Teaching Art to Children with HIV – Jaipur

This project provides a wonderful home for over 50 HIV-positive children, aged 3 – 19 years. They are accommodated in two large neighbouring houses in the exclusive Pratap Nagar neighbourhood of Jaipur. There is plenty of outdoor play space, the rooms are spacious and colourful and the atmosphere is utterly positive. The children receive a good education and several have gone on to study at Rajasthan University. There are currently two students taking degrees in photography and art.

The children all have congenital HIV and most have lost their parents as a result of the illness. Without exception, they are from the poorest families and most have been referred to the project because they have no known family.

They are given retroviral medication and monthly health checks at a specialised unit in Jaipur Hospital. Their viral load needs this level of testing to make sure their medication dose is effective. This is essential, partly because they have compromised immune systems and their health can decline rapidly and dangerously. Although they are bright, lively and positive, their life expectancy is rarely beyond 30.

Art is actively encouraged and skill levels good, with displays of work adorning the walls. The children are keen to enhance their skills and GapArt volunteers have been invited to organise art lessons with the intention of creating either a wall mural or sculptured pieces in the gardens. All the materials for this can be sourced locally. Recycling is encouraged in Jaipur and recycled materials would be used wherever possible. English is important and it is hoped that through conversation the standards will improve. Volunteers will also have the option of teaching English in the local school.

The project is open throughout the year and you could stay for anything from a week upwards, but ideally much longer. The children are wonderfully warm and welcoming and you would be considered a member of this extensive family within hours of arrival.

There are large private rooms for volunteers on the project and you would also have the option of living nearby with the project director and her family.

You can volunteer at any time, but the most comfortable time in terms of weather would be between October and December, a pleasant time weather-wise.

For further details, see our India country page. Then simply contact us or complete the application form.