Backpacking in Asia has long been a favorite pastime of travelers worldwide. But what if you could do even more than soak up the culture and admire the breathtaking views? By volunteering in Mongolia, you will have the opportunity to give back to a community you’ll grow to love. Get to know the people and landscape of this beautiful nation between Russia and China, and gain lifelong memories and experiences. Even if you have just a few weeks to spare, volunteering in Mongolia will leave you changed for good.
Here are some of the things to know about Mongolia before you depart for your volunteer trip, and some of the projects that can connect you with profound opportunities to help!
What to Know Before You Volunteer in Mongolia
Mongolia is the 18th largest sovereign nation in the world, but it’s also the most sparsely populated. About 30% of the people here are nomadic or semi-nomadic and just over 750,000 Mongolians live in poor housing conditions. These factors provide a host of opportunities for foreign volunteers to provide much-needed hands-on aid. Many residents don’t have access to adequate sanitation, medical care, or a way to insulate themselves from the cold weather. Additionally, many children in Mongolia travel from rural communities to large cities in search of work. Without help from nonprofits and schools, these children can end up working in the black market and lacking access to basic care.
Volunteers in Mongolia can help in a wide array of areas. A lot of programs are ideal for young people, while others match professionals with a niche skill with the communities who most need them. By volunteering to teach English to young people, provide medical care to nomads and rural residents, and build homes for the impoverished, you can make a big impact in a small amount of time.
Mongolia has 250 days of sunshine each year, earning it the nickname “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky.” Still, you can expect to see extreme temperatures both hot and cold. If you volunteer in the summer, the average temperature in the capital city is in the 90s, and elsewhere temperatures top 100 degrees. In the winter, Mongolia sees low temperatures as frigid as -22 degrees. If you volunteer here in the winter, be prepared with plenty of layers and warm socks: your housing may have little insulation.
You may want to dedicate some time to sightseeing after your volunteer experience. With vast expanses of unfettered landscape, opportunities for exploration in the mountains and Gobi Desert abound. You may even be able to arrange the chance to stay with a nomadic tribe!
Recommended Volunteer Programs in Mongolia
Volunteering abroad is fulfilling – whether you want to help animals or teach in Mongolia, you’ll find it’s easiest to do so through a trusted international volunteer organization. Here are just a few of our favorite programs offering volunteer opportunities in Mongolia!