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Care for Orphans in an Orphanage in India



Your work at the orphanage in the temple town of Madurai is very hands on and rewarding and you will fall in love instantly with the children with smiles that will melt your heart. You really will make a difference to their lives.

If you love small babies and young children this project is perfect for you!

“They’ve made me laugh so much, they’re amazing kids and I wish I could take them all home!! The adoptions I got to witness were a particular highlight for me, it was so lovely to see the children finally have loving parents and knowing they will now have a good chance in life. There was never a dull moment in the orphanage – I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard but it was SO worth it.” Daisy Axtell-Powell

$275 Off


Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! (subject to school vacations – see dates below.
Duration From 2 weeks up to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Requirements No qualifications required, just a love of children and a desire to help. 
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation and Food

Meeting you at Madurai airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to the airport
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the Indian culture

  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

Our care projects are based in the bustling temple town of Madurai in Southern India.

Care for Orphans in an Orphanage in India

Care for Orphans in an Orphanage in India

The main care center where we work is at a home for victims of female infanticide and abandoned children. Their mission is to help them first to survive and then to ensure the right of the child to a family. There are around 20 children at the orphanage, but this number changes frequently as new children are brought in or are adopted.

All of the children’s backgrounds are heartbreaking; some of them have been found abandoned in nearby churches or temples and others are surrendered by their parents. The children are all in desperate need of tender loving care ... and this is where you come in!

Your work will be very hands-on as you will be dealing with all of the children - be prepared to get very grubby!! Your work load and responsibilities will depend on your abilities and attitude to your work and you'll assume more responsibilities as you grow in confidence and as the staff's confidence in you grows. You should be supervised all of the time while you are there, and you will be given help and directions. Your work may include some or all of the following:

  • Helping the staff wash and dress the older children

  • Bottle feed the babies

  • Changing nappies

  • Feeding the older children

  • Teaching basic English and Maths

  • Teaching the older children nursery rhymes

  • Organising and facilitating games for the children

By playing games with the children you also encourage confidence building. It also encourages children to use English in an informal way, and even with the younger children it gives them exposure to the language at an early age. Playing games may seem irrelevant on the surface, but it helps to build up team spirit and skills, leadership skills, dexterity and quick thinking, and a healthy competitive spirit. It also gives them a more developed ability to interact with their peers.

For many of the older children, you are able to integrate education into games and also help with homework etc. Where children are not taught at the orphanage you will help these on their return from school in the afternoon.

Volunteers normally work at the orphanage in the mornings when it is at its busiest and the additional help that you provide is really appreciated. You can take your lunch with you and eat with the staff and finish after the babies are fed at 2pm. You can choose to work longer hours but it is very exhausting and challenging work and you may appreciate the afternoon off to relax and unwind.

"Your tasks are fairly routine and repetitive, but really you’re there to give the children individual attention that the full-time nurses don’t always have time to provide. That’s the most important thing you’ll do there – may not feel like much, but it’s so important for them as some of the children’s’ social skills and ability to interact with people are a bit poor. Plus it’s very rewarding to just be there to make them laugh and feel a bit loved! Aliki Salter

You may also have the opportunity to work at a boy’s home in the evenings. The boys are aged between 7 to 18 years of age and all of them attend local schools during the day and return to the home in the evenings. The boys are semi-orphans and they are resident at the home and go back to their families only in the vacations. When they arrive back after school, they have a few chores and then there is an hour of play time. At this time you can go along and interact with them by organising games (they love cricket and football!) or just going to chat to them.

When the games session is over there is an hour and a half of study time. You can choose to stay and help them with their homework at this time or help them practice their conversational English. Again, this is a very rewarding project and the boys with be overjoyed to meet you.

Please keep in mind that school vacations can change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to travel around and explore the country.

  • First Term Vacation: 27 September to 6 October 2014

  • Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2014

  • Bakrid: 3 October 2014

  • Diwali Holiday: 21 to 23 October 2014

  • Thevar Jayanthi: 30 October 2014

  • Second Term Vacation: 21 December 2014 to 1 January 2015

  • Pongal Holiday: 13 to 17 January 2015

  • Summer Vacation: 11 April to 4 June 2015

Exam Periods: (approx):

  • Quarterly Exams: 15 to 22 September 2014

  • Half Yearly Exams: 10 to 20 December 2014

  • Annual Exams: 2 to 11 April 2015

"I’m going to state the obvious and tell you that I’ve had an absolutely amazing time, I don’t want to leave.  I’ve loved Anbagam, “Hello, how-are-you-fine!” and Faisel’s Yorkshire ‘Hallooo’ made me feel right at home, Emo boy, cute boy, Jayne’s boy, Nandri boy, downs boy, and all of them.  I’ve loved shaking their sticky hands and made to feel really wanted! I’ve loved my evenings & weekends, freezing in the concrete tent in Kodaikanal, catching waves in Pondicherry, candle-lit chats. Loved it all!  Isabelle Detscharner Vischer

Care for Orphans in an Orphanage in India

Care for Orphans in an Orphanage in India


Host Family
For a complete Indian experience we can arrange for you to stay with one of wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family, you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses you'll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you on request.

All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the center of town.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and  is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.


Caare for Children with Learning and Physical Disabilities in India
Cooking together in the host family accommodation

Caare for Children with Learning and Physical Disabilities in India

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org


Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our team who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.


Feedback on Volunteering Care Projects in India

Madurai Photo Gallery
Madurai Activities & Fun Photo Gallery
Travelling around India Photo Gallery


While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.

Bollywood Dance Classes
Cookery Classes
Tamil Language Lessons
Yoga & Meditation Lessons

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in India, or you could even do a second project in a different country in South-East Asia (or elsewhere) - thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!

Optional Add-Ons in India


INDIA REALLY HAS IT ALL, from the hot sultry deserts of Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal and the majestic Himalayas in the north, to the idyllic palm fringed beaches and ancient temples of the south, plus a multitude of wildlife parks! The way to best enjoy India is to absorb it - the warmth of the people, the beauty, the smells, the food, and the wonderful hospitality!

Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine city’ for the famous jasmine flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river of nectar that flowed after blessing from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’,

Madurai really does have a temple or shrine on practically every street but it is most famed for the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike flock to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple is named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and is an enormous structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and animals. The inner courtyard contains another 7 towers, again all highly adorned. It will take your breath away.

Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. It is full of cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe inspiring Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls and tourist shops.

Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and shake your hand and even ask for your autograph! You will be in demand everywhere you go and you’ll feel like a celebrity, such is the warmth of the Indian people.

If you’re after an overwhelming experience, then Madurai is a certainty for this!

KERALA has been named ""Gods own Country" by the locals for its stunning scenery, wildlife, beautiful beaches, picture postcard towns and the breaktaking backwaters.  It is also the home of Ayurveda medicine, an ancient system using essential oils and vigorous massage to aid medical complaints or just for pampering - a one hour massage is an unforgettably relaxing experience.

Kerala also has one of the best wildlife parks in the country; Periyar. A huge array of activities are on offer, jungle trekking and jeep safari’s which take you off the beaten track in the hope of spotting an elusive tiger although you are more likely to see elephants, boar, monkeys and many species of birds. You can also take an elephant ride, boat ride, visit spice and tea plantations, watch martial arts – it’s an action packed weekend and only 4 hours from Madurai!

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.


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