Sankalp Volunteer Society India

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8.6 / 10 after 184 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I have just returned from spending 6 weeks volunteering with the Women's Empowerment Project.This project was very enjoyable. This is an afterschool program where young girls aged 7 to 13 come to improve their English and computers skills outside of mainstream education. The hours of volunteering were quite short , only 3 hours a day, that was out of volunteers control as it is afterschool ( 3 to 6) and I suppose teaching is quite limited to those hours. So volunteers must make good use of there time teaching.

I had an amazing teaching assistant who was there throughout my whole time with Sankalp. She supported me in my teaching and provided guidance concerning topics to introduce. She really was a lovely person and I felt she made my time with the charity run very smoothly. I had the opportunity to teach the girls important topics such as body image and peer pressure. Whatever skill or topic you are interested in teaching the girls check with Pranay or Amita first , and Asha ( teaching assistant) but really volunteers are encouraged to teach different topics. The only negative thing I can say is that supplies at this project are non existent. Myself and another volunteer had to buy materials for a lesson as there was nothing there for paints and crafts. I would suggest to the charity buying more paints and craft materials and locking these away after each use at the project, so that the girls can get good use from them.

The volunteer accommodation:

The accommodation provided by Sankalp is basic but homely. Beds are comfortable and the house has many recreational areas. Food provided by the house manager was really tasty and plentiful.

The house is located away from the tourist area in Jaipur which was great as it was safe and had a small neighborhood feel.

I would recommend the Women's Empowerment Project to future volunteers .

I must advise future volunteers to manage there expectations when they do arrive. There is WiFi which was intermittent, there is no heating and no washing facilities, but these are small petty things which do not reflect upon Sankalp.

Do volunteer with this charity and have a life changing experience.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 19, 2016
Overall:
7
Support:
7
Value:
8
By: cgargan
Age:
29

Hi All the Sanklap Member, see katrina comments. Her feeling about saknlap.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 16, 2016
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: robwich
Age:
27

I volunteered in the Jaipuri orphanage programme in a placement arranged by Sankalp. For background info: Sankalp is run by a couple, Pranay and Amita. I don’t recommend volunteering with them for the following reasons:

1. There is no transparency re volunteer fees and how they are spent.
The website says 50% of placement fees is spent on accommodation and food, the rest on the programmes. Examples cited are school supplies and diapers for the children. But in reality, the volunteers buy their own supplies, and there were no diapers in the orphanage. Not one. I asked for a breakdown of how our fees were used: Pranay was unable to give me one. Other reviewers on different sites have touched on this issue. These reviews are routinely labelled ‘fictitious’ by Pranay. Or, he sidesteps the very valid concerns people have raised. I find this kind of obfuscation dishonest. If he has nothing to hide, he would be transparent as to how volunteers’ fees are used in the orphanage. I can only conclude that these fees are pocketed by Pranay and Amita.

2. There is neglect bordering on abuse in the orphanage.
In particular, the disabled children are routinely left lying on the floor in soiled clothes. Some have open bedsores. The woman in charges shouts at the children and threatens them with a stick. Two towels are used to dry 30 children after bathing. The ones washed last are rubbed with a sopping wet towel. Now, the orphanage is state-run and therefore not Sankalp’s direct responsibility. However, there is a playroom painted with numbers in English and Hindi, with a sign thanking Pranay as patron. That suggests he has influence. Either, he has none and is powerless to improve conditions or he is aware of the neglect and is indifferent to it. When I was in the orphanage, the kids got a really bad lice infestation. I suggested they treat the children (as they were very uncomfortable) but Amita’s response was ‘why bother? It will come back’. In the end, me and a friend bought lice treatments and combs, and treated the children ourselves. They stayed lice-free at least until we left – two weeks later. My impression is that Pranay and Amita like the glory of being seen as benefactors but are careless of the children’s wellbeing.

3. They are careless re some aspects of volunteer safety.
On the plus side, the volunteer house feels very safe. But, some of the poor children we looked after had TB and hepatitis B and C. One Australian volunteer had never been vaccinated against TB (I was as a child, coming from the UK). Sankalp gave us no advice or provided no information on this point. I don’t think it’s right that volunteers are exposed to diseases outside the normal list for India and no-one mentions this.

As many people have commented: the volunteer house feels safe and the food is plentiful and tasty. The work and travel programme lets you explore , or you can arrange your own trips to Agra/wherever on the weekend. But, if you actually want to help children, find another programme. This is a pocket-lining exercise for a self-aggrandizing couple.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 10, 2016
Overall:
2
Support:
2
Value:
2
Age:
34

Comments

You are right. Same problem faced by me. Really the couple "is a pocket-lining exercise for a self-aggrandizing". They charge very very high in dollar and convert this money in Indian rupees and got big money. they don't care about poor child, just earn money from this. HI all Sanklap Users see the Katrina Feeling about Pranay and Amita behavior.

This is my second year volunteering with Sankalp. Although, I feel as if volunteering is an understatement; Sankalp is a home and a family. This program is amazing and I completely recommend it for anyone looking to do something unique in a different country. India itself is very hectic and overwhelming, but Amita & Pranay (program directors) & Puni (house manager) provide a safe, welcoming environment. The house becomes a home to all who stay there and everyone becomes family quickly. The bonds I have made with my fellow volunteers in two years will always be memorable. Amita, Pranay, and Puni have a great dedication to helping the Indian society while enriching foreigners experience. I personally volunteered in the orphanage program. It is definitely emotional and tough at first, but the rewards from the beautiful, giggly children make it worth it. Puni makes amazing Indian food for both lunch and dinner along with her great sense of humor! The accamodiations are suitable to people from all over. The house is safe and protected throughout the day and night. Amita and Pranay are available for any questions or concerns and Puni lives in the house to be of company and guidance 24/7. Everything is wonderful in this program, but I must encourage the friendships most of all. Volunteering is more than just work, it's bonding with people all over the world and sharing a unified experience with them. Sankalp offers this. You'll enter as a foreigner and leave as part of a family. I will most definitely be returning next year in 2017. Thank you Sankalp!

Program:
Location:
Posted: February 12, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
22

My volunteering experience with Sankalp was amazing and definitely a highlight of mine during my trip throughout S&E Asia. I got every bit of experience I had expected to out of it and this was my first trip to India.

They were very accommodating and as we were planning our visit to Jaipur with their Orphanage work and project for Street Kids. We first heard of Sankalp Volunteer via their facebook page and made contact with them through email. We had flight issues and their flexibility allowed for us to rearrange our dates to stay as well as pick up from the Jaipur airport.

The volunteer house simple and authentic, you have rooms with 2 bunk beds which are comfortable for four people. Most of the rooms are located on first & second floor and can be accessed by stairs, they accommodate old age volunteer on ground floor. There a lounge area in the center on every floor. Each room has their own private western toilet/shower room as well as lights and power outlets.

We were fortunate to split our program duration between their Project for Street Kids and Orphanage work. The school for street kids was a 15 minutes rickshaw ride from volunteer house and orphanage situated in city center on 40 minutes rickshaw ride, the good thing is this; the program fees cover all daily transport to project J

Teaching and working in the schools and orphanage gave me so much joy, and taught me to consider a new normal from a child’s perspective. Dressing in a different way, eating different food and even walking down different streets: everything that was completely opposite to the life I knew suddenly presented itself to me, and I had no choice but to accept it. And I loved every second of it.

Approximately $26 USD/day; you get accommodation (sharing rooms) and shower, transportation from the airport, meals, daily transport to projects, 24 hour wi-fi internet access, staff that turn into family, and a beautiful, relaxing place to chill at roof-top.

I highly recommend making Sankalp a part of your Indian adventure!. You won't regret it!!

Program:
Location:
Posted: February 9, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Vrobert
Age:
24

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