Travel to the beautiful port city of Kochi in the Southern state of Kerala and help teach children a range of different sports including football, netball, cricket, tennis and athletics.
Sports play an important role in child development boosting confidence and encouraging healthy living. Working in a local school you will make a positive difference and bring great joy to the lives of the children. Through the medium of sport you will help to develop English and team working skills.
The aim is for you to work with teachers, local communities and GVI staff to run sports projects at the schools and to give more personal attention to the students. Without this project or volunteer assistance, the children would not have the opportunity to take part in such a variety of sports activities and events, due to lack of equipment, skill and supervision.
Outside of project work Kochi provides ample opportunity to explore and experience Indian culture. Experience traditional Kathakali dance, visit exotic spice markets and sample delicious local cuisine.
We are always looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to join our team. This project offers qualifying and high-performing volunteers the chance to stay on the project for a longer duration on a GVI Scholarship free of charge and as part of the staff team in the field. If you would like to work towards a field career and make the very most of your time abroad, you might want to work towards a place on a GVI Scholarship. Successful scholars may find themselves offered full time employment with GVI, and many of our current staff have come through this route. Contact us for more information!
Please note, the awarding of scholarships is at the sole discretion of GVI and may be offered immediately after the completion of your program or at a later date.
GVI is real volunteering
Our projects are constantly evolving according to the needs on the ground at any given time. All the information displayed here will give you an overall feel for the project, but you should be prepared for any changes in the field when you travel. An evolving project means that we can constantly meet the needs and requirements of our partners, who dictate the work that we do. The way it should be.
You will work on the project Monday to Friday, spending the mornings supporting physical education classes and the afternoons coaching a variety of sports including football, rugby, cricket and netball. Each day you will be collected from the volunteer accommodation and transported to the project site. Weekends provide free time to relax and explore your new home.
You will live with other GVI volunteers near the centre of town. The house is basic but comfortable with electricity, running water and flush toilets. Dormitory style rooms will usually share four volunteers. Meals including fresh vegetables, rice and fish, will be provided.
With a focus on sports education our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment in which children can develop their athletic abilities and gain confidence. The school supports a high level of students from poor families and a local orphanage, although with limited resources struggles to provide focus on physical education.
As a volunteer on this project you will play an active role in providing sports activities and supporting the children, both during and after school. Classes may have a specific focus such as cricket or football or encourage general fitness and well being. The students love taking part in sports activities although cannot afford fees to join local clubs, this project fills an important void.
How this project makes a difference:
We aim to encourage a positive lifestyle and keep the students off the streets by providing fun after school sports programs. By coaching these talented kids, you will help them develop socially, mentally, and physically. The more opportunities the children have to grow their confidence and their English skills, the better their chances are at a healthy future.
Coming from a sporting background and be active within many sports, coming to volunteer in Kerala was about imparting my knowledge to a new fresh group of students. Although while this was something that I feel I achieved, and had a great time doing it. It was having the students re-teach me, what it is to play, learn and mostly enjoy sports. The kick I get watching them improve and have fun is a new lesson for myself and what I view as special.
After 5 weeks in Kochi I finally managed to visit the backwaters, they´re sooooo beautiful, it was a great excursion. Soon after we boarded, the boat left and lunch was served. The food was great: rice, chicken, a sort of grated coconut & fried onion dish (sooo yummy!), some greens and probably some more food that I can´t remember now, plenty of delicious stuff to eat. For the whole evening we were just chilling in the lounge area, contemplating the beauty of the backwaters and seeing the everyday life of the people that live by the shore.
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Kerala field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in India!
Included Side Trips
You will embark on an orientation of Fort Kochi during your arrival weekend, seeing the main tourist sites of the local town, as well as the many hidden treasures. You will also be taken to a traditional Keralan Kathakali dance show, which will open your eyes up to the wonders of India and its culture.
Optional Side Trips
Kerala offers a variety of different adventure trips from trekking to rafting, kayaking and even diving in some of the most beautiful locations that India has to offer. Close to base in Fort Kochi, the 14th century Chinese fishing nets, St Francis Church and an amazing array of boutique art galleries, cafes and restaurants make for an amazing cultural experience.
One of Kerala’s finest attractions popular with our volunteers is the backwaters tour, an experience of breathtaking beauty and serenity as you snake through the incredible landscape on a houseboat. You can stay overnight, eat amazing local cuisine, and gaze at the sunset: a perfect weekend getaway.
The Periyar Forest and National Park offers safari outings and a chance to spot elephants, monkeys and tigers if you’re lucky, combined with some spectacular scenery along the way. For the more active, you can get even closer to it all with a number of trekking options.
Kerala can boast some incredible beaches within reasonable distances from your base. Marari is a short 40-minute drive with beautiful sandy beaches lined with coconut trees, while Varkala is a little further with restaurants and cafés perched spectacularly on cliffs offering incredible views of the ocean.
And if tea is your poison then this is the location for you…tea plantations stretching as far as the eye can see and jaw dropping views of mountain ranges and valleys await. There are sightseeing and trekking options available (depending on seasons) for the adventurous, or you can just sit and relax, breathe the fresh mountain air, and soak it all in.
Further Traveling Opportunities
For those with a little more time on their hands, you may want to consider some of the following. The Taj Mahal will be top of most India bucket lists but beyond this famous landmark; the quaint hill stations in Darjeeling; the Ganges at Varanasi; the desert and fort palaces of Jaisalmer and Udaipur; safari at Kanha National Park (home of Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’); the lively nightlife of Mumbai; or the laid back atmosphere of Goa will leave you with an everlasting experience of India.
Build Your Program
- Pre-departure support and discounted services
- 24-hour emergency phone
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- Arrival orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
- Welcome meeting
- Location orientation
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- 24-hour in-country support
- Airport transfers
- Internal transportation - related to project work
- Project equipment and training
- Local cooking lessons
- A traditional Kathakali dance performance
What's Not Included
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal kit
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes