Community development volunteer programs are among the most diverse and engaging service opportunities that you can take part in worldwide–and because there are so many of them, anywhere you’d like to travel, you can be sure to find a community development volunteer project close to you.
Because this is such a broad field, there are a huge number of volunteer abroad programs that can fall under the community development umbrella. And as a result, there’s no shortage of placements for individuals, couples, families, and group travelers of all ages and backgrounds. Through community development volunteering, you’ll work alongside locals to meet a need they’ve defined to improve and strengthen their own community. A few types of volunteer abroad programs you can take on in this area include:
- Repairing houses and community centers
- Supporting a women and girls empowerment program
- Supporting communities affected by HIV/AIDS, and helping to prevent infection
- Teaching business development skills (including English, which is increasingly important to conducting business worldwide) to adult learners
Read on to learn about just a few of the many community development volunteer opportunities available to you worldwide!
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) partners with local NGOs in more than 200 destinations worldwide to provide safe, high-quality, and affordable volunteer abroad placements to travelers of all backgrounds. IVHQ’s volunteer abroad placements start from just $180 per week and are perfect for travelers who would like to volunteer for both short-term programs and longer-term stints. Since 2007, more than 80,000 volunteers have traveled with IVHQ.
One community development program IVHQ is offering right now invites you to Portugal, where you can volunteer for construction and renovation, wolf conservation, environmental scuba diving, youth support, and food rescue. Through IVHQ Portugal’s food rescue program, you’ll work with a local NGO to collect unused food from restaurants and markets to redistribute among needy families, elderly, and homeless individuals. You’ll stay with other volunteers in a dorm close to your program site, and on weekends, you’re free to visit other parts of Lisbon and its surrounding areas.
If you’d rather travel to Africa, you may be interested in IVHQ’s women’s education program in Kenya. Through this volunteer placement, you’ll work with local organizations that support women who have been affected by HIV/AIDS by providing counseling, childcare, and other services for women in need of skills training, education, and income generation. You’ll stay with a local family during your trip, and in your free time and on weekends, you’re invited to explore Nairobi, travel throughout the country, and take a safari.
To learn more about IVHQ and other community development programs you can volunteer for, visit volunteerhq.org.
What Volunteers Say
Volunteering with IVHQ and Dreams to Reality in South Africa has been the best experience of my life. The staff was incredibly helpful and fun to be around.I worked in the childcare project and loved every minute of it. Working with the children was challenging but seeing their smiling faces every day and the progress they made throughout my stay was extremely rewarding. I have made life long friends here and I cannot wait to come back and see the kids again.
My advice is to stay as long as you possibly can, and to bring warm clothes for the evenings if you’re here in the winter.
There are countless things to do around Cape Town, so you will never be bored, and everything is so beautiful!
I would recommend this program to everyone!
Plan My Gap Year
With volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, Plan My Gap Year offers many different opportunities to make a difference in communities in need. All of their programs are personally vetted by PMGY staff to make sure they’re transparent, safe, and a great match for their volunteers – and with recognition such as the Shell LiveWire Grand Idea Award, Thailand Green Excellence Award, and Special Recognition from the United Nations in Sri Lanka, Plan My Gap Year is a wonderful way to explore the world and immerse yourself in a new culture.
Through PMGY’s women empowerment volunteering program in India, you will have the amazing opportunity to teach computer skills, English, and vocational training to young women in Faridabad. Through several different school and community programs, you will be able to help young women improve their literacy skills, find employment, and build bright futures for themselves and for their families. Click here to learn more!
Another wonderful community development volunteer opportunity brings you to Ambalangoda, southern Sri Lanka, where you will be able to help with a variety of projects to improve community buildings, schools, hospitals, and even Buddhist temples. As part of this project, you also will have the opportunity to teach English and provide support through PMGY’s community programs, allowing for a well-rounded and impactful experience in the beautiful Southeast Asian nation of Sri Lanka. Learn more and sign up here!
Another way that you can get involved with community development volunteering is through Plan My Gap Year’s Vietnam NGO placement, where you’ll work with an organization tackling issues in health and human rights. While your role will depend on the needs of the organization as well as your background and skills, a few ways you can help include content writing, website and promotional materials design, English teaching, fundraising, report editing, research, and much more. Click here to learn more!
If you have a special interest in caring for children with special needs, take a look at Plan My Gap Year’s Disabled Children’s program in India. Barriers for children with disabilities exist inside and outside of school: they are five times more likely to be out of school than non-disabled children, and those who do attend rarely graduate beyond the primary level. Founded in 2013 by a former Gap Year volunteer, the small Isabella School where you will volunteer provides support to a handful of children with limited access to educational resources. With one teacher at the facility, this program thrives on volunteer assistance. Fees for this program begin at $330 for a two-week stay.
Another program with Plan My Gap Year brings you to Ghana. One-fifth of the population of Ghana live with a disability, and approximately 100,000 Ghanaian children are disabled. The majority of disabled children don’t attend school, and are left at home alone, marginalized and even shunned. Plan My Gap Year partners with a local facility in Kumasi to provide educational resources and support. Volunteers are needed to spend one-on-one time with disabled children, assisting in areas such as basic education and life skills classes, as well as physical exercise and speech and physical therapy. It’s a challenging role, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Bring your enthusiasm and a generous spirit, as these children need your help with feeding, washing, and cleaning, and will greatly benefit from your friendship and support. The cost of this program is $375 for two weeks.
Maximo Nivel offers volunteer abroad, intern abroad, and teach abroad programs in Latin America for travelers that would like to truly immerse themselves in the culture of the communities they visit. Maximo Nivel works in partnership with local organizations to provide quality, engaging placements for their volunteers – and their programs are extremely affordable, starting from just $595 for your first week on site.
One community development opportunity you can sign up for right now with Maximo Nivel invites you to work with indigenous communities in Peru. For one week or longer, you’ll live with a family in a rural Andean area outside of Cusco, where you’ll care for animals and livestock, help with agricultural and construction projects, and teach at a local school. The types of work you’ll do may depend on the time of year and your background and abilities.
For travelers looking for the perfect intern abroad opportunity, Maximo Nivel offers a number of community development internships in Latin America. Business majors may be interested in the micro-business internship in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru. Throughout this internship, you’ll improve your Spanish language skills while working with a small company in marketing, sales, client services, or accounting. You also may assist with translating, staff training, client communications, and more. Intermediate Spanish language background is helpful, though Maximo Nivel offers online courses for applicants that need to build their skills before traveling.
Another community development volunteering opportunity you can sign up for right now with Maximo Nivel invites you to build or repair homes, add classrooms to schools, or make improvements to orphanages in Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru. Through this program, you’ll take on lots of construction activities alongside other volunteers and a local foreman, including digging, moving dirt, mixing cement, carrying bricks, painting, plastering, and much more. This volunteer project lasts one week or longer, and while you don’t need Spanish language skills to sign up, you should be fit and able to take on physically demanding work at your project site.
Learn more about Maximo Nivel’s community development programs at http://maximonivel.com
What Volunteers Say
I expected to come abroad and have an incredible experience teaching English this summer, but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this please, and the people with whom I am working could touch my heart the way that they have. My biggest fears about coming were my host family, and a lack of support system while in a foreign country, and now that I am here, I can’t believe I was ever concerned. After six short weeks, my Costa Rican family already feels like my own family, and not only do I feel supported by the Maximo Nivel staff, but I also feel loved, and known, which is more than I could’ve ever asked for.As per my project, I am not going to lie, it isn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting to be in a classroom with a bunch of screaming children who would rather do just about anything than listen to me speak English. Instead, I am not only helping teach, but also learning from two of the most special groups of people I’ve yet to encounter. I’m getting to not only watch them struggle through conjugations and exams, but also getting to watch them anticipate the births of their first children, being welcomed into their homes, and building friendships that will leave hold a permanent place in my heart.
It’s amazing how when we have no expectations at all, life can totally take us by surprise, and that is the best way I can describe my experience with Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica. I am love with this country, these people, their language and Maximo and would recommend it absolutely anyone. Best of luck!
If you’d like to volunteer in Africa, Agape Volunteers may have the perfect placements for you. Programs start from £510, with volunteer opportunities in Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya, and you can choose from programs supporting wildlife, caring for children, teaching in schools, and more.
One community development volunteer opportunity where you can make a difference is by supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS is Maasai-land. Through this program, you’ll work both in a clinic and throughout the community to administer HIV tests, counsel those infected, educate people within the community, and make home visits. During your stay, you’ll live with other volunteers in homes close to your placement, and on weekends and during free time, you can help with additional volunteer programs, visit Nairobi, go to the beach, or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
To learn more and sign up for a volunteer project with Agape Volunteers, visit: http://www.agape-volunteers.com/
What Volunteers Say
“Although I don’t think it is possible to capture in words my time in South Africa, here is a little something! My 3 weeks in South Africa were full of life changing and one-off life experiences and opportunities. Here’s a few of my favourites – elephant monitoring, walking through the bush, teaching children at a local school, enjoying the beauty of Sodwana Bay, hiking around False Bay, standing six metres from a rhino, helping to capture Mountain Reedbuck, touching an elephant’s tongue, watching a leopard lie down in front of me, stroking a cheetah, tracking leopard movement around the lodge, doing static counts, watching the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.I had an amazing 3 weeks in South Africa through a programme that offered me the chance to truly experience life in South Africa. My time in this wonderful country allowed me to develop the knowledge, skills, memories and a ‘feeling’ that could not have been gained in any other way. For that, I am genuinely thankful to Elton and Melissa for helping me live this experience for the 3 weeks! Thank you so much. And I think it’s safe to say, I’ve caught the ‘feeling’ and I will be back one day!”
Global Vision International (GVI)
GVI offers a wide variety of volunteer abroad programs worldwide, with more than 20,000 travelers signing up for its volunteer and intern abroad projects since the organization’s founding. Volunteer programs you can sign up for range from conservation, to teaching, to sports coaching, to children’s programs, and more.
If you’re up for a more physically demanding volunteer program, check out GVI’s construction placements in Fiji, South Africa, Thailand, Seychelles, and Costa Rica. With these programs, you’ll have the opportunity to help build developing communities’ infrastructure, including classrooms, playgrounds, community centers, sanitation areas, and more. You also can assist with renovation and painting projects for schools and centers that support children’s and women’s programs. Construction programs through GVI start from $1,600 for your first week, and you’re invited to take part in side trips offered by the organization throughout your stay.
GVI’s community development volunteer opportunities also include women’s empowerment programs in Nepal, India, and South Africa. In India, for example, you’ll volunteer with a local organization that educates and supports women and girls. Projects can include teaching in schools, hosting alternative income workshops, and more. GVI’s women’s empowerment programs start from $1,700 for your first two weeks, and you’re invited to stay for up to three months.
Click here to learn more and sign up for a volunteer program with GVI: http://www.gviusa.com
When searching for a community development volunteer abroad program, you certainly want to find a high-quality project that’s committed to making a positive impact. You probably also want to find a good program in the location of your choice. This is why you should use Abroadly, Volunteer Forever’s booking platform.
Not only have all programs on Abroadly been carefully vetted, but you can also easily search based on your preferences. Moreover, when you find a community development project you like, you can apply right away. If you don’t get in, your application fee will be fully refunded.
Worried about the cost of a community development volunteer abroad program? Abroadly helps out there too. All applicants get free access to Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform as well as the chance to win a $500 scholarship. Sound good? Start your search on Abroadly today.
Head to Missionvale Township with Khaya Volunteer Projects, and do your part to help the local community handle some of their most pressing issues, including the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis, high unemployment, and a shortage of necessities. You can volunteer in a variety of ways, from taking care of tuberculosis patients at a health clinic to assisting with food distribution at a community center. You can also help out at a primary school, daycare center, clothing warehouse, or community garden. The crafters’ unit, which is where women can develop sewing skills to find work, is another amazing part of the program.
During free time, explore Port Elizabeth, a city sitting right alongside beautiful Algoa Bay. Check out Kragga Kamma Game Park if you want to see some wild cats. Program fees start at just $390 for one week, with stays up to six weeks available. Want to learn more? Read more and apply here.
Another excellent program invites you to join SAVE on a trip to Hartbeespoort, where you’ll participate in a project that aims at caring for native animals and ensuring populations of monkeys, eagles, and other wildlife can thrive, away from dangers like poaching activities. Your daily environmental conservation responsibilities will range from caring for rescued monkeys and elephants to helping out with patrols of a nature reserve. This also helps make certain the surrounding community can develop in a safe, sustainable manner.
The town of Hartbeespoort is absolutely gorgeous, and you’ll get to stay at a volunteer house in Magaliesberg Mountain Range. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to see some of Africa’s Big 5 in their natural habitat. Program fees start at $616 for one week, with stays up to four weeks available. Want to learn more? Read more and apply here.
Since 2006, GoEco has offered affordable volunteer abroad programs and internships in over 45 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. With more than 170 different programs, including community development initiatives, GoEco is a great organization to check out if you’re looking for a variety of impactful trips to choose from, from wildlife conservation to teaching English. GoEco was recently recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and more. As a volunteer, you will have 24-hour support from the GoEco team, from start to finish.
One wonderful GoEco program is the Ho Chi Minh Community Development project in Vietnam (from $620 for one week). As you experience the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city, you’ll get to help the community build a brighter future. You can choose to teach at a kindergarten, lend a hand at a food shop, work with special needs children, or do a cultural exchange with a college student studying tourism. During free time, you can explore outdoor markets, temples, historic sites, and more. Sound like the community development program for you? Register here!
Another excellent option is GoEco’s Zanzibar Community Outreach project in Tanzania (from $1,530 for two weeks). This initiative focuses on the development of Jambiani, a group of villages in Zanzibar, which is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. One of your main tasks will be to teach English to children and adults. Additionally, you’ll work on community beautification through painting and repairs, facilitate community sports activities, and help out with environmental maintenance work (planting trees, litter pickup, etc). When you’re not volunteering, you can snorkel, hike, relax on the beach, and more. Ready to go? Apply here and start packing your bags!
Or, join an eco-friendly community in Thailand, where all buildings are made from sustainable clay! Volunteers will prepare the clay mixture, set bricks and help develop the clay community! Volunteers will also get the unique experience of staying in the village, in one of the clay houses.
Founded in 2004, African Impact provides volunteer programs and internships for travelers who want to explore the world and make a positive impact. If you’re interested in helping build stronger communities abroad, check out African Impact’s sustainable programs in South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, and beyond. This organization has won several awards and earned recognition from GoAbroad, Imvelo, and the World Travel Awards for their meaningful and measurable programs – and here are just a few of the many ways you can be a part of it!
Based in Moshi, Tanzania, this 10-day trip through African Impact will give you the chance to make a positive impact through community development and support. A few volunteer activities you will be able to help with include leading activities and learning sessions for hearing-impaired children, teaching English and literacy skills to local Maasai tribe members, helping women’s groups with income-generation programs, and much more. During your free time, you will be able to embark on a safari, summit Mount Kilimanjaro, and much more to truly experience Tanzania. Learn more and sign up here!
Another trip you can sign up for right now with African Impact brings you to Livingstone, Zambia, where you can coach sports and lead fitness programs at schools and community centers. As a volunteer, you will be able to teach physical education classes at schools, coach sports at local youth clubs, lead workshops in physical fitness, hygiene, and life skills, and much more. During your free time, you’ll be able to visit Victoria Falls, go bungee jumping, and lots of other activities. Click here to learn more and to sign up!
Here’s why Fronteering is a great organization if you’re looking for community development volunteer abroad projects: they’re committed to preserving the environment and helping indigenous communities maintain their way of life. That means they have lots of great community development programs in off-the-beaten-path locations.
What’s also convenient is the affordability of Fronteering’s community development volunteer projects. You can make a positive impact without breaking the bank.
For one idea, journey to the Rupununi Savannah with Fronteering, and help out at one of Guyana’s first eco-tourism lodges and sustainable farms. One of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the world, the Rupununi Savannah is home to Amerindian communities who seek to maintain their way of life and culture. To do that, they’re working on building self-sufficient farming and eco-tourism industries as an economical alternative to the environmentally-destructive logging and mining industries. As a Fronteering volunteer, you’ll assist with farming tasks, hospitality services, landscaping work, and other duties, depending on your experience and interests.
During free time, explore the Rupununi Savannah, a stunning natural spot, and see famous sites in Georgetown, like the Guyana National Museum. Sound like an amazing project? Fees begin at $1,495 for four weeks. You can stay for up to 12 weeks. Click here to apply!
Or travel to Accra with Fronteering, and work to improve the future prospects of Ghana’s youth. The project involves teaching children of all different ages. For younger children, you’ll teach English through songs, storytelling, and games, as well as assist with activities like arts and crafts. For older children, teens, and adults, you’ll teach English, economics, math, IT, and other subjects that are vital to success in today’s world. By helping improve the English of students and equipping them with other skills, you’re providing them with skills they can use for a lifetime. In short, your help can be tremendously beneficial in enabling the youth and the local communities where they live to build a brighter future.
When you’re not busy teaching, you can explore the city of Accra. The program also includes a two-day tour of Kakum National Park, a protected rainforest that’s home to endangered mammals like the Diana monkey and forest elephants. Sound like an amazing program? Fees begin at $1,495 for four weeks. You can stay for up to eight weeks. Click here to apply!
Projects Abroad is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world, and each year sends more than 10,000 travelers overseas on volunteer programs and internships abroad. Destinations include Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South Pacific, and you’re encouraged to stay as long as you’d like.
Projects Abroad has identified communities around the world in need of support. You can join their efforts to improve the lives of community members in different parts of the world. There are many program categories to choose from, such as childcare, building, and teaching.
Join Projects Abroad’s team in Jamaica supporting children’s educational experiences. You’ll help improve the children’s learning environment by building playgrounds at underprivileged schools so that children can learn through play. You also can provide much-needed support to women who are starting their own businesses in Tanzania. This project is based in a rural fishing village where businesses and industries are traditionally dominated by men. You’ll assist a marginalized community by helping a group of women create business plans and run their own small businesses. Or, travel to Africa and coach sports during physical education classes in Kenya. You’ll help students improve their fitness and confidence levels, and inspire them to lead healthy lives. Your support will help fill the gap at understaffed schools.
To learn more about the many volunteer and intern opportunities they provide overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s website.
i-to-i TEFL offers a number of programs to students and travelers who’d like to teach English overseas. In the past 20 years, i-to-i has trained and placed more than 155,000 teachers abroad through certification programs, internships, and career tracks. Teaching English is just one of the many ways you can help with community development overseas: from entrepreneurs selling handicrafts to tourists, to workers who’d like to conduct business internationally, the English language has become vitally important to building connections and creating a stronger community foundation over the long-term.
To learn more about i-to-i and to sign up for an opportunity to teach abroad, visit www.i-to-i.com
Naturally Africa Volunteers
Naturally Africa Volunteers is dedicated to addressing poverty throughout the African continent by advancing education, relieving sickness and promoting health, and promoting sustainable development so that people may become more self-sufficient. Volunteer projects you can take part in with Naturally Africa Volunteers include teaching, medical and healthcare, sports coaching, community outreach, and wildlife conservation. Programs start from £485 ($625 USD) for two weeks, and you can stay up to three months at your volunteer placement.
One community development program being offered right now focuses on medical care and community outreach in Lake Malawi. Through this placement, you’ll provide training to local volunteers as part of a home care program, assist with primary medical care, raise awareness of epidemic diseases in Malawi, care for and educate disadvantaged children, and help members of the community to become more self-sufficient. During your stay, you’ll live in a shared volunteer house, and on weekends you’re encouraged to visit Liwonde National Park, Cape Maclear, and the Zomba Plateau.
If you’d like to travel to Kenya, Naturally Africa Volunteers is offering a community outreach program where you’ll teach business and IT skills to disadvantaged adults, take part in discussions about AIDS awareness, attend to the sick and elderly, support impoverished families, demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices, provide families with food and clothing, visit people afflicted with HIV/AIDS, and provide care and support to orphaned children. Throughout your stay, you’ll live in a volunteer house and on weekends, you’re invited to visit natural landmarks, a local game reserve, or take part in side tours to Victoria Falls, Cape Town, and other cities.
To learn more about Naturally Africa Volunteers and to sign up for a community development program, visit: http://www.volunteerafrica.com/
What Volunteers Say
I volunteered with NAV in Nkope Village Primary School for 4 months in 2013, while on a six-month sabbatical. The experience changes your outlook and preconceived ideas, probably more so when you’re there for a longer period. The community and students get used to seeing you around for months rather than an extended holiday. Understanding the way schools work and educational priorities is an eye-opener; and believe me, you’ll learn something new yourself everyday ! (Both good and not so good.) Respect for cultural values is a must while you’re a guest in Malawi. The people showed me so much about what it really means to embrace positivity; while the children will teach you far more about enthusiasm and having the right priorities than you’ll be able to teach them! it was an honour and pleasure – Thank you NAV and Nkope and Malawi.
For more than 15 years, IDEX has provided volunteer abroad programs in Asia and has since its founding has hosted volunteers from more than 25 countries worldwide. IDEX currently offers over 45 volunteer abroad programs in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Throughout your program, you’ll stay in shared accommodations with other volunteers, and during free time, you’re encouraged to visit local markets and sites and take weekend excursions.
One community development program that you may be interested in signing up for focuses on women’s empowerment. Through this program, you will teach basic English, help women and girls become self-sufficient through learning activities and workshops, assist them with developing conversational skills, and much more to empower women and girls to become a larger part of the community in which they live, and to better care for their families. Sports coaching also is a great way to encourage community development, focusing on teamwork and communication from a young age. Through this program, you will teach different sports (including rules and regulations) to local youth, encourage and develop team spirit, and even lead sessions on how to pursue a career in sports.
To learn more and sign up for a volunteer program with IDEX, visit: http://www.idexvolunteer.com/
What Volunteers Say
I have stayed in Nepal for 4 weeks volunteering with Idex and it has truly been an amazing experience. I was extremely nervous to come so far away from home but I have met the most amazing people along the way and have created memories that i will never forget. If you ever get the chance to do something like this, dont hold back. It is so rewarding to help those who are struggling as well as having the time of your life. The support from Idex and from those I have met along the way has made my journey so much easier. I have created friends from all over the world and ones that i will keep in touch with forever.
Love Volunteers provides meaningful volunteer abroad placements in more than 30 countries worldwide, and each year sends thousands of travelers to Central and South America, Asia, Africa, The Middle East, and Europe. Love Volunteers’ international placements start at just $175 for your first week (one of the most affordable placements in the world), plus a one-time registration fee of $249. The organization also offers a number of community development projects in addition to its dozens of other program areas.
One community development program Love Volunteers is offering right now invites you to Moldova, where you’ll work with a youth group in the community of Causeni. Throughout this program, you may organize events; conduct workshops focusing on cultural diversity, human rights, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement; and assist with programs to empower youth to take steps to positive change and development within their community. During your stay, you’ll be housed with a host family, and have plenty of free time to explore the country.
If you’d like to visit South America, Love Volunteers has an opportunity to volunteer in Ecuador for community development, where you’ll work in one of 43 indigenous communities to improve the quality of life for people in them. Your placement will vary depending on your background and interests, but tasks may include administrative work, working in an apiary, assisting with hydro-technical projects, conducting environmental education outreach, assisting small businesses, and working on an organic farm. This project has a four-week minimum stay, and you’re encouraged to have a basic knowledge of Spanish before signing up.
To learn more and sign up for a volunteer program through Love Volunteers, visit: http://www.lovevolunteers.org/
What Volunteers Say
This volunteer was phenomenal. I was able to help the South African community and give to the need of the country which has truly blessed my heart. I was even able to experience the wonderful landscape while I was there which was beautiful.
A Broader View
A Broader View is a U.S. registered non-profit organization that invites travelers worldwide to volunteer with local projects throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Programs include daycare, community development, teaching, and more. Most of A Broader View’s placements start from one week and depending on the program, start from $820 for your first week.
One of A Broader View’s community development volunteer opportunities invites you to Colombia, where you’ll have the chance to work on a coffee farm in the Tequendama Region. Unfortunately, many farms are understaffed, so they depend on volunteers to help carry out daily work, which helps farmers invest later into their communities by boosting their livelihood. As a volunteer, you’ll assist with all areas of coffee production, including cleaning trails, preparing the nursery, sowing, harvesting, planting, washing, drying, and packaging. You’re also invited to take Spanish language lessons during your stay.
To learn more about A Broader View and to sign up for a volunteer program, visit: https://www.abroaderview.org
What Volunteers Say
I LOVED my experience in Peru! It was really the people in Peru, including my host family and fellow volunteers, that made my experience. We all get along so well its magical! I have had an amazing time exploring Cusco with them and learning about the public services in the city. If I could I would do it all over again and I would do it with ABV. ABVs design allowed me to personalize my experience so that I could go where and when I wanted to go and I could volunteer in a place that was perfect for me. ABV and Peru were truly magical!
Global Nomadic offers a wide variety of volunteer and intern abroad programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific, and partners with local NGOs to ensure the highest quality, effective placement possible for their travelers.
One community development program that may interest you is Global Nomadic’s career mentor opportunity in Myanmar. You’ll work at a monastery school in Nanshe, Northeast Mandalay, to share your professional skills and knowledge among students between 13 and 18 years old. Volunteers on this program have taught hairdressing, carpentry, IT, and more, and you’re encouraged to develop workshops that teach students about how to build and develop a career in practical fields. This program starts from one week at $350 per week, and you’ll both live and work in the monastery. On weekends and during free time, you’re encouraged to explore the country and learn more about its culture so that you can get the most from your volunteer abroad project.
To learn more and to sign up for a volunteer program through Global Nomadic, visit: https://globalnomadic.com
What Volunteers Say
I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful experience in Bali! The Cultural Immersion, Teaching, and Adventure Weeks surpassed my expectations. Global Nomadic and the Green Lion Bali Center made it possible for me to make lifelong friends from all over the globe and bring many incredible experiences home with me. Three weeks was almost too short. The longer your stay the better!
Since 2006, Connect-123 has offered tailor-made internships, volunteer programs, and study abroad placements in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Shanghai. Through these customized trips, you can focus on a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, human rights, social work, education, sustainable development, much more.
No matter where you go, you’ll work alongside a local organization – schools, NGOs, community groups, or hospitals – and will be provided with housing support, an orientation, weekly events and socials with fellow travelers, and emergency support from Connect-123.
One great way to get involved with community development is through Connect-123’s volunteer programs and internships in Ireland. A few ways you can volunteer include working at a youth center, teaching language classes for asylum seekers, tutoring and helping children with homework, and engaging in therapeutic activities for the elderly or disabled. If you’re more interested in an internship, Connect-123 has lots of opportunities in economic development, architecture, microfinance, business, and much more. Sign up here!
Connect-123 offers many different volunteer placements throughout Buenos Aires, Argentina, including a community service program where you can address poverty, lack of education opportunities, unemployment, lack of adequate housing, and environmental concerns. A few ways you can help include building homes, planting trees, assisting with social rehabilitation projects for underserved populations, providing food and shelter for the homeless, and playing games and supporting children who have been subjected to abuse. Learn more and register here.
Founded in 1984, Global Volunteers offers internships, volunteer trips, gap years, and TEFL and teach abroad placements in 34 countries around the world.
More than 33,000 volunteers have taken part in Global Volunteers’ impactful programs – and as one of the longest-running volunteer vacation providers worldwide, this organization was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 1999, and formalized a relationship with UNICEF in 2008. Global Volunteers also has been featured as part of Oprah’s Angel Network, which initiates and supports charitable projects making a difference worldwide. Depending on where you travel, placements with Global Volunteers start from $1,045 for your first week overseas and may be tax-deductible for volunteers in the United States.
Global Volunteers’ community development programs worldwide focus on helping at-risk children build brighter futures. Through these long-term initiatives in collaboration with community leaders and partners, volunteers can be a part of ongoing, meaningful projects that enrich children’s lives through hard work alongside local leaders, families, teachers, students, and medical professionals.
One excellent way you can help children in need to raise their potential is through Global Volunteers’ volunteer program in Romania. Through this placement, you’ll help to support children who have disabilities by creating stimulating environments, offering physical and psycho-social support, teaching English, and much more. You’ll also be able to work with middle school students in a local classroom, or even help to repair and maintain the children’s wing of a local hospital. During your free time, you can visit the countryside, attend a football game, go hiking, and embark on side trips to immerse yourself in Romania.
If you’re looking for an alternative island vacation, check out Global Volunteers’ Cook Islands volunteer program, where you’ll work alongside the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, and Education, as well as local organizations on community development projects in the South Pacific. A few of your activities can include English teaching, early childhood education, literacy and math testing, library organization, repair and maintenance, administration and finance, and much more. During your free time in the evenings and on weekends, you’ll be able to explore the island of Rarotonga, attend cultural talks and demonstrations, go kayaking or snorkeling, and enjoy this beautiful community.
Ready to Travel?
Because community development is such a diverse field, there are so many volunteer and intern abroad opportunities to choose from that will let you do great work for communities in need, regardless of your skills, background, or even how long you can travel.
From construction to business skills development, to NGO support and beyond, you’ll be sure to find an impactful community development volunteer opportunity that will let you make a difference.
Click here to get started in finding a volunteer abroad opportunity, and click here to find the perfect internship abroad. And if you’re ready to start fundraising for your volunteer or internship abroad, click here!
Sarah Vandenberg · Director of Partnerships
Sarah has worked as a researcher and consultant in the volunteer travel world since 2004. With a BA from the George Washington University and background working with both public and private sector volunteer organizations, she enjoys exploring the world and collecting and sharing stories, trends, and advice with travelers who want to volunteer, intern, or teach abroad.