While participating in our programs you would get a unique experience of interacting with local people and enjoying the local cuisines. Also there a few unique heritage sites nearby that would pique your interest. We also organize bird-watching trips to nearby wetlands which are guided by experts. We provide a range of activities to choose from during your stay with us. VNC formally known as ‘Vidyanagar Nature Club’ is one of the most versatile grass root NGOs working for the cause of environment. Its working areas are inclusive of community-based environmental programs, wildlife conservation through research, sustainable education programs at grass root levels and schools, close to nature hobby development efforts and programs for reducing pollution, eco-friendly drives, tree plantation programs and much more.
We have been receiving volunteers of different cultures, from different countries and different walks of life for the past 11 years. They are now an extended family of VNC and still helping us out in their own ways. Applications for volunteering are open now. Revenues generated through fees paid by our volunteers are critical to supporting our conservation and awareness programs. Whether you’re traveling to India alone or with a group, for a week or for several months, we offer a wide variety of options to fulfill your needs. We look forward to providing you a memorable experience in India!
Testimonials from Interns & Dissertation Student
Internship in VNC has been a great opportunity for me. I loved all the environment related activities conducted in VNC, they were very informative and also helped me apply theretical concepts of social work. I worked in the crocodile project of VNC under which we had to visit different villages of Anand district and conduct a survey related to crocodiles. We did computation and documentation of the data.. I learnt skills like public speaking and data entry etc in VNC. I have been a voluntary member since then and it has been a great experience.. Anyone who joins VNC becomes like a family member. VNC is not just an NGO but a family that protects the environment as a family member !
As a part of my curriculum, I had to complete 21 days of internship in any rural, civic or social sector. So I chose Vidyanagar Nature Club for the same. It was a very enlightening experience. I was assigned to the Snakebite Mitigation Project. The first part of my training was learning to converse with the locals in the village, the type of questions to be asked and how to make them comfortable during the whole interview. My role in the project was to interview the victims or the victim’s families in the region and help prepare a documentary about the emotional and financial plights of the rural people. read more
Voluntary Nature Conservancy (VNC) has always felt like a family. It was a great honour to carry out my M.Sc. Dissertation work with support and guidance by Vidhyanagar Nature Club. It is an NGO working for saving the mother earth, wildlife, environmental problems, environmental awareness, conservation, restoration, tree plantation programs, different wildlife related projects. Mr. Dhaval Patel founder and managing trustee of VNC has always supported the youth who put their efforts to save the environment. read more
I was very lucky to be able to spend two months with VNC and got to attend six different camps. The camps are great fun and it’s wonderful to see the kids able to learn and experience so much outside of the classroom. Everyone at VNC is warm and welcoming and my time here was a great experience. read more
Apply For Internship / Dissertation
Crocodile Conservation Project
All over the world, crocodiles strike terror, even in the brave hearts. A single crocodile in human settlement becomes breaking news. However, in a quaint region in Gujarat, these feared reptiles are not only tolerated but revered by the local community.
Studies conducted so far reveal that the wetlands of Charotar host a very significant population of mugger crocodiles. What is intriguing is that this mugger population exists amongst the humans, without many conflicts, setting a fine example of what we know as “co-existence”. One of the main objectives of the VNC’s Project ‘Conservation of Crocodiles in Charotar ’ is to create awareness among the communities, both at local and state level, for the conservation of crocodiles in Charotar region.
As a result “Charotar Crocodile Count” was born. This is a Citizen-science based initiative, designed to involve people from various walks of life to come together for the conservation of this species. Volunteers would gain a firsthand experience of this unique co-existence while enjoying the real India, which quite a few foreigners miss out.
As a volunteer you would contribute in the following ways:
- Assist in crocodile counting in Charotar region
- Assist our staff in night counts for the same
- Interview the local population and gather data
- Understand human-crocodile conflict and brainstorm about its mitigation measures
- Create awareness and educate the local people about precautionary measures to reduce the conflict
- Prepare educational materials such as pamphlets and posters
Outdoor Experiential Educational Programme (ANUBHAV) is planned to relocate the study of the environment to its rightful place enhancing the curriculum of classroom learning. The outdoors become a living laboratory for the learners in understanding the elements of nature available in and around us. Inherent in ANUBHAV, then, is the desire to halt and watch, to study and to correlate what one sees with the milieu in which one finds it. To reinstate the study of nature into its rightful place is the aim of ANUBHAV.
Volunteers would be required assist our staff in accompanying these kids on nature camps and share their passion for the environment. It would give them a peek into a lot of pristine environments that most tourists miss out on. We have around 2-3 programs every month at various locations for students of different grades. Our camps are held at a variety of locations including Zainabad in The Little Rann of Kutch, Jambugodha Wildlife Sanctuary, Polo Forest and Mithapur. Expert guides are there to assist participants to enjoy activities like rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, bird watching, star gazing etc. The camping activity also teaches about harmonious community living and living away from parents!
As a volunteer you would contribute in the following ways:
- Assist our staff on camping trips as Environmental educators
- Have a cheerful disposition and help children and guide them during their stay at camps
- Play environmental games with kids and carry out other fun-time activities
If you are skilled at adventure activities, you can assist them for the same.
Organized every year on the second Sunday of February with the motto of ‘Burn fat, not oil’, these marathon and cycling events get around 1500 participants. The motive behind this event is to spread environment awareness among the people and it veritably highlights the significance of exercise. It is a yearly program carried out by VNC to engage the entire community which would aid in sensitizing them towards environmental issues. Volunteers would help in organizing recruitment drives, finding sponsors, managing the event and helping in its promotion.
As a volunteer you would contribute to the following:
- Assist in organizing the event
- Think of creative ideas to help in promoting the event
- Find sponsors for the event
- Social media marketing
Snakebite Mitigation Programme
126 people die every day due to snakebites in India. This project aims to educate people about snakes, their probable habitat and the ways to avoid snakebites, thereby reducing the number of related deaths. The majority of these bites can be avoided with some basic precaution, education about proper first-aid and medical treatment. This can help bring down death rate, as too many people rely on home remedies & witchcraft, instead of going to the hospital.
As a volunteer you would contribute to the following:
- Help educating through mass awareness
- Help in creating educational materials such as pamphlets and posters
- Help in distributing educational leaflets
- Live snake demonstrations (Training will be provided)
- Rescue and rehabilitation (Training will be provided)
- Interview the local population and help in collecting the data
Trees in urban areas are essential as they clean the air, provide a natural flood defense, mask noise, calm traffic and promote a general sense of wellbeing. This makes trees one of the most important armories in urban living. Due to lack of proper protection, we have observed unregulated tree felling at wee hours and intentional damage being to trees. It becomes almost impossible to trace the culprits. All these reasons prompted us to map the trees and give them a unique identity. This map will be provided to local authorities for regulation & maintenance. This project is based on Citizen Science and calls for participation of people from various walks of life. These maps would be used for biannual monitoring, determine future need and run a diversity check. Volunteers would be required to assist our staff in geo-mapping of trees in and around Vidyanagar and in the collection of relevant data. They would also help in raising awareness for conservation of trees by carrying out promotional drives and programs.
Save The Vulture Campaign
Vultures are one of those unfortunate species that have seen a drastic reduction in their population in the last few decades. Awareness programs through Audio-Visual Mediums and distribution of awareness materials (Handouts and flyers) are carried out by VNC to create awareness amongst people about the plight of the vultures and the harmful effects of using diclofenac. Diclofenac is a common anti-inflammatory drug administered to livestock. The drug is fatal to vultures, however, and it is exposed to a mortal dose of diclofenac if it eats from the carcass of an animal that has been treated with diclofenac recently. Volunteers would be required to assist VNC volunteers and staff in conducting awareness programs and distributing educational hand-outs. It would provide the volunteers an invaluable chance to observe this endangered species with such close proximity, to understand the causes for its decline and mitigation measures needed to ensure its healthy survival.
Sarus, the tallest flying bird, is one of the iconic species of the open wetlands of Charotar region. They form long-lasting pair-bonds and maintain territories within which they perform territorial and courtship displays that include loud trumpeting, leaps, and dance-like movements. In India, they are considered symbols of marital fidelity, believed to mate for life and pine the loss of their mates even to the point of starving to death. However, they have been listed as a vulnerable species in IUCN’s red list. Its population has greatly declined in the last century, it is one-tenth of what it used to be in the 1850s. However, India is its stronghold, where they survive in agricultural lands in close proximity with humans and are revered by the local community which ensures its conservation. This project aims to understand its distribution and to implement proactive measures to aid in its conservation. Volunteers would get a unique opportunity to observe this endangered species closely in its natural habitat and help towards conserving it by participating in awareness programs.
Interested to volunteer for an environmental cause but commitments stop you? Join us a virtual volunteer to do your bit. Use your skills and valuable time to save mother nature. Online volunteers do not need to travel, and have a great degree of flexibility in volunteering the hours that fit their schedule.
As a virtual volunteer you can do the following:
- Follow VNC on FB, Twitter and Instagram. Promote, re-tweet and share our posts for maximum penetration. Post your activities through photographs and videos.
- Plant a tree. Build a fence and take care of it. Keep photographic record of its progress. Inspire neighbours and family members to do the same.
- Grow some herb to use in the kitchen. If you have a backyard, grow some vegetables or fruits. Try to grow your own food and become self-sufficient. Make the most of your garden.
- Build a bird house and a bird feeder. Install it near your place. Observe and record photographic evidence.
- Use your imagination and creativity to re-use or re-cycle things to create some useful object. Make a video and share it with us.
- Organize a fundraiser and awareness program in your community, school or college. Present through powerpoint presentations. Design a donation box and collects funds.
- No fees required for Virtual Volunteers.