Event / Project details

Project start
22 Jul 2013
Event / Project end

Event / Project duration
This project is ongoing

Event / Project ID

Event / Project Name
Event / Project City
Event / Project Country
Preferred skills
You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just lots of enthusiasm and ability to give disadvantaged children love, care and attention.
Number of volunteers

Minimum age
Event / Project types
Child welfare and Education

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Brief overview


If you love small babies and young children this project is perfect for you! Your work at the orphanage in the temple town of Madurai is very hands on and rewarding and you will fall in love instantly with the children with smiles that will melt your heart. You really will make a difference to their lives.

“They’ve made me laugh so much, they’re amazing kids and I wish I could take them all home!! The adoptions I got to witness were a particular highlight for me, it was so lovely to see the children finally have loving parents and knowing they will now have a good chance in life. There was never a dull moment in the orphanage – I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard but it was SO worth it.” Daisy Axtell-Powell


Start Dates

All year round - you choose your start and finish dates!


Minimum stay 1 week and up to 1 year, subject to visa requirements


You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just lots of enthusiasm and ability to give disadvantaged children love, care and attention.


From £795 for 1 week, ranging to £2,395 for 12 weeks.

Full Price List and other Currencies

What's included ►Accommodation ►Food (excluding lunch) ►Meeting you at the Airport ►Transfer to your accommodation ►Transport to and from your project ►Full pre-departure support ►Local in-country team support and backup ►24-hr emergency support Free T-shirt.

What's not included

Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required, but we'll provide necessary documents and assistance), Return transfer to airport.

Who can do this Project?

All our projects are open to all nationalities.

Unless otherwise stated, you need to be aged between 16 and 70+


The main care centre where we work is at a home for victims of female infanticide and abandoned children. Their mission is to help them first to survive and then to ensure the right of the child to a family. There are around 20 children at the orphanage, but this number changes frequently as new children are brought in or are adopted. 

All of the children’s backgrounds are heartbreaking; some of them have been found abandoned in nearby churches or temples and others are surrendered by their parents. The children are all in desperate need of tender loving care ... and this is where you come in!


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into beautiful India and it's fascinating culture.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market

And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


Your work will be very hands-on as you will be dealing with all of the children - be prepared to get very grubby!! Your work load and responsibilities will depend on your abilities and attitude to your work and you'll assume more responsibilities as you grow in confidence and as the staff's confidence in you grows. You should be supervised all of the time while you are there, and you will be given help and directions. Your work may include some or all of the following:

  • Helping the staff wash and dress the older children
  • Bottle feed the babies
  • Changing nappies
  • Feeding the older children
  • Teaching basic English and Maths
  • Teaching the older children nursery rhymes
  • Organising and facilitating games for the children

By playing games with the children you also encourage confidence building. It also encourages children to use English in an informal way, and even with the younger children it gives them exposure to the language at an early age. Playing games may seem irrelevant on the surface, but it helps to build up team spirit and skills, leadership skills, dexterity and quick thinking, and a healthy competitive spirit. It also gives them a more developed ability to interact with their peers.

 For many of the older children, you are able to integrate education into games and also help with homework etc. Where children are not taught at the orphanage you will help these on their return from school in the afternoon.

 Volunteers normally work at the orphanage in the mornings when it is at its busiest and the additional help that you provide is really appreciated. You can take your lunch with you and eat with the staff and finish after the babies are fed at 2pm. You can choose to work longer hours but it is very exhausting and challenging work and you may appreciate the afternoon off to relax and unwind.

"Your tasks are fairly routine and repetitive, but really you’re there to give the children individual attention that the full-time nurses don’t always have time to provide. That’s the most important thing you’ll do there – may not feel like much, but it’s so important for them as some of the children’s’ social skills and ability to interact with people are a bit poor. Plus it’s very rewarding to just be there to make them laugh and feel a bit loved! - Aliki Salter

You may also have the opportunity to work at a boy’s home in the evenings. The boys are aged between 7 to 18 years of age and all of them attend local schools during the day and return to the home in the evenings. The boys are semi-orphans and they are resident at the home and go back to their families only in the holidays. When they arrive back after school, they have a few chores and then there is an hour of play time. At this time you can go along and interact with them by organising games (they love cricket and football!) or just going to chat to them. 

When the games session is over there is an hour and a half of study time. You can choose to stay and help them with their homework at this time or help them practice their conversational English. Again, this is a very rewarding project and the boys with be overjoyed to meet you.


  • 1-Week Intensive Tamil Language Course prior to starting your project. Learning a little Tamil will enhance your time in India immeasurably, as you’ll find out things about the culture and the way of life that someone without language skills simply wouldn’t have access to!
  • Tamil Language Lessons with a private tutor taken at the same time as your main project. Courses range in length to suit your needs.
  • Yoga and Meditation Lessons: You have the choice of combining the two or focussing on Yoga on its own. These courses vary in length to be done as an optional extra to your main project. Start the day with yoga and meditation – it’ll set you up for the day!
  • Cookery Courses: Cooking is an institution in India. If you’d like to learn how to cook some of the mouth-watering dishes this is the perfect way to do it; you’ll be able to choose from an extensive choice of recipes, visit the market to purchase the fresh produce and then learn how to cook the south Indian style food with your own private chef! Again, this activity runs concurrently with your main project.


Your accommodation could comprise of either staying with a host family or living in a Travellers flat. In either accommodation you may share a room with another Travellers volunteer. The accommodation you’ll be allocated to will depend on which project you’re doing and the number of volunteers there at the same time as you. However, if you have a preference for either a host family or staying in a flat, we will do our best to accommodate you.

Host Family

For a complete Indian experience we can arrange for you to stay with one of the wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family. 

You may share a room with one other volunteer; and you may have an en-suite western style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you. 

All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the centre of town. Our staff in Madurai also lives close-by.


Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.

Volunteer Flat

Our volunteer flat is situated close to all our host families. This option gives you the chance to live within the local community whilst at the same time retaining your independence. This newly built flat is very modern, spacious, light and airy. It has a well kitted out kitchen and large lounge area with satellite TV, DVD and a good selection of DVDs for your entertainment. There is also a balcony on which to relax with a cool drink and a book and gets a wonderfully refreshing evening breeze to keep you cool!

 You will be provided with a food budget giving you the option to either cook for yourself or sample the local restaurants. Eating out is extremely cheap in Madurai. You’ll be able to sample excellent south Indian Thali’s and Dosa’s. There are two supermarkets within walking distance of the flat selling everything from groceries to clothes and also a well stocked fruit and vegetable department. Many of the hotels in town have roof top restaurants offering incredible views across the town with the dramatic Sri Meenakshi Temple silhouetted on the skyline. Most restaurants are good quality and you can sample north as well as south Indian dishes along with a small selection of western food. Vegetarian food is in abundance! Bakeries and snack shops are on every street and you must try the delicious fruit; there is so much choice; mango, pineapple, watermelon, custard apples and jackfruit make a very refreshing option and coconut water is also delicious.


To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme, please click here.


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