Date/Time: Jul 1, 2014 - Oct 14, 2014, all day
Location: Dharmalaya Institute (Bir, HP, India)
What: Informal, minimally-structured volunteer opportunities
Activities: Traditional earthen building, tree planting, and organic gardening
Where: Dharmalaya Institute, Bir (H.P.), in the Indian Himalayas
When: July 1 to October 14, 2014 (Volunteers may arrive and depart anytime during this period)
Languages: English & Hindi
Facilitators: Various — Raj Kumar (‘Raju’), Naresh Sharma, et al.
Description: Informal volunteer opportunities at the Dharmalaya Institute open to both residential and non-residential participants. During this period, there is no structured educational or training program as such, but there is plenty of physical work to do — including traditional earthen building, organic gardening, natural landscaping and possibly some tree planting — and Dharmalaya is a beautiful place to get your hands dirty and learn a bit about green living and Himalayan culture in the process.
Since there is no formal instruction during this period and there is no organized program, one simply jumps in and does whatever needs doing on a given day, learning by watching others and then doing it yourself. In such an unstructured or loosely guided situation, sometimes one needs to ask for help if one needs it, so a certain degree of self-motivation and initiative makes for the best experience. It also helps to bring a healthy sense of flexibility, since the work to be done might vary from one day to the next, depending on circumstances. If that appeals to you, you’re welcome to come and go anytime between July 1 and October 14, 2014 (and to arrive earlier or depart later if you’re interested in participating in Dharmalaya’s other programs).
Weather warning: Please note that the monsoon period in this area is extremely wet — probably wetter than anything you’ve seen before outside of an ocean. The rain and clouds can be relentless, and coming and going to and from the Dharmalaya Institute is no fun at all in the rain, so it is preferable to arrive here and settle in for a good long time. On the other hand, everything is lush and green and alive, so it can be wonderful if you really don’t mind getting wet and muddy, but one must be prepared both psychologically and practically — with rain clothes, mud boots, and at least a couple of warm layers (evenings can be cool).
For more information see Dharmalaya’s volunteer page, read the FAQ, and complete the volunteer application if you’re interesting in joining us.