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Teaching Underprivileged Children in Rajasthan

Internship and Volunteering Possible
Girls from poor families often do not go to school in Rajasthan. The empowerment centers of Sambhali Trust offer them opportunities for an education in the poorest districts of Jodhpur and the desert village of Setrawa. Interns and volunteers teach English, sewing, give homework tutoring and organize activities and workshops.

Project Details

In Rajasthan, girls from poor families often don't attend school, as they have to help with housework, engage in child labour, or have to assist their mother with attending younger siblings. This especially happens if the school is located far away, as reaching it would take some time, forcing them away from family duties.
To cater to these less fortunate girls, the Sambhali Trust Empowerment Centres are located in the middle of the poorer neighbourhoods of Jodhpur and at a village in the desert, making it easier to convince local families to at least allow their daughters to receive some education for a few hours.
Sambhali Trust is an NGO located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan's second largest city and at the village of Setrawa in the Thar desert, located some 100 km from Jodhpur. The NGO is primarily active in women's empowerment, but also includes education for children, girls and women. You will find an overview of the NGO's complete activities here.
A placement in Setrawa can be combined with a placement in Jodhpur.

Centers in Jodhpur

At several Empowerment Centres in Jodhpur, girls and women from the age of 10 to 30 are taught Reading and Writing (Hindi, English), basics of Mathematics, Personality Development, Team Building and Vocational Skills such as sewing and embroidery, from Mondays to Saturdays. There are workshops about topics including women's rights, health, nutrition and further educational possibilities such as computer skills. Volunteers and interns can teach and carry out workshops.
In Jodhpur, Sambhali also has a Boarding House, where children from Setrawa can stay, making it possible for them to attend a good school in Jodhpur. This is financed by donors. Volunteers and interns help them with their homework in the afternoons and spend some leisure time with them.
Since April 2012, Sambhali Trust has been conducting the empowerment and education program "Sisters for Sisters" at the public home "Balika Grah", a home for around 30 girls aged 0 to 16 years, who are from broken families. Their parents are either in jail, deceased, or for different reasons, not able to care for them.
For two hours per day, volunteers teach them English, sewing, help the girls who attend school with their homework, and arrange activities and workshops that aim to improve their self-confidence, personality development and education levels.
Sambhali Trust works out a timetable for volunteers and interns, so that you can teach for several hours at their various centres in Jodhpur.

Teaching in Setrawa

In the tab "Rajasthan", you can watch a video on the placement in Setrawa (Two Volunteers describe their experiences)
In the village of Setrawa in the Thar Desert, Sambhali Trust runs an Empowerment Centre where volunteers and interns can teach children in reading, writing, English, Maths, general knowledge and personality development. Children who attend school get extra classes in the afternoon and help with their homework.
The children who are up to 13 years old (boys and girls) arrive at the centre every morning at 11. Half an hour is spent on washing the children who live in houses without water supply.
The children attending these morning classes don't attend public school, because their parents cannot afford it. Classes are until 3.00 p.m.
There are 3 members in the staff - local teachers teaching Maths, English and Hindi. The foreign volunteers/interns usually teach English and/or Maths; they also participate in the Hindi lessons and sing religious songs with the children in Hindi. This is expected, in order to demonstrate their willingness to integrate into Indian society.
Depending on the number of children and number of volunteers/interns, the group of children is typically split into different levels of English. As most of the children only have basic English skills, the focus is on simple vocabulary and practical use of spoken English.
At around 4:15 pm, students (only girls) come to the centre for 3-4 hours to get extra classes or help with their homework. They come to the centre on their own and are very motivated, which makes teaching easier. There are around 20 girls who are also split in sub-groups depending on their level of English.
In Rajasthan, if girls don't match the expectation at school, they are usually released from school. Sambhali tries to ensure that this does not happen. Sambhali currently pays school fees for 36 girls.
Once per week, volunteers/interns give workshops about a variety of topics that they can choose themselves, such as team building, talent, arts, painting the school, making posters, etc. You can be active and creative about this.
The local teachers are professional and good, and in fact don't need the help of foreign volunteers to offer an acceptable level of classes; however, it is very enriching for the students if foreign volunteers/interns participate, with different educational approaches and different cultural aspects which motivate and fascinate the students.
Accommodation in Setrawa is with host families. You will fully immerse into the society, hospitality and culture of Rajasthan. During the summer months, because of the massive heat, the whole family usually sleeps on the rooftop.
Info Box
Location: Jodhpur or Setrawa, Rajasthan
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Hindi
In Jodhpur: Guest House; in Setrawa: Village House
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Social Worker, Teacher, Psychologist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: None (there is a charge for supervised psychology internships - see "Psychology">"Psychology Internship in Jodhpur")
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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