I went to Kerala and took part in a Reach and Teach program with Yearoutindia. I volunteered for three weeks at a school in Adimali teaching Art and English, and helped the school prepare for Independence Day celebrations. All the local schools join in celebrating Independence Day, taking part in inter-school competitions and a show of strength in 2km march around the town, holding placards pledging allegiance to India and shouting Independence chants. It was quite a surprise for the locals to see a British citizen taking part in the celebrations and the head teacher called me in the evening to say the school was on the local news!
My experience of Kerala was fantastic, it has the most verdant flora and fauna, vibrant culture and the people I met were so welcoming. Besides many teaching and renovation projects at schools that really need help and support, Yearoutindia gives you the opportunity to be involved with the local communities and make a real difference to the lives of people in rural South India. They also run link school projects with schools in UK and looking to so the same with school in France and USA.
The coordinators and staff really go out of their way make sure volunteers have a great experience and that they really make a positive and direct contribution to the people and communities they work with. They only take on limited number of volunteers (usually 2-3) per project site, ensuring a personal commitment to the projects and a unique individual experience.
Yearoutindia is also a non-profit organisation who don’t advertise in print media, all their ex-volunteers who work on community development projects, conservation and environmental work, teaching in schools and orphanages act as volunteer coordinators back in their own country. A true volunteer experience run by volunteers themselves!
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