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Humanitarian Projects Abroad

Make a difference to vulnerable lives

Volunteering on a humanitarian project on your gap year is one of the most worthwhile ways you can spend your travels. There are all kinds of programs all over the world, from South East Asia to Africa to South America, all in need of volunteers, meaning you can find the right placement to suit your skills, interests, and travel plans.

Broadly speaking, humanitarian projects aim to help people who are suffering the effects of environmental disasters and hardship. These projects will form part of the relief effort, working to mitigate ongoing effects, support the people affected, and put in place long term plans to ensure a brighter future. This means humanitarian projects may vary significantly in their goals, depending on the problem at hand.

Articles about volunteering overseas


AIDS and HIV relief

The AIDS and HIV epidemic remains a serious problem, especially in some areas of the African continent. A humanitarian project volunteer may work with children orphaned by the virus, go into schools or community centres to provide related education or mentoring, or helping to develop communities that have been held back by the epidemic. This can be a life-changing experience for both you and the people you will help.

Famine and poverty relief

Many areas of the world are still affected by famine and poverty, often due to a natural disaster, failed crops and poor harvests, or other ongoing issues. Volunteer on a humanitarian project abroad and you can work to fight the short term problems of famine, by helping to prepare and deliver food and water, providing sanitary conditions and preventing the spread of disease, and helping to provide medical care for those suffering related medical problems. You may also work to tackle longer-term issues and safeguard against future problems, by helping to build vital infrastructure and providing crucial education to the community. Whatever work you end up doing, you will leave a project knowing you’ve made a huge difference to vulnerable lives

Natural disaster relief

Natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and more, occur all over the world. They can be absolutely devastating to developing countries, and even countries that are able to safeguard against them can often do little against the power of nature. The result is often people left homeless without food or shelter, and conditions where disease can spread easily. Donating money to charity is a valuable way to respond, but if you are able, volunteering with a humanitarian project abroad allows you to become a crucial part of the clean-up efforts and ongoing humanitarian support.

The work you do might be manual labour, such as clearing debris and building new infrastructure, or you might work within communities to deliver food and supplies or care for vulnerable people. If you have ever watched the news during a natural disaster overseas and felt helpless, becoming a humanitarian volunteer might be right for you.

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