What: Volunteer work opportunities in the arts of sustainable living
Activities: Earthen building (primarily interior work), organic gardening, and natural landscaping
When: 16 July - 13 October 2015 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period, with a one-week minimum stay)
Languages: English & Hindi
Facilitators: No formal facilitation, but as-needed guidance from Dharmalaya staff, artisans, and interns.
Description: Volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute, open to both residential and non-residential participants (though, during the monsoon, we highly recommend staying on the Dharmalaya campus). During this period, volunteers have the opportunity to learn the arts and methods of sustainable living in the Himalayas by doing physical work related to earthen building and organic gardening.
Due to frequent rains in the monsoon period, most of the work will happen indoors. This usually includes:
- Various aspects of traditional earthen building (e.g. interior mud plasters, tile work, wood/bamboo work, and fine finishing work)
- Organic gardening and natural landscaping (as weather permits)
- Possibly some tree planting
Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn about sustainable living and Himalayan culture in the process.
What to expect
- Seven hours of physical work per day (we recommend exercising before you come so that you arrive in reasonably good physical fitness).
- Six workdays per week (you are free to do whatever you like on Sundays)./li>
- Daily karma yoga tasks (everyone helps with running the place, e.g. cooking, cleaning, etc.)
- Free time in the evenings (5-10pm) and Sundays.
- Lots of rain (bring rain gear and work boots and/or hiking shoes).
Since there is no formal instruction during this period, one simply jumps in and does whatever needs doing on a given day, learning by watching others and then doing it yourself. In such an unstructured or loosely guided situation, sometimes one needs to ask for help if one needs it, so a certain degree of self-motivation and initiative makes for the best experience. It also helps to bring a healthy sense of flexibility, since the work to be done might vary from one day to the next, depending on circumstances. If that appeals to you, you’re welcome to come and go anytime during this period (with a minimum stay of at least one week).