Skip navigation

UCD Volunteers Overseas

South India Projects

In 2010, UCDVO began working in Vijayawada, a city in Andhra Pradesh in the south-east of India. UCDVO currently have a partnership with Asha Jyothi Handicapped Welfare Society who work with disabled children from underprivileged backgrounds. The centre hold a strong belief that all children have a right to love and security, healthy food, decent shelter, good education to reach their optimum potential, adequate medical care and be protected from any form of abuse. UCDVO physiotherapy volunteers assist the centre and local staff in their primary objective of empowering children with varied disabilities ranging from autism, cerebral palsy, hearing & speech impaired, polio, and down syndrome, and help them in the path of rehabilitation and independence, where possible. Our volunteers work within the healthcare centre but also participate in outreach programmes in surrounding communities and facilitate ‘Special Olympic’ sports days for children with disabilities in the centre & communities.



UCDVO established a partnership with the international NGO Care and Share which run two ‘Children’s Villages’ for over one thousand children who have been orphaned or abandoned as a result of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Each year, volunteers live with the children for one month and organise youth clubs, sports camps, and health education workshops as well as awareness raising campaigns.



‘The volunteer programme included teaching a wide variety of subjects at secondary, primary and kindergarten level.....the volunteers came up with some wonderful ways of creating interest and excitement for the subjects.’ - Siobhan Twomey, 2010 Group Leader

‘Stories of people being banished from their village when discovered to have contracted the HIV virus were common, and very few schools or hospitals in the area accepted children who had the disease’ - Donal Hanratty, Student volunteer 2010


South Indian State ANDHRA PRADESH Profile
Andhra Pradesh, one of 28 states in India, is located along the south-eastern coast. It is the country’s 4th-largest state by area and 5th-largest by population, with more than 75 million people. In the late 1990s, Andhra Pradesh was relatively poor and in the midst of a fiscal crisis. Its per-person income was about US$385, nearly 22% of its population was below the poverty line, and 40% of its primary school-age children were out of school.

Andhra Pradesh in many ways reflects the development crisis of the country at large. The agricultural community seemingly remain unaffected by the otherwise impressive growth vis-à-vis a growing IT industry and increasing private sector investments in power, road infrastructure and industry; rural/urban disparities mean access to and quality of basic services in health, nutrition, education and sanitation for many, remain poor.

Climate: July to September is the seasons for tropical rains in Andhra Pradesh. The state receives heavy rainfall from Southwest Monsoon during these months. Average Temperature June/July: 30 Celsius.

Capital: Its capital and largest city is Hyderabad.

Head of State:President of India is Ram Nath Kovind

Population: Andhra Pradesh, 75 Million

Security: Sexual assaults and harassment creates security vulnerabilities for women. Individuals should also exercise caution with regards to road safety, especially in built up areas.

Time: GMT +4 ½

Health: Be mentally and physically prepared before you go, consider taking Acidophilus (probiotics) and a good quality multi-vitamin in advance.

Currency: INR, the Indian Rupee.

Language: Telugu is the first official language of the state, spoken by 83.88% followed by Urdu but English is spoken on the Care and Share campus.

Religion: 88% Hindi, 9% Muslim and 1% Christian.

Accommodation: While overseas, volunteers will be living either in a house within the Asha Jyothi centre or a house within walking distance of the centre. Mosquito nets are essential and power cuts are a possibility.

Dress: The dress code is modest but jeans, t-shirts and long shorts are acceptable except in the case of visiting temples or mosques.

Food: Telugu cuisine is generally known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste, the cooking is very diverse due to the vast spread of the people and varied topological regions.

Ethnic groups: The Telugu people form the dominant ethnic group in Andhra Pradesh, making up to 83.88%.

5 Things You Should Know

  1. 37% of children less than three years of age are underweight and 34% report stunted growth with nearly 79% of children suffering from anaemia.
  2. There are 550,000 HIV positive persons in the state and over half of new infections are occurring among 15–29 yr olds.
  3. Issues relating to protection and abuse of children, including incidence of sexual assault and abuse among both boys and girls remains high.
  4. Andhra Pradesh has an overall literacy rate of 61.11%. The male literacy rate is 70.3% and the female literacy rate is 67.4%.
  5. Andhra Pradesh has the second highest concentration of child labour in India. According to the 2001 Census, there are 1.36 million child labourers in the state.


UCDVO Key Project Achievements 2010 - 2017

  • Provision of equipment to Asha Jyothi
  • Education session for parents and staff of children with disability
  • A total of 78 children were reviewed over the 4 week period in Asha Jyothi in 2017
  • Three awareness raising rallies on HIV & AIDS, children’s rights and gender 
  • Tutoring in English, Maths, Science 
  • Instalment of 5 solar panels in Butterfly Hill 
  • School renovations and development of library 
  • Health and Educational supplies for children’s homes 
  • Uniforms, school bags and notebooks for over 500 children 
  • Presentations, talent shows, youth groups, arts and crafts, sports tournaments
  • Provision of a water purification system, new playground equipment
  • Renovation of the physiotherapy room and provision of rehab equipment
  • Set up on counselling rooms and relaxation spaces

Partner Organisation
Asha Jyothi Handicapped Welfare Society & Care and Share India

Click here to view photos of UCDVO's projects in Vijayawada