Global Builders – India
Kerala, India is one of National Geographic Traveler’s “10 Paradises of the World,” full of rivers and backwaters, beautiful enough to host a honeymoon.” Yet it truly is where poverty and paradise collide as many families crowd together in unsafe shacks while ocean breezes blow and palm trees sway. We are partnering with families to build safe, decent and affordable homes in the Indian style.
Our dedicated leaders of the project give freely of their time in running the project, which helps to ensure that every donation reaches as far as possible. The project has now completed over 40 homes on the way to their initial goal of 100. Help us put faith into action in India! See pictures from their home dedications and their Global Builders teams on their blog here.
Getting involved — There are several ways that you can get involved, donate to support this specific partner, volunteer on one of our India Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below, or join a trip as a virtual volunteer, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip. We make virtual volunteering fun — see virtual volunteering explained here!
House sponsorship cost: $5,500
Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click “Join” to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here.
India is home to 170 million people who live in slum conditions which is roughly 17 percent of the world’s slum dwellers. This primarily Hindu nation has a strong Christian presence in the Trivandrum area, which is about 40 percent Christian and where beautiful Catholic churches and Hindu temples sit side-by-side. It is believed that Jesus’ disciple Thomas visited the area. Tourism is a huge industry in the state of Kerala, especially eco-tourism.
About Volunteering in India
Each trip to India will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers — typically 8-20 total — who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include sightseeing in this coastal area along the Indian Ocean.
Learn the Basics – India Info
Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2 %, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9 %, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Other 11.6%
0-14 years 27.71%, 15-24 years 17.99%, 25-54 years 40.91% 55+ 13.39%
1,266,883,598 (2016 est.)
|Life Expectancy:||67.48 years (Male 66.38, Female 68.7)|
Tropical – Average High 85-90, Average Low 75-80, Rainy Season – June
Indian Rupee $1USD = Rs. 64.05
71.2% (Male 81.3%, Female 60.6%)
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3 %, Sikh 1.7%, Other 2%
More Info – Learn more about what a trip is like
Project and Country Background
The state of Kerala is located on the southwestern coast of India and is roughly the size of the state of Georgia in the United States. Despite all its exotic beauty, the state of Kerala has its share of shacks and slums like the rest of India. The Trivandrum Fuller Center is run by a Christian board that partners with families regardless of religious background to help build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans. They also have partnered with a church to help carry-out a smaller project in the northern part of Kerala called Kelakam.
- 8:00 a.m. – Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. – Begin building at work-site
- 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
- 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Continue building
- 4:00 p.m. – Evening free for dinner and relaxation (Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team’s preferences.)
Type of work
We are building with bricks or concrete blocks and stuccoing the completed homes. The homes are built in a very traditional Indian style, with white walls and a flat, concrete roof that gets used almost like a porch or backyard in the United States. Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work that could be expected on a masonry build project. We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.
The level of hospitality is so high for their honored guests like our Global Builders teams that we find we must continually emphasize that the teams are coming to work very hard, even our esteemed older volunteers. Respect and care for one’s elders is taken very seriously in India.
Food and Lodging
Trivandrum: We offer two housing options – a guest house with semi-private rooms (recommended), or a nearby hotel. Each group will stay entirely in one or in the other, as determined by the team leader prior to the trip. The guest house is run by an Indian couple who live next door and work hard to accommodate their guests’ requests, including food requests. Volunteers will experience traditional Indian food and have bottled water available. Each room has 2-4 beds and fans and air conditioning, and internet is available, albeit only at a single computer work station. The place is simple, but clean, and ideal for mission-minded groups. Bedding, towels, and blankets are provided. Here is a link to their website: http://www.pushpakamhomestay.in
A van or small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each work-site will vary, but on average it is about 20 minutes.
Rest, Relaxation, and Sightseeing
This part of India is incredibly beautiful with much to do, from visiting beaches to touring parks and historical sites. Groups can even choose to spend a night in a houseboat. We expect each group to spend at least a couple of days seeing the sites – or more if the group desires.
Most two-week trips will cost $1,400-$1,800. More precise budgets are custom developed for each trip. Trips lasting 7-10 days will naturally cost less than 14-day trips.
As trips with openings become available, we will post them at the top of this page. To apply to join their trip, simply click “Join” next to the trip of your choice. To request more information or be put in touch with the team leader, click the “Request more information” button at the top. If you’re an experienced traveler or team leader, or if you have a group of your own (church, school, etc.), Propose a Trip to let us know what you might like to do!
Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip!
Note that US citizens must obtain a visa for travel to India. Visit travisa.com for information on required documents and talk with the Global Builders Coordinator or your Team Leader if you have questions.
Pricing – What’s Included
|Trip Length:||7-14 days (price varies depending on length)|
|Materials Provided:||-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect -Pre-trip safety training -Fundraising guide -Option to create online fundraising page -T-shirt and hat|
|Trip Support:||Yes – from trip leader and Global Builders staff|
|Clean Drinking Water:||Yes|
|Food:||Yes – 3 meals a day are provided|
|Transportation:||Yes – to and from the airport and work-site|
|Meaningful Work:||Yes – led and coordinated by dedicated Indians|
|Travel Medical Insurance:||Yes|
|R&R Opportunities:||We’ll assist you in setting up sightseeing and cultural opportunities|
What happens after the trip?