Founded in 1992 in village Satoli, district Nainital, Uttarakhand, Aarohi has been working towards creating development opportunities in Rural Kumaon for more than twenty years. When the founding spirits behind Aarohi first came to the region, the local populace of subsistence farmers lacked health facilities, meaningful education for their children, and had few livelihood options. Moreover, they depended heavily on dwindling forest reserves and their lives were wrapped in detrimental social taboos and practices. This led them to formalize Aarohi’s organizational structure, with a vision to create a more equitable society. A word taken from classical Hindustani music, Aarohi signifies, in name and in spirit, ascendance or growth; the growth of thought, creativity and harmony.

Aarohi’s two-decade journey has been one of trials and tribulations – Oona, the founding spirit, passed away barely four years after its birth. The foundations of this fledgling organization were shaken, but they survived and have continued the ascendant path. A team of 85 full-time staff, and supported by 297 members from all over the world, they currently operate in 58 villages, working with approximately 36,800 people. Once-sleepy Satoli, the village today is a buzzing node of grassroots action that has, in some way or another, touched the lives of over 50,000 people in some 100 mountain villages.

Currently Aarohi’s work is focused on three main areas:

  1. Community and Clinical Health (mainly mother and child health);
  2. Education (runs a middle school providing quality education in the region);
  3. Livelihood Promotion (creating alternate means of livelihood for the local farmers through a dedicated program).

Website: www.aarohi.org

Possible Volunteering Opportunities

Education

Under Aarohi’s education program volunteering opportunities exist at Aarohi Bal Sansar, a middle school, catering to quality education of 174 children in classes Nursery till 8th. In addition, the program extends to surrounding State run schools with benefit to youth in the areas of computer literacy, health education, sport and educational tours, preservation of Kumaoni culture and heritage activities.

Our main need is for the volunteer to work with our teachers and expose them to different methodologies of teaching and learning. This will be for both Primary and Secondary teachers. This will involve:

  1. Conducting the reading club
  2. Conducting English language learning classes for staff
  3. Remedial teaching for English and Mathematics
  4. Working with teachers on ways of introducing art/theatre/music for language learning
  5. Assisting and guiding with project learning
  6. Data entry and management

They may also be asked to work in our other project area of Supai (about 2 hours from our headquarters) where they will work with two government schoolteachers.

Preferred skills

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students, with an interest in education, are welcome to apply for these placements. Strong research and writing skills will be useful.

Approximate cost

You should expect to spend about £900 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. There are no programme fees payable to Camvol.

In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to India (typically about £550 if booked early), and apply for an entry visa, as required by the Indian High Commission (for visa charges, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website for exact fees).

Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.

Financial support is available, including Camvol-CMEDT Commonwealth Travelling Scholarships; support from Colleges; and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.