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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Mozambique Diving, Research and Community Work!

from £1600

14 - 28 or more days

Mozambique

Get qualified in Mozambique working alongside our marine biologists & founder, helping with conservation through research, education and diving, collecting.

Drug Rehabilitation Volunteering in Kenya

from £222

14 days

Kenya

Volunteers have the opportunity to work with our local team to run an essential drug awareness community centre, carring out...

Volunteer in Temple Renovation in Sri Lanka

from £200

7 - 84 days

Sri Lanka

Volunteer on the Temple Renovation volunteer project in Sri Lanka. Located in Kandy.

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.

India Child Care

from £675

14 - 84 days

India

Create exciting sessions to develop the children’s creative and communication skills at day care centres and community outreach projects. Learn...

Sri Lanka – Caring for Children

from £1265

14 - 56 days

Sri Lanka

Volunteer in one of our care projects in a community centre or care home for disabled children. Typical jobs involve...

Nepal – Caring for Children

from £1115

14 - 56 days

Nepal

Become fully immersed to help some of the most vulnerable groups in Nepalese society, whilst travelling and exploring this dramatic...

Volunteer in Childcare in South Africa

from £176

7 - 168 days

South Africa

Volunteer on the Childcare volunteer project in South Africa. Located in Cape Town.

Madagascar Teaching English

from £995

28 days

Madagascar

You will teach conversational and beginner’s English to these impoverished children, help with environmental education, and participate in other community...

Madagascar Healthcare

from £545

7 - 28 days

Madagascar

This exciting programme will challenge you and show you the reality of working as a medical professional in a developing...

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Singapore to Bangkok Adventure

from £777

From the steamy streets of Singapore to the pulsating tourist mecca of Bangkok, this adventure will see your tastebuds tingle...

Southern Africa Encompassed

from £1461

When it comes to raw, in-your-face wildness, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are incredible – and from the vantage of...

Ultimate China on a Shoestring – Hong Kong to Hong Kong

from £1750

Ancient villages or bustling metropolises – what will you see while in China? We made sure this 28-day tour included...

Classic South India

from £1660

Travel to India and embark on this classic southern Indian journey from Chennai to Kovalam through Kerala. Discover a thousand...

Classic Cambodia & Vietnam

from £2261

From Vietnam to Cambodia, discover incredible diversity, delectable cuisines, dramatic histories and natural beauty. Travel to Cambodia and delve into...

Safari to Kilimanjaro – Machame Route

from £3895

Travel to Africa and experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Active trip for those...

Croatia: Hike, Bike & Kayak

from £1060

Croatia is home to some of the most beautiful national parks, waterfalls and rock features in Europe, and this active...

Central Cuba Adventure

from £729

Enjoy the sights and sounds of central Cuba on this week-long adventure to some of the famous sites that have...

Galápagos Central Islands & Inca Discovery

from £2659

From the unique wildlife of the Galápagos to the towering peaks of Peru, discover two of South America's iconic highlights...

Red Centre Adventure ex Yulara (Original)

from £518

The remote town of Yulara is a convenient start point for visitors setting off to the explore the sensational range...

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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