A snapshot of our volunteers' experience.
For their weekly blogs and full case studies click here to visit our Tumblr Blog.
"At the start of my gap year in September, I was looking for an opportunity to make taking a year out worthwhile.
I have always been interested in pursuing a career in teaching. Knowing that the main beneficiaries of the India project were children attracted me to the opportunity. I didn’t know of anyone prior to departure or after I arrived home that had participated in such a unique experience. It was something different to all the rest out there; this was one of the reasons I travelled to India."
"My work as a freelance filmmaker requires me to be very flexible and able to communicate well with many different people, some from different cultures with different practices and of course, languages.
To go and volunteer in India then, was a wonderful opportunity for me to work on my communication skills. As well as developing my self esteem and ability to adapt to different situations.
In India I learnt to be thankful for what I have, to appreciate friendship and humility and that Indian people are really, very, very lovely."
"I have a lot to thank Empower for, 6 months after my placement I am still in regular contact, with both of us keen to know what’s happening on our sides of the world and it definitely keeps my spirits high.
At times I have doubted myself, but when I think of the kids in India, the changes we made in the schools and the lives of people I met, I can stay determined."
"My highlight of the trip was meeting people I will never forget! It’s made me a completely different person more responsible, happy and organised. I travelled around different places and seen different sites I would never of even dreamed of seeing it was totally educational and amazing!"
"This was the first ever time that I had been travelling without my parents and in all honesty the thought of being away from home was a little bit scary and I thought that I would get really homesick and to my surprise I didn’t.
It would be way too difficult for me to pick a moment that stands out in my mind because the whole experience was just too amazing to pick just the one. All the memories I have I will cherish forever. I will never forget it!"
"From this placement I thought I would be able to find my confidence and learn to adapt to different situations, also to build on skills I wouldn’t be able to in the UK.
I was quite nervous about traveling alone and also about teaching as I didn’t have much confidence starting off with the lesson but the children listen very well and this helped me build confidence."
"Going to India and meeting all the children that we worked with was fantastic- they live in a way that is so different to us but are happy, helpful and above all excited to learn and take as much from life as they can. A once in a life time opportunity that I have never regretted taking for even a second- if you get the chance to go, grab it with two hands!"
"India helped me understand that there are still parts of the world that, although they might have access to the internet and a general understanding of what different cultures are like; there is a real need for education on waste management and sanitation, as well as key skills; including employability skills.
I really enjoyed seeing the children’s self-confidence grow from when we started to when we had finished and the highlight of the trip was hearing the parents thank us and tell us how much the kids had changed."
"The highlight of my trip has definitely been working with the boys at the hostel and developing relationships with them. Will miss the people and the atmosphere in India, people can’t do enough to help and are always smiling!
I have got everything out of this placement that I wanted and more. It has been an amazing experience and have received great support."