Wahoe Commune Volunteer Programs
Helping Local Communities in India and Nepal.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials

 Mr. Juan Camilo

Mr. Juan Camilo
From Colombia - 2018

Forthelast 6 months I’ve been volunteering at wahoe commune in the jaipur project, in this time I’ve met wonderful people who I had the pleasure toworked with.

Also I had the opportunity to be both witness and part of the evolution of the project, since the children used to see class at the floor and all the ages were mixed to have a respective classroomfor each level and a yoga space.

What I wrote before couldn’t be possible without all the energy mrJitinderput into this labor, I’m witness of his hard work for the organization, I worked with him for 4 months and he was always looking for new ways to improve each aspect of the project.

The two last months I worked with Surinder, I enjoyed every second I spent with him, we developed a nice friendship were we used to make a lot of activities like long walks to villages, hills, temples, make some exercises, yoga, and others, also, we put a lot of energy going house by house offering the free class of our school in the kukas area. The children got better in very aspects, some of them didn’t know the basic norms of the english language now the half of them know this, also for a short time they were learning spanish and to be honest they were very good at it. You can notice that most of the kids want to learn.

As in every aspect of life not everything can be perfect, so that’s why now I’m going to talk about the other person I worked with during my staying in the jaipur project. Situ was a lady who used to be in charge of the youngest group of children, she was suppose to teach the basic things like the alphabet and the basic words however she used to spend this time chating on her phone, getting one hour later to the classes and leaving before the end of these making a little but difficult to give class to the other groups. The thing I think was little too far from her was to tell the kids not to come back to the school once she was told that she wouldn’t continue working with us.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mark Poskitt From New Zealand -  June 2017

Mark Poskitt
From New Zealand - June 2017

"During our trip to India earlier this year, a close friend and myself spent several weeks with Wahoe in New Delhi. This was an incredible experience - one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

The people at Wahoe were friendly, welcoming, and helpful. Santan in particular was amazing at teaching us the ropes about Delhi life (being two young university students from New Zealand, we were quite naive about a few things to begin with), and Indian culture more generally. Santan had a wealth of local knowledge, spoke impeccable English, and was more than happy aid us with our travel plans for exploring different parts of Northern India.

Each evening at Wahoe, Mr Gajan Singh would take us for meditation. This was a phenomenal experience. Mr Singh taught us 'many things' - about Sikhism; the harmony between the body and the mind; music; compassion; and life. Mr Singh was one of the wisest, kindest, and most memorable people I have ever met. I hope to meet him again one day!

During our days at Wahoe, we taught English at a local slum school in. This was immensely eye-opening, and in fairness, we both probably learned far more from this kids at the school than they did from us! Playing games with these vibrant bunch of children was definitely a highlight from my time in India.

Staying at Wahoe for the first part of our Indian adventure was one of the best decisions we made. It enabled us to get local advise on where to go next (and how to get there), as well as giving us time to find our feet and learn some Hindi in a safe, hospitable environment, surrounded by amiable local people. The accommodation was basic, but homely - the food likewise.

Overall I would highly recommend anyone considering visiting India to spend some time at Wahoe. Our time here was informative and memorable.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Sam Clarke   From New Zealand -  June 2017

Sam Clarke
From New Zealand - June 2017

"Wow, Wahoe. I went into India looking for an authentic volunteering and cultural experience, and here, I found it. Wahoe exists because of the vision of one family, and when you sign up with them, you are part of that family. You live as they do, eat as they do, and you spend your days helping with the cause that they have devoted their lives to.

My travel companion and I spent 2 weeks teaching at the Wahoe slum school in Baljeet Nagar, Delhi. We were taken care of by the wonderful Santan, who got up at an awful hour of the morning to pick us up from the airport. This set the tone for how he cared for us - always looking out for us and willing to make sacrifices to ensure we had a superb experience.

In our time at the school, we were able to work with the kids on basic conversation and introductions, describing people, colours and body parts (culminating in some games of Twister!), basic maths and of course, lots of games! Playing with the kids after class, adding a bit of extra love into their lives, was probably the most rewarding aspect, though certainly the most tiring as well! The are the most energetic, enthusiastic, dedicated, beautiful, sometimes insane kids - their smiles and laughs will be in my memory for years. In the end, it would be fair to say I learned more from them than they learned from me. I was humbled to be let into their special community. This has been a life-changing experience, that has filled me with conviction to return to Delhi when I am more qualified and help with these amazing people born into such hardship.

In the evenings after class, we practiced meditation with Mr Gajan Singh who also works for Wahoe Commune NGO. Having never had exposure to Sikh-style music meditation, this was an awesome experience, and will be another resounding memory of my time in India. Sitting in the meditation hall beating a drum, the sun setting, the mad noise of Delhi continuing outside, we were able to recharge, calm ourselves after the exhausting day and learn about an incredible religion. The lessons, discipline and love Mr Singh shared with us will be with me for years to come.

On Saturdays, the children also come into school, but play games instead of formal lessons, which is so much fun. Sundays are free; we explored Delhi and one weekend made a trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

Santan was also incredibly helpful when it came to planning our subsequent travels around Northern India. He booked train and bus tickets for us, accommodation and activities if we wanted, and acquired sim cards for us (a nightmare for tourists otherwise). Thank you Santan, I look forward to when we meet again!

Walking up the hill to the family-style volunteer accommodation in Baljeet Nagar for the first time, I felt so far from home. Everyone stared, I had no idea how to respond or what I was getting myself in for. But in the course of my time there, those crazy narrow streets begin to feel familiar, my pronunciation of namaste began to improve (slightly) and our basic non a/c room in Delhi became a home away from home. Volunteering with Wahoe has been the richest cultural and spiritual experience of my life.

If you are thinking about taking on this experience and have some questions, feel free to send me a private message. I will be happy to talk about anything!"

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Pauline Rodary    Country France November 2016

Pauline Rodary
Country France November 2016

I felt in love with India.Two months after my return, I can say that this experience is the best of my life. And I am completely sincere. If you are ready to experiment a word completely different from the Occidental word, then do not hesite. Just listen this voice from your heart, and respect this voice. Leave your fears aside ! You are going to travel in the depth of what you are and Indians will make your heart more open than it was before. You are going to increase your vision of life, your report to this one.

Wahoe Commune and Wahoe Travel, are going to allow you to experiment the journey, or the voluntaring, family immersion,yoga, or others many projects for you and your aspirations. You will feel secure, Wahoe members are always here for you.I personaly experimented the journey with them, and family immersion gave me smiles like I never saw and some graces from womens. These womens marked me for life.

Thank you India, thank you for all theses womens from Wahoe, thank you to the staff, and thank to the most important children of India.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Viera From Russia [Duration 2weeks Month March Year 2016]

Valentine Zeler
Country France August,2016
Slum School Delhi 

Well, today I leave the organization with which I spent 10 days. Ten days really rewarding. When we arrive in this slum, one does not know what awaits us, we wonder how we are going to be accepted by the womens, how the children will behave.. We feared that moment or finally everything gets sets up naturally.

Very quickly get create a balance between these elements. Children quickly adapt to their new teacher and women share they know-how. Santan was very attentive regarding the draft of my trip and he helped me to develop my subject. Surrender has concocted me throughout my stay, a purely delicious food, it's the right word. Every day we are greeted by their generous smile and their good humor.

So today is my last day, I will enjoy the exhilaration that exudes these amazing women, I will play with the kids in the park and walk into the streets or reign an atypical ambiance, punctuated by the Indian daily, one last time. I loved this place, loved those people, loved those moments. That's an experience I wish all the persons.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Viera From Russia [Duration 2weeks Month March Year 2016]

Viera From Russia [Duration 2weeks Month March Year 2016]

мой первый опыт работы волонтером в Индии (МанаРишикеш) дал мне много позитивных эмоций работая с индийскими детьми я стала лучше понимать идийский менталитет почувствовала теплоту и любовь этой волшебной страны благодарна Житендру и Елене спасибо за теплый прием С уважением Вероника

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Martha - Country Ireland [Duration 2 weeks Month April May,2016]

Martha - Country Ireland [Duration 2 weeks Month April May,2016]

Review of volunteering with school in Rishikesh.
I started volunteering with the school in April 2016. First I went to meet the children in their home. The family are so warm and welcoming. The children are so happy to see you and grateful for you to spend time with them. They are very eager to learn anything you want to teach them. Some of the older ones speak quite good English so it's easy to communicate with them.

I taught them some yoga classes and they really loved it and were all getting involved. If you could help them with English it would really benefit them. I would really recommend going to stay and give these children some of your time as its so rewarding for both them and you!

Accommodaton for volunteers:
Volunteers will have there own room in the family home with bed and fan. There is a bathroom next door for you to use. Indian meals will be provided with the family. Staying here would really give you the chance to be a part of an Indian family and experience real Indian culture.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Rose and Kate  (  : Visited :  6th July 2015  )

Hugh From New Zealand [ 11 to 29 Oct. 2015 ]
kumarhala Project

I stayed in Kumharla for about three weeks, helping teach English to the local children. Kumharla is a tiny village sitting on top of a hill surrounded by pine forest. It takes about an hour or two of walking to get there because the location is so remote. All of the food prepared (with the exception of cream rolls) is local, so quite simple but very filling.

The English level of the children is still very low: they can only write a few select words and have a lot of trouble putting a sentence together, so when teaching them I just focussed on spelling and improving their pronunciation, especially how to pronounce sounds like 'th' and 'f'.

The highlight of the program was definitely when I was invited to a local marriage. We reached the marriage by riding on the roof of a jeep- very rough but great fun. The food was the best I had eaten in Himachal- plenty of sweets and snacks during the entire occasion.

Overall it was a great experience with plenty of opportunities to practise my Hindi speaking and socialise with the villagers. I think my teaching made some difference, but more volunteers are desperately needed in Kumharla if the children's English is to improve.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Rose and Kate  (  : Visited :  6th July 2015  )

Hugh from New Zealand [ 2 - 10 October 2015 ]
Galot Village Project

"I spent about a week in Galot village, helping out in the local school with English speaking practice. It is a lovely place with every day being a sunny one.

The children were very cheerful and always in good spirits. They have learnt very good writing and spelling skills but I was able to help them with much needed conversation and pronunciation practice.

There was plenty of opportunity to learn and improve my Hindi in Galot too, all the locals are always ready to correct any mistakes you make- I really felt like I was making progress in Hindi.

The homestay also had a nice friendly atmosphere and after a week eating the food there I definitely felt a lot healthier.

I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is looking for a chance to immerse themselves in a Himachali village and learn more about the culture and language here.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Rose and Kate  (  : Visited :  6th July 2015  )

Lizzie From UK [ 15th September 2015 ]
Kumharla Village [ Pabbar Valley ]

"The two weeks I spent in Kumharla village were absolutely magical and I simply didn’t want to leave. I spent the afternoons teaching English in the Primary School, and in the evenings I gave more English classes to teenagers from the Secondary School. When I wasn’t teaching I helped out in the home where I was staying with a variety of tasks from making chapatti (I’m an absolute pro now) and cutting grass in the fields for the winter.

The favourite part of my day was definitely the evenings when I went to the village (pulled up the mountain by the energetic kids who had followed me home after class) and was greeted by the lovely community. We played games, drank some chai, and then started class. I don’t have any photos from my evening classes because I was always far too busy to find a spare moment. There were normally between 10 – 15 students, ranging from approximately 12 years old to 18 years old. They have ‘learnt’ grammar at school (by copying from textbooks) but have not been taught it, so I made good progress with them explaining verbs, conjugations and tenses. They were fun classes with lots of laughter. I feel like I definitely helped them, but I really need more volunteers to go and carry on my work. It is so important for them to learn English if they want to be able to find work when they leave the villages and go to a town or city.

At the Primary School the standard of English education is very basic, so I built on this by covering topics such as colours, animals, parts of the body, expressions of mood and basic grammar. I was surprised by how quickly the children made progress, but once again I really need more volunteers to go to the village to keep up my work. This way, when they go to Secondary School they will be able to understand the syllabus, instead of just copying from their textbooks without learning. The children were so enthusiastic, but also very well behaved and extremely respectful. They always brought me food and insisted on carrying my things!

What made my stay in Kumharla Village so special was being part of the community. When I told my friends I was alone in a mountain village where no one speaks good English they asked me, ‘But aren’t you lonely?’ And I could honestly say I didn’t feel lonely once. The people are so warm and open, and the language barrier was no issue in me joining in on the laughs of their daily lives. I particularly liked the evening classes because I was able to bond with the teenagers, some of whom were only a few years younger than me, so I felt like I was surrounded by friends. One day it was a national holiday so we spent the day together in the mountains cutting grass in the sunshine, singing songs, with an amazing picnic. It was glorious!

If you want to volunteer for a project where you get real exposure to rural village life, and can honestly feel the difference you are making to people’s lives and futures, I ask you to please go to Kumharla! It would mean so much to me as well as to the fantastic people who live there."

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Rose and Kate  (  : Visited :  6th July 2015  )

Rose and Kate - From Australia. ( Visited : 6th July 2015 )
Volunteering at Slum School,Delhi

We enjoyed our stay here, the placement is in a nice area and we felt very comfortable both in the homestay and on the streets. We volunteered in the slum school, the children are very friendly and eager to learn which made our work a positive experience and one that we would recommend. We stayed just one week, however we were able to understand the work Wahoe does for the community and make connections with the children in the school. The staff at Wahoe were very helpful, making sure that we felt at home, helping us book our train tickets and showing us around the area. In all it was a very good experience and we would be interested in volunteering at their other placements around India as we feel that they have a large and positive impact on the community.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Margot from  (  U.S.A  : Visited : May-June,2015  )

Helene ( Germany : Visited : 3 June,2015 )
Volunteers are people who start to develop their will to change something in the world, they are the future of global changes. But being a volunteer is not always easy. Sometimes you're just standing around being a burden when you actually want to be helping. I, myself, had to experience this.

However, there is one NGO where you can really be a help; where you actually can make a change. The NGO, Wahoe Commune, is currently running 7 different projects all over India and Nepal and I had the pleasure of visiting a few.

My first stop was in Delhi, where I was working in a slum school run by Wahoe, teaching English to about 30 children in a small room. It really is an experience to see how the dirt, the waste, the poverty, and basically the whole environment becomes unimportant once you see how passionate these children are to learn. I actually felt like I can really help them; like my input actually gives them something for the future.

After Delhi, I visited Rishikesh, where Wahoe has a nice charity shop to support their projects, especially the local orphanage project. Recently I arrived at Wahoe's head office in Shimla, in the mountains of the Himalaya, which serves as an epicenter to see more projects. Based on my previous experience with Wahoe, I'm really looking forward to seeing how their efforts are affecting the villages in Himachal Pradesh.

To all potential future volunteers, if you really want to change something as a volunteer, if you want to learn about India and how you can help, I really recommend Wahoe Commune as an organisation with which to work. If you have any questions about my personal experience, you're always welcome to contact me via email e-h.hasler@gmx.net

Lets make the world a better place!


Wahoe Commune Testimonials Margot from  (  U.S.A  : Visited : May-June,2015  )

Margot from ( U.S.A : Visited : May-June,2015 )

It was really easy for me to find Santan at the airport which was very nice because I was a little nervous when I first got off the plane. I felt very comfortable traveling with him from the airport to the Wahoe commune location. It was great that you organized my travel to the other Wahoe sites in Pabbar valley and Rishikesh.

I really enjoyed the history/culture section of the orientation, I did not know much about Indian history or festivals. It was a nice was to be introduced to the country and to get to know you a little better. As a single female traveler it was great to get advice from a woman.

Going to the school was wonderful. The children were excited and wanted to teach me Hindi. The teacher and two of the students walked me back to the commune after class. I was so thankful to have them lead me back, as I would have gotten lost alone.

I was warned that traveling in India can be very difficult, although my time with Wahoe has been easy and fun. All of the members at the commune have made me feel very comfortable and safe in this space.

Thank you for everything !

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alisa

Lauren Ann Jimerson ( From : U.S.A - Visited : 15-0102015 (Designation: Traveller “Golden Triangle Tour” )

I went on a private golden triangle tour with Wahoe in January. This is an excellent way to travel solo as a female. It was affordable and safe. Wahoe staff picked me up from the airport and arranged all of the transport and hotels for the entire journey. I didn't have to sort out train or bus details by myself - everything was organized ahead of time. That way, I was able to fully enjoy all of the sites! I was awed by Humayun's Tomb and the Qutab Minar in Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and the other Mughal gems I saw along the way. Jaipur was the grand finale - an incredible city filled will beautiful cultural sites (and great for shopping!). It was a trip I will never forget! I highly recommend Wahoe Tours.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alisa

Renato Kestener ( From : Brazil - January 2015 (volunteer )

Many people don't understand why someone may want to take a slum walk. Why see a place that many consider to be ugly, dangerous or dirty? My answer, friends, is quite simple: to get real - at least a little bit - about the world we live in.

The Wahoe Slum Walk can be a life changing experience for many. You have the chance to see ugly side of a city, but also the beauty that hides inside it. Santan is a great guide. He takes you with confidence through the small alleys and makes you feel comfortable all the time.

Slum walks are for those people who don't want to close their eyes to the world. For those who want to be aware. For those who want to make a change. This might be a good way to start.

100% recommended.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alisa

Garrett Smith ( From USA - October 2014 )

Lovely Homestay with the Sharmas in Galot, Himachal Pradesh

Leaving from the Wahoe office in Shimla to Galot, Himachal Pradesh I was warmly received by Bhanu Sharma--an excited, young teenager with many questions about my home and culture. We walked through the streets of Shimla to the local bus station around 5 pm. The unfamiliar jungle of streets, side streets, hills and steps became a pleasant breeze with the help of my local guide. We reached the bus station and immediately took off to Bhanu's home village in Galot where we were welcomed by his mother Suman and father Raju.
I stayed with the Sharma family for four nights with a different activity every few hours. I was able to take part in daily life of Himachal people. The most exciting activities included picking seasonal Himsona tomatoes, transporting grass for local livestock, and playing a Himachal card game--which I still do not quite understand. The best part of my experience in Galot with the Sharmas--besides the delicious local cuisine--was interacting with local school children. I had the chance to teach these bright young kids conversational English while exploring themes of our differing cultures. These students were of course shy upon first meeting but opened up with bright smiles and laughter by the end of our session.

During my short time time with the Sharmas I was invited to several dinners and events--clearly as the honored guest. I was treated as a king under the Sharma household and have been invited as a continued guest indefinitely. I am truly humbled by their kindness.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alisa

Alisa ( 3rd October 2014 )

Having just completed my orientation programme at Wahoe Commune, I look back on five very interesting and exciting days. On my first day, Preeti and I discussed general topics that concern me as a foreign volunteer, such as health and safety. Later, she told me about cultural aspects in India, another interesting lesson, as I learned a lot about the joint family system, arranged marriage and the different religions. I also got to know basic language skills in Hindi, which will be very helpful when teaching the kids in the slum school or helping in the women empowerment project.

Moreover, I was given the opportunity to see the beautiful Akshardham Temple, the Dilli Haat market, Humayun's Tomb and many other places, that are worth visiting while in Delhi. On my last orientation day, Preeti and I went to Agra to see the very impressing Taj Mahal and learn about its history.

I am very thankful for these first experiences in India and also very curious to find out more about its culture, people and places!

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Takahiro Goto

Takahiro Goto - Shimla - 9th to 14th August in 2014 [From Japan]

I’ve been traveling in India for four weeks and visiting Shimla was the final journey before I went back to Japan.

I came to Shimla to teach English for children at after school. I was so amazed because all children have full of energy to learn not only English but also other culture from me. Actually, I was surprised because some of children’s English skills were very high level and I wish I could stay more longer here and teach more to them. During the class, I showed a movie which is about fireworks festival in Japan, when children were watching the video, their eyes were opening widely and shining, so I was happy to introduce about Japanese culture for them. I hope I could give good stuff for children but I also learned some important things I've forgot when I was living in Japan.

I stayed with Sherme family for six days, they treated me very warm, kind, and as a real member of the family.
They have their own vegetable garden, so they made me really wonderful meals with using these fresh vegetables, the taste was absolutely fantastic, I think every meals which I had at their place were the best one I’ve eaten in India.

After dinner, we always sat at outside and talked about each culture, like how to make a good food, their future dreams, about village, it was great experience for me. To be honest, when I arrived at their place first day I felt that I came to such a strange place, but at the last day I missed this place so mush, I definitely would like to visit here again someday in my life!


Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alice

Alice - Belgium - Orientation Programme - 03 July 2014

I am glad to did Orientation Programme.
I learned a lot about Indian culture, and some usable Hindi phrases from Ms preeti. Now I am more comfortable with the culture. It was a really nice experience . The welcome of Chaman and Jitender was warm. I was comfortable for the visit with Chaman,I know I am safe with them. The same with Jitender. I am glad to had the opportunity to see the all monument of Delhi .


Wahoe Commune Testimonials Alice

Alice - Belgium - 09 July 2014

Hey! We are valentine and Alice.we are from Belgium. We are teaching class in New Delhi slums since one weekend. It's very hot here, but children are motivate and so happy to have class, that the heat has no matter. There are so many children, sometimes it's difficult to have the silent in the class. Fortunately chaman help us and speak hindi to the children. It's a very good experience


Wahoe Commune Testimonials Asher Cefami

Asher Sefami - USA - July 2014

My time with Wahoe started in Delhi where I lived in Baljeet Nagar for two days. Delhi is a crazy city! I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I arrived. I met up with Chaman who brought me to the Wahoe commune in Baijeet Nagar. While I was there I learned about the slum culture and helped out in the school there. The kids were kind and extremely excited to learn what we had to teach them. From Delhi I then took an overnight bus to Shimla and another 7 hour bus ride and 40 minute hike to small farming village called Siri, near the foothills of the Himalayas. I stayed in the village for 10 days living with a small family; a mother, son, and grandson.

My experience there was a very positive one. We bonded over jokes, card games, and at meal times. In the morning I helped to herd the animals through the beautiful hills, helped tend to the tomato crops, and aided in the cooking process: pealing vegetables, sorting beans and sifting through rice. It was very impactful for me to live with a family so different but also so similar to my own. In the evenings I would teach math and English to 4-8 of local village children. It was a difficult task because the ages ranged from four to eleven and it was hard to find an activity that we could all do. So I had the younger ones working on writing English letters and short words. The older kids worked on their basic arithmetic skills. I felt like the work was rewarding but there’s still much to be done for these kids! I hope that other volunteers take time out of their lives to share themselves with this beautiful village. Wahoe as a whole is an excellent organization, they take great care of their volunteers and they truly care about the work they’re doing. I’m happy to have been able to connect with them and share this experience!


Wahoe Commune Testimonials Olivia

Olivia - USA - June 2014

I learned a lot throughout my experience with Wahoe Commune. I came into the trip with an open mind and seeking both an authentic India experience, as well as the opportunity to attempt to help impoverished communities directly, and I got exactly that. I started off in Delhi, where I participated in the orientation program, in order to get a little more familiar with India. I was glad to have someone navigate and show me around the city, which was crazy and full of life. I stayed in the volunteer apartments in Delhi, which was walking distance from the Baljeet Nagar slum school, which I helped at in between touring the streets.

The bustling India I experienced in Delhi was a completely different one than what I experienced in Shiri Village. Shiri is a remote and beautiful Village where I was warmly greeted by my host family. The mother, son, and grandson, all live in a house together, which aside from their uncle’s house next door, is quite a walk from any other family, not to mention an hour walk from any road. They live in a sustainable household where their tomato crops and farm animals are their livelihood, and therefore their livelihood revolves around these important assets. Besides my daily basic English classes with the local children, I spent my days herding the cows, oxen, and goats, working in the tomato fields, helping to cook fresh chapatti, and weaving bags with the mother, that they would then sell abroad. The experience was eye-opening and impactful, as I learned more about their strong faith and deep roots in the land. Overall, I was able to feel like I was a part of their culture, their world, just for a while, and see what life is like half-way around the world in this tiny village, much different from liberal California where I came from.

I feel that by inhabiting these two cities for a few weeks, I was able to feel two sides of India, and peer into what life might be like for a rickshaw driver’s son living in the slums of Delhi, without enough money to go to a proper school, as well as the constant hard work and manual labor that the men, women, and children of Shiri Village alike must take on in order to get food on their plates every night.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mathilde - Belgium - May, 2014

Mathilde (Volunteer from Belgium) experience with wahoe Trans-Himalayan projects 1.Siri untouchable village empowerment and 2.Chambal village, women empowerment

I spent one week in Chambal Village, in a farmer family composed of two brothers, the wife of one of them, their two sweet little children and the grand-parents. This week was a really deep experience for me, physically but mainly mentally, for many reasons.

First, you have to know that in India everything is different than what you expected. The most important notion to know is: BE PATIENT. Don’t expect that things will happen quickly, the notion of time is different. If you are waiting for a bus or a person, don’t be in a hurry and enjoy every simple moments.

When I came to Chambal for instance, the way was so long and exhausting because you stay up in the bus and wait for transports for long time. Every distance has to be anticipated in the cool way because everything can happen, car trashes, broken roads, car problems, personal staffs that the driver has to solve or sell...

The family rules were so far from what I knew, being polite doesn't mean saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ all the time, as I used to do, but being polite means joining your hands with a Namaste (even more with older people), share food with other people (always think about collectivity first), eat with your right hand and use chapatti as a spoon (imitate actions shows your interest, respect and integration in the culture). You can have the feeling that people are rude in the mountain; I think the Indian way of speaking is more directive and imperative, no offence if you say simply “Pani do” : “Give water”, if the people want to leave, they simply say you “Chalo”: “Move, go” and you have to follow the movement. Don’t be offended if people belch or spit in front of you or push you in the public transports and queue. This family, even if they were really nice and gentle, has a long way to get more open-minded, they had such a bad reaction when they learned that the Indian girl who was with me was from a lower cast than them, even if she was there to teach women of the village how to do bags, which can be so benefit for all the local people. Some specific actions were forbidden to her and by the same way to me, like eating in the main room together, enter from the front door, using the family water, such nonsense rules. I was of course shocked, but we had to stay to show that discrimination leads to nothing and help them to change their behaviour and their mind in the future.

My activities consisted in helping in the apple fields with the grand-father who spoke a funny and incomprehensible English and who wanted to introduce me to all his relatives of the village, good memories around a chai. I spent some days in the school too where I met the teachers and learned more about the education in this area of India. I assisted to women empowerment program (classes to teach bags). The rest of the time I helped the wife in cooking, washing plates and taking care of the children, it was really interesting to understand the daily life of farmer families from father to son. Families who have no real access to education and connection with the rest of the world (for instance, they have no notion of continents and they think that every foreigners are British or English speakers). At the end of the week, everybody knew me, it was a nice feeling. You share a lot with people because they always want to learn about your life, they are really curious, which can sometime make you feel oppressed. Something you cannot miss in this village is the upper hill, where you have a crazy view in a fresh and peaceful place, especially at the sunset.

After this first week, I spent ten more days in another village called Shiri Village, in the District of Chopal. It is not easy to reach it because it is really isolated in the mountain, so you need a light bag. Once you reach it, it is so nice, it looks surrealist, seven houses fixed on the top of the mountain in the middle of the tomatoes fields.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mathilde - Belgium - May, 2014

Francis - June 2014
Orientation Programme

I would describe my experience as a "discovering experience". I have been the first volunteer in the Chunghar village, a small area on the top of one of the mountains of the so called "Apple Valley", and I started a teaching project with the children of the Nepalese families.

I have been catapulted in Chunghar after having told to Wahoe Community that I was looking for a wild and challenging experience in the forest of Himalayan mountains. I got exactly that. The first two days have been useful to introduce me and to explain my role there, since many people (maybe most of the Nepaleses) have never seen a ghora man and never heard about the concept of volunteer work. Then, a very tight harmony raised among me, the family that hosted me and the other Nepalese neighbors.

As far as my activity is concerned, with the help of Kamlesh (the only person that spoke English), I took maths lecture from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.. The classroom was composed by 15 kids, with different age. In order to create a good-feeling but formal atmosphere I exposed some simple rule:

1) Please, remember my name, Francis.
2) Don't call me "Sir", "Teacher" or "Mister". To be respectful simply use "excuse me Francis".
3) I don't want to see violence during my lessons.
4) Please, pay attention. If you don't, no problem, but leave the classroom.
5) If you have any question, please rise your hand.

To be respectful with the student, I asked to each one the name, I took a simple description in order to remember them and I immediately start calling them with the proper name. I began with basic maths because some child was 6 years old and it did work: thanks to assistance of Kamlesh, at the end of my staying almost all the kids was able to carry out complex addition, subtraction and multiplication computation.

As for the home staying, I arranged fantastic, friendly and peaceful relation with all members of the family, above all thanks to the very welcoming attitude of the Nepalese people. I got in touch also with some local, i.e. indian. However I suggest to further volunteers to focus on Nepalese people due to a simple reason. The Nepaleses are in a certain sense exploited and seen only as a working class. This means that social services, like education, go firstly to locals. As a consequence, some local might not understand the role a volunteer specific for Nepalese families. Staying with your family and focusing on the kids is the best way to enjoy the place.

When I left, it was for everybody a sad moment that we tried to dispel by compering italian and nepalese languages.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mathilde - Belgium - May, 2014

Betiana and carina from Argentina - June 2014
Orientation Programme

We are very grateful for everything offered in all this time. we felt very comfortable at home. And Member of wahoe commune are very nice people and learned many interesting things about India during orientation programme . Experience with children in the baljeet nagar slum was unique and wonderful. We also participate in the women empowerment classes. thank you very much.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mathilde - Belgium - May, 2014

Mathilde - Belgium - 22 - 26May 2014
Orientation Programme

I have learn lot of things to talk about India. The culture and the language , about Delhi and all the nice places to visit and simply go for a walk. I really appreciated the way of being Jitender with whom I spent most of the time , he was taking care of me , giving me advices about how things work in India and we shared lot of interesting conversation . Then I learned a lot because of preeti and her sweet family. I liked that moments spent ( in my room ) speaking about the cultural differences between India and European way of living with ms preeti. I really enjoyed my time in the slum , children were so happy to meet me and were so excited to learn and exchange with me . It was defiantly a good experience , really interesting . My first feeling of India was great because of all these people very friendly and I will certainly help me for my next month of volunteering in Shiri village Thanks a lot

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ricky

Mr Andy - Canada - May, 2014
The time I have spent with Wahoe has been a great experience. I haven't ever tried teaching anyone anything before so I was a little nervous in the beginning but once I started talking to the kids and they began to come to me with questions it was fun. I spent most of my time helping kids with spelling and understanding the meanings of words as well as testing them. There are some very eager kids who are extremely motivated to learn as much as possible and that was also great to see. Right now the school is very basic and so I would say that if you are looking to help an organization financially or by volunteering then I would recommend Wahoe Commune. During my stay with them I felt like I was at home and was treated like family. The food was great and the place was very comfortable. I appreciate the work that they are doing and again I really recommend volunteering here.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ricky

Rita, Catherine and Chris - UK- May, April 1st, 2014
Orientation Program by Rita, Catherine and Chris From U.K.
We very much enjoyed the orientation program ! We learned a lot about Indian culture that will be useful for me in future .the sight seeing tours were very fun and interesting and i enjoyed learning more about the history of the Delhi.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the orentation programme . Having guides and a driver made it easy to enjoy the sights and monuments because we didn't have to worry about any thing . I enjoy the time spent with Jitender, Manoj and Chaman . The history in India is incredible . By chris polonen

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ricky

Katy Vincent-Spall - England, November 2013
I spent a thoroughly enjoyable three weeks volunteering with Wahoe Commune in November, 2013. I spent my mornings helping to develop the commune’s online presence at their office in the main bazaar and my afternoons teaching English (and occasionally other subjects) to the wonderful and enthusiastic children who attend the Baljeet Nagar slum school. At the weekends, Wahoe India Travel, the Commune’s travel agency, arranged trips for me to visit Agra, Rishikesh and Haridwar – all funds from theses excursions are, of course, fed back into the Commune’s projects. For these trips, I was driven by the Commune’s chatty and knowledgeable driver, Manoj, who offered great company and support.

In Delhi, I stayed in the volunteer apartment in AnandPrabaat with Mehar and Mamta. The apartment has a great view overlooking the city, but its best features are its hosts. Mehar went through every step of my experience in Delhi with me, from planning my volunteer work and looking out for my day-to-day safety in the city, to helping with my travel arrangements and showing me around. He was a great help, always supportive and friendly. I shared a room with Mamta, a fantastic and accommodating hostess – she is a superb cook, enthusiastic, kind and chatty. I was looked after just as well outside of the apartment, there was always someone to help. Chamanoften helped me getting around and finding my way; he is a particularly helpful and supportive guide and is also dedicated and enthusiastic regarding the communes yoga programmes.Preeti helped me to get to grips with teaching, which was quite new to me under these circumstances. She is an excellent teacher and knows the best ways to help the children to learn;I would definitely recommend seeking her advice to anyone who hasplans to helpat the school!

I shared the children and lessons with Bharti, who is also a wonderful teacher. Her job is not easy! Teaching the two small classroomsfull of keen children, each of different abilities with different interests, while gratifying, is both demanding and exhausting.She knows the children well and has great hopes for them in the future.She is also a dedicated student herself and appreciates the help volunteers can offer her with her English.

Wahoe, as an organisation, are open to new ideas and are always seeking to develop and improve their programmes. They are grateful for the input and insight that volunteers can offer in addition to their efforts filling their volunteer roles. To use myself as an example, at the Baljeet Nagar slum in Delhi I helped with the very beginning stages of a women’s empowerment programme.At the school, I helped to place the children into groups based on their ability – to better target their academic needs and to encourage them to work together. The organisation are extremely grateful for any contribution that can benefit their social programmes. The money donated to and generated by the Commune is channelled into the development of communities in need. The Commune always hopes to raise money to go towards stationary for the children. Over the winter period of 2013, the Commune hopes to raise money to purchase sewing machines that women in the slum can use to make clothes to be sold. The Commune’s principles are based on education and empowerment in a way that aids and encourages the self-development of those in poverty, in the hope that this will eventually enable individuals, families and communities to comfortably support themselves. This path and goal has the potential to produce long term positive change through gradual support, which I think is far more valuable than the temporary alleviation of someof poverty’s symptoms (something often achieved by direct financial donations). It is for this reason that the help and support of volunteers is so valuable to the Commune and to the communities that they support.

I cannot recommend working with this organisation enough – to do so provides countless positive outcomes for everyone involved. Time spent with them will prove enlightening, inspiring, and if you give the position the attention and effort it deserves, exhausting, enjoyable and rewarding.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ricky

Ricky - New Zealand October, 2013
I was involved with Wahoe for 39days. In that time they have been so helpful to me from the beginning. From airport pickup to, to an introduction program into Hindu philosophy and culture as well as basic Hindi lessons,and then organizing a suitably challenging excursion into an isolated village In the foothills of a Himachal Pradesh. Mehar, Gurvinder and the team at Wahoe have always had my safety and best interest at hearts always going that extra mile.It is hard not to feel at home within the Wahoe commune with each and every person treating you as family and friend.

I highly recommend Wahoe to any one visiting India and for many opportunities to have true raw experiences.Wahoe also organize very good honest tours such as the golden triangle, and always give you a driver and if so desired a tour guide. You have many choices of accomodation within Delhi.You can stay in hotels or if you are after a more community vibe, Wahoe have many family house options.I stayed in the meditation centre and got the feel of cultural immersion within a family orientated lifestyle.

I have no hesitation in recommending Wahoe to organize parts of your Indian adventure, be it charitable tourism or voluntourism. You will leave having a new family to come back to in India :).

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Jade

Rosanna Gillespie - Volunteer - [ UK ] - October,2013
I had a fantastic experience volunteering for Wahoe. I stayed with a lovely family in Kukas village, (just outside Jaipur) and helped out by giving the local girls extra English lessons. The girls were so well behaved, eager to learn and very fun and enthusiastic! My Indian family were just lovely and made me feel at home straight away. Situ, the girl’s full time teacher, could speak English and really took care of me while I was there. I was very privileged to experience traditional Indian culture during this month with my Indian family, and loved it! Furthermore, Wahoe as a charity are very caring towards their volunteers and made every effort to ensure I was happy. For example, Gurvinder, the Chairman of Wahoe, visited me during my stay to make sure everything was ok, something I really appreciated, and Mehar from Wahoe Charitable Tours, organised train tickets for when I would be travelling alone after volunteering as well as a visit to the beautiful Taj Mahal. Overall, I would highly recommend volunteering with Wahoe and would love to volunteer with them in the future.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Jade

Marisol and Zayde - Volunteer - [ Mexico ] - March,2014
Hello we are volunteers from Mexico !! Today we started our volunteering program in baljeet nagar slum school. We had an incredible time teaching and learning from this beautiful kids we were surprised about how well they understand English and the reason is because of all the effort of teachers and volunteers. Marisol and Zayde

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Hannah

Hannah - U.K - 2013
Thats me, Hannah. I've been working on wahoe commune facebook for the last few weeks and will continue to do so. I've been lucky enough to see most of Wahoe Communes projects including the 3 schools, women empowerment in Delhi and Himalayas and the start of the community kitchen. I have also taken part in a slum walk and charity travel. In the picture I enjoyed being dressed up in an Indian suit while living with the slum school teacher Preety and her family. I hope that people will continue to contribute to Wahoe Commune.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Kate

Kate - Australia - 2013
I'm Kate from Australia, i volunteered in Dehli teaching children and now i am in the amazing Manali with the Wahoe Commune, i am enjoying my time here and hope to come back — in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Greg

Greg - U.K. - 2013
I'm Greg from the UK. I volunteered in Delhi for one week, teaching children, and then went to Galot village near Shimla. This is a picture of me checking the work of the enthusiastic children in Galot! Both experiences were very rewarding, with the village homestay particularly enriching and inspiring.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ana

Ana - U.K. - 2013
This is Ann from England, she will be staying with us for two weeks. She is slowly managing to get used the maze of streets surrounding the school!.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Stephen

Stephen - U.S.A - 2013
I am Stephen from the U.S.A. I have been working with the projects in Manali, Galot Village, and Kotgarh (Apple Valley) teaching English for one month. Seeing the different cultures and experiencing first hand in the home stay experience has been incredible. The children in each location brought joy to my heart and they all learn so quickly! This experience has opened my eyes and I hope to be a part of the Wahoe projects in the future.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Rachel

Rachel - U.K. - 2013
I'm Rachael from the UK, I worked on projects in Jaipur and Nautanwa teaching children. I also came to Manali to help with the litter picking project. I've had a brilliant time working with Wahoe and hope to be back soon! — in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Berit

Berit - Germany - 2013
I came to Delhi in February 2013 and spent some time at Wahoe Commune. I found them via the website looking for a project where my help might be needed.Mehar (and Mahut, the best driver in town) were the ones who picked me up at the airport and took care for me the next weeks. For me it was the first time in India and I spent most of the time in Delhi. Everything was such overwhelming and sometimes hard to stand but a great experience. But the most impressive thing was the Community and to see how serious the members are working for it and how the people/ children assumed that. In the short of time I just got a hint of everything but also a strong believe: with the spirituality, knowledge and and abandonment of people working for Wahoe it is and will be a blessing for women and children in Baljeet Naghar. My special thanks is to Gurvinder and his social care and therefor that I'm still on his relief.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials ella

Ella - Finland - 2013
Its ELLA from Finland who originally came to us as a couch surfer but ended up staying a few weeks. Even a friendly rickshaw driver was impressed with her volunteer work! If you ever hear the kids singing 'yellow yellow yellow yellow, yellow like the SUUUNN' you can thank Ella and her yellow Ukelele — with Ella Pasola.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Hope !! California, USA July-November 2012

Hope !! California, USA July-November 2012
I was lucky enough to spend 4 whole months interning at Wahoe as part of an international immersion semester for college. For the first month, Sonu Kaur and her family let me stay in their home, and eventually I moved in with a local family a few blocks away. Spending daily life with a local family was such a great experience that taught me so much I never would have learned otherwise. Teaching and tutoring the children at the school every day was an incredible way to learn as well. Despite the fact that my role was to teach, everyday I was taught something new by the students. Their enthusiasm for learning, and ability to share new information with each other is inspiring! Mostly I taught English, as well as some social sciences, math and art. It was especially enjoyable teaching computers and typing because it was a new skill for many of the students. They are so eager to learn, and they pick up things very quickly. It was great to not only interact with the children, but also with the different teachers and volunteers that make Wahoe work. Sonu is an incredible teacher and her dream for the school is what keeps it going.

I enjoyed getting to know the different roles and various personalities of the other Wahoe helpers such as Mehar, Guruvinder, and the amazing teachers such as Mamta, Rani and Preeti. I had fun exploring the city with the international volunteers or couchsurfers who came as well. Wahoe is a place of authentic inspiration where genuine learning takes place. It is a place where cross-cultural connections are formed, a common motivation is pursued and true change is made. Thank you for inviting me in, Wahoe community!

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Ellena

Ellena - Austria - 2013
Look its Austrian Ellena! She has been working very hard on the charity travel pages and always with a smile..! Ellena also worked in the other schools and her company was very much enjoyed by the slum school teacher Preety and her family.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Agnes

Agnes - U.K. - 2013
Hi I'm Agnes, I was in India two months ago and first got interested in Wahoe Commune by doing a slum tour of Baljeet Nagar in New Delhi. I then spent a week teaching English to girls of all ages in the village of Kukas, Rajasthan. I enjoyed my time in Kukas so much that I went on to spend another week in a town on the Nepalese border called Nautanwa, helping to teach a range of subjects to both boys and girls with their lovely teacher Neelu.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Mike

Mike - U.S.A - 2013
I'm Mike from the U.S.A. I worked on projects in Manali, Galot Village, and Delhi. India and Wahoe provided me with powerful experiences that will forever inform my identity. I hope the children I taught learned a bit of English and grew as musicians. Moreover, I hope they follow their dreams, continuing to be the world's happiest children. I will serve with Wahoe again someday, and you should too!.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Jade

Jade - Australia - 2013
My experience volunteering for Wahoe Commune in the village of Galot was extremely rich and memorable. I immediately felt very comfortable at my home stay, and the Sharman family went out of their way to make me feel like part of their family. it was interesting to witness the roles each family member had. Everyone worked very hard cooking, cleaning, studying and preparing the fields for vegtables.

Wahoe Commune Testimonials Shanya and Ope

Shanya and Ope - Slovakia - 2013
Namaste, we are Shanyo and Ope from Slovakia. We were introduced to this beautiful project through our friend and we would like to share our experience with you. Because sharing is one of the most things we started to learn here. Since first day we felt very strong connection to this commune, and to these amazing people who love to share and...See more — with Opena Divazena, Ka Cikul.