Volunteering & Gap Year

We welcome and encourage volunteers and gap year students. You can stay with us for any length of time i.e. from one week to six months, and experience the life in the western Himalayan hill country. We need your enthusiasm, responsibility, sensitivity towards the local environment and a willingness to help us make this world a better place.

Vanghat is a learning space for people from all age-groups, where volunteers can work on various fields – Organic Farming/Gardening, Food Forest, Sustainable Energy, Water Harvesting, Wildlife Census, Wildlife Photography & Display, Herbal Plants & Natural Medicines, Natural Cosmetics, Healthy Cooking, Natural Dye, Arts and Crafts (with natural & local materials).

Since it’s a mutual learning, you are requested to take responsibility of your own learning, as well as your contribution to the space. Your project should be beneficial for you, Vanghat and the larger community. It should also be completed during your stay.

  • Why Volunteer?

    Volunteering is a great way to explore any place, learn things genuinely and contribute in a real sense. As it is a real learning exchange opportunity, you gain and share ideas, knowledge and skills. Meeting new people, exploring new cultures, lifestyles and nature in different habitats, while contributing through your physical efforts and knowledge; you experience in depth that you can’t on a normal way of travel. It’s an experience of a lifetime that allows you to try something that you wouldn’t normally do at home.

    Since you will be staying for an extended period, you become part of the community that you are staying in. You’ll make new friends, learn new things, or you may rediscover yourself. It can be a great step towards a new career... It’s a choice that you have to make i.e. between 6 months working for minimum wage in a supermarket, or 6 months learning new skills, new languages, and having a life changing experience.

The Programme

Although there are endless possibilities for learning and experimenting at our eco-lodge, the forest and the local communities; we would expect you to take responsibilities of 2 ongoing programmes during your stay

1. Assisting with everyday activities of the Camp
2. Estimating Species Richness through Camera Trap and other assessment methods.

Everyday Activities

Vanghat runs throughout the year and various activities are conducted in different seasons. The common activities include – Walking Safari, Birding walks, Wildlife presentations, Building relations with the guests and local communities, Taking care of the camp and maintaining the facilities.

Volunteers are expected to co-facilitate the activities as a naturalist and help the regular staffs for maintaining the space.

How Does Volunteering Benefit the Community?

For us, the benefits to the community can be immense. First, you come to stay. That signifies more employment for the local community. You’ll stay locally, eat local food, and probably end up buying local products (no one can resist the colourful Indian markets!). The locals will also benefit from improving their English skills – a better grasp of English means that they’ll be able to interact more with non – resident guests, and will be able to bring more work for themselves.

The project you will be working on will benefit through new ideas, skills and a fresh approach. Conservation is a part of our program. So you benefit the local community as well as the natural habitat and the species residing in that habitat. In many cases you will be working with endangered species – there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are helping to save an animal from extinction.

  • Expected Monitory Contribution

    Our programs are funded solely through volunteer contributions and without any outside help. If you stay over the period of 90 days, you won’t have to pay at all. In case of shorter period of time, we will charge you a little (actual amount will be discussed individually) that will go into the following:

    • Accommodation
    • Food
    • Staff wages (to the local people)
    • Volunteer/Project Materials
    • Program development and program coordinators
    • Administration costs and organisational overheads

    For the money that you have to pay, we do promise that you will receive:

    • Clean, comfortable (if not simple) accommodation
    • Delicious home cooked meals three times a day
    • Clean, safe drinking water
    • The experience of a lifetime

Volunteer as a Responsible Traveller

We believe in responsible travel. It is a new way of travelling especially for those who are tired of mass tourism and want to gain a more wholesome experience while they travel. Responsible travel means to care about the land, people, wildlife, respect local communities and cultures, and especially to contribute towards conservation and environment. We like our guests to leave a footprint but a positive one. You’ll travel to places that are off the usual tourist route, getting a first-hand experience of the area.

We encourage people to take a step back, slow down, get their hands dirty and rediscover nature. Conservation is an integral part of our work, and everything that we do is done keeping ecological sustainability in mind. We know how easy it is to lose touch with nature, but nature is easy to rediscover when you take the time to do so.