Women Empowerment Program | Volunteer India

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About

Our Women Empowerment Volunteer Program in India help you to support women in their pursuit of healthy and sustainable livelihoods. Women’s groups provide a forum for issues such as family health, women’s rights, and access to resources, income generation, and other challenges women face in their daily lives. Volunteers have the opportunity to exchange ideas, collaborate in ongoing projects. You can also provide support in many other ways, depending on your skills and interests and the needs of the local community.
Recently we have brought changes to our Women Empowerment Project. We have mixed the women empowerment program with the work with children of rural areas in Jaipur, India. So the volunteers have the opportunity to work with both women and children in 1 project.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Olga
10/10

Good Choice

I found the Women’s Empowerment Jaipur Program run by Volunteering With India through online – I knew it was perfect for me right away. It twigged a nerve within me, and it was exactly what I have been looking for. I feel very strongly that all women – no matter where they are from, deserve respect, dignity and also to have confidence in whatever they are doing. I have a background in Psychology, so I hope to gain further insight as to how women work and manage themselves in turbulent times. I would also like to know how we can help them gain a sense of control of the things that they can control. I’m sure there is a common theme of how women cope with challenges across the globe – and I am excited to learn more about what it is.
My arrival to the Jaipur, airport was seamless and easy. As I walked out of the airport amongst the crowds of people, I saw Ravinder with a sign board of Volunteering With India. During my flight I had a lot of random thoughts and ‘what ifs’ if my driver wasn’t there or there was a miscommunication of when I landed. So it was comforting to know that the program is very well organized! I spoke to Sukret as we were driving to the accommodation. He was checking to see how my flight was and if I needed anything – very thoughtful and nice of him seeing as it was 1230am!!
When we arrived to the accommodation I was pleasantly surprised. The rooms and house in general is so lovely and clean. The family greet me in Namaste and made a very good welcome.
The next day I met the other volunteers who were here from last 8 weeks. There were mix of volunteer as some are Doing with Elephant Project and some are doing childcare program. We were encouraged by Sukret (who has been so lovely and helpful) to get to know each other and settle in. We were provided with our meals by host mother. She is the most amazing chef! She has cooked us some beautiful traditional Indian meals – full of flavor and a real kick of spiciness.
We had a tour of the famous tourist spots of Jaipur on a Tuk-Tuk and enjoyed observing the organized chaos of it all! We also went to Monkey Palace where hundreds of monkey.
On the Monday we had the pleasure in meeting Govind – who is the other facilitator of the Women program. It was lovely to have an introduction to the women we will be working with that afternoon. I could see in their faces the true beauty of them all. I was excited for them to share their stories about who they are and what their ambitions are for the future. Overall – the general vibe was very positive which was shown through their kindness and interest in us and what we will be helping them to do.
The next day we got into the swing of things and started facilitating the program for the women. I ran a session discussing self-confidence and self-compassion. It was really interesting to see how all the women reacted. Some were very shy, and almost embarrassed when they were prompted to think about the core strengths of their personality. I really loved facilitating the discussion and I would be more than happy to know that at least one person learned something new that they could practice at home. My fellow ‘volunteer-er’ ran a workshop on English grammar. This is where their interest is also. They said that in order for them to be confident about themselves and also about getting a job – they need to improve their English. We all agreed to have an English grammar section, but also 30-45 mins of just practicing having conversations in English. Overall, the first session was a huge success with many giggles and smiles. The women were so kind and lovely.
So far so good with Volunteering With India! The main thing I enjoy is not having an absolutely non-negotiable strict schedule. Sukret and Govind are very flexible. Nothing is ever a problem and they give us plenty of time to take things in and do whatever we please (within reason of course!). I will be returning soon to India in near future that's sure.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Steven
9/10

An amazing experience

I was looking for a program that would enable me to help out either children or women who are disadvantaged and don’t have opportunities to break free from the poverty cycle.
This program was amazing for helping me do that.
I went specifically to help with the women’s empowerment program and ended up also helping in a day care center and also a boys shelter.
My role was to teach English though I think they got as much out of just having someone come and spend time with them.
VWI helped massively with all the logistics from airport pickup, finding accommodation, transport to and from the volunteer location and all sorts of other areas.
On top of that Govind and Sukret took us out at night and made us feel very much a part of the local culture.
VWI have great connections with numerous local charities and
I would highly recommend using them to make your volunteering in India an unforgettable experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cecilia
10/10

Great experience

I had a great time doing this program, teaching English in Jaipur. It was a great way for me to gain meaningful experiences for the future, an amazing opportunity to meet new people and to see the world from a new perspective. My recommendations for future participants would be to prepare well, and to have as much fun as possible during your stay. The time goes faster than you would imagine. Also, use the weekends to see the many different places around Jaipur and India, arranged by the program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Niclas
10/10

An experience of a lifetime

I did this program for four weeks. It was certainly an experience that I will not forget, and something that I would recommend to anyone.
The people who took our classes were very eager to learn and very nice people overall, they even wished my mother a happy birthday!
My tip for any future participant is to come well prepared and to have an open mind. Make use of the time that you have here

Yes, I recommend this program
vwi
MELISSA
10/10

Amazing Experience and People

I spent a week volunteering for the Woman Empowerment program and taught English to a group of nearly fifty wonderful women. Both groups were on slightly different English levels. I had to improvise the first day with a lesson, then the next couple of days I'd have something prepare before the class. The women loved group exercises that allowed them to practice with each other and also everyone's pronunciation a loud and in front of the group. They were shy at the beginning, but always warm, welcoming, focused, ready to learn. They always had a smile on their faces. I was impressed on how driven and smart the group was and how grateful they were.
I used to teach from 12-4:30 and got back home around 5pm, so there's time to sightseeing locally in between.

Sukret was very helpful from the beginning, promptly responded to emails and any questions I had. He welcomed me at the host family house; where a lovely family ensure we felt comfortable and provided homemade meals everyday. Tip: Bring your own mosquito net if you don't want to get bitten. I installed mine using a command strip and I only got bitten once because that night I did not use it. The house has wifi, fan and a dessert cooler. You get your own room with bathroom.

The organization's driver was very kind and professional - it was fun commuting to work on a tuk tuk everyday. Due that I was traveling solo, I hired on my own a private driver to take me sightseeing in Jaipur the day before I started volunteering, went to the Taj Mahal and back to New Delhi to fly out to Nepal. Unfortunately, I did not have any additional time to spend on trips with other volunteers, but it was nice getting to know another volunteer at the host family house. If you want to see some of the places I had a chance to check out in Jaipur you can see them on Instagram @m.elissaponce

How can this program be improved?
The program can be improved by providing more guidance about what the assignment will be, so volunteers can prepare in advance, bring any materials (if needed), know what topics the group has already covered with other volunteers.
Yes, I recommend this program
Karen
Karen
9/10

A fun and rewarding experience!

In March 2017, my 14 yr old daughter and I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Womens Empowerment group.
It was a wonderful experience getting to know the girls. At first everyone was a little shy, but over the course of the week, we became a part of the group.
This experience gave us a small insight into the local culture and the opportunity to interact, share, and positively impact the lives of the women we met.
We learned about the challenges these women face in their society, as well as the joy they get from being in a supportive environment that allows them to learn valuable skills which they can take and use in their community.
There was no set program for us to follow, so we improvised, teaching the girls a little English, then joined in with them in their henna drawing and sewing classes.
We became models for the girls to practice their new hair dressing skills, nail polish techniques and latest henna hand designs. They also taught us some great Bollywood dance moves in an impromptu dance class, providing an invaluable lesson in self confidence for everyone.
As part of the program, we also spent some time each afternoon in a children's after school program near the women's centre in rural Jaipur. The kids were keen to learn and practice their English, keeping us busy with setting math problems, marking book work and playing games.

The Volunteer with India program was a great package and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a grass roots experience.
The host family was very welcoming and caring, feeding us very well with an abundance of traditional meals. Our assigned driver, a happy guy named Totaram, promptly picked us up each day for our assignment, doubled as our weekend tour guide on our day off and occasionally took us for chai at the local stall ‘after work’.
A great experience overall - I would highly recommend this program!!

How can this program be improved?
Have a set plan for the volunteers. There was a lack of instruction on what would be the most beneficial way to assist during the time with the women.
It would be great if the organization could provide more information about the women and projects/activities they will be working on during the volunteer time, prior to your arrival.
This would allow the volunteer to bring ideas, supplementary materials, additional activities or skills along, which could be integrated into the program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sonia
10/10

Highly Recommend the Program

Having spent 3 weeks as a volunteer for the women empowerment program, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wishing to join the women program. The variety of volunteer workshops/programs balanced well with free time allowing me to explore and soak up the local community and culture. I also found the VWI team to be extremely warm, helpful and generous with their time ensuring all needs of volunteers were met. The absolute highlight for me was teaching young girls who had a burning desire to learn, My only regret was that my teenage daughter and I could not stay longer.

Yes, I recommend this program
Adrienne
10/10

Interesting and fun!

In March 2014 I spend two weeks volunteering with India, one week I spent working in the popular Elephant program, while the second week I spent working in the women's program.
This program is a bit different than how I imagined it. The women and girls come for the program after school or work. There are older women, and young teenage girls typically.
In this program, the women learn pretty much any skill work that they can use to generate an income for themselves. In some cases the women have been thrown out of their husband's family. With no where to go, as most of their own families will not take them back due to shame, these women need to learn a skill set to support themselves. Other women and girls come to learn a skill in order to help provide for their families.
The women learn how to sew clothes, by hand and with a sewing machine. They learn how to make patterns for clothes as well. Hair braiding, eyebrow threading, makeup, henna, and manicures are also taught.
As someone from a western culture, at first this seemed somewhat sexist to me. Volunteering in a women's empowerment program to teach them how to sew and do makeup? Kind of ironic. However, India is not a culture that is accustom to women working. Women get married to a man their family arranges for them. They move into their in law's house with their husband. They live under their husband's mother and father, and do all the cleaning and cooking for the household.
In a part of India where tourism thrives, there are many western women who want to buy a traditional Saree, get henna designs done on their hands, have their hair braided in a traditional Indian style, or have their eyebrows done and nails manicured. Learning these skills is a sure way for these women to generate income for themselves and support themselves, and even opens up a doorway for them to start their own business. What better way to empower a women than to give her a way to make her own money and own her own business without a man?
As a volunteer in this program, you primarily teach the women and girls English. This is essential, as most of their ability to make an income depends on communicating with tourists.
It is a bit challenging, as you have women and girls of all ages, some of whom are completely illiterate in their own language, and others (the teenage girls in particular, as they learn English in school) who are almost fluent in English.
If you have someone else working with you, splitting the women into groups based on skill level can be helpful.
Even if you are alone, the women all basically need to learn to speak English rather than reading or writing it. Talking with them, helping them with pronunciation, proper sentence structure, using "I" vs "me", plural forms, and just getting them used to talking in English with a native English speaker (many of the women and girls are shy) is very helpful.
Utilize the younger more fluent girls to help the ones that know less or no English. These girls get bored easily and will start to chatter amongst themselves.
Other things that would be helpful to teach them would be basic math and business skills such as how to determine how much money you need for the week, and how many sarees or henna you're going to need to sell in order to make that money (how to determine a profit.)
After you are finished, the girls usually have the "beauty" portion of their class. This time is fun for them (and you), especially the teenage girls. They may ask you to be their dummy while they do your hair, makeup, nails and practice henna.
I enjoyed this part of the day, and also is a good time to talk to the girls in English about their life, and your life back at home.
You do have a translator with you when you volunteer here, transportation, accommodation, meals, local weekend tours, and air port pick up/drop off are all included.
Overall a fun program that really opens up your eyes to being a woman or girl in a non western culture.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About Volunteering With India

Volunteering With India gives you opportunity to work in India for various development volunteering program including work with children, Orphanage work, Work with elephants,Women empowerment & Theater Volunteer program.