Yeh Hai Life!

A New Way To Experience India: Cross Cultural Solutions’ Volunteer Program

In Entrepreneurs, India, People Making A Difference, Travel, Women's Issues on May 26, 2009 at 9:44 am

By Antoinette Alexander

There is a silver lining to the global recession cloud – volunteering and community service are in. And Cross-Cultural Solutions, a non-profit provider of international volunteering, offers a unique opportunity to experience a new culture while making a difference.

Through the organization’s flagship volunteer program, volunteers can visit one of 12 countries, including India. The start dates are available year-round, and trips can last between two and 12 weeks. Each year, more than 4,000 people participate in its volunteer programs.

By evaluating a person’s skills and interests, CCS works to match volunteers with the needs of the community. But the locals aren’t the only ones who benefit. CCS staff has developed activities to help volunteers learn about the local culture and customs, as well as understand community development. There is also time to just relax and explore the community!

Work in the CCS Dharamsala program. Nestled in a picturesque forest with the snow-capped Himalayan mountain range as its backdrop, the town is at the crossroads of two ancient cultures – Indian and the refugee Tibetan population. The Dalai Lama’s home is a few miles away from here. Volunteers in Dharamsala can assist teachers with educational and recreational activities for first to sixth graders, work with adult patients seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addition or teach games and the English alphabet at a daycare center.

The CCS program in New Delhi has been operating volunteer programs since 1995. Here you could help elderly residents, assist in community centers or spend time in rehabilitation centers working with children with disabilities. You could also help educate the children of migrant workers about hygiene and provide English lessons.

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