Mr. Juan Camilo
[ From Colombia | Duration Jan 2018]

Forthelast 6 months I’ve been volunteering at wahoe commune in the jaipur project, in this time I’ve met wonderful people who I had the pleasure toworked with.

Also I had the opportunity to be both witness and part of the evolution of the project, since the children used to see class at the floor and all the ages were mixed to have a respective classroomfor each level and a yoga space.

What I wrote before couldn’t be possible without all the energy mrJitinderput into this labor, I’m witness of his hard work for the organization, I worked with him for 4 months and he was always looking for new ways to improve each aspect of the project.

The two last months I worked with Surinder, I enjoyed every second I spent with him, we developed a nice friendship were we used to make a lot of activities like long walks to villages, hills, temples, make some exercises, yoga, and others, also, we put a lot of energy going house by house offering the free class of our school in the kukas area. The children got better in very aspects, some of them didn’t know the basic norms of the english language now the half of them know this, also for a short time they were learning spanish and to be honest they were very good at it. You can notice that most of the kids want to learn.

As in every aspect of life not everything can be perfect, so that’s why now I’m going to talk about the other person I worked with during my staying in the jaipur project. Situ was a lady who used to be in charge of the youngest group of children, she was suppose to teach the basic things like the alphabet and the basic words however she used to spend this time chating on her phone, getting one hour later to the classes and leaving before the end of these making a little but difficult to give class to the other groups. The thing I think was little too far from her was to tell the kids not to come back to the school once she was told that she wouldn’t continue working with us.

Ben - Country Australia
[Duration 8 Jan to 8 Feb 8 2016]

My experience with Wahoe has been extremely pleasant. it is very inspiring to see and work with an NGO working with children who would otherwise not have this opportunity of education and I am very glad that i have been able to help out 96 with this. It is an experience that i will cherish. Many thanks.

Harry Copson - Country Italy
[Duration 24 September ,16th December, 2016]

"I spent 2 months with Mana Rishikesh in late 2016, teaching English to children in the city. I had an incredible time - the students were always excited to speak to me and I was welcomed so warmly by everyone I met, often being invited into peoples homes and to weddings and other events. The school is small so there is lots of scope to make a difference yourself, and the people around Rishikesh are some of the friendliest I've met anywhere in the world.

Jitender and Elena were fantastic hosts and looked after me better than I could have imagined - I was always fed and looked after and we had lots of fun too visiting places around North India. I left India with the fondest memories and lots of friends I now need to go back and visit!

I would recommend Mana Rishikesh to anyone who wants a unique and personalised volunteering experience. You will be completely immersed in Indian culture and will get to know a beautiful place, as well as fantastic people."

How is everything in Rishikesh?

All the best,

My experience with Wahoe has been extremely pleasant. it is very inspiring to see and work with an NGO working with children who would otherwise not have this opportunity of education and I am very glad that i have been able to help out 96 with this. It is an experience that i will cherish. Many thanks.

Sandro Sabzi, Bologna - Country Italy
[Duration 2 Months April,May, 2016]

I spend two months as volunteer and it was one of the most powerful and interesting experience of my life. I know India from 23 years but this last time with the nice people of Mana Rishikesh - like Jasleen (Elena) and his husband Jitender - I discovered the real face and heart of this wonderful country. I can not wait to back!

Viera From Russia
[Duration 2weeks Month March Year 2016]

мой первый опыт работы волонтером в Индии (МанаРишикеш) дал мне много позитивных эмоций работая с индийскими детьми я стала лучше понимать идийский менталитет почувствовала теплоту и любовь этой волшебной страны благодарна Житендру и Елене спасибо за теплый прием С уважением Вероника

Martha - Country Ireland
[Duration 2 weeks Month April May,2016]

Review of volunteering with school in Rishikesh.

I started volunteering with the school in April 2016. First I went to meet the children in their home. The family are so warm and welcoming. The children are so happy to see you and grateful for you to spend time with them. They are very eager to learn anything you want to teach them. Some of the older ones speak quite good English so it's easy to communicate with them.

I taught them some yoga classes and they really loved it and were all getting involved. If you could help them with English it would really benefit them. I would really recommend going to stay and give these children some of your time as its so rewarding for both them and you!

Accommodaton for volunteers:

Volunteers will have there own room in the family home with bed and fan. There is a bathroom next door for you to use. Indian meals will be provided with the family. Staying here would really give you the chance to be a part of an Indian family and experience real Indian culture.

Experience of our first Volunteers
[From UK]

We have been in Rishikesh for one week helping to get set up in The project for volunteers. It has been a very nice experience overall.

On the first day Jitender collected us from the bus and then we went to his house for some breakfast. At around 12pm we went to the school in Village to meet with the teachers and children. The teachers were very welcoming offering us chai.

They have little or no English from what we have gathered. It didn’t take the children long to warm to us, before long we were all laughing and playing. There were six children on the first day ages between 2 and 5 and one boy was 13. Jitender spoke with the teachers and after we left he told us that they liked us and that he would have to meet with the president of the village and speak to the Government in Rishikesh before a decision would be made.

On the second day there were more children at the school. These children were from the next village over and all had very good English. Our volunteers did some work with the older children asking them to write about themselves, and made join the dot letters for the small children to trace, they have no English. We gave out the pencils, two jigsaws and some chocolates later on. They were all very grateful. We sang some song and each of them had a turn strumming the guitar, they were all fascinated by it.

When school was over we were invited to a wedding in the village. Everyone was so nice and made us feel right at home. We danced lots, then took a break for some chai. I sang some songs in English and a local boy sang some in Hindi. We met the bride and groom and wished them well. It was a great experience.

On the third day we arrived early in the morning but we were asked to wait until Jitender had a meeting before we went into the school. Two children came while we were in the bus stop waiting. We had an impromptu class there and gave them some word searches to complete. They enjoyed it and learned the names of animals that they had never heard before. When we were invited into the classroom we learned some songs in English, abc, old McDonald to name a few then we played games in which you recite the months of the year and days of the week

On the fourth day we did some worksheets with the older children and tracing with the little ones. After we did some yoga and went over the songs we had learned the day before. The children are very keen to learn.

On the fifth day we had some problems with the public transport. Jitender was to have a meeting in the morning so he told us not to leave Rishikesh until 11am. We left at 11, but the bus didn’t arrive until 12pm and then didn’t leave the bus station until 12.40pm. The school finishes at 1pm so we were going to miss school at this stage, but we continued to the school anyway. The bus broke down 3km from the school so we had to walk. By the time we got to the school all the children had left. The vice president of the village came to meet us and invited us to their community office. Another woman from the village and the teacher joined us. They were asking about our qualifications and why we wanted to teach, what we wanted to teach and why we wanted to teach in a rural area. After speaking at length with them, they decided that they were happy to let the project get started and offered us the use of their community hall. They said that because some children go to school far away that we would have to start at 4pm. So we agreed to do the classes from 4-6pm and then get the bus back to Rishikesh at 6.30pm. Jitender arrived after our meeting and had a meeting with them to confirm everything. We had to walk back to Rishikesh to Jitender's house because the bus had broken down. We took a shortcut through the mountains, it was beautiful.

We met Jitender's neighbour who is running classes after school on her roof. We had a similar meeting to the one in the school and they are also happy for volunteers to come and teach the kids.

On the sixth day we left the apartment at 1pm with the intention of arriving at 2pm. There was lots of confusion with the buses. We were on one and then the driver decided that he wouldn’t go to Village until 3.30pm. So we walked through the mountains to Village.We arrived at the school at 3.30 pm and got the keys. There were six enthusiastic kids there who helped up clean up the hall and get the place ready for class. We decided that as it was the first day and that we would be meeting new kids that we would just play games. There were about 13 kids there in the end. They are very happy at the thought of meeting other volunteers from other countries. They are very keen to learn.

I think that once this project gets up and running it will be very successful. Everyone in the village is very welcoming. It would be great if there was a teacher there to help the volunteers as some children had little or no English so there is a language barrier.