Volunteer vacation at an NGO in Mumbai

Volunteer vacation at an NGO in Mumbai

Be the change you want to see in the world -- or at least give it a try working with Indian street children
NGO in Mumbai
You practice English with them, they teach you how to play cricket barefoot.

If you’ve ever thought about a volunteer vacation with an NGO in Mumbai, you may already be familiar with Mahatma Gandhi's advice that "the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

1. Work with the Salaam Baalak Trust street children

Inspired by Mira Nair’s film "Salaam Bombay," about Mumbai's street children, the trust's mission is to get children off the streets into safer, more secure environments where they can receive medical help, an education and all the things that make childhood worthwhile.

The Salaam Balaak Trust's volunteer program allows short-term visitors to help in a variety of ways -- teaching kids art or yoga, helping them with homework and computers, or just giving them the opportunity to practice English. Professionals can also participate in marketing and mental health programs.

"For children with no home, life is a fast train to nowhere," the organization says on its website. "Salaam Baalak Trust works to restore them to the world of childhood and take them from a lonely dead-end to bonding, learning and the joy of a professional life."

Minimum volunteer terms are two weeks. Volunteers must arrange their own transportation and accommodation to the project site.

Contact Dottie Wagle at info@salaamstreetkids.org or tel +91 (0) 9867017017

2. The kids at the Magic Bus teach you a few things about cricket

Magic Bus recognizes a child’s right to play and uses sport as tool for social development. Sohan Shah who heads the program explains why sport is so effective, “A lot of empowerment comes through sport beyond the physical benefits of exercise. It creates a sense of belonging and purpose, makes children aware of their abilities and helps them believe in themselves. These qualities then translate off the field to everyday life”

Their approach to volunteering is quite flexible but you have to register first on their website for opportunities which range from coaching in a sport or simply showing for games and participating, mentoring and essentially making it fun for everyone involved.

Contact Azeem Rajwani at azeem@magicbusindia.org; Todi Estate, Room 5, A Wing, 2nd floor, Sunmills Compound, Lower Parel (W); tel +91 (0) 22 4333 9393

3. Work with Pratham on the Read Mumbai Campaign

Pratham works primarily in the field of education and literacy for children, operating on a very large scale and reaching millions of children across the country, Pratham welcomes volunteers for a minimum of two weeks.

“Different people have different expectations and commitments but Pratham relies on volunteer support. Volunteers assist in many areas like Read Mumbai Campaign, instructing in English or at our computer labs,” says Meghna Mehta an associate at Pratham.

Schedule a visit via email at info@pratham.org; Y.B. Chavan Center, 4th Floor, Gen. J. Bhosale Marg, Nariman Point; tel +91 (0) 22 2281 9561

Raised in several cities across India, Tarini's constant search for new homes forms the basis of her desire to explore incessantly.
Read more about Tarini Awatramani