Volunteering in India with GVI will open your eyes to a rapidly developing country, filled with a rich culture, traditions and beautiful landscapes.
Project work takes place around the city of Kochi (Cochin), a port town offering fascinating snippets of history and culture, including the oldest Church in India, an extensive spice market and the famous 15th Century Chinese fishing nets. GVI has been operating in Kochi for almost 4 years and are well established and respected within the community. GVI’s long-term involvement, capacity building and commitment to our projects, ensure that the service elements of your students’ trips are contributing to long-term sustainable projects helping to achieve our partners’ objectives. These local partnerships along with stakeholder discussions drive the service elements of our trips to ensure they are fully focussed on the most prevalent issues and produce the results required locally.
Project Aims and Objectives
Our projects incorporate a range of community work. Days are long, hot and physically demanding in an environment quite unlike any most students are used too. Expect to be challenged emotionally as well as physically! A typical day could involve teaching English to slum children in one of our school projects, teaching art activities in our special school, or making an eco toilet while chatting and interacting with local slum residents. You could even teach sports to young children in the morning and spend your afternoon building an eco-garden. At one stage GVI was involved in the construction of a football field and have even helped a number of residents put the finishing touches to their houses. Our projects are structured as well as flexible enough to accommodate individual passions and interest.
Our base in India is located in Kerala. A sliver of a state in India’s deep south, shaped by its landscape – almost 600km of fascinating Arabian Sea coast and beaches, a network of backwaters and the spice and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats. Besides it’s famous backwaters, rice paddies, coconut groves, intriguing houseboats and delicately spiced, taste-bud-tingling cuisine, Kerala is home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the odd tiger; and crazily vibrant traditions such as Kathakali plays and snake-boat races. As with the rest of India it also plays host to an expanse of informal settlements (referred to as slums) with communities living well below the breadline with little access to formal education, income opportunities and decent hygiene standards.
Kerala’s short, mid, and long-term objectives:
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfill our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Kerala:
1. Increase women's opportunities in Kerala
2. Ensure healthy lives, well-being and promote opportunities and equality for those with special needs in Kerala
3. Enable the absolute development of children and young adults in Kerala by providing support and training in LSBE (life skills base education)
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.