Youth Development NGO for students with disabilities

India (IN04) | View map
£172 p.w.*

Price is based on 3 months
2 month

Innovative NGO working on social inclusion and empowering young people with disabilities

  • An innovative NGO using sport and community events to improve understanding and social inclusion for children with disabilities
  • Empower disabled children and adults through leadership and life skills
  • Ideal for volunteers wanting to work in youth development, helping mentor and coach young adults
  • Career break volunteers needed to share the professional skills needed to expand the programme
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Project summary

Gain experience working for an NGO in youth development for students with disabilities

This is an innovative project that turns the disability model on its head. Initially the project used sport as a means of bringing together those children with and without disabilities to compete on an equal footing, and to break down the preconceptions and prejudices that exist around being disabled in India.

The project has since developed to use these sporting and community events as a way of creating real social change. Boys and girls aged 15-18 years old, with and without disabilities, are trained to deliver valuable knowledge on key issues in the areas of education, health and gender.

Together these young adults educate their local community, while breaking down the barriers between those with disabilities and their able-bodied peers.

This community work is having very real (measured) outcomes. Better hygiene practices are becoming more widespread. Attitudes towards girls education is improved, as is the trend towards children remaining in education longer.

Environmental awareness is changing behaviours towards managing waste, and much improved disability awareness is helping families and communities with mixed abilities better integrate, based on knowledge and acceptance of each other at the most simple level.

The training, support and experience the participants receive then acts as a valuable source of employment skills, helping young adults with disabilities distinguish themselves and their capabilities in their community, providing them with the best opportunity to go on to higher education and/or employment.

Volunteers are required to help deliver, manage and expand the project, which has ambitions to grow from its base in Rajasthan, to deliver the programme in Delhi and beyond.

A variety of skills are required, from financial skills to help plan the growth, to fundraising (commercial) and marketing skills that will help raise awareness and secure the necessary resources. It is an ideal opportunity for a volunteer on a career break, someone wanting to gain experience of working with an NGO / non-profit and perhaps even to change direction.

Alternatively you may have experience or ambitions in youth development, working with children and young adults with special needs, sports development programmes or community projects. Volunteers are welcomed we can help innovate and enhance the current programme of activity.

The small team would welcome volunteers to be involved in the delivery of the sports and community events, as well as helping coach and mentor life skills in the young adults who volunteer in the projects. Native English speakers can help improve formal and conversational English, assist with written and IT skills, help develop CVs, practice interviews and work on the employability of the students.


Volunteer roles and responsibilities

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The volunteer activity will be agreed between the volunteer and the project Director, depending on the skills of the volunteer and the needs of the project at the time.

This is a small project with only a small number of staff, so expect to quickly become part of the team and get involved in multiple aspects of this innovative programme.

The project is based near to the special needs school where the project originates from, so there is also the very practical reality of being able to visit and work in the school to support the 200+ resident children who attend with a variety of disabilities.

How you can make a difference

Depending on your experience and the role you take there are a numerous ways you can support this project. Additional skills and capacity is required if the small team are to achieve their ambition to grow.

Equally, volunteers being involved in the sports and community events, coaching and mentoring individuals bring s a new dimension to their work. Helping develop the life skills and employability of the disabled students has the very real potential to improve their future prospects.

What is distinctive about this project

We believe the very model of this programme is unique, certainly in a country such as India. Young children and youths are themselves breaking down the barriers that will lead to social inclusion, while simultaneously educating their community on important social and health issues, and improving their own employability.

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India remains a mystical and charming traveler destinations, attracting both new and returning visitors who can’t escape its magic. It can be a challenging country, however. The wonderful colours, smells, noises and tastes that make up the very fabric of India are persistent. You will rarely forget where you are.

This is a well established but small and dynamic project working in India, so volunteers should expect to be flexible and and proactive in their engagement, and accepting of a different working culture, with fewer resources available. Some cultural and behavioural differences will at times seem charming, and at other times bemusing and frustrating – but that is part of the international NGO experience you are gaining, as you help make the project more effective in its local context.

Above all, the people are charming, the environment safe, and Rajasthan is enchanting in a way that is hard to define.


The project works closely with the school, which is closed from mid-May to mid-July, so volunteers should avoid this time and be aware of the 2 week holiday of Diwali (October/November time) and the 2 weeks at Christmas.


The project leadership team and many of the school’s staff speak good English. The children speak English to a varying degree, but all are taught English and your assistance in helping improve their spoken and written English skills would be a benefit of your volunteer activity.

Experience required

Above all else you should have an interest in youth development and/or a passion for empowering children and adults with disabilities. Whether a career break volunteer with more professional skills to contribute, or a younger volunteer with an ambition to contribute to the overall goals of the project, there is likely to be a role to suit your experience, if you have the maturity to work in this innovative project.

Good to know

The project is currently based just outside of Jodhpur, one of the jewels of Rajasthan that includes the likes of Jaiselmer, Jaipur and Udaipur.

Accommodation will be either a guesthouse or home-stay, depending on your role, your preferences and the needs of the project. For this reason the prices shown are marked as provisional.

Price table

8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks6 months

Includes*: comprehensive travel insurance, full pre-trip preparation and ongoing UK support, airport transfers, all food & accommodation, transport to projects, Outreach T-shirt
Does not include: flights, visa, vaccinations

*Note: prices are provisional and may vary by volunteer role, location and accommodation preferences.

Things to see and do

  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Sardar market
  • The old town
  • Rajasthan
Kuldeep Sayla

Country co-ordinator

Kuldeep Sayla

Kuldeep is an experienced tour guide, working with both foreign and Indian tourist groups across India. He has even led group treks up in to Nepal, so is an experienced traveller himself, as well as an excellent guide to those new to the culture and history of India. Kuldeep comes from Rajasthan and lives in Jodhpur with his wife and two young children. He speaks perfect English, has a great sense of humour and will make all volunteers feel welcome.

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