Volunteering in Goa at El Shaddai
Volunteering is a golden opportunity to give back to the community by sharing our time and talents in making good happen. If you are looking at volunteering in Goa, we need volunteers with various skillsets to help us throughout the year.
At El Shaddai, we run the Shanti Niketan School in Assagao. This is a non-formal school for children from underprivileged communities in Goa. The role of the volunteers within the school is vital in providing skills training and individual attention to the children.
We also need volunteers to help with activities at our shelters and community centres across Goa.
How Volunteers can Help
Volunteers are deployed according to the needs of El Shaddai with a view to utilize the volunteers’ skills. Examples of this are helping the children with their studies; giving extra tuition for those who need it; helping our teachers and children with arts & craft, dressmaking, sports, carpentry or masonry work; imparting education in health care and hygiene in the slum communities.
Whatever your skills, we would love you to come and join us. However spoken English is required in order to communicate effectively with us and our children. Please let us know when completing the volunteer application form what skills you have and what you would like to help us with. We’re sure you will find working with us very rewarding and fulfilling.
A Typical Volunteers’ Week
During the week, you may find yourself helping in our School, one of our Shelters or Community Centres or in the slums. Then you may be asked to help at our stall at the Wednesday Anjuna Flea Market. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons we have a beach programme, when we take our resident children to the beach for fun and games.
Breakfast food items will be given to you so you can eat in your accommodation. Lunch will be provided at the Day Shelters.
At School a “lunch pack” will be given. You cook your own evening meal, for which we provide basic foodstuffs, comparable to that provided in our Homes. If you wish to eat out or have more luxurious food that is at your expense.
To aid better efficiency in the volunteer programme, volunteers are asked to arrive on the first or third Monday in the month and to leave on a Friday. If this conflict with University term dates etc., please discuss alternatives with our Volunteer Co-coordinator.
Pre-requisites for Volunteering at El Shaddai in Goa
- A DBS or Police check
- A good level of spoken English
- A willingness to adapt to the culture, work hard, help and make a difference
We have a responsibility to ensure all volunteers who work with us have a clear police check, this is in line with our Child Protection policy. Most of our children and staff have a good level of spoken English, so to enable communication; a good level of spoken English is a requirement.
Cost of Volunteering
For the first 4 weeks of your stay we ask for a £500 donation, this is divided as below:
- £100 will cover your accommodation
- £100 will cover your food
- £25 will cover the cost of your airport transfers
- £75 will cover the cost of induction and co-ordination
- £200 is a donation to the charity
For stays of more than four weeks, £100 (or equivalent) per week thereafter – this includes accommodation, food, coordination and a donation for the charity.
Please note: The equivalent amount of £500/£100 per week can be paid either in Dollars or Euros.
El Shaddai Policy for Volunteers
It is mandatory to comply with the following:
- To wear your ID badges at all times on site (this will be provided when you arrive, during your Induction).
- Always wear suitable clothing whilst around our staff and children (cover your shoulders and knees).
- We will provide 2 T-shirts; these must be worn at all times while on duty with either three quarter or long trousers or skirt (not mini).
When on beach duty, ladies should wear a top – El Shaddai T-shirt with shorts over your bikini/swimsuit. Men should wear swimming shorts, not trunks and a top El Shaddai T-shirt.
- Always remove your shoes when entering our Homes.
- Smoking and / or drinking of alcohol is NOT PERMITTED when on duty or in any El Shaddai Accommodation.
Favouritism and Do’s and Don’ts
It is often difficult during your time with the children not to have “favourites”. We always insist all children are treated in the same way, so please do not give anything to one child if you are not able to give to all the children in the Centre.
Please do not give any gifts or items to a child without first consulting the House In Charge or another member of staff in their absence. No gifts to staff or visits to staff homes as this cause distrust. Please be sensitive to the local culture at all times, remember if a single girl is left un-chaperoned with a man, they are considered to have been defiled and the family may disown them or worse.
Goa is one of the most westernized States in India, as well as being a highly lucrative tourist area. English is widely spoken and many westernized values and ideas influence daily life. However, the majority of our children come from other States, which have not been exposed to many of the western values we take for granted. The same applies to many of our staff and we would always ask you to be respectful and sensitive to their views and culture at all times.
DO NOT offer to take the children anywhere or spend time alone with a child without a member of staff being present as this is against our Child Protection Policy.
Please DO NOT discuss problems or complaints with the house staff or children as this may cause distress or start rumours. Please come directly to Matthew, Anita or Julia if you are unable to speak to your volunteer coordinator.
Obviously, we want your stay with El Shaddai to be as enjoyable as possible but please remember the primary objective of your visit is to support the children and their welfare must always be your first priority. Please respect there are sometimes very different ways of doing things in India to where you may come from!
Arrival in Goa
On arrival at Dabolim Airport, Goa volunteers will be picked up at the airport by a member of our staff. Please look out for your name on a board. If more than one volunteer is arriving on the same day, you may be advised that there will be a wait at the airport before pick-up.
From the airport, we will drive you to your allocated volunteer accommodation. Once you have settled into your accommodation we will arrange for you to have your Induction.
As part of your induction we will introduce you to the team, have an ID badge made, supply you with your ES branded tops (to be worn at all times when working for ES), and answer any questions you may have. You will visit some of our Homes and Shelters, including our School.
Accommodation for Volunteers in Goa
We try to keep males and females in separate properties but sometimes this is not possible. Please clearly inform us if this is a requirement for you. Both of our properties are basic Indian standard.
The properties where we house our volunteers have either AC or fans and mosquito nets at the doors and windows so mosquito nets aren’t a requirement, however if you plan to travel in India it may be worth bringing a net.
The Volunteer Coordinator (Johny P., Mob no: 9225901274 ) will take care of all your needs while you are with us. If you need any assistance, advice, require medical attention etc. please contact him. He will arrange airport transfer to your accommodation, food and your work programme.
Transport to and from the place of work
Please be aware that driving conditions and practices are different to what you are used to. Bus fares are cheap depending on distance (no journey should cost you more than Rs 40).
Scooters can be hired at your own risk; we can arrange this for you for approximately Rs 250 – 300 per day depending on the season. It is compulsory that you wear a helmet at all times which will be provided with the scooter.
Useful Information when Volunteering in Goa
Goa is a beautiful State, we would recommend you see as much of it as possible. The main tourist areas in the north are between Candolim, Calangute & Baga. However, your nearest beach is at Vagator which is within cycling distance from Assagao. The beaches in Goa are beautiful sandy beaches stretching for miles but as you can imagine the main beaches do get crowded at times. Most beach shacks are open during the Tourist Season, offering good value food and drinks, many offer free sun beds.
There are many secluded beaches north of the Chapora River such as Morjim, Ashvem and Mandrem they have “huts” that you can stay in overnight if you fancy “getting away from it all” for the weekend. The food in Goa is excellent, catering for international tastes as well as local Indian food.
The standard of food hygiene is very high, due to the demands of the tourist industry. Most of the shacks and restaurants use filtered water for their ice and take care with their food preparation. However, we would recommend you only eat where there is a good water source and food that is thoroughly cooked. If you have any doubts, please inquire.
Buses are very cheap and run every few minutes between towns or about every half an hour between the Homes and Mapusa, Panjim or Calangute.
Goa is warm all year around, usually varying from 28 degrees C to 36 degrees C. The Monsoon period usually starts towards the end of May and continues to the end of September. Between November and January, the days are warm and the evenings a little cooler, then from February to April the weather gets gradually warmer with May being one of the hottest and humid months of the year.
Volunteering in Goa: Next Steps
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com and let the Sponsorship Representative/Volunteer Coordinator know that you are interested in volunteering. Complete the application form including dates etc and send it to him/her.
Begin getting your DBS or police check, as we will need a copy of this for documentation purpose.
Send your required donation on line through our website or if you are from UK, to our UK office with completed Gift Aid Form if you are a UK Taxpayer.
Once all the above is cleared and Sponsorship Representative/Volunteer Coordinator has confirmed the dates and received payments, you need a tourist Visa, travel insurance (compulsory), references, you can book your flight.
We are always ready to listen to new ideas; should you have any suggestions, queries or problems during your stay, please write them down and put them in the suggestion box provided or contact your Volunteer Coordinator.
Towards the end of your stay you will be asked to complete an ‘end of stay questionnaire’ this will give you an opportunity to voice your opinions or any concerns you may have.
Happy Volunteering in Goa!
Have a comment or query? Get in touch with us:
Address: El Shaddai House Socol Vaddo, Assagao Goa-403507
Charity Reg. No: 009/IV/Vol.1 80G Tax Exemption No.: CIT/PNJ/E-1/142/80G/2009-10/944
FCRA Reg. No: 271830134, 12A Reg. No.: 718/E-2/12A/CIT/PNJ/1999-2000
Note: Donations to El Shaddai Charitable Trust is eligible for 50% Tax Exemption under 80G (Indian nationals only)
UK Address: 5, Manor Court, Victoria Square, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6AA
Phone: 01409 254876 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reg. Charity No.1076768