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Volunteer Work Period (9 Jul - 4 Aug 2018)

 What: Volunteer Work Period

Activities: Whatever work is needed on each day, which might include work with earthen building, rainwater harvesting systems, organic gardening, natural landscaping, or anything else that might be required.

When: 9th July through at least 28th July (and optionally as late as 4th August) 2018. Note: Volunteers must arrive by 10:30am on the morning of 9th July and commit to stay until at least 28th July.

Languages: English & Hindi

Facilitators: The initial three-day orientation and training will be facilitated by our senior interns and local artisans. After that, there will be no formal facilitation or training, but as-needed guidance from Dharmalaya staff and artisans.

Description: This Volunteer Work Period will begin with a three-day orientation and training (which all volunteers must attend from the beginning). This will provide an introduction to how we do things at Dharmalaya Institute, as well as basic hands-on training on site during the day, followed by evening sessions that will provide a brief introduction to some of the concepts that guide our work.

After the first three days, the focus will be on doing physical work to support the needs of the Institute, whatever they may be on a given day. Note that during our Volunteer Work Periods there is no formal educational or training programme as such (other than the very basic introductions given during the first three days), but you will have opportunities to learn through service while working alongside our local team.

Depending on weather and the needs of the day, work might include various tasks related to natural building, rainwater harvesting, organic gardening, natural landscaping, making homemade soaps and shampoos, and other aspects of sustainable and compassionate living. Please note that volunteers should not expect to be learning any particular skill during Volunteer Work Periods, because the purpose of volunteering is providing service to help with whatever work the Institute needs from its volunteers. (If you are interested in learning specific skills, then our workshops would be the best way to do that.)

The minimum time commitment for this volunteer period is three weeks (until at least 28th July), and there is an option to remain as a volunteer until as late as 4th August.

What to Expect

  • Seven hours of physical work per day (we strongly recommend exercising regularly before you come so that you arrive in reasonably good physical fitness, as you will be doing hard work, including demanding physical labour).
  • Six workdays per week. All volunteers are required to work as a team at least from 9am till 5pm Monday through Saturday (with a one-hour lunch break), with optional independent project time on Thursday afternoons if you wish.
  • Volunteers are free to take personal quiet time in the evenings (7-10pm) and on Sundays.
  • Daily karma yoga tasks (everyone helps with running the place, e.g. cooking, cleaning, labour, etc.).

Volunteers commit to work full-time doing whatever is required on a given day. All volunteers show up for the morning circle at 9:00am sharp every day to learn about the work to be done that day, and then one joins the group, doing whatever work needs to be done, learning by watching others and then doing it oneself. 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 change depending on circumstances.

Dates & Logistics

All volunteers must arrive between 10:00 and 10:30am on the morning of Monday, 9th July, 2018, as that is when we begin the orientation and training for new volunteers. Late are not possible. All volunteers make a commitment to stay and volunteer full-time for at least three weeks after their arrival date.

Costs & Payment

Though there is no tution fee during volunteer work periods, all volunteers are responsible to pay for their food and lodging. For an explanation of those costs, see our accommodations page. For the benefit of dedicated long-term volunteers (staying longer than one month) with exceptional financial hardship, we offer a work-study programme through which discounted room and board can be provided after the first month in exchange for taking on extra responsibilities. 

For this Volunteer Work Period, a nonrefundable deposit of Rs 4500 per person is required in advance in order to secure an approved applicant’s place in the programme. (This is so that we can proceed with buying food provisions, and also so that we know for certain the exact number of people who are coming.)

An additional nonrefundable payment of Rs 4500 will be due upon arrival at the Institute. That total of Rs 9000 credit will be applied toward the food and lodging costs for the three-week minimum time period (assuming one is staying in shared accommodation, e.g. dormitory beds or tents). Any additional payments would be made after the first Rs 9000 credit has been used up.

For Participants with Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

You can make your nonrefundable 50% deposit either by in-person deposit at any HDFC branch, or electronically by bank transfer (intra-bank transfer for HDFC accounts, or NEFT for non-HDFC accounts). We will send bank details after your application is approved.

For Participants without Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

After we have approved your application and requested you to make the deposit, you can make your non-refundable 50% deposit securely by credit card, debit card, eCheck, or Payal. Just click the button below:

How to Apply to Volunteer

Volunteering at Dharmalaya Institute is by application only. We receive many more applications than we can accommodate, so we review each application carefully to determine which applicants might be best matched for the programme. For that reason, we recommend you take the time to think about the answers you give in your application, and make sure they are well-considered and honest.

The application procedure is as follows:

1. Read all of the important information on our Visitor Info page and our FAQ for volunteers. This information will help you understand what volunteering at Dharmalaya Institute is like, and also how to prepare for the experience (including what to bring and what not to bring, as well as travel tips, etc.).

2. Complete the volunteer application (you’ll find the link to the volunteer application in FAQ). Please read the questions in the application carefully and answer them thoughtfully.

3. Wait for our reply to learn if your application has been accepted. We process applications in batches at least twice per month, so it could take a week or two before we are able to reply.

4. If your application is approved, we will send you an email with payment information, and you will have one week from that time to make the deposit. Note that your place in the programme is not confirmed until we notify you that we have received your deposit. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

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