Want to volunteer? Then have a look at the detailed list of volunteer organisations and placements. Here you will find organisations that specialise in placements overseas for animal and conservation, construction, health, and education sectors.
Our extensive list of volunteer opportunities can be filtered to show results based on countries, project types, or organisations.
- working for a community organisation without being paid
- it is an act that aims to help a community.
How to volunteer
Many programs can last from a few weeks to a full year, but first you need to find a worthwhile project and then complete application form. Many organisations will also complete a background check on their volunteers by conducting a reference check, police check, and a Working With Children Check. You may be asked to attend an informal interview.
Choose a project
There are many types of volunteer projects to suit all needs and requirements, including those for mature volunteers, and personalised placements such as specific sport coaching projects for example.
Most volunteer companies offer the following types of placements:
Teaching can involve acting as the main teacher or as an assistant to teach a class of local students in a classroom or even under a tree! Some placements can be tailored to your skills including music, art, drama or sport. Some organisations actually specialise in placements for sports coaches. Most placements do not need official qualifications, but a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) really gives you a great grounding for your placement.
Many games parks, animal care centres and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) run projects to protect species and/or the vegetation and flora. Here you may help with research projects or work hands on with animals
Care and health projects
There are many care and heath projects, and like teaching some can be tailored to your skills. Many projects range from work in orphanages, hospitals and medical centres, to running HIV/AIDS awareness courses. Again, research what you want to do and contact organisations to see if they can accommodate your skills. Some placements will require qualifications, but most just need an extra pair of hands.
There are a variety of construction projects which can be tailored to your skills. Many placements have existing projects which can range from building schools, dams and wells, install fresh water systems, to repairing conservation tracks.
Benefits of a structured year out
A volunteer placement not only benefits the local community where you work, but now many employers are searching for people with additional skills on their resume. This life long experience can therefore be a life changing experience in so many ways.
Volunteers have certain rights under the law: for example, the right to a safe working environment, free from harassment. When you volunteer it is also reasonable to expect a decent and caring attitude from the operating organisation.
You should expect:
- Proper supervision – someone you can ask for help
- Training and policies and procedures to make volunteering fair, rewarding and safe
- Proper equipment and a process you can follow ifvthere’s an accident
- A reasonable workload
- Reasonable tasks – not just things none of the paid staff want to do
- Not to be asked to do or support any illegal activity
- To be covered by the organisation’s public liability insurance – in case you cause harm to another person or property
- To be covered by volunteer insurance
It is crucial to the success of the placement that as a volunteer you research not only the organisation and project, but review the country and safety sourrounding your project. Sometimes this research may take a while, but like anything worth doing it is best to be as well prepared as posiible.
Volunteers also have responsibilities to their organisation and to the community. It is expected that you:
- Don’t waste their time – do what you’ve committed to do
- Follow the rules – especially where they relate to legal requirements or safety
- Undertake training when asked and follow instructions
- Try to represent the organisation well in any dealings with people outside
- Do your best in whatever you’ve signed up for
Most importantly, enjoy your once in a lifetime opportunity, meet new and interesting people and get stuck in.