The Indicorps fellowship is a profound personal experience and an opportunity to understand participatory development through intense voluntary service. The structured program encourages participants to leave their comfort zones, place others’ interests before their own, test their own potential to affect change, explore their relationship with India, and understand what it means to lead by committing themselves to innovative grassroots projects. Indicorps believes that giving one’s time and energy, without any attachment to the outcome, regardless of the circumstances, is an unparalleled personal experience in service. At the same time, the fellowship is a chance for fellows to address their own identity, recognize their personal boundaries, and understand how to produce change in their environment(s). The fellowship is deeply rewarding, a transformational and challenging personal journey, and part of Indicorps’ collective experiment for change.
Approach to development:
Indicorps’ approach to development involves a total investment of body, mind and soul into the process of “being the change.” Fellows take individual personal responsibility to execute and complete projects, defined in partnership with local development organizations, that address particular community challenges. Recognizing the project as a foundational cornerstone or platform for change, Indicorps pushes fellows to actively test their and creatively explore the possibilities of community-oriented leadership.
More about the Fellowship program:
Each year, Indicorps selects young professionals of Indian origin for one and two year service fellowships with grassroots service organizations in India. To be eligible for the fellowship program, you must be a person of Indian origin (Government of India definition) and have at minimum a university degree or five years work experience. Individuals apply specifically to projects of their interest.
The first month of the fellowship involves an -intense, physically and mentally rigorous, month-long orientation to India, the Indicorps philosophy, and practical living. In conjunction with grassroots fieldwork, Indicorps also requires fellows to attend periodic workshops that encourage participants to deepen their understanding of Indian development, to reflect, to share progress, to collectively solve problems, and to re-energize. Some fellows opt for a second year to broaden their understanding of development and take leadership in managing projects or Indicorps programs.
The fellowship has stringent documentation requirements and promotes self-accountability. The program is carefully crafted to consider long-term impact and to defy common critiques of both international volunteers and the organizations with which they work.
Indicorps provides a nominal stipend to enable fellows to live simply and work in India for the duration of their fellowship. Basic room, board, and fellowship-related travel are covered by Indicorps or the local project partner organization. Indicorps is a total immersion program and encourages fellows to be a part of their communities to the greatest extent possible – including attempting to live within the means of their location.
NOTE: The Indicorps stipend is designed to cover only basic living costs, some of which may be provided in-kind. The stipend does not include airfare to/from the applicant’s current location, incidentals, health care or insurance, or a personal spending allowance. Participants will incur some out-of-pocket personal expenses during the fellowship year.