INDIA: Rewarding Care Work with Children with Learning and Physical Disabilities

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Location : Madurai – Tamil Nadu
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1000 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

A worthwhile project, working with children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities that are in need of much love and attention.

Our care projects are based in the bustling temple town of Madurai in Southern India. This is a challenging yet totally rewarding project and it will be hard not to fall in love with all the beautiful children!!


All of our schools are set in and around the small town of Madurai - some of them in incredibly scenic areas.

Travellers works with two different Centres in Madurai and you'll probably assist in both of these. Our main and biggest Centre has approximately 160 children ranging from babies to the age of 45. About 130 of these students are provided with residential care; the others are brought to the school each day by their parents. The children mainly suffer from Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Microcephaly, Autism, Epilepsy, Deafness and some of the children are slow learners and dyslexic. The aim of the school is to help the children to study, build confidence and develop essential life skills.

In January 2008, the government helped to fund an Early Intervention Centre here for up to 50 children from babies to the age of 6. They have a development therapy unit, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy units to cater for the children. The centre allows the parents to stay with their child during school hours to gain a greater understanding of how to care for their child.

The children are very talented and they enter many competitions, often taking home first prize. In November 2007, the Centre hosted a Talent Show and 20 other schools for mentally challenged children in the state of Tamil Nadu took part. The Centre walked off with first prize in the group dancing and solo contest along with fancy dress. No doubt the children will be practicing for a festival when you are here and it will be great fun for you to get involved!

The children at the school speak very little English so at times you may find communication hard, however they will be delighted to have you there and you will certainly be popular throughout the whole school. We also work at a smaller centre that caters for around 20 children mainly with Downs Syndrome. Some of the children however are slow learners. Alongside academic work, the children learn crafts such as basket and mat weaving, clay work, garland making, embroidering, tailoring, cooking and gardening.


At the Centre you will probably be working in many different areas, so you should be flexible and adaptable. Some of the areas where you'll be able to assist include:

--> Helping with arts and crafts
--> Helping with their hand-eye co-ordination skills
--> Taking part (or watching!) the daily yoga sessions which help the children with their flexibility
--> Helping the children to sew and embroider
--> Getting involved with music and dance classes
--> Helping the children eat or go to the toilet
--> Helping the older children in the garden
--> Assisting in the physiotherapy department
--> Playing with the children; every day at 3pm is playtime and the children all bundle outside for half and hour of fun! Be prepared to be in great demand at this time!!

At the smaller Centre, you will be assisting the teachers with developing the children’s understanding of Maths and English but you will mainly concentrate on arts, craft and drama. The children have a games period each day consisting of throw-ball and basketball.

Accommodation will be in nearby host families and hostels.


If you’d like to apply for this project, please go to our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen.
It’s as easy as that.


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 Work Experience or Teaching, giving you a varied and broad experience of life in India.


"I’m going to state the obvious and tell you that I’ve had an absolutely amazing time, I don’t want to leave. I’ve loved Anbagam, “Hello, how-are-you-fine!” and Faisel’s Yorkshire ‘Hallooo’ made me feel right at home, Emo boy, cute boy, Jayne’s boy, Nandri boy, downs boy, and all of them. I’ve loved shaking their sticky hands and made to feel really wanted! I’ve loved my evenings & weekends, freezing in the concrete tent in Kodaikanal, catching waves in Pondicherry, candle-lit chats. Loved it all!" Isabelle Detscharner Vischer

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 twelve weeks or longer, subject to visa requirments.

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, homestay, 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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