Information for volunteers
We cannot afford to pay volunteers a salary like in the west. We also do not ask volunteers to pay us for working with us, unless they want to. Some do this after they see the school and the issues.
We offer 3 meals per day and lodging for the volunteers. The accommodation is basic so please do not come expecting westren standards. We may be able to help with arranging sight seeing during days off (please ask in advance). Transport is limited but there is a bus service that runs between the village and Kollam as well as auto rickshaws that cost about 250 Rupees (one way). Volunteers can walk to the local village to get to know the local people and experience the Kerala culture. It may be possible to help you arrange a weekend in a resort on the lakes, go to the beaches in the area etc but you but this is all at your own expense.
We request that volunteers should be flexible and sensitive to the cultural differences.
Our closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram, formerly called Trivandrum, in Kerala, India.
Find out from your country which travel agency and the cost of air ticket to Thiruvananthapuram.
Once you are in Trivadrum, it is possible to catch a taxi from the airport to the main bus stationfrom the main bus station (across the road from the train station and left- there is a market at the enterance. Do not get confused with the stands across from the Central train station.) Ask someone to direct you to Bus Number: 517 to Kollam. Leave the bus station in Kollam and ask an auto rickshaw driver for St Joseph International School, Kundara, Kumbalam- it should cost about 250 rupees and you may have to haggle!
We seek volunteers for the following:
We would like to hear from teachers that may be interested in teaching in English, Computer, Math, Science, Social Sciences, General Knowledge, art, music, painting, Writing, Reading etc. As well as supporting our teachers with English in the chosen areas.
There are opportunities for experienced teacher-trainers to work along-side our trainers to offer different teaching strategies as well as develop conversational English as the school insists that are lessons are delivered using English.
Managers and Administrators
We are also very interested in creating links with people in leadership and have a good knowledge of educational infrastructures to support the school and offer guidance and consultation to the principal, office manger, typist, accountant, secretary etc.
An overall leader to run the whole operation including schools, B. Ed College, Teacher Training Institute etc… even with some pay. May be a retired school administrator, possibly of Indian Origin, but from the US, UK, Australia etc will be considered also.
Non-Academic Volunteer Opportunities
Maintenance people for the school like landscaping, ground maintenance, building maintenance like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, cleaning, painting etc.
Hostel warden and hostel tutors- to do 1 to 1 study and sports lessons after school.
Drivers and bus-helpers to pick up children from surrounding villages.
Help with advertisement and recruitment of the volunteers. A volunteer coordinator is essential, since Joseph D. Fernandez is unable to respond on time to the volunteers showing interest.
The school year is divided into four quarters:
Our school starts normally on June 1 every year (except for the 9th and 10th standards or grades, it starts on May 1 every year.). School ends on March 31 of every year.
First quarter: June 1 to end of August or beginning of Sept. (Before Onam, a big local festival. Exact date changes every year according to an Indian calendar.- 10 days vacation given)
Second quarter: Mid Sept. to Dec. 21 ( 10 days Christmas vacation given)
Third quarter: Jan.1 to March 31 ( last two weeks of final exam.. )
Fourth quarter: Summer vacation April 1 to May 31... some remedial programs happen and recreational programs are possible.
Can't travel to India? You could help in the following ways:
Help with updating our school website: www.sjia.org.in
Pay a student’s school fee for a year around $100.00 a year. This is approximate; fee is from $80 -200.00 a year depending on the age of the students and distance of travel in the bus fee.
Pay the bus fee for a student from $40 – 80.00 a year depending on the distance from school.
Pay a student’s hostel expenses for a few months or a year; monthly expenses are about $60.00 ; $600.00 for a year.
Endowment for scholarships for the students. Pay $250.00 once in life time in your loved one’s name and we deposit that money in the bank in your name and the interest is used for a scholarship for a student every year like to the best English student, to the best math student etc… Your loved one’s name will be mentioned in an annual school celebration.
Any partial amount towards the people who needs a partial release from time to time towards payment of the fees.
Contribute towards increase of staff payment due to poor location and transportation.
Contribute to some magazines like the Time, US News and World report, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated etc.. The address is: St. Joseph International Academy, Kumbalam 691-503, Kundara, Kerala State, India.
For further information e-mail to:
Or look up at www.sjia.org.in
Tel. 011-91-474-2520-365 (school office) or 011-91-474-2520-366 (hostel)
011-91-474-2526-325 (private) and 011-91-9447023440 (cell or mobile)