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UCD Volunteers Overseas

South India Project

In 2010, UCDVO began working in Vijayawada, a city in Andhra Pradesh in the south-east of India. 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 Pranab Mukherjee

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: As part of the project you will be living with the children in the Care and Share homes. Each house has around 50-60 children and volunteers are paired and allocated a home. 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 - 2016

  • 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
Care and Share India

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