Hi! I'm Yogesh, Operations Manager in a non-governmental organization (NGO) working on solid waste management solutions in the hills of Lower and Upper Dharamsala. We also have projects in the city of Dehradun, and in the villages around Corbett National Park. We organize community clean-up drives, door-to-door dry solid waste collection, school education initiatives, public awareness programs, upcycling workshops, murals, composting, and much more.
We are doing our best to save the hills of Bhagsunag, Dharamkot, Gallu, and Triund from large amounts of waste left and littered by tourists, and dumped by cafes and guesthouses, and ignored by local authorities. We are always in need of enthusiastic and environmentally conscious people who want to make a difference and help us with our clean-up initiatives and are willing to try creative ideas and engage the community.
Our project has moved to a main office in Lower Dharamsala and a camp office in Upper Bhagsu (both can be found on Google Maps). We're now a team of eight full-time staff who are from Dharamsala as well as different parts of India, who are all here to do their part in protecting our environment, saving the delicate ecosystem of Himachal & the Himalayas, and informing tourists and locals about doing their bit, too. Come join us!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
There are few places as welcoming and relaxing as Himachal Pradesh, and even more so in the area where we are, in the towns of McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu, and Dharamkot. These places are certainly quite different from the rest of India, and apart from learning about all the extensive environmentally conscious work that we do as an NGO, one can learn a lot about Tibetan culture (the Dalai Lama lives here), the Himalayas (we're on the edge of where they start in Himachal), hiking/trekking (you can go on several beautiful treks from here), and lastly you can interact with other travelers from all over the world who come to these towns. When it comes to our work, you will be part of an active team trying to solve one the biggest problems of these touristy mountains: the waste that is produced. And you will learn what the challenges are and what can be done creatively and dynamically.
We appreciate if volunteers can stay for at least 3 weeks and we are looking for people to help with:
- Assisting in regular clean-up drives.
- Planting and gardening fruits/vegetables using upcycled materials as prototypes.
- Painting murals and creating upcycled art projects.
- Joining our street teams to raise tourist awareness on their responsibilities.
- Assisting in teaching waste management in schools and in organizing public awareness events.
- Planning and implementing neighborhood-level composting.
- Helping us with social media updates and blog posts (if you've got both an objective and creative style of writing).
- Designing printable awareness-raising materials (using canva/photoshop/illustrator).
- Our office also occasionally needs help with basic data entry.
- Our main office in lower Dharamsala does not have accommodation for volunteers. You are welcome to find your own accommodation nearby and we will consider giving you Rs.100/day to compensate you.
- Our camp office in Upper Bhagsunag has 2 beds in a shared room available for volunteers, but we request all volunteers staying there to donate Rs.100/night of stay to help us maintain our NGO's basic utilities (rent, electricity, gas) which we provide for volunteers. In addition to the rooms, we have a bathroom with electric water geyser/boiler, and a small lounge area.
- We have a kitchen in the lounge area and volunteers share the bills for all basic groceries that you buy and want to share. You are of course welcome to eat wherever you like for your meals. Bhagsu and Dharamkot are full of good cafes.
- We do allow smoking, just not indoors. We also have very friendly dogs.
During your time off, you can explore the hills of these towns, as there are many beautiful roads and trails to walk and hike on. You can also explore the Tibetan culture of McLeod Ganj. You can hike to Triund, a popular mountain ridge with beautiful views of the valley below and the Himalayas.
To get to Dharamsala, you will have to take a bus or flight from Delhi, or a bus or train to Pathankot in Punjab and then a bus from there to Dharamsala. To get to our camp office in Bhagsu, you can take a taxi from the Dharamsala bus stand, or if you're up for a nice 20-minute walk, get off at McLeod Ganj main square, and walk from there to Bhagsu. Our main office in lower Dharamsala is about a 20-min walk from the main Dharamsala bus stand.
All the hundreds of volunteers who have spent time with us over the last few years (before we joined WorkAway) have really enjoyed their experience with us and have learnt a lot about the work we do and how they can help do their bit in saving the environment.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
12 hours a week (food not included)