We are now sending teams to work with our covenant partner in India, in Kerala -- one of National Geographic Traveler's "10 Paradises of the World."

The Fuller Center is building safe, decent, and affordable homes in the state of Kerala which is a land full of rivers and backwaters, beautiful enough to host a honeymoon. It truly is where poverty and paradise collide as many families crowd together in unsafe shacks while ocean breezes blow and palm trees sway.

Our dedicated leaders of the project give freely of their time in running the project, which helps to ensure that every donation reaches as far as possible. See a picture of each of their first 20 homes and partner families here. The project has now completed over 30 homes on the way to their initial goal of 100.  Help us put faith into action in India!

Getting involved
There are several ways that you can get involved. Donate to support this specific partner. Volunteer on one of our India Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. Or join a trip as a virtual volunteer, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip. We make that fun -- see virtual volunteering explained here.

House sponsorship cost: $3,500

Learn the Basics - Area Info

Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2 %, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9 %, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Other 11.6%         
Age Structure:
0-14 years 28.9%, 15-24 years 18.2%, 25-54 years 40.4% 55+ 12.5%
1,220,800,359 (2013 est.)
Life Expectancy: 67.48 years (Male 66.38, Female 68.7)
Tropical - Average High 85-90, Average Low 75-80, Rainy Season - June
Indian Rupee  $1USD = Rs. 60
Literacy Rate:
62.8% (Male 75.2%, Female 50.8%)
Ehnic Groups:
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3 %, Sikh 1.9%, Other 1.8%

India is home to 170 million people who live in slum conditions which is roughly 17 percent of the world's slum dwellers. This primarily Hindu nation has a strong Christian presence in the Trivandrum area, which is about 40 percent Christian and where beautiful Catholic churches and Hindu temples mix. It is believed that Jesus' disciple Thomas visited the area. Tourism is a huge industry in the state of Kerala, especially eco-tourism.

About volunteering in India

Each trip to India will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers -- typically 8-20 total -- who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include sightseeing in this coastal area along the Indian Ocean.

Pricing - What's Included

Trip Length: 7-14 days (price varies depending on length)
Materials Provided:

-In-depth Guidebook outlining what to expect
-Pre-trip safety training
-Fundraising guide
-Option to create online fundraising page
-T-shirt and hat
Trip Support: Yes - from trip leader and Global Builders staff
Clean Drinking Water: Yes    
Food: Yes - 3 meals a day are provided
Transportation: Yes - to and from the airport and work-site
Lodging Accommodations: 
Meaningful Work:             Yes - led and coordinated by dedicated Indians
Travel Medical Insurance: Yes
R&R Opportunities: We'll assist you in setting up sightseeing and cultural opportuniti

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader's name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click Join to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a "Full" trip? Complete your registration here.

City Team Leaders Dates of Trip Cost Status
Kelakam Jim McCracken November 16-30, 2015   Full

More Info - Learn more about what a trip is like

Project and Country Background

The state of Kerala is located on the southwestern coast of India and is roughly the size of the state of Georgia in the United States. Despite all its exotic beauty, the state of Kerala has its share of shacks and slums like the rest of India, where some 170 million people live in slum conditions, roughly 17 percent of the world's slum-dwellers.

The Trivandrum Fuller Center is run by a Christian board that partners with families to help build or improve their homes using no-profit, no-interest loans. They also work with a church to help carry-out a smaller project in the northern part of Kerala called Kelakam. 

Typical Day

8 a.m. - Breakfast
9 a.m. - Begin building at work site
12 p.m. - Lunch
1 p.m.-3 p.m. - Continue building
4 p.m. - Evening free for dinner and relaxation

(Exact schedules can be discussed and set depending on the team's preferences.)

Type of work

We are building with bricks or concrete blocks and stuccoing the completed homes. The homes are built in a very traditional Indian style, with white walls and a flat, concrete roof that gets used almost like a porch or backyard in the United States.

Work will typically involve helping the masons and carpenters. At times there will be painting, and any other work that could be expected on a masonry build project.

We will provide necessary tools, but as with most build sites, it never hurts to bring a few small hand tools with you.

Food and Lodging

Trivandrum: We offer two housing options - a guest house with semi-private rooms (recommended), or a nearby hotel. Each group will stay entirely in one or in the other, as determined by the team leader prior to the trip.

The guest house is run by an Indian couple who live next door and work hard to accomodate their guests' requests, including food requests. Volunteers will experience traditional Indian food and have bottled water available. Each room has 2-4 beds and fans and air conditioning, and internet is available albeit only at a single computer work station. The place is simple, but clean, and ideal for mission-minded groups. Bedding, towels, and blankets are provided. Here is a link to their website:

Kelakam: There are two housing options for groups - a hotel ( and the home of our local leader. Where the group stays depends on the size of the group. At each location the meals will be provided by locals at the home of our leader.


A van or small bus will be rented to transport the group throughout each day. The distance from the hotel to each worksite will vary, but on average it is about 20 minutes.

Rest, Relaxation, and Sightseeing

This part of India is incredibly beautiful with much to do, from visiting beaches to touring parks and historical sites. Groups can even choose to spend a night in a houseboat. We expect each group to spend at least a couple of days seeing the sites - or more if the group desires.

Most two-week trips will cost $1400-1800. More precise budgets are custom developed for each trip. Trips lasting 7-10 days will naturally cost less than 14-day trips.

Next Steps

As trips with openings become available, we will post them at the top of this page. To apply to join their trip, simply click "Join" next to the trip of your choice. To request more information or be put in touch with the team leader, click the "Request more information" button at the top.

If you're an experienced traveler or team leader, or if you have a group of your own (church, school, etc.), Propose a Trip to let us know what you might like to do!

Trip Preparation

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links - Preparing For Your Trip!

What happens after the trip?
Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community in which you served! Learn how on our Country Champions page.

Learn More
View pictures of our volunteers in India
Follow along on Fuller Center India's blog