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Children's Homes in Kerala and Tamil Nadu

DIL SE is an NGO from Switzerland which is running two homes for orphans and vulnerable children, and one home for pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers in South India. Volunteering is possible at all 3 homes for female volunteers aged 20 and above.

Project Description

Female volunteers who can dedicate 2 to 6 months can be at "Oday Home" ("Home by the River") located in a village of the Madurai Region (Tamil Nadu). It is home to 18 children aged 6 to 14 years, including boys and girls, who are under the custody of a local couple who manages the home. They are either orphans or from very poor families who can't support them in an adequate way. Some of the children are HIV affected.
The volunteer's work starts in the morning before the children go to school and then again after the children return at 4pm every day. As a volunteer, you prepare activities with the children and help with their English homework. The children are quite shy but appreciate interaction. You are free for instance to do creative activities and sports with them, such as music, theatre, dance and yoga.
From the village, the city of Madurai is at a distance of about 12 km and a larger village with several basic grocery shops is 2 km away. You will have access to a bicycle to be able to move around the area. There are no costs for your accommodation in the village.
Volunteers have to be able to work independently and to maintain their motivation. They need to be able to entertain themselves even during the hours when the children are at school, keeping in mind that this is a rural region. The placement is suitable for volunteers who are experienced in education and dealing with children. Applicants need to show their police record and there will be a Skype interview with Cristelle, the director of DIL SE.
Volunteers first travel to Cochin in Kerala where they meet Cristelle, who gives them an introduction, and then they continue their trip by bus (9 hours) to Madurai.
Another home, located in Cochin/Kerala is called "Shanti Theeram" (Coast of Peace). There are 6-7 boys aged 5-18 years, but most of them belong to the younger ages within that age bracket. Full-time volunteering at this home is only possible during the school holidays in April and May, and every Saturday throughout the year (so from June to March, you can combine volunteering at this home with some other activity in Cochin).
The third home of DIL SE, “TEJUS Home” in Cochin/Kerala is a home for up to 6 pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers. At the moment there are 5 girls aged 14 to 18 and one young 2 year old boy, Tejus. The home is run by DIL SE in cooperation with Birth For Change, and it is recognized by the Child Welfare Committee of Ernakulam.
In India, teenagers get usually pregnant through rape, and as a consequence they are rejected by their families and society. TEJUS Home has the aim to provide a safe home and future for such girls.
The girls get practical and mental support related to their pregnancy, the birth, their babies (nutrition, health, hygiene etc.) and their further life planning. They are encouraged and supported to continue their education and to develop a strong personality.
Besides assisting the teenagers and their babies, volunteers can also participate in the preparation of campaigns against the sexual abuse of children, which are targeted towards adults and school children, in fundraising, and designing products with the girls that they can sell to generate an income. Furthermore, they can create contents for the DIL SE website. Volunteers can also assist with construction work and painting of the various homes if and when necessary.
The volunteer placement at TEJUS Home is only possible for female volunteers. They should have previous experience with health and/or Social Work and/or with babies/toddlers.
Info Box
Location: Madras (Tamil Nadu) or Cochin (Kerala), India
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 2 Months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Tamil, Malayalam
Accommodation: In Tamil Nadu free accommodation is provided, in Cochin Shared Accommodation
Supervision Possible: No
Qualification Of Supervisor: -
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: -
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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