While travelling abroad is one of the most fulfilling ways of gaining knowledge and discovering new things, one approach to make your travel even more meaningful is to apply for a volunteer program in one of the country you’re visiting, as it allows you to share your passion and your energy with the local populations and can lead to great experiences.
You should however not jump into this without thinking things out. In order to be really effective and truly help the organization you wish to work with, you have to make sure that you really have an interest in the local culture, in the mission you will be working on and feel confident about the things that you will be doing. It is important to conduct extensive research about the different projects that you are considering and not engage in such activities before you are a 100% willing to do so.
The first thing you can ask yourself is how can I contribute. Do I want to help financially because my resources allow me to do it? Or would I rather get personally involved and apply for a real internship? At Lakshyam, you have the opportunity to volunteer and participate actively in the missions of the organization, and the team is always eager to welcome passionate and dedicated volunteers.
If you decide to do that, you can afterwards ask yourself what is the issue that you feel the most concerned about. If you are more concerned about education, you can apply for a program dedicated to child welfare and participate by teaching children your skills if you have some valuable ones, or simply take care of them and set up activities. If you are more concerned about health issues, you can focus on another program that will tackle these questions. Lakshyam offers a wide range of different tasks for volunteers that can go from communication activities to organizing sports events, teaching children or participating in the construction of new facilities for example… You can choose the program and the tasks that interest you the most and that will make you the more confident.
When applying for this program, there are some things that you should keep in mind. It is important to know the context of the place you are going to and meet some requirements. First of all, volunteers should be at least 18 years of age. They should also acquire some knowledge about Indian culture and the social norms so that they behave appropriately while on the field. The conditions of work and the surroundings should also be taken into account, as the volunteers will have to confront some situations that will be new to them. A background check on the slums might be preferable to have an idea of what to expect. Finally, learning a bit of Hindi could also be a good idea to be able to connect more easily with the local populations and have a privileged contact with them.
When your choice is made, prepare yourself for a strong and meaningful experience. Lakshyam will endeavor to make your volunteer program in India as versatile as possible so that you have a complete and diverse experience with us !