they enter many competitions, often taking home first prize. In November 2007, the Centre hosted a Talent Show and 20 other schools for mentally challenged children in the state of Tamil Nadu took part. The Centre walked off with first prize in the group dancing and solo contest along with fancy dress. No doubt the children will be practicing for a festival or a tournament when you are here and it will be great fun for you to get involved!

This is a worthwhile project, working with children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities who are very much in need of love and attention.

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Budget Volunteering is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.

LOCATION: MADURAI:

Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine city’ for the famous jasmine flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river of nectar that flowed after blessing from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’.

Madurai really does have a temple or shrine on practically every street but it is most famed for the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike flock to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple is named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and is an enormous structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and animals. The inner courtyard contains another 7 towers, again all highly adorned. It will take your breath away.

Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. It is full of cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe inspiring Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls and tourist shops.

Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and shake your hand and even ask for your autograph! You will be in demand everywhere you go and you’ll feel like a celebrity, such is the warmth of the Indian people. If you’re after an overwhelming experience, then Madurai is a certainty for this!

BACK TO PROJECT MENU

BACK TO TOP