Regretfully, there are no longer opportunities for volunteers to assist in our tent schools due to the eviction of the Charan Khad slum community. However, there may be opportunities to help with the holistic education programme in the hostel. We also welcome volunteers with medical training to help with the health clinics. Get more details of the opportunities available here. Read what one volunteer, Heather Zimmerman, says about her experience of volunteering for Tong-Len below.
For additional information about volunteering opportunities see frequently asked questions for prospective volunteers.
To make specific enquiries contact Tashi Lhamo (Operations Manager) or Jamyang (Director) as below:
Top Floor, Bank Of Baroda
Opp. Art Gallery
Telephone: +91 (0)1892 223930
Heather Zimmerman writes
‘Working with Tong-Len is bound to provide you with one of your most enlightening and transformative experiences while in India. Coming to Tong-Len affords the opportunity to convert the numbers and statistics that characterize India’s poverty epidemic into human beings and stories. Grime and filth, the guises of desparation, are washed away to reveal the hope and innocence of smiling children. To begin to understand a place you must enter into its heart and interact with its people. You must observe the terror, absurdity and beauty that make up its fabric. Slums, which serve as a home to nearly a quarter of India’s population, are an essential element in the make up of the subcontinent.
I had never entered a slum before coming to Tong Len. In fact, truth be told, I had attempted to ignore the poverty that seems to surround you in India. However, the ignorance that may be possible at home (allowing us to avoid the desperation of the less fortunate in our societies) is out of the question in India. Poverty, and its trail of wrath, is found everywhere here. Despite this, the moment we gather our courage and take the time to look at the situation and its victims we realize their humanity and our own similarities. We witness, and later begin to share, the beauty and disappointments that compose everyday life.
Of coarse entering Charran as a foreigner is not a dangerous or scary experience, thanks to the 8 working years that Tong-Len has been active in the community. Jamyang and the Tong Len staff have had the vision and compassion needed to create a marvelous organization. Perhaps most importantly Jamyang has had the foresight to realize that it takes more than funding to build a capable NGO, it takes a fully developed, flexible and comprehensive approach. This is exactly what the organization and their volunteers operate under, working from the heart of the community outwards. Volunteering with Tong Len provides the opportunity to be part of a movement that offers hope, sustainability and a bright future to some of the most marginalized citizens. It provides memories and lessons that are bound to stay with you for the rest of your life.’