The Sebastian Hunter Memorial Trust has gained support from all over the world, from people who share our dream of educating children who would otherwise not have the chance.
Teachers, donors, volunteers, social workers and many more have been inspired by the work of the organisation, and strive hard to make its projects a success. By reaching out to the rural poor and marginalized, and striving to provide access to education, medical care, and livelihoods.
What we now need are volunteers to help these projects move forward in India.
We have found in the past that volunteers from developed countries are indispensable, often having strong leadership, planning and organisational skills that are essential to the success of these projects, and can provide the greatest inspiration to those living in challenging situations.
In return, it is an amazing opportunity for the volunteers themselves to live in such a different context and develop invaluable experience.
We are recruiting young men and women interested in education and health and development to join our team. Apply today!
Why volunteer with Seb's?
You can choose which education areas to specialise in, including: spoken English, literacy/numeracy, computer education, creative arts and drama, interactive team building, and library science.
You will help the Tamil Nadu community by building awareness about health, sanitation, basic diseases, teaching literacy/numeracy skills to empowering the community to take an active role in making responsible decisions regarding their health and livelihoods.
If you're a medical student or interested in psychology, anthropology/social sciences, you can work towards improving aid and access to health care, health education, and increasing the participation of the individuals living in such areas.
You will contribute to the wider understanding of the need for educational and health programs in Tamil Nadu, India and hopefully build long-lasting relationships with the communities and other volunteers they work with.
After returning from this wonderful experience, I am still in regular contact with Anita from the orphanage office, who keeps me updated with the child I am now sponsoring. My son has been so humbled by his experience he is taking a course in becoming a teacher of English, so he can go back qualified and offer more to the children.
Jo Pearce, Education Volunteer
Where you go: Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, India. Considered the most urbanized state in India, Tamil Nadu lies at the heart of the Dravidian culture characterized by their magnificent temples and intricate carvings. Tamil Nadu’s key industries are engineering and manufacturing. However, the district of Vellore is primarily a farming district which has suffered badly from drought, leaving a large percentage of the community unemployed.
How long: we recommend a 4 month stay, however, shorter or longer sessions can be arranged.
How much: £3,000 fee (approx). This covers all flights and other transportation costs, as well as accommodation and food for your entire stay (based on 4 month session) plus a contribution towards one of The Sebastian Hunter Memorial Trust’s projects.
What you will be doing: You will spend time at all the various projects affiliated with The Trust, including the four schools, tribal villages, and Schieffelin Institute of Health and Leprosy Research Centre.
The Sebastian Hunter Memorial Trust works with five different schools of all educational levels; King’s School, Kasam; Sebastian Hunter Higher Secondary School, Arni; Seb’s School, Senji Mottur; Devalois Higher Secondary School, Devalois; and a primary school in Thattankuttai. The schools are happy for volunteers to get involved educational areas such as:
Literacy and Numeracy and Library Science
Creative Arts & Drama
This project helps rural schools in and around Vellore to apply a creative and interactive mode of teaching English and computers. The program is designed as a 16 week curriculum, wherein volunteers work to both expand the capacity of the teachers as well as the children, through a fun and effective mode of learning centred around dance, multimedia, music, art and play. Weekly lesions for all standards are held at all schools.
This project works with children who do not attend school. Volunteers will work with these children to develop their career goals and ensure that they have the skills, means and support to do so. Volunteers will organise career counseling and trips to places of work for the older students, advocate for the certificates they need to pass through their education, and lectures from professionals in their desired areas of work.
The primary schools at Thattankuttai village in the Jawadhi Hills are the first schools these communities have ever had. First generation education comes with many challenges, and volunteer support with this infrastructure is crucial. Prospective volunteers must be aware that this project is in a tribal area, requiring a 5-14km trek to the village and will be living in basic facilities with no electricity. Volunteers will be working directly with tribal people, who live according to very different rules. For this reason, it is important for volunteers to be culturally respectful and adaptable. Areas in need of development are:
Adult literacy and numeracy
Liaising with the education department for support, food, and materials
The Seb’s projects team in Tamil Nadu are often called upon to act as medical case workers and bridge the gap between the tribal villagers and the hospitals in Vellore. Building the villagers awareness regarding health and sanitation as well as health perceptions and behaviours through community led intervention is key to keep progress going.
This program works with women in slum communities finding sustainable livelihood projects to suit their capabilities, and working with them in a supportive capacity as they build up their physical skills. Other projects include building awareness about health and sanitation, awareness of basic diseases and how they spread, as well as helping them through issues such as debt management and dealing with domestic abuse, literacy and account management. Volunteers will work in the field, identifying new communities, participating in the programs already in place, and helping the younger women/girls get into schools and community colleges and conduct health and welfare education schemes.
The Schieffelin Institute of Health and Leprosy Research Centre and Shatnhigramam Community Hospice
The institute is located in the rural village of Karigiri. Established in 1955 as a research centre for the study of leprosy, it soon became a fully functioning hospital. There is very little funding for further Leprosy research, besides the fact that the nature of the disease is still not completely understood. Leprosy is curable, and if caught in the early stages can leave no lasting effects. However, some of the physical and psychological effects (especially the social stigma) can be the hardest to deal with. The Institute and the hospice are looking for volunteers with a medical, psychology, anthropology, or other social science background who are interested in doing group work with patients and organising activities for the residents of Shatnhigramam, as well as research and data collection assistants for the hospital.
WE need volunteers to identify and coordinate training for a Primary Health Worker in the each of the Jawadhi Hills tribal villages. The health worker will be a huge catalyst for change in their community and the volunteer will assist and support them through their transition. The villagers will be trained in CMC’s community health and development hospital in Vellore in basic biology, pharmacology, healthcare, and how to deal with such emergencies.