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Live, Work & Travel in India, Central Asia and the Middle East


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Gap Year & Voluntary Work in India, Central Asia and the Middle East Continued...

Unpaid Positions & Adventure

SECMOL - The Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh was founded in India in 1988 by a group of young Ladakhis. Today they organise activities for Ladakhi youth, run a campus for students and develop solar energy projects. Volunteers contribute around a small fee per day towards costs.

Smile Society - Welcomes students and international volunteers to help in their work with street and slum kids in India.

Swogun Nepal - An alternative energy manufacturer in Nepal. Swogun's Solar Aid volunteers install solar home systems in rural communities, public houses, libraries, temples, health posts etc. After installation, training is provided to ensure that users can take proper advantage of having light after sunset. This includes the teaching of income generating skills like weaving or carpet making to help the villagers to become self-sufficient. Volunteers contribute the price of one solar system (around $500) and stay with local families.

Work on a Cruise Ships


Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project - An excavation in Israel uncovering biblical Gath of the the Philistines, the home of Goliath, one of the largest and most impressive sites in the Near East. They have openings for volunteers and students (including accredited academic field school) for a minimum of two weeks in July each year.

Tel Rehov - Welcomes volunteers to help to excavate one of the largest and most intriguing Biblical cities in Israel . The dig takes place from mid June until mid July. The only beehives ever discovered in an archaeological excavation in the world were uncovered at Tel Rehov and you are invited to be part of exposing more of this fascinating ancient industry. They can offer accommodation at a kibbutz near the tel and an accredited academic field school.

Tong-Len - Tong-Len is active in attempting to help displaced communities in northern India through a range of education and health based projects. Volunteers are sought to help in tent schools and health clinics.

Tent of Nations - Run educational projects at Daher’s Vineyard, their organic farm, located in the hills southwest of Bethlehem, Palestine. They offer workcamps and volunteer opportunities; run children’s summer camps and a women’s empowerment project, and welcome groups and visitors of all shapes and sizes.

Unipal - Sends volunteers to the Middle East to work with Palestinians on a short term basis in the summer, to teach English or to take part in other activities as needed.

Vidya - For over 25 years Vidya has been educating and empowering women and children in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. They would appreciate your help in teaching English, or perhaps music or sports in one of their educational programmes.

Volunteering With India - A non profit organisation offering volunteering programmes such as elephant care work, theater volunteer work, an English teaching programme to children, street child care, orphanage assistance and women empowerment.

Volunteer Nepal National Group - A community based, non profit organisation offering internships, travel and tours, and volunteer work.

Volunteers for Rural India - Previously known as Indian Volunteers for Community Service (IVCS), this small registered charity runs a scheme enabling anyone over 18 to visit development projects in India for voluntary work or general interest, for any period from 3 weeks to 6 months. The emphasis is on learning about development and a different way of life, but there are opportunities to join the work of the project for example by teaching conversational English, helping with everyday tasks, writing reports, painting murals, or arranging special activities for school children. Fees are reasonable, particularly for longer stays. No qualifications required except tact, patience and a willingness to learn and fit into a very different way of life.

Volunteers Nepal - Volunteering and internship opportunities in Nepal.

World Zionist Organization, Hagshama Department - Look under 'Resources' for details of programmes in Israel.

WWOOF Bangladesh - Volunteers are asked to contribute $3 a day to their hosts.

WWOOF India - They could have one host farm, they could have a thousand. No insight one way or the other is provided by the website.

WWOOF Israel - Organic farms in Israel that welcome volunteer labour. Their list includes an organic moshav.

WWOOF Kazakhstan - There were no Kazakh hosts when we looked.

WWOOF Nepal - Surely the highest organic farm movement in the world.

Living in India and the Middle East

Real Estate and Resources for Staying Long Term

Maa Properties - Hyderabad real estate.

Property - Find a home in the UAE.

Travelling in India and the Middle East

Accommodation & Getting Around

Cleopetra Hotel - Come as a guest leave as a friend. Special reductions for volunteers and students. Internet access, free use of kitchen, transport to Petra and much more. Deirdre stalked BBC journalist Wyra Davis here.

Famous India - A site about travel destinations of India including villages, trains and theme parks.

Farah Hotel - Budget hotel located in downtown Amman, close to the Citadel and other sights. Breakfast included, lounge area, Bedouin tent, refigerators, internet access and friendly hospitable staff.

Junge Home Kids Summer Camp - A summer camp for kids in India, located 240km from Bangalore. - Looking for former kibbutz volunteers? If you volunteered on a kibbutz in Israel, chances are you'd recently finished school, didn't have a permanent address and weren't sure what you were going to do next in life. And you probably lost touch with all those friends from around the world. If you're looking for friends from those heady days, help is at hand via this site set up by a former volunteer from England and a kibbutznik from Israel.

Kibbutz Volunteer - John Carson's experiences of kibbutz life. He provides tips and information on being a kibbutz volunteer.

Olive Branch Hotel & Campground - Fantastic location near Jerash with splendid views. Affordable prices. Spacious comfortable rooms. Camping facilities, restaurant, swimming pool, game room, hiking trails.

Regis Hotel - An outstanding seaside location in Beirut, Lebanon. Two minutes to the sea. 20 private rooms with ensuite bathroom, 24 hours hotwater, satellite TV, a/c and heating, internet and laundry service.

The Savage Files - Includes information about the author's stay on kibbutz Horshim, and also another story about Jerusalem. Plenty of other resources and stories too. Even though this site seems long abandoned it remains a good example for new travellers of what is possible when it comes to supporting yourself abroad.

Other Useful Websites

Culture, News...

Amantel - Phone cards to call India and Pakistan.

Embassy of Israel, London - Israeli events and news.

Gulf Times - English language newspaper in Qatar.

The Hindu - English language newspaper.

Iran Daily - English language newspaper.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Facts and news about the nation.

The Jerusalem Post - Read up or keep up to date with Israeli news.

Jordan Times - English language newspaper.

Times of India - English language newspaper.