Monday, November 3, 2014

Teach Young Monks and Nuns in Buddhist Monasteries of Ladakh - Volunteers Needed for 2015

Young Buddhist Monks with Alex, a Volunteer in Ladakh!
Would you like to be of service to others? Would you like to expereince a culture based on the principles of generosity and kindness? Would you like to teach....and learn? 

If you or anyone you know might be interested, or if you can share this site with others, we need your help!
Summer Fields of Likir Village, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India - by Kelly Klein

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Volunteer English Teachers Needed in Ladakh, High in the Himalayas of Northern India -by Kelly Klein

Volunteer Ladakh, operating in the Himalayas of Northern India, is a non-profit voluntarily run organization, which works to meet the educational and environmental, needs of Ladakh. Adventurous volunteers who seek to share their skills and compassion in this unique and remote region are greatly needed. Projects supported include English language instruction to young Buddhist monks and nuns, teacher training, building school libraries, fundraising and sponsorship to insure that all children have access to education and books, environmental education and sustainable environmental projects, and others. Started in 2013 at the request of several Buddhist monks, Volunteer Ladakh works diligently to match qualified volunteers with appropriate service placement within the magical region of Ladakh.

Volunteers are accepted for two weeks to two months depending upon the project. Most monasteries seek a volunteer for one to two months minimum in order to provide educational continuity. Volunteers may live in the monasteries/nunneries or with local families. Orientation and training is provided at beginning of service to insure that volunteers are prepared for their work, and guided in how to practice responsible volunteerism and cultural sensitivity. The program includes airport pickup and drop-off, delivery to work site, two-day orientation and training, Volunteer Handbook (electronically), use of a Teacher's Resource Kit, food and lodging at work site, and ongoing support.

Volunteers in schools are expected to teach reading, writing, and conversational English from 2-5 hours a day depending on school schedule, five days a week. Other projects include afterschool activities (sports, drama, environmental projects, etc.) in lieu of daytime hours. Environmental projects vary greatly dependent upon project funds. Volunteers need to be aware of their impact in the communities as a foreigner, and do their utmost to respect the traditional cultural values, dress, and customs and be a role model for children.

More detailed information and application, photographs, and important links are available at and questions may be sent directly to 

Thank you for your commitment to helping others.

See you in the mountains!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Dalai Lama Teaches the Kalachakra in Ladakh This Summer!!

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama will be teaching for two weeks this summer from July 3rd through the 14th. For more information, check out this website...

Volunteers with Volunteer Ladakh will be able to participate in these teachings, along with most Ladakhis and thousands of visitors.

Taken last summer at his visit to Kelly Klein

Monday, October 21, 2013

Young Buddhist Monks Explore Their First Library - by kelly klein

Recent Projects

       Library Projects
Volunteer Ladakh is committed to insuring that every school, public, private, or monastic has a library. While several local and wonderful NGO’s have been incredibly successful in their efforts, there are still many schools without access to books. Together, with their help and yours, it is happening, one school at a time.

These are the results of our most recent projects.

Likir Monastery School Library –
August 2013

Our first books, may not look like much, but we feel rich..
Twenty-six young monks in Liker, who a short time ago had no books, now enjoy a multi-lingual library in English  Ladakhi, Hindi, and Tibetan, the four languages that are taught.  We thank the Avalokitesvara Foundation of Leh and our many international friends for making these educational improvements possible.  Students were taught how to care for the books, organize them, and even taught how to turn pages. Students take turns being librarians and teach the younger ones the same responsibilities. We also provided wall posters (names and pictures of animals, plants, landscapes terms, etc. in English, Ladakhi, Hindi, and Tibetan), a world map, and school supplies such as crayons, colored pencils and paper. For recreation, we purchased a simple piece of rope and a plastic ball.  The rope, strung between two poles served as volleyball net. After five hours of endless play for happy monk teachers and their students, the plastic ball popped!  And so it goes

Dirt floor and broken window..

A variety of carpet pieces, books, and kids!

Shoes stay outside...

Natural history...

Life of the Buddha..

Free time, at the library...

Animal posters, books to explore, and the world..


Our world...


Turning pages...
Can you find mine?

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Volunteer Ladakh

Volunteer Ladakh provides an opportunity for responsible volunteers to live and work in a high altitude mountain desert, contributing to local sustainable development and education.    

What is Responsible Volunteering?

Responsible volunteering means to know yourself objectively, to understand your motivation, and, not least, your own preconceptions, some of which are likely to alter during your stay.  

The Helumbra Project in Nepal (2012) states:

"Responsible volunteering requires us to deeply examine ourselves and our motivation so that we do not arrogantly assume a superior knowledge or an ability to “help, fix, or solve” the complex reality that people across the world face. It means taking a more realistic approach to our contributions and considering the full impact of our actions before we even begin to serve. It means listening and not challenging local beliefs and culture. It requires you to affirm the value of people’s differences, culture, and traditions and participate in them regardless of your beliefs. It means realizing the tremendous influence you have as a symbol of the westOverall, responsible and ethical volunteering is a process that asks you to humbly consider yourself a part of the issue rather than just the solution.”


Well-meaning volunteer organizations sometimes fail to consider the potential negative impacts of volunteering on their host culture.  Volunteer Ladakh evaluates all its projects to ensure cultural sensitivity, and to avoid an ethnocentric approach. 

“Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view one’s own culture as superior and to apply one’s own cultural values in judging the behavior and beliefs of people raised in other cultures.”

Source is Mirror for Humanity: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology by Conrad Phillip Kottak   31 & 264-265, Mcgraw-Hill: New York, 8th edition.

Bringing open minds and listening hearts, rather than fixed notions, Ladakh volunteers become active local community members.  Only then can they begin to understand what makes Ladakhi culture unique, and, with time, find themselves in a position to offer genuine help.   

Our Expectations:

It is not uncommon to feel alone or bored when living in a foreign community, with no distractions such as television, Internet, restaurants and bars, so we are only seeking emotionally strong volunteers prepared to immerse themselves in Ladakh.   

Specific Requirements

Please note the minimum time commitments below are absolute minimums. For those who would like to contribute but cannot spare more time, there are many other ways you can participate  (see Collaborate).  To gain full personal value from the program, and to be able to contribute fully in your field, the longer your stay, the better.

       - A background in education, experience and/or certification
    - Experience teaching English and/or certified in TESOL, TEFL, TESL, CELTA, etc.
-       (for residential schools), experience teaching drama, art, sports,   environmental education, alternative energy projects, gardening, etc.
-       A minimum two-month commitment

- Experience with environmental and/or alternative energy projects or education
- A minimum two-week commitment
General Requirements
-       All volunteers must be at least 21 years old
-       Proficiency in English, written and spoken
-       Flexibility
-       Ability to drink butter tea, and smile.

Some Things to Expect
-       To be offered butter tea, constantly. 
-       Squat compost “eco-toilets”  
-       Bucket showers, generally cold water 

Living Arrangements

Typical Ladakhi Kitchen
Most volunteers will live with a host family, although if teaching English in a monastery, you may be living with the monks and their acolytes (“monklets” as my friend calls them).   Living with your host family is likely to be the highlight of your experience in Ladakh.  Ladakhi families are wonderful, generous, happy, and loving people who will treat you with great respect and honor.  They will laugh at you, with you, and embrace you in their home as both an honored guest and a family member.  The more deeply you become involved with the family (taking the cows out to graze in the morning, learning how to make bread on the hot stones, etc.) the more you will understand Ladakhi people and their culture.  

Application Fee (payable on acceptance): $150

Program Fees

Two Weeks                Month                     Stay Longer
$ 280                        $450                    $100/week           

Included in Program Fee:
-       Leh Domestic Airport pickup and drop-off 
-       Full Board (all meals) and lodging with host family
-       You will be met by our Volunteer Ladakh representative, transported to you village, and personally introduced to your family and coworker(s)
-       Ladakh Volunteer Handbook (by email)

(Please note that this fee does not include airfares, visa fees or insurance.)