Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Bulgaria
Festival Volunteering in Bulgaria
Typically the rewards of volunteering at a festival are a free ticket and a better camping pitch.
Meadows in the Mountains
Doors are always open to like minded people who volunteer for this festival in the Rhodopes Mountains held each June. In return for your help they hand over a festival ticket and three meals a day per working shift. Accommodation is free to campers or help is arranged to stay in a house in the village. Positions include build and decor crew, artist liaisons, runners, production office attendants, info point crew and gate stewards. Sign up for their volunteering newsletter to stay updated about the volunteering process.
Hostel Work Exchanges
We’ve noticed 10 Coins Hostel in Sofia posting a graphic to their Facebook page simply showing the word ‘Volunteer’. This could of course mean anything, from encouraging us to do the washing up to joining the army, but further investigation suggests they use some of the work exchange networks to hire volunteer staff. Nearby Hostel N1 does the same but were far more informative when posting to their Facebook. They said they need helpers to receive and entertain guests, and to clean out. They provide a bed, a kitchen, basic food, free trips and Wi-Fi in return for five hours a day.
Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Bulgaria
Original Volunteers arranges short term volunteer placements in and around Varna for as little as one week (though a minimum of two is preferred) for £125 per week. Choose either the health care programme or teaching/playwork. Volunteers stay together in dorm style apartments and shared houses but you pay for your own food and transport.
Thought on the refugee grapevine to be a hostile country asylum seekers should avoid, Bulgaria hasn’t tended to be a route of choice for refugees travelling from the Middle East despite a land border with Turkey. Nonetheless increasing numbers are choosing to enter Europe this way. The Refugee Project is a joint initiative between CVS Bulgaria and Caritas Sofia providing educational assistance and a range of activities for refugee children and adults. New volunteers are recruited every four months.
Help Exchange Networks in Bulgaria
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Bulgaria
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents’ homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can also get a free Airbnb credit from us here.
Image courtesy The Refugee Project