SWASH Village Org – Volunteer Internship Programme – Concise Information Guide

SWASH Village Org

Volunteer Internship Programme

Concise Information Guide


Introduction – The Organization; Philosophy – Vision & Mission


The Programme – the Projects, the Job-roles


Volunteer-Internship Program – Details of internship; Mentoring; Resource & Technical Support; Evaluation,  Reference Letter & Certification


Volunteer-Internship with SWASH Village – Facilities & Benefits; Arrival & Pick-Up, Accommodation; Communication; Food; Transport; Holidays; Cross-Cultural Adaptation; Medical Care


Budgeting & Finances

Internship related expenses


Visa & Travel Process


Application & Recruitment Process



The Organization

SWASH Village is an NGO initiative, founded in India in 2011, with the aim to promote sanitation, hygiene & waste management and to conserve / restore the quality of natural resources – soil, water and air in rural India by developing community based  sustainable and equitable solutions. Alongside, we aim to generate awareness and facilitate participation, leading to healthy lives of rural and peripheral rurban (rural-urban) households.

SWASH Village is a subsidiary of EduCARE India, NGO No. 175/2017/HP. SWASH Village has its presence in 6 states of India, undertaking small scale community applied research and fieldwork activities in a couple of villages in varied geographic and demographic regions.

From 2018 onwards, we wish to scale up our ground efforts to design and develop a few village community based/led sustainable rural sanitation and waste management model projects, that can be replicable and scalable with a potential to positively impact and contribute to improving millions of lives. Working in in support of various government and community based initiatives on sanitation such as Swacch Bharat Mission, we look forward to network or partner with other local, national or international organisations and volunteers for knowledge, design expertise and resources support to enhance the potential outcomes of our programme.

Glossary of Terms / Project Components

‘Sanitation’ generally refers to conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal;

‘Hygiene’ is defined as conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.

Sanitation and Hygiene are often collectively referred to as the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as waste collection & management and wastewater disposal.


WaSH (also called Watsan or WASH) stands for “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” – several interrelated public health issues that are of particular interest to international development programs.


SWASH means Sanitation of Water, Air and Soil for Hygienic Village and stands for all projects falling under the solid and liquid waste management as well as air pollution domain.

SWASH Village

SWASH Village is the umbrella term of the all the project domains combined focusing on water, air and soil conservation and sanitation.

ViKAAS Centre

ViKAAS stands for Village Knowledge, Awareness & Action for Sustainable development. The ViKAAS centres can be considered a community resource centre, currently under a process of evolution and development being facilitated by EduCARE India’s local and international volunteer-interns in collaboration with local women’s Self Help Groups and Young Women’s Association. The focus is on sustainable development through applied research, social entrepreneurship and volunteer action. Volunteer-Interns are exposed to the various ongoing projects and existing / potential issues of the rural communities. Induction training and community/cultural orientation is provided along with fundamental knowledge of project management and how to achieve sustained impact, creating a bespoke opportunity for personal growth and professional experience. SWASH Village projects are an integral part of the ViKAAS Centre.


‘Seva’ means selfless service in Hindi, Punjabi and many other regional languages in India. For us, ‘SEVA’ is our work principle meaning ‘Social Entrepreneurship and Volunteer Action’.



Vision & Mission

To assess, evaluate, design and implement sustainable solutions in sanitation, hygiene & waste management for improved quality of life in rural village landscapes.

To make a visible change in hygiene and cleanliness in rural India with a holistic approach of integrating sanitation, waste management, gender perspectives, financial inclusion and community development, to improve the health, environment and sustainable living standards of communities.  


Participation in Other Programmes

Alongside working in SWASH Village, student volunteer interns may also participate in other programmes of EduCARE India or its other affiliate program organisations including, women’s empowerment, empowerment of the marginalized, health, eco-social entrepreneurship, education and experiential learning programmes as well as other environmental conservation programmes. For more information on these please visit the umbrella organization’s website EduCARE.in. This is a great opportunity to experience another field of development. In many instances, projects in SWASH Village will overlap with many other work fields of the organization. Thus, often, almost inevitably your project work will also involve non-SWASH domains.


Our Work places / Locations

SWASH Village is currently operant in four areas of different topographic environments (high mountainous areas, hills, agricultural plains, desert and coastal region) in northern and south-western India.                        


High Altitude > Ladakh J & K  (May to October only) – Changa-Hemis-Karu

Mid Himalaya Hills >  Himachal Pradesh Naddi-Bhatalla, Rait-Charri

Agricultural Plains >  PunjabHarike, Jandiala / Beas

Desert / Arid Region > RajasthanGajner (Bikaner), Rang Mahal (Sri Ganganagar)

Coastal Region > Karnataka and Kerala –  (Sep/Oct to Apr only)Gokarna (Karnataka), Mararikulam (Kerala)                                                  



The Programme, the Projects, the Job-roles

The Programme

The programme SWASH village, stands for ’sanitation of water, air and soil for a healthy village’ and/or ’sanitation of water, air and soil for a hygienic village’ is run in all of EduCARE India’s centres in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir(June to November) and soon in the new centres of Karnataka and/or Kerala.



The projects cover the  “WaSH- Water Sanitation”, “(Rural) Solid Waste Management”, “(Household) Air Pollution- Efficient Stoves”, “Waste Recovery & Recycling”, “Community Research & Engagement”, “GIS and Resources Mapping”, “(Organic) Products and Packaging” and “SWASH School”. For more information please visit the SWASH Village Projects part of our website.


Desired Profile

We seek interns who are- committed to the cause of sanitation and environment conservation, and who are passionate to learn and committed to development work. We take our work seriously and are actively developing community based small scale sustainable solutions. In this sense, this internship will surely be challenging, but for our fantastic and passionate people, it will also be a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something totally different and exciting, as well as providing a lot of self and social analysis, an incredible learning experience and profound self-growth. EduCARE India strongly believes that young people can be a force for change and that commitment and passion to make this world a better place are strong drivers for change. Both past and present interns have done a lot to make the organisation what it is today. This has been a great accomplishment because the organisations development and growth has all been achieved by moderately experienced and often nonprofessional, young volunteers from all over the world.  

Moreover, we look for individuals who are committed to our vision of sustainable development(please see the “Vision & Mission” section on page 4-5) and join the organization with an attitude to learn and actively seek solutions to problems and challenges. The vast majority of our interns have a positive experience with our organization, strengthening the argument that the organization is offering an internship that is of value to the vast majority of individuals who work with us. Thus, if unexpectedly, you should not have a positive experience it may not necessarily be due to misconduct by management or fellow team members.


Recruitment Policy

For the recruitment and selection policy please click here.


Job-roles / HR Opportunities

Current Human Resources Needs and Types of Internships

In order to attain a comprehensive and sustainable, community-owned waste management system about eleven members from a diverse range of fields are sought who can actively contribute to the SWASH programs in one of the four centres with ongoing SWASH Village programs for at least 3 months:

  1. (Assistant) Project Manager: Solid Waste Management Prototype (“SWASH Village”)
  2. (Assistant) Project Manager: Planning & Facilitation of Zero Waste System (“SWASH Village”)
  3. (Assistant) Project Manager: Community Research & Engagement (“SWASH Village”)
  4. (Assistant) Project Manager: Market Research & Database Development of Waste Products (“SWASH Village”)
  5. (Assistant) Engineer / Project Manager: Waste disposal – Reduce/Reuse/Recycle (“SWASH Village”)
  6. (Assistant) Project Manager: GIS Mapping – Terrain, resources, vulnerabilities, opportunities
  7. (Assistant) Project Manager: Organic Products, Packaging Research & Development (“SWASH Village”)
  8. (Assistant) Project manager – Design Management (“SWASH Village” project)
  9. ( Assistant) Project Manager: Water, Sanitation and Health Project (WaSH)
  10. (Assistant) Project Manager: Household Grey-water Recovery / Reuse Project (WaSH)
  11. (Assistant) Project Manager: Rainwater Harvesting / Recharging ground water (WaSH)

The job descriptions can be found through clicking on this link:


All Assistant Programme Coordinators / Project Coordinators will work in collaboration with the Chief Project Director and their respective SWASH team members.


Other Types of Internships

Academic Research Internship & Academic Credit

Students may also participate in an academic research internship as part of their thesis or other degree requirement. Details of the research project should be discussed in advance of its initiation. The researcher, in any case, should send a research proposal to the Chief Project Director of EduCARE India and Programme Director of SWASH Village (prog.dir@swashvillage.org) and to the Assistant Programme Coordinator of SWASH Village (apc.hr@swashvillage.org) before the start of the project.


Should you be completing a mandatory internship as part of your degree programme you will also be granted academic credit.


Non-Advertised Field Internship

Students may also take part in a non-advertised/self-chosen optional or compulsory field internship and design their own project. Details should be discussed in advance with the Chief Project Director of EduCARE India & Programme Director of SWASH Village (prog.dir@swashvillage.org) and the Assistant Programme Coordinator of SWASH Village (apc.hr@swashvillage.org)




Volunteer-Internship Program                                                 

Details of internship

Workplace facilities for the volunteers & interns

In most of the centres, a workspace/office with internet access is available where computer or other work may be done if one is not out working in the field/community.

Induction, Training & Development

In the first week after their arrival interns will undertake an EduCARE India and SWASH Village specific induction. The EduCARE India inductions will be conducted by the Centre Project Coordinator or the Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator and the SWASH Village induction will be conducted by the Assistant Programme Coordinator of SWASH Village or an experienced intern of the programme.

Depending on their sub-field, i.e. interns will either take a course in water sanitation or solid waste management, ideally before arrival, through our online platform CIEEL. This is required to most ideally prepare interns for their area of work. Students with subject specific backgrounds in one and/or both of the SWASH and WaSH domains may be exempted from compulsory participation for all or some of the individual modules. In any case, unless extensively covered in one’s degree programme all interns will also have to complete the “project management” course on CIEEL. Ideally, this is to be done prior to commencing the internship but can also be completed during the first two weeks of arrival.

Project Planning

SWASH interns are given a lot of autonomy with respect to the planning of their projects. They’re expected to work independently on their project. However, they may also seek mentorship support from the Chief Programme Director of SWASH Village should they require it. For all self-chosen projects falling under the “SWASH” domain interns are expected to first define their broad area of research before they proceed to online and field research. Only after extensive online and field research has been conducted should a project proposal be submitted to the Chief Programme Director. This research is important because extensive knowledge of one’s work domain will substantially raise the likelihood of its success and sustainability. In short, research and planning is key to any successful and sustainable project.

Moreover, research interns and all other interns have the opportunity to publish their own articles in EduCARE India’s “Journal of Experiential Education and Learning”.


Your mentor-based internship is a career step where the intern and the mentor work collaboratively in a learning, productive environment. An intern is challenged to take on tasks, work independently – and contribute while they learn by our Mentor. The intern learns a great deal about accountability, personal responsibility and working in a small- team environment.

Resource & Technical Support

Project-related expenses will usually be reimbursed if they are the most economical and sustainable option and not extraordinarily high.

Evaluation & Reference Letter & Certification

We have found that feedback from a mentor/supervisor is extremely valuable to interns as they develop their careers and pursue other internship experiences. We provide an intern with routine job-based monitoring, and evaluation. A reference letter is also provided for the experience and stay with us.

Should you be completing a mandatory internship as part of your degree programme you will also be granted academic credit.

Career Progression & Fellowship Opportunities

For details on career progression and fellowship opportunities please see the Career Progression-Fellowship section on our website.



Volunteer-Internship with SWASH Village

 Facilities & Benefits

Arrival & Pick-Up, Accommodation, Communication, Food, Transport, Holidays

For arrival & pick up, accommodation, communication, food, transport and holidays, please   click here.

Medical Care

We have details of various medical facilities close to each of the work facilities. An ambulance on call is available. Interns are responsible to buy their own overseas medical insurance.

Safety and Security

As a SWASH Village intern, your first responsibility / attention is workplace safety and security. We have a code of conduct for safety and security that the interns are expected to follow

Code of Conduct

We expect our interns to live a culturally appropriate life that is sensitive to the local culture and community when in operations areas, at all times. In operations areas both during and out of working hours, parties, drinking and smoking is forbidden. We do not support a party/drinking/smoking culture as it has caused many problems in the past for interns and the organization. Specifically, this has caused problems for the safety of interns and our relationship with our beneficiaries, the local law enforcement and the community in general. Even within the house it is required that you refrain from drinking other than the given evening hours within a limit, and respect the time dedicated to rest and relaxation. We have a code of conduct that we expect all interns to adhere too and will need to be signed by you before your arrival. We have a zero tolerance policy for serious breaches of the code of conduct. For serious breaches you may be asked to leave the organisation and your visa will be cancelled.

Local Culture

The local culture is fascinating and beautiful and encompasses many religions, faiths, celebrations and rituals. However, at times it can also be perceived to be disorganized and chaotic, especially for people who have grown up in Western cultures. Please read the culture and safety guide that will be sent to you after confirmation, as well as other information you may find online or in books about India and Indian culture. Please also be aware and read about the effects of culture shock. The more information and knowledge you arm yourself with, the better you are likely to adjust after your arrival. You can find more information at the following links:

http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Shock-Survival-Customs-Etiquette/dp/1558681450 http://goindia.about.com/od/planningyourtrip/qt/indiaarriving.htm http://www.expatarrivals.com/india/culture-shock-in-india

Cross-Cultural Adaptation

For cross-cultural adaptation you will be sent a “Culture & Safety Guide”. The Pre-Induction Course also focuses on cross-cultural adaptation.

Weather & Climate

For weather & climate details in each of the centres please click here.



Budgeting & Finances                

Internship related expenses

We value passion, commitment and skills of student volunteer-interns as a source for sustainable development. Thus, we do not have any weekly or monthly volunteering or internship hosting fee. We support free accommodation, internet, workspace and worksite transport facilities. At the same time as a non-profit organization, we work with limited resources and ask our interns for taking responsibility of expenses incurred on visa related documentation, group legal insurance, certification and validation, professional training facilitation and marketing of our internship opportunities.

Thus, an applicant has to pay a one off fee of $670USD as a one-time only payment for volunteer- internship. It remains the same, no matter if your intended volunteer-internship stay is 3 months or 12 months. No other fee is charged at any stage of the internship. It is to be paid after you are provisionally selected by us and on signing the internship contract and code of conduct. Only, once your application process has been completed and the internship fee has been paid will we send you the confirmation and visa sponsorship letter.


Fee structure & explanation: Expenses on Intern’s End

Civil liability fee: Legal insurance for each intern for civil liability undertaking on behalf of each volunteer-intern to protect the organisation and interns in case of any legal issues of $300 USD.

This civil/public liability fee while staying and working in our facility is to be paid to the organisation prior to application in case of any potential damage occurring from incidents of misconduct towards or by the interns themselves which may ensue into legal litigations/claims or repatriation to one’s home country due to cancellation of visa. This money will go to an outsourced legal services provider. Under no circumstances is this fee negotiable or refundable. It is is valid up to one year of internship. It was created due to a number of incidences in the past that unjustifiably cost the organization a lot of money. Here is a short description of two of the incidents that occurred to previous EduCARE India interns:


Incident 1:

Due to a lack of finances an intern used fake money to pay at a shop in a local town. The shopkeeper informed the police about the incident. As a result, the student was deported to his home country and the organization had to pay for his flight back home(not the individual himself or the Indian government).


Incident 2:

In an after-school programme a child hit a steel bar with his head, causing a huge blister and wound on his face. His parents wanted to sue our organization for the injury of their child and to have taken precautionary measures to prevent such an incident. Thus, they hired a lawyer to sue our organization. Even though significantly lower than demanded by them EduCARE India had to pay $2000 to compensate for damages caused by the incident.


Due to the need to prevent potential legal disputes in the future arising from such incidents, all interns, without exception, will be required to pay this non-refundable fee.


Fee breakdown summary:

(-Civil/public liability fee in case of individual misconduct or otherwise unwillingly becoming involved in an incident: > $300)                                                         

-Visa documentation and communications fee: All documents and communications for your employment or student visa > $150 USD                                                                                     

-Training resources and online course certification fee: Training and course certification during your internship > $120 USD                                                                                                

-Admin and Handling Charges > $100 USD

Total: $670 USD


Other Expenses on Intern’s End

An individual intern has to cater for the following:

  1. a)  Payment for the ‘Employment / Entry / Student Visa’ application fee at the Indian Embassy / Consulate in your own country
  2. b)  Overseas travel medical insurance (if not covered in your existing insurance policy)
  3. c)  Air Travel tickets to and back from India
  4. d)  Airport to project facility travel
  5. e)  Food or/and eating out
  6. f) Personal care items for daily use
  7. g)  Personal weekend / holiday travels and tours in India
  8. h)  Buying souvenirs etc

We usually recommend interns to cater for at least 100 to 150 dollars per month for their own food, personal care, recreation and basic support up to any duration of stay (other than if you are covered by our scholarship/fellowship award when we give variable appropriate financial support) though individuals can upscale their budget depending on lifestyle and travel choices.



Visa & Travel Process


Employment / Entry/ Student or Intern Visas should be applied for (depending on the rules of the Indian embassy in your country) when planning to come to India to work for SWASH Village. Please only apply for a visa for the time period you are working with the organisation. We are unable to be responsible for you or your conduct when you are not working for SWASH Village at EduCARE India. You may take up to 6 to 8-weeks at the end of your internship for travel, but for any longer than that stay, your visa will be cancelled by our legal retainers. Should you travel for longer you would need to go to Nepal or Sri Lanka to get a new visa, if you desire to come back to India. Any serious breaches to our code of conduct will result in a cessation of your internship and cancellation of your visa. Furthermore, according to the rules of the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, if you decide to leave your internship early, your visa will also be cancelled. Under no circumstance will you be able to stay, travel or work in any other organization in India under our sponsored visa.



Application & Recruitment Process

Selection Process

Interns will be assessed according to their qualifications/background and ability. The number of applicants for each advertised internship may vary, thus also the prospects of being accepted.

Application Link

To apply please fill in the application form using the Online Application Link and send your CV and cover letter to apc.hr@swashvillage.org -CC: internship@educare.in.


Prepared by / Last Updated by – Malte Rose, Assistant Programme Coordinator (HR and Knowledge Management) on 27 Jan 2018

Validated by – HBS Bhullar, Programme Director – Mentor on 27 Jan 2018