Volunteer in India with SERVE in 2023

An overview of your SERVE volunteer placement in India

SERVE Volunteering Programme 2023 Hybrid Overseas Zambia India Ireland Mozambique
SERVE Volunteers at APD in India

Volunteers will be placed with two partners Association of People with Disability (APD)and Sumanahalli Society. These are integrated education, rehabilitation, and social care centres for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. SERVE have been working in India since 2005, supporting innovative projects in the area of disability awareness, improving access to basic services, and targeted educational supports of people with disability. 


What work will I be doing? 

  • – Teaching support in integrated primary schools. 
  • – Facilitating workshops and activities. 
  • – Staff training and capacity building. 
  • – Outreach visits and social care work. 
  • – Supporting the on-going initiatives of APD and Sumanahalli Society. 
  • – Marketing and communications related work for those with the relevant experience 


Most frequent questions and answers

Age 18+ and must no longer be in full time second level education. All backgrounds and disciplines are welcome. You must be willing to get stuck-in, open to learning about new cultures and perspectives, and able to live and work with a diverse group of people.

This placement is open to individuals with a variety of backgrounds and skills. Volunteers must be willing to get stuck in and be comfortable working closely with children and adults with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities.

Previous experience of working with people with disability is desirable.

A background in teaching, social care, early childcare assistance or creative arts is an advantage.

There are also specific opportunities for people with backgrounds in healthcare, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.

We are also looking for people with specific skill sets and experience particularly in wheelchair assembling and inclusion and diversity immersion skills. 

This placement is also open to someone with experience in communications or marketing to work on an advocacy project for SERVE and APD. 

You will be required to consult  your doctor for expert medical advice. Vaccinations are at the expense of the individual volunteer and should not be fundraised for.

During the working week volunteers will be split into two groups. Volunteers assigned to Sumanahalli will stay on-site, with basic but comfortable accommodation provided. Volunteers assigned to APD with stay in a retreat house, a short journey from the APD campus. All the volunteers will stay together in NSK during the orientation period and the weekends. 

The SERVE volunteer programme is an immersive experience, with huge learning opportunities. Volunteers work closely with locals, offering a unique opportunity to gain insights into the lives of people in India.

An average day includes but is not limited to:

  • – Supporting teachers in the integrated primary schools. 
  • – Designing activities and workshops in response to the needs of the partners. 
  • – Identifying opportunities for resource sharing and staff capacity building. 
  • – Immersion into life in India. 
  • – Unstructured engagement with staff and students of the partner organisation, through working side-by-side, playing sport or games, or through general conversation. 
  • – Global Citizenship Education

Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a core part of the SERVE volunteer programme. The placement, through the immersion of volunteers into the everyday challenges of life, presents unique opportunities for global learning and nurturing cross-cultural understanding. 

The learning experience of the placement is contextualised through GCE. Through interactive sessions and tasks, facilitated by the team leaders or guest speakers, volunteers are encouraged to think critically about the placement, their role in the world, and broader issues of injustice, inequality, and the challenge of sustainable and inclusive development. GCE is mainstreamed through the pre-departure training, the placement, and the debriefing seminar. 

Read all the details of the placements then sign up here.

Once you have submitted your application, a member of Team SERVE will be in contact with you at the end of October to organise an informal phone-interview to find out more about you and why you want to volunteer with us and be part of our 2023 Volunteer Programme.

If you are successful, your place will be confirmed shortly afterwards. 

FAQ on Fees

Most frequent questions and answers

This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

You have to raise a minimum of €3,495 / £3,070 (inclusive of your non-refundable deposit of €200/£200). 

This covers the costs relating to:

  • – your flight and travel insurance,
  • – pre-departure training costs,
  • – in-country support,
  • – your main meals, accommodation, transport while on your overseas placement
  • – a grant to the overseas partner with whom you will be placed and
  • – your attendance at the SERVE “Next Step” Weekend following your return to Ireland. 

You will receive fundraising support and workshops extensively during the pre-departure training days and on request at any stage throughout the process. 

This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

Many of our Volunteers raise sums over and above their 3,495 / £3,070.  All of the funds raised above the target amount go directly to our Project Country fund; this provides financial support to our partners, enabling them to deliver on projects which the volunteers will work on. 



This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

The 3,495 / £3,070 participation fee primarily covers the running costs of your placement. If you do not raise this amount, you will have to forfeit your place. However, if you are having trouble with fundraising, you will have the support of both SERVE and our volunteer network to help you to reach your target. 



Volunteer Programme 2023 Registration Form