Volunteer Opportunities in India – Where Lord Buddha Walked

Bihar, India. We are pleased to announce that by June 2020 we will have guest rooms constructed above the Lotus Free School in Bodhgaya, India.

Then, by January 2021, we will have additional guest rooms built on the campus of Saraswati Luce Leadership Centre, also located in Bodhgaya.


At the school, volunteers will teach English, Japanese and Hindi, as well as math, music and art, while the centre volunteer program resembles a nonprofit internship.

These unpaid, volunteer positions last three months, based on the seasons. The volunteers primary function is to support the young, local staffs and interact with students and guests. Knowledge of English and a second language is helpful but not required.

Members of the Luce Leadership Team are automatically approved to volunteer.


This includes Luce Artists-in-Residence, Luce Leaders, Luce Fellows, Luce Scholars as well as Global Advisors, members of the Boards of Directors of either the J. Luce Foundation or Orphans International Worldwide.

Luce 24 Under 24 Awardees, as well as Ashoka Fellows, Ford Fellows, Gates Fellows and H. Luce Scholars are likewise pre-approved, as well as students or graduates of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Marietta, and Wooster.

Medical professionals, including pediatricians, doctors, nurses, dentists and child psychologists are welcome for less than three months, as the health conditions of the village children are not ideal.

Members of Lions Clubs International and Rotary Club International and their youth affiliates, Leos Club and Rotaract, are given preferential treatment in the application process.


Although overseas volunteers around the world often pay fees, here, room and board are provided. Volunteers work four days a week and are encouraged to experience India on their own three days a week.

The Lotus Free School, grades one through seven, and the Saraswati Luce Leadership Centre are both projects of the Lotus Charitable Trust and J. Luce Foundation India,

with support from Nirvana NPO Japan, the New York Global Leaders Lions Club, and Orphans International Worldwide.

Volunteers are encouraged to post the programs’ progress on social media and write firsthand stories for The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness, the online publication of The J. Luce Foundation, New York. All volunteers have Editor status with the publication.


The Saraswati Luce Leadership Centre are both projects of the Lotus Charitable Trust and J. Luce Foundation India, with support from Nirvana NPO Japan, the New York Global Leaders Lions Club, and Orphans International Worldwide. c

The Saraswati Luce Centre India is located across the road from the Saraswati Bodhi Tree where Lord Buddha sat on his journey to Enlightenment 2,500 years ago.

Saraswati is the Goddess of Education and the Arts and is considered patron saint to India’s artists.

The J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International Worldwide also supports the Manjushree Orphanage for Tibetan Children on the Himalayan border with China and Bhutan in India’s far northeast. Manjushree is The God of Wisdom and is often paired with Saraswati.


Volunteers should have at least $100 a week disposable income as they have much exploratory time and no salary. Graduates of the volunteer program will receive certificates of achievement upon satisfactory completion.

Many volunteers find it advantageous to bring multiple gifts with them to share with their hosts, as well as a backpack full of children’s books and supplies for the young students.

American seasons correspond somewhat to the seasons of Bihar. Winter is cool and wet, but not freezing. Spring is the rainy season, and summer is particularly hot, with temperatures up to 47 common. Fall is perhaps the most pleasant, although in general window between October and March is fine.

Applications may be made online here.

About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce (www.lucefoundation.org) writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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