Friends of Roshni UK

Friends of ROSHNI UK

Working together to support disabled children in India

Registered Charity Number 1117759


Volunteering with Friends of ROSHNI UK

An outline of the procedure


Our volunteers make a big commitment when they go to India, and a huge contribution to the work at Roshni. We value this very much, and so endeavour to help them be fully prepared for the challenges they will face in Gwalior.

All volunteers are interviewed, and we collect references and obtain a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure for them.

We then spend time with them helping to prepare for their placement. We prefer to do this preparation over several sessions (usually evenings or weekends, in Manchester), but for volunteers who live further away this can be done in one full day (including the interview if necessary). This preparation includes help with the practicalities (such as transport and health), cultural awareness, and planning the work you will be undertaking at Roshni.

Read about two of our volunteers' experiences and reflections at the end of their time at Roshni.

Working at Roshni

Volunteers tend to be involved with all aspects of the work at Roshni, including hands-on work with the children (focused on the volunteers' skill areas) in the Early Intervention, Primary and Vocational Training Groups. There may also be some work with out-patients, and occasional home and school visits. Volunteers also get involved with administration, and help at lunch time, training days, school trips and cultural events. The work is varied, and you will have the chance to help the staff develop their skills in your particular area of expertise, as well as having the opportunity to develop your own skills in other areas.

A typical working day is from 9.00-4.00. The centre is open from Monday to Saturday, although we encourage our volunteers to take one long weekend off every month to visit other places in India.


Frequently asked questions

Do I have to pay anything?

All volunteers fund their own stay, including flights, insurance, health costs, and living costs during their stay in India.

How much will that cost?

We recommend our volunteers take £100-200 a month to cover accommodation and food costs. They book flights and arrange travel insurance etc themselves, so cost depends on how good they are at finding a bargain!

Do Friends of ROSHNI UK provide any funding?

Unfortunately, we are not able to fund the volunteers at present. However, our fundraising coordinator can help you out with lots of ideas on how to raise money to fund your trip

Where will I stay?

ROSHNI have arranged the use of a small flat close to the centre, where up to 2 volunteers can stay at a time. We will arrange alternative accommodation if there are more than 2 volunteers at a time.

How will I cope with the language?

The Director and Therapy Coordinator both speak English, and many of the staff have a little English. We recommend volunteers learn basic Hindi to help them communicate with the children.

How long can I stay?

Our minimum stay is 4 months. We only send volunteers between September and April: this is because May-June is extremely hot and the Special School part of the centre is closed; July-August is the monsoon and there is higher risk of illness at this time.

Will I be the only volunteer there?

We prefer to send volunteers in pairs, but this is not always possible. It depends on the applications we receive at that time.

Download a more detailed document on volunteering at ROSHNI: Volunteering at Roshni information.

Download a detailed information document specifically for therapists: Volunteering at Roshni information for therapists.

If you are interested in applying to volunteer at ROSHNI, you can download an application form: Application for Voluntary Placement at ROSHNI Ramakrishna Ashrama.

To email us your volunteering queries, please use our contact form