INDIA: Challenging Work with Orphaned Children in bustling Madurai!

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Activities: Community Volunteer Projects / Orphanage Work
Location : Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1000 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

Work with victims of female infanticide and abandoned children in Madurai and make a difference. Currently there are 29 children at the orphanage, and your help is needed!

A rewarding and hands on placement working with young children in an orphanage in Madurai. You really will make a difference to the lives of these children! Our projects are situated in and around the bustling temple town of Madurai. Your work here will be to help the nurses with the day to day care of the children, from small babies to children of 6 years of age. "I’ve had a short stay here but it been so much fun. The orphanage has provided the best moments of the trip and the children have been fantastic. The other volunteers have also been great. I will definitely come back next year" Uma Ramani You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just lots of enthusiasm and ability to give disadvantaged children love, care and attention.



  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Meeting you at the Airport
  • Transfer to your accommodation
  • Transport to and from your project
  • Full pre-departure support
  • Local in-country team support and backup
  • 24-hr emergency support
  • Two free T-shirts.



The main care centre where we work is at a home for victims of female infanticide and abandoned children. Their mission is to help them first to survive and then to ensure the right of the child to a family. Currently there are 29 children at the orphanage, but this number changes frequently as new children are brought in or are adopted. All of the children’s backgrounds are heartbreaking; some of them have been found abandoned in nearby churches or temples and others are surrendered by their parents. The children are all in desperate need of tender loving care ... and this is where you come in!



  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into beautiful India and it's fascinating culture.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!



Your work will be very hands-on as you will be dealing with all of the children - be prepared to get very grubby!! Your work load and responsibilities will depend on your abilities and attitude to your work, and you'll assume more responsibilities as you grow in confidence and as the staff's confidence in you grows. You should be supervised all of the time while you are there, and you will be given help and directions.

Your work may include some or all of the following:

  • Helping the staff wash and dress the older children
  • Bottle feed the babies
  • Changing nappies
  • Feeding the older children
  • Teaching basic English and Maths
  • Teaching the older children nursery rhymes
  • Organising and facilitating games for the children

By playing games with the children you also encourage confidence building for the children. It also encourages children to use English in an informal way, and even with the younger children it gives them exposure to the language at an early age. Playing games may seem irrelevant on the surface, but it helps to build up team spirit and skills, leadership skills, dexterity and quick thinking, and a healthy competitive spirit. It also gives them a more developed ability to interact with their peers. Volunteers work in rotations, either doing the morning or afternoon shift.

Depending on the number of volunteers, you may have the chance to do 2 shifts a day but it is very exhausting and challenging work and you may appreciate the morning or afternoon off to relax and unwind. For many of the older children, you are able to integrate education into games and also help with homework etc. Where children are not taught at the orphanage you will help these on their return from school in the afternoon.

"Your tasks are fairly routine and repetitive, but really you’re there to give the children individual attention that the full-time nurses don’t always have time to provide. That’s the most important thing you’ll do there – may not feel like much, but it’s so important for them as some of the children’s’ social skills and ability to interact with people are a bit poor. Plus it’s very rewarding to just be there to make them laugh and feel a bit loved!" - Aliki Salter

You may also have the opportunity to work at a boys home in the evenings. The boys are aged between 7 to 18 years of age and all of them attend local schools during the day and return to the home in the evenings. The boys are semi-orphans and they are resident at the home and go back to their families only in the holidays. When they arrive back after school, they have a few chores and then there is an hour of play time. At this time you can go along and interact with them by organising games (they love cricket and football!) or just going to chat to them. When the games session is over there is an hour and a half of study time. You can choose to stay and help them with their homework at this time or help them practice their conversational English. Again, this is a very rewarding project and the boys with be overjoyed to meet you. We can also arrange your flight dates to give you additional time at the end of your project for travelling around and sightseeing - this is a fascinating and wondrous country!



Add to your travel experience in India by doing some additional exciting optional extra activities.

• YOGA & MEDITATION CLASSES: Learn or improve your Yoga skills. Kick-start your days with Yoga followed by Meditation, it’ll set you up for the day!
• 2-HOUR BASIC TAMIL LANGUAGE COURSE (only £7). You'll learn some basic phrases to kick-start your placement
• 4-WEEK TAMIL LANGUAGE COURSE: (£49) taken at the same time as doing your main project. Lessons are by a retired Professor of Tamil. You'll appreciate the benefits of having some Tamil during your placement ... and the locals will love you for trying to speak their language.

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in India, such as Sports or Summer Camp, Teaching or various Care, giving you a varied and broad experience of life in India.



"The orphanage is a fantastic place to spend time. The babies and children are adorable, the staffs seem pleased to have us there and we always have lots to do. It's sad to see how little quality of life the babies/children have but it's great that we are able to help improve things for them ... if only a little. It's far far better than I hoped it would be! Thank you for arranging such a great project." - Emma Wolveridge

"It's chaotic and loud here but there is a charm to the place. Once I got over the crazy driving, the staring and the noise ... I really started to have a good time. Karen and Pradeep are both extremely helpful and friendly. Today they took me to the orphanage to introduce me to Elizabeth and the kids, and they are all just gorgeous! So affectionate and energetic - I can't wait to start there on Monday! Karen also took me around the town and showed me where everything was, including the tailor markets where I'm getting a few things made up. I also visited the temple with the other volunteers today and it was pretty amazing. The other volunteers are very nice and friendly, and I can't wait to get to know them all better. The volunteer house is really lovely and I'm going to go home FAT because Jaya is a brilliant cook!"  - Monica

Start Dates

Flexible start and finish dates you choose, but subject to school terms.Our placements are flexible and can be tailored to match your preferences. For availability please contact the office.

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £995 for two weeks. You can participate for up to three months for £2,595 or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, home stay, apartment or flat).
You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.
Pre-departure you’ll receive comprehensive information about every aspect of your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to visa information, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.


No qualifications or previous experience are necessary, just a good dose of enthusiasm! Everyone is welcome on a Travellers programme, whether gap year, undergraduate, on a career break - or even retired! From 17 years old upwards, and all nationalities. This placement would suit anyone who wants to make a real difference, wants first-hand experience of a different culture and has initiative.

Booking / Enquiry

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