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Kerala, India

March 30, 2013 to April 13, 2013

On the southern coast of India, land of contrasts, lies Kerala, a state renowned for its peaceful rivers and high standard of living. In spite of the region’s relative prosperity, or perhaps because of it, affordable housing for those who have fallen through the cracks remains a vital need. Join us as we work with local residents to build not just houses, but homes where underprivileged families will have the space to be a family. Whether you’re seeking an introduction to India or a new perspective on an old love, this trip will inspire you and complicate your previous notions of this fascinating, intricate country.


India country profile


About India
The Republic of India is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and is a land as diverse as it is vast. Its population (more than 1.2 billion as of 2008) is expected to exceed China’s, making it the world’s most populous country. 

India is located in southern Asia, with 7,000 kilometers of coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It shares political borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

India gained its independence from Great Britain in 1947 and is the world’s largest democracy. Since independence, India’s history has been turbulent. Now in a period of liberalization, India faces the challenge of modernizing while trying to preserve its ancient culture. With an annual per capita income of US$1000, most Indian families are unable to afford a decent home.

The Marvel Called Kerala
Habitat for Humanity India implements its program through regional centres known as Habitat Resource Center (HRC). HRC Bangalore works with grass-root level NGOs across Karnataka and Kerala in a participatory approach for housing, enabling the community to avail the resources within their reach. HRC proposes to support 50 families to build a safe, decent affordable housing in partnership with Peermade Development Society (PDS) through the self-help groups of both men and women.

About Habitat for Humanity India 
HFH India was formed in 1983 and has built more than 17,000 houses that are approximately 350 square feet, with at least two rooms and a latrine. House designs vary, depending on materials available in the area and the specific needs of the local community.

Habitat’s IndiaBUILDS campaign aims to house 250,000 people over five years, mobilizing 1 million volunteers in the process and raising capital toward that goal. Currently, HFH India operates through resource centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi, as well as satellite centers in the south, east and west. New partnerships with corporate supporters and non-governmental organizations extend Habitat’s presence to north India.

For more information, please visit Habitat for Humanity India’s website.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteer may work on new construction of complete homes and with disaster-response programs. Habitat house designs and materials vary with climate and locale. Typically, house designs range in size from 240 to 360 square feet and are comprised of a living room, veranda, kitchen and toilet.

Standard itinerary
(15 day itinerary) 

March 30 - Saturday: Depart for India.
March 31 - Sunday: Travel day.
Apri, 1 - Monday: Arrive in Cochin, India; free time; dinner.
April 2 - Tuesday: Travel to worksite accommodation in Peermade; welcome and orientation.
April 3-5 - Wednesday – Friday: (Typical work days) Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner and time for team activities.
April 6-7- Saturday-Sunday: Free days: activity in local community and local sightseeing.
April 8-11 - Monday-Thursday: (Typical work days) Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at house; time for team activities.
April 11 - Thursday: House dedication.
April 12 - Friday: Travel back to Cochin.
April 13 - Saturday: Depart India. 

Team members should expect to stay at a hotel or a retreat center, depending on location. Rooms will be at least double-occupancy in a hotel and will usually have a private bath. Some teams may stay in a shared space with a shared bath. 

Breakfast is usually provided at the hotel or the retreat center, and lunch is usually provided by the affiliate and taken on the work site. Dinner is taken at various restaurants or provided by the hotel or retreat center.

Program cost

(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader: Cicely Tatum 
My time with Habitat began as an AmeriCorps in Seattle, WA, building homes for two years. I fell in love with the work and mission of Habitat for Humanity and am now working with Windy City Habitat. I’ve been a part of three Global Village trips to Malawi, Zambia and Kenya. My experience as a flight attendant brought me to many beautiful places in the world, but was never quite as fulfilling as my Global Village travels. I hope to lead a group of like-minded individuals who have a passion for service work and an itch to travel. If you’re interested in joining me please email

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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