When Karen from Norway planned her volunteer trip to India about six months ago, she wanted to travel together with her elder son. While discussing the project, both agreed, that they wanted to do something for children’s education, at school. While researching, Karen found that Iko Poran was offering both a teaching and a construction project at a school in Jaipur. A perfect fit, where her son could work on construction, painting beautiful signs, while she would be teaching children, and women.
Karen wanted to build up self-confidence for the women, especially for them to encourage their children to keep on studying at school. It was a success, and such a rewarding experience! In the first place, Karen and her son were wondering, if they would experience a culture shock. But in fact, from the first moment at their arrival, they have been very well been taken care of the organisation, and all the people turned out to be friendly and helpful! Listen to Karen’s full statement on video:
I am fine. Just a bit emotional today.
Well, this was an idea about six months ago, and I have been working on it since then.
I wanted to take my elder son on the project together, so that we could do volunteer work. We have been discussing, what we like to do, where we want to go, and we agreed, that we wanted to do a project on school and to do something for children’s education.
And then we chose this country and this project because it was one of the countries that have both construction projects and teaching at school. And I also wanted to combine the teaching both with students and with women, ot teach women and give them some self-confidence, so maybe they can encourage the children to keep on studying. That’s the main reason.
It was very good. Yes, from start till end, very good information. We feel, that we are very good taken care of, from the arrival, it is very safe way to host and stamp. And we also got só much inside information about the country, and made só many experience that we wouldn’t have as tourists. Só it was very solid, the organisation.
India is só much more, than I could imagine, before I came. I have read a lot, and prepared for culture shock. Culture shock, it was not só bad. And the differences between poor and rich, they are big, but not so… yes, we haven’t seen so much of beggars and poor people, as we maybe thought. The people are friendly, I was warned, the people are very… they are not nice, they are scared. Yes, that was what we were warned about. But we met só many nice people, and they want to help us, they were very friendly. We have always been very safe.
Yeah, definitely. India is something special, it’s unique, a unique country, and it is some experience, you have to get this experience.
Thank you for having us here!
Find our complete information of all the volunteer projects in India here, and how to sign up.
You may also enjoy reading about some more volunteer experiences in Jaipur:
If you want to stand up for Women’s rights, volunteer on women empowerment in Ethiopia with Iko Poran!
Volunteer on women’s empowerment in Ethiopia with Iko Poran! You will be teaching life-skills and English to the hostel female students, to allow for them to grow personally and professionally. You will make it easier for the young women to access education, and help improving their future emplyoment opportunities.
With this volunteer placement, you will be working in the fields of awareness, counseling and empowerment of the young female students. With your volunteer work you will also help to provide sustainable development opportunities to the hostel female students, who consequently will pass what they learned to their colleagues, friends, mothers, grandmothers and other female family members – through education and motivation.
There are regular rallies and marches to help raise awareness among women about their rights & justice. Seminars are organized to raise voices against domestic violence, eve-teasing (cat-calling) & harassment. Counseling surveys can be done to serve the purpose of the programs. There are regular classes to educate these women to make them self-independent. In Ethiopia most of the women bear violence and harassment because of dependence on their husbands and fear for their families. So becoming self-dependent is the first step to stop all violence and harassment.
This is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside strong and effective women, helping in the process of improving the social position of the women and raising awareness of the importance of feminism in a country where many women are still very much treated as inferior. During your stay, you will get to explore this beautiful country and the Ethiopia way of life. This is your chance to make an impact in someone’s life. This project is perfect for anyone who believes in equality.
Find the full information about volunteer work in Ethiopia on our Homepage Iko Poran, and also how to sign up for the program!
I highly recommend Iko Poran’s Women’s Empowerment project in India! Every level of it was perfectly organized from the first email with owner Felipe to my conclusion! India can be a crazy, chaotic place, but I always felt completely safe. The on-site NGO program directors are in constant communications with you ensuring you have everything you need and they allow you to bring your best skills to empowering the women in Deep Public School. I started teaching English but I ordered a couple of sewing machines from Amazon India, which they’d never seen, they LOVED it — so we switched to sewing every day so they can sell their products.
I lived with an amazing host family, they completely adopted me making me part of the family! Stay with host family if you can, you will be completely assimilated into India much quicker. I’m a married 58 year old woman and this experience completely transformed my LIFE! The women of India need YOU, don’t wait another minute—sign up NOW!! – Claire Herbert, USA
Yes, I would
Claire came with Iko Poran to Jaipur, to work with a women empowerment project. She felt, she could offer something special for women who are illiterate and who have almost no opportunity to do something outside home. When Claire left the USA, she had something special in mind. She had already sent a few sewing machines to Jaipur, and would see, if the women would like to learn sewing. During the project, Claire showed them how to make sanitary pads. But there is so much more to such a project. When Claire realized, her host family treated here like their own daughter, she felt so happy. As she, says, they called her their “Queen”. Listen to Claire’s interview and get some inspiration for your own projects!
Claire, can you tell me, why did you come to India?
Claire: I came to India, because I thought it was a country that had the most of what I could offer. It was so much equity to India, I never traveled this far and I have never been to India before. But when I looked in to the program, and I read the description, and I was send the powerpoint, I got a full view of what I was seeing here. And I realized, this was exactly, what I wanted to do. If I had done an orphanate job, or something else, it would have been anywhere as meaningful.
What project did you choose, and what have you done during your project?
My project was the Women Empowerment project at the public school in Jaipur. That women empowerment project is designed to help women who have nothing, illiterate, and have no opportunity going outside of their home. So bring them here, teach them what it is, they want to learn. We started with just English, but as we got a couple of sewing machines here, that I had sent here, we changed our plan, and I was started, doing an hour of… or two hours of English each day, but we switched it to one hours of English and one hours of sewing. Once they learned sewing, they wanted to do sewing all the time. (laughs) But I still kept English for just a few of them, that really could use the English as well.
How has been your experience with them?
Boy, my experience with the group is probably beyond what I could have been expected. I think, it’s not just coming to the project every day to work, but staying with the host family was key for me. Uhm, I had the ability to stay with a host family tha basically adopted me, and made me a member of the family. The accommodated every request, they also said, I was the queen of the family.
My last question, Claire, please can you tell me three ways to describe, the India, that you’ve seeing here?
The India that is here, or…
…that you have seen…
That I have seen? Just chaos, is one. But I would say, quite beauty, another, that’s just two words, but that’s too bad. Because there is beauty in every heart and in every corner, but there is just só much to discover. I think, also, embracing the culture, and expected it to be chaotic, there is so much beauty around.
Claire Herbert is starting her Women Empowerment project in Jaipur. She has already made her observation visit to the school where the women empowerment project runs. Find here some of the pictures from her arrival, traditional welcome and project.
She donated sewing machines to the project and will be teaching English and stitching to the women. Within stitching she will be passing her skills of making sanitary pads-a very common hygiene issue here in India as poor women can’t afford them.
Odette Crisp, from Australia, traveled to India, and worked as a volunteer on women empowerment in Jaipur with IKPVA. In this interview she tells us, how she had the idea to do something different, apart from tourist travel as usual. Before departure, she shaved her hair to raise funds for the women and the children who were her beneficiaries. When she arrived in India and met the women, she found out pretty soon, that what they wanted most, was to learn English. She ended up falling in love with India and had an amazing experience with the women in Jaipur.
You can find the women’s rights project in India on our Iko Poran’s official homepage, and how to sign up.
Visit our page with the full program information about volunteer work in India, and proceed with your application.
Odette Crisp, from Australia, traveled to India, and worked as a volunteer on women empowerment in Jaipur with IKPVA. In this interview she tells us, how she had the idea to do something different, apart from tourist travel as usual. Before departure, she shaved her hair to raise funds for the women and the children who were her beneficiaries. When she arrived in India and met the women, she found out pretty soon, that what they wonted most, was to learn English. She ended up falling in love with India and had an amazing experience with the women in Jaipur.
Why did you choose to come here to Jaipur India?
Odi: Originally I wanted to come to India to do a Yoga course, and I decided if I was gonna come to somewhat which is só different, from Australia to travel like a typical Westener and get involved with something that I’ve never really done before, like doing something meaningful with my life. And like helping people, and being envolved in community … and experiencing something you never had is really important. Spirit….
Odi, you have been here for two weeks already. How would you describe your experience here in India?
Odi: It is here, at first it was like such a (laughing) a culture shock and I wasn’t very well adjusted about things, like a baby. But it has been like the most amazing life changing experience.
Which project did you choos from Iko Porann?
I chose the women empowerment project.
How was it?
Amazing. Like, the women and girls have been supportive, and attentive, loving and nice…
Here are some of the women… What were you teaching to them?
At first, it was Art, but then, all they wanted to know was English. Yeah.
So, can you please share, what level of English you taught and, overall, what you found out about the background of the women?
Odi: So, I think, the most important thing is to engage and find, what different levels of skills, before you kind of start teaching across – there are some women, who are illiterate – tasks and things and challenges, like to fit to everyone’s level.
Tell me three words that would describe India that you’r experiencing here?
Chaotic, amazing and beautiful.
Visit our page with the full information about volunteering in Jaipur, India and proceed with your application.
Read also about Claire’s beautiful experience with women empowerment in India:
Odette Crisp, volunteer from Australia, working hard in two projects in India: Women Empowerment and Teaching Kids.
Way to go Odette!!
As a volunteer on women empowerment, you will work in one of the local NGOs operating in the urban, semi-urban & rural areas of Jaipur. There, you will be working as a volunteer in the fields of awareness, counseling and empowerment of women.
All the projects provide sustainable development opportunities to girls and women – mothers, grandmothers and daughters – through education and motivation. There are regular rallies and marches to help raise awareness among women about their rights & justice. Seminars are organized to raise voices against domestic violence, eve-teasing (cat-calling) & harassment. Counseling surveys can be done to serve the purpose of the programs. There are regular classes to educate these women to make them self-independent. In India most of the women bear violence and harassment because of dependence on their husbands and fear for their families. So becoming self-dependent is the first step to stop all violence and harassment.
You will be teaching English at a CSR (Community school) in Jaipur, situated in the southern part of the city. Since the school is catering to children from an economically weak & marginalized area, quality English teaching with all other required amenities provided are a great advance for the young students. Our in country partners have supported the school with all the furniture, infrastructure & teaching materials like boards etc. There are around 54 students who are studying in 1st to 5th grades. As a volunteer you will teach the students the necessary things that will help them in developing their interpersonal skills. You will also help the local staff in daily operations of the school. The top-most requirement of the project is to develop the overall personality of the students by encouraging extracurricular activities, art & craft, group discussions, teaching & communication.
Find out more about volunteer work in India.
Volunteer on women empowerment in Tanzania. There is a center that offers temporary residence, education and vocational training to young single mothers and girls below the age of 18 years, together with their children. These girls have suffered from early pregnancy, forced child marriage, human trafficking, poverty, abuse, and a lack of education. The objective of the center is to train these young women in different vocational fields to empower them for employment and self-reliant projects. Moreover, the center has a nursery and primary school for their children education.
Since the center progress depends on the support coming from outside, your contribution is very important. Bringing support material with you is highly recommended. You will be able to support them with marketing and fundraising, psychological support to women, English and computer teaching, kitchen and tailoring teaching and children teaching and care.
Your week will never be boring as there is a lot for you to do. Get ready for a lot of different experiences. We are sure you will love it.
Find the complete information about volunteer work in Tanzania here, accommodation, requirements and how to proceed with your application.
Volunteer on Women and Girls empowerment in Uganda to support women to achieve their rights, develop skills, generate income. Women in Africa, Uganda inclusive, are an economically disadvantaged group, in particular women in rural areas. The lack of economic power of the rural communities, especially among women, is a major obstacle to long-term development in Uganda.
IKPVA Uganda works with local communities to promote gender equality, help women overcome difficult circumstances, and empower them to reach their full potential, through five key programs:
Please note: volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced to participate in the women empowerment program, however volunteers with special expertise are highly appreciated.
Find the full information about volunteering in Uganda here. Learn about everything with the program provided, requirements and costs and proceed with your application.