Volunteer in India

As a volunteer in India, you will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the community of Kodaikanal! FIMRC's rural clinic serves as home base for all volunteers where you will work alongside our clinic team during daily operations and assist with outreach initiatives in local crèches and partner medical facilities.

Our program is open to volunteers of all ages and educational or professional backgrounds. As our sites are open year-round, volunteers are welcome to travel at any time and for any length of time, though we suggest a mission trip of at least two weeks. We accept volunteers traveling individually as well as groups of various sizes.

Over the course of your trip you'll receive an unfiltered experience in health care field work abroad, and learn about the tremendous impact that even one person can have. At our end, so as to maximize your contribution, we will tailor your experience based on current needs, your interests, training, and amount of time that you spend with us on-site in Kodaikanal. All volunteers will find a wealth of opportunities to make a difference!

What You Can Do

You will have the opportunity to participate in both the clinical and health education aspects of operations on-site, and activities can range from working alongside medical staff in our rural clinic to assisting with well child visits in local crèches. 

Volunteers will spend part of each day assisting medical staff at the FIMRC’s rural clinic, KHMS Hospital, PASAM Trust, and rural outreach campaigns. Volunteers will also travel to nearby crèches to help carry out FIMRC’s nutrition initiatives, assist doctor during routine examination of kids at the crèches, accompany staff during house visits and assist in preparing and conducting health education programs. 

In an effort to improve health and hygiene in communities of Kodaikanal, FIMRC also focuses on household health and hygiene initiatives. Regular health education sessions are held for households helping families understand the basic health and hygiene scenarios that exist within their locality. Topics such as child care, vaccination and immunization, water borne infections, air borne infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, hygiene and basic sanitation will be covered in an effort to improve overall quality of health. Volunteers will have an opportunity to interact with children at the crèches and aid teachers in education concerning cleanliness. They will also assist the nurse in conducting hospital visits with the sick children and checking vital measurements of crèche children in regards to their development.

The nature of a volunteer mission to Kodaikanal will vary depending on the number of volunteers in each group, the length of your volunteer trip, medical expertise, and the current needs of the community and the clinic upon arrival. Please note that a volunteer’s level of training will determine the extent of involvement in medical activities. Your experience varies depending on these factors, but what we can guarantee is that every volunteer mission will be culturally and socially enlightening. Every volunteer will have opportunities to examine India's systems of medical provision and contribute to ongoing operations at Project Kodaikanal. 

Check out our testimonials page to hear more about the FIMRC experience!

Sample Itinerary

The following is a sample itinerary of a one-week volunteer mission with Project Kodaikanal. This itinerary has been made to provide a clear, general impression of the way volunteer time is spent. Please note, however, that in order to ensure that a volunteer's work has the greatest, most relevant impact on clinic and community, volunteer schedules are established upon a volunteer's arrival at the clinic. Volunteer activities take place Monday - Friday as weekends are free for exploring the local area and taking part in excursions.

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7:45

Depart guesthouse

Depart guesthouse

Depart guesthouse

Depart guesthouse

Depart guesthouse

8:00 - 12:00

Rounds in hospital

Work in hospital pharmacy

Assist doctor in creche

Health education in creche

Medical campaign in rural village with Pasam Trust

12:00 – 1:30

Lunch in community

Lunch in community

Lunch in community

Lunch in community

Lunch in community

1:30 - 5:00

Prepare health education materials

Rural clinic

Health education with Women's Group

Rural clinic

Medical campaign in rural village with Pasam Trust

Accommodations

Housing

Volunteers stay together in FIMRC’s guesthouse which is attached to the FIMRC rural clinic. All volunteers are provided with sheets, blankets, Wi-Fi internet, warm bucket baths, kitchen facility and a secure shared room. Due to the limited capacity of the guesthouse, groups of four volunteers can be housed at one time. In case of larger numbers, volunteers will be housed in a neighboring hotel.

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Transportation

All transportation during the workdays are provided by FIMRC. Weekends trips and other extra transportation requested by volunteers will not be reimbursed/covered by FIMRC. Upon arrival at the Coimbatore or Madurai airport, volunteers are picked up by FIMRC’s driver and are transported to the guesthouse in Kodaikanal. Private transportation is provided for each volunteering day between the housing quarters and all volunteering locations including the hospitals, crèches and other project related sites.

 

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Meals

Volunteers will be provided breakfast and dinner at the guesthouse during volunteer days (Monday - Friday). Volunteers are responsible for the purchase of lunch each day as well as meals on weekends. 

 

Trip Cost

The following cost structure reflects individual participation in the Global Health Volunteer Program at Project Kodaikanal:

  • $1,499 for trips of two weeks, $695 per week thereafter

This cost includes the program donation that supports our project sites as well as housing, two meals per day and transportation. Housing and transportation include airport pick up/drop off and transportation to/from project site during volunteer days, lodging in the volunteer guest house and breakfast and dinner. Excursions and trips for non-volunteer related activity as well as the associated costs are the responsibility of the volunteer.

Additional approximate costs include:

  • Roundtrip airfare generally ranging between $1350-$1650
  • Recommended spending money of $150 per week, at the discretion of the volunteer

Flights

All volunteers are responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights and must fly in and out of Madurai Airport (code IXM) or Coimbatore International Airport (code CJB). It is the volunteer’s responsibility to arrange all flights in accordance with the dates for which you have registered. If you are traveling with a group, please coordinate with your fellow group members to ensure that you arrive and depart together. 

While not required, volunteers are welcome to take advantage of the airfare resources found here on our website. 

If booking online through participating companies, we ask that you please consider registering with www.igive.com/fimrc. Once you register, iGive will automatically donate a portion of every online purchase you make with selected vendors (including many major airline booking companies) to FIMRC, which means you will make even more of an impact on children’s health at no additional cost to you. 

Travel

Passport - US citizens can enter India with a valid passport. Volunteers who do not hold a US passport must check with their respective embassies for information on travel eligibility. You are responsible for obtaining or renewing your passport and ensuring that all travel documents are in order.

Visa - US passport holders MUST obtain a tourist visa prior to travel. Non-US passport holders should check with their respective embassies for current visa requirements and regulations. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring that they are legally eligible to travel abroad. A U.S. passport, valid for at least six months from the date of departure, containing at least two blank pages, is necessary. Please note that pages reserved for amendments and endorsements cannot be used for visas. A tourist visa for India costs $73, lasts six months and includes multiple entries. Your visa must be obtained in advance from the Embassy of India. More information is available at www.indianembassy.org.

Vaccinations - We refer all volunteers to the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/travel for the most up to date vaccination recommendations. Please note the different recommendations not only for the country you are visiting, but also for the region in which you will be staying.

Travel Insurance

FIMRC has partnered with Worldwide Risk Management (WRM) to assist in providing you with adequate international travel and medical insurance. WRM specializes in providing international health insurance to mission groups, volunteer organizations, and individuals traveling overseas for missions and humanitarian relief. FIMRC and WRM would like to suggest the Outreach Travel Medical Insurance product as the most appropriate insurance plan for your traveling needs. It is designed for the individual short term volunteer traveling for five days and up to 12 months. Outreach Travel provides medical benefits, emergency evacuation, terrorism coverage, natural disaster benefits, trip interruption, and lost luggage benefits. These are just a few highlights and coverage depends upon the plan that you choose. If you would like to get a quote or are ready to purchase, click here.

If you should have any questions about insurance coverage or would like a no obligation quote, please do not hesitate to contact FIMRC’s insurance agent at WRM at info@worldwiderisk.com. Please provide your age, date of birth, country of citizenship, destination country, dates of trip, and trip cost when requesting a quote.

 Madurai Airport (code IXM) or Coimbatore International Airport (code CJB)

travel abroad

There's no better way to truly learn about a different country than by immersing yourself fully in the culture and community.

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We're dedicated to programs that are sustainable and locally driven. Volunteering with us means that you'll be able to contribute in meaningful ways that will last well beyond your time on-site.

Gain experience

Whether you're filling out a medical school application, applying for a job, or just looking to give back, we're here to help you gain experience in responsible international healthcare and development.

 

 

ready to get involved?

The enrollment process begins once you work with our team to confirm your volunteering site and trip dates. Upon confirmation, you will be sent a welcome email which will contain instructions for enrollment, as well as deadlines for the submission of materials. If you have questions about how this process works, do not hesitate to contact missions@fimrc.org or 1-888-211-8575. Click below to receive more information or to begin the enrollment process!