If you like helping others and traveling at the same time, try yourself as an international volunteer. Meeting people from all over the world, gaining experience, expanding your horizon all of this is possible through the many of the volunteering programs. But you might be wondering, where to look for these opportunities. Don’t worry! We’ve collected a list of volunteer organizations, which have been offering volunteering trips and have a lot of experience in this field.
1. Global Volunteers
Global Volunteers is a respected non-profit organization, which has been engaged in human and economic development by conducting short and long-term volunteer programs. In 1999 Global Volunteers was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. In addition, this organization has formalized a relationship with UNICEF. Over the years Global Volunteers have engaged more than 33 000 people in 34 countries by addressing such issues as poverty, hunger and the importance of education.
Applicants may choose volunteer program which suits their skills and expectations best. With Global Volunteers, you can help children grow and develop in the best conditions by participating in the Reaching Children’s Potential program. For 1 or 2 weeks you will be providing prenatal education, maternal support and helping children learning basic subjects like science, computer literacy or health. English native speakers are usually involved in teaching the language to the kids, which is basically gives them a way out of the poverty. If you are more into physical work, you can assist to the construction workers, repair and help to maintain community buildings.
Global Volunteers’ official website provides a lot of information about upcoming projects, dates of departure and fees, which vary from $1000 to $3000. All applicants have to be over 18 years old, while minors must travel with a parent or a legal guardian.
2. Conservation Volunteers
Conservation Volunteers was founded in 1982 and nowadays unites different divisions all around Australia and New Zealand. Organization’s main goal is to preserve a healthy and sustainable environment. In particular, a lot of attention is paid to the care of land resources, the improvement of the population, natural heritage and assistance in post-disaster reconstruction. Participants from countries other than Australia or New Zealand have to pay a fee to become a part of this volunteer community. Students in the age from 18 to 21 have an opportunity to win a grant and participate without any payment.
The cost of a 2-week program is $770, which includes food, accommodation, transportation costs within the country and guide services. Volunteers are able to choose the starting dates, the area of activity and the location. Being a part of Conservation Volunteers program is a unique experience. Volunteers not only have an opportunity to immerse in the local culture but also to meet new people, learn how to work in a team and have a chance to save the nature.
VSO is a British volunteer organization. Its goal is to raise the standards of living in the poorest countries. Volunteers help educate children and adults, contribute to improving local medical care and health system and basically do their best to prevent people from living below the poverty line. The VSO is much more interested in professionals rather than in ordinary volunteers since participants will be responsible for providing qualified support and assistance to those who need it.
The list of available positions is long and varies from lawyers and managers to doctors and coordinators of educational programs. The full list can be found online on the VSO official web site.
During the stay, volunteers receive a small allowance in local currency, which is enough to cover basic daily expenses. Housing and health insurance are also provided. Transportation costs are paid by the organization. Most projects are long-term (from 2 years). Volunteers may visit relatives during a 4-week vacation once a year.
4. Service Civil International
Service Civil International was founded by a Swiss engineer Pierre Cérésole in 1920. Nowadays Service Civil International is one of the biggest volunteer organizations in the world with 42 branches and a growing number of partner organizations. Their main goal is to promote a culture of peace by organizing volunteer projects, where people of any age and background can contribute to the world’s welfare.
Service Civil International offers a variety of volunteer options, for example, short-term projects (workcamps), long-term projects as well as educational sessions. You also have an opportunity to become a local activist. Over 1200 short-term projects can be found on the official website. Every participant has to pay a fee in order to become a part of the program. In addition, all volunteers pay their travel expenses and have to have their own pocket money. The organization provides food, accommodation and an access to drinkable water during the project.
Generally, volunteers spend up to 6 hours a day working and have the evenings and weekends free. Tasks may vary depending on a project, but all assignments are aimed to bring some benefit to the community. The only skill required for a volunteer is an ability to cooperate with other international team members.
5. UN Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UN Volunteers) is UN program, which goal is to contribute to the peace and world development through volunteer programs. UN Volunteers represented worldwide and is active in 130 countries each year.
UN Volunteers offers different locations for volunteering. You can become an international volunteer, stay and help locally or even online. An international volunteer must be at least 25 years old, have a university degree or higher technical diploma, at least 2 years of experience and a good level of English, Spanish or French. International volunteer programs usually run from 6 months and up to 1 year with a possibility to extend the stay up to 2 years. Volunteers receive allowances in order to sustain their living during the program.
Those who want to make changes in their own country can become local volunteers and promote peace in their homeland. A volunteer must be at least 22 years old and have a minimum level of higher education. More specific requirements depend on a particular assignment.
Online volunteering with UN Volunteers provides an opportunity to collaborate with people of different backgrounds and become a part of a global community. You may contribute your skills in such areas as writing, translation, research, art and design, teaching, administration, technology development and more.