Support women in Kerala, India

Women's Empowerment Project in India for Volunteers over 50

Teach Skills to Boost Gender Equality in India 

At a glance

  • Learn about the impact of India’s history and  traditional culture on the status of Kerala women
  • Spend your days teaching employability-boosting English skills to women from communities in and around Kerala.
  • Use your free weekends to explore the beautiful seaside town of Fort Kochi
  • Live, work and travel alongside people of a similar age
  • Spend a weekend floating through canals on a traditional Kerala houseboat 

Start Dates: 

Throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks

Age: 

50 or over


Is a Women’s Empowerment Project in India right for me?

Ready to take real action towards women’s equality? Are you wanting to fight against injustice and do your bit to move society forward? If so, help empower women in India through activities to provide useful skills and boost their confidence.

With on-the-job training and supervision, this programme requires no experience. There’s only one thing we ask from you: to come with a passion for equal rights and a sincere belief that you can make a positive change for women in India. As a Grown Up Special trip, for people over the age of 50, you will be in an advantageous position. Age is respected in Indian culture, therefore the women we work with will be excited to talk to and learn from a group of older volunteers.

You’ll watch as their confidence levels increase, helping them to forge their own paths through life. The Women’s Empowerment Trip lasts for two weeks, but your journey will have a lasting impact.

Women’s rights in India will be won by empowering the amazing women who live in rural areas who are on a low income. If you’re ready to help them succeed, then book your place on our Women’s Empowerment Project in India for Volunteers over 50.


Teach English from basic level to advanced

English is an essential skill across the world. Women who speak it open up a range of exciting and well-paid job opportunities. They’re likely to appear more qualified and confident to employers, even if the job doesn’t involve speaking English. It shows that they’re cultured, internationally-minded, and ready to contribute to the future of India’s economy.

With that in mind, you’ll use your English skills to come up with creative ways to teach English to Indian women. Class sizes will be small, with no more than 10 students at a time. This means you can tailor your teaching to them.

While some women will already speak good English, others will just be starting out. You should therefore be ready to work with a range of skill levels from basic to advanced. This will mostly involve just spoken English, although you’ll teach some spelling and grammar as well.

Prepare your own unique teaching materials and lesson plans

One or two hours a day should be spent planning your English lessons. During this time, you’ll work with local teachers to discover the best way to empower women in India. Be as creative as you like, finding fun ways to engage your students.

Much of this will depend on your personal teaching style and feedback from the class. If you find something that works, then build on this to make learning English even more effective. You’ll constantly have the opportunity to tweak your classes and improve your English lesson plan.

As much as these lessons are for the women, it’s also a chance for you to learn and build your confidence in teaching.

Help provide a safe and comfortable space for women

You will support the development of a safe educational and social area for local women. Represent the project when you are out in public and make connections with the women who visit the centre. 

Immerse yourself in and gain a deep understanding of Indian culture

India has a rich and fascinating culture that you’ll have the opportunity to explore. By living in shared volunteer accommodation and working with our local staff, you’ll have an immersive and educational experience. Through this, you’ll learn about the barriers that women in India face and the work that’s being done for gender equality.

As part of this group trip, you’ll be taken on various trips and activities. You’ll experience an authentic Keralan family meal during an intimate and personal cooking class with an experienced home cook. Try out some delicious local recipes, then sit down with the family to enjoy eating your creations.

Our staff will take you on tours of Fort Kochi, local fishing ports and the Jewish Town. Visit the oldest Jewish Synagogue in Asia and one of the oldest antique markets in all of India! Sit at traditional tea shops and try an assortment of snacks like Pazham Pori (banana fritters) and egg puffs.The chai is soul-satisfying and the warm and familiar bustle of people standing outside with you, sipping their tea and munching on their bread pakoras, only adds to the calm and comfort of the whole experience. 

For a taste of culture, you’ll be taken to watch a traditional Kathakali Dance performance, involving elaborate make-up and costumes. 

During the weekend you will take a houseboat tour along backwaters and canals. Float peacefully past temples, paddy fields and rural communities, while in the comfort of an air conditioned traditional kettuvallam boat.

Spend a weekend on a traditional houseboat

Where in India will I be working?

Kochi

During your Women’s Empowerment Project, you’ll be located in Fort Kochi. Your volunteer accommodation is only a 10-minute walk from where you’ll work, so you won’t waste any time on a long commute. You’ll spend your time running English classes at our teaching centre. It’s fully equipped with plenty of seating, white boards, books and other teaching resources which you can make use of. 

Fort Kochi is a beautiful region in the city of Kochi, Kerala. Surrounded by water, this is a peaceful and relaxing area of India. On your days off, you’ll visit museums, beaches, and temples to satisfy your sightseeing cravings. The beach walkway is the perfect place to feel the cool breeze after a long day’s work in temperatures that regularly reach the mid-30s.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

Our projects are based in Kochi. When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our India Arrival Procedures page


What are the aims of a Women’s Empowerment Project in India?

Your work is focused on giving women the skills and education they need to pursue their dreams. This will be by improving their English language level through regular lessons. However, we also aim to give women in India a chance to be exposed to new ideas.

Many of the women you work with will have grown up in a traditional household, shaped by a colonial past and post-independence policies which are focused on traditional gender roles. As someone from a very different kind of society, you’re there to spread ideas of women’s liberation and freedom from societal constraints around gender.

Another vital part of your role is increasing the confidence of the women you work with. By talking to you in English, they’ll start to feel like they have the skills and capabilities to succeed in male-dominated professions. Use this experience to talk to them about their goals and encourage them to go after their dreams.


Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.


Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.


Food and accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad travellers during your stay in India. This is a great way to get to know each other, share experiences, and explore your surroundings during your free time together.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day. 

Find out more about our accommodation.


Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.


This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Get discounted prices when you combine projects or destinations!

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