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Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living, an educational and charitable society in Himachal Pradesh, is looking for new members of its long-term volunteer family and management team.

Who we are:

A diverse group of caring people from around India and around the world who share a commitment to cultivating compassion in action and practicing it in various aspects of sustainable living.

What we do:

  • Trainings in vernacular eco-architecture (earthen construction)
  • Organic gardening and permaculture
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Empowerment opportunities for Himalayan villagers
  • And other practices for inner and outer sustainability


What we’re looking for:

People inspired to be a part of Dharmalaya’s community to help in the running of the institute and its programmes in the long term and help to build and beautify our lovely six-acre campus in the Himalayan foothills of Bir, HP.

Specifically, we seek:

  • People who love to help make great things happen, who are inspired to learn a particular aspect of our work well enough to be able to help manage it (e.g. hospitality, supervision of volunteers, gardening, facilities maintenance, bookkeeping, etc.).
  • People who are interested in running (or helping to run) workshops, retreats, and other programmes related to sustainable and compassionate living. 
  • People who love organic gardening/tree planting/landscaping or would love to learn about it by doing it.
  • People who love to make healthy vegan food.

Time commitment:

The standard minimum time commitment is one year, but longer or shorter periods may be negotiable depending on experience level and other factors.

Positions and compensation:

Dharmalaya Institute offers both unpaid volunteer opportunities and a few paid management positions.

Volunteers receive no wage or stipend, but in the case of certain qualified, long-term volunteers taking on significant responsibilities for six months or longer, room and board may be provided in some cases.

For key management positions, room and meals are provided and there is also the possibility of a stipend, wages, or salary for certain qualified and experienced  candidates. Such positions include the following:

  • General Manager (full-time): Overall management of the Institute in support of its vision and values and its faculty and Board of Directors. Should have prior management experience, preferably in educational/NGO sector. Includes responsibility for programmes, communications, HR, finances, public relations, hospitality, maintenance and improvements, et al. Requires leadership, communication, and bookkeeping skills, with good attention to detail and commitment to maintaining highest ethical standards and upholding the principles of the Institute. Must be organized and proactive, and should be capable of clear, sensitive, respectful, and diplomatic communication in both English and Hindi.
  • Hospitality and Community Manager (both full-time and part-time positions available): Support Dharmalaya Institute’s vibrant and diverse community by helping to facilitate an engaging, healthy, safe, and comfortable experience for residents, students, interns, volunteers, faculty, and guests. Includes responsibility for managing activities for residents and guests. Must love people and enjoy taking care of them and supporting them to have the best possible experience at Dharmalaya. Strong positive communication skills essential, and should be conversant in both English and Hindi. Professional experience in the hospitality industry is a plus (though not necessarily required if other qualifications are met).
  • Kitchen Managers/Cooks (both full-time and part-time positions available): Provide healthy, organic, plant-based (vegan) meals for the Dharmalaya community and ensure the Institute’s high standards of health, hygiene, and ethics, while also helping our guests understand the many benefits of a healthy, organic, plant-based diet. Prior experience cooking vegan meals and catering for large groups (up to 40) is a plus (though not strictly required if one is a fast learner with regard to scaling quantities for different group sizes). We already have one great part-time chef, but we can always use more.
  • Gardens and Grounds Manager (both full-time and part-time positions available): Develop and maintain extensive organic gardens, orchards, and the grounds of the campus. Should have prior experience with natural gardening techniques (and, in particular, experience with permaculture and/or the Jeavons Biointensive method is a big plus).
  • Construction Manager (full-time — THIS POSITION IS CURRENTLY FILLED): Oversee ongoing earthen construction projects, provide training, manage teams, and participate in hands-on earthen building work. Design skills are a plus, but not required; the most important skills are the ability to build with quality and the ability to manage, train and inspire construction teams effectively. To qualify for this position, the applicant must have a significant amount of experience managing earthen construction projects. (We already have less experienced earthen architects participating in our Internship in Vernacular Eco-Architecture, so this paid management position requires someone with much more experience than they have.)

Details and contact:

For more information, please study our website, have a look at our programmes and principles, and use the contact form to reach out to us and introduce yourself.

We look forward to connecting with you.