There’s a reason why childcare and childhood education programs are the most popular projects chosen by volunteers who travel abroad – it’s the most rewarding. And when you combine a trip to Asia with a volunteer experience with toddlers and tweens, you’ll enjoy the best life has to offer – visiting exotic locales and making fantastic new friends.
It’s true that one person can change the future, and that person’s actions can even change the lives of many. When you help a vulnerable child learn a new skill, you empower them to improve their own world, and you teach them the value of learning.
A child’s learning experience starts as soon as they are born, and how people treat them and what they see, hear, and do, all contribute to the kind of person they’ll be when they mature. Of course, children do best in a loving and safe environment, but not all children have this luxury. Underprivileged children in developing countries throughout Asia need care and encouragement and with more than a dozen different destinations, including Bali, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, there’s sure to be a lot that appeals to you.
As a volunteer working with children, you can provide assistance in a range of environments – community centers, day care centers, after-school programs, and meal programs. No experience is needed with most programs because volunteers often are overseen and trained by teachers and staff at the facilities.
Tasks will vary depending upon your choice of location, but organizations like International Volunteer HQ are looking for volunteers to provide children with personalized attention, mentoring, educational support, or playing games and assisting with daily operations, such as cooking and cleaning.
You don’t need qualifications – just enthusiasm and energy – to join a childcare project in Asia,and organizations like Plan My Gap Year offer programs starting monthly year-round. Love Volunteers is another excellent organization offering several amazing placements that allow you to care for the at-risk and impoverished children in Asia and beyond. Choose a childcare or teaching project in unique locations like China and Mongolia with premier organizations like Projects Abroad and A Broader View. Organizations like Cross-Cultural Solutions and Globalteer focus on one country in Asia, but with your help, their impact is enormous!
When you travel to Asia to help a child, you help to create a better future for more than just one person. You empower young people to change their community. Read on to learn more about the variety of opportunities available from some amazing volunteer organizations.
Featured Volunteer Abroad Programs
Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning travel company, offering volunteer placements in 17 countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America. Plan My Gap Year works with communities in need around the world and empowers people to travel responsibly, to connect with other cultures, and make a positive impact. Founded in 2011 by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Year sends more than 4,000 volunteers overseas each year on safe and extraordinary adventures in the developing world, working towards long-term sustainable goals.
Visit the traditional town of Tabanan in Bali, and give your time to children that are desperate to learn! Help eager children ages 1 to 8 learn to speak English through play and other creative, fun activities. When you support the childcare centers in Bali, you give the children a head start on their formal schooling. Local coordinators and staff will be on hand to support the project. Stay two weeks with fees from $375. Learn more and apply today.
Travel to Thailand, and give your time to support and assist with the daily care, learning, and interaction with children in a suburb of Bangkok. Volunteer with preschool-aged children at a range of schools in and around Pathum Thani, teaching through play activities, helping to build social skills, and sharing your culture. Stay for two weeks or more with affordable program fees starting at $360. Read more here!
Volunteer to care for children and young adults in NGO care centers, kindergartens, and hospitals in Hanoi, helping them receive the vital care and education they need. There are a variety of projects that need assistance, from daycare centers to special-needs facilities, and your presence and mentorship can encourage them to lead more independent and productive lives. Program fees start at $435, with durations of two weeks or more. Learn more and register.
Love Volunteers is a highly rated volunteer organization that has placed more than 20,000 travelers on impactful projects worldwide. Transparent, low-cost fees are a mainstay with Love Volunteers, with programs starting at only $250. Founded in 2009, Love Volunteers works in 43 countries worldwide, with more than 200 different projects to choose from.
Spend three weeks or longer in Sri Lanka with a host family and learn the customs of this ancient country while volunteering with children. This important program is available during school holidays in April and August, and located in the hillside town of Badulla, in Sri Lanka’s southern central hill country region. You’ll spend quality time with children who will benefit from your attention talking to and playing with them. Tasks include reading to children and helping with their studies. One-on-one time spent with you will greatly help and boost their confidence levels. Program fees start at $529. Sign up here!
Help the children of Delhi find joy in the face of extreme poverty and neglect as a volunteer for childcare and community development. This program helps neglected children, with tasks ranging from teaching basic skills to providing general care and compassion. You’ll spend time on exercise activities with the children, and help to organize and facilitate games and play time. You’ll also help the daycare center staff with daily routines, but your greatest contribution is made by giving the children some much-needed attention. Stay at a volunteer house for one week or more, with program fees starting at $429. Click here to sign up!
Journey to Cambodia and help care for at-risk and impoverished children, some of whom are homeless or unable to live with families because of poverty or illness. Others have been the victims of abuse and as such require a safe haven. Volunteers spend their time caring for the children, helping with their education, playing games and arranging fun activities during leisure time. Stay in the volunteer home in Phnom Penh for two weeks, or longer. Program costs start at $389. Learn more and apply here.
Projects Abroad specializes in global service opportunities, with the mission of mutual learning, building meaningful connections, and fostering cultural exchange. Since its founding in 1992, Projects Abroad has placed travelers in 50 countries around the world, with an emphasis on safety, hassle-free travel, and making a real impact. Projects range from volunteering, internships, high school specials, alternative spring breaks, gap years, language courses, and programs for professionals.
If you’re between the ages 15 to 18, consider a volunteer trip with Volunteering Solutions during your school break. Team up with teenagers from around the world and work with disadvantaged children in culture-rich Nepal for two weeks. Use your energy and enthusiasm to help children learn new skills, like counting to 100 and writing the alphabet in English. Fees start at $2,205 for two weeks and $3,005 for four weeks. Learn more about this project!
If you’re 16 years or older, consider a trip to China that invites you to teach English to children, providing them with the skills they’ll need to succeed when they start school. As a volunteer, you’ll support children at kindergartens, schools, or special-needs centers, assisting with their development as you encourage learning. Gain practical childcare experience while you’re learning about new customs and culture. Dates are flexible, and you can stay for three weeks. Program fees are $2,800 for two weeks and $3,460 for four weeks. Read more and apply here!
Support early childhood development and teach English on a volunteer trip to Mongolia. Work alongside teachers and caregivers, helping the disadvantaged children in Ulaanbaatar. You’ll build a solid educational foundation for children by using games, arts and crafts, sports, and more, to help the youth reach developmental milestones. You’ll need to be at least 16 to join. Program duration are $2,600 for two weeks and $3,260 for four weeks. Learn more and apply here!
A Broader View 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. Founded in 2007, the nonprofit organization places volunteers side-by-side with people in need, working on a range of projects including, childcare, community development, teaching and more. Travelers with ABV are able to explore a new country while taking part in meaningful, rewarding service work.
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is a busy city, bustling with cars, people, motorbikes, and street children begging with an outstretched hand. In many ways, the country is still struggling with the challenges of war, even 30 years later. ABV’s childcare program here focuses on children rescued from a life on the streets and provides them with love and support, and education to help break the poverty cycle. With ancient temples like Angkor Wat, the country has its fair share of tourists especially in and around Siem Reap. You may stay for three weeks or longer starting at $1,250. Read more here!
China, among the world’s greatest travel destinations, is the cultural center of East Asia, with more than 5,000 years of turbulent history. Visit the Great Wall and X’ian’s Terracotta Army, then tour the Forbidden Palace and Tiananmen Square and more when you volunteer to teach conversational English. You’ll assist a bilingual teacher through songs, books, teaching aids, and any other ideas that you can come up with. You’ll work in schools in kindergartens, primary schools, high schools, and colleges throughout Yantai. Stay two weeks for $900 – learn more and apply here.
Vietnam has struggled through war and economic repression, but it is making a remarkable comeback as a popular tourist and volunteer destination. Visitors marvel at the green lush scenery and colorful hill tribes, the floating markets of the Mekong Delta, and miles of white sandy beaches. As a volunteer with at Special Needs Children’s Village near Hanoi, you can teach English and help children with other activities, such as craft, art, embroidery, computer skills, and assisting the children in their movements and rehabilitation. Duration is two weeks or longer, and fees start at $1,180. Read more here!
Cross-Cultural Solutions, founded in 1995, offers international internships, gap year experiences, volunteer trips, and high school volunteering programs throughout Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Programs focus on important topics such as child development, girls’ and women’s empowerment, and global health. To date, nearly 35,000 volunteers have traveled with Cross-Cultural Solutions, which offers year-round presence their host communities, a full-time team of local expert staff to support their volunteers, and among the highest standards of safety and well-being in the volunteer travel industry. This organization has received such recognition as Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, as well as GreatNonprofits’ top award, and is accredited by the American Gap Year Association.
Join Cross-Cultural Solutions in Thailand, where you can volunteer for child development, working with the children of Nan Province. These families are seasonal farm workers who live with relatives during the off-season or belong to a nearby Hill Tribe. Volunteers provide valuable language lessons and engaging activities that promote the importance of education. During your trip, you will learn about the history of Buddhism, visit multiple temples, and create a Tung flag to present to the temple for good merit. This trip starts from one week at $1,990. Read more and sign up here!
Global Vision International (GVI) offers award-winning, high-impact programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world. Founded in 1997, GVI has placed more than 24,000 volunteers on projects with local partners, as well with international organizations such as Panthera, Save the Children, the Seychelles National Parks Authority, as well as, Stanford, NYU, Duke, and Ohio State universities. Its projects are designed toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, allowing volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to contribute to responsible projects in the areas of teaching and working with children, wildlife and marine conservation, community development and construction, women’s empowerment, health, sports, and business.
Volunteer with GVI to teach English to young, novice Buddhist monks in the ancient city of Luang Prabang. You’ll provide students with mentoring and support while you learn about Lao culture, history, food, religion, and language. The city is situated along the Mekong River, and you can spend weekends visiting the city’s temples and sights. Fees start at $2,345 for two weeks. Read about GVI’s program and apply here!
Spend a gap year or take on an internship in Southeast Asia, exploring ancient history, and discovering exotic cultures and traditions as a GVI volunteer. You’ll travel to Nepal, India, and Laos as you contribute to valuable child development initiatives, providing much-needed educational support to the local children of these regions. You are invited to stay 12 weeks, with a fee of $7,035. Learn more and apply today!
Founded in 2006, GoEco has placed 10,000 volunteers on a variety of impactful trips and internships in 44 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. GoEco offers more than 150 volunteer programs, and was recently recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by USA Today, the Today Show, Huffington Post, and many more.
Explore Bali and experience authentic Balinese culture on a Road Trip with GoEco. This travel opportunity allows you to give back to the local community as a volunteer in a kindergarten. Some of your tasks may include:
- Teaching English through fun activities such as games, songs, art, and games
- Assisting teachers in the kindergarten with daily tasks
- Preparing creative lesson plans
- Teaching children about environmental protection
- Teaching first-aid, hygiene and personal care to local school children
Fees start at $1,750 for this three-week program. Read more and sign up.
Volunteer on the beautiful island of Palawan in the Philippines, and work with children to improve their English language skills at a local school. Gain practical experience in teaching, and make learning English more fun for your students by organizing fun, educational games. On weekends, explore the surrounding fishing villages and smaller islands. Stay one week or longer with fees starting at $550. Click here to learn more!
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) works with governments, social organizations, and NGOs in more than 40 countries, providing 200+ affordable and safe projects worldwide. IVHQ sends more than 10,000 people overseas on meaningful projects each year. And since 2007, it has placed nearly 100,000 volunteers abroad on meaningful, impactful projects. IVHQ offers many programs that focus on childcare and education – if you’re interested in the full list, take a look and select your favorite destination.
If you’re passionate about working with children and would like to teach a range of subjects to students of different age groups and backgrounds, take a look at IVHQ’s volunteer opportunity in India. Work with children between the ages of 1-14 years, in early childcare centers, migrant camps, and education centers throughout Naddi, a small community close to popular hilltop Tibetan communities and the Buddhist monasteries of McLeod Ganj. You’ll help to organize daily activities and games and provide one-on-one attention and basic English language education to the children. You’ll also assist with preparing and serving meals, giving lessons on personal hygiene, and ensuring children attend classes. Program fees start at $420 for two weeks. Learn more here!
Travel to the beautiful country of Laos, and volunteer with childcare in Honkau Village, located just outside of the capital city, Vientiane. This opportunity invites you to arrange games and educational activities for the children, while also caring for them. Your work may include administrative tasks, cooking, cleaning, feeding, and caring for children. If you’re interested in teaching, you can assist with homework and arrange extra activities, such as painting, singing, and sports activities. Program fees start from $230 for one week. Read more here and sign up.
There are several opportunities in Nepal for childcare volunteers, from teaching in rural villages or in Kathmandu childcare centers to working with special needs school in the central city. Tasks range from caring for children, teaching, assisting with homework and arranging fun and creative activities, such as painting and singing. You also can choose a childcare project located in and around the small tourist city of Pokhara. Program fees begin at $250 for one week. Click here to learn more.
Globalteer is a nonprofit UK charity that partners with community groups and NGOs in developing countries. Founded in 2006, Globalteer is a leader in child protection in international volunteering, developing impactful programs that contribute to the goodwill of all. Its vision is a world where suffering is minimized and the future of the planet is safeguarded. It accomplishes this by focussing on improving the lives of children and communities living in poverty, as well as animal welfare and conservation. Globalteer supplies volunteers with pre-travel advice to ensure safety on placement and has a company Health and Safety Policy plus in-country project staff that is able to provide assistance if needed.
Travel to the friendly town of Siem Reap, for a life changing experience with Globalteer and help to improve the lives of children there. As a volunteer of Helping Hands Cambodia, you’ll assist with teaching conversational English, and spend time with students by participating in arts, sports, and games, reading and listening. Helping Hands works with more than 300 children in the beautiful Cambodian countryside, and has enabled children from poor villages to stay in school, go on to university and secure well-paid jobs. Many former students now work in areas such as accountancy, hospitality, IT and even medicine. With your help, this successful program can continue. Program fees start at $459 for one week, with stays up to 12 weeks. Sign up here!
Ready To Travel?
Volunteering with children is not only one of the most popular types of meaningful programs abroad, but it’s also one where you can make a positive difference both in a child’s life and your own. If you’d like to learn more about how to choose an ethical and impactful opportunity supporting children in need, read these articles for inspiration: