Volunteer Abroad for Women’s Empowerment & Girls’ Education
15 Aug 2018 · 80,147 Total reads
By Sarah Vandenberg
Director of Partnerships
If you’re ready to effect worldwide change, one of the greatest ways you can make a difference is by volunteering for women’s empowerment and girls’ education. Despite making up 50% of the world’s population, millions of women and girls around the world continue to be marginalized and regulated to an inferior standing in their communities, depriving them the ability to reach their full potential and maximize their contributions to society.
When you volunteer for a cause, do you want to see immediate change? Are you hoping to help build a house in a week, refurbish a classroom, or dig a new well for clean water? If so, then this may not be the opportunity for you.
If you’re ready to effect worldwide change that may not manifest for months – or years – then read on.
The challenge is to change centuries of oppression, one mind at a time. It starts when you acknowledge that we all need to work towards women’s empowerment and girls’ education, not just in our own communities, but on a global level. Gender inequality is an insidious problem, and it affects more than just women; it impacts their families, from one generation to the next.
Imagine that your mother and her mother could not read, could not buy healthy food, or was denied basic health care. This is something women encounter every day in developing countries – in addition to physical and sexual abuse, or even being sold into slavery. It’s difficult to imagine if you live in an affluent country, where laws and different cultural norms promise you some level of gender equality.
But women can do more to help their families and their communities, and in the process break the cycle of poverty. The solution is education. Education not only exterminates inequality, it leads to economic and social development (which you can learn much more about in our recent article on volunteering for education abroad).
How can you help? Here are a few ways that you can make a difference for girls and women worldwide:
Working with an international volunteer organization like Plan My Gap Year or Global Vision International that provides opportunities on teaching English, computer literacy, and other skills to help women and girls build better futures for themselves, and earn an income to support their family.
Since 2011, Plan My Gap Year has placed travelers on affordable volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, with projects including teaching, conservation, childcare, and much more. If you’re interested in volunteering for women’s empowerment or girls’ education, PMGY is an excellent organization to check out: all programs are vetted by their team to make sure that not only are you matched with an initiative that complements your skills and interests, but also lets you make a positive impact in the community that you serve. With recognition including 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 organization that invites you to explore the world, experience new cultures, and make a difference.
As a volunteer on Plan My Gap Year’s India women empowerment volunteering program, you’ll help to teach English, computer skills, and vocational skills to young women in Faridabad. There are several different projects that you can be a part of, all of which empower women to break the cycle of poverty, provide for their families, and build bright futures. If you have skills in cosmetology, sewing, or other activities, you’re encouraged to incorporate these into your lessons, which can be a great way for women to find jobs and work independently. Learn more and register here!
Are you interested in helping women and improving educational opportunities for young girls? Partner with NGO professionals in Vietnam as a Plan My Gap Year volunteer to design a project that you can be proud of, and gain experience in marketing and promotion at the same time! The world needs to know more about women’s empowerment, and sharing your writing and social media skills with others can result in positive change. Take time to learn about the economic, environmental, and social issues women face in Vietnam, then use the power of graphic design or web development to make a statement. Your brilliant ideas can make a difference. Program fees and duration begin at $435 for two weeks to six months.
Take your concern for women’s health to the next level, and volunteer with Plan My Gap Year’s medical program in Tanzania. If you have nursing or medical experience, it’s desperately needed for women requiring care for obstetric cases, often the result of illegal abortions. Gain firsthand experience and insight into Tanzania’s healthcare system as you work alongside qualified medical staff at the Tengeru government hospital near Arusha. Depending upon your level of experience, you can work in the areas of HIV awareness and testing, midwifery and labour ward, newborn care and immunizations, and obstetrics and gynecology. Program fees start at $540 for two weeks, and you are invited to stay for up to six months.
Founded in Peru in 2003, Maximo Nivel offers volunteer and intern abroad programs, TEFL certification, study abroad placements, and Spanish language programs in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. 25,000 travelers have taken part in Maximo Nivel’s affordable programs, which start from just $595 for one week abroad. Among the many educational and career-building opportunities provided by Maximo Nivel are internships in human rights, education, and much more to help you build better lives for girls and women in need. You also can customize your intern abroad placement to make the greatest impact and learn the most you can from your work.
If you’re passionate about human rights, Maximo Nivel may have the perfect internship for you: based in Peru, Costa Rica, or Guatemala, this internship invites you to work with a community organization, government agency, or an NGO to promote change through social justice and empowerment. As an intern, you’ll assist with community outreach, education, research, and fundraising while immersing yourself in your community and learning about politics, religion, gender, and ethnicity in your host country. To sign up, you must be able to stay at least four weeks in-country, and you must be enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program in social work, international development, or a related field. You also must have intermediate Spanish language ability – though if you need to boost your Spanish skills before starting, Maximo Nivel has an online Spanish class and a Native Spanish Program to help prepare you for your internship. Click here to learn more.
Maximo Nivel also offers an excellent education internship in each of its three locations in Latin America, where you’ll gain classroom experience and teach a variety of subjects to students of all ages. You can choose to work with early childhood, elementary, middle school, and high school students, and you’ll be placed alongside a local teacher who will help guide you and boost your leadership and teaching skills. As an intern, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity observe classroom instruction and management, help with planning and conducting lessons, learn about Latin American culture, and much more. This internship lasts four weeks or longer, and is open to students in bachelor’s or master’s programs in education, secondary education, or a related field. Click here to learn more about Maximo Nivel’s education internship.
If you want to volunteer with children, Maximo Nivel has an amazing program in Latin America where you can make a positive difference in the lives of children who suffer from poverty, homelessness, lack of education, or abuse. In this volunteer abroad program, you’ll travel to Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru to work side-by-side with local staff to support some of the country’s neediest children through educational programs, emotional support, sports programs, games, hygiene, homework assistance, and much more. You can stay one week or longer, and can expect to volunteer for three to four hours each week day. Learn more about volunteering with children here.
If you want to look at another organization providing lots of volunteer and intern abroad opportunities worldwide, Love Volunteers should be at the top of your list. With more than 30 countries represented in their offerings, Love Volunteers places thousands of travelers on meaningful programs focusing on education, child care, community development, and so much more, every year. Some of Love Volunteers’ most popular destinations include:
Right now, Love Volunteers is offering a women’s empowerment program in Jaipur, India with a goal of assisting girls and young women improve their literacy and technology skills, which in turn can help boost their self-confidence and future employment prospects. India is a male-dominated society, and as a result, many girls are left behind in their ability to become literate or even develop other fundamental skills. As a volunteer, you’ll help with teaching English – including listening and conversational skills – as well as teaching computer skills, world history and cultures, healthy habits and personal hygiene, and more. This program starts from four weeks at $620, and you’re encouraged to stay longer to gain the most from your volunteer placement in India.
If you’d rather travel to Africa, you may be interested in this women’s empowerment program in Mombasa, Kenya, where you’ll work alongside volunteers and staff to help 300 women in the community whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Through this program, you’ll focus on helping the women develop self-confidence and skills to support their families, including gardening, farming, jewelry-making, and more. You’ll conduct home visits, assist with fieldwork, and accompanying women on trips to the hospital or clinic. This program starts from one week at $230, and as with Love Volunteers’ other placements overseas, you’re invited to stay longer.
Based in Cusco, this program aims to provide support and a safe place for women who have suffered from domestic abuse. The shelter that you will volunteer with cares for both women and children, offering assistance in emotional healing, teaching, and much more. A few ways that you can help include teaching English, assisting with workshops and skills training, and helping out with day-to-day activities in the shelter, such as cooking and cleaning. This program starts from four weeks at $759.
Another impactful program that you can be a part of brings you to Granada, Nicaragua to help marginalized girls up to age 18. The girls you will work with may have been abused or have suffered other hardships, and are seeking support in education, self-esteem, and a caring environment to help build a bright future for themselves. As a volunteer, you may assist with psychological support, confidence-boosting workshops and interaction, and much more – if you have a background in psychology in particular, this can be a wonderful opportunity to make a difference. This program starts from 12 weeks at $1,889.
To learn more about Love Volunteers’ many opportunities to travel and make a difference abroad, visit: www.lovevolunteers.org.
What Volunteers Say – Review from Tracy
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!
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!
Since its inception in the early ‘90s, Projects Abroad has become one of the largest volunteer travel organizations in the world, with more than 600 trained staff members supporting more than 10,000 volunteers every single year. By connecting volunteers with staff and local counterparts on every program, Projects Abroad emphasizes cross-cultural understanding and learning to make a positive impact for communities in need.
Advocate for equality and help empower women with a Projects Abroad program. While making a difference, you’ll also gain valuable skills. Depending on the program you choose, you may learn more about the legal field, enhance your business acumen, or get practical classroom experience. These programs are ideal for you if you’re passionate about women’s rights and justice for all.
Many of Projects Abroad programs in Tanzania focus on supporting local women. The country struggles with gender inequality, so the group has put long-term goals in place to address this issue. By having multiple projects working towards the same goals, they can ensure women are supported on all sides. Choose from several women’s empowerment projects in Tanzania:
Kick-start your career in law and human rights while promoting women’s empowerment in Senegal. Projects Abroad’s human rights internship in Senegal is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of women’s rights. You’ll work with a local human rights organization, tackling challenges many women in Senegal face in their daily lives. As an intern, you’ll:
Work directly with professionals in a humans rights organization
Conduct research and write a report to inform public policy
Interview people to learn about the state of women’s rights on the ground
Run workshops and presentations to raise awareness of women’s rights
If you’d like to explore any of Projects Abroad’s other volunteer placements and internships overseas, visit www.projects-abroad.org.
What Volunteers Say: Review from Jake
“Overall I absolutely loved the Micro-finance Project. It was an incredibly hands on project which not only allowed me to help women in need, but it also helped me learn and grow as an individual in my abilities.”
Founded in 2011, UK registered charity Agape Volunteers (AV) specializes in volunteering and tourism in Africa. With projects ranging from medical volunteering, to HIV counseling, to environmental conservation, to teaching in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Ghana, Agape Volunteers is the most affordable option on this list if you want to volunteer in Africa. Program fees include accommodation, airport transfers, food, orientation, registration, and even travel insurance and tours.
Help the women of Ghana when you volunteer with the medical program there offered by Agape Volunteers. If you’ve completed at least one year of medical school, or if you have experience as a nurse or doctor, sign up for this program that has you shadowing medical professionals as they begin their rounds – you can also assist with important procedures if asked, including maternity care. Help with medical outreach projects in the community, focusing on women’s issues. Accommodations are in dorm-style rooms at Agape’s volunteer house by the beach in Accra. Program costs start at £510 for one week.
Volunteer to improve women’s and families’ lives when you volunteer with HIV/AIDS awareness and care for needy populations in Kenya with Agape Volunteers. You’ll work five days a week, helping to support the burdened healthcare teams on the ground. HIV volunteers are encouraged to take part in the HIV Testing and Counseling Course (HTC), an internationally-recognized qualification provided by local universities. The course helps to ensure safe testing techniques, and provides a useful qualification for your future medical career. This program also includes spending a day volunteering at an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp, working to improve the daily lives of refugees. Costs start at £590 for one week. Learn more and apply here.
No experience is needed to volunteer as a teacher in Tanzania, a meaningful program that allows you to have a huge impact on the lives of young girls and others students eager for lessons in math, science, and other subjects. Help students improve their English-speaking skills, or play games and sports to develop fitness levels. Accommodations are at Maisha Cottage in the city of Arusha, a five minutes’ walk from the city center. Volunteer teachers stay from one week to one year in Tanzania, with costs starting at £695.
Founded in 1995, Cross-Cultural Solutions provides internships, gap year experiences, volunteer trips, and high school and group volunteering programs in nine countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Programs focus on child development, global health, and girl and women empowerment. To date, nearly 35,000 volunteers have signed up with Cross-Cultural Solutions (with a 99% approval rating from past participants), which has some of the volunteer travel industry’s highest standards of safety and well-being. Cross-Cultural Solutions’ girls’ and women’s empowerment initiatives focus on encouraging financial independence, fostering leadership skills, and much more.
With 29 percent of Ghana’s population living below the poverty line, there is much that can be done to combat malnutrition, increase access to education, and help families reach brighter futures. For 20 years, Cross-Cultural Solutions has provided much-needed services in this region, and as a volunteer with this wonderful organization, you will be able to help girls and women achieve financial independence and develop leadership skills. Learn more here.
Based in Dharamsala, India, another of CCS’ volunteer programs invites you to combat extreme inequality and help families break the cycle of poverty through education, public health, and other support initiatives. Through CCS’ child development volunteer program, you can volunteer in a school or community center to help provide care and education for children of single mothers. If you’d like to focus on girls’ and women’s empowerment, you can help with financial literacy and independence programs, or with leadership skills development – a very important undertaking for an area where girls receive three years’ less schooling on average than boys. Learn more and sign up here.
A third impactful volunteer program you can sign up for with Cross-Cultural Solutions brings you to Rabat, Morocco to help with education and development for children and women in need. Nationwide, only 20 percent of girls receive secondary education, compared to 30% of boys. Women undertake more than seven times as much underpaid work as men, and for nearly a decade, CCS has been providing education and healthcare to help break the cycle of poverty in this region. As a volunteer, you can help Moroccan women become leaders and support their families and communities – learn more here.
Women’s empowerment programs and girls’ education initiatives offered through GoEco aim to tackle key issues that create gender inequality, including unfair pay and treatment in the workplace, domestic abuse, and unequal access to education. Created by experienced volunteers in 2006, GoEco’s top-rated programs have been carefully inspected for quality and commitment to making an impact. Their programs come recommended by Huffington Post, USA Today, the Boston Globe, and many others. By volunteering with one of the projects below, you’ll help empower girls and women to brighter futures.
Journey to Kathmandu with GoEco, where you’ll help local women gain the necessary skills and education to find employment and become more self-reliant. Your role as a volunteer will involve teaching English and computer skills, hosting vocational training classes, running hygiene and reproductive health workshops, educating young girls about their rights, and organizing fun social activities.
When you’re not volunteering, explore Kathmandu, a city filled with beautiful temples, historic sites, and shopping and entertainment. Ready to make a difference on a volunteer adventure? Know project fees begin from $1,100 for two weeks. Find out more and register here!
For this project, your role as a volunteer is to support, educate, and care for those who need it most in Goa, one of India’s most treasured and beautiful regions. Your options for volunteering include serving at an outreach center in the slums, teaching at a local school, and working at a women’s shelter. At the women’s shelter, you’ll help women who have left abusive and unhealthy home environments care for their children, learn new skills, find employment, and ultimately build a sustainable, successful future.
For the women’s shelter project, there is a minimum commitment of four weeks (cost is $1,430). Sound like the right program for you? Get more details and apply here!
This project is inspiring. The goal is to provide community support for young women and teenage girls and empower them to make more informed choices. Your typical day will include leading discussions with boys and girls about gender issues, teaching at a nursery school, and assisting with women’s empowerment initiatives. You’ll also get to work with The Network against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM), an organization which aims to put an end to genital mutilation and other harmful traditions towards women in Tanzania.
Also, note that Moshi is near Kilimanjaro National Park, which makes for a great side trip Want to learn more about this great program? Fees start at $1,430 for two weeks. Get more info here!
Volunteers at this program will work with the young girls and women in Cape Town, leading discussion groups, assisting at the Girls and Boys Club and more. Other tasks include working with the “Mamas” who care for children in foster care, teaching them English and computer skills. Learn more here.
What Volunteers Say – Review from Ana
The two weeks I spent teaching the amazing women I met [in Nepal] were a wonderful and complex experience. We sang songs at the beginning, laughed and discovered new things together, language being no obstacle. I was pleasantly surprised that even when the class was over, or in any other free moment they had, they were constantly trying to repeat and improve their knowledge. It was an honor to work with these smart and powerful women.
Global Vision International (GVI) is another amazing organization you should check out if you want to travel the world and make a difference. Since 1998, GVI has sent more than 2,000 volunteers abroad on a wide number of projects ranging from construction, to teaching, to environmental conservation, and much more. GVI’s award-winning volunteer and intern abroad programs are perfect for travelers of all backgrounds, whether you want to travel to Africa, Asia, Latin America, or beyond.
Right now, GVI is offering an opportunity to volunteer in India for two weeks to three months, with a focus on women’s empowerment and child care. Females account for two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population, and while overall literacy rates have grown in recent decades, there are still countless young girls not receiving the education they need to build better lives for themselves as they reach adulthood.
By taking part in this volunteer abroad program, you’ll help women overcome poverty and unemployment by providing them with an education, job training, and health care – which in turn decreases infant mortality rates, encourages children to stay in school, boosts income levels, and helps to break the cycle of poverty. This is especially important in India, where women face stark inequalities such as gender-specific abortions, spousal abuse, being married at an early age, and being denied an education by their families. Through your support as a volunteer, you can give women a voice, turn social stigmas around, and make a great difference in the lives of women, girls, and the communities in which they live.
During your time in India, GVI will provide you with dormitory-style housing with other volunteers close to the center of Kerala. You’ll work Monday through Friday each week, and you can expect to take part in several different projects depending on your program’s requirements and the needs of the women you’ll work with – a few projects include providing one-on-one lessons in a school, hosting income workshops, and assisting with health presentations. The cost for this program starts at $1,700 for your first two weeks abroad. To learn more about GVI’s women’s empowerment program in India, click here.
If you want to visit Africa, GVI’s women’s empowerment opportunity in Cape Town, South Africa may be the perfect fit. Through this program, you’ll join fellow like-minded volunteers to help make sure women in this region are given equal access to education and economic development opportunities. In smaller towns and more traditional, conservative areas of this region, women are at a disadvantage in schools and in the workplace – holding only 16% of senior management roles. GVI and volunteers like you contribute to women’s and girls’ development through health care, education, and income generation initiatives.
Throughout this program, you’ll stay with two to three other volunteers in a shared house in Gordon’s Bay, and work Monday to Friday each week. Your tasks will vary depending on the needs of the program, but can include education in literacy, rights, and life skills; hosting workshops on income generation; and teaching girls at local schools. This program starts from two weeks at $2,090 and includes airport pickup, staff support, housing, orientation, project training, and much more. To learn more about volunteering in South Africa with GVI, click here.
Another wonderful opportunity you can sign up for right now with GVI brings you to Laos, where you will work with sustainable women’s empowerment initiatives in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang. Through this program, you will teach practical and conversational English, as well as health and life skills workshops, for local female students. Depending on when you travel, your project role can change – you might provide one-on-one lessons or teach larger group classes, for example. All of your work will contribute positively toward helping women in Laos improve their quality of life and provide for their families. Learn more and sign up here.
Travel further in Asia to Nepal, where you can take on a short-term internship for women’s empowerment. In this country, women face such major issues as being married at an early age, having access to little or no education, and having no rights to land or few opportunities for independent income generation. With GVI, you will work with initiatives that support girls in school, women who are victims of trafficking, young women who have relocated from rural areas to pursue educational opportunities, and others in need. Some of the projects you will take on as an intern include leading workshops in conversational English, helping women develop entrepreneurial and income-generating projects, teaching computer skills, and much more. This internship lasts six weeks, and you will have the wonderful opportunity to live with a Nepali family during your stay. Learn more and apply here.
And finally, if you would like to immerse yourself in Latin American culture, GVI offers a women’s empowerment program in the coastal town of Quepos, Costa Rica, where you will be able to assist with social enterprise and entrepreneurship efforts by local women. As a volunteer, you can expect to be involved in various aspects of the empowerment program, including one-on-one educational lessons for income generation, to working in local community education centers, and much more. Through your efforts, you will contribute positively to efforts to improve literacy, rights, and life skills, as well as social enterprise. Learn more and register for this program here.
For more information about GVI’s volunteer programs around the world, visit: www.gviusa.com.
What Volunteers Say – Review from Liz
I spent the majority of my time volunteering with GVI in Kenya with a huge grin across my face, and for good reason…. I will always remember my time there as two of my happiest months. I took myself right out of my comfort zone and found that I was capable of things I would never have imagined.
GVI’s projects are a great opportunity to make a difference where it is truly needed. Volunteer life is also so much more than that – you have the chance to truly experience a country and culture and try things you would never have thought of. I can’t recommend it enough.
Each year, the Intern Group shifts through 30,000 applicants to select and place 2,000 individuals on customized professional development internships with renowned NGOs and important global employers in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Founded in 2011, its mission is to develop an innovative and culturally-sensitive generation prepared to address the issues that affect the world today and tomorrow. The Intern Group has been featured in Forbes, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNN, and is an award-winning social enterprise. It provides assistance with visas, as well as developmental workshops, career training, social and cultural events, quality housing, and in-country support.
Have a positive impact on the lives of young girls and women with a social work internship in Dublin, Ireland. This placement by the Intern Group gives you a well-rounded experience by allowing you to integrate into a community abroad. This hands-on opportunity allows you to work alongside people of all ages, ethnicities, education levels, and socioeconomic statuses, making a difference in a vulnerable community. Choose to work with One Young World, a company that focuses on access to healthcare and education for victims of war and domestic abuse. Build close relationships and network with professionals during the week, and on weekends, visit local sites such as the Guinness Storehouse. Your placement includes a visit to the EPIC Ireland exhibit, an Irish dance party, a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, and a literary night. Placement fees start at $4,869 for six weeks, and your stay may be extended to six months. Learn more and sign up here!
If you’re passionate about human rights – especially those of young girls and women – consider an internship with an international NGO in Colombia. This placement with the Intern Group allows you to make a difference in many sectors, including community development, healthcare, education, social service, activism, and political and economic development. When you volunteer to help others, you’ll gain a great sense of personal satisfaction, and prove your dedication and strength of character. While in Medellin, Colombia, you’ll discover and create new professional goals, improve your Spanish-speaking skills, and learn valuable lessons about people and yourself. Your cultural internship calendar includes a walking tour of the city, giving you a chance to learn about the history of this beautiful country. Take a day trip to el Peñon de Guatape, a landmark rock formation that’s endured for 10 million years! While in Medellin, enjoy its variety of entertainment with cinemas, museums, restaurants and more. Fees for this placement start at $3,620 for six weeks. Click here to read more and apply!
Harness the power of an international entrepreneurship internship in Melbourne to improve the educational opportunities of young girls. In Australia, less than six in 10 Indigenous female students complete secondary school as opposed to eight in 10 non-Indigenous students. Join the ranks of brilliant, out-of-the-box thinkers like Sir Richard Branson when you learn the mindset of creative innovators. Entrepreneurship provides social, economic, and environmental benefits by challenging the status quo. An international entrepreneurship internship will allow you to gain skills by working alongside tomorrow’s business leaders. Included in your internship is a walking tour of the city, and lunch at the Eureka SkyDeck, Melbourne’s tallest building. Take in a major sporting event, such as the Australian Open Tennis, or a Formula One Racing event. You’re invited to stay six weeks or longer and program fees begin at $4,617. Click here to sign up today!
Up for a rewarding, world-changing challenge? Research and compare women’s empowerment and educational programs through Abroadly, a new booking platform by Volunteer Forever. Use Abroadly to apply for meaningful, high-quality trips offered by reputable, trusted partners.
Abroadly features more than 150 unique programs, each vetted for long-term commitment to ethical and sustainable social impact in the areas of women’s education and empowerment, human rights, community development, health and medicine, child and youth development, construction, and sports and recreation.
When you apply for a trip through Abroadly, you’ll have free access to Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform. And your application fee is 100% refundable if you are not accepted into the program of your choice – start your application today and enter for the chance to win a $500 scholarship!
If you’re patient and motivated, consider volunteering with low-income and vulnerable women in San Ramon, and help to equip them with tools to improve the quality of their lives. You’ll need to speak Spanish for this women’s empowerment project with INLEXCA, and you can take Spanish classes while in Costa Rica to augment your immersive experience. You will have the opportunity to teach skills for income-generation, hold workshops at the co-op, provide emotional support to women who have endured difficult lives, and design educational projects. Spend your free time outdoors, visiting the Else Kientzler Botanical Garden, or hiking a cloud forest reserve – the city also has museums, restaurants, and shops for day trips. Program fees begin at $1,449, with a minimum stay of four weeks. Learn more and apply here!
Help the underprivileged women of Johannesburg learn a new trade when you volunteer to teach business skills in South Africa with Hero Holidays. By sharing your abilities through the Skills Swop program, you can enable women to work from home, starting small businesses such as sewing and embroidery, quilting, soap making, candle making, jewelry-making, screen-printing, and much more.
If you have experience as a student or professional in the areas of marketing, economics, IT, financial management, or any business or development courses, this project may even help your own career. During evenings and weekends, tour the vibrant city of “Jozi” and catch a film, enjoy brunch, or sightsee. If you’re a history buff, tour the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex. This program’s fee starts at $1,066 for two weeks, and you’re invited to stay for six weeks. Read more here!
Founded in the United States, A Broader View is a non-profit organization that invites volunteers to serve in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. And there’s a wide variety of projects you can take on, from teaching, to community development, to medical care, and much more.
This program helps to empower women through providing education and helping them get involved in income generating activities. Nepal is a patriarchal society, where men go to work and women stay at home tending the house and children. Slight trend changes are happening in parts of Kathmandu, however it still remains the same in the smaller villages. As few Nepali women enter skilled work and leadership in the private and public sectors, it remains difficult for women to find opportunities to support their families and their communities. By volunteering with this program, you can help effect change through education and skills training.
Alongside its many other programs worldwide, A Broader View offers several different opportunities for you to empower women and girls worldwide – to get started, take a look at this volunteer program in Tanzania to support teenage mothers and their children. Many of the young women you’ll work with have suffered through forced marriage, human trafficking, poverty, abuse, and lack of education. As a volunteer, you’ll work in a women development center, which offers these women a home to help them get back on their feet. It also provides general education, vocational training, and health education, plus a nursery and primary school for the children. Through this program, you’ll help with a variety of tasks, including:
Income generation, marketing, and fundraising ideas
English and basic computer skills teaching
Helping with basic cooking and tailoring skills development
Child care and education for the children living in the center
If you have professional credentials or if you’re currently enrolled in a medical or nursing program, you can take part in A Broader View’s maternity/midwifery program in Moshi, Tanzania, where you’ll assist with an antenatal clinic, labor and delivery, family planning education, vaccinations, and much more. The women who visit the clinic you’ll work in are provided with family planning counseling, education on caring for their children, and more – plus the clinic’s pediatric department can help care for children up to five years old. In addition to your main projects, you also will take blood samples, run health checks, and conduct home visits, where you may encounter individuals with malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, hypertension, diabetes, diarrhea and vomiting, and skin diseases.
You’re invited to volunteer one week or longer in Tanzania, and you can expect to work eight hours per day, Monday through Friday – with weekends free to explore the area. You’re encouraged to learn basic phrases in Swahili to help you communicate more easily throughout your trip. This program starts from $850 for your first week, and includes housing, meals, airport meet-and-greet, orientation, 24/7 support, and much more.
For more information on the women’s and girls’ empowerment programs available worldwide through A Broader View, please click here. And to find out about the many other volunteer opportunities A Broader View offers, visit: www.abroaderview.org.
What Volunteers Say – Review from Erin
Five weeks volunteering was not long enough in Bulenga, Uganda. I had a life changing experience -meeting so many wonderful people both at the orphanage and the house – even strangers on the street. I learned most from the kids and they gave me more than I could teach to them. I will always be thankful for this experience and thank A Broader View for this opportunity. I more than highly recommend volunteers considering volunteering in Africa to come to Bulenga Uganda. You will not regret it!
Founded in 2004, African Impact offers internships and volunteer programs for travelers of all backgrounds who want to explore the world and make a positive difference. If you’re interested in helping girls and women build better futures for themselves, African Impact has amazing opportunities in South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania, all with the goal of helping to further gender equality and provide better support for education, jobs, and social development for girls and women. African Impact has also won several awards and earned recognition from GoAbroad, Imvelo, and the World Travel Awards for their sustainable programs. Here are just a few of them!
One opportunity that you can sign up for right now with African Impact brings you to Cape Town, where you’ll be able to make a lasting impact through mentoring and education programs. A few ways that you can help include:
Leading workshops including health, safety, early pregnancy, self-confidence, and income generation at a girls’ and boys’ club
Providing support through mentoring, education, and companionship at a youth center
Teaching English to women who work at a foster care center
You also can combine gender equality volunteering with other programs available in the same area, including part-time preschool teaching and youth development, and part-time orphaned and vulnerable child care. Learn more and apply here.
Another wonderful program where you can help girls and women build bright futures for themselves invites you to Moshi, Tanzania. Through this placement, you can facilitate workshops educating vulnerable girls about health and family planning, explore social issues with adolescent boys and girls and how each is affected differently, connect girls with a women’s group where they can find role models, run social media campaigns to highlight girls’ empowerment worldwide, and much more. Click here to apply!
Since 1984, Raleigh International has provided expeditions for young people and adults to volunteer in Nepal, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. 400,000 volunteers have traveled with Raleigh International so far, with another 800 embarking on trips this year. With a commitment to program quality and volunteer support, Raleigh International helped design and currently holds the BS8848 Safety Standard for organizing and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside of the UK. If you are interested in building stronger communities by helping girls and women pursue better educational opportunities, achieve financial independence, and have access to quality healthcare, Raleigh International is a great place to start.
Another wonderful expedition to check out with Raleigh International brings you to a rural village in Nepal, where you will help to improve access to safe water and sanitation. In this area, 85% of homes were affected by the 2015 earthquake, and as a volunteer, you will make a difference by digging trenches, laying pipes, and participating in awareness-raising events to improve sanitation and hygiene. This is incredibly important for building stronger communities and ensuring a brighter future for families. In addition to volunteering, you will be able to go hiking in the foothills of the Ganesh Himal mountains. Learn more and register here!
If you’re looking for a chance to expand your education and build your career, definitely check out Global Nomadic, which offers volunteer and intern abroad placement in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific. Global Nomadic partners with NGOs in each community where it works to provide quality, impactful placements for travelers.
Right now, Global Nomadic is offering a human rights and legal aid internship in Arusha, Tanzania, where you can work closely with lawyers and support staff, assist with consultations, and raise awareness of human rights in Tanzania. For one month or longer, you’ll have the opportunity to support women’s groups, widows, vulnerable children, and orphans and their foster parents at a clinic providing legal services, advice, reconciliation sessions, and much more. And if you have background experience in law or human rights, customized internships and field research opportunities are available in accounting and finance, advocacy, journalism, IT, organization development, and much more.
Throughout your stay in Tanzania, you’ll live in an apartment with other interns and volunteers, and on your weekends, you’re encouraged to visit national parks, hot springs, and other trips Global Nomadic can arrange for you. This program starts from $1,410 for your first month, and includes housing and food, airport pickup, orientation, support, and project activities. To learn more about this internship, please click here.
For more than 10 years, Connect-123 has offered tailor-made internships, volunteer programs, and study abroad opportunities in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Shanghai. With these customized travel placements, you can focus on sustainable development, social work, education, and much more. And no matter where you travel, you’ll work with a local organization – whether it’s a school, hospital, community group, or nonprofit – plus you can apply to travel year-round.
For any program you sign up for, Connect-123 will provide housing support, orientation, weekly events, and emergency support. If you’re interested in a volunteer program or internship where you can support women and girls in need, check out these opportunities below!
One excellent opportunity to consider is Connect-123’s volunteer programs and internships in Ireland. If you’re interested in a volunteer program, there are several you can sign up for to help women and girls achieve their dreams – from teaching English to asylum seekers, to working with abused women in a shelter, to supporting children and at-risk youth.
If you’d like to gain a leg up in your career, take a look at Connect-123’s internships in Ireland – you can help immigrants start businesses, work in a family planning clinic, or even develop a customized internship based on your background and interests. Learn more and sign up here.
Another wonderful way to make a difference is through Connect-123’s volunteer programs in Cape Town, South Africa. With education and teaching placements, you can work as a teacher or mentor to children, or even help with fundraising for educational initiatives. Through human rights volunteer placements, you can get involved with NGOs or research institutes to advocate for the rights of refugees, women, and children. And with Connect-123’s social work placements, you can work with organizations that provide much-needed support for street children, sex workers, and orphans. Learn more about volunteering in South Africa here.
If you’re interested in helping girls and women worldwide through education, access to healthcare, and community support, Rustic Pathways has excellent volunteer opportunities available right now. Rustic Pathways’ trips combine education, travel, and philanthropy for high school and college students worldwide, and more than 8,000 students are expected to embark on trips this year. With recognition as WYSTC’s 2015 Best Youth Tour Operator, decades of experience from on-the-ground staff, a commitment to your safety while you’re abroad, plus financial aid in the form of competitive and merit-based scholarships, Rustic Pathways is a wonderful organization that’s making a difference for girls and women in need.
Mainly geared toward college travelers, Change Makers programs through Rustic Pathways focus on social issues, politics, international relations, activism, NGO work, and other ways to make a lasting difference. On your travels, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in different cultures while learning about important issues affecting the communities you visit – or those affecting communities around the world – and then engage in discussions, debriefs, and other group activities. Destinations include Costa Rica, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, India, and others. Learn more about Rustic Pathways’ trips for change makers here!
Based in Peru, the 15-day La Niña Andina: The Andes Women’s Initiative for students aged 14 to 18 focuses on challenges faced by girls and women in the Andes, and how they are working to overcome them. On this trip, you will visit a secondary education program for girls, a home and vocational training center for young mothers, and a textile weaving coop – you’ll also immerse yourself in Quechua culture, go hiking and zip lining, and visit Machu Picchu. Learn more and sign up here!
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.
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