Creating Environments to Connect People and Transform Lives in Elagiri Hills, South India!

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India

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    Last activity

    20/07/2019

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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.
  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    Greetings from India!

    We are a family of social impact entrepreneurs who run and manage a small non-profit in a beautiful hill station in South India. Our values are founded on Christian principles and we have been working for over 4 decades to uplift children, women and families through education, health care, conservation and agriculture. The rural Elagiri Hills is also a popular tourist spot for people from Bangalore and Chennai, which are about 3 hours away as the crow flies.

    We founded and ran a boarding school (now closed) on a not-for-profit basis for over two decades on one of our four campuses, impacting numerous lives. As we lost support and funds, we suspended operations a few years ago. Since then nature has reclaimed much of our campus area, some of which has fallen into disrepair.

    We are now focusing on a few projects to rebuild and continue making an impact, all are at the initial stages, some just in the ideas phase, and we would really appreciate skilled and knowledgeable people to help us at this important early stage as we are struggling to make progress with such a big area but limited capital and a small staff team.

    1. (Priority) Our Retreat Centre is being developed to use the income to support our other social/charitable projects. We have a 1-acre property that has six cottage-apartments, four dorms with a capacity of 30 per dorm. We have areas for camping and three 3-person tents and one 10-person tent. We also have additional space but don't have the experience or expertise to correctly utilise them for generating income. We are hoping to develop some aspects to enable it to be a different kind of a resort, something that would draw people to nature and the outdoors. We want to have a good range of accommodation available for the high season (summer) with a range of prices.

    Help Needed:
    Architecture/building design
    Landscaping
    DIY/craft-skills
    Permaculture
    Marketing
    Business support
    Tally Accounting experience
    General help
    Animal care

    2. Helping to open a Dental Clinic to provide affordable care for locals.

    3. (Long-term) Reopen the school.

    4. Other projects related to permaculture an making our world a better place.

    Innovation and cool ideas welcome! We would like you to get as much out of this experience as we and the people you impact do, so feel free to be creative.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will get to learn how life works in a rural area of India, with the impact of urban tourism on village life as well as on wild areas and wildlife. This place also brings together a unique perspective of modern progressive as well as conservative life in India as we are fairly close to both Chennai and Bangalore which will showcase how tradition and culture are facing globalisation and economic growth and give you a view into the widening gaps between the poor, the middle class and the rich. A great way to see how India has changed and is changing before your eyes. There are also cultural points of interest that showcase British influence in India as well as the melting pot of not just East and West but also of North and South of the Asian subcontinent. The The school is also a very interesting place to wander around and see how quickly nature can reclaim a space. And as a volunteer here you will learn about self-organisation, self-direction, planning, and many other things depending on what you work on here.

  • Help

    Help

    We welcome any and all kinds of help including the use of soft skills, but we do need people who are able to self-motivate and figure out their own workload – you have a lot of freedom here, we don’t watch over your shoulder but we hope that you will find a project or task here that you will enjoy and can complete before you leave.

    1. Dog care and training for our young German Shephard (Bella) and Rottweiler (Lula). They have a bunch of energy and need lots of exercise each day. If you have experience with dog training that would be a huge plus!
    2. Short term rental assistance - Managing listings, identifying opportunities for improvements, greeting guests, etc.
    3. Building/Construction and Carpentry - There is a lot of renovation work needed to get the Retreat Centre ready for guests. So there's a whole range of activities that include cleaning, repair work and new construction to improve on the existing infrastructure.
    4. Gardening, Landscaping and Farming, video and film makers to help us spread word about what we do.
    5. Eco Project/Other/Charity Work/Farmstay - We have opportunities for architects, entrepreneurs, permaculture enthusiasts, financial experts, philanthropists and Educators, both conventional and unconventional to come and make an impact in this part of the world.
    6. Planner/Administrator/Marketer - There are a lot of goals that we would love to accomplish. Some of this requires planning, while others need administration and marketing or getting the word out to build our resources and make us sustainable.
    7. There are lots of things we would love to be able to work on here, from the old Auto-Rickshaw that needs mechanical help, to someone to do archivist work on the old school records, so if you have a skill or specialty please get in touch! I’m sure there is a place for you here.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Tamil, Non-verbal communication

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have basic accommodations on our campus that will be made accessible according to availability. We primarily have dorm-style arrangements with shared bathrooms, and a few independent rooms. All have access to a shared kitchen to enjoy with your fellow volunteers.

    Most of the accommodations are fairly simple with beds and a cupboard or shelf to keep your things in a safe place. As outdoor focused place, we encourage using rooms for quiet times of reflection, solitude and rest and spend more time outdoors to enjoy nature and people around. This is an altruistic organization founded on Christian principles, all religions and none are welcome.

    HOUSE RULES

    We ask that you...
    - Refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol while you are here out of respect for the local culture, and to set a good example for the families and children that will be staying at the retreat center.
    - Refrain from online activities that use a lot of internet data or bandwith.
    - And most importantly HAVE FUN:-)

    FOOD

    An authentic south Indian Lunch is provided daily by local village women. You will provide & cook your own Breakfast & Dinner using the Volunteer Kitchen, (previous volunteers used a rota system so that most days you don’t have to cook). There is a nearby town where you can pick up ingredients and other necessities.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Life in our place can be a world of its own. However, there are other activities that are available for those who wish to see the sights or travel around. There is a waterfall close by, which may or may not have water depending on the season. Since we are also only a few hours away from Chennai and Bangalore, there are tons of activities, sights and sounds to explore in both cities which show different flavours of South India. We have a few buses that give public transportation, taxis and autorickshaws are also available on the hill station. Down the hill, we have access to railway station an hour away, that connects us to most part of India.

    My activities are generally focused on day to day management and development of the place as well as taking opportunities to share what we do with others for more people to come visit and benefit from our activities and facilities.
    We usually like volunteers and staff to be mindful of the needs of the place and take proactive steps that will bring about growth and improvement of the place as long as they adhere to some basic rules of being a blessing and improving what is available through the skills and talents we have without wanton wastage.

    There are also places to hike, trek and visit around our campus and in Elagiri Hills for those who wish to stay within the hills. There are also the tourist traps like the boat house, animal park, a garden and activity places with rope climbing, atvs and the sort.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day (You are welcome to be more involved & again we do not micromanage so you need to be self-motivated)

Taking a tour of the campus and explaining purpose and projects
Our volunteers at different activities in our various projects - teaching children, working in our permaculture and organic gardens, enjoying a community lunch.
Our two cute puppies are growing up fast and are a hit with our volunteers. Come help us care for these adorable puppies along with other critters and residents.
Our volunteer building has a work space/community area, dorm, private rooms and kitchen to give them a sense of belonging and to build a self-sustaining and self-sufficient community.
A great group of volunteers who came from the UK, NZ, Scotland, Lithuania and Germany. We loved having them as a cohesive and working community that is helping us make an impact in South India.
A traditional method of cooking a South Indian lunch for our volunteers with our local village staff. Along with rice and chapathi, we also serve a special gruel with chutney and vegetarian side dishes. Come enjoy a special slice of rural village life in Elagiri Hills, Tamil Nadu.
Our tents that we use to raise funds for our social impact projects and community work.
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Host ref number: 919345176362