Our Volunteer Support Package

Channel Youth volunteers; enjoy a fully supported experience from the moment their booking with us commences.  Although we are more than happy to tailor our support to match the needs of individual partners, our standard volunteer support package encompasses the following elements.

Transport

At the start of the project we will collect volunteers from the nearest airport to the project site, as follows:
 
Udaipur: Udaipur or Ahmedabad
Jaipur: Jaipur or Delhi
Goa: Mumbai or Goa
Kerela: Cochin
Karnatake: Bangalore 

During their stay volunteers are provided with transport to and from their work placement.  We use either our own transport or approved transport.  Where we use approved transport we ensure that our providers have the correct licenses, permits and that the vehicles are suitably maintained.

Volunteers can also book our transportation to travel in groups for evenings out etc. This facility allows volunteers to feel safe in the authenticity of the drivers credentials and in their safety whilst on the project.
As an additional safety precaution and to reduce our carbon footprint vehicles stay on / within close proximity to volunteer worksites during volunteering hours.  At the end of thir stay we provide volunteers with a drop off service to their departure airport as shown above.

Accomodation

After our airport welcome volunteers are escorted to their volunteer accomodation which will be either one of our dedicated volunteer houses with bilingual local coordinator staff on site 24 hours a day or with a local host family where at least one member of the family can speak some English.

All our accomodation is basic but clean.  All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) within the accomodation are freshly prepared on the day from local produce by either a dedicated chef or within the host family.  We provide meals that are native to the region of India in which the volunteer is staying, which more often will be vegetarian. We boost the local economy by buying local produce and employing and training local staff and host families.

Facilities

In our volunteer houses, volunteers have access to international dialing telephones, computers with broadband, a film library and a book library. We have water purification facilities on site that volunteers can use to fill their water bottles as we do not promote the use of bottled water for environmental reasons.  Volunteers are responsible for the cost of their own internet and broadband charges.  With a host family, volunteers can enjoy the cultural experience of living within a real Indian family.

Orientation

All volunteers receive a comprehensive orientation on arrival which includes detailed information on the communities that they will be working with, local practices and customs, religion, food, the symptoms of culture shock and how to beat it, health and safety, day to day life on the project, staying safe in India, project guidelines and codes of conduct.  To ease them into their new environment volunteers also receive a comprehensive tour of their accommodation, the local area (i.e. nearest cash points / transport links/ landmarks) and of their volunteer worksite prior to starting work.  Incorporated into this element are recommended health and safety guidance for when moving around these different environments.  We tailor the delivery style of our orientations according to the profile of the group, ensuring that keep all volunteers as engaged as possible throughout their stay with us.

Volunteer Placement

Volunteers are allocated a 5 day a week placement, booked in advance according to their specific interests.  In addition, we wholeheartedly encourage volunteers to take part in our other volunteering opportunities, to ensure that they make the most of their stay and maximize the help that we can give to local communities.  Volunteers who provide us with additional help do not pay additional charges for this work.

Placement Supervision

Prior to starting work all volunteers receive detailed information on their roles and responsibilities during their volunteer placement.  This includes not only an overview on the actual tasks but also information on how local people perceive the role that they are conducting i.e. how teachers are viewed in India.  This helps volunteers to understand their significance in the placement and to direct their energies into strategies that help them to make the best of the placement.  For the first week of all volunteer placements our bilingual (Hindi & English) support staff remain on site to support volunteers whilst they are working.  This eases communication and helps volunteers to understand their roles and responsibilities well.

Hindi

All volunteers receive 5 hours of basic hindi language lessons, this helps them to communicate within their volunteer placement, to communicate and begin to understand the local community directly and to drive harder bargains when out shopping in the markets!

Cultural Workshops

Volunteers can opt for 5 hours of cultural workshops which take place over the course of a week.  Mehendi (Henna), Indian Cookery and Yoga are all popular choices.

Weekends

We have a range of excursions that we run in conjunction with a local partner that volunteers can opt for.  Our staff are also trained to offer impartial advice to volunteers who need help with travel planning around India at the end of the project or during weekend self excursions.

Volunteer Feedback

We hold weekly feedback meetings with all our volunteers to enable them to debrief about their experiences so far on the project, to hear any successes and to highlight and resolve any areas of difficulty.  At the end of the project each volunteer is asked to complete a detailed evaluation form which we consider as part of our monthly inhouse management meetings.  We use the feedback as a basis to make improvements to our programs and quarterly we send summarized reports to our project partners.