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IVHQ Video Tour: India

India is next on our Asia tour agenda, before we move on to our newest program destination - Sri Lanka!

Our video crew, George and Kate, share some insight from the tour...

We now fly to the Indian capital of Delhi and arrive just time to join orientation week with the volunteers. During this period, volunteers stay with the local IVHQ host and his family in the suburb of Gurgaon. The orientation consists of Hindi lessons, site seeing around Delhi, a day trip to the Taj Mahal, topped off with a Bollywood movie screening! It’s a great way for new volunteers to familiarize themselves with the city and Indian culture before heading off to their placements. After orientation week, volunteers move to homestays with local Indian families.

Wednesday 20 March

This morning we head to Faridabad, where most of the volunteer placements in Delhi are located. Our first stop is an orphanage for girls, home to 84 girls from the area, where four IVHQ volunteers have been working. These volunteers are also living at the orphanage, so strong relationships with the girls have been formed.

Next, we head to a slum orphanage where, 17 girls and boys are living. There is also a school located within the building, where other children from the community can attend. We meet a volunteer from Canada who is taking a morning English class.

IVHQ teachers in India

Our last stop this morning is Tender Heart; a school, orphanage and women’s learning center. Four volunteers are based here and have been involved in all aspects of the center. The women that attend this center have been learning different arts and crafts, such as weaving and painting, in order to produce a range of hand-made products that can be sold for a source of income. The volunteers help by teaching the women different skills and ideas for new products and also accompany them to the markets to sell the items. One previous volunteer has even begun selling the products back home in Texas!

In the afternoon, we take a site-seeing tour around New Delhi, visiting the Lotus Temple, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate and the Parliament Buildings.

Visiting the Lotus Temple in India with IVHQ volunteers

Thursday 21 March

Today, we are up to early to start our journey to the town of Agra in order to visit the world famous Taj Mahal. After a four hour drive, we reach our destination, where we are met by our guide and begin our tour. Pictures simply do not do the magnificent Taj Mahal justice; its beauty and size are astounding. Named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983, it now attracts millions of visitors every year. 

Visiting the Taj Mahal with IVHQ volunteers in India

Friday 22 March

This morning, we drive back to Faridabad to visit two different slum schools in the area, where all the staff and volunteers are dressed in gorgeous saris and are teaching English to the young children. Volunteers who are placed here live nearby with the founder of the school and work alongside a Hindi teacher in the classroom.

IVHQ volunteer Teacher in India

We then drive to the next school, where we arrive during the morning tea break. Today, the volunteers are handing out bananas to the children, before helping them with revisions for their upcoming exams.

In the afternoon, we spend some more time visiting the many historical sites around Delhi. We visit the famous Red Fort and then the bustling Chandni Chowk Market. Our last stop is the Dilli Haat Market, where beautiful hand-made products, such as scarves, rugs and jewelry can be purchased.

Visiting the markets in India

This weekend, some of the volunteers are going to stay in the centre of the city to watch the Australia vs. India cricket match. Others are heading away on various weekend trips to destinations, including Jaipur and Dharamsala.

 To see more photos from India, check out the IVHQ Video Tour: India album on Facebook.

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