Jhamtse Gatsal welcomes compassionate and motivated people from all over the world to participate in our volunteer program. This experience is designed to give participants a meaningful experience through combining service and cultural immersion. We rely on volunteers to assist us in achieving our mission.
Volunteer participants live and work at Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community. Participants have individual responsibilities and work under the guidance of a team of staff at Gatsal. Learn more about past volunteers…
2016 Volunteer Update
We are so grateful for all our wonderful volunteers!
Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community has now completed 10 years as a community and school. During these nascent years, there have been many achievements and challenges. To consolidate our learning and to enrich ourselves from these experiences, we have decided to take the 2016 academic year as a reflection period for the Community—an important exercise for all of the community members to engage in both individually and as a group. Thus, we will only accept a small number of volunteers with specialized skills to help us with our critical needs during this reflection period.
Through these first ten years, our volunteers have shared their time, experience, knowledge, love and heartfelt support with us. You have been an integral part of this journey and growth, and we could not have done it without you. Our achievements are as much yours as ours! No words can express our gratitude and how humbled we are by your service, commitment and dedication towards the Community.
However, due to our limited human resources and having sometimes welcomed more volunteers than we could accommodate, we have been unable to spend quality time with many of you and to take full advantage of your skills and experience. We have also been unable to stay connected with many of you after you have left. Stretching ourselves thin has been stressful for us and it may have also seemed like a waste of time and resources for some of you. In addition, having many volunteers, especially when there are many at the same time, has sometimes made it difficult for us to maintain the continuity of the regular school and community program.
At this defining juncture, the Community needs quiet time for reflection to stabilize our foundation and to become even more strongly and deeply rooted in our principles. In order to achieve this goal, all of the staff and children need to spend quality time with each other so that we can understand, support and care for each other more thoughtfully. Like charity starts at home, so with love and compassion too! This dedicated reflection time will allow us to contemplate our current challenges and potential to effectively prepare for the growth of the Community and our children.
Last but not the least, our volunteers have been an important part of our journey and we will continue to need you to sustain the vitality and enable the growth of the Community. This short hiatus will also better prepare us to welcome you more meaningfully and to make the best use of your time, wisdom, and knowledge. We are excited about the work ahead of us to strengthen the Community and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future.
With love and gratitude,
Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community
Short-Term Volunteers (6 months or less)
Jhamtse Gatsal typically makes the necessary arrangements for area permits and travel from Guwahati, India onward, for all volunteers. These costs are passed on to the volunteer, and currently range from:
- Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 55,000 ($230–$840 USD) for international volunteers
- Rs.7,650- Rs.15,000 for Indian volunteers
These fees vary depending on the number of people traveling together and the desired level of comfort in accommodation and transportation. The difference between international and Indian volunteers is in the cost of permits. International volunteers are required to have a Protected Area Permit (PAP) which is a higher cost than the Inner Line Permit (ILP) required of Indian volunteers.
In addition to travel and permit expenses, we ask short-term participants to help offset the costs of their food, accommodation, incidental transportation and Internet by paying a sum of RS. 15,000 ($250 USD) per month for the duration of their stay at the Community.
Long-Term Volunteers (6 months or more)
All of the above fees are currently covered by the Community for long-term international and Indian volunteers.
Fees that Jhamtse Gatsal does not cover for any volunteer include: passports, India visas, travel insurance, flights to India, food, travel & lodging up to Guwahati, and other incidental expenses. At this time Jhamtse Gatsal does not have the means to offer financial aid to short-term volunteer participants.
Application and Interview Process
Volunteers are accepted based on application, interviews, the needs of Jhamtse Gatsal, available space, and what skills volunteers are able to offer the Community. It is helpful to have a flexible travel schedule, and to contact us about volunteering as far in advance as possible, as our needs and available space vary throughout the year. We currently ask for a commitment of four weeks to six months. Given the current space constraints, preference is given to long-term volunteers as they meet our most critical needs. We accept volunteer applications on an ongoing basis.
First-time volunteers must go through a five-step screening process of application and interviews before acceptance into the program.
- Step 1: Fill out the volunteer application.
- Step 2: After we have received your application, our Volunteer Coordinator will schedule a preliminary interview to go over the application form, and to discuss interests and availability. At this point, we may also put you in touch with a previous volunteer, who can answer additional questions and share his or her experiences at Jhamtse Gatsal.
- Step 3: If the first communications are successful, the prospective volunteer will receive the Volunteer Program Handbook, which must be read thoroughly prior to the final interview.
- Step 4: In the final interview, the Volunteer Program Coordinator will go over ALL of the information in the handbook to ensure that the prospective volunteer understands the details of volunteering at Jhamtse Gatsal, including costs, expectations, and responsibilities.
- Step 5: Finally, a schedule for visiting the Community will be discussed and planned.
The interview and planning process can take between three to four weeks, and the time it takes to obtain visas, area permits, and make travel arrangements is in addition to that. Therefore, interested volunteers are encouraged to start the process as early as possible.
Long-term volunteers are encouraged to begin the application process at least six to eight months prior to the time you hope to travel to Jhamtse Gatsal. This ensures enough time to secure a volunteer work visa for India, and the long-term area permit, which can take anywhere between three to six months. We will assist you in applying for the appropriate Indian visa. After you have received your visa, we will take care of obtaining the Protected Area Permit (PAP) that allows you into the state.
Returning volunteers will only need to go through an availability and interests interview. All volunteers, including returning volunteers, must discuss their plans in detail with the Volunteer Coordinator to anticipate time, needs and space available at Gatsal.
Contact us if you have further questions.
Fill out a Volunteer Application now!
Our Incredible Volunteers
Jhamtse Gatsal volunteers have come from many countries, and our list is always growing:
- United States
- and More!
Feedback from Volunteers
AMAZING. I don’t even think that word can begin to describe what a truly wonderful place Jhamtse Gatsal is. When you go there you are completely accepted by them and treated as their own family. Every single member of the Community is incredibly giving and caring, some of the happiest people I have ever met. I was completely blown away from the love and generosity I was shown there. Very inspiring place.”Krissy
Jhamste Gatsal is the most wonderful place. Everyone who supports it, works there, and lives there, is very fortunate. It is a beautiful Community of people who are caring, loving, and giving. I found the staff to be dedicated, hard working, and committed to the success and ideals that are clearly being lived out at the Community. Without even a small grumble, any problem that arose was taken care of by the collective Community who stepped forward as a group and did whatever was needed to be done. It is so rare to see this type of behavior in action that it left a lasting impression on me.Dr. Craig Ottenstein