What is a Volunteer ?
Different people have different reasons for choosing to do voluntary work. For some, the main reason is a desire to serve their fellow human beings. For others, it is a chance to pursue adventure and seek excitement. Some simply view it as a good way of learning new skills.
The fact is, almost any reason that motivates you to work as a volunteer is worthwhile. You don’t even have to have a definitive reason. Voluntary work can give you the chance to travel, meet new people, interact with different cultures and face new challenges in order to enhance your life and career.
Why do I need to pay in order to volunteer?
When you pay, you are not paying for your work, you are making a financial contribution to support the needy communities in which our programs are based. Donations help stimulate the local economies by creating more paying jobs, aiding Tibetan newcomers, and sponsoring low-income families. Tibet Hope Center works tirelessly year round to support our volunteers, and also to serve the local community. As a non-religious, non-denominational, and non-governmental agency, we receive 100% of our funding from volunteer program donations.
Is there any age requirement?
We accept volunteers above 16 years. We do not have a maximum age limit and an increasing number of volunteers are retirees. As long as you’re physically and mentally healthy, and have an open mind you shouldn't have any problems participating in our programs. Know that you are very welcome to come with your family and that no extra payment is necessary for brining kids.
How is my program fee being used?
80% goes directly overseas into the programs: volunteer housing, airport transportation, salaries for the local staff, project coordinator expenses, as well as direct financial aid year round.
We allocated 20% to our partnership NGOs or local families.
Is travel insurance included in program fee?
Tibet Hope Center does not provide travel insurance in the program fee.
Do I need to bring my own supplies from home, or are they provided?
Most of the schools and orphanages volunteers are placed in are heavily under-resourced. Supplies from home that would be of benefit to your program are very welcome. Or, as most volunteers do, you can buy local supplies once you arrive. Medical volunteers should bring their own lab coats. Lap tops are often very useful and we fully advise you to bring one.
What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us through this email.
What is the deadline for submitting my forms?
Most people will sign up 3-9 months prior to traveling. You should apply no later than 45 days before your intended start date; if you are on the deadline you should summit all the paperwork and the payment of 100US$ on the same day. Some exceptions can be made for last minute traveling, please contact us for more details.
What do I need to qualify as a volunteer?
No particular educational qualification or skill is necessary to work as a volunteer. All you’re required to have are enthusiasm for your work and the desire to help your fellow human beings. A child-like curiosity and keenness to learn from a new society and culture are also helpful skills. However, you should have normal health and energy. Nevertheless, Tibet Hope Center still checks your resume, looking out for your skills, volunteer experience, travel experience, interests, and preferences. This information makes it easier for us to suggest the program that could best be suited to you.
What kind of volunteer work is available ?
You can choose from many different options, depending on your tastes and preferences, however, volunteer programs are generally designed to bring new skills to local people and to conserve the environment. For this reason, all programs are centered awareness and created with the people in mind. Teaching English in a village school, caring for orphans, promoting health and environmental education, and cultural exchange are some of our regular programs.
What is the duration of the volunteer program ?
The normal duration of a volunteer program is around a month. However, if you are interested in staying for more time, Tibet Hope Center can make all necessary arrangements to extend your duration up to six months, depending on your visa. Cultural exchange is suitable for those who want to stay for a longer period of time.
What can I do with my free time ?
India is the land of diversity and versatility, here you will have plenty of things to do with your free time. You can visit temples in and around Dharamshala. You can also interact with local people and learn about their arts and crafts ( which Tibet, as well as many other areas are famous for). Our local staff can give you suggestions about places to visit. Some volunteers prefer to stay in the town so they can get to know the people and their lifestyle more intimately. However, it all depends on your personal taste.
I don’t speak very good English. Can I become a volunteer ?
Of course! You should know that volunteering comes with no language requirements. Tibet Hope Center can give you proper instruction in basic Tibetan language if you so desire. This is more than enough to get you through your regular transactions. You will also be given guidance about the local lifestyle, traditions and culture. However, a minimum understanding of English language is required in order to communicate with the staff of Tibet Hope Center as well as your team mates.
What type of living arrangements are provided for volunteers?
Your accommodation will be covered by the program fee. Most of the time, you will stay in a nice and clean guest house including hot water and toilette facilities, also included in the fee is a two night home stay in order to help you become acquainted with the local people and customs.
Can I come with friends or with my spouse ?
Yes, couples and groups are very welcome but it should be noted that our fees are individual.
What support and guidance can I expect ?
The very best, Tibet Hope Center takes care to make your volunteer project enjoyable, meaningful and memorable. During your volunteer program you will work alongside our full time staff members who are very familiar with the local people and environment. They will give you information and guidance whenever necessary. Moreover, the management of Tibet Hope Center will always be within reach.
When and how do I pay the program fee ?
You should preferably pay $100 the day your application is accepted but a delay of a day or two is okay.
The rest should be payed upon arrival to Dharamshala. You can pay in US dollars or the equivalent in Indian Rupees, GB pounds, Euros, etc. In cash.
How many volunteers are there on site at the same time ?
The number of volunteers at one time varies from 5 to 20. Normally you are placed with several other people in the local village unless you prefer individual volunteering.
What is included in the program fee ?
• Accommodation: All of our volunteers are provided with neat, comfortable and hygienic accommodation.
• Though it is not possible to provide luxurious facilities in rural India, we can ensure that the atmosphere will be friendly and enjoyable.
• Transportation: All surface transportation from your arrival in Delhi until the end of the volunteer program is covered. This includes taxis, buses, and light utility vehicles.
• Guidance by Team Leaders: During the program you will be given the complete guidance and support of our staff. The staff members will supervise and guide the team of volunteers you work with.
• Program Co-ordination: All of our programs follow carefully crafted itineraries. Special care is taken to ensure everything runs smoothly during your stay. The cost of project start-up, site visits, and volunteer orientation material is all included in the program fee.
What happens if I become ill?
Our staff will be available to help you if anything should happen. This can be anything from a minor injury to an emergency requiring hospitalization (there are Indian and Tibetan government hospitals in the area). Tibet Hope Center will do its best to insure you are safe during your stay, the minute a problem should arise we will call your emergency contacts and inform your country’s embassy or consulate and get you the help you need, however * Medical aid and transportation is not included in the program fee.