Grassroots is based in the Himalayan region of Kumaon in Uttarakhand. Grassroots works with rural mountain communities in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand, and the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh. It focuses on the sustainable development of these communities. Grassroots lays special emphasis on the issues of drinking water, environmental sanitation, renewable energy and natural resource management. It also focuses on enterprise development, and is involved in training local people and providing them with opportunities for employment. Grassroots collaborates with other voluntary organisations in the region, and has been spearheading ‘holistic’ mountain development among rural communities in the central and western Himalaya for the last twenty years.
Initially, volunteers will be involved with understanding the basic principles of mountain development. They will then assist the organisation in some relevant documentation work. Usually, this is work that gets neglected by the organisation due to lack of time. There are possibilities to get involved with research on areas that Grassroots is focusing on, and preparing reports based on field engagement and data that has been collected by Grassroots and its affiliates.
There are a number of other possible issues which will be discussed with the volunteers when they arrive.
Students interested in studying Livelihoods Improvement programs could look at the Umang website http://www.umang-himalaya.com and also opt to work closely with programs associated with Umang.
See Testimonials for feedback from recent volunteers.
You should expect to spend about £1400 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. This includes the £300 programme fee payable for Camvol support and a Grassroots fee of Euro 200 (approximately £190, depending on exchange rates) to cover the costs of staff time and local costs associated with hosting and mentoring volunteers.
In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to India (typically about £600 if booked early), and apply for an appropriate visa, as required by the Indian High Commission (for visa charges, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website for exact fees).
Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.
Financial support for summer charitable work and volunteering is available via Colleges and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.