Join a group of volunteers headed to India

Reforestation of an extremely unique tropical dry evergreen forest
March 4 - March 31, 2018
Auroville, India
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$25 one-time handling fee to GivingWay
$7.5 per day to Sadhana Forest India
100% of this fee is paid directly to the non-profit.
What's Included
3 Meals a Day
Your Contact
At Sadhana Forest India
"Sadhana was a meaningful experiance for us, and also just fun! We have great memories and hope to have an opportunity to come again." - Didi Zilber, Israel.
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Bei Ta
United Kingdom
Michael Richardson
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Hi, I'm Brandon Quinn from Sadhana Forest India, here is all you need to know about joining this volunteer group at our non-profit
Specific dates
March 4, 2018 – March 31, 2018

We will pick you up Sunday, March 4th 2018 at 9:00 from CMBT Bus terminal, Chennai.

Drop off
We will drop you off on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at CMBT Bus terminal, Chennai.

Places left
48 places left

500 Indian Rupees (about $7.50 USD) per day for food
* An additional 1,000 Indian Rupees (about $14 USD) deposit is required for bedding and will be returned to you at the end of your stay.

100% of this fee is paid directly to our non-profit

Our fee includes:

Our fee excludes:
Flights and travel costs to Auroville
Transportation to and from our location

Detailed description of volunteer work
Our main project is the reforestation of 70 acres of severely eroded land. We are working to recreate the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest indigenous to our area. This forest type is found only in Southern India and Sri Lanka and provides a rare biological richness due to its very high species abundance (over 1000 species of trees, shrubbery and liana). The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest is now close to total extinction, with only 0.01% of the original forest surviving. We are working to keep this rich and beautiful forest on earth.

Volunteers at Sadhana Forest spend about 30-35 hours a week assisting in reforestation and water conservation work or in general community work that sustains the project as a whole. The reforestation work consists of preparing mounds for tree planting, planting trees, watering and mulching young trees, inspecting trees for fungal, bacterial, or other attacks, brewing home-made organic fertilizers and insect repellents, applying them, and caring for trees in our tree nursery. The water conservation work consists of building and repairing bunds, swales, trenches, and gabions. Our main goal is to use natural, low-tech landscaping methods to sequester water in the aquifer below, then to plant and care for young trees until they tap into the aquifer and begin to sustain themselves.

The general community work includes tasks such as:
- preparing meals in the kitchen
- cleaning up after meals
- composting food waste
- managing the tool shed, organizing and repairing tools
- working in the gardens
- gathering and processing firewood
- inspecting huts for bee and termite damage
- maintaining solar panels
- maintaining dry compost toilets
- sorting community waste for processing in nearby recycling centers

As our work in the forest has progressed and Sadhana Forest has grown, we have also opened two new projects here on our premises. The first, Children’s Land, opened in 2010. It is a space for local children from underprivileged backgrounds to come explore and use freely as their own. The second, the “Goshala” (Animal Sanctuary), opened in 2016, is a retirement center for a small number of injured and/or abandoned animals.

Detailed description of accommodation
Volunteers will sleep in 30-40 person dormitories constructed from natural, biodegradable and/or recycled materials.
It is worth noting that there will be other individual and group volunteers present in addition to the members of this group.

Detailed description of meals
Sadhana Forest provides 18 all-vegan, whole food, mostly organic, mostly local meals per week for all volunteers. Breakfast is served every day, while there is no dinner served on Fridays and no lunch served on Saturday and Sunday. When no meals are provided, volunteers may cook on their own in the kitchen or go out to eat.

Typical day
Here’s an outline of a typical day and how your week will look like:
5:30AM Wakeup
6:00AM Morning Circle
6:15AM First Seva (forest work)
8:30AM Breakfast
9:30Am Second Seva
(community work)
12:30PM Lunch
1:30PM – 6:00 PM Workshops
and free time
3:00PM Dinner cooking
(selected individuals)
6:00PM Dinner
7:00PM community event

7:00 first seva (selected teams)
9:00 Breakfast
10:00 second seva
(selected teams)
(no lunch)
3:00PM dinner cooking
(selected individuals)
6:00PM dinner

Community Events (after dinner):
Monday: Core Values Talk
Tuesday: Sharing Circle
Wednesday: Non-talent Show
Thursday: Night Out
Friday: Eco-Film Club
Saturday: (No schedule)
Sunday: Community Meeting

Support and emergency assistance
We provide 24/7 WiFi and cellphone connectivity. We are located 4km from the local hospital, and in cases of emergency, we have 24/7 access to the Auroville ambulance service and there are numerous clinics and health centers in the immediate area.

Not included; volunteers are responsible for purchasing travel and health insurance at their own cost.

Additional information
• Sadhana Forest is a unit of Auroville, an experimental international township devoted to the goal of Human Unity. We are located in South India about 8km from the city of Pondicherry, 150 kilometers from the major metropolitan city of Chennai, and within a few hundred kilometers of numerous other destinations (beaches, mangroves, national parks, and so on).
• Sadhana Forest will provide all volunteers with orientation on the day of arrival and with a full, in-depth tour of the project on their first Friday.
• Volunteers should be aware that Sadhana Forest is an organization run exclusively by volunteers; any incoming volunteers will be joining an already established (if always changing) group of volunteers. All who stay here participate equally in our work.
• Facilities include access to a large natural swimming pond, 24/7 unlimited access to the Internet with your own device (weather and solar energy permitting), 4 hours each day of AC power to charge electrical items, and a small library. There are also daily workshops offered free of charge by our community members, which vary each week, as well as regular community events such as the Wednesday Night Non-Talent Show and the Friday Night Eco Film Club.
• Having a successful and rewarding experience at Sadhana Forest requires an openness to foreign cultures and climates (we are in India and host guests from all over the world), to a different schedule (we work from 6AM until 12 Noon), to new diets (we eat only vegan, unprocessed food), to new forms of accommodation (we live in open-air, thatch-roofed bamboo huts), and to new living arrangements (we sleep in dormitories, eat meals communally, take bucket showers, and use dry-compost toilets ).

For additional information please see our Volunteer Info Package here.
Learn more about Sadhana Forest India
More about us
We are a local non-profit located in the unique village of Auroville. Our main projects revolve around the reforestation of 70 acres of severely eroded land and the creation of a tropical dry evergreen forest that is unique to this part of the world.
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