Volunteer organizations in Dharamsala

#1 Jun 11th, 2012, 05:09
Join Date:
Jun 2012
Location:
Seattle Wa
Posts:
10
  • Deirdra is offline
#1
I am planning to be in India (Dharmasala) in Oct. Nov. of 2012, and want to volunteer in both the Indian and Tibetian communities. I have found two organizations to volunteer with, they sound great but would like independent verification.

The organization in the Indian community has two websites:
volunteersindia.org and volunteeringindia.org

The Tibetian organization is lhasocialwork.org

If anyone has had experience with either organization, I would appreciate hearing how your experience was and if you would recommend. thanks, Deirdra
#2 Jul 12th, 2012, 21:29
Join Date:
Jan 2007
Location:
Canada
Posts:
593
  • Cardinal Divide is offline
#2
I am familiar with LHA. They have been around for a decade or more and have an excellent reputation.
I am not familiar with the other organization, but that doesn't mean that they are not good. (They obviously operate in Lower Dharamsala or the Kangra valley. I lived up in McLeod Ganj.) From their website, it appears that you only spend a couple of hours a day volunteering and the rest of the time is taken up with activities. This is good if you don't have more than a few weeks to volunteer and I like the home stay aspect. If you are planning to go for a long stay, you may want to consider setting up your volunteer work after you arrive and living on your own. McLeod Ganj has many furnished guest houses that rent by the month.
I know that LHA offers a service whereby for a fee, they pick you up at the airport in Delhi and arrange everything until you arrive in McLeod Ganj. I think this is a valuable service for those with limited time or who are nervous about going for the first time.
Let me know how long you are going for and I may be able to offer more specific advice. There is a great organization called Tong-Len which works in the slum in Lower Dharamsala. They usually require a minimum two week commitment and you are on your own in terms of accommodation etc. An excellent option if you have the time.
October is a wonderful time to go as the weather is great and there aren't huge crowds of tourists.
#3 Jul 14th, 2012, 13:44
Join Date:
Jul 2012
Location:
Hyderabad
Posts:
35
  • windshear is offline
#3
Deirdra : Just one suggestion -- If you have any query for Dharamshala / Himachal Pradesh, seek Cardinal Divide's advice. No need to look anywhere else.
[ Of course you can search IM ]
#4 Jul 26th, 2012, 03:28
Join Date:
Jun 2012
Location:
Seattle Wa
Posts:
10
  • Deirdra is offline
#4
Hello Cardinal Divide,
It seems you are the authority, I appreciate your input. I am using lha pick up and orientation service and will be volunteering with them for a month, they have been wonderful with
help by email. I have another 2 weeks after my month with them and was hoping to find a placement with an Indian organization Thank you for the suggestion of Tong Len, I will look into that. Or, I may decide to just use the two weeks for travel. Thanks again for responding, D
#5 Jul 30th, 2012, 22:20
Join Date:
Jan 2007
Location:
Canada
Posts:
593
  • Cardinal Divide is offline
#5
I only know the Dharamsala area and my knowledge is not all encompassing. There are some Indian charities that work in the Kangra Valley, below Dharamsala, but I don't know enough about most of them to make suggestions. If you are good with animals, there is one called Dharamsala Animal Rescue that does impressive and important work. Some might say, "Who cares about street dogs?" but even if you are not a fan of dogs, their health is important as they spread parasites and diseases. Spaying and neutering reduces pack sizes and bites. They also do procedures for free on pets of the poor. Dharamsala Animal Rescue has made a tremendous impact. http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/Site/Home.html
If you are into bringing donations, I know that Tong-Len's health team can really use non-stick burn dressings in large sizes. (Check that the expiry date is far off.)Every winter they treat kids with terrible burns as a result of burning plastic to keep warm. http://www.tong-len.org/
#6 Aug 10th, 2012, 03:52
Join Date:
Jun 2012
Location:
Seattle Wa
Posts:
10
  • Deirdra is offline
#6
Hello again Cardinal Divide, thank you for responding, I do appreicate
your taking the time, however, I have decided that I really should look around since I've never been to India before and there is so much
to see. So, instead of volunteering the first two weeks in Nov. I plan to see
some of the sights, ride a train, etc. I am all set to work with the Tibetan
refugees for the month of Oct. though and I appreciate your input on that.
after my trip I will post here to let people know what working with Lha was like for me. Rabsel and Kate, volunteer coordinators have a great help with setting up arrival help.
#7 Sep 22nd, 2012, 16:21
Join Date:
Sep 2012
Location:
Baltimore, MD, USA
Posts:
39
Send a message via Skype™ to Eric Tien
  • Eric Tien is offline
#7
I'm interested in volunteering around Dharamsala, maybe I'll check these out

Just landed in india 2 days ago!
#8 Oct 5th, 2012, 02:21
Join Date:
Sep 2012
Location:
Pune
Posts:
1
  • annkathi is offline
#8
Hey Deirdra,
I am also planning to be in McLeod in Oct/ Nov. of 2012- do you by any change have a good tip where to stay?
Cardinal Divide- did you as the Dharamshala Expert ever hear about the Misty Woods Hotel?
#9 Oct 11th, 2012, 21:24
Join Date:
Jan 2007
Location:
Canada
Posts:
593
  • Cardinal Divide is offline
#9
I don't know Misty Woods but it looks very familiar and it looks nice. (I'm not in McLeod now otherwise, I'd walk down Jogibara Road and check it out.) Contact them and ask exactly where it is located. You should start a new thread asking about McLeod Ganj accommodation be sure to mention your budget or at least what sort of place you want to stay in.
#10 Jul 15th, 2013, 00:52
Join Date:
Jul 2013
Location:
Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts:
22
  • Thelespauls is offline
#10
I have volunteered with "The Hope Center" an NGO helping to teach english to tibetan refugees (be warned, most are not children, but that does NOT make them any LESS vulnerable!!) I have helped out there 2 times in the past 3 years and the leader, Ku San is a truly great guy. They run a cafe as well that always needs help with staff volunteers. Most weeknights at the cafe they have some sort of program such as having ex-political prisoners telling their stories, documentary films, and my personal favorite- the Jam Sessions!!! I cannot champion this organization enough. Feel free to pm me for more info.

Nishant
#11 Jul 15th, 2013, 00:53
Join Date:
Jul 2013
Location:
Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts:
22
  • Thelespauls is offline
#11
oh yeah, it is located in mcleoud ganj down jogiwara road just passed the japanese restaurant
#12 Aug 17th, 2013, 19:27
Join Date:
Nov 2011
Location:
Nowhere
Posts:
132
  • MacleodlyGangings is offline
#12

Document now online about volunteering in McLeod Ganj

I have this summer completed a brand new guide to reaching, living, accommodation, volunteering and studying in McLeod Ganj. The prices are as of June 2013.

The document is at
http://www.tibetcharity.in/sites/default/files/vol_info_july2013_0.pdf
The document is not specific to Tibet Charity, it lists all the other organizations that need volunteers too. With many links.

Mod Note: Link Fixed
#13 Aug 18th, 2013, 10:10
Join Date:
Jan 2004
Location:
Ladakh
Posts:
3,421
  • NonIndianResident is offline
#13
Hmm, at first glance it looks like a detailed and useful document. However, I checked out the section most of interest to me and found it umm, weak:

"Our teachers come to India on tourist visas, if they come directly from their home countries then you will be able to get 6 month visas. Teachers who want to stay longer have to leave the country to renew their visa. Many choose to go to Nepal but then they can only get a 3 month extension. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get a 6 month extension unless your return to your home country.
One way round the problem is to get a Student Visa, which lasts for a up to a year. You can enroll in certain courses at the Tibetan library that will entitle you to apply for a Student Visa, but you need to attend."

1) This sounds like it's about volunteers in one unspecified organisation, no "all organisations" as you said above.
2) It is indeed true that most volunteers come on tourist visas, but that isn't quite legal, as you will see if you look at the official info online about Indian visas. Also, not all tourist visas are 6 mo; it depends on the citizenship of the applicant and other things.
3) It is not possible to go to Nepal and get an "extension" of an Indian visa. You can only apply for a new one from scratch. So the terms "renew" and "extension" are misleading.

A glitch you can probably fix easily: I opened both documents on a Mac but the first two pages of each had a lot of unrecognised characters and are unreadable. My computer does have Unicode Tibetan so that's not the problem.
#14 Dec 9th, 2013, 21:32
Join Date:
Nov 2011
Location:
Nowhere
Posts:
132
  • MacleodlyGangings is offline
#14
If you want to volunteer in McLeod Ganj don't be discouraged from reading the document by the last poster, it was never meant to be a definitive guide on the complex world of visas, it's really about reaching, living and volunteering in McLeod Ganj (the paragraph on visas is 6 lines in a of a 27 page document!!).

It it is at first glance, at second glance and at final glance a very "detailed and useful" document. It was put together to help people who are considering volunteering in McLeod and it was put together very carefully and responsibly to give you the confidence to take that first step into the unknown. It is most definitely useful for people intending to volunteer with ANY organization in the town, not just for Tibet Charity.
Last edited by MacleodlyGangings; Dec 10th, 2013 at 00:16.. Reason: ur?

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success