India

Leave Ur Mark

India is a fascinating country and my time spent was just enough. I went for 6 weeks on the Therapy and Counseling internship. The most convenient aspects were: it was walking distance from the flats, the therapists spoke in English mostly, the system of evaluation is the Carolina scale which I was familiar with. It is important to come with some working knowledge of autism or else the therapists are spending a lot of energy teaching you the basics (as I observed happening to another intern).

Leave Ur Mark is a good program for those that are willing to be a little independent sometimes. It's important after work that you learn to get around on your own and plan your weekend trips. The coordinator helped us out but it is not supposed to be a guided tour so you have to go into the program knowing that you'll have to learn how to plan travel on your own.

I loved the housing we stayed in. Our flats were spacious, bright and always buzzing with travelers. The view every morning from my balcony was incredible.

My advice to Leave UR Mark would be to organize more barbeque parties as that really gets the interns to be more social with one another. My advice to future interns is to take advantage of every weekend to travel to different parts of India. Work hard and travel hard.

Hopefully I'll be back one day again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Feb 8, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

Totally Fraud .... CHARGES is very very High and Service is very very poor. I am come here for child teaching program. Really its first... where i am feel very very FRUSTRATED. pranay don't know proper English that reason i can't say anything.

Pickup Charges and Packages charges is very very high. They should be include more services in this charges...

TOTALLY FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD SERVICE............ they charge in foreign currency... after this convert in indian rupees and got big money. THEY NOT THE REAL PERSON. they cheat with the foreigner... you can see the packages charges in foreign currency not in Indian currency....

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Jan 23, 2016
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Comments

SPAM POST !! Dear Fake user, We have reported the repeated Spam posting to our account to authorities. We are in process of legal action. Thank you. Sankalp Volunteer Society.
This is an incorrect evaluation, going back for a third time this summer, I don't think Sankalp is fraud and overpricing compare to other companies!!!!
How can you say they are a fraud??!? Their fees are reasonable, especially for the experience you get; a fantastic place to stay and an amazing volunteer experience to help children. They display their fees in a different currency to try and make it easier for the majority of their volunteers, simple. You say 'they need to provide more services'. Did you go to India for a holiday for yourself or to volunteer to help children?? When you volunteer, not all the fee goes on you, it's about the children and the money goes to running the projects. Pranay and Amita run a fantastic volunteer project and I recommend Sankalp to anyone.

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I have spent a month volunteering through Sankalp in Jaipur, India. I was bit hesitant upon arrival as i was quite nervous but the Sankalp family has put me at ease from the beginning. Amita, Pranay and the wonderful chef Purni has made me feel at home. The volunteer house is located in a safe environment and we had access to markets within walking distance. Food cooked at Sankalp was delicious and they took really good care of us. Rooms are quite comfortable and they have public transport pre arranged for the volunteers. Amita is always available to talk to and she answers all the questions patiently. I have worked in the Orphanage within that time frame and it was the most humbling experience of my life. I couldn't get enough of it and I only wish I had spent longer. However working in Orphanage is extremely emotional. The kids ranging from 1 - 8 are adorable and mischievous too. I got really attached to few kids and i am so glad Amita was always there to talk to and counsel. I would also like to mention that their safety rules had made me feel better during my stay. I know how things can go wrong really quickly in India and i was happy to know that they took security issues quite seriously. They always locked the gates by 9:30 pm which made me sleep better. I am thankful for their support and their hospitality.I will definitely come back to work with Sankalp as i had a wonderful time and made some amazing friends through this trip. I miss the kids at the orphanage and even though its a tough program, I encourage ppl to go and spend time with them. The smile and the hugs you receive from them is priceless and its worth it all.

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Jan 19, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
6

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I completed the 1 month work & travel program with Sankalp Volunteer in Jaipur, India. Sankalp is a great company that offers a variety of volunteer placements and also offers additional travel and sightseeing. I felt safe and supported the whole time during my placement and met a lot of great people. I will remember this experience for the rest of my life and recommend Sankalp to anyone looking to volunteer in India.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Dec 26, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

What a wonderful month I spent in Jaipur, the volunteer house is in a great location, very residential but not so isolated you can't get anywhere. The food provided by the organisation is honestly the best food I've tasted in the whole of India (and we travelled around on weekends!). Transport was provided to get safely to and from work, so all volunteers could plan their time off accordingly. I was initially a little nervous about teaching as I'm not a teacher at home, but as long as you listen in your orientation and have the motivation to make a difference, then there is nothing to worry about. Be prepared to spend your evenings coming up with lesson plans so you can maximise your full potential, as well as the kids! All volunteers are there for the same reasons, so it's very easy to make friends in the house, as everyone is pretty like-minded. Anyone who's looking to make a change - whether its internal or external - go for Sankalp.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Dec 21, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

Upon arrival in Jaipur Sankalp arranged my pick up from the airport properly. After arriving at the volunteer house the "house mom" Puni showed me around and introduced me to the other people in the house. I immediately felt safe and welcome here.
The next day there was a introduction given by Amita who, together with her husband Prunay, is the contact person of Sankalp that is always available for your questions. I personally liked the fact that Amita did not only spent time on explaining the project but also gave some background information about the country and the city. She also explained the rules in the house which seemed a bit strict at first (no meat, no alcohol and be home at 21:30) but later on it appeared that Amita and her husband are just worried about your safety and when you communicate well with them about the time of coming home they are flexible.
Furthermore Puni's cooking was so good that even as a meat lover i didnt miss the meat just once (btw on the weekend trips you are free to eat and drink whatever you want!).
Speaking about the weekend trips i was surprised about the quality of the hotels. Most of them had a swimmingpool and they all looked nice. Better than I expected. The organisation also arranged a driver (Adjit) who took care of us very well during the weekends. He made me feel safe everywhere.

About the volunteerhouse: the house is located in Murlipura which is a bit out of the centre (30 minutes by tuktuk, only cost you around 2 dollar to go there so no big deal). I liked the location since it is less chaotic in this neighbourhood. Besides people are not so used to tourist here which makes the shopping good and people, especially children, treat you like a celeb.
The best thing about the house is the amazing rooftop terrace for a relaxing afternoon or a night underneed the stars..
The rooms are shared with 4 people and are not extremely spacious. The shower always has really hot water.

About the food: as said before the cooking in the house is strictly vegetarian but Puni's cooking is great. She cooks you lunch and dinner every day. Some people say its a lot of carbs but i couldnt care less, its just delicious! Brealfast you need to arrange yourself.

About the projects: I was lucky to be able to do both the woman empowerment and the orphanage. Both projects i really enjoyed and since they are so different from each other i cant say that one is better than the other. But I must say that woman empowerment might be easier since the conditions in the orphanage can be quite shocking for those comming from a western society (the bathing rituals and the fact that they dont use nappy's when volunteers are not there). You will get dirty every day but that doesnt make it more fun. If you consider the orphanage i would strongly recommend you to think about lice prevention.. i got them (my worst nightmare) but if i would have thought about the possibility of getting them on beforehand i think i would have taken better protection (wearing a showercap with a scarf over it or something).

Overall i would definately recommend doing the work and travel program with Sankalp. The only downside of including the travel it that you have only 3,5 week of volunteering and since Indians have some holidays as well it can even be less.

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Dec 16, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

Didnt have a clue what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.The programme was really good and the living accomodation was fine.The in house cook Puni was amazing and really took care of us.Amita and Pranay were always on hand to answer any questions about the programme.I didnt have a problem at all with the programme apart from other people using it as a holiday rather than a volunteer programme.Luckily this was only one person.But if you pay to Volunteer you are there to give your services however hard and distressing it maybe.You are made fully aware of what you are getting into beforehand.Overall it was an amazing experience and I would love to do it again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Dec 11, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I arrived to begin my 12 weeks working on the Street Children project in Jaipur in early August 2015. I booked my volunteering experience through Love Volunteers but on arrival found that it was only with Sankalp, the partner organisation administered by an Indian husband and wife team, with whom I would be working.

I arrived to the volunteer house just after Sankalp had thrown three girls out onto the streets with no-where to go. One of these girls was just 17 years old.
Their reason for this was that these girls had written a letter to Love Volunteers voicing their discontent relating to how little of what they had paid to volunteer was going towards the projects. Their complaints had been brought to the attention of the administrators of Salkalp and they were asked to leave. Needless to say I didn't arrive in a very positive environment.

During our induction, the project co-ordinator (the wife, for the husband speaks very poor English) told us more regarding India as a whole rather than the projects they oversee and what we'd be doing day to day.
The main issue was that most people only discovered during this induction that they would NOT be working for an NGO. Love Volunteers claimed Sankalp was a non profit organisation as do several sites on Google. In fact the Sankalp website still states they work with NGO’s. I never worked with an NGO during my 3 months.

Also within our induction volunteers learnt that instead of 'helping' at a school you would in fact be put in front of 5-12 children who speak very little English with no idea of where they are at with studies to teach them English and Maths. She also told me false information regarding the level of my class. Which as it turns out she knows nothing about appearing for only a few minutes three times during my three months at the school and barely associating with the children. This is just one example of many that reveal the lack of regard for both the volunteers and the projects shown by the two administrators of Sankalp.

On arrival at the school I found that there were in excess of 50 children in 8 classes with only one teacher. Each time a new volunteer arrived they were given a group of children and there was little continuity with the teaching. If there was only one volunteer at the school they keep their one class whilst the main teacher is expected to teach the other 7 classes, all at different levels.
Although the school has been open for 7 years there are no desks, two classes to each room, 3 classes taught outdoors under a shelter and very few teaching facilities.

Each volunteer had a different method of teaching, being of different cultures and nationalities, most with zero teaching experience and with no instruction and very few books on what to teach. There was no record of what previous volunteers had taught before. This resulted in the children being taught the same things over and over. In fact, a system of keeping the tests that are completed every Friday in a folder to show where each class was up to was only implemented a week before I arrived after Love Volunteers began questioning the setup of Sankalp due to the amount of complaints they had been receiving from previous volunteers.

I could go on and on regarding how disappointed I was with Sankalp throughout my stay there:
- 80% of the volunteers left early due to them being so unhappy with the setup of Sankalp.
- The lack of structure within all the programmes for example: The Women Empowerment programme that has very little to do with women or empowerment seeing as the girls are all below the age of 16 and learn nothing to do with the rights of Indian women but are only taught such things as English nouns and body parts. Again, like on the Street Children programme there was no record of what had been taught to the girls by the previous volunteers.
-The state of the volunteer house: the paint and plaster in the living rooms are peeling away drastically, the beds are horrifically dirty and volunteers are expected to buy their own work clothes, cleaning products and toilet paper.
- The 9:30pm curfew in place for everyone till two 50 year old Indian men came back each night at around 11pm and nothing was said...

This is just a very short list of examples of what I saw that was wrong during my three months working with Sankalp.

Steps were being taken whilst I was there to improve what the girls complained about: storage shelves were placed downstairs to hold pens, paper, pencils and other school essentials. New folders were given to us to keep the tests the children did each Friday in order to keep a record of what they had studied previously. It’s just a shame that it takes people complaining and Love Volunteers to start asking questions before the administrators decide to take any action towards improvement.

I can see how far Sankalp have come since being launched in 2006. During my 9th week myself and several volunteers were called downstairs to ask what Sankalp could do to stop receiving so many complaints. This was the first time I got any real answer to where the money was going (into their pockets and then spent as they see fit: her words not mine) and saw the pictures showing how far they’d progressed. Yet with the amount people are spending to volunteer compared to how much it costs to live in India, plus the amount of volunteers they’ve had through the years I’m afraid in my opinion they have not progressed enough.

I think the fact that during my three months I didn’t see one volunteer out of 40 leave satisfied with their experience shows how successful Sankalp really is.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Dec 8, 2015
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
2

Comments

Sankalp organization takes note of this fabricated review by an anonymous person who is posting incorrect information on various websites in various fictitious names. Please be known that earlier last month 3 volunteers were suspended from their respective programs due to misconduct and non compliance of the safety norms set by the organization in India. Sankalp takes safety issues for all international volunteers very seriously and it is the responsibly of the volunteer to comply to all the rules laid down by the organization for their own benefit. India is not as any other country in the west. It has completely different social dynamics which has to be understood and followed by all volunteers. We accept all creative criticism but not that is fictitious or specially written to damage the reputation of Sankalp Volunteer.

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I spent one month volunteering in Jaipur in January 2013, traveling on the weekends. The attention the program has given us, as well as hosting, food and transportation was really good. I chose the Women Empowerment volunteering program where me and a girl from NY split and taught together girls from a village near by. I chose the older ones because they spoke more English and because of that I was able to treat them less like children and more like human beings living in our curent planet Earth. i taught them globalizaiton, world currencies, and also did a test in which they had to know what is their talent, work, knowledge, what are resources and what is Indias worst enemy. This was to make them understand that the country they live in has everything, but poverty is Indias biggest enemy, which was indeed the overall answer from each and every single one of them. It has been a life-changing experience for me without a second of doubt. Also because of the wonderful hindi vegetarian food cooked in the house everyday, I turned into a vegetarian ever since - 3 years now - once I realize how people live well and deliciously without our Western unbalanced craving for constant meat. `We had to wake up very early everyday and had a curfew to return home, 8 pm. But it works since we all had the energy throughout the whole day to give to teaching and also see places of Jaipur. In the weekends the program has arranged amazing travels for the volunteers who chose the work and travel program and I have definetely experience a few of the best moments of my life in these travels, as well as in the teaching program. I could see from my girls that the frequency of english speaking volunteers has actually taught them english, and they are able to communicate even though their educaiton doesnt help so much and they are surrounded by a poor village, that in itself it extremely valuable.
On a note: I dont know how it works in India with these things since prices are always different however I do think getting couple a least of computer to teach the girls things like Word, and other basic things would be extremely helpful. I taught them Powerpoint and they all made presentations about themselves. This can be a valuable tool in the future for children who want to thrive in a system that was imposed on them,.
Overall, Sankalp Volunteer is an excellent program and up to today I recommend it to everyone. I am gratfefull to have chosen this program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Nov 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I was there in august of 2014. It was a great experience teaching english and maths to childs that live in risk of social exclusion, although another volunteers were working in an orphanate and another programs that the NGO gets you to chose. It was a invaluable experience because you can learn how that culture and religion are, and how those people live. The NGO provide you tasteful vegetarian food and bring you everyday to your workcenter where you will work 4 hours, the rest of the day you will can enjoy the live in Jaipur.
Don't miss this opportunity to rise your awareness and your knowledge enjoy helping people!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Nov 30, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

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