Volunteering at Root Institute
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Root Institute! Volunteering with us is a wonderful opportunity to offer service in the blessed environment of Bodhgaya. Volunteers should be willing to live according to the Buddhist Five Precepts, essentially with an interest in spiritual practice and a sincere respect for our spiritual environment (there is little normal social life in Bodhgaya). The spiritual programme as well as the community health projects are run according to Buddhist principles and beliefs. The work is satisfying and exciting, with space for creativity in the work place.
Each winter Root Institute seeks seasonal volunteers to form a team of dedicated to fulfilling Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche's wish for to provide the opportunity for people to study and practice the Buddhadharma in Bodhgaya.
Opportunities for 2013 - 2014
Resident Sangha Members
Working closely with the Director and Spiritual Program Coordinator, the role of resident sangha within Root Institute during the winter season (October to March) is to lead daily meditations, organise pujas, meet and advise new students, run short workshops, guide pilgrims to the holy sites around Bodhgaya and offer general help with the spiritual program.
The quiet and beautiful (hot) summer months offer an opportunity for retreat.
Position: Kitchen Coordinator
6 months from October 2013 to March 2014
Do you have an interest in food, and experiencing the Indian way? If so, we need you to run our kitchen and dining hall.
The responsibilities and challenges of the Kitchen Manager are to oversee a team of local staff, to oversee hygiene and plan an exciting and nutritious menu while working within a budget and the rather limited variety of foods available here in Bodhgaya. The peak of the season, December and January, will prove to be the most challenging with up to 200 guests to feed at once.
An interest in food, a creative eye for detail, confidence, patience, and a sense of humour are essential to making this position work for you.
6 months from October 2013 to March 2014
The office positions can be very demanding roles so good organisational skills and focus on the job are essential to make the position work. You will also need to be prepared to be on call after hours on a roster basis.
The job entails overseeing the room reservations, welcoming guests, short tours/introduction of the institute for new comers, keeping track of guest accounts, laundry, meals, etc. There will be some data entry and monitoring of the general email account, answering enquiries, etc. so computer literacy is useful.
You will be working closely with the Centre Manager for ground and room maintence and housekeeping, and with our Spiritual Programme Coordinator for student and teacher reservations.
The role starts off beginning of October with preparation of the rooms, updating the database, emails and reservation chart and while it's still a little bit quiet, helping out around the Institute for whatever is needed to set up for the season.
During the busier months, November through January, the job will be based in the office overseeing guest needs.
This job requires patience, flexibility and an easy way of looking at things when problems inevitably arise.
Tara Children's Project
To oversee and coordinate the project, which cares for HIV-affected orphans and semi-orphans. For more information please contact the Root Institute director, email@example.com.
Health Programme Volunteers
The Shakyamuni Buddha Community Health Programme has long benefited from the service of volunteers who have come from other countries. Nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists work alongside our Indian staff and help to create systems that sustain the programme long-term.
Experienced nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are welcome year-round for a preferred stay of 6 months (minimum 3 months.) If you are unable to commit to this length of time, or are inexperienced in these fields, you are welcome to observe our work in the on-site clinic and the village health programme on a short-term basis.
Position: Health Project office administrator (required immediately)
We are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated individual to work in consultation with the clinic manager to oversee the administration of our community health and development programme.
Key responsibilities of the Office Administrator are to:
- Oversee and manage day to day finances
- Ensure that donor obligations are met and compile reports and updates on the progress of the programme
- Work on building donor support for our fundraising strategy
- Oversee orders and distribution of homeopathic and allopathic medicine
- Perform general administrative duties on all projects
Key competencies and skills required are:
- Previous experience with office administration and finances
- Excellent facilitation and communication skills
- Cultural sensitivity and experience working in cross cultural environments
- Adaptability, patience and flexibility is a must!
- Experience and/or qualifications in public health, community development or social work would be useful
The role of the volunteer nurse with our health programs is two-fold: providing direct care to clients in conjunction with Indian staff and helping to develop sustainable systems that will support the program long-term.
Some of the daily nursing responsibilities include providing daytime care for patients in 8-bed “hospital” unit; assisting with general medical clinic (TB, Diabetes, HIV); aiding in the development of our village-level health promotion program; helping to manage the pharmacy and working closely with staff to aid in their professional development. Besides this, the nurse is expected to provide regular health assessments of the Maitreya School/Tara Children's Project children.
Experience with HIV+ children would be very useful.
Position: Physiotherapist/Occupational Therapists
- Our rehabilitation department is looking for enthusiastic, adaptable, and committed physical and occupational therapists who can help build the capacities of our staff in the rehabilitation, community health worker and orthopaedic programs. A collaborative open attitude, along with strong skills and knowledge of rehabilitation/community based care are an asset. Essential qualities are patience, perseverance, an open heart and mind.
An overview of the therapist volunteer’s duties are:
- To assess and treat locals suffering from orthopaedic and neurological issues
- To improve the rehabilitation facilities in Shakyamuni Buddha clinic.
- Training community health workers so that they can provide basis rehabilitation to villagers in a new community based rehab capacity
- To improve clinical reasoning skills of local staff and share techniques and OT/PT approaches to rehabilitation
- Jointly provide rehabilitation services to inpatients while sharing their skills with local staff
- Conducting home and village home visits to assess the functioning of the patient’s at home or on mobile clinics
To help build up our prosthetics workshop.
The clinic is located on Root Institute for Wisdom Culture’s premises, a semi-monastic centre. Therefore we ask that volunteers abide by the five precepts whilst living here - applicants should be content living and working within a spiritual environment. Non drinkers and non-smokers are preferred.
To apply for any of the above positions, please fill up the application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and state which position you are applying for, add your current CV highlighting any relevant experience, a recent photo, and a cover letter explaining why you’d like to work here. Include a brief summary of your Dharma history if any. Please also provide email addresses for two references.
People with a strong interest in the Dharma and preferably a connection with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche are encouraged to Contact Us for additional information.