Grassroots is based in the Himalayan region of Kumaon in Uttarakhand. Grassroots works with rural mountain communities in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand, and the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh. It focuses on the sustainable development of these communities. Grassroots lays special emphasis on the issues of drinking water, environmental sanitation, renewable energy and natural resource management. It also focuses on enterprise development, and is involved in training local people and providing them with opportunities for employment. Grassroots collaborates with other voluntary organisations in the region, and has been spearheading ‘holistic’ mountain development among rural communities in the central and western Himalaya for the last twenty years.
Initially, volunteers will be involved with understanding the basic principles of mountain development. They will then assist the organisation in some relevant documentation work. Usually, this is work that gets neglected by the organisation due to lack of time.
There are a number of other possible issues which will be discussed with the volunteers when they arrive.
Students interested in studying Livelihoods Improvement programs could look at the Umang website http://www.umang-himalaya.com and also opt to work closely with programs associated with Umang.
You should expect to spend about £1100 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. There are no programme fees payable to Camvol. This includes a Grassroots fee of Euro 200 (approximately £190, depending on exchange rates) to cover the costs of staff time and local costs associated with hosting and mentoring volunteers.
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 Indian visa, as required by the Indian government (for visa procedures and exact fees, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website.
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.