Teaching Art to Slum Children – Jaipur

This project was established in 2001 to provide aid and relief to the victims of the Gujarat earthquake. Now it runs a mobile health clinic and has an educational focus, particularly supporting young girls from the slum areas of Jaipur. There are 110 such areas where there are no recognisable living standards. Whole families earn a meagre living by rag picking and begging at the town tourist sites. In spite of the degrading living conditions the slum is safe, crime rates low and the communities welcoming. Walking through them, volunteers are often invited into the shacks to share cups of sweet chai served in small pottery mugs.

The project has schools in 12 of the slums and as funding becomes available has plans to build more. Without the project the children would receive no education, spending their time earning a few rupees a day. The need to earn money in addition to poor health constantly reduces attendance. Survival is more of a focus than education. As a way of encouraging children to attend they are given a decent meal. It also offers free vocational training to mothers in tailoring, beauty treatment, hair dressing and teaching. To date 500 women have obtained permanent employment.

Facilities are good by local standards with a modern IT laboratory, training room for the mothers, small class sizes and resources donated by local businesses. The staff are completely dedicated to the project. Given the chaos and challenges of life at home they recognise the importance of punctuality, commitment and discipline. This slum project provides the only certainty in the lives of the vast majority of the children.


Jaipur is recognised as the hub for artists in Rajasthan and employment opportunities for people with art skills are good. Volunteers are needed to teach art in the slum schools. Class sizes are small enough and classrooms sufficiently spacious for this to be realistic. The subject matter would depend upon the skill of each volunteer and would be planned well in advance. Volunteers would be expected to teach from 8am until 2pm throughout the working week.

In order to avoid conflict with exams and holidays, the project would like volunteers in October, November and early December. Both climatically and in terms of project timetabling, this is the best time to be in Jaipur.

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