Category Archives: Raphael


David HeadAfter a couple of medical issues in the first two weeks, I got into the rhythm of Raphael. But it was a full month before I felt comfortable in what I was doing, getting to know the staff I had most to do with, and getting a handle on Indian names. My working week of 5 days, 9 to 3.30 was spent in the vocational workshop, mainly making and packing candles. The teacher had up to 10 students to supervise, all with specific jobs to meet orders for around 30,000 candles for Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. I think I can say that, being there for this very busy period, was a benefit to the teacher. The living conditions were faultless, our cook prepared 3 meals a day if required, all good Indian food. Continue reading David


Jamie HeadEven having previously heard and read stories of Raphael I had no real idea what to expect when I began volunteering there. What I found and experienced lived up to and surpassed any expectations I’d previously had. I came away with a new found understanding, a love of children with mental and physical disabilities, some basic Hindi, an increased confidence within myself, a possible career change and a different outlook on life. Not bad for three months. Continue reading JAMIE


DawnA glimpse of Raphael and Dehra Dun

As the clarion call of the Muslim early Morning Prayer call echoed into my deep sleep at 5.30 am, the cool chill of the winter airbrushed my face. A dash to the bathroom to turn on the hot water cistern was bracing but necessary if I wanted a hot shower in 30 minutes. Glimpsing the mist outside on this relatively mild winter in Dehra Dun, the Indian climate was to my liking. Continue reading Dawn


Amelia HeadI arrived in Raphael in November 2012 and it was one of the best experiences I ever had.

Raphael offers each volunteer a multi-tiered experience. Even if you initially give assistance in one area, being the school, hospital or one of the adult education programs, you will find yourself swept up in the spirit of the place and taking valuable life lessons from each part of the organization. Continue reading AMELIA