Volunteer travel with Tibetan refugees
In 1959, a rebellion broke out in Tibet against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The fourteenth Dalai Lama decided to flee to Dharamsala, in northern India. In the next two years, 80,000 Tibetans follow him. In McLeod Ganj, a small district north of Dharamsala , the Tibetan administration was established and the place becomes the centre of the Tibetan refugees world . However, India has not signed any Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Tibetans living in this country are still considered foreigners. This means they suffer labour and social exclusion as they cannot get a decent job or even study at some of the Indian universities. Young Tibetans increasingly travel to other countries and lose a part of their culture.
This project was founded in 2013 with the aim of providing quality education to refugees and promoting Tibetan culture and the Tibetan cause. Since its inception, the organization has offered education to more than 2,000 young Tibetans and has organized hundreds of events to promote culture.
In this project you will live in the same center where the young people go to study and you will be able to establish friendship with them. You will know their cause, their ideas and their worldview based on Buddhism. The center is located just a few steps from the home of the Dalai Lama and you may have the opportunity to participate in one of the many public events in which he himself takes part during the year.
This project works towards achieving the following Sustainable Development Goals
Project LocationMcLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
Volunteer hours2 hours a day: one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon from Monday to Friday.
Volunteer activitiesConversations in English, possibility of preparing workshops and talks (environment, photography, etc.), support in organizing events, marketing.
Minimal collaboration2 weeks
IncluidoTumaini accompanimentHot waterAccommodationLocal CoordinatorTraining courseAirport pick-upVolunteer liability insuranceWIFI
No incluidoTourist activitiesLunchDinnerKitchenBreakfastTravel insuranceFlight
- Participating in conversations and English classes
- Conducting French classes
- Preparation and conducting workshops
- Administrative support
- Support in organization of events and marketing
- It can be combined with the nursery project in the same town.
- Level of English (intermediate level equivalent to B1, no diploma required).
- Be of legal age or, in the case of minors, be accompanied by adults. The minimum recommended age to participate is 17 years.
- Be open-minded, tolerant, supportive and willing to learn. Flexibility is essential, as tasks may change depending on the needs of the NGO, similarly the ability to work in a team since volunteering is done in coordination with other people.
- People interested in Buddhism or the Tibetan cause
- People who want to enjoy their free time hiking in the mountains.
- Teachers, professors, people with experience in project development and communication, photographers, etc.
A day in the project
After this last session I would go for a walk, eat something or have tea somewhere. There were many days that I went to visit my Indian friends, shopkeepers where I once bought something, and I would stay with them talking and drinking tea until the end of the day.The day ended the same way it began: early and at the mercy of sunlight. There was little to do once it got dark.''
Alejandro Sanz de Galdeano, project volunteer between April and May 2019
- Winter: from October to February. In this season the temperature during the day can rise up to 9ºC, but at night it drops to 0ºC or even less. The city experiences snowfall and, despite the cold, the environment becomes very beautiful. March is an intermediate month between the cold and hot season.
- Summer: from April to June. Daytime temperatures are usually between 22ºC and 30ºC. It is the perfect season for mountain excursions.
- Rainy season: from July to September. The temperatures are pleasant, between 18ºC and 22ºC and thanks to the rains nature revives and the environment becomes beautiful. It usually rains a lot; however, you can take short excursions around the city.
- 2 weeks: €585
- 3 weeks: 720€.
- 4 weeks: 855€.
- 6 weeks: 1.120€.
- Search for the solidarity trip that best fits your profile and interests to provide an enriching beneficial experience for both travellers and NGOs.
- A guide of the project with useful up-to-date information on the status and needs of the project.
- Support during the preparation of your trip: visas, vaccinations, tips for buying your flight, advice on what to visit, essentials to carry in your backpack, practical information (money exchange, transport, timetables, culture, etc.).
- Tumaini coordinator available by email or phone whenever you need to solve all your doubts. Sometimes, if possible, face-to-face meetings are also held.
- Online course on solidarity travel and responsible tourism, mandatory for volunteers to get the most out of their experience.
- Contact, if possible and on request, with volunteers who have already been in the project.
- Contact, if possible and on request, with people who are going to travel on similar dates to chat before the solidarity trip, resolve doubts or organize it together.
- Basic Tumaini Tibetan-English dictionary.
- Accident and liability insurance specialized in volunteering.
- Follow-up during the solidarity trip.
- Letter of reference or certificate of solidarity travel/volunteering on request.
- CO2 compensation by planting a tree and monitoring it for three years on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.
- Accommodation in a single/double room with private bathroom.
- Internal road transport from Dharamsala airport to the project.
- Local Coordinator.
- International ticket
- Travel insurance (compulsory)
- Extras such as personal excursions, shopping, etc.
- A contribution to Tumaini for the efforts and assistance of the volunteers.
- A contribution to the project for board and lodging.