Volunteer on Community Projects

Volunteering abroad in new cultures

Becoming a community volunteer on your gap year is a fantastic way to make a real difference to a developing local community and to help improve the lives of people in need. There is a huge range of community projects abroad to choose from, meaning you can easily find something to match your skills and interests. It might be a building project in South America, assisting with medical care in Africa, or working with disadvantaged children in India.

What all community projects abroad have in common is that they are ultimately geared towards changing vulnerable lives for the better. Being a volunteer on community projects not only means you can make a real difference, it will also help you experience your own personal growth, develop invaluable new skills, and gain a genuine sense of achievement while engaging with local communities.

If volunteering on a community project sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, check out these frequently asked questions for more information.

Top community volunteering projects

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Volunteer Building Houses in Cambodia

from £267

7 days

Cambodia

Help impoverished families build safe, clean homes in one of the most spectacular parts of South East Asia. During this...

Volunteer with Children in India

from £945

14 days

India

Discover the colourful culture of India when you volunteer alongside local teachers supporting disadvantaged children in the Southern state of...

Sports Coaching in Pokhara

from £775

14 - 84 days

Nepal

Lead sports sessions in the mountainous city of Pokhara, working in local schools and at children's homes to promote wellbeing...

Children’s Day Care in Peru

from £675

14 days

Peru

Work alongside the local nursery teachers and run exciting activities with children in the beautiful city of Arequipa.

Volunteer in Teaching and Sports Education

from £238

7 - 84 days

Fiji

Volunteer on the Teaching and Sports Education volunteer project in Fiji. Located in Suva.

Coach Sport to Township Children

from £995

35 - 84 days

South Africa

Make a huge impact on our sports community coaching project and take away with you life-long friendships.

Sport and Education in Ghana

from £2500

90 - 360 days

Ghana

Lattitude's sport programme in Ghana works in partnership with Football For Hope (FFH) which uses sport to help re-engage young...

Coach and Play Sport in Ghana

from £250

7 - 84 days

Ghana

Experience sport at all levels on this unique experience in West Africa and take your understanding of sport to new...

Volunteer with Children in South Africa

from £1239

35 - 84 days

South Africa

Volunteer with kids in vibrant South Africa. Support children as they develop their English and their confidence. Alternatively, you can...

Teaching & Community Development

from £845

10 - 84 days

Zambia

Join us on our rewarding teaching project in the tourist town of Livingstone, very close to one of the Seven...

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Explore Southern Thailand

from £1199

Seek out the laid-back culture and welcoming people of southern Thailand on an eight-day sojourn. Take your time enjoying the...

Outback and Kangaroo Island Adventure ex Yulara (Basix)

from £855

Capture the sprit of the Australia and witness its diversity on this adventure from the heart of the Outback to...

Discover American Canyonlands

from £1754

Take off on an adventure-filled eight days among the striking natural towers and red plateaus of the American canyonlands. Walk...

Central America Explorer

from £2422

Enjoy a Central American odyssey on this adventure from the chaos of Mexico’s capital to the heady heights of San...

Okavango & Beyond

from £1138

Soak up the sights and sounds of peaceful waterholes, meandering creeks and mighty rivers on this refreshing African adventure. Some...

Hadrian’s Path

from £1029

Trace the steps of the great Roman Emperor, Hadrian, as you journey from Rome to London on this winter European...

Explore China

from £1925

Capture the spirit of China on this 13-day tour from Shanghai to Beijing. Stroll along the narrow lanes of Shanghai’s...

Falls, Beaches & Serengeti Adventure (Northbound)

from £2464

Connecting two major hubs, this overland journey will take you from Johannesburg to Nairobi and into the stunning wilderness of...

Japan on a Shoestring – Tokyo to Kyoto

from £824

Get a taste of both old and new Japan with this six-day tour. We’ve kept it simple with an itinerary...

Spirit of Shackleton

from £8999

Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. This...

Articles and stories about volunteering abroad

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What kind of community projects are there?

There are a huge range of community projects abroad that are in need of volunteers. We recommend considering what you are really passionate about and where your skills can best be put to work. Some options include: social work, where you will be helping people suffering with issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, and neglect; building projects, where you will help to build vital infrastructure such as schools, community centres, care homes, and basic housing; education, where you will work to teach both children and adults a variety of subjects. There are plenty of others too. Such a wide range means that you can become a volunteer on community projects anywhere in the world and be able to make a real difference.

What kind of people will I work with?

There are community projects doing crucial work all over the world, giving you the opportunity to volunteer in all kinds of local communities and meet all kinds of different people in need. If you choose social work, you might work with disadvantaged children or vulnerable elderly people, or people in need of medical care. Building projects will likely take you to rural communities, where a lack of resources and poor conditions can lead to food shortages and other damaging issues. Teaching projects may involve children and adults alike who want to learn English, or need education on topics such as safe sex and sanitation. What these people all have in common is that they are striving for a brighter future, and as a community volunteer you can help them achieve it.

Where should I volunteer on community projects?

Most community projects abroad are located in developing nations, where there may be widespread poverty, poor access to education, and a lack of healthcare facilities. It’s in these places that you can make your most valuable contribution as a volunteer. Where you volunteer on community projects will likely depend on which type of placement you choose, as different countries and communities will be in need of different kinds of help. Nevertheless, the availability of opportunities across Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and South America gives you plenty of options, and means you can fit becoming a community volunteer into broader travel plans if you need.

When should I become a community volunteer?

There are community projects in need of fresh volunteers all over the world at any time of year, meaning you can find a placement whenever you are looking to travel. The availability of some kinds of projects may be seasonal due to conditions in the host nation. We recommend carefully researching the weather, climate, and general conditions for the time of year in any country you are considering visiting, as it may make it difficult for you to work effectively. For example, some countries become incredibly hot in summer, and if you’re going to be working outside this can make it incredibly difficult. It’s okay to look elsewhere if you think conditions will prevent you from delivering your best work.

How long should I volunteer on a community project?

This really depends on what kind of project you choose to join. Some placements allow you to make a tangible difference within only a couple of weeks, like humanitarian work and manual labour. Others, such as volunteering with children and vulnerable people, require more time for you to properly get involved and help the community. Generally, it is always best to stay as long as you can. When looking at options, consider carefully how much time you have to offer and how you can use it best.

Do I need qualifications to be a community volunteer?

Many volunteer projects will not require you to hold any qualifications or have completed any training before you begin a placement. If any training is necessary, it can be completed on-site once you’ve arrived. This will depend on the nature on the community project you have chosen. Always make sure you pay careful attention so you can begin working and contributing as quickly as possible. If you have joined a project centred on providing therapy or medical care, you will be working alongside a trained professional.

The exception to this rule is that some teaching-focused community projects abroad may require you to hold a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification. If this, or any other qualification, is required by a project, this will made clear in the listing before you book.

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