Voluntary Work Abroad

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Top Sites

Peace Brigades International – PBI has branches in 15 countries and recruits volunteers to act as international observers and to accompany local human rights activists in conflict areas. We began working in Guatemala in 1983 and have run projects in El Salvador and Sri Lanka.

Links for Volunteering Abroad

Adventures in Preservation – Organise teams of volunteers to help restore and preserve dilapidated old buildings.

Amaidi – Amaidi is a social enterprise, supporting sustainable development in local communities worldwide by adding volunteers and interns to organizations that work for the rural and urban poor; by supporting initiatives in the field of responsible tourism; and by enabling individual and institutional social investors to find their way to local initiatives in developing countries that need funding.

A Pas de Loup – Free to join environmental projects that include studying reintroduced species and watching nesting and laying places. Volunteers pay for their own expenses and travel costs. Website is in French.

Archaeological Institute of America – This site includes continuously updated listings throughout the year, providing full details of archaeological digs for volunteers and students, including indepth project description, project size, age requirements, academic credit availability, accommodation information, bibliographies, and more.

ATD Fourth World – ATD Fourth World works with people living in extreme poverty in countries across five continents. ATD Fourth World Volunteer Corps members make a long term commitment to working alongside families living in extreme poverty and are involved in projects both in the UK and overseas. They can also provide internships in the UK.

Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development – An Australian government initiative, part of the country’s aid prgrammes, AYAD funds Australian volunteers to Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Bible Society – Runs a volunteering programme called Hello World, aimed at 18 to 25 year-olds. Working with United Bible Societies (who are to be found all over the world) they facilitate young people volunteering overseas, to work individually in six countries.

Big Fish Hostels – Accommodation and food is provided for hard work and big hearts in Budapest and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Brethren Service – Church organised voluntary work.

CARE – An international confederation working in many countries, responding to disasters or promoting long term development programmes. They place special focus on working alongside poor women.

Catholic Volunteer Network – Information available about voluntary opportunies around the world.

Christians Abroad – Individuals with a Christian commitment may  work on development projects overseas and in the UK.

Christina Noble Children’s Foundation – CNCF helps children in need in Mongolia with education, medical care, social opportunities, and job placement. Experienced volunteers over the age of 21 and able to stay for three months are accepted. Volunteers must be entirely self funded. CNCF also operates in Vietnam.

Church Mission Society – Church organised voluntary work.

Conservation International – No formal volunteer programme but information on working in conservation is given in the careers section. Internships in locations as diverse as Liberia and Mexico are available.

Coral Reef Alliance – Voluntary work that involves the preservation and appreciation of the world’s coral reefs is occasionally offered to those with a specific skill set. Otherwise volunteers are always welcome to pitch in at their San Francisco HQ. Site includes details about learning to dive and a directory of coral reef organisations around the world.

Crosslinks – Evangelical volunteer opportunities.

Earthwatch Institute – Promotes sustainable conservation of our natural resources.

Emmaus International – Help fight poverty by taking part in international workcamps in France and elsewhere in Europe. Travel costs there and back, medical and other personal costs are covered by the participants. Food, accommodation and insurance against accidents is provided by the organisers.

Fest 300 – Covers the world’s best festivals, some of which will undoubtedly require volunteers.

Generous Nomads – When Izy was first looking into volunteering overseas, she wanted to volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica but was disappointed to find that the majority of volunteering programmes cost thousands of dollars a week. Generous Nomads believes that you should cover the costs of your own expenses while volunteering, such as food and accommodation, but that you shouldn’t have to pay outrageous fees to donate your time.

Grassroots Volunteering – Connecting travellers with local causes and communities.

Goodwill Globetrotting – A great site with the goal to spread goodwill around the world by helping volunteers and travellers to conveniently make meaningful contributions to charitable organisations in the countries they visit.

Green Volunteers – A few projects are listed on this site but its main function is to help sell one of a trio of books listing volunteer work around the world. We have an old edition of at least one of these guides and they are well worth investing in.

HF Holidays – The chance to explore Europe for free is offered to confident, sociable and diplomatic people able to guide tour groups around European cities. Experience and language skills are essential. Hotel accommodation and meals are provided.

Homeless World Cup – The Homeless World Cup is a unique, pioneering social movement which uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives. An annual tournament, international volunteers are an essential part of the event team. Each volunteer that takes part in the programme is required to fundraise a total of £750 prior to the tournament and pay for their own airfare. During the event, volunteer accommodation, food, and internal transport are provided.

Hope and Homes for Children – A British based NGO working in 14 countries worldwide with children displaced by war or disaster.

Hostival – Volunteers take care of Hostival’s drunken customers during the festivals in Pamplona, Edinburgh and Munich. Accommodation is just a bed and a shower and toilet because Hostival is temporary overflow festival accommodation. Food and spending money is also provided.

Humanity First – Humanity First works on human development projects and responds to disasters such as earthquakes in Turkey and Iran, floods in Latin America, storms and tsunamis in the USA and Indonesia, and conflicts in Eastern Europe. Skilled volunteers are requested to enter their details into the volunteer database.

Idealist.org – A huge array of resources and vacancies for worldwide volunteer work and internship positions.

Institute for Earth Education – Organic internships.

Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA:UK) – A small UK charity linked to 34 other ICAs around the world.offering one year volunteer placements in developing and developed countries around the world. No formal skills or experience required.

International Citizen Service – A UK government-funded development programme that brings together 18 to 25-year-olds from all backgrounds to fight poverty in overseas and UK communities. To volunteer overseas with ICS you don’t need cash, skills or qualifications – just the ambition to make a difference.

Jazz Hostels – For their work exchange programme with their hostels in Montreal, Miami and New York, Jazz prefers to accept participants who are students of the hospitality industry or long term travellers able to commit three months. Jazz expect 32 hours a week of work in a variety of tasks ranging from front desk duty, to housekeeping, to administrative work.

Jesuit Volunteer Corps – Christians accepted for voluntary work in the USA and developing countries.

Mast International – US based organisation. Voluntary work in various countries, mostly Europe, in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Mennonite Central Committee – Church organised voluntary work.

Mission to Seafarers – One year programme assisting chaplains. Committed Christians only.

Omprakash Foundation – Helps to connect volunteers with organisations where they are needed. They also provide grants intended to defray travel and living expenses for individuals who are interested in serving one of their partners and making a long term contribution to their network.

Operation Mobilisation – Church organised voluntary work.

Operation Wallacea – Often working closely with ex nomadic sea gypsies, volunteers undertake conservation, research and community projects and surveys of marine or rainforest ecosystems. Unqualified divers may undergo a PADI Open Water dive training course.

Peace Brigades International – PBI has branches in 15 countries and recruits volunteers to act as international observers and to accompany local human rights activists in conflict areas. They began working in Guatemala in 1983 and have run projects in El Salvador and Sri Lanka. Currently, PBI are operating in Columbia, Indonesia, West Timor, Haiti, Mexico and the Balkans.

People and Places – Set up, after meeting in a Gambian garden, by three travellers to promote ethical volunteering, volunteers are matched with project needs. They need teachers, nurses, health care and social workers, business and practical skills and more.

Plus Hostels – Work for your stay in Prague, Florence and Berlin.

Presbyterian Mission Agency – Church organised voluntary work.

Pro International – International workcamps arranged in Europe and Africa between March and November for volunteers aged 16 to 26.

Raleigh International – Raleigh employ staff, aged over 25, with various skills to aid the expedition leader.

Restless Development – A youth led development agency. Volunteers are welcomed in the UK, or in several other countries, mostly in Africa, through International Citizen Service.

Service Civil International – Organizes workcamp placements through a network of worldwide partner organizations.

Skyros – Specialising in alternative course based holidays, Skyros have expanded from their origins in Greece. We couldn’t find any mention of jobs on their site but we have seen them recruiting for work scholars, who work for food and accommodation.

Tear Fund – Another Christian programme.

UNESCO Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service – They don’t recruit volunteers themselves but, in exchange for 2 international reply coupons, can provide a list of voluntary organizations in your country.

UN Volunteers – Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in 140 countries.

Urban Saints – Evangelical volunteer opportunities. Expeditions sent abroad and holiday helpers required in the UK.

VFP International Workcamps – 1500 short term intercultural adventures in 70 countries.

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – Skilled volunteers recruited to work in the developing world earning local wages.

Volunteer Forum – An active and useful place to post and discuss voluntary work opportunities abroad.

Volunteers for Prosperity – An US government initiative to encourage international voluntary service by highly skilled Americans.

Wildlife Conservation Society – In the early 1900’s the WCS helped the American bison recover on the Western Plains. Today, they protect many of the world’s iconic creatures in the US and and abroad. They also manage five parks in New York that require volunteers including the Bronx Zoo.

Work Exchange Team – You can earn your free ticket to fantastic music festivals and create a lifetime of memories with the Work Exchange Team.

World Service Enquiry – Well established information and advice service about working or volunteering in the developing world.

X Hostel – Takes on people for general housekeeping, bar work and pub crawl leading in their hostels across Europe, in Malaga, Alicante, Bucharest, Budapest, Tallinn and Varna.

YMCA International – Brings people together through summer camp, work and travel, internships, traineeships and volunteer programmes.

3H Fund – 3H Fund is a charity that makes it possible for disabled people, children and adults, to have memorable and fulfilling holidays. Volunteers assist the disabled guests during their holiday and must pay a variable fee towards their own food and accommodation.