START DATES

EVERY MONTH

PRICED FROM

$1485 + $249 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

6-12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD

REAL ASIA ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Asia Encounter takes in Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. We seriously can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over a mind blowing 6, 9 or 12 weeks. South Asia is an area that varies from the steep mountain ranges of the Himalayas that perches between Nepal and Bhutan, to the tranquil and picturesque islands of Sri Lanka and Maldives all engulfed around the powerhouse and dominating presence that India brings with it. South Asia’s abundance in physical diversity and variety is one of its standout features.

 

Your first stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture, 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites, endless beaches, lush rainforests, welcoming people, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea, oodles of elephants, wonderful food and so, so much more. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!

 

Your time on this largely undiscovered little island, will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth as well as make a positive difference volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda runs throughout the year and you will have a choice of; Teaching English, Construction & Renovation Project; Medical Experience or Sea Turtle Conservation.

 

Your next stop is India. Architectural splendours, chaotic street life, tranquil havens and culture shocks are all guaranteed on your 4 week adventure to this vast, endlessly diverse and hugely inspiring country. India’s Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Jaipur, capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to the iconic Amber Fort as well as some of Asia’s best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi, the sprawling, fascinating Indian capital, and not see it all, while Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal, adorning the banks of the Yamuna river.

 

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties; teach English to help children reach their full potential; gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programmes; become engaged in the lives of underprivileged children in childcare homes.

 

Your last stop is Nepal which has been a hotspot for travellers, dating back many years. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still catching up – one of the many reasons that makes it such a fascinating country. Its landscape is diverse and harsh yet beautiful beyond belief. Many of its people live in poverty yet remain as proud and welcoming as ever. You may leave Nepal at the end of your 4 weeks but you are certain never to forget it.

 

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-do’s’ on Nepal’s list. You can choose to volunteer and live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English and learning about their way of life; teach young people English to give them a much better future through education or make a difference to the lives of neglected children in this visually arresting, off the beaten track destination.

 

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. It will be an unforgettable 6-12 weeks!

VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

SRI LANKA DOG SHELTER

Being a dog in Sri Lanka is a tough life. One of the first things you’ll notice is the vast number of strays wandering the beaches and streets. The rising number of street dogs across Sri Lanka poses many risks and challenges, including poor treatment, terrible injuries, malnutrition, untreated diseases and the concern of human deaths caused by rabies. Help protect and care for these wonderful canines and improve the animal-human relationship in the community.

 

Rabies is a fatal disease which is transmitted by various animals, but in Sri Lanka, it is most prevalent amongst dogs. This viral infection is spread via the saliva of a rabid animal; hence it can be passed on through a bite or contact with an open wound. Unfortunately, rabies will continue to exist until there are further efforts to eliminate it. There are a large number of dog bite cases in Sri Lanka, which is a cause for concern for tourists and locals alike, as well as creating huge bills for Government hospital treating the victims. This fear leads to poor treatment of stray dogs and poor awareness of how the local community can help.

 

The Sri Lankan Government have recently adopted more humane methods to control the population and spread of rabies, focusing now on neutering and vaccinating stray dogs. As a result, there has been a significant drop in the number of human rabies deaths and incidents. Our mission is to continue these efforts in our local community.

 

By offering vaccinations and neutering it helps to manage the population of stray dogs and reduce the risk of diseases, especially rabies. Many female strays produce multiple litters each year, many of which are dumped at temples or on the roadside. These puppies have a low chance of survival, as they are at high risk of contracting diseases, malnutrition or being involved in road traffic accidents.

 

The team have an on-call rescue facility to transport dogs that have been found injured, disabled or abandoned. They will be brought back to the project so the team can conduct a general health check and provide assistance. At the Dog Shelter, you can observe or assist the Vet with their weekly general check-ups, vaccinations, medical treatment or minor surgeries.

 

This programme aims to improve the wellbeing of street dogs in the local area by providing a safe home for vulnerable, sick and disabled dogs, with daily care, vaccinations, rehabilitation and rehoming. Your extra pair of helping hands enables the project to provide enough care and love for all the canines, as well as preventing rabies and improving the situation in the local community.

 

The shelter also tries to find new loving homes for the healthy vaccinated dogs with local families, with education about how to properly care for their new pet. You can help to produce and provide animal welfare education to the community, to improve the understanding, attitude and treatment between humans and dogs. The aim is to introduce this on a community level and bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis and if it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team in-country who will make the appropriate arrangements.

 

You will spend your days assisting with the daily tasks and care for the dogs living in the shelter – typical duties include:

 

– Cleaning, maintaining hygiene and upkeep in the project premises and bedding areas
– Preparing meals (for example cooking chicken, rice, fish) and feeding the dogs
– Play time and socialisation with the dogs
– Walking and exercising
– Showering and washing the dogs
– Training the dogs
– Assisting with medication
– Grooming and checking for ticks
– Creating and maintaining documentation for dog profiles (history, vaccinations etc) and site visits
– Caring for sick/disabled/injured dogs
– Animal welfare education

 

If you are a veterinary student you may be able to assist in more tasks, this will depend on your level of knowledge, experience and qualifications in this area. Generally, you may be able to help with the sick, injured or disabled dogs, or with vaccinations or neutering procedures.

 

PMGY’s Dog Shelter project in Sri Lanka is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to help protect are care for these lovely animals whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels.

SRI LANKA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

Join us in the central province of Sri Lanka and play a key role in the education, research and conservation of wild elephants in the area. Based in Wasgamuwa National Park, this is the only national park in the whole of the central province where you will encounter elephants in their natural habitats. Famous for its large number of elephant herds, volunteers will engage in a wide range of conservation techniques across the working week to see how these elephants live and mobilise in their natural setting, monitor their behaviours and movements and help provide solutions and education to the conflicts that exist between the elephant population and multiple villages all located within the Wasgamuwa area.

 

Over the past 50 years, the elephant population in Sri Lanka has reduced substantially. Nearly 5,000 elephant deaths in this period are believed to be a direct result of the conflict that exists between humans and elephants in Sri Lanka. In the present day, human-elephant conflict is said to be responsible for around 300 elephant deaths and 80 human deaths annually in Sri Lanka.

 

So what is human-elephant conflict? The simplest explanation would be the elephant and human population not getting along. One of the main instigators of this is competition for spaces. On one side of the coin, it is humans encroaching onto the territory of elephants and habitats shrinking daily. On the other side of the coin, rising populations and urbanisation challenges sees elephants having nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food. This is much to the dismay of many poor farmers who haven’t changed their daily lives and routines for generations, but see their crops, villages and ultimately livelihoods being threatened.

 

To expand on this, destruction of forests through logging, encroachment and shifting cultivation are some examples of major threats to the survival of elephants. Conflicts occur when elephants raid crops of shifting cultivators in fields, which are scattered over a large area with a range of forests. Devastation and destruction in human settlements is another major area of human-elephant conflict occurring in small forest pockets, encroachments into elephant habitat, and on elephant migration routes. Thousands of homes are destroyed by elephant herds and millions of dollars worth of crops damage arise wrecking livelihoods and incomes across rural farming communities.

 

Wasgamuwa National Park and the core base of our volunteer programme set up represents an area where human-elephant conflict is at its highest. Established in 1995 originally by a team of biologists, the project aimed to establish root causes to the conflict and work with the local people to educate and establish systems and processes that maintained their livelihood, safety without the opportunity cost of elephant casualty and allowing wild elephants to prosper in their natural habitat. Working directly with 12 of the villages based in the Wasgamuwa area where human-elephant conflict is high, your role on this programme will be aiding the research and conservation techniques to halt the reduction of this wonderful endangered species in tandem with helping the communities and villages learn to live side by side this amazing creature.

 

Working alongside local biologists, research assistants and conservationists to help conduct research, you will get involved in a number of activities in the fields of conservation and research all with the ultimate aim off reducing human-elephant conflict and endorsing long-lasting land use.

 

Based on the outskirts of the wild Wasgamuwa National Park you will be working in one of the most spectacular and tranquil places across the globe. Your day will be split into morning and afternoon activities often working in subgroups depending on the volunteer numbers to ensure conservation techniques and research can be maximised and your role is varied and meaningful. The timings of each activity are set in routine around minimising the impact on the elephant’s usual daily cycle. Listed below are examples of some of these varied tasks you will get involved with and categorised into two main goals of the project; reducing human-elephant conflict to protect elephants and help the local community as well as protecting elephants through conservation techniques.

 

REDUCING HUMAN-ELEPHANT CONFLICT

 

Throughout your time on the project you will work closely with the local villages to help them live compatibly with elephants. The main goal is too naturally decrease the conflict and repercussions that follows this between humans and elephants. Your role in this includes:

 

– Observing wild elephants and human-elephant interactions.
– Human-elephant conflict surveys – visit village homes that had been raided by elephants.
– Monitoring electric fences erected to stop elephants from raiding village homes. Walk the length of solar-powered electric fences erected to protect villages and their fields identifying the need for maintenance and repair along the way.
– Meeting with community leaders to monitor human-elephant conflict resolution projects.
– Elefriendly community bus established in 2015! You can travel on the bus early in the morning when school children are transported to school and home through the elephant corridor. The bus is funded fully by the project and educates the children on living alongside the elephants and has been funded directly through the project and volunteer fees. Before the bus, many children would not go to school or turn back home should they encounter an elephant on the long walking commute.
– Project Orange Campaigns – Research by the team has found elephants dislike citrus flavours. Your role is working alongside the team to educate and promote citrus based crops/deterrents within the village communities of Wasgamuwa to protect and conserve their crops, property and livelihoods. Help farmers to take care of their orange groves, check for diseases and pests, dig holes to plant new orange plants, during the fruiting season help count fruits, harvest and sort them for sale. The project will provide transport costs for the farmers to take them to the markets for sale with the long-term aim to get into supply with Sri Lanka’s largest supermarket supply chain.

 

PROTECTING ELEPHANTS THROUGH CONSERVATION TECHNIQUES

 

Here you will use an array of technology, observations and conservation techniques as you monitor elephants closely in order to help develop strategies to conserve and protect the local wildlife.

 

– Setting up sand traps across the jungle and elephant corridors to detect tracks, build research/findings from and understand the diversity that exists in the forest. This one will require physical energy as you will dig up and rake fresh new 2 by 2 metre sand traps each week to check for new prints. Expect to find more wildlife prints than just elephants as you look for signs of leopard, sloth bears, wild buffalos and of course elephant activity!
– Setting up camera traps across the forest. Volunteers will be responsible for setting these up in hotspot locations and replacing these each week with new SD cards. After a busy morning in the depths of the Sri Lankan forest, once collected the SD card its time to return to the office to download data and check on the computer what the camera traps have picked up in the last week! Be ready to make conclusions on the findings as you learn what different wildlife exists in the forests, what times of day elephants pass through the corridor and more!
– Gaining experience in the use of GPS across your time in the forest.
– During the afternoons you will be located high up in the jungle treetop. We have created multiple purpose-built viewing towers across the forest aligned to the elephant corridor which is the traditional popular routes elephants use to migrate between the national park. Here, you will observe passing elephants, collate data on their movements, behaviours and other variables.
– Elephant foraging transect (to gather data on plants elephants eat and their impact on various habitats and plant species)
– Inspecting elephant dung. Take measurements to assess what the elephants have been eating, any foreign objects inside, their movement patterns. Can also learn about the elephant’s age through the size of the dung!
– Trek through dense jungles and over wetlands as you walk along typical elephant trails too record findings. This is done to assess any seasonal variations in behaviours, habitat preferences and better understand elephants on the outskirts of the national park.
– You will get to spend a session at the Weheragala Tank looking for Sri-Lankan elephants to then observe and photograph for ID purposes. You will also have to fill in an elephant identification data sheet to build up a catalogue of elephant numbers, movement behaviours and any differing physical features.

 

Whatever the activity, it will incorporate you being based in the heart of the elephant’s natural habitat as you trek through the jungles, wetlands and mountains of Wasgamuwa National Park along the way! The accommodation where you will be staying offers some of the best views you will ever see with a central large reservoir engulfed by luscious towering mountains.

 

Each volunteer will receive an orientation session before heading into the field to better understand their role, impact and history of the project. If you truly want to make a difference in the conservation efforts to save elephants by working closely with local communities then this project and volunteer work is the project for you!

SRI LANKA ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in Sri Lanka encourages students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. Sri Lanka’s education system is pretty impressive for a developing country of its size. Universal public education is available from the age of 6 to the age of 18. However, many government schools, particularly in rural areas, receive minimal government funding – especially considering the size of the communities they are expected to serve. The facilities at the schools are very basic, particularly the classrooms that get extremely cramped as average class sizes are around 40 to 60 children.

 

The ability to speak English is becoming of growing importance in Sri Lanka. The two main sources of income in Sri Lanka come from tourism and migrant workers going to the Middle East. Both occupations require the ability to speak English – the world’s global language. However, the level of English teaching in government schools is limited. Class sizes are large and the teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect. It is only the middle and upper class children who can afford private English lessons.

 

Therefore it is no surprise that children from most low-income families speak little or no English. Our aim is to give the poorer children of Ambalangoda, the same opportunities as their more wealthy peers so they too have the chance to develop their ability to speak English.

 

The PMGY English Teaching Volunteer Programme in Sri Lanka enables you to teach English in two different types of placement: our own after-school education programme that works in local village communities across Ambalangoda and temple schools where you have the amazing opportunity to teach to Buddhist monks!

 

COMMUNITY VILLAGE SCHOOL PROJECTS

 

The Community Village School Projects is an after-school education programme initiated and ran by PMGY and is the main teaching project our volunteers take part in. We work in a number of villages across the Ambalangoda district where we provide free English lessons and education opportunities for children traditionally from lower income families.

 

The children attend local government schools during the mornings. Our aim is to further their English language development by providing these free after-school English lessons in the afternoons. These projects will take place in a makeshift classroom or community centre. We encourage volunteers to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible by being creative and proactive when preparing lessons! The presence of volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.

 

The after-school education programme is available from 3pm to 6pm each afternoon from Monday to Friday. The first two hours are spent teaching English and the last hour is allocated for games and activities. Volunteers lead their own classes, usually working in pairs but this is dependent on volunteer numbers at the time. We usually run three to six classes in each community, but again this is dependent on the number of volunteers. Each class is divided based on the children’s level of English. The class sizes vary from 4 to 12 children per class.

 

PMGY has a local coordinator at the project each day who is on hand to support volunteer in Sri Lanka participants with their efforts and can help with overcoming the language barrier.

 

TEMPLE SCHOOLS

 

Volunteers can also join our Temple School project teaching English to Buddhist monks as an additional project to completing the standard afternoon community village school project. Many of the Buddhist monks speak very little English. The classes run in the morning, usually from 8:30am to 10am. In return for your contribution, you will find the monks keen to invite you to learn more about their religion and way of life. The temple schools also welcome poor children from the community to come and learn English. There tends to be 15 to 18 students in each class, aged from 6 to 18 years of age.

 

In general across the teaching project our team do their best to ensure there is a basic set of resources for the children at the project and for volunteers to plan activities. This includes stationary, exercise books, plain paper, whiteboards and marker pens. If volunteers feel basic supplies are not easily available they are encouraged to speak to our local team who can provide the needful. If volunteers are wishing for additional resources, there is some great shops for such resources in town.

 

No teaching experience is required to join this programme although it is an advantage. Generally speaking as long as volunteers are pro-active, enthusiastic and have lots of positive energy they can make great developments during their time at the project. We expect volunteers to spend an hour or two each day preparing for the following days lessons.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $150.

SRI LANKA MEDICAL EXPERIENCE

PMGY’s Sri Lanka Medical Experience is a learning experience for medical students and school leavers looking to pursue a career in medicine. School leavers and applicants from a non-health related background will be placed at a private hospital. Those who are studying a health-related degree at university will be placed at a government hospital.

 

Please note that the government hospital will not permit applicants who are NOT studying medicine or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

 

For those who are studying medicine or a healthcare related degree you will need to bring with you to Sri Lanka a supporting letter or document as evidence that you are a medical / healthcare university student to enable yourself to be placed at the government hospital during your time on the programme.

 

PRIVATE HOSPITAL

 

We work with a private hospital in Ambalangoda. The following departments are available:

 

Physiotherapy, Dental Surgery, Radiology (x-ray machine and computerised radiology), Laboratory, Phlebotomy, In-Patient Ward, Out-Patient Ward

 

You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just one or two. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

The private hospital provides a structured observational and informative approach to give participants a broad insight into a medical facility in Sri Lanka. Your role is purely observational, so you should not expect any hands-on involvement. Depending on your interests, you will be placed within different departments and you will be attached to an English-speaking member of staff.

 

As the role is purely observational, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks on the medical programme. In our experience, whilst you will gain invaluable medical insight and knowledge at the private hospital, after a while most people are eager for some hands-on work. Whilst PMGY cannot offer you hands-on medical volunteering, we can welcome you onto our teaching and community projects.

 

Our local team will go through the options with you during your in-country orientation. You can join one of these projects in the afternoon and attend the private hospital in the morning – it is completely up to you. Furthermore, it is absolutely fine for you to sign up for 2-weeks on the medical programme and then go on to do another project for the remainder of your stay, if you’d like to join us for longer than 2 weeks. If this is something you’d like to do then please drop us an email to discuss the idea in more detail.

 

GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL

 

PMGY partner with a government hospital located only a 15 minute journey from Ambalangoda. It is a medium-sized hospital with over 500 stations. There are 20 doctors and 2 surgeons at the hospital. We can place participants at the following departments:

 

Out Patient, Emergency Treatment Room, General Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Antenatal, Postnatal, Labour Room, Paediatrics

 

You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just one or two. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

Whilst you will be assigned a specific member of staff within the department to mentor you, it is important to understand that the staff are extremely busy. Therefore, you should be proactive, ask questions and be assertive in requesting additional guidance should you require it.

 

Your role at the government hospital is largely observational. Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, you may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars etc. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to, and such permission is at the sole discretion of the staff.

 

If you wish to use this programme as part of your medical degree placement then we can sign off any paperwork you may require. Furthermore, if you work at the private hospital you will be provided with a medical certificate at the end of your placement.

 

Working in a hospital in Sri Lanka is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about a health care system in the developing world. You will witness a variety of cases, which offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital! PMGY’s medical programme in Sri Lanka is the perfect way to gain invaluable hospital work experience whilst exploring the wonders that this amazing island has to offer!

 

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

 

All participants on PMGY’s medical programme, regardless of whether you are placed at the private or government hospital, will have the opportunity to participate in an Ayurveda Medicine Seminar. Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. The earliest references of Ayurveda medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana a king of Sri Lanka dating back to the prehistoric times.

 

You will have the chance to attend a lecture from a local Ayurvedic specialist. They will teach you all about the history of Ayurveda, it’s role within healthcare in Sri Lanka and how it is implemented to treat a variety of cases.

 

During your time with us on the Sri Lanka medical experience volunteers will usually get the chance to support at our village clinic campaign helping the local doctor by checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the people of Ambalangoda.

 

COMMUNITY EYE CLINIC

 

We are delighted to share that through our medical programme, our Sri Lanka team have funded the creation and development of a community eye clinic within the local government Hospital. Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Now through developing this eye clinic, the hospital can provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community. Whilst no project work is directly affiliated with the eye clinic, volunteers will get a chance to observe the daily processes here and get a feel for the positive impact its creation has brought Ambalangoda.

 

Your level of involvement at the project is dictated by medical experience, duration of programme and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. Whilst previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

SRI LANKA CHILDCARE

PMGY’s Childcare Volunteers programme in Sri Lanka brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. Our volunteers attend to projects at different locations which may involve work at the Day Care Centre, Girls’ Home and Government Children’s Home.

 

In Sri Lanka today institutional care is the fate of many children who have been abandoned by their parents. According to UNICEF, out of over 21,000 children in Children’s home’s in Sri Lanka, one or both parents of over 19,000 of them are still alive. Poverty is a root cause with families feeling they cannot afford to adequately provide for the child and give them the education and start in life they need and deserve.

 

Your role is to help encourage and care for these children, provide them with much needed confidence and to help maximise their potential. Volunteering with children is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in the projects we work with provide a much-needed safety net for these children and the more help and encouragement they can get from volunteers, the better and brighter their future.

 

The day-care centre operates in the morning hours and it provides much needed help to the local community and working parents who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. PMGY provides a fully funded safe environment for children aged 1-4 years old, allowing parents to go and work, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families. Here the volunteers will be the driving force behind some light housekeeping such as meal preparation, sanitary assistance to the children and also will get involved in the organisation of free time activities.

 

In the afternoons, the volunteers will support Child Development Centre (otherwise referred to as Girls’ home) and Government funded Children’s home. The Girls’ home is funded by an international NGO. There are 27 girls at the home, aged between 4 to 17 years of age. The children at this facility are full-time residents of the home due to difficult family situations which range from neglect, parents’ involvement in criminal activities or poverty. Please note that only female volunteers are permitted to work at the girl’s home.

 

PMGY volunteers also support a government-funded Children’s home which cares for 80 boys and girls aged between 6 to 18 years of age. While some of the children may have lost both of their parents, others are rescued from broken homes and abusive families and many are given up by their families as they simply cannot afford to look after them. For any male volunteers wishing to join our childcare programme then this is where you may be located.

 

The first 1.5 hours are spent teaching the children English and undertaking educational activities. The second 1.5 hours is allocated for outdoor games and sports. The children homes have a lot of outdoor space as part of the property. Our local team are on hand to support with any ideas or activities you wish to execute at the project.

 

Rotation of projects will be organised once in country with all volunteers having the opportunity to partake in both morning and afternoon programmes.

 

Our team do their best to ensure there is a basic set of resources for volunteers to plan activities for their day at the project. This includes stationary, plain paper, whiteboards and marker pens. If volunteers feel basic supplies are not easily available, they are encouraged to speak to our local team who can provide the needful. If volunteers are wishing for additional resources, there is some great shops for such resources in town.

SRI LANKA RENOVATION & COMMUNITY WORK

PMGY volunteers carry out renovation work in a number of community facilities in and around Ambalangoda such as schools, government hospitals, children’s homes and Buddhist temples. These institutions struggle to find the funding and manpower to undertake important development work. With your help, we can further support Ambalangoda’s community and you can do your bit to leave a lasting impression!

 

We regularly support three Buddhist temples in the local area with much needed renovation work as well as the village hospital and a variety of village schools within Ambalangoda. Examples of renovation work completed to date include heavy support in the building of an eye clinic at the government hospital, constructing flower tables at the Buddhist temples and re-plastering and re-painting classrooms in schools.

 

Volunteers don’t need to have any previous construction or renovation experience, just bags of energy and the willingness to help! The renovation and community work is a morning project, so you will have the opportunity to teach English and support in our afternoon community programmes if you wish.

 

You are welcome to join us as an individual or larger group. If you sign up as an individual then we are only able to organise renovation work for you. This predominantly involves stripping walls, plastering, painting and light building activities. However, bigger construction and renovation projects can be arranged for group applications of 6 or more people.

 

In short the size of the project is really dependent on the duration of volunteers stay as well as the numbers on the renovation and community project at the time.

 

All volunteer in Sri Lanka participants will need to make a donation whilst in Sri Lanka towards costs for materials and skilled labour required to support the initiative. The donation each volunteers on the programme must contribute is $75 per person or the local currency equivalent. Our local team will collect this from you during the orientation and assist you in purchasing the relevant materials for the project work.

 

This is a great project for those looking to get a bit more hands-on. By the end of your time with us you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve contributed towards, plus you’ll still have the chance to help out at an one of our community based volunteer programmes. Working outside with your fellow volunteers in the gorgeous Sri Lankan sunshine whilst making a tangible impact to the local community – sounds pretty good doesn’t it?!

SRI LANKA TURTLE CONSERVATION

Help protect and rehabilitate at-risk sea turtles whilst also volunteering at community development projects. Turtles are under threat in Sri Lanka and volunteers are really needed to help out with conservation efforts.

 

There are five turtle species that can be found in Sri Lanka. These are the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback. The Green turtle is the most common found species of turtle in Sri Lanka and will likely be the one you encounter the most on your turtle conservation project. The Loggerhead turtle is the rarest and thus hardest to spot in Sri Lanka and is more commonly found on the East Coast of America.

 

The Hawksbill (renowned for its beautiful shell), Olive Ridley (smallest of the sea turtles) and Leatherback (largest of the 5 species) are harder to spot for different reasons. Sadly they are critically endangered and sit on the brink of extinction. This is mainly because they have been heavily hunted and fell victim to other human activity as well.

 

Fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda and the location of the project is very close to the local fisheries port. Sea turtles are often found in fishing nets and many have lost limbs becoming disabled and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Many of these disabled turtles are found by local Sri Lankans who bring them to the project site for rehabilitation and care.

 

The programme aims to provide daily care and rehabilitation for the disabled turtles with the long term goal to release back to the wild as well as protecting turtle eggs that have been stolen by local poachers. Beginning from the orientation, participants will learn how to collect eggs, identify different kinds of turtles, how eggs hatch, how to treat turtles, how to send turtles back to the sea and so much more. This is really a project where you will learn a lot and make a tangible difference with your time.

 

Participants will join the incumbent volunteers at the project as well as the local staff at the project to get to grips with the daily tasks to what is expected of them. This will include tasks as part of a team as well as individual roles.

 

You will spend your days next to the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site – typical duties include:

 

– Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks.
– Feeding the turtles.
– Painting and drawing in relevance to turtles.
– Cleaning the project premises and the relevant beach area.
– Take care of the nesting area.
– Cleaning the turtle’s shells.
– Designing education boards around the sanctuary.
– Releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea.

 

Our local team regularly arrange a set day for the volunteers to engage in a mass beach clean across the Ambalangoda beach area.

 

As female turtles will only lay their eggs at beaches that are safe environments to them, it is crucial the area is maintained to encourage this. Although this perhaps is one of the more mundane aspects of the programme, its importance cannot be underestimated and is recognised positively by the wildlife department. It is not uncommon that after one beach clean we have collected up to 20 bags of litter!

 

You may also wish to get involved in the sea turtle conservation education sessions PMGY run at the community village school projects in line with the afternoon teaching project. The purpose of these sessions is to educate young Sri Lankans on the importance of protecting these amazing creatures. From factual presentations on sea turtles, to information on what the community can do to aid conservation, we aim to introduce the concept of conservation on a community level and so bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis and if it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team in-country who will make the appropriate arrangements.

 

PMGY’s Turtle Conversation project in Sri Lanka is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to help protect these incredible creatures whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels.

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN

PMGY’s Disabled Children Programme in India helps to care for Indian children with special needs. Assist local staff by getting involved in various essential education and support sessions. In recent years the Government of India has changed various policies and laws to enable young people with disabilities to receive education. However, conflicting goals and a lack of clarity still affect disabled young people’s experiences and outcomes of education.

 

According to the India office of the World Bank, Indian children with disabilities are five and a half times more likely to be out of school than non-disabled children. Those who do attend school rarely progress beyond the primary school level. Currently, 52% of adults with disabilities are illiterate, compared to 35% amongst the general Indian population. In India 74% of people with physical impairments are unemployed.

 

People with disabilities face many barriers within and outside the Indian school system.

 

As a volunteer on the PMGY India Disabled Children Programme you will be assisting on a project within the local community closeby to the volunteer accommodation. Sehyog Community Centre is home to 20 people who range from the ages of 6 or 7 to young adults. The people at Sehyog have a range of disabilities from down syndrome, autism, deafness to physical disabilities as well.

 

Lack of awareness combined with the limited access to special needs resources has left many disabled people in India without the care they desperately need. Sehyog Community Centre aims to give the children the best opportunity in life they can have. As funding and volunteer support increases, we can continue to maximise the support we can give to the centre.

 

There is local staff at the project, but most of the additional support is provided by PMGY volunteers. The daily activities include story telling, physical exercise, basic life skill lessons, singing songs and games to get the children to interact with each other. Volunteer in India participants with the relevant experience can carry out physiotherapy and speech therapy sessions under the guidance of the local staff.

 

Volunteers will usually take along toys and educational aids each day to the community centre project. When volunteers arrive, they take over the room with their energy too stimulate and support children that would otherwise be forgotten about within the community and isolated. It is a very hands on project from teaching and feeding the children to providing general support.

 

Although the project does have challenging aspects particularly in the first couple days as volunteers adjust, feedback suggests that volunteers find this one of the most rewarding projects that they do. The bonds they build with the children at the project are very unique and special to each volunteer.

 

Naturally with the nature of the children and young adults volunteers are working with this can be quite a challenging project to structure and plan for. Volunteers are encouraged to be very adaptable, resilient, creative and maintain a positive attitude each time they come to the project. This is because many of the children and young adults lack the ability to speak or communicate functionally and will also struggle to follow instructions meaning interaction and engagement for volunteers can require alot of patience, time and effort.

 

As you persevere on your time across the project, you will begin to see what a truly inspirational experience you are a part of. Although not always visually recognised, your efforts will be met with appreciation and warmth by all staff and children and the small differences you can make or the care and attention that you can give will go a very long way.

INDIA ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in India encourages students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. India has made some rapid economic advancement in recent years yet around 28% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. The disparity of wealth in India is plain to see. It is quite a shocking sight to see a state of the art apartment complex being built next to a slum community living in complete poverty. The slums are a regrettable fact of life in India.

 

Indian culture places a major emphasis on education, but unfortunately the education system in India is still a work in progress. Class sizes go far beyond suitable capacities and schools are highly understaffed. PMGY supports a number of slum schools located around Faridabad. These NGOs provide free education, school supplies, food and uniforms in order to encourage parents to let their children go to school, rather than being forced to wander the streets begging and collecting rubbish to earn money.

 

The children at the schools range from 3 right up to the age of 16. We support two main schools in and around Faridabad. The schools are located within the slum areas and so facilities are extremely basic and conditions are cramped. However you will find the spirit of the children and their passion to learn a real joy to behold. Volunteers provide invaluable support to the teaching staff and the presence of a fluent English speaker brings a major boost to the children’s educational development.

 

You will usually spend your first few days working alongside a local teacher or another volunteer, but due to staff shortages it is appreciated if volunteers can lead their own classes. If you do not feel comfortable teaching independently, we will always do our best to make sure you work alongside a local teacher and/or fellow volunteers. If you’ve never taught before then there is no need to worry; energy, creativity and enthusiasm is the key here!

 

One of our local coordinators runs one of the slum schools in which our volunteers work, so she can guide you as to how to prepare lessons and what to teach.

 

There is teaching materials and textbooks available at the project to help with volunteer preparation. Our local team have created an office of resources for volunteers to use from when at the project and should they need anything additional they are advised to speak with the local team. Volunteers are advised to contribute to the resources should they have any surplus supplies or good lesson plans for future volunteers to benefit from.

 

Volunteers prepare for lessons in their free time, so you have a clear structure to each class. You’ll find that your confidence grows massively once you have taught a couple of lessons.

 

Your primary role as a volunteer in India will be to improve the children’s English. However, the schools value the positive influence volunteers have on the children, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved in other activities. Volunteers are welcome to teach other subjects such as Maths, Science and Geography should you wish to. In addition, telling the children about life in your country will also increase their global awareness and teach them about life outside the slums.

 

ECHO SLUM SCHOOL

 

The Eco school is based in a local slum community and is the main teaching project that we operate. The children are aged between 3 and 15, although the average age is between 7-10. The school was set up by Vishy and Kranti in 2010 to provide children who may not otherwise have the opportunity, with free basic primary education.

 

Predominately, volunteers are encouraged to teach the children basic English and Maths, however, they are welcome to discuss other teaching ideas with Kranti, who is present at the school on a day to day basis. In addition to teaching, volunteers on this project are expected to carry out the assembly daily, which consist largely of nursery rhymes and dancing.

 

The majority of volunteers who have signed up for the teaching programme will spend their time working with this school, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

 

NERHU SCHOOL

 

The Nerhu school is based in a neighbouring community to that of the Eco School and is a private school where education is not free. Children who have previously atended the Eco slum school and have received sponsorship towards their education go on to attend Nerhu school. This is an additional project which some teaching volunteers choose to support at and here lessons can be operated more formally.

 

To date 15 children have been sponsored to receive education at Nerhu school; many of whom have received funding from previous volunteers. The children are a little older here and usually aged between 10 and 12 years of age.

 

Volunteers are actively encouraged to lead lessons and teach more advanced English and Maths to the children here. There may also be the opportunity for volunteers to get involved in other areas such as assemblies, sports and drawing/painting when at the teaching project.

 

Depending on how many volunteers we have at one time, we may also be able to support more slum communities or disadvantaged areas with English classes.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $150.

INDIA MEDICAL

PMGY’s Medical volunteers program in India offers a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand exposure and insight into the Indian health care system. Learn from local staff and get involved in supporting them. India Medical Volunteers. Considering the advances in India’s healthcare system, the majority of the population still experience poor health. This is due to a lack of awareness on health issues and the simple fact that many Indians cannot afford regular, if any, medical treatment. The projects we support offer free, or highly subsidised, healthcare to local people from slum and rural communities.

 

We place volunteers at PMGY’s free medical camps in the slum communities, local clinics and throughout a network of hospitals. There are limited spaces on each placement setting particularly in the summer months whereby volunteers may rotate daily across each setting. The medical camps in the slum communities tend to be where volunteers feel best placed, receive the most exposure and the more common placement location for participants.

 

The programme is not only for general medicine and nursing students, but also for all those with health-related interests. This opportunity is available to school leavers and those who have never studied medicine before. Some of the areas in which our volunteers can ga in exposure include:

 

Accident & Emergency, Anaesthetics, Dentistry, General Surgery, Maternity & Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Occupational Therapy, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Physiotherapy, Ultrasound.

 

Please note that these areas may be one-off placements. We cannot guarantee the time period in which a volunteer spends in one department. It may be the case, for example, that a volunteer shadows in A&E for one evening only. Placements cannot always be guaranteed and are dependent on hospital staff, rules and regulations.

 

A list of our more common placements that tend to run throughout the whole year include:

 

ECO SLUM SCHOOL CLINIC

 

In India, there is a lack of health education and access to medical help is often difficult. This is especially so in the slum areas. We have established our own primary healthcare clinic which runs all year round based in the heart of the core slum community we support.

 

The programme is available for participants who have little or no medical experience. The doctors will act as your mentor, explaining cases to you and answering any questions you might have. The healthcare clinics we run really is the core of the India medical experience and generally receive great feedback from participants on the medical programme!

 

Volunteers will have the chance to undertake basic hands-on involvement, if they choose to do so, such as taking patient measurements, checking vital signs and treating minor wounds under the supervision of the local doctors. Although the patient interactions will be in Hindi, the doctors speak English and will explain everything to you in English.

 

The clinics are based in our Eco Slum School – one of which is general medicine and the other is gynaecology. In both cases, volunteers aid the doctor in assessing patients from the local slum community. We currently have one male and one female doctor based at the healthcare clinics. These clinics are the main point of access for the local community, who may not otherwise have the opportunity for any other form of healthcare. Doctors can see anywhere from 40 to 50 patients arrive daily to the slum clinic for healthcare.

 

The slum clinic is the main point of access for health treatments as it is free for local people. There are two clinic rooms where doctors undergo consultancies and also a pharmacy room where patients details are taken and medicines arranged and prescribed.

 

Volunteers will be able to support within the pharmacy room as well as supporting the doctors in carrying out blood pressure; blood sugar; pulse and learn to give injections if permitted by your University. The doctors are extremely welcoming and very keen for volunteers to learn demonstrating delivery of injections, nebulizers and more.

 

The gynaecology clinic is a newer development with hopes of further expansion in the future, as women from the local community are educated about female health. We have also developed our own lab at the programme whereby there is a lab technician who will carry out a variety of health checks such as urine glucose levels, blood type tests and pregnancy checks which volunteers can observe. With both clinics located within the slum school, the volunteers will also have the opportunity to engage with the children, and are also encouraged to involve themselves in the assembly activities.

 

Whilst it cannot be guaranteed, you may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars etc. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to should you decide to get involved.

 

PMGY SLUM OUTREACH HEALTH CAMPAIGNS

 

PMGY periodically run free medical camps in slum communities around Faridabad. The slums we work in are dictated by the communities that have the greatest need at the time.

 

During the summer months when we have higher number of participants we run the slum outreach campaigns on a weekly basis as an extension of the Eco School Slum Clinic operation. They usually run on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. These campaigns are designed to offer primary healthcare and medical check-ups to members of the slum communities in the Faridabad area. In short when we have a greater quantity and resource of volunteers it allows us to run more health campaigns across the slum communities. Naturally facilities and departments will be more limited and make shift in such communities we set our health camps up.

 

We hire a local doctor to lead the campaigns and supervise volunteers, as well as supplying the relevant medical supplies and equipment needed. An interpreter is also recruited to help PMGY volunteers overcome the language barrier when interacting with patients.

 

We welcome medical volunteers of all backgrounds to join this initiative. If you are a medical or pre-medical student, you get the chance to learn basic skills such as taking blood pressures, checking blood sugars and blood groups, and assisting doctors in seeing the patients. You will also get the chance to see and learn about interesting clinical signs and syndromes typically found in slum communities. Volunteers receive ongoing training and mentoring from the local doctor, enabling each participant to get as involved as possible.

 

The range of health conditions encountered in the slums is vast, and although many patients only have simple problems, there are many that would benefit immensely from specialist input.

 

Volunteers who work on the medical camps are expected to participate for the three dedicated days each week. It must be understood that sometimes these camps will not be able to run without relevant medical and/or nursing volunteers.

 

SHADOWING IN A HOSPITAL SETTING

 

We have a number of hospitals within our network, where volunteers can visit during their time on the programme with us.

 

Volunteers wishing to witness surgeries can do so as we work with many hospitals whereby volunteers can gain invaluable shadowing experience in theatre and to surgeries. However, these are ad-hoc and so you will be notified a day in advance or even on the day, once the surgeries have been confirmed. Naturally we cannot guarantee that specific surgeries will take place.

 

Generally speaking, volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow within the hospitals and carry out basic health checks on patients on the doctor’s rounds. It can be a real eye-opening experience to see the difference between hospitals out in India in comparison to those at home.

 

Volunteers tend to get the best exposure from the health campaign programmes we operate which is the main focus of the India medical programme and therefore volunteers only tend to visit the hospitals when surgeries or births are taking place. Naturally should you want to prioritise more of your time within a hospital setting then this is something you will need to discuss with the local team when in India.

 

GP CLINIC

 

Here volunteer in India participants have the opportunity to work alongside a local doctor in carrying out basic health checks on members of the local community in a bustling street market.

 

Usually the doctor sees up to 100 patients daily and can run in both morning and late evening time usually around 2 to 3 hours each session. This may allow for basic hands on involvement if volunteers choose to undertake such an opportunity.

 

Most participants on the medical programme will have the chance to experience a variety of different medical facilities during their time with us. It is advised, where possible, that volunteers spend a minimum of three days on a specific placement as this allows relationships with the staff to be made, often leading to increased exposure and responsibility (dependent on level/qualifications of volunteers).

 

If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or studying a health-related subject at university, then joining PMGY’s India medical programmes will offer you essential first-hand experience that will assist in your career development. Working under the close guidance of highly trained local staff will give you the exposure and tuition that you are unlikely to obtain in your own country if you have the ability and choose to undertake hands on involvement.

 

Furthermore, many volunteers combine the medical volunteering with one of our other placements such as working at a children’s home or teaching at a school. This gives you a variety of experience and also ensures you are getting actively involved, particularly if much of your medical placement is observational.

 

Your level of involvement at the project is dictated by medical experience, duration of programme and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. Whilst previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

INDIA CHILDCARE

PMGY’s Childcare volunteers programme in India brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. 5% of all children in India are without any form of parent or guardian support. This totals to be around 20 million of India’s population overall.

 

Not all of these children have lost both of the parents, but many of them are sadly abandoned by their parents. Poverty is the causal factor of this whereby the parent(s) simply do not have the income or resources to provide the care for their children. These children then find themselves in the undeveloped childcare system with nowhere else to turn.

 

Children’s homes across India lack the funding, resources and manpower to look after these children. All children deserve a safe haven to live and the nurturing in which to grow.

 

PMGY support two main childcare centres in the Faridabad area:

 

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

 

PMGY fund and support a children’s home for 7-10 children aged from 6 to 15 years old. The home is located next to the Sector 10 Volunteer House, so the children receive regular support from our volunteers. There is a house mother who manages the home on a day-to day basis, but volunteers play an important role in looking after the children in their free time. This ranges from helping them with their homework, to playing games.

 

The children from the home attend school during the day. Therefore, volunteers tend can take part in one of our other projects during the daytime and then help out at the home in the late afternoon when the children return from school.

 

LAKSHYA BADTE KADAM

 

Set up in 2004, Lakshya Badte Kadam provides the chance for now adult run-away children to give something back to society, in return for the opportunities that they were offered as children by the Salaam Baalak Trust. The organisation currently works with six street children who were rescued from Delhi Railway Station.

 

Although this children’s home is the least well off out of the two our volunteers work with, the group work together and employ people from their local community to make handmade newspaper and fabric bags. The income that is generated through this allows the children to have an education, with all boys enrolled at a local Convent School.

 

The overall aim of this organisation is to give the boys the best opportunities in life, rather than becoming involved in drug or theft activities, pulling rickshaws etc. Volunteer in India participants often visit the children’s home in the late afternoon/early evening, helping the children with their homework before carrying out activities, playing games and dancing!

 

In addition to the childcare programmes we place volunteers, our participants also get the chance to engage in community work with children within the local area which has a popular uptake amongst volunteers. Here, many of the children do not attend school as the parents cannot afford the fees or they have to take care of other siblings whilst their parents go to work.

 

Volunteers will complete a series of house visits around the community to visit such children where they interact and play games with them, help improve their English, reading and writing skills and also teach them about personal hygiene skills such as brushing teeth, combing hair and clipping nails.

 

This is also a great opportunity to spend your mornings doing something really productive and impactful before heading to support at the children’s homes in the afternoons when the children return from school.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING

PMGY’s English Teaching volunteers programme in Nepal encourages students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. Education is the key to driving economic, political and social development.

 

However, the education system in Nepal is of an extremely low standard. It seriously lacks real investment and many teachers are under-qualified, particularly in teaching English. The sad result is that 41% of the Nepalese adult population is illiterate.

 

Tourism is Nepal’s biggest industry and source of employment, aside from agriculture. Working in tourism brings in serious money and offers huge employment opportunities. However, a key requirement for a job in tourism is the ability to speak English. As a result, the ability to speak English opens up so many doors for young people in Nepal. However, the level of English in government schools is poor and so effective English tuition is only a viable option for children from wealthy backgrounds.

 

PMGY volunteers teach at local schools that provide education to Nepal’s poorest communities. Your main role is to teach English but there is also the chance to teach other subjects such as Maths and Arts when required. The schools have staff who will assist volunteers but most of the time volunteers lead their own lessons. The lessons are largely informal and volunteers have the freedom to be creative with their lesson plans.

 

The schools usually have basic resources. Some of the project sites do have outdoor space and playground facilities as well as a range of toys and books to engage the with the children. These can be limited at times so you may wish to bring some extra educational books or games to assist with your teaching.

 

Class sizes generally range from around 20 – 30 children with ages varying from five years old up to lower teens.

 

Depending on your placement location and needs of the projects at the time, there may also be the opportunity to get involved in working at a day-care centre as a project alternative. This involves providing care and basic education to children of pre-school age. Again activities here are focussed on high interaction and engagement underpinned with a focus of fun as the children will not be so confident or able in English.

 

For the English Teaching programme, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of these children’s education. We expect all volunteer in Nepal participants to spend an hour or two each day lesson planning.

 

Flash cards and stickers are a good idea too. You will find it much cheaper to buy resources in Nepal and that puts money into the local economy too! Souvenirs from your home country can also be a great resource, especially for introducing yourself to the children and helping them learn about you and your culture.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $150.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING TO MONKS

PMGY’s English Teaching to Monks volunteers programme in Nepal is a unique opportunity to live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English and learning about their way of life. Although not the most practised religion in Nepal, the influence of Buddhism can be found throughout; well Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha! From the countless temples and stupas located around the country to the thousands of Tibetan Buddhists who have sought refuge, Nepal remains an important place for Buddhists.

 

Many young Nepalese men spend a period of their life training as a monk. The majority of the children at the monasteries are Tibetan refugees and impoverished children from ethnic hill tribes. Becoming a monk offers many children the chance of a better life.

 

Training to become a monk starts at an early age. Young monks are taught about Buddhist practises and philosophies as well as receiving general mainstream education – including learning English. The ability to speak English allows monks to translate religious text and communicate the teachings of Buddhism to all. As the Dalai Lama said, “To learn English is to spread the word”.

 

It is very important that monks receive a formal education as well as religious training. It is not totally uncommon for monks to leave the monastery when they get older, therefore it is important for them to learn English in order to boost their career prospects in mainstream society. On arrival young monks will be keen and excited to meet you, but some will also be shy of you in your first few days at the monastery!

 

Teaching English is the main way you will help but there may also be the chance to teach Maths and Science. You will follow a flexible curriculum syllabus in Nepal when conducting your lessons whereby for much of the time you will plan your own lessons and activities, working independently or alongside a fellow volunteer. There is usually a government course guide book available according to class standards that focuses on English, Maths and Science.

 

The level of English will vary dependent on which class you’re assigned. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend time planning for each lesson. Anything that you can teach about your own culture will also be gratefully received. In the evening times volunteers are encouraged to help the monks with their homework and any one to one learning experiences formally or informally.

 

You will have a lot of free time, which you can spend travelling, relaxing or learning about the Buddhist way of life. You will find the monks to be accepting and genuinely grateful for your help. They will be interested to teach you about their way of life. This will give you an insight into the Buddhist religion not granted to tourists. You will get the chance to eat with the monks and have the opportunity too take part in some meditation rituals if you are up early enough to learn this practise too!

 

We support monasteries in Kathmandu and Chitwan. Volunteer in Nepal participants stay at the monastery in separate living quarters. Expect to be woken early each morning as the gong is sounded and morning prayers commence! What an opportunity to get immersed in the Buddhist way of life!

 

The monasteries in Kathmandu are situated in various locations – some are close to the city centre and some are in more rural outside of town. The Chitwan monastery placement is also very rural. The unique aspect of the monastery in Chitwan is that volunteers will work with both male and female monks. Volunteers are advised to note the Chitwan monastery offers a much more authentic experience where facilities are very basic and general resources are more limited.

 

At Kathmandu expect there to be around 40-150 young monks depending on your monastery and for Chitwan it is around 100 monks. The ages range from around seven years old to lower teen and average class sizes tend to be around 10-15 per class.

 

Whilst you are welcome to highlight your monastery location during the online application, please note that your project location will be confirmed during the Orientation Days at the start of your Programme. This allows you to have the flexibility to decide your location based on current need and availability after discussing options with the local team, so we advise not to make your mind up to early. This ensures you can keep an open mind and maintain flexibility.

 

We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just $150.

NEPAL CHILDCARE

Nepal is considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia and also across the world. Almost half of the Nepalese population live below the poverty line and families’ needs often not provided for. Children are often the worst affected by high levels of poverty and malnutrition and face the greatest need.

 

PMGY’s Childcare volunteers programme in Nepal brightens up the lives of young children making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. Our programmes in Nepal work with children who have lost their parents or whose parents cannot afford to look after them. These children have been dealt a bad hand in life, but by volunteering your time and affection you can make a real difference to their lives.

 

Volunteers are up early (around 6am) to help prepare breakfast and get the children ready. After walking them to school, you can help out with chores around the home. These include cleaning, tidying and preparing meals as well as helping to feed any livestock or maintain the garden area. These tasks tend to finish at around 10am.

 

You are then free until the children return to school. There may be childcare or teaching work available during the day at a nearby project but this depends on your placement location and need at the time. You can discuss this option with our local team during your in-country orientation.

 

At around 3pm, volunteers pickup the kids from school. From then your role involves helping prepare and serve dinner, assisting the kids with their homework, teaching English, playing games and sports and organising activities for the little ones. The children are sure to have lots of energy so you will need to have the energy to match as you will be based on site during the project week. The children are of various ages (5 to 16 years of age) and backgrounds.

 

The childcare projects are available in both Chitwan and Pokhara. Chitwan is home to the girl’s children’s home and Pokhara is home to the boy’s childcare centre. At the development centres there is generally between 8 and 16 children at each project site we support with the mother of the home looking after the children who you will assist with hands on support.

 

Volunteer in Nepal participants will need to have plenty of energy, as the kids can be quite a handful! When the children head to school through the day volunteers usually use this as a chance to help with maintenance around the home or enjoying some of their own down time whether it be heading into town or catching up on sleep!

 

It’s a good idea to make sure you think of plenty of games and educational activities before you arrive in Nepal, so you have lots of ways to keep the children entertained. The children’s level of English will vary and therefore you should prepare activities for a whole range of abilities and ages. As well as practising English, arts and crafts activities are always popular with the children.

 

Both children’s homes have outdoor space for games and activities with the children as well as resource cupboards for board games and learning materials too. In the evenings after dinner the children have free time for one hour to watch tv, play board games, read books for volunteers to get involved with and help them burn out their energy so they are ready for a good nights sleep!

 

Aside from providing invaluable help with hands on work at the homes, volunteer Programme Fees are used to provide financial support for the projects. The homes have no regular income, so funds are donated to maintain the childcare centres.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date.

 

The following itinerary is based on a standard 6-week Real Asia Encounter (i.e. 2-weeks per destination). If you opt for the 9 or 12-week options then you will split your time equally across each of the 3 destinations. For example the 9-week option involves spending 3 weeks across the destinations and the 12-week option involves 4 weeks per destination. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below. For the Sri Lanka segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Ambalangoda. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below.

 

Day 1 (Saturday) Arrival

 

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Ambalangoda will take around 2 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Day 2 (Sunday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the developing projects we support in the community. If you wish to take part in multiple projects during your time with us in Sri Lanka then this can be discussed during your orientation.

 

In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda, including the longest sleeping Buddha statue in Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

Day 2-6 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

On Monday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will have regular interaction with our local coordinators who are always there for you. Whatever the problem, big or small, rest assured that you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY.

 

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Sri Lanka has it all. Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 9-13 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 14 (Saturday) Last Day in Sri Lanka!

 

Today is your last full day in Sri Lanka! We hope you have enjoyed your time in your first destination and we encourage you to use your last day in Sri Lanka to say goodbye to the local team, pick up some last minute souvenirs and prepare for your onward journey!

 

Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Sri Lanka – Hello India!

 

Unfortunately it is time to say goodbye to Sri Lanka but get ready for India! Our local team can help arrange a taxi to the airport. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

Welcome to India! Volunteers will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team, or one of our appointed drivers, who will be holding a name sign. They will take you straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic.

 

The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we may have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, to get to know the rest of your group and get familiar with your accommodation.

 

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday. We will start with the theoretical part covering all the essential information you need to know for your time in India. This will include issues of health & safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules & regulations etc. This part of the orientation usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the morning before a short walk visiting the nearby slum area where parts of our teaching and medical programmes are based.

 

We will then go for a tour of the local area so that you can use the ATM/exchange money, buy a SIM card and any other essential amenities. Volunteers are strongly advised to purchase an Indian SIM at a cost of roughly 300 Rupees (including 100 Rupees credit). This means that volunteers are required to have an unlocked phone. Cheap, unlocked phones can be purchased at local Indian markets at prices between $15-$20. SIM cutting (at a small cost) is also available in these markets for those wishing to use an unlocked smart-phone.

 

SIM cards are very important as it allows PMGY India members to contact volunteers and vice versa, which is particularly vital in times of emergency. Mobile numbers must be exchanged upon arrival.

 

In the afternoon, volunteers can then travel to a range of activities and communities based in the Delhi region. This includes options from visiting a monkey temple (500 Rupees), pottery lesson (600 Rupees), sector 15 market and a culture class.

 

Such afternoon activities are voluntary, can also take place across the week and thus the costs associated including travel costs are paid for by volunteers dependent on participation. Please note that all activities are not guaranteed and are weather and staff dependent.

 

The evening is free for volunteers to relax or arrange to go into Delhi if they so wish.

 

Day 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

On Tuesday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will have regular interaction with our local coordinators who are always there for you. Whatever the problem, big or small, rest assure that you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY.

 

On average, you will volunteer for around 3 to 5 hours per day usually morning time (depending on which project you go to). The possibility of getting involved in more than one project can be discussed with our local coordinator once you’re in India.

 

To help make your evenings more entertaining our local team are always happy to arrange cultural activities if volunteers wish to join. These include a Bollywood dance class (200 Rupees), cooking class (300 Rupees) and a Yoga class (200 Rupees).

 

Day 21-22 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

The choices are endless! You can visit the Taj Mahal, go sightseeing in New & Old Delhi or visit Jaipur, India’s pink city. As PMGY receives a high number of volunteers to India, particularly in the summer months, you will have no problem finding a travel buddy or two (usually a lot more) to travel around at the weekend with! Our local team can assist you in organising trips you wish to undertake.

 

There isn’t a huge amount to do in Faridabad itself and evenings during the weekday tend to be quiet, so you should take the opportunity to travel at the weekend.

 

Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 23-27 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Day 28 (Saturday) Last Day in India

 

Unfortunately today is your last ful day in India! Spend your last day packing, buying any last minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way.

 

Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye India – Hello Nepal!

 

It is time to say goodbye to India but get ready for Nepal! Our local team can help arrange a taxi to the airport. Please note that this is not included in your Programme Fee.

 

Namaste! You will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by one of PMGY’s local coordinators holding a PMGY sign. We will transfer you to the volunteer host family accommodation, where you can relax and let home know you have arrived safely. In the evening you will get the chance to experience your first Nepalese dinner.

 

Day 30-31 (Monday-Tuesday) Orientation

 

Your orientation will begin on Monday. After a refreshing morning breakfast, your day will kick off with a two-hour Nepalese language lesson. Learning Nepalese is not only a great cultural experience but also important preparation for your volunteer placement. Being able to readily communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more enriching.

 

Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

 

The orientation is based in our office a fifteen minute drive from the accommodation and in the heart of the tourist centre in Kathmandu so there is plenty of options and variety on offer for lunch.

 

After lunch, our local team will take you sightseeing around Kathmandu where you will have the chance to checkout the famous Monkey Temple, Boudha stupa and Pashupati temple. You will be accompanied by a member of our local team who will teach you all about Kathmandu’s rich and diverse history.

 

Our local team will then treat you to some home cooked food for the evening meal!

 

The next morning sees the orientation continue as we return to the office for the final part of the theoretical section of the orientation which is the cultural lesson. Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion.

 

Volunteers will then have the chance to try somewhere new for lunch in the bustling Thamel area and begin to pick an eye for some early souvenirs.

 

The afternoon is free for you to engage in more sightseeing and tick off some of the places you did not get to see in the previous day.

 

That evening its time to get prepared, packed and ready as the next morning you will be up early to travel to your volunteer placement location. If the location is close by you may be dropped off here on the Tuesday night.

 

Lunch is not included during your orientation period on the Monday and Tuesday. Please budget around $8 for this. Furthermore, entrance fees to the tourist sites we will visit during the orientation are not included in the Programme Fee and so you should budget around $15 for this.

 

Day 32 (Wednesday) – Travel To Your Placement

 

On the Wednesday morning you will move to your project location. If you’re placed in Chitwan or Pokhara, then you will take the tourist bus. Our local team will take you to the bus station and ensure you have your ticket and seat on the bus. The buses are comfortable, come with air conditioning and reclining seats.

 

On arrival into Chitwan or Pokhara bus station, you will be picked up by one of our local coordinators who will take you to your accommodation. The cost of your bus ticket and transfer to/from the bus station is included in your Programme Fee.

 

Volunteers are advised to note that depending on road, weather and traffic conditions the journey times from Kathmandu to Chitwan or Pokhara can take anywhere from 7 to 12 hours.

 

If your placement is in Kathmandu then one of our local coordinators will take you to your host family or project residence in the morning.

 

Day 33-34 (Thursday-Friday) – Volunteering Begins

 

You will start your volunteer work on Thursday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away.

 

Day 35-36 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend!

 

PMGY volunteers are offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country with volunteer programmes in Chitwan, Pokhara & Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way. This off the beaten track destination offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungle and there are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland.

 

Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.

 

Why not check out our weekend guide to find out what you can be getting up to in your free time!

 

Day 37-41 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern as you will be volunteering Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Sadly Friday is your last day at the project residence but the good news is you’re heading back to Kathmandu for a chance to spend your Saturday picking up last minute souvenirs.

 

Day 42 (Saturday) Back in Kathmandu

 

Saturday is your last full day of the Asia Encounter and you will spend this in Kathmandu. You will have a full free day on the Saturday to explore this fascinating city further. Your transport costs back to Kathmandu are included in your Programme Fee and you will be met at Kathmandu bus station to come back to our local teams accommodation for your final night in Nepal.

 

Day 43 (Sunday) Last Day

 

Sunday is your last day in Nepal and on the South Asia Encounter. Your airport drop off is included in your Programme Fee. A member of our local team will transfer you back to the airport at a time that is convenient for your travel itinerary.

 

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A TRIP

What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –

 

7th September 2019
5th October 2019
2nd November 2019
7th December 2019
4th January 2020
1st February 2020
7th March 2020
4th April 2020
2nd May 2020
6th June 2020
4th July 2020
1st August 2020
5th September 2020
3rd October 2020
7th November 2020
5th December 2020

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.

 

Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.

 

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on the selected Saturday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The programme ends in Nepal on the Sunday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme, you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-22 but this is by no means definitive.

 

There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

 

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

 

It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of $60 and is subject to availability.

 

You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However, we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our International Team undergo an extensive routine when establishing the in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verify them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our International Team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations, we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our International Team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

 

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme, you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We also accept BACS transfers from UK participants. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 

While our team will do their best to complete any paperwork we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university or college. In the event that your university or college do not accept the paperwork submitted by PMGY then you will be unable to be refunded for your trip.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on hello@planmygapyear.com to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course for teaching English abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.

 

As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.

 

The cost of the course is $150. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programmes and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.

 

We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding.

 

This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.

 

The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

 

The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

 

100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.

 

There are three to choose from and it is well worth attending all of them:

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

 

The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones.

 

If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

 

Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry, we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

 

For peace of mind, PMGY holds an ATOL License (11262) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

 

If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

 

When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

 

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third-party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

 

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to ensure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 65 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example, if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK).

 

This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook you receive once you are signed up for the programme.

 

For international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that affect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

 

It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, a scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find $75-$150 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

 

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

ACCOMMODATION

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in Sri Lanka you will live in our Volunteer House/s. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

We will transport you via tuk tuk or private car to and from your project. This service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

The Volunteer House is located just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town. Each room has bunk beds, up to 10 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as personal locker space to store your valuables.

 

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Sri Lanka is hot and humid all year round! The house has a voucher based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.

 

A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security.

 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our alternative Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

Volunteer House

 

The Volunteer House; also named the Pussellayaya Field House, is located on a scenic hill overlooking a lake and the Knuckles Mountain Range and is just 15 minutes from the Wasgamuwa National Park and the local town is named Hettipola.

 

The project accommodation is very basic, but comfortable and clean fitting up to 8 people per room in single-sex bedrooms. You will be sure to meet and live with volunteers from around the world to mix with other cultures and countries in this fantastic setting as well as having the security to know that the local team also live on site.

 

The accommodation is open and spacious with a high roof, which catches breezes off the lake to keep the house relatively cool during hot days and nights and ensures the house remains dry during the rainy season.

 

You are awoken every morning by the gorgeous sunrise and the songs of the local birds around. If you wake up early enough, you will be lucky enough to catch sunrise from the open entrance of the accommodation.

 

The Volunteer House has same-sexed bedrooms sectioned off for privacy situated around two communal social areas. There are shared bathrooms that have western style toilets and cold showers. The cold showers will prove refreshing after a hot, humid and energy-sapping day on the project!

 

All of the essentials are provided for you, such as mosquito nets, electric fans, pillows, plug sockets and clean bed sheets. A fridge is provided for volunteers should you want to store any cool items. The Volunteer House has a dining room and longue area where volunteers gather and socialise at lunch and evenings.

 

The walls of the field house are covered in decorative paintings done by past volunteers and you are encouraged to pick up a paint brush and contribute to brightening up the house surroundings.

 

There is a communal area where everyone comes together in free time. There are many board games and local games to get involved with too keep you occupied or simply choose to read a book on the veranda as the sun sets down in the evening!

INDIA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in India you will live in our Volunteer House located in central Faridabad, a satellite city 15 miles from Delhi. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is large, basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 7 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet.

 

The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables with our local team in their private area. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled. There are facilities for volunteers to hand-wash and dry their clothes. A laundry service is also available for a nominal fee.

 

Volunteers are housed adjacent to a wonderful host family who coordinate our projects in India. Volunteers have their own separate living quarters, but still have regular interaction with our local coordinator. This accommodation setup offers volunteers the unique experience of living with lots of other volunteers as well as getting the cultural immersion of staying alongside a host family. It really is the best of both worlds!

 

The majority of our projects are not within walking distance of our Volunteer House. PMGY will take you to and from the project each day and the cost of this service is included in your Programme Fee.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

NEPAL

Your first few days in Nepal and the final night of your programme will be based in Kathmandu living with our host team in their family home. The accommodation here is nice and comfortable, has Wi-Fi and is a nice welcome into life in Nepal. Your accommodation type after these few days will depend on which programme you are joining.

 

It is important to note that accommodation in Nepal is comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western style toilets however some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!

 

Children’s Homes

 

The children’s homes we support have separate living quarters for volunteers (these are located next to the project). Rooms are basic and fit between 2 and 4 people with bedding provided. Wi-Fi may be available in communal areas, but will be intermittent if so. Volunteers have their own space and privacy and should expect cold showers, potentially even bucket showers. The house mother will prepare meals for you and the children. This is generally traditional Nepalese food. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook traditional Nepalese dishes.

 

Monastery

 

During your time on the programme you will live at the monastery in Kathmandu or Chitwan.

 

Volunteers will live at the monastery in separate volunteer living quarters. Accommodation is basic but comfortable. The monastery in Chitwan is located in a rural setting so volunteers should not expect western style toilets, hot water showers or internet access at Chitwan Monastery. The accommodation in Kathmandu is more modern.

 

Living at the monastery is a truly unique experience that can bring with it some amazing views. You’ll hear the gong go off at 5am every morning to call the monks for prayer and meditation – something you’re welcome to take part in! Living life side-by-side with the monks is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

Host Family

 

Staying with a host family is a great way to immerse yourself into the Nepalese way of life. You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers. You can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family!

 

The more questions you ask and efforts you make to socialise with the host family generally correlates to how much they interact with you and open their home to you. In general you will be provided with bedding, mosquito net and a fan.

 

Please note that some host families have Nepalese toilets. These are squat toilets with a bucket of water to flush, and in more rural locations it can be a hole in the ground. The level of facilities at the host family will vary depending on how rural the location is.

 

It’s always handy to carry toilet paper and some hand sanitiser with you when in Nepal – just in case. Toilet paper is easy to find in the shops but hand sanitiser is only available in the cities, so its worth bringing a couple of bottles from home.

MEALS

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa. Hikkaduwa is a 20 minute journey from Ambalangoda and the cost to get there by tuk tuk is around $6 each way.

 

A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. You will have a couple hours free time after lunch for your stomach to settle before the afternoon session! Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available and the meals tend to be mainly vegetarian anyways. All meals are freshly prepared on site each day.

 

There are tea/coffee facilities provided for volunteers whenever required as well as water filters so remember to top up before you head into the jungle!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

INDIA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes that can be typically quite spicy and made up of vegetarian ingredients, although pasta and other such western dishes are prepared every now and then. If you are not a huge lover of spicy food don’t worry, there will always be a more mild option available!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

NEPAL

You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day by your host family. Traditional Nepalese food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yogurt and lots of rice so its may take a little getting used to.

 

Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.

 

Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complimented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAMME FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

6 weeks
$1485
$249
$1734
9 weeks
$1935
$249
$2184
12 weeks
$2235
$249
$2484

* These fees apply to each individual application and are displayed in USD.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme, you need to pay the Registration Fee ($249). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your $249 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

VOLUNTEER IN ASIA REVIEWS

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPS YES
  • AIRPORT DROP OFF (NEPAL)YES
  • PRIVATE PROJECT TRANSPORT (INDIA & SL)YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR UK-BASED EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • UNLIMITED EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • COMPREHENSIVE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION YES
  • INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • NEPAL MEALS DURING ORIENTATION ($15)NO
  • NEPAL ORIENTATION ENTRANCE FEES ($15)NO
  • FLIGHTS ($1200-$1600)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE ($25 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS ($90)NO
  • VISAS ($180)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (VARIES)NO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

 

 

UK: +44 800 321 3564

USA: 1-813-422-5109

hello@planmygapyear.com