Goonj is a non-governmental organization founded in 1999 by Anshu Gupta which undertakes disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development in parts of 21 states across India. It is the first organisation to highlight clothing as a basic unaddressed need which deserves a place on the development agenda.

Goonj deals with 3,000 tons of material every year through a network of volunteers and 250 grassroots partner organizations and initiates more than 2000 infrastructure and local development projects in villages and slum areas across India every year.

Goonj is channelising the city’s surplus to village India as an invaluable resource for much needed development work. The impact is visible in both; cities and villages. In villages, it is addressing many basic needs like woolens for winters, school dress for children while in the cities; it is providing a constructive channel to the growing quantities of waste from urban households.

Website: http://goonj.org

Possible volunteering opportunities

(Please read about Goonj’s work on their website before considering these volunteering opportunities)

1. Communication

Documenting the work and impact of Goonj for marketing and fundraising purposes. Goonj would like persuasively written articles with possible visual and video aspects built into the documentation to make it more effective.

2. Analysing qualitative data

Goonj has lot of data relating to the use of cloth for its various projects in rural and urban India. There is a need for analysing the data they have; the quality of materials saved from landfills; how much scrap cloth is turned into sanitary pads, the cost benefit analysis of various processing centres across the country and documenting other innovative ideas.

3. Analysing quantitative data

This involves work on tracing urban and rural indicators.

  • Number of partners working with GOONJ on the issue of Cloth for Work.
  • Number of sanitary pads made per day and number of women using Goonj sanitary pads.
  • Tracing and documenting types of development activities done in the villages under ‘Cloth for Work’.
  • Quantity of material being sorted every month by the Goonj Processing Centres.
  • The number of women volunteering to spread awareness about Goonj’s work.
  • Tracking the number of meetings and forums addressed on the issue of Cloth for Work.

Preferred Skills

A pro-active attitude, and willingness to learn. Goonj's priority is to explore your skill and initiative first and then connect you to the work where you can express yourself the best.

THIS PLACEMENT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS.

Approximate cost

You should expect to spend about £1250 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.