Women and girl’s empowerment centres

  • Women’s empowerment centres helping provide vocational training, education and confidence to the most vulnerable
  • Assist teaching maths and English to small groups of girls and women in centres dispersed around the neighbourhood
  • Deliver workshops and teach in the associated street children project after school
  • Volunteers with skills in sewing, textiles, art and design wanted to help build capabilities in the fashion enterprise

Project summary

Volunteer in a women’s empowerment project

Established in 2007, this project focuses on the development and empowerment of women and girls in Rajasthan, a typically conservative area of India. The Trust offers a range of services to some of the most vulnerable groups in society; from vocational training and free education, to microfinance and counselling.

Vocational training is offered in 7 different women’s empowerment centres distributed in local communities that are easily accessed, where the women and girls are given training in sewing skills that can be converted into an income generating programme upon graduation.

Running alongside the skills programme are free classes in Hindi, English and Maths, plus a variety of workshops on topics ranging from health & hygiene, to information technology and space.

Together these programmes help develop the skills, knowledge, confidence and self-esteem of these women and girls, through a social engagement and education that they would not access in their normal community life.

Volunteers are used to deliver English and Maths lessons and run the workshops in the empowerment centres.

Volunteers also help teach English and maths to the children in the street education project, a programme that runs late afternoon each day giving free lessons to some of the most disadvantaged children in Jodhpur.

Volunteers who have strong skills in the design and creation of garments would also be welcome, to help introduce new designs, skills, quality procedures and possibly retail knowledge to the Sewing Centre programme.

Volunteers should be available for a minimum of 2 months, although volunteers with specialist skills and experience can be accepted for 1 month.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers are assigned classes by the volunteer coordinator, typically working in one centre in the morning and one in the afternoon, working up to 6 hours a day. Ideally you will work with that class over the period of your placement, so you get to know their personalities and capabilities, and the curriculum you are working with.

The classes are typically made up of 6-10 students, from teenage girls to older women, taken seated on the floor of a room in one of the empowerment centres. So all very intimate and friendly.

Your class will be either a ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ class in English and/or maths. There are local text books to use that relate to the national syllabus, but volunteers will also need to boost these classes with their own lesson plans that are prepared in advance. A white board and marker pen will be the tools of your trade, while the students are equipped with pencils, workbooks, and an eagerness to learn.

Workshops are on a wide range of topics and volunteers help prepare the content in these, or develop existing materials further. Workshops include a presentation on the topic, leading into some discussion or activity related to the topic, encouraging all the women and girls to participate.

How you can make a difference

Volunteers make a difference through their capacity, knowledge and a process of cultural exchange.

The Trust has a good team of local staff but not enough to service all the requirements of the centres. The local staff typically teach Hindi while the volunteers teach English and maths. With enough staff, classes can be divided by student ability, so providing an improved level of coaching. Without volunteers there would simply be less classes delivered.

Volunteers also bring a new perspective of the world to these women, whose own community would limit their horizons and self-esteem.  The very nature of committed and energetic international volunteers turning up to teach, socialise and laugh with these women is a powerful lesson in its own right.

What is distinctive about this project

This organisation approaches its 10th anniversary having achieved so much, including Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. Its’ work in creating local, accessible empowerment centres that draw women out in a permissible way, with a blend of vocational training and education, is a powerful model that works for the women and girls of Rajasthan.

Expanding into providing scholarships for over 200 children, a sexual awareness programme and micro-finance initiatives shows a holistic approach to the women and girls of the community, and volunteers should see their participation as being a small (but significant) role in a locally driven success story of women’s empowerment.


blue tiger features

India is one of the most magnetic traveler destinations, attracting both new explorers and those wanting to rediscover the delights of previous trips.

It is a destination that you will find challenging, however. The culture and behavioural differences are always present, sometimes charming and at other times irritating. The wonderful colours, smells, noises and tastes that make up the very fabric of India are persistent. You will rarely forget where you are, for better and for worse.

The people are charming, however, the environment safe, and Rajasthan is enchanting in a way that is hard to define. The project is well organised for volunteers and rewarding for those who want to taste the delights of India.


The project operates all year round, with the exception of short local holidays and reduced activity during the peak summer heat in May/June.


The project leadership team and most of the staff speak English, so you will have little problem working in a country where the local language is Hindi – not an easy language to learn. Typically your younger students will have better English than the older ones. Of course you should have fluent English yourself in order to teach it!

Experience required

To work in the empowerment centres you do not need any previous experience although previous teaching experience would be ideal. Included in your Outreach International placement fee is an online teaching course that will help build your understanding of teaching in a developing country, giving you lots of tips and resources of how to teach in a low resource environment.

Good to know

All the volunteers stay in a comfortable guesthouse run by the Trust. The food is prepared to a good standard, minimising some of the predictable dietary worries, and the guesthouse provides a place of quiet respite and a good social hang-out for volunteers, whether planning weekend trips or preparing the next day’s lessons.

Price table

1 month2 months3 months4 months5 months6 months

Includes: comprehensive travel insurance, online teaching course, full pre-trip preparation and ongoing UK support, airport transfers, guesthouse accommodation* and three meals each day, daily transport to projects, Outreach T-shirt
Does not include: flights, visa, vaccinations

*based on single room on 1st floor of guesthouse (small discounts are available for sharing/ground floor)

Things to see and do

  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Sardar market
  • The old town
  • Rajasthan

Country co-ordinator

Govind Rathore

Govind is the founder of the Trust that we support in Rajasthan, supporting the women and children of the Dalit community through a range of empowerment centres, door-step schools, outreach and counselling services. Govind speaks excellent English and runs a professional team of local staff and volunteers based in Jodhpur.  

About India