Volunteer projects are one of the best ways to help others and help the environment while improving personally and professionally.
If you want to enter the world of volunteering, the first thing you should know is that there are generally 3 kinds of ways in which you can participate:
- Volunteer tourism: tourism in which travelers do voluntary work to help communities or the environment in the places they are visiting. Generally, you’ll need to pay a small application fee that will cover the costs of the project.
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): more formal jobs with bigger NGOs. Read more HERE.
- Small businesses and people: travelers offer help to startups and people from all over the world who are seeking help (not necessarily altruistic) in exchange for accommodation and food. Read more HERE.
In this post, I’ll give you more details about the first option, volunteer tourism. I’ll show you different organizations that will connect you with NGOs. The projects include accommodation and food. Some of them are free but others require an application fee (this depends on the country you want to visit).
For example, in the United States, there are more funds for this type of projects, so you may receive free accommodation and food in exchange for your help, while in India there are not as many funds for this type of projects, so you will have to pay a small application fee to cover the NGO’s costs.
In this article I will explain:
- Placement Companies
- Options to perform a search
- Tips to perform a search
- How to apply to a project?
But if you are interested in knowing more about all the projects, in general, you can read the post How to find paid volunteer projects abroad.
1. Placement Companies
A placement company will guide you through all the application process, although it will charge you a fee.
You can also do the process by yourself by finding an organization that you want to work with, on the website of the placement company, and then Googling its name and contacting their team.
But you should consider that sometimes even if you want to do the process independently, some organizations have agreements with these placement companies so in some cases you’ll have to apply through them.
However, sometimes it’s better to apply through placement companies because they could have better deals or promotions than contacting the NGO directly.
The following are the majority of placement companies around the world:
- Argentina SES www.fundses.org.ar
- Armenia HUJ www.huj.am
- Austria Grenzenlos www.grenzenlos.or.at
- Belarus LYVS www.lyvs.bn.by
- Belgium CBB www.compagnonbatisseurs.be
- Belgium JAVVA www.javva.org
- Canada CJ www.cj.qc.ca
- Czech Republic INEX SDA www.inexsda.cz
- Denmark MS www.globalcontact.dk
- Estonia ESTYES www.estyes.ee
- Finland Allianssi www.nuorisovaihto.fi
- France CBF www.compagnonsbatisseurs.org
- France Concordia www.concordia-association.org
- France JR www.volontariat.org
- France UNAREC www.unarec.org
- France SJ www.solidaritesjeunesses.org
- Georgia LYVG www.lyvg-georgia.org
- Germany IBG www.ibg-workcamps.org
- Germany ICJA www.icja.de
- Germany IJGD www.ijgd.de
- Germany NIG www.campline.de
- Germany Offne Haeuser www.openhouses.de
- Germany PRO-INT www.pro-international.org
- Germany VJF www.vjf.de
- Greece CIA www.citizensinaction.gr
- Greece ELIX www.elix.org.gr
- Hong Kong VolTra www.voltra.org
- Hungary Egyesek www.egyesek.hu
- Iceland SEEDS www.seeds.is
- Iceland Worldwide Friends www.wf.is
- India FSL www.fsl-india.org
- Indonesia PKBI (IIWC) www.iiwcindonesia.org
- Italy Informagiovani www.informa-giovani.org
- Italy LEG www.legambiente.it
- Italy Lunaria www.lunaria.org
- Italy YAP IT www.yap.it
- Japan CIEEJ www.cieej.or.jp
- Japan NICE www.nice1.gr.jp
- Kenya KVDA www.kvda.org.ke Kyrgyzistan
- Leaders www.leadership.kg
- Lithuania Deineta www.deineta.lt
- Mexico Nataté www.natate.org
- Mexico VIVE MEXICO www.vivemexico.org
- Mexico VIMEX www.vimex.org.mx
- Mongolia MCE www.mce-mn.org
- MontenegroADP-ZID www.zid.org.me
- Morocco CSM www.moroccocamps.e-monsite.com
- Morocco CJM www.cjmfes.wordpress.com
- Netherlands SIW www.siw.nl
- Poland FIYE www.fiye.pl
- Portugal IPJ www.juventude.gov.pt/portal/ipj
- Russia Dige Vu Samara www.digevu.ru
- Russia Mir Tesen www.mirtesen.org.ru
- Russia Passage Zebra www.interaction-club.ru
- Russia SFERA www.dobrovolets.ru
- Russia Sodrujevstvo www.sodvo.ru
- Russia World 4U www.world4u.ru
- Serbia YRS-VSS www.mis.org.rs
- Slovakia INEX www.inex.sk
- South Korea IWO www.1.or.kr
- South Korea KNCU www.youth.unesco.or.kr
- Spain COCAT www.cocat.org
- SpainDe Amicitia www.deamicitia.org
- Spain SVI www.injuve.es
- Switzerland WS www.workcamp.ch
- Taiwan VYA www.volunteermatch.org.tw
- Thailand VSA www.volunteerspirit.or.th
- Thailand GREENWAY www.greenwaythailand.org
- Turkey GENCTUR www.genctur.com
- Turkey GSM www.gsm.org.tr
- Uganda UPA www.ugandapa.worldpress.com
- UK Concordia UK www.concordiavolunteers.org.uk
- UK UNA Exchange www.unaexchange.org
- UK VAP www.vap.org.uk
- UK Xchange Scotland www.xchangescotland.org
- Ukraine Alternative-V www.alternative-v.com.ua
- Ukraine UF www.union-forum.org
- USA VFP www.vfp.org
- Vietnam SJ www.sjvietnam.org
Or apply through international placement companies:
- GO Overseas: gooverseas.com
- GO Abroad: goabroad.com
- Volunteer HQ: volunteerhq.org
- Pro World: proworldsc.org
2. Options to perform a search
Usually, you can filter the projects by:
- Latin America
- Middle East
- North Africa
- North America
It now has options in 95 countries, but the list continues to grow.
c. Type of Project
- Workcamp 1-3 weeks
- LTV 6-12 months
- MTV 3-6 months
- Project Leader Training
- TEEN project
- Paid project
- Senior project
- Internacional meeting
- Permanent Project
- Language course
- Family project
- TECH (technical)
- HSTAY (Au Pair)
- SPEC (Special camp)
- ALT (Alternative life)
- HIST (History)
- OFFI (Office Work)
- BI/TRI (Group Project)
- PR (Public Relations)
d. Type of Work
- RENO: renovation
- ENVI: environmental
- CONS: construction
- ARCH: archeology
- SOCI: social project
- KIDS: work with kids
- STUDY: theme project
- DISA: work with people with disabilities
- MANU: manual work
- EDU: educational
- ELDE: work with elderly
- FEST: festival
- CULT: cultural
- AGRI: agricultural
- Art: art type
- SPORT: sports
- LANG: language project
- TRANS: translation project
- ANI: animals care
- LEAD: project leader
3. Tips to perform a search
Decide to which country you want to go to and what you want to do.
To select a country, consider its language, culture, quality of life, proximity to your country and cost of airplane tickets (if it is very expensive you can search for projects within your own country).
b. Type of Work
There’s a wide range of work types so choose something you’re really interested in. This is an opportunity to help and learn new skills at the same time. These projects are an important contribution to your development and you can mention them on your CV because you will get a certificate of attendance; therefore you can reinforce some of your qualities or develop some areas.
c. Application Fee
Check if the project asks for an application fee and if it does add this amount to your budget to know how much you will have to pay in total to live this experience. The projects usually include food and accommodation so you only have to pay for transportation and extras such as souvenirs.
4. How to apply to a project?
Once you’ve found a project you’re interested in, the placement company will guide you through the application process.
You can also find the name of the organization that offers the project on Google, login to their website and check how is their application process. Contact them by email and start your application.
Don’t miss your chance to go volunteering!
Are you interested in finding opportunities to go abroad? In the Scholarship Finder, you can discover a wide list of scholarships, work opportunities, volunteer projects, contests, entrepreneurial support, and virtual courses!
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