Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives,
including your own!
We have year round opportunities for volunteering at our resident volunteer center in Bodhgaya India. Volunteer activities center around helping in our Bodhi Tree schools and working on projects in the nearby villages. While learning new skills can be beneficial, it is not a requirement for a fulfilling volunteer experience. Bear in mind that the most valuable skills you can bring to any volunteer effort are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to do whatever is needed, and a positive attitude.
There are several options available for volunteering
Volunteer opportunities can last from 1 week to 3 months. The average time for most volunteers is two to four weeks, shorter times are possible if space is available, and we also have longer resident internship options of 6-12 months.
Our volunteer project coordinators in India speak English and all local languages. All income generated from our Volunteer Program goes directly into the projects the Foundation runs.
Bodhgaya is marvelous cultural Experience
Bodhgaya is where Shakyamuni Buddha reached enlightenment while meditating underneath the Bodhi Tree. Bodhgaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. In 2002, the MahaBodhi Temple, located in Bodhgaya, was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bodhgaya is a fascinating area. You will be within walking distance of the MahaBodhi temple where the Bodhi Tree is. Our staff will take you to visit local historical places and you will have plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture's flavor and color.
The Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation serves as the integral link between the modern world and villages around Bodhgaya that have been living in poverty for many generations. We choose the name Bodhi Tree for our Educational Foundation because the Bodhi Tree is an international symbol of compassion, wisdom and peace.
Key Points to Know About Our Volunteer Program
The Foundation provides many full-time jobs for the local population. – Volunteer efforts support and supplement the our staff, rather than replace it. Volunteers enhance an already functioning strong core program.
Volunteer efforts are coordinated to ensure that there is continuity in all projects, a high quality outcome for all tasks. Local cultural traditions are respected by the Foundation and all volunteer activities reflect this stance.
The strong respect that is fostered between volunteers and the children / locals encourages recipients of assistance to develop higher self-esteem and confidence in their own ability to attain greater prosperity. Our programs center around the idea that everyone can help – the people who are receiving help now know they are preparing to help others in the near future.
Our volunteers come away from their experience with deep satisfaction and pleasure in their close bonds with the children and staff. They feel valued for their contribution in a way that makes them want to continue. Becuase of this, we have many volunteers who return every year to a very warm welcom.
For more information and volunteer application please email us:
“I am full of admiration for the work of the volunteer director Dhirendra and his colleagues. In the early 1970′s I spent a year and a half working at the school Dhirendra’s mentor, Dwarko Sundrani started for the Musahar community back in the mid-1960′s, and from that experience I am deeply aware of difference education can make to this community, especially an approach to education that speaks to the whole child through head, heart, and hand. When I visited the Bodhi Tree School I could see the spark of learning in the children’s eyes and feel their awakening sense of self confidence and possibility. This is blessed work”. Olivia Stokes Dreier, Executive Director, Karuna Center for Peace building (USA)
“It’s very inspiring to be in contact with people like you who dedicate their live to do things they really want to do. Thank you for for the possibility to visit the schools. It was an extraordinary experience for us and we appreciate it very much. Your work is very inspiring and really motivates to be active in live to do something good for others”.
Christian Will, Visiting Engineer from Germany
“Ever since I left Bodhi Tree School our sweet home in India, I just can’t help thinking of people I’ve met during my stay. I absolutely miss every moment I spent with my sweet friends there whilst feeling just so happy to have had such a great opportunity to get to know them. A month there was certainly long enough for me to realize how I could actually make my own contribution to a certain society, yet definitely too short to say ‘I’ve seen/felt/done enough’. Please keep me updated here, everything is quite an inspiration for me! Let me wish every single one of you here all the best with all my heart.” Takehiro Kawase (Japan)
After one month volunteering with Volunteer Education India in Bodhgaya, it is time to bid farewell to Dhirendra the director and all the staff and volunteers. I have had an amazing time during my stay here and am very sad to leave. I was welcomed into the community with open arms and included in all the projects and events, right from the very first day. It's wonderful to see how previous students are now themselves working for the organization, after having learnt so much thanks to the management. I hope to be back in the very near future.
Olivia, Volunteer from England
I had such an amazing experience staying here and visiting school. Everyone was so welcoming and kind. I have never felt so inspired and uplifted before. I think the work done here is so amazing and i wish we could have stayed here longer to interact and learn
Grace, USA, Volunteer
I enjoyed visiting school with such an amazing greeting! The food served throughout this entire stay was very good. The hospitality at the volunteer house was the most welcomed. I have felt my whole trip in India. I loved the village and getting to speak with young students in the university. Thank you so much! You have an amazing team!
Villow, USA Volunteer
"Meeting amazing people who became like family to me, getting to know and love the children I worked with, exploring a beautiful country and culture: all of this is just the beginning of what my experience working with Bodhi Tree School, Bodhgaya, India., and I’m very thankful to be able to say I’m a part of it."
Ruby Brinkerhoff, Volunteer, Bodhi Tree School, Bodhgaya, India (USA)
"Volunteering was magical on so many levels. The partner is inspiring, well organized, passionate and a privilege to be aligned with. The opportunities available to impact directly on the lives of those in need are incredibly special, and the rewards are felt by the children, their communities and the volunteers themselves.
Graham Mcdougal, Volunteer, Bodhi Tree School, From England
Great project! Worked hard and played hard! Volunteering does make a difference- slowly but surely. Volunteering has made a huge impact on my life. I should have done it years ago! Just go for it. You will make great friends, see new places, learn different cultures, have a sense of achievement and make a difference."
Maria Del Carmen, Volunteer From Spain
"I had the most unbelievable experience. It was home; an experience I will never forget and recommend to everyone. “Hard work but hugely rewarding and after 4 weeks I didn't want it to end. I met so many great people and learnt so much about the structural poverty, demography, social commitments, community life and much more, By the end it felt like my home!
Carmen Martinez, Volunteer From Spain
The Bodhi Tree school was so inspiring and heartwarming. A perfect school for Bodhgaya, one of the most unique and friendly places I have ever seen in India.......
Shame, Leap now Volunteer from USA
"Teaching in Bodhi Tree School was such a worthwhile experience, not only for me but for the kids I taught as well. The impact you make on the school is something that benefits the children massively, allowing them to experience fun and a different method of teaching. Volunteering is a great way to see the world, whilst benefiting others."
Jose Ramon Samper, Volunteer from Spain
I had a wonderful experience during my time at Bodhi Tree school. The staff and students were so kind and welcoming. I felt so comfortable and had so much fun with kids despite a kind of language barrier..The people at school have inspired me so much. I look forward to returning in the future and getting to know everyone better. Thank You so much!
Elizabeth, Leap Now, USA Volunteer
For more information and volunteer application please email us: