Updated for 2023
Are you seeking a meaningful volunteer experience that extends to your family? Are you a member of a club, school group, or team that’s interested in participating in a worthwhile project together? If so, be assured that there are tons of volunteer abroad opportunities available for you and your family and friends all around the world!
If you haven’t considered taking your family on a volunteer trip, now is a great time to get started. You will spend quality time with your loved ones, strengthen family bonds through shared experiences, encourage young ones to take on leadership opportunities, and share a passion for community improvement and empowerment. Plus, volunteering in a new community gives children the opportunity to grow emotionally, learn new skills, explore a new place, and make new friends while developing a greater sense of empathy.
If you’re a leader of a group in your community or school or a member of one that would like to broaden your horizons, consider suggesting a volunteer abroad experience for the same reasons. Group volunteering allows people to step outside a routine, challenge themselves mentally and physically, and share skills and compassion together.
Interested? Here’s a sampling of just a few family-friendly and group overseas volunteer opportunities!
African Impact is an award-winning, responsible travel organization that offers volunteer and internship opportunities in 7 countries across Africa. It was founded in 2004 and has since hosted over 35,000 volunteers. African Impact has over 20 different projects, ranging from teaching in Zambia to marine conservation in Zanzibar. The organization is known for its long-term objectives and measurable change. It is also recognized as a trusted specialist on volunteering and interning in Southern Africa. African Impact offers internships, as well as group, family, and high school projects.
Family Volunteer Program
If you’re looking for a wonderful and unique family vacation abroad, check out African Impact’s family volunteer trips! Through this program, African Impact will work with you to develop an itinerary that incorporates community service, education, and adventure for a family vacation that you’ll never forget. With trips to South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, you can choose to focus on either community support or wildlife conservation. During your free time, you’ll be able to go on a river cruise, watch whales as they migrate, go on a picnic on the beach, swim in hot springs, shop at local markets, and much more. Learn more and sign up here!
High School Group Volunteering
Designed for student groups aged 14 to 18, African Impact’s high school volunteer program brings you on a safe and fun service adventure to South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Tanzania to take on wildlife conservation or community support projects. Trips are customized to your group and are a great way to earn community service credit. Depending on where you travel, you’ll also be able to go on a safari, take local cultural trips, go bungee jumping, and much more. Learn more and sign up here!
International Volunteer HQ
One of the most popular volunteer abroad providers in the world, International Volunteer HQ offers safe and affordable placements for individuals, families, and groups on programs worldwide. Projects can include wildlife and animal care, environment, construction and renovation, arts and music, sports, and lots more.
Guatemala: Volunteer Program
IVHQ offers a number of family-friendly programs in Guatemala, including construction and renovation, eco-agriculture conservation in a coffee farming community, and more. Usually, there are between 20 and 50 volunteers engaging in this program each month, so this is a perfect group opportunity. Volunteer programs last one to 24 weeks and start from $299. Click here to learn more.
Ecuador: Volunteer Program
IVHQ also offers a variety of family- and group-friendly programs in Ecuador, including kindergarten support, general school support, administrative support, street children work, and English teaching. Usually, there are 10 to 20 volunteers on site each month, and programs start from $270 for one week. Click here to learn more.
What Volunteers Say
The best program to have done my first IVHQ experience with! The partner organization, TVE, was very organized and employs some of the nicest staff members and volunteers I’ve had the good fortune to work with. Accommodations were well managed and they were very helpful in choosing and helping you reach the volunteer placement. Tanzania itself was so wildly different from anything I’ve experienced before, but what better way to learn and grow?! I loved every moment and am already planning my return trip. Be warned, if ever you travel to Tanzania, it will steal your heart and have you coming back as often as you can.
Travel abroad and enjoy meaningful experiences with a friend, a partner, or as part of a group with Agape Volunteers. Founded in 2011, this organization operates in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa, offering humanitarian volunteer programs in teaching, medical and health care, HIV counseling, sports and music coaching, and environmental conservation. Agape Volunteers is a registered UK charity, and is incredibly affordable, with program fees covering support, orientation, housing, food, airport transfers, and even travel insurance and excursions.
Volunteer in Kenya
Travel with your own team and teach the children of Kenya the value of camaraderie when you coach sports with Agape Volunteers! It’s easy to create a travel opportunity that’s perfect for you and your teammates even if you’re under 18 – soccer is immensely popular in this region, and being part of a team that plays well can foster a sense of family and identity. In addition to coaching sports, you can assist the PE teacher with school studies and physical education. After school, join the players on community leagues and be positive role models. There’s plenty to do in Kenya during weekends and free time, from safaris, hiking trips through national parks, and visiting beaches of the Indian Ocean. Program fees start at £590 for one week. Contact an Agape advisor today!
Volunteer in Ghana
Share this amazing opportunity to teach music in Ghana with your band or chorus group, and plan your own group trip overseas! This remarkable program through Agape Volunteers supports children who would normally not be provided music education at all. As music volunteers, your group can work one-on-one with children and residents at JayNi, a unique music school. Support established musicians at the school, helping them to plan and run music classes for students of all ages and work with full-time instructors in order to make use of resources available. Small classes focus on basic keyboarding, singing, and music theory. Stay for one week or longer, with fees starting at £510. Get in touch with Agape to discuss the details.
Volunteer in Tanzania
If you’re studying education and are looking for a student-teaching opportunity, enlist your classmates and volunteer with schoolchildren in Tanzania. This project allows you to gain hands-on experience in the classroom, working each day with eager students who want to learn English and help them improve their language skills. Stay at Maisha Cottage, a lovely guesthouse near the center of Arusha. On weekends, plan a group safari to the Serengeti or an excursion to the Moshi Waterfalls and Chemka Hot Springs. Stay one week or longer in Tanzania, with program fees starting at £695. Click here to read more.
For more than 20 years, Cross-Cultural Solutions has provided international internships, gap year experiences, volunteer trips, and high school and group volunteering programs throughout Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Tanzania, and Thailand. Group volunteer programs offered by CCS are perfect for middle and high school, college groups, community volunteer clubs, corporate groups, and families. To date, nearly 35,000 volunteers have trusted Cross-Cultural Solutions (with a 99% approval rating from past participants), which has some of the highest standards of safety and well-being in its industry. And as an organization dedicated to quality programming, CCS received Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 2003, has received GreatNonprofits’ top award for the third year in a row, and is accredited by the American Gap Year Association.
Volunteer in Ghana
One of Cross-Cultural Solutions’ many different family-friendly and group-friendly volunteer opportunities invites you to the Volta region of Ghana, where you can help with important initiatives focusing on child development, global health, and girls’ and women’s empowerment. Outside of volunteering, you can embark on cultural activities such as a tour of Ho, learning to speak Ewe, joining a dance circle, swimming in the Wli Waterfall, and much more. Learn more and sign up here!
Volunteer in India
Another wonderful volunteer trip that your family or group can sign up for with Cross-Cultural Solutions brings you to either New Delhi or Dharamsala, India. In New Delhi, you will be able to work with programs that aim to end the cycle of urban poverty by caring for children, educating girls and women, and providing healthcare services. In Dharamsala, you will have the chance to volunteer with social service programs that support children in daycare, promote oral hygiene in schools, and other important initiatives. Depending on where you travel, you will be able to visit the Taj Mahal, go on a scavenger hunt, ride an elephant, cook tandoori cuisine, and take on a wide variety of other cultural and educational activities.
Volunteer in Morocco
Another wonderful volunteer experience that’s perfect for a family or group is Cross-Cultural Solutions’ Morocco trip, where you can volunteer for child development, global health, or girls’ and women’s empowerment. During your trip, you will tour the city of Rabat, visit the ruins of Chellah, take Arabic language lessons, learn about Islamic history, and more. Click here to learn more and to sign up!
With placements in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, Maximo Nivel offers a variety of programs for families and groups, including volunteer programs in childcare, conservation, and more, plus TEFL/TESOL Certification.
Wildlife and Conservation Volunteering
With placement in three of the most bio-diverse countries in the world, this program invites volunteers to assist with turtle conservation, animal care, reforestation, environmental education and cleanup, and organic farming. This program starts from one week at $585 per volunteer. If completing 100 or more hours on this project, volunteers may receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Click to learn more.
What Volunteers Say
I went to Cusco, Peru on a one-way ticket back in 2009 and had the time of my life. Maximo was a big contributor to my positive experience. I volunteered with underprivileged kids and helped paint a battered women’s shelter. I also took inexpensive Spanish lessons with them. The accommodation they provided was great (I recommend Arcopata Family House). I lived with fellow participants of the program in a house and was provided really good meals. When I got sick, they had a doctor come to the house to check on me and give me medicine too. After volunteering, I became TEFL certified with them during a 4-week course. All in all, I was very impressed, and I would recommend them to anyone. The experience changed my life.
When looking for family and group volunteer abroad projects, you’ll quickly discover that there are a lot of programs and organizations to research. Instead of doing all that work on your own, use Volunteer Forever’s new booking platform, Abroadly. Simply search based on interests and budget!
All organizations and programs listed on Abroady have been carefully vetted by Volunteer Forever for quality and safety. So, when you find a program you like, go ahead and apply. If your group isn’t accepted, the application fee will be refunded.
You get access to Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform when you apply on Abroadly, in addition to the chance to win a $500 scholarship. Why wait any longer? Begin your search for group and family volunteer abroad projects today.
Volunteer at a Community Project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Volunteer with a nonprofit organization on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Supported by Khaya Volunteer Projects, the main goal of the project is to build hope in a community where HIV/AIDS is rampant. There are many ways you can help, including caring for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis patients at a clinic, teaching women sewing skills, providing childcare, working at a community garden, and distributing food at the Missionvale Care Centre. When you have free time, explore the Eastern Cape, go on a safari, hike, and more with your family or friends.
All volunteers must be at least 15 years old. The program fee starts at $390 for one week, with stays up to six weeks available. Find out more and apply here!
Two-Week Volunteer Abroad Trip to Goa, India
Volunteer in the beautiful Goa region, where Bamba Experience currently supports six projects. Your choices are women’s empowerment, childcare, teaching, medical and nursing, construction and renovation, and working at a school for people with mental and developmental disabilities. This is a very rewarding program where you’ll also have time to learn about local culture. You’ll stay at a volunteer house near Colva Beach, which makes having fun with family and friends during a free time convenient.
The program fee costs $1,119 for two weeks. Find out more and apply here!
Volunteer with Elephants at a Sanctuary in Surin, Thailand
Volunteer in Surin, a region known for its ethical elephant tourism projects (no rides or circus acts here!). Country Roads’ Elephant Freedom Project in Thailand gives you the amazing opportunity to assist mahouts in caring for elephants. Your main duties will include reforesting elephant areas, building shelters, walking elephants to watering holes, planting grass and sugarcane, and cutting bamboo to feed the elephants. You can also teach English to the mahouts’ children. This is truly an incredible chance to encounter elephants up close and enable them to live happy, healthy lives in their natural environment.
Does this sound like an exciting volunteer trip for you and your family or friends? The program costs $499 for one week. Find out more and apply here!
Volunteer for Construction and Renovation in Costa Rica
Volunteer to build houses, schools, and other infrastructure in San Ramon. Offered by INLEXCA, you’ll be tasked with designing work plans, building foundations for homes, flattening terrain, building furniture, and painting. This is all in an effort to lessen the cost of building a home and other buildings for low-income families and their community. During free time, take Spanish classes, walk around downtown, and explore the surrounding natural beauty with your group.
You must know basic skills such as drilling and hammering and be able to work in the sun for a few hours each day. The program fee costs $1,449 for four weeks, with stays up to eight weeks available. Find out more and apply here!
Since 2006, GoEco has offered high-quality volunteer projects focused on community development, education, healthcare, environmental conservation, wildlife protection, and other initiatives. Created by experienced volunteers, GoEco is known for their affordable, impactful programs. In 2015, they were recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by GoAbroad. For family and group volunteer projects, you have plenty of wonderful options when you choose GoEco.
For instance, if you and your family or friends are animal lovers, you could rescue sea turtles in Bali or work at an animal shelter in Israel. Or, if you want to help children in need, you may wish to teach at a school in Zambia or participate in a slums outreach project in India. Want to learn about more great GoEco programs for volunteer groups? Read about the projects below.
China: Giant Panda Center Project
This is a great volunteer vacation for a family or group of friends or classmates. Not only are pandas captivating creatures that everyone should see in person, but you can also contribute directly to conservation efforts through your work at the panda sanctuary. Tasks including preparing food, chopping bamboo, cleaning enclosures, and assisting with observation and research. The goal is to ensure pandas are healthy and safe, and that their habitats are protected.
The panda sanctuary is close to Chengdu, a bustling city known for its teahouses, spicy Sichuan cuisine (try the hotpot), and ancient cultural sites, like Jinsha Museum. If this project sounds exciting, register here. The project costs $1,250 for one week.
South Africa: Cape Town Community Projects
Take family or friends to Cape Town, where you can work on community projects that aim to empower local communities. You get to choose between a settlement project and a school project. The settlement project consists of helping disadvantaged families by teaching children at Educare centers, organizing community activities, assisting with gardening, and raising awareness about health issues, such as HIV/AIDS. The school project consists of teaching children English, computer skills, and sports.
When you’re not volunteering, explore Cape Town and notable sites like Robben Island Museum, Boulders Beach, and Table Mountain. Already calling your family or friends? Sign up here first! Fees begin from $990 for two weeks.
Thailand – Elephant Forest Refuge
On this program, you will travel to the Surin province of Thailand to volunteer at a sanctuary that supports elephants, preserves their safety and well-being, and prevents their sale to street hawkers for photo opportunities or performances. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to feed, bathe, walk, and train elephants, plus help with small community projects such as paper-making, cutting elephant grass, working in a rice paddy, repairing buildings in the village, and cooking and cleaning at your homestay. This program is perfect for families, as babysitting service is available!
Indonesia – Bali Sea Turtle Rescue
Join GoEco on the beautiful island of Nusa Penida, just off the coast of Bali! Work hands-on with injured sea turtles and release the rehabilitated back into their ocean home. Another aspect of this program is educating the local community about the importance of sea turtle conservation. Whether it’s hatching or nesting season, there are always sea turtles in need of your caring hands at this rescue center!
Naturally Africa Volunteers
With placements in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Namibia, and South Africa, Naturally Africa Volunteers offers a large number of volunteer programs for families, groups, and individuals. Projects range from teaching to sports, to wildlife conservation and beyond.
Kenya: Community Outreach
Open to group volunteers, this program provides immediate and vital assistance—particularly focusing on nutrition and living standards—for 500 families throughout eight project areas in Kenya. Volunteers work with child-headed households to teach computer literacy, reproductive health, sustainable agriculture, and more. This program lasts four to 12 weeks and starts at $758 per volunteer. Click here to learn more.
Tanzania: Street Kids Sports Volunteer Project
In this program, volunteers coach football alongside local coaches to street children and vulnerable children in local schools. Volunteer groups—especially athletic groups—are welcome in this program, which starts from four weeks. During their free time, volunteers can visit Lake Victoria and embark on safaris. Click here to learn more.
What Volunteers Say
“My time in Malawi was amazing. Meg, Sam and Aug were the main reason. They provided a balanced view on how to go about my role as a volunteer. I cannot describe how inspired I was by the whole trip and the staff at the cottage. The structure of the project was brilliant. You can clearly see the priorities. Keeping a good relationship with the village population and the elders was their main focus. Providing amazing support to the wound clinics, HIV support groups, nursery and home based care groups was incredible. I am very lucky I was part of the development of the different village I visited. At the weekends I got to experience other parts of Malawi. Like the landscape and culture outside the village. I wish I could have stayed for longer. I hope to return to Malawi in the near future.”
A Broader View Volunteer Corps
A Broader View Volunteers invites families, groups, and individuals to volunteer with programs throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia on programs ranging from daycare, to community development, to teaching, and more. Volunteers can choose their own start dates, and as A Broader View Volunteers is a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status, all program fees are tax-deductible.
Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Project
This program lasts two to six weeks and is perfect for groups—volunteer work includes monitoring and registering nesting patterns, keeping records of eggs laid and hatched, moving eggs to hatcheries, and more. This program starts from $1,300, and placement is available on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Click here to learn more.
Zambia: Human Youth Advocacy Program
Based in Lusaka, volunteers work with a local NGO established to address injustices faced by youth, including human rights issues, abuse, and incarceration. Volunteers may assist with vocational training, advocacy workshops, funding proposals, and more. This program lasts one to eight weeks and starts from $820. Volunteers between 12 and 17 must travel with a parent. Click here to learn more about this project.
What Volunteers Say
I loved every single moment of my trip from meeting my host family and the children to being able to witness a funeral, learn the language and about the culture. I felt truly at home in Kpando and I hope to have a chance to go back in the future to visit. If I had a question I usually asked locals I became friends with. When packing skirts and dresses are advisable as well as items that cover your thighs and bra straps. Also items that dry quickly are easier to wash. Pretty much every moment of my trip was my favorite but overall being a part of the community and the best host family I could have asked for as well as participating in the lives of 31 of the most special children I have ever met.
With more than 100,000 volunteers placed overseas since 1992, Projects Abroad has become one of the largest volunteer travel organizations in the world. With programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Projects Abroad offers opportunities for volunteers in construction, archaeology, conservation, teaching, and more, for individuals, groups, and families.
Volunteering abroad can be even more rewarding if done with family, friends, or teammates. You can share your volunteer experience with those you love or build relationships in a team environment.
Volunteering as a Family with Projects Abroad
Families who want to experience volunteering are welcome at Projects Abroad. No matter what generations are represented, all can participate in this life-changing event. Serving those in need as an effective way to strengthen relationships and grow closer to one another. As a parent, introducing your children to volunteering will open their eyes to real-world issues, and developing characteristics like empathy and generosity. Projects Abroad can tailor a trip to suit your family’s specific interests. For example, you can help teach at a school in the morning, and coach sport or build a playground at the school in the afternoon. Let the team know, and they will curate the perfect volunteer experience for you!
Another great reason to volunteer as a family? Each member will qualify for a 5% discount on the normal project fee. Visit the organization’s website to read all the details.
Volunteer as a Group or Team
Projects Abroad also tailors international volunteer programs for groups. Making an impact together builds bonds and strengthens any team unit. The organization can customize a trip to suit your specific group objectives, like:
- Team building
- Leadership development
- Working in a foreign setting
Projects Abroad has welcomed many types of groups in the past, including:
- Sports teams
- School societies
- College departments
- Work colleagues
- Service clubs
Contact Projects Abroad to begin your process of curating the perfect volunteer trip for your group.
What Volunteers Say
“Our work at Hope Academy made us proud of the ambition we had to enrich other people’s lives. Between the nine of us, and the two teachers that accompanied us, we had managed to repaint the entirety of the outside of the school, and the inside of most classes. To view the appreciation on every child’s face as they waved us goodbye after our assembly truly made us feel glad that we had gone to them, and that we had done as much as we could.” -Jonathan, group trip to Ghana
Founded in 1984, Global Volunteers is a travel organization that places people of all ages and skill levels on volunteer programs worldwide. To date, it’s connected more than 34,000 volunteers of all ages with impactful programs ranging from teaching conversational English, math, science, and computer literacy; to building, repairing, and painting community facilities; providing health, hygiene, nutrition, and infectious disease education; establishing school and household gardens; and caring for at-risk children. Its sustainable programs are developed through community-based partnerships and available in 16 countries. Global Volunteers was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 1999 and has partnered with UNICEF since 2008.
Whether you’re on a family vacation, with friends, or part of a high school, university, or corporate group, Global Volunteers makes it easy for people to travel together, offering discounts to companions, families, groups, students, and encore volunteers. Families love working together on a meaningful project, and say it’s a quality time in the best sense of the phrase. Since volunteering with the organization is a group activity, it makes sense to bring your own. Another reason to travel with others is that your program contribution, airfare, and visa expenses are tax-deductible if you’re a U.S. citizen.
Programs last from one to three weeks and fees range from $1,095 to $3,595. Your contribution includes the cost of comfortable lodging, all meals, daily bottled water, airport transfers, and transportation within the country and to your placement. While on your service project, an experienced team leader will provide you with orientation, and 24/7 support. Global Volunteers also helps you with fundraising all, or a portion, of your travel expenses with its online fundraising tool. Check to see if your employer participates through a matching gift program.
Global Volunteers in Romania
If you’re a fan of gothic literature, you’ll love the idea of traveling to Romania, home of Transylvania, and ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. It’s also known for the clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend and Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name. Romania promises a new experience every day when you combine volunteering on an impactful project with sightseeing the color, music, art, and flavor of the Romanian culture. Choose to work on a childcare project in Barlad, helping the nursing staff and attending the needs of children living in a municipal hospital’s daily ward. No experience is needed to share your love and kindness, and to create a stimulating environment, offer physical and psychosocial support, and comfort. If you are an experienced healthcare provider, you can help in the areas of physical therapy, screenings, and non-invasive exams. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and child development professionals are needed to work with disabled children in the “sensory room.”
You also can volunteer to teach conversational English in Romanian schools, helping the English teachers as you work one-on-one or engaging small groups of students in games and diverse interactive activities that improve pronunciation and phrases. A typical day will find you creating your own lesson plans from standard curriculum texts and Global Volunteers’ Conversational English Teaching Guide.
Another project gives you the opportunity to perform hands-on work, helping with the repair and maintenance of hospital rooms, with tasks from painting, repairing, laying vinyl flooring, plastering, and decorating. Your efforts go a long way to brighten the daily lives of children recovering in the hospital.
On days off, go sightseeing. With its preserved medieval towns, and fortified churches and castles, Romania is a delight for tourists who want to see historic Europe. Contribution fees start at $2,450 for one week. Read more and apply here.
Global Volunteers in Cuba
One of the best ways to experience Cuba is as a volunteer, building bridges to friendship through a Global Volunteers placement. Choose from two placements in either Havana or Ciego de Avila. Work on projects such as teaching conversational English, working in a craft co-op, performing light labor, assisting with meal assistance and senior care, or helping with a community garden.
If you’re interested in teaching English, you can work with teens and adults who want to improve their proficiency and fluency, meeting in small groups to practice. Or, work alongside Cuban women in a cooperative that focuses on sewing and knitting baby clothes, aprons, crafts and more to sell. Bring fabric, thread, buttons, and needles with you to contribute to this project, since these items are hard to purchase on the island.
Resources are scarce in Cuba because of embargo restrictions, so you can help with a repair and maintenance project that improves the aging buildings and equipment. Lend a hand with your skills in scraping, painting, sanding, and providing plumbing, carpentry, and electrical assistance. If you have a green thumb, sink your hands in the rich, volcanic soil of Cuba and help to grow fruits and vegetables in a community garden that helps to feed preschools, seniors at local centers, and to sell as markets.
Another project will have you assisting with a noontime meal program for seniors, helping to peel and cut vegetables, pick rice, and assist with meal preparation, serving, and clean up. Continue your support for seniors with an elder care program at churches, entertaining and engaging people by conversing in English, playing games, offering physical therapy, and engaging seniors in other ways as needed.
While in Cuba, consider a people-to-people activity offered by Global Volunteers in Cuba. These are additional costs and heighten your cultural understanding of the country through Salsa dance lessons, professional theater, guided tours of museums, afternoons spent listening to poetry and jazz, and visiting the shops and stalls of artisans. Take Spanish lessons, and even visit Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba! From markets to lectures to workshops and more, these activities are amazing adventures that will help you cement your budding new friendship with Cuba. Service contribution fees began at $2,995 for one week. Click here to learn more and to register.
Global Volunteers in Tanzania
Every day is a new adventure when you help the children of Tanzania to reach their full potential on a service project with Global Volunteers in Africa. Projects range from education, health care, and repair and maintenance. You can:
- Teach math, biology, chemistry, physics, and geography to secondary students
- Teach conversational English to children and adults
- Share your knowledge and skills of computer literacy with people of all ages
- Help with repair and maintenance of community buildings
- Volunteer in healthcare with a focus on maternal and child health
If you are professional with healthcare experience, join Global Volunteers’ new health clinic in Tanzania, observing and assisting the staff. The new facility includes two examination rooms, a delivery room, a four-bed maternity ward, a four-bed inpatient ward, a lab, and a pharmacy. The largest country in East Africa, Tanzania is part of the Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca for the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park. It’s also the oldest known continuously inhabited area on Earth, with fossils of humans and pre-human hominids dating back over two million years.
You’ll stay in a new comfortable guesthouse in Ipalamwa, built by Global Volunteers specifically for travelers. Meals are based on American favorites, as well as local cuisine recipes, and include fresh fruit and vegetables. Choose from one week or longer, with fees starting at $2,095. The costs include educational materials, accommodation, food, transportation to your project. Read more and apply here.
Global Vision International
Global Vision International (GVI) is an award-winning organization that provides high-quality community development and conservation programs worldwide. GVI offers a variety of placements overseas, including an academic year abroad, internships, under-18 programs, and volunteer abroad projects. They also offer family volunteer holidays, which are a perfect way to explore the world while making a positive impact on it along with your family. More than 20,000 volunteers have signed on with GVI in Africa, Asia, and beyond.
India: Volunteer and Adventure Experience
Through this under-18 program, volunteers may assist with construction projects in local villages. Tasks include building eco-toilets, performing home repairs, and renovating schools and playgrounds. Outside of the project, volunteers may see a Keralan Kathakali dance performance and take part in a cooking class. Participants can sign up for two to four weeks, with programs starting from $2,400. Click here to learn more.
Mexico: Marine Conservation Awareness
Based on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, this youth program invites volunteers to learn about marine conservation issues, assist with research, and complete PADI dive certification. This program lasts two to three weeks and starts from $3,390. Click here to learn more and to sign up.
Under-18s Alternative Spring Break Costa Rica Community Development
Another excellent group travel opportunity through GVI invites high school travelers on an alternative spring break to the Quepos community of Costa Rica. Through this amazing program, you’ll volunteer to refurbish community centers and teach English in after-school sessions, and have the opportunity to take dance classes, cooking classes, surf lessons, and side trips. Click here to learn more!
What Volunteers Say
“GVI’s construction program in Pokhara, Nepal was my first volunteer trip ever and it was something I had been wanting to do for a very long time. There were many challenges during my 3 and a half week stay, but, do you know what the hardest thing about it was? Not the candle lit cold showers because the electricity randomly goes off, nor the carrying of bucket loads of cement back and forth for my construction project. Not even the fact I had to use squattie potties when I’m a very clumsy person. No, these were all challenges. Definitely challenges. But, the hardest thing… was coming home. Saying goodbye and leaving behind what now felt like a part of me. GVI and the other volunteers I lived with became my family. My home-stay family treated me like a daughter and took amazing care of each volunteer they hosted (even when there was 11 of us living there!). The projects I were on were the most amazing experiences where I got to work alongside locals and really feel like a part of the community. All in all I cannot wait to go back and see how much my projects have progressed and to say hello to all the amazing people I was so privileged to meet.”
With programs throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, Global Nomadic provides a wide range of internship opportunities and volunteer travel experiences. With a mission of helping young professionals gain experience in their desired educational or career path, Global Nomadic places participants on hands-on programs with community organizations and charities worldwide. Global Nomadic is a great opportunity for groups of students who are seeking professional intern abroad and volunteer overseas projects.
Guatemala: Sea Turtle Research Internship
Volunteers on this program are invited to work alongside scientists and biologists on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala treating and rehabilitating different sea turtle species. Other projects are available through this program as well, including community work and environmental education. The internship starts from one week, and participants may join year-round. There is a $500 placement fee, and the internship starts from $225 for the first week. Click here to learn more.
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!
Based in New Zealand, Love Volunteers helps thousands of underserved people in communities around the world. Since 2009, this organization has placed volunteers in 35 countries, in programs ranging from childcare, to construction, to sports, arts, and music, and lots more.
Costa Rica: School Renovation
Designed for volunteers that don’t have more than one to two weeks to commit, the school renovation is perfect for families and groups. Volunteers help repair and renovate one of Love Volunteers’ partner schools, play with children, and join in on sightseeing tours. Click here to learn more about this program, which starts at $400 per volunteer for one week:
Cameroon: Sports Development
Through this placement, volunteers teach sports skills to children in a community program taking place after school hours and during holidays. During weekends and off-hours, participants can travel to national parks, the zoo, beaches, and even take part in a safari. The Cameroon Sports Development program starts from two weeks at $300 per volunteer. Click here to learn more.
What Volunteers Say
I was very happy when I found Love Volunteers. Not only do they have programs all over the world, they are also economical! I took a bit of a risk when signing up to go to Zambia as there weren’t any reviews of LV volunteers there. That being said, it was the best decision ever!
I saw other programs available for Zambia at twice the price! I ran into some of the programs in Zambia and am glad I didn’t end up signing up with them. With the local NGO LV partners with you get more of cultural experience and you live in the bush! Don’t let that scare you thought, you still get a chalet with showers, toilets, nets, pillows and great cooks. Most importantly you get to know the locals, whether it be the locals whom you’ll work alongside with or the locals whose house your building or the neighbors.
The NGO also has an option for a Botswana Safari which is reasonably price considering you go to different parks, accommodations and transportation.
If you want the real Africa, go to Zambia. If you want to truly contribute to the local community, volunteer with Love Volunteers. All the money you pay (except admin fee) goes to the local NGO, which in turns buys material for volunteers, hosts you, feeds you, and employs locals!
I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. Thank you to the LV team, the NGO, and the local Zambians!
Paramedics for Children
Based in Copán, Honduras, Paramedics for Children provides medical care, education services, and disaster relief to low-income communities in Honduras and Guatemala. Volunteers are invited to assist in the organization’s clinic, help train local rescue workers, and more.
Honduras: School Supply Delivery Program
Groups and families are welcome to help the Paramedics for Children team deliver school supplies and educational materials to more than 25 rural mountain schools in Honduras. Through this program, volunteers collect and distribute supplies, and play with children at the schools. This program starts from one week at $475. Click here to learn more.
Staffed locally, Lead Adventures offers volunteer placements and adventures in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, with a focus on wildlife conservation and research as well as childcare.
Family Volunteer Program
Lead Adventures offers customizable trips for families, with programs available throughout the Amazon, the Andes, the Ecuadorian coast, and the Galapagos Islands. Families are invited to combine volunteer work—helping street children, working in animal rescue centers, volunteering in schools, and more—with adventure tours such as mountain biking, island hopping, and beyond. Click here to learn more:
With programs in Ghana, Costa Rica, and Thailand, uVolunteer offers a number of placements for individuals, groups, and families in teaching, childcare, sports education, community development, and more.
Costa Rica: Building and Construction
With 10 to 15 volunteers placed in each group, this program invites participants to help build new lives for low-income Costa Rican families by constructing and renovating homes, schools, and community buildings. This program starts from two weeks at $1,040 per volunteer.
Ghana: Sports and Physical Education
Perfect for groups and families, this program invites volunteers to help local coaches with their regular instruction through teaching, reinforcing, and improving students’ athletic skills. Volunteers also accompany teams to local tournaments and games.
What Volunteers Say
The staff is very friendly and always makes you feel welcome and comfortable. I am glad the number of volunteers was relatively small. I felt that I was able to get to know everybody very well because of this. I developed some close relationships in a very short period of time. As a Spanish major, I am very glad that I chose to volunteer abroad instead of study abroad. I felt that I was able to be immersed in the culture and utilize the language more by working at The Community Center. I learned so much about life from the staff and the children and community members that attend there. Everybody seemed so happy regardless of what their living situation was. The Costa Rican people seem to enjoy life and appreciate the simple things. All of the people that I met were so genuine and thankful. This was very inspiring to me. I am truly thankful for all of my experiences that I have had and relationships that I have made while in Costa Rica. I will never forget. I want to return in the future. I would recommend uVolunteer to anybody that is interested in helping others and would like to receive a change in perspective. Remember to keep an open mind. There are so many possibilities in life when one keeps an open mind. Thanks again!
Voluntary Projects Overseas
Within the past 10 years, Voluntary Projects Overseas has placed nearly 2,000 volunteers on programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Volunteers help with teaching, wildlife and conservation, construction, and community care, and placements are open to individuals, families, and groups.
Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Project
Based on Playa Blanca, this program invites groups and individuals to engage in in-water monitoring, including preparing boat equipment, maintaining turtle nets, assisting with field rescue, and helping out at the local rehabilitation center. This program starts from one week at $750.
Founded in 2014, Volunteering Journeys provides volunteer abroad placements in India, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Bali.
This organization’s founding story inspires the work carried out by its team and travelers every day: after quitting her job as an investment banker, founder Ridhi Patel took the time to volunteer for three months in South Africa. This life-changing experience led her to build a volunteer organization within her home country of India, where she could bring together travelers who wanted to explore new places, give back to their host communities, and learn more about themselves along the way.
Volunteering Journeys prides itself on personal attention and tailored experiences for all participants, as well as high-quality service and placements that actively engage community leaders and local professionals. There are many different opportunities for families who want to volunteer and travel together, from India to South Africa, to Nepal and Cambodia.
Family Volunteer Holiday in India
One of Volunteering Journeys’ family-friendly programs invites you to South India, where you’ll have the chance to volunteer in one of several different projects, including childcare, education, sports coaching, or school renovation. Volunteering Journeys will customize your trip to make sure that your whole family gains the most from this amazing experience. This program lasts one week, with an optional second-week extension of a North or South India tour. Learn more here.
Ready to Go?
In addition to the opportunities listed out here, there are so many amazing experiences just waiting for you and your family and friends to join in. Consider a family-friendly or group volunteer program as a way to combine two elements of your life that can mean so much to you: spending quality time with people you love, and actualizing your passion for helping others.
Children learn by doing, and they learn best by doing what you do. And as the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with! Inspire and encourage your nearest and dearest, and volunteer with them: remember, volunteering has a positive impact on those who give, as well as those who receive.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, set up your Volunteer Forever profile today and learn what you can do to pursue adventure, have fun, and make a difference! Also, if you’ve got a big heart, but little wallet, check out our list of cheap and affordable volunteer placements.
P.S. If you’re still looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out our list of best volunteer abroad programs and recommended volunteer projects in Africa, Central America, and Thailand. You can also read about 7 Great Medical and Veterinary Volunteer Abroad Projects, 10 Dental Volunteer Abroad Program and Medical Mission Tips for Pre Dental Students, and nursing volunteer abroad projects for students and nurse professionals. Or, if medical volunteer projects aren’t for you, be sure to read about our sports and coaching volunteer abroad, wildlife conservation and veterinary abroad, teach abroad, and intern abroad programs. Lastly, if you’re under 18, you may be interested in a teen volunteer abroad program from one of our many great partners.
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.