Historically a water-rich country, India is now facing a water crisis. With 16% of the world’s population, but only 4% of the world’s fresh water, India’s demand is outstripping its supply. Poor resource management and climate change have led to soil erosion, sediment build-up, and highly irregular and declining rainfall. The land is barren and life is difficult.
Water resources underpin economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability.
DWC’s WATER FOR LIFE program successfully fulfills a communities’ water needs and helps farmers in India transform a desert into arable, productive farmland. Water For Life maps rivers and smaller waterways that develop during the annual monsoon. From this information, a containment structure to conserve the rainwater is constructed. These structures range from rock and cement walls to large dams and crop irrigation channels.
By volunteering in India, you are going to make life better for subsistence farmers, their families and their communities by building a structure that will hold back monsoon water long enough for it to seep into the groundwater system and recharge wells in the area. That might not seem like much, but for these people, it will mean bigger crop yields or even the ability to grow more than one crop per year. That will make a big difference to them.
You will be on a team of volunteers who are like-minded and passionate about giving others a hand up, not a hand out. And you will leave behind a solid structure that will serve the community for decades to come.
As someone volunteering in India, you’ll be working with our in-country partner, Sahyog Sansthan, a non-profit that deals with rural villages to make improvements that empower these communities and help them move forward through sustainable projects.
This is a two-week trip. As a Developing World Connections volunteer in India, you will work as part of a volunteer team alongside local people. You can also extend your stay if you wish to do additional travelling after the volunteer portion is completed.
Bhinder is close to the village where you’ll be working alongside local people to build a water-retention structure that will help change their lives. It’s also a short drive from the cultural and tourist centre of Udaipur, a city that offers spectacular views, palaces and other historic sites that are a photographer’s dream. A sunset dinner on the rooftop restaurant of the Jaiwana Haveli hotel in Udaipur is a must.
In April, Bhinder is in its dry season and the temperatures will be hot. It can get up to 35C, so you’ll want to pack lots of sunscreen, a water bottle and clothing that’s respectful of the local modesty standards but also light and breathable.
If you’re sticking around India afterward, you might want to add a trip north of Bhinder to the Thar Desert or take a side trip from Delhi to Agra to see the stunning Taj Mahal.
How much does it cost?
The cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. This cost includes accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs, and a donation to our host partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire trip is 100% tax deductible. A $1000 non refundable deposit ($600 for trips prior to 2024) is due once the trip is confirmed which is then credited towards your trip cost. Flight costs vary and can either be booked yourself or through our recommended travel agent to receive a tax deductible receipt. Your trip cost is due in its entirety 45 days prior to departure. If your flight is booked through our recommended travel agent, your flight cost is due within 10 days. Trip costs may be adjusted if flight or accommodation upgrades are requested or if flight deviations are required. Select trips may be subject to additional cultural activity fees. US volunteers may be subject to administrative fees/exchange rate adjustments.
Are accommodations included and what are they like?
DWC books your accommodations for you, and it is included in your Trip Cost! Your team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. Rooms are booked as shared double occupancy. You may upgrade to a private room for an additional cost, where possible. We will do our best to accommodate adjustments
Are meals provided and can dietary restrictions be accommodated?
All meals are included in your trip cost. Some meals will be at the hotel, while others at local restaurants. The food is prepared hygienically, and dishes range from local to standard western fare. Volunteers submit a health form to DWC and all requests for dietary restrictions will be provided to the Team Leader, hotel, and host partner, to be accommodated wherever possible. We want you to be as comfortable as possible! Your Trip Cost does not include tips, alcohol, or snacks.
Can I add personal travel onto this trip?
Absolutely! We want you to have the best travel experience possible. If you choose to add personal travel onto the front or back end of your trip, you are welcome to book your own accommodation and transportation arrangements for early arrivals or late departures, however you are required to arrive in time to fully participate in the volunteer experience with your team. Personal travel would not be covered in your tax-deductible receipt.
Can my family come on the trip with me?
The trip cost listed is a per person rate. Family members can participate in the trip as part of the volunteer team by paying a separate trip cost. Children 12-17 wishing to participate in a volunteer trip require a parent/guardian with them.
What is the minimum age requirement to volunteer?
Children under 12 are unable to participate in our program due to the nature of the volunteer work involved. Children 12-17 wishing to participate in a volunteer trip require a parent/guardian with them.
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need special skills or training to be able to help. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace, within your own comfort level, five days a week from about 8AM to 4PM. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What is the work site like and what is the intensity of the labour?
There is a building manager and translator on site. Tasks on the work site vary and you will only be asked to do what you are comfortable with and within your physical abilities. There is no pressure!
Why should I volunteer?
Support sustainable change with us. Learn about the world and yourself, lend a hand and build hope. Every bit of time spent on a DWC project is helping a person, a family, or a community. You’ll know that your contribution will make someone’s life better. DWC matches teams of volunteers and resources with people and organizations in developing nations to alleviate poverty and inspire hope and your efforts do have impact. The experience is enhanced by working as a team. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
Are DWC trips religious or political in nature?
DWC has no religious or political affiliations.
Each trip is coordinated by DWC with the help of a Team Leader, who has travelled with DWC previously and is First Aid Certified. Your Team Leader will liaise with DWC and ensure all your questions are answered. Your Team Leader will handle all team finances through the trip and travel with you to ensure the best possible travel and volunteer experience for their team! They also facilitate fun, cultural experiences where possible, ensuring group cohesion. See your Team Leader Biography here:
DWC has been a huge part of my life since the day of its inception
nearly 20 years ago. The thought of travelling to a developing
country to work alongside the local people seemed romantic and
thrilling. Little did I know what a difference it would make in my life
and that six countries later, I would still be learning about myself
and gaining friendships that will last for many years!
I have been on the Board of Directors with DWC since the
beginning and was seven years as its first Chair. In 2005 I had
the amazing opportunity of travelling on the first DWC trip to Sri
Lanka, within weeks of the devastating Tsunami, to build homes for
those who were left homeless. I will never forget that experience…
Following that trip there were trips as a team leader to Guatemala,
Peru, Cambodia (x2), India (x2), Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka,
and Costa Rica. Each country so different and each project so
I’m a social worker by vocation and community development is my
passion. I’m always impressed by the projects that are developed
by the in-country host partners in conjunction with DWC. They are
always done with the input and empowerment of the people who
live there. We come as volunteers to work alongside with them and
leave much richer and more compassionate for the experience. It is
an action of service and an act of global caring.
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to travel with you and to
experience the beautiful, emotional, fun-filled….life changing…
world of international volunteering.
Carbon offsets are used to compensate for the greenhouse gasses that we create through certain activities, such as flying. For every tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere, an ‘offset’ is a carefully designed project that absorbs or stores the equivalent CO2 emissions. You can choose to offset your own flight, your whole family’s, or do this as a gift for a friend.Offset Your Carbon Footprint