Here’s a quick look at volunteering in India…
- Volunteering in India - Delhi is available year-round
- Volunteer opportunities in India include Childcare, Health, Slum Teaching and Teaching English
- Volunteer projects based in the capital Delhi and the wider region of Delhi
- Volunteers stay in hostel style accommodation
- Between 20 and 40 volunteers start in Delhi each month
- Program fees from US$250 (approximately £210) for 1 week
- Included in your program: airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 support in India
- Optional language courses and cultural experience add-ons available
- Explore IVHQ’s second India program in Kerala
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organisation in India to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in India will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organisations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travellers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore India with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ India - Delhi program is located in Delhi (The National Capital Territory of India) with the majority of placement located in the city of Faridabad. Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Mondays of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for durations ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.
If you are going to volunteer in India over the summer (April to July), it is important to consider the climate in Delhi. Past volunteers in India have found that in summer time, the heat and humidity were more extreme than they were planning for. The volunteer accommodation is equipped with fans, however power cuts are not uncommon. In recent years, Delhi has experienced some of the hottest summers on record, and placements where volunteers work during the day generally do not have air conditioning.
If you are looking for a more temperate destination, the IVHQ India - Kerala volunteer program is an awesome option. Located in southern India, volunteers can expect a more tropical climate throughout the year. Both programs operate through the summer, however it is important you keep climate in mind when planning your trip.
Volunteers are required to fly into Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is a 9 hour flight from most major airports in Britain.
The aim of this project is to provide assistance to childcare centres in India which are often at full capacity due to the high incidences of poverty and illness. These centres are often overcrowded and under resourced with a high demand for volunteer assistance.
This project is well suited to caring and enthusiastic volunteers, who have an interest in working with children aged 4-8 years old from disadvantaged backgrounds. Volunteers are placed at a number of different childcare placements, the majority of which are located in the area of Faridabad.
All placements require volunteers to help the children with their education by taking English lessons, assisting with homework and teaching essential life skills, such as personal hygiene, while also arranging games and activities for the children. This project is open to all volunteers who are interested in working with children, and experience is not required to participate.
Volunteers on the Health project work in either local hospitals or slum clinics, shadowing well-respected physicians who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise, while offering a valuable insight into the healthcare system of one of the world’s fastest growing countries.
While hospitals are under-resourced and equipment is basic, these institutions are bound by government regulations and cannot allow international volunteers to perform tasks independently. In Delhi, the role of pre-medical students is primarily to observe and learn about prevalent diseases and how these diseases are treated by the healthcare system in India. Volunteers generally assist local doctors and nurses with routine jobs, such as taking the height, weight and blood pressure measurements of patients. During routine check-ups, volunteers can provide advice regarding nutrition, health, and sanitation.
Volunteers on the Slum Clinic placement will have the opportunity to perform more hands-on tasks such as treating minor injuries as well as cleaning and bandaging wounds.
Qualified volunteers may request to work in their area of expertise or training; however, it is important to note that volunteers are only able to perform tasks relevant to their skills and qualifications.
Long-term volunteers (3 months or longer) will have more scope to assist with hands-on tasks and fully qualified doctors can occasionally assist with surgical procedures, subject to their qualifications and experience. Volunteers participating on the Health project must present their practicing license/certificate or proof of medical study to our local staff upon arrival in Delhi. This can be a letter from your professor or a copy of your academic transcript.
For many children in India, school is simply not an option. It is estimated that there are more than 11 million marginalized and vulnerable street children in India. Many of these children work in the streets with their parents selling goods, foraging and performing to make a living. Volunteers on this project play an important role in providing the children within these communities access to basic education along with new opportunities that they would otherwise been deprived of.
This project is well suited to volunteers who are passionate about education and providing support for children who are less fortunate. Your tasks may include taking English lessons in the slum classrooms, facilitating games with the children after class, and introducing the children to activities that they otherwise would never have had the chance to take part in.
This project is greatly valued by the local community, due to the new perspectives and lessons that international volunteers provide. As a result of this standing within the community, volunteers should expect class sizes of around 30 students aged between 5 and 11 years old.
Volunteers will take classes independently, with limited teacher support. You need to plan your lessons to ensure classroom activities actively engage the children for the duration of the lesson.
The Teaching English project provides volunteers who are passionate about education with the opportunity to share their knowledge and develop the English skills of students in India.
As a volunteer on the Teaching English project, you’ll focus on developing the students conversational English, while also gaining new skills by working in a new cultural environment. Volunteers on this project can expect to assist in developing creative lesson plans and teaching classes independently with the support of local teachers.
Volunteers are placed in a range of different schools in Delhi, the majority of which are located in Faridabad. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and local teachers, they do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate; however, they must fluent in English. We encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognised TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Delhi on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the New Delhi International Airport (DEL). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Faridabad, on the southern outskirts of Delhi. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in India prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Delhi on the day before your program orientation.
There are two options for orientation in India. The first option is a standard half-day orientation that starts on your selected start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Delhi – Introduction to India, Indian Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in India, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.
The second option is a 1-week language and cultural orientation in Delhi, which takes place during the first week of your program. This orientation week begins on your selected start date and your volunteer program will start the following week. If you wish to participate in the 1-week orientation, you must indicate this on your application form when you apply for the program. Your IVHQ Program Manager will then add this to your file after you register, as you need to book a place and pay for this prior to departing for India. Orientation week is very popular among IVHQ volunteers and we recommend all volunteers take advantage of this week, as it is a great way to help settle the culture shock you can face when arriving in India.
Day 1 (Monday): Volunteers are provided with an introduction to India and an introduction to the program staff and procedures. Topics discussed include History of India, Religion, Caste System, Marriage, Festivals, Dress/Clothing, Family Values, Safety Issues, Food, Transportation and Travel Opportunities. You will also be given your orientation week schedule and provided details about your volunteer project and accommodation, to follow after the orientation week. The afternoon will conclude with an introduction to the Hindi language. The morning session will be provided to those who choose the half-day orientation.
Day 2 (Tuesday): New Delhi Sightseeing (5 to 7 hours) – Lotus Baha’I Temple, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. All entrance fees are covered in your orientation week fee.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Hindi Language Lesson (approximately 3 hours), learning basic letters, greetings and useful vocabulary and expressions, which will help assist you at your volunteer placement. In the afternoon, volunteers are taken to see a new Bollywood Hindi film. Movie tickets are included in your orientation week fee.
Day 4 (Thursday): Old Delhi Sightseeing – India Gate, Red Fort, Bangla Shahib Gurudwara (Shikh People’s temple) and Raj Ghat (Gandhi Samadhi’s Cremation). All entrance fees are covered in your orientation week fee.
Day 5 (Friday): Hindi Language Lesson (approximately 3 hours), covering additional words and vocabulary to assist you with your volunteer work. In the evening, volunteers explore the local markets, visit Internet cafes, practice Hindi, or visit restaurants together.
Day 6 (Saturday): Taj Mahal Tour (optional add-on), which includes an air conditioned car or van from Delhi to Agra and back, state insurance, driver, parking and toll taxes, breakfast, lunch and a guide. Entrance fees to the Taj Mahal are not included in your orientation week fee and must be paid separately. You can expect to pay 1100 Rupees (US$16) for the entry ticket at the gate when you arrive. For those not taking the Taj Mahal Tour, you will be free to explore Delhi and visit the local markets.
Day 7 (Sunday): Hindi Language Lesson in the morning. In the afternoon, the local team will introduce you to your placement and you can take this time to plan your lessons for classes the following day.
The orientation week fee is US$220 (approximately £185). Accommodation and three meals per day are covered during this time. The Taj Mahal Tour on 6th day costs an extra US$100 (approximately £85).
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day would be as follows:
8.00 AM Breakfast at the homestay.
9.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that the volunteer is working at.
12.00 PM – 2.00 PM Lunch break either at the placement or homestay.
2.00 PM – 4.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the homestay, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.
7.00 PM – 9.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.
Please note, this schedule may vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating on.
Volunteers are typically accommodated in a volunteer house and in some Health placements volunteers may be accommodated in a homestay. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers of the same gender. While bedding is provided, it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag for the winter months (November through February). Living is comfortable and all accommodation has electricity, WiFi, fans, western toilets and running water. The volunteer house has heated water for showers, a dining area and kitchen facilities. The volunteer house is located in a gated apartment block and volunteers are provided with transport to and from their placement.
Volunteers may request homestay accommodation or a private room within the volunteer house and both options are dependent on availability at the time. There is an additional fee of US$70 (approximately £60) per week for a private room in the volunteer house and this is to be paid to the local team on arrival. Families will be accommodated in homestays.
Volunteers on the India - Delhi program are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), which are all served at the volunteer accommodation. Toast, eggs, spreads, fruit and tea are served for breakfast. Typical Indian food served for lunch and dinner include chapatti (flat wheat bread), dahl (lentil soup), curry, paneer, vegetables and salads. Meat is rarely eaten in India, except on festive occasions so you can expect all meals to be vegetarian. India is home to a great variety of teas and you are sure to be served an authentic home brew of chai tea during your stay. Bottled water is readily available in India and volunteers should budget approximately £5 per week for this (2 litres per day).
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply so as we can discuss this with you further. As you will be living and volunteering abroad, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home; however, the local team will do their best to ensure you are well taken care of. It’s important that you come to India with an open mind and understand that there is a need to be flexible when it comes to meals. If you wish to supplement some of your meals with home comforts, there are basic kitchen facilities available to use.
“I was very happy at my placement! The principal of the school is such a lovely person who was open for all our ideas and appreciated the effort we made. My project was genuinely worthwhile for the community, without this school, the majority of slum kids as well as the special needs children wouldn’t have a place to go to to receive an education. Spending time with the children, teaching and playing with them, has taught me so much about what is important in life. I enjoyed seeing the faces of the kids after they got a maths equation or English sentence right after having practiced them for so long, they got so excited!” - Anja Reil (Teaching English Volunteer in India - Delhi)
India - Delhi
|Length of Program||Program Fee £GBP ($USD)|
|1 week||£210 ($250)|
|2 weeks||£250 ($300)|
|3 weeks||£335 ($400)|
|4 weeks||£415 ($500)|
|5 weeks||£500 ($600)|
|6 weeks||£580 ($700)|
|8 weeks||£745 ($900)|
|10 weeks||£910 ($1,100)|
|12 weeks||£1,080 ($1,300)|
|16 weeks||£1,410 ($1,700)|
|20 weeks||£1,740 ($2,100)|
|24 weeks||£2,070 ($2,500)|
- All programs attract a Registration Fee from US$299 (~£250) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment. Please note IVHQ fees are charged in USD.
- * Terms and Conditions do apply
- Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
- Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
- Spending money - Volunteers in India - Delhi generally find US$30 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
What it covers
- Most affordable program fees
- Expert support from a program specialist
- Full MyIVHQ account access
- Online volunteer training
- Comprehensive preparation tools
- Deals on flights and travel insurance
- $50 credit from IVHQ Flights
- IVHQ alumni rewards
What it covers
- 24/7 in-country support
- Airport pick-up
- Program orientation
- Volunteer placement
- Discounts on tours and activities
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Delhi or travel further afield to destinations, such as Agra or Jaipur. Volunteers can make travel arrangements after arriving in Delhi, however if you are planning a long weekend trip during your time in India, it is a good idea to look into train tickets in advance and visit a travel agent to discuss travel options.
See our India - Delhi Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in India!
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR)|
Weather and climate: India is subject to six different climates and can be loosely characterised by four seasons; winter, summer, monsoon, and a post-monsoon period. Delhi experiences intense heat during the summer months (April to June) and temperatures can reach 45°C (114°F) during heat waves from the south. Dust storms are common during summer months. Following the dry summer, there is a period of monsoon weather from late June until September bringing heavy rain and average temperatures of 29°C (85°F). As winds from the Himalayas descend from November, winter in Delhi begins and average temperatures will sit around 12°C to 13°C (54°F to 55°F) until February. Heavy fog is typical during the winter.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to to learn more.
All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check which must be uploaded to your MyIVHQ profile prior to arriving in India. Additional requirements apply for Teaching English and Health volunteers, please read the project descriptions below.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.