There are no age limits, however, the minimum recommended age is 18 for working and travelling in the third world countries. We do offer a few projects where volunteers under 18 years old can join, as long as they have parental consent. Some organisations do, however, require volunteers to be 20 years old or over. The maximum age range is generally up to 75 years old, depending on the project, but again there are some exceptions when the maximum age is 45 years old for outdoor/basic camping/wilderness type programmes. Its always best to enquire if you have any questions about age limits when are wanting to apply for a programme.
If you are motivated and willing to work as a self-funded volunteer, there are a wide variety of projects that you can join where you don't need any specific qualifications or skills. Training and orientation is often provided on arrival at a project as well, and you learn "on the job". Volunteering enables you to gain hands-on practical experience in the field and to learn new skills. Some organisations require special qualifications; particularly for teaching, healthcare & research projects. Qualifications are generally a must for paid work abroad, if you are a doctor, engineer or TEFL teacher, for example.
Whether you can volunteer abroad with your family varies depending on the specific project in question & it's needs at the time. For more information on family volunteering abroad please click here.
The organisations and projects in our online database are looking for volunteers themselves, therefore, we do not place you (except on our own projects). You are responsible for contacting and applying to organisations yourself. Each organisation on the database can be reached using the contact form on their project page.
Yes, volunteers pay for their own transportation such as airline tickets. Most organisations provide you with ground transportation to and from the work stations and/or airport pickup and drop off, unless the project is located far from the airport, in which case you may need to travel to the meeting point, and this will be at your own cost.
Voluntary work is not necessarily unpaid work. Some organisations do give stipends, salaries, full room & board etc. However, to receive a salary, you typically must have a specific qualification, such as being a doctor, nurse, qualified teacher, engineer etc, with at least two years relevant work experience in that field. Salaries are only allowances which are based on the local cost of living, and your living expenses. With these organisations, volunteers are typically expected to give a longer term minimum commitment. Along with a monthly allowance, travel expenses and insurance costs are typically also paid for. Please note though, the competition is very high for places on paid placements and applications are very lengthy. However, for the majority of other organisations on our volunteer database which are usually non-profit organisations, NGOs, charities or foundations, they are not in the position to pay for volunteers, and therefore request volunteers to be self-funded.
Most organisations provide you with room & board when you join a project as a volunteer, however, this can be very costly for them, and in most cases volunteers have to contribute towards these costs in the form of a programme fee. Volunteering does require an investment and a sacrifice of time and money on behalf of the volunteer. However, in return, you will receive practical experience in the field, which is invaluable for career and personal development, and in addition, you will be supporting a local non profit organisation in the field to achieve their goals and aims. Programme fees are generally broken down to cover food, lodging, airport pickup/drop off, project materials, training and administrative costs for the organisation.
This is a general list that you can use as a reference only.
- Malaria prophylaxis - chloroquine/mefloquine (if going to a specific Malarial area)
- ORS - Oral Rehydration Salts
- Mosquito repellants, coils and creams
- Sun Creams
- Disinfectant and dressing to treat wounds and injuries
- Diarrhoea pills and constipation pills, laxatives
- Nausea pills, stomach regulators
- Disposable syringes and needles
- Pain killers
- Water purifier
- Powder for bed lice
- Vitamins (Multi)
- Throat Sweets
Other useful items:
- Swiss Army Knife
- Pillow case, duvet bed Sheet
- Mosquito Net
- Sun hat
- Water pump