Kids Worldwide

Uma Nivas Orphanage - School
Do you want to really make a difference to the lives of the poor? Come on an adventure to the tribal villages of West Bengal and help teach English, maths, computer studies, science or any other skills you have.

The skills that you can offer will help the desperately poor Santhal tribal children at Uma Nivas, a primary and girls’ high school with attached orphanage.

Join our children’s daily yoga and meditation sessions and develop your full potential while helping our children to develop theirs.

Who can volunteer

We prefer female volunteers or couples; however we will accept male volunteers who wish to help when we run our one week holiday English camps.You must have a good, moral character and respect the local culture.

Volunteer job

Your job as a volunteer
* to teach English, maths, computer studies, science, history, geography or any other academic or non-academic skills you have.

* to train the teachers to plan and teach creative lessons

* to help with after school homework

* to play games with or organize activities for the children during recreation time, teach them about your life and learn about theirs

* if you have a taste for physical activity, your help with our garden will be appreciated, laying paths, planting vegetables or clearing out the underbrush which constantly threatens to take over.

* become a member of our small family for the time you are here and have fun with us together.

What to expect

In India rote learning is the norm and hundreds of bored pupils stream out of our schools every day burdened with books and with hours of homework ahead of them. This results from teaching defects in class time.

We would like a volunteer who can help teach the teachers how to make lessons more interesting using playful methods. If you are a kindergarten or lower primary teacher with a creative mind and the capacity to work wonders on a shoestring budget, we will welcome you with open arms.

We need your help to teach spoken English to the children and teachers. In India the children only learn to read and write English but never learn to talk it! We want to remedy this.

We need to finish the construction of several rooms so we can relieve the overcrowding of the school hostel.
Extra accommodation will also mean we will be able to admit more village girls in our school. For this we urgently need help with fundraising.

And also we need a new jeep for our transportation.

We will be happy if volunteers can also teach songs and dance and drama to the children.


Didi Ananda Vratiisha, the principal of the school is a very jolly person who is warm and hospitable.She's a great social worker and has been running the Uma Nivas high school for the last 10 years.She speaks very good English and will make you feel at home right away. She is also open to change and new ideas as far as the management of her project is concerned.She is also deeply respected by the local people as she really tries to help them solve their problems.

Volunteer Coordinator

Malati is orginally from England, but has been working in India for over 15 years, learning about the culture, the languages and about the people. Five years ago she started a programme to help provide infrastructure to struggling village schools and has since arranged funds for many schools to help them to become self-sufficient.


The school can offer one medium sized room where one or two volunteers can stay. The electric supply is generally good, except in the rainy season.

At the school bathing water is carried up to the bathroom from the well downstairs and washing of clothes is done at the well. Volunteers will receive training in Indian style bathing!

You will be provided with vegetarian food but can eat other food outside the compound.

Accommodation & Food cost

First month: Rs.20,000(approx Eur 300 / USD 400)

Subsequent months Rs.6000 (approx Eur 100)


Uma Nivas Project is located in Katanga Village, Purulia District, West Bengal. The primary school has around 60 boys and girls, 20 of whom are residential, while the high school has around 150 children attending. The orphanage is home to 23 girls aged between 10 and 18.

The surrounding area is populated by tribal santhals who, for the most part, live well below the poverty line. The high school provides subsidized, and in some cases, free education to the local children. A school hostel accommodates around 50 girls from further a field who cannot come on a daily basis due to lack of easy transportation.

Right now we are only providing education to the village children. In the future we want to help develop infrastructure for the villages…a mobile medical unit come ambulance, a maternity clinic to provide hygienic conditions for childbirth, wells, and much more. The people here are unimaginably poor. They need our help so much. Bring your skills and come and join us!

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