Founded in 1881, St Stephen's College is the oldest college in Delhi, and was one of the three original constituent colleges when the University of Delhi was established in 1922. St Stephen’s College has offered to host up to five Camvol students to work alongside the College’s undergraduates in their development programmes. Students will actively assist with the work being carried out by the college’s Social Service League. St Stephen’s College will also organise lectures on Indian culture and Hindi lessons for the volunteers. The Social Service League is the largest and most active society of St Stephen's College, and has been in existence since 1912. It is dedicated to working for the betterment of underprivileged groups in society, and is actively involved in a number of projects and activities. Activities are conceived, coordinated and implemented by the students themselves, with minimal guidance by the Faculty Advisor. Talks and seminars on social issues are conducted on a regular basis throughout the year, inviting people in the field of social service from both Government and non-Governmental organizations.
Volunteers will work alongside current students at St Stephen's College, and will have the opportunity to interact with a number of campus-based groups and initiatives. Three major long-term projects currently being undertaken by the Social Service Leage are:
In the evening classes, the student volunteers coach and guide the children of the non-teaching staff throughout the year. Most of these children are first generation learners and their parents are neither able to help them personally with their school work nor are they in a position to send them to private "tuition" classes, which are unaffordable. This is an initiative to impart education to the underprivileged children in and around the college campus. Classes are held on campus and students share in helping our youngsters get a grasp of various disciplines.
The SSL undertakes development process in the nearby slums of Delhi and villages of Haryana with the aim of turning them into model villages. The activities include organizing health camps, creating awareness about hygiene and education, planting trees and conducting workshops for children. These projects are done in consultation with government departments.
The SSL carries out a 90-day teaching programme spread across two semesters to impart co-curricular and primary education to children of nearby MCD schools/slums, supplementing their academic needs. The children of these slums are often not in a position to attend regular school and one of the main goals of such a project is to encourage parents to let their children go to school. The few who are convinced and do go, often find it a problem to continue either because its entirely new to them, or because there is very strong pressure on them from their families to help sustain the family income by supporting petty businesses, occupation or trade. Students from college, through their sustained work in these areas have managed to help many go through school by assisting them with their academic challenges.
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.