The Rajasthan region of India is dry. It’s a situation that’s been made even worse by deforestation of the sparse trees that survive in the area. Monsoon rains replenish riverbeds and groundwater wells, but that limited supply only allows farmers to grow one crop per year. Your team will improve the parched farming conditions.
About The Trip:
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.
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 themselves forward through sustainable projects.
This is a two-week trip. As a Developing World Connections volunteer, you will work as part of a volunteer team alongside local people. If you can’t make it for the full two weeks, a shorter option is available as well. You can also extend your stay if you wish to do additional travelling after the volunteer portion is completed.
Read day-to-day experiences from our volunteers on the India Blog »
It’s Not All Work:
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 February, Bhinder is still 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.
Learn more about India »
You’ll learn what it takes to build a water-retention structure that will be a huge asset for villagers who depend on monsoon rains to recharge their wells and groundwater sources. Being able to hold back some of that water long enough for it to sink into aquifers will mean more water available for more crops.
The work can involve some heavy work, like mixing concrete or hauling rocks, but it will be made lighter by the team pulling together and by the participation of the villagers themselves who appreciate the benefit the project will have for their community as a whole.
When / Itinerary:
- Saturday Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11 – Team travels to India and to Bhinder
- Monday, Feb. 12 to Friday, Feb. 16 – PROJECT WORK in village
- Saturday, Feb. 17 to Sunday, Feb. 18 – Free days for some R and R
- Monday, Feb. 19 to Friday, Feb. 23 – PROJECT WORK in village
- Saturday, Feb. 24: Travel home
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
The team will stay in Bhinder in accommodations that are comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
The program cost is about $2,350 and will be finalized closer to the departure date. This includes accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to Sahyog Sansthan. It does not include airfare.
The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC. You can also fundraise and we will issue charitable receipts for donations $20 CDN or greater.
You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
DWC Team Leader:
Murray is a semi-retired consulting agrologist who lives on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia with his wife, Jan. He was born and raised in rural Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba and the University of Guelph. After university, most of his working life was spent in Winnipeg.
They moved to B.C. several years ago but in the summer, they still go back to their cottage at West Hawk Lake in Manitoba.
Their family includes two grown and married sons, one of whom is a journeyman carpenter in Nelson, B.C. Their other son is articling with an architectural firm in Winnipeg. They have two grandchildren (so far).
Murray has also done team leading for Habitat for Humanity since 2009 and has led teams to Armenia, Poland, Paraguay, Cambodia, Mongolia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Chile, El Salvador, Romania and Trinidad.
He finds overseas development work to be very satisfying because it gives him the chance to directly help people improve their living conditions.
Are You Ready To Go?
Ready to apply? Fill out our online application. You can secure your place on this trip with a $500, non-refundable deposit that will go toward your total trip cost. After you’ve submitted your forms and deposit, our office will contact you and send you a welcome package.
We’re glad to have you join us.
Still have some questions? We’re here to help, please feel free to contact us now, or fill out the form.