Volunteer in Setrawa (Rural Site)

Setrawa is a small desert village of around 3,000-6,000 inhabitants, 110 km from Jodhpur. The village is located in the Thar desert, so as you can imagine it is very sandy and dry. The majority of the population is employed in agriculture, mining, sewing, or as shopkeepers.

Besides the beautiful landscape of the Thar desert, you can see plenty of animals like camels and peacocks, alongwith cows, goats, dogs, cats and sometimes even monkeys.

Incase you have any worries about where you can get hygiene articles, fruits or any other things, there are also two markets in Setrawa, where you can get most of the things you need except toilet paper or any western imports. All in all, Setrawa is a very quiet place, sometimes you can hear the busses driving by or peacocks singing in the early morning.

Before your adventure to Setrawa starts, you will have an introduction of a few days in Jodhpur. This includes buying the clothes you will need to wear in Setrawa, going to the FRO (Registration in India), getting to know a few facts about the behaviour in the Guesthouse (mostly important for the volunteers who are staying there) and also a few things to make sure everything goes smoothly. Furthermore, you will have some time to go sightseeing in Jodhpur and to get to know the most important shops where you can buy items like clothes and food. You will also get a filter for Setrawa, because you won't be able or rather should not drink the tap water, an USB Internet stick (there won't be wifi) and a SIM Card for your mobile phone. Besides you should go to the ATM to get some money for the stay in Setrawa as there is no ATM there.

The Sambhali Primary Education and Vocational Training is based 110 km west of Jodhpur in the heart of the Thar desert, amidst an impressive scenery of sand dunes and farming fields.

In Setrawa volunteers are needed to support our local staff, by providing English and Maths tuition as well as workshops to the children in the after-school programs and by teaching basic English to girls and women who come to the Centre. It is also possible to assist in the daily Sewing Class. Volunteers can also teach classes in the local government and private schools to support the teachers and children there. Furthermore, the volunteers assist the local stuff with administrative work.

As Setrawa volunteers live with local host families in the village, they have the chance to experience the daily life of an Indian family and have an insight into many traditions and events like weddings and the festivals of Holi and Diwali. They work from Monday to Saturday, about four to five hours a day.

Volunteers with the host family
Volunteers with the host family

Key responsibilities:

  • Teaching basic Maths and English to a range of group from around five to fifteen children, together with a local staff.Organise games that encourage the use of English.
  • Developing workshops twice a week about various topics on general knowledge like Indian History, Geography, Science, etc.
  • Organising games that encourage the use of English.
  • Assisting with the personal care for the children, i.e. hair washing, brushing teeth.
  • Assisting with document work, administrative duties and organising outside events.
  • Bringing forth new ideas to improve the operating of the centre and helping to improve the overall contribution that the Trust can bring to the educational and social development of the students.

Skills, Attributes and Experience Needed:

  • A desire to live and work in a rural setting and to get into the life of an Indian family.
  • Adaptability, flexibility, and cultural sensitivity.
  • Patience, understanding and compassion for children of different learning levels and abilities. Prior experience of teaching English or arts and crafts is not essential but beneficial.
  • Basic English skills (Hindi would also be very useful).
  • Professional and supportive behaviour.