tom is travelling

Choosing to volunteer at GEMS

So I'd trawled through a lot of posts on, there were so many places that looked great to go and visit, but when I found GEMS on helpx I knew it was the one for me, here are some of the reasons I've chosen to volunteer with GEMS.

They were actually looking for people to stay long term

I really don't want to go somewhere where I feel there is a time restriction, I want to volunteer somewhere for a longer period of time but I don't have the neccesary experience for a lot of the long term volunteer roles advertised.

I'm actually doing something helpful for once

After only working pretty much for private companies exclusively so far, I'm keen to try something new which I'm confident is bringing some genuine value.

After a few months it's free food and board

Travelling is expensive. I live in the UK, India's kind of far away and there are a lot of expenses involved in getting there but when you go out to poorer countries the cost of living is low. So if I'm getting food and board then all I need to pay for is flights, a visa and some travel gear. I'm sure that there are some essentials I'll need to buy whilst I'm in India and I'll also need a "safety net" of cash floating about just in case something goes wrong, but since I get a roof over my head and food in my belly for free then I don't need to spend too much - allowing me to spend a longer time abroad.

GEMS is a great place run by great people

The story behind how GEMS was created is beautiful and inspiring, it really affected me and made me want to be part of their work. What I write about GEMS now is only what I have researched on the internet, I am joining them in September. Essentially Lori, the head master was a Canadian Anthropologist working in the area and ended up marrying one of the most respected members of the village Sainji, Kunwar. They decided to set up a school in 2009 with only 8 students in an attempt to give the kids there the opportunity I'm guessing their parents probably didn't have. They have over 230 students now, I can't possibly imagine the vast effort and heart which must have been required to make this project so successful.

I'm probably telling it all wrong, here's a bunch of links I found about the Village Sainji and GEMS which will do it better for you:
The GEMS mission statement
An independant story about visiting GEMS
A blog post by Lori written before she had started the school
Images of the Village Sainji and surrounding area

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