Frequently asked questions
How do I apply to volunteer with East west Foundation?
Step 1. Read the information regarding The East West Overseas Aid Foundation (TEWOAF) volunteer program, the detailed program outlines and the program requirements. This information is available on our website (www.tewoaf.org.au) under the volunteer link. Be sure that you meet the age and placement length requirements.
Step 2. Download the volunteer application form , complete and forward to TEWOAF along with your current CV.
What makes a suitable volunteer for the east west foundation?
All volunteers must be 20 years old or above and be able to commit to a minimum placement length of 2 months. Volunteers must also be fluent in either English or Tamil.
TEWOAF also seeks people with particular skills and attributes.
• Independent worker
• Experience in cross cultural communication
• High level of cultural sensitivity
• Experience working with children
• Quick learner
• High level interpersonal communication skills
• Ability to work in a team
• Volunteer experience
• Travel experience
What is the selection Process?
Step 1. Download the volunteer application form, complete and forward to TEWOAF along with your current CV.
Step 2. You will be contacted by TEWOAF and an interview (either at the Melbourne office or via telephone) will be arranged.
Step 3. You will be informed via email if you have been selected into the volunteer program. Your place in the program is not secured until a police check has been completed.
Step 4. Successful applicants will receive a volunteer information pack. This will provide information on the pre-departure process, documentation required by TEWOAF and general volunteer information.
Step 5. Once all required documents have been received, volunteers will receive a pre-departure pack. This will provide detailed information regarding volunteering in Tamil Nadu, working with The East West Foundation of India and details regarding the commencement of your volunteer placement.
Where is the location of volunteer work?
TEWOAF focuses its activities on a small rural area in the Southern State of Tamil Nadu. The Foundation has been working in the area for over ten years, developing initiatives in healthcare, child welfare, education and community development. The closest major city is Chennai, the state’s capital. From here, the village you will live and work in is approximately 110km south.
You will be accommodated in the volunteer quarters in the Uluru Children’s Home. You may be required to share a room with one other person or may have a room to yourself, and will share 2 toilet and shower facilities between a maximum of 8 other people.
What kind of volunteer programmes are avialable?
There are 3 programs that volunteers can participate in depending on their qualifications, skills and interests. These include the Rural Health Program (REP), the Community Education Program (CEP) and the Returning Volunteer Program. During the selection process, volunteers may suggest which program they are interested in which will be taken into consideration.
How long in advance do I need to apply
Applications must be received at least 2 months prior to the start of the placement.
It must be kept in mind, however, that volunteer places are limited to 3 persons per placement, and places fill quickly therefore it is important to apply early to avoid disappointment.
How many volunteer placements are available for each placement?
Each 2 month placement is generally restricted to 3 volunteers
What does it cost to volunteer with TEWOAF/TEWFI
TEWOAF charges a small administration fee of $50 which must be received prior to the commencement of your placement.
A small daily fee of 200 rupees a day (AUD $6) will also be required to cover the consumption of food, water and electricity whilst on placement. Three vegetarian meals a day will be provided. These meals are provided at regular times in one location. You must personally account for additional costs of air tickets, travel insurance, vaccinations, visa, accommodation in Chennai, transport to and from the village, meals consumed outside the Uluru Children’s Home, and the costs of personal items whilst volunteering.
What is the typical duration of volunteer placements with the foundation?
TEWOAF has a minimum placement requirement of 2 months. We also accept longer placements.
What should I do if I am a past volunteer or visitor wishing to return?
We are always very happy to hear from past volunteers who wish to return. There is an application form specifically for returning volunteers. You will find this form under the volunteer applications link. Complete the form and return in to TEWOAF. Returning volunteers are often exempted from minimum stay restrictions and will be carrying out a program slightly more specified that first time volunteers. Acceptance will be subject to availability, so please apply ahead of time.
Can I bring my partner or children?
If you wish your partner to accompany you on your placement, they must also undergo the formal volunteer selection process. You will each be selected individually and we cannot guarantee that you will both be selected.
If your partner does not wish to volunteer with TEWOAF, they will not be permitted to be accommodated on the premises of the Uluru Children’s Home and will need to find accommodation elsewhere.
For children, the age requirement applies therefore if they are under the age of 20 they are not permitted to stay and volunteer at the Uluru Children’s Home.
Can I accept visitors during my time as a volunteer
If there is someone who wishes to visit you during your volunteer placement, you must first consult with TEWOAF for permission and guidance. We do welcome your guests to come during the day and offer their skills. It is against the policy of TEWOAF for visitors to be accommodated on the premises of the Uluru Children’s Home therefore visitors will need to find accommodation elsewhere.
Is there an age requirement?
All volunteers must be 20 years old or above. There is no upper age limit, however we require all volunteers to be in good healt
Is language training provided?
Formal Tamil language training is not required, however a basic understanding of the language is very useful and will vastly improve your time during the placement.
There is an excellent and very comprehensive book which is a guide to learning Tamil. This may be purchased for a reasonable price on the internet by accessing the link below.
We strongly recommend that each of our volunteers purchase and become familiar with this book.
Will I have holidays during my placement?
We request that you refrain from extended travel during your placement, as you’re main purpose is to aid those in Alamparai, volunteers are encouraged to spend time within the community of Alamparai and broader towns such as Pondicherry. We recommend that volunteers take one day during the week for relaxation and sightseeing. In addition, TEWFI’s internet connection is unreliable and not aimed at volunteer use, so it is often useful to find an internet café once a week to catch up on reports and emails.
What Kind of training and prepartion is provided
Upon selection, volunteers will receive a pre-departure preparation pack. This will provide detailed information regarding volunteering in Tamil Nadu, working with The East West Foundation of India and details regarding the commencement of your volunteer placement. It will also include basic information regarding international development, some training on cross-cultural awareness and information about India.
What happens if I get sick when on placement?
TEWOAF’s Uluru Health Care Centre is located 1km from where you will be staying. There is a full time doctor and 3 full time nurses at the clinic. In case of an emergency, the closest private hospital is located 35 minutes away. The Uluru Health Care Centre has an ambulance for this purpose.