U.S. Mission to India: Seeking Proposals for Rural Youth Volunteers Program

Organisation:  U.S. Mission to India

Apply By:  17 Jul . 2017

U.S. Mission to India: Seeking Proposals for Rural Youth Volunteers Program


Despite the fact that approximately 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas, the bulk of attention is focused on urban elites. Ethnic and caste-based discrimination, drug abuse, school drop outs, trafficking in persons, gender inequality, social discrimination and other social woes prevalent in rural communities at least partly stem from their isolation and poverty. Connecting rural populations to relevant communities beyond their immediate environs and providing them with alternatives and new perspectives will help them not only break the cycle of poverty but also create a more just, equitable and tolerant society. This project is designed to send pairs of Indian and American volunteers to work with existing rural-focused NGOs on social entrepreneurship projects that serve to help the rural communities help themselves in an economically sustainable, socially responsible fashion. In addition, by connecting these communities to the world, the project serves to change the world view and attitudes of the volunteers as well as members of the communities within which they work

Program Goals:

The goals of this funding opportunity are to:

1. Identify, in collaboration with local partners and community members, priority economic or social challenges facing the community

2. Capitalize on local resources and opportunities to plan and launch an entrepreneurial venture that serves to address the identified challenge with direct involvement of relevant members of the local community

3. Build a communications and commercial bridge connecting the internship placement communities with potential markets as well as networks of relevant organizations working on similar issues.

4. Create a volunteer internship experience which benefits the American-Indian volunteer pairs as well as the communities and NGOs they are working and living with.

5. Share the internship experience broadly and implement some lessons learned in the volunteer interns’ home communities.


For a 3 month period, paired volunteers (one from the US, the other from India- ages 21-27) contribute to economic and social entrepreneurship projects in 2-4 different rural communities that address issues such as empowering women and girls, career planning, education, countering social discrimination, renewable energy, drug abuse, trafficking in persons or gender-based violence among others. Internships should be organized for a minimum of 8 pairs (16 participants in total). The Indian member of the pair should come from a part of India with no connection to the rural community where he/she is to be placed and should be fluent in Hindi and thereby able to act as a language bridge for his/her American counterpart. The projects themselves, developed and implemented (at least initially) by the volunteers and relevant community members, should serve to address the isolation of these communities by connecting them to the world beyond

Volunteer profile:

1. 21-27 years of age

2. University graduate

3. Committed to participate in all aspects of the program

4. Willing to stay with local families throughout the duration of their rural placements

5. Flexible

6. Healthy

7. Language proficiency (American volunteers should be proficient in English. Some background in one of the Indian languages would be preferred. Indian volunteers should be proficient in Hindi and be able to demonstrate some communicative proficiency in English)

Award Information

1. Funding Type and Amount: Grant/cooperative agreement

  • Minimum (“Floor”) Award Amount: $150,000
  • Maximum (“Ceiling”) Award Amount: $168,000

The Public Affairs Section reserves the right to award less or more than the funds described under circumstances deemed to be in the best interest of the U.S. government, pending the availability of funds and approval of the designated grants officer.

2. Project and Budget Periods: Grant projects generally should be completed in one year or less.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Eligibility is open to all non-profit, non-governmental organizations. Individuals are not eligible for an award under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Organizations may sub-contract with other entities, but only one, non-profit, non-governmental entity can be the prime recipient of the award. When sub-contracting with other entities, the responsibilities of each entity must be clearly defined in the proposal.

2. Cost sharing is required for this funding opportunity.

3. Pre-award costs are not an allowable expense for this funding opportunity.

4. This award does not allow for construction activities or costs.

5. U.S. Embassy New Delhi grants/cooperative agreements cannot be used to fund religious or partisan political activity; fundraising campaigns; commercial projects; scientific research; projects whose primary aim is the institutional development of the organization, or illegal activities.

Application Submission:

Instructions: Please follow all instructions below carefully. Failure to furnish all information or comply with stated requirements may lead to the application’s disqualification for consideration. Applicants must set forth accurate and complete information as required by this NOFO.

Applicants must ensure:

  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars
  • All pages are numbered
  • All materials are submitted in .pdf format
  • Forms SF-424, SF-424A and SF-424B are completed and submitted with the application. These forms are available at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms.html

Applicants submitting proposals over $100,000 must also submit Standard Form LLL (SF-LLL), Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. This form is available at: http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms/sample/SFLLL-V1.1.pdf

For more information please check the Link

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