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The school is a registered charity in India, UK and USA, It is situated in the outskirts of a small village called Nar in a very rural part of Gujarat. The school is part of a campus which also has a Care Home for the elderly, a cow shed, mineral water plant, a Temple and a fruit and vegetable garden. We also have a mobile hospital van which provides health care facilities to surrounding villages everyday.
There are currently around 650 students, drawn from 40 surrounding villages. The school caters for children from 3 years old in the nursery, through to standard 10 (14/15 years old). The school is expanding rapidly due to its high standard of teaching, learning, innovation and international links as children and teachers are encouraged to work in collaboration with other schools locally and internationally.
The school day runs from 07.45 in the morning to 13.30 Monday to Saturday. The academic year has two terms, from mid June to October and November to April. Students take exams towards the end of both terms so worth planning your visit so that it does not coincide with exam time table.
Best time to visit the school as a volunteer is from early December to early March as the weather is much comfortable and there are a number of other activities in the campus including the school annual function, kite festival, Republic day, mass marriage, eye camp. However the school is happy to have volunteers throughout the year except their exams and summer vacation.
Help with Computers / internet
This is an opportunity for volunteers to be able to stay and experience a rural way of living in a small village. Learn about the Swaminarayan Hindu culture as well as be able to contribute to children's education in a school and Hostel situated in a very rural part of Gujarat.
As a volunteer you would support the children and teachers in the school and hostel. We would particularly welcome volunteers who have some experience and interest of teaching English or other subjects and are also native English speakers from U.S.A, U.K, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Ideally you should be educated to a degree level AND hold a TEFL/CELTA/EAL/PGCE/NQT OR an equivalent teaching qualification AND classroom teaching experience.
We welcome volunteers to:-
• Provide support to the teachers and help children improve their speaking, listening, reading
and writing skills in English and contribute to other subjects
• One to one support to those with special educational needs/disability
• Contribute to the teaching and learning experience by fun, creative and innovative methods and prepare joint lesson
plans with our teachers.
. Plan and deliver lessons jointly or independently with the classroom teachers.
• Help with creating educational games, sports and craft activities
. Sing and play a musical instrument
• contribute to activities, seminars, meetings, parent’s day, festivals, sports and school trips/picnics and assembly
• Play games, puzzles, music, reading, storytelling, give ICT and library support
• Help with homework and after school club
. Help children with homework and one to one support in the Hostel
• help create activities for developing listening & speaking skills.
• Conduct seminars for teachers & students.
• Facilitate debates on various topics to build confidence and improve communication skills in English
. Add value to lesson plans, especially in English language skills
On site, there is a computer room with broadband access, a basic music room, a library and an Interactive classroom with Smart board facilities which is used by the children, teachers and volunteers.
Your main role would be to volunteer in the school, which is in the campus. however, there is also a fruit garden, cow shed, temple and a care home for the elderly so volunteers have plenty of opportunities to interact and be involved with a range of activities in the campus during out of school hours. So this is your opportunity to learn about other areas of our charitable work, make a positive contribution in other areas, learn about the schools ethos and culture whilst making your stay with us more interesting and variable.
The charity also provides a mobile hospital which provides a health service to surrounding very rural small villages. So this is also an opportunity for you to see the work it does in improving health for local villagers. There is also opportunity for you to be involved in this should you wish to do so during out of school hours.
You will also have opportunity to be involved in the school's annual function, other community projects e.g. mass marriage, eye camp, health checks. But this depends on the duration of your stay with us and time of your visit to the campus.
English, Hindi, Gujarati
The nearest airport is Ahmedabad International airport, in Gujarat. The school campus is about 2 hours’ drive from the airport. All teachers/volunteers/gap year students would be picked up from the airport to ensure a safe journey to the campus.
Free facilities provided during your entire stay as a volunteer is safe/secure en-suite accommodation with bedding/linen, all meals, Internet access, mineral water, tea/coffee in the school campus. The rooms are well-equipped, with fans, en-suite bathrooms.
During your stay in the campus you will feel part of the Indian community experiencing the local cultural and way of life in a very rural part of India.
Meals are vegetarian only and are served in the communal dining hall with the other residents of the campus. Each meal is freshly prepared daily in our kitchen and is typical of traditional Gujarati Swaminarayan (no onion and garlic) vegetarian food. There is a mineral water plant within the campus so environmentally friendly, fresh mineral water is freely available throughout your stay.
The dress code is smart during your entire stay with us and you must follow the cultural norms by dressing modestly at all times. Females teachers must wear Salwar Khameez and male teachers to wear smart shirt and trousers.
You will get a feel for the real India as the campus is not in a tourist area but a very rural area with lots of peacocks, monkeys bouncing in the fields and green/yellow parakeets in their thousands on tress . Therefore volunteers need to be comfortable with green peaceful environment where there are no clubs, bars or any of the tourist attractions for westerners.
The nearest city is “Anand” which is about 40 minutes drive. Anand has railway connection to other parts of India should you wish to travel to other parts of India either before or after your volunteering period with us.
This volunteering opportunity in the school and hostel is for those volunteers who are seeking a peaceful green environment away from the crowded, noisy and polluted cities but in a very rural part of India. Volunteers must have an interest in teaching, or a newly qualified teacher seeking teaching experience abroad, whilst helping the children and learning about the rural life, language, customs and culture of the local Swaminarayan community in Gujarat.
Past volunteers have told us that they would recommend ideally volunteering with a companion/friend rather than on their own, unless of course you are someone who is well travelled, confident and comfortable with volunteering alone in a very rural area. Where possible we try to buddy you up with other volunteers if you are volunteering alone.
When leaving the school campus we do where possible provide a buddy to help you with your local shopping, travels to farms, villages, temples and for your own safety and security until you are familiar with the local area. So hope this is seen in a positive and non-intrusive spirit.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, have the appropriate qualification, skills, knowledge, experience and a four week minimum commitment then a detailed list of FAQs and an application form will be sent to you by the volunteer coordinator. Once you have completed and returned your application form, in all cases an interview/chat will be conducted via Skype before a placement is offered and confirmed.
Our volunteer co-ordinator (who is also a volunteer is based in London) will provide you with further details. However, if you would prefer to have a chat over the phone/Skype to ensure this is the right volunteering opportunity for you, then this can be arranged. This is a free service to ensure we get the right volunteers and also the volunteers receive a personalized information and tips to prepare for their volunteering opportunity with us. This way expectations are managed well from someone who understands both East and West cultures.
THIS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TEACHING QUALIFICATION/EXPERIENCE AND ARE SERIOUS ABOUT TEACHING IN A VERY RURAL PART OF INDIA WITH A MINIMUM 4 WEEKS COMMITMENT.
WE HAVE A VERY STRICT NO SMOKING, NO ALCOHOL AND NO DRUGS POLICY FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS DURING THEIR ENTIRE STAY WITH US. THIS INCLUDES IN AND OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL/CAMPUS.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, THEN PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR DIRECT EMAIL ADDRESS WHEN CONTACTING US SO THAT AN APPLICATION FORM AND A LIST OF FAQS CAN BE EMAILED TO YOU
WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 5 hours per day, 5 days a week