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This volunteering project is just a little bit different. You will be exposed to the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan in North West India, by staying in a former (and pretty luxurious) palace in the town of Deogarh. During the day you will be working in a local deprived primary school, teaching English, IT skills and lesson planning. Due to the generous support and commitment of our local partners and The Mahal the price for this placement has been lowered by £400 since last year.
Chitardai primary school is located in the town of Deogarh, in Rajastahn, North West India. Known to many travellers as a culturally rich and diverse region, with a plethora of forts and palaces to visit, there is also a lot of deprivation in the rural areas, with 20% of children receiving no formal education and just 60% literacy rates.
Supported by the owners of the hotel where you will be staying, the school provides for 160 children aged between 6 – 14. All of these students come from families who live below the poverty line. The school has basic facilities; there are 4 teachers, few books and not enough chairs to sit all of the children during lessons. However, the ethos and mentality of the school and its staff are visionary for this part of the world. Students are treated equally regardless of gender or social background and the teaching emphasis is on learning through play.
As a volunteer, you will be helping the school and teachers work on their teaching practices. The school only has one computer, so you may find yourself helping the staff getting used to working with a computer and giving the principal some basic IT training. You may well also find yourself teaching English and helping out with lesson planning. The main area you will be helping out with, however, will be with creative play. Te emphasis is on allowing the children to learn through play and giving them plenty of encouragement to do so.
Staying at the Deogarh Mahal, you will enjoy all of the creature comforts you could hope for, including en-suite rooms, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and gym. There is even a cinema area where you can enjoy the latest Bollywood release. Meals and water will be provided throughout your stay, so there will be plenty of chances to sample the local Mewari cuisine, with local home-grown ingredients used as much as possible.
Work at the school will not be as luxurious. As mentioned previously, the classrooms are basic, with limited seating and teaching materials. Volunteers will need to be creative in their teaching methods, but will be inspired by the enthusiasm of the staff and children alike.
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