In India, Government spending on health is incredibly low at only 1% of GDP, and 70% of services are provided by the private sector, which is unregulated and poorly integrated.
Across the country 196 million people are undernourished, with 4 out of 10 children suffering from chronic under-nutrition or stunting. While families with higher incomes can afford to supplement the usual diet of rice, dahl and chapatti with other fruits, vegetables and meat, those on a lower income are restricted to a simpler diet with less nutritional variety.
At the same time, unhealthy food and lifestyle choices are increasingly contributing to the prevalence of overweight and obese children and a rise in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases, which now account for 63% of all deaths in India.
Further contributing to community ill-health is the issue that while there in a basic awareness of hygiene and sanitation practices, many people don’t have the resources to effectively practice them. In schools for example there is no soap, so students are unable to form habits effectively.
We work on a number of projects in and around Palampur to help improve community health. As a health promotion volunteer, you will play a key role in our health education program, designing and delivering important workshops in the community that cover the following topics:
Sanitation and Hygiene
Mental health and well-being
When you arrive in India you’ll be met by our team at the airport. Over the next few days you’ll have a thorough induction and orientation where you’ll learn about Indian culture and history, get your bearings around town, meet community partners, visit local health facilities and gain a better understanding of the context of the projects you’re working on.
Over two weeks, you’ll volunteer Monday – Friday with the weekend free to do your own travel and exploring. Your day will usually be structured with a morning session (approx. 3 hours) after breakfast and then a session of the same length after lunch. Your afternoons and evenings will be free for you to relax and explore town or do any required planning for the next day.
On the last day, you’ll either be transported back to the airport or you can join our extension trip tour of the best sites across India!
After your volunteer program you can join our optional extension trip for $950 and spend a week on the most spectacular tour of India! You'll begin by heading to Amristar where you'll visit the Golden Temple and watch the famous lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah Border. Next up is Agra where you'll spend time exploring the Red Fort, local markets and the one and only Taj Mahal! Your final destination will be Delhi where you'll visit the Old and New cities and have plenty of time to do you own exploring before catching your flight home.
I had a fantastic experience and learnt so much. Being immersed in the culture at both the schools was valuable and captivating. I was able to gain a number of skills and knowledge and hopefully made a big impact on the communities we engaged with. I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone considering it.Caitlyn Rowe - University of Technology Sydney
Volunteering has been one of the best decisions I've made! I've met such amazing kids and learnt so much from them. Leave your handprint on the world because you will find yourself changed forever.Fiona Chen - University of Queensland
This is a challenging yet life changing experience, that I will never forget. I am so proud of everything we achieved, the was a trip with real purpose and I hope to participate in something like this again in the future!Kelsey Noble - Southern Cross University