Organizations promoting global volunteering
On this page you will find brief descriptions of organizations that specialize in placing people in a variety of volunteer positions around the globe. To learn more about each program, click on the organization's name.
Also, be sure to visit our International Volunteerism Resource Center for more information on volunteering in another country as well as check out the thousands of volunteer opportunities and internships posted on Idealist by organizations from around the world.
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Places U.S. citizens in one-week to six-month service assignments aimed at promoting entrepreneurship around the world. The organization pays transportation costs and room and board for volunteers.
Based in the UK, Africa, Americas, and Asia Venture offers volunteers aged 17-24 from around the world the opportunity to work on teaching, sports coaching and community/environment projects in developing world communities.
Africa Conservation Trust
Based in South Africa, this nonprofit provides limited volunteer opportunities based on available conservation projects in southern Africa.
AfricaTrust Networks (ATN)
An informal partnership of volunteer programs in West and North Africa (Ghana, Cameroon, and Morocco), ATN manages projects by an in-country registered NGO. The online application form shows the full costs except for visas and medical costs. ATN's British office helps all accepted volunteers to resource their funding.
The world's largest student organization, AIESEC is a global network of 50,000 members across more than 89 countries and territories at more than 800 universities worldwide. AIESEC facilitates international exchange of thousands of students and recent graduates each year.
American Jewish World Service
Jewish men and women—from young professionals to retirees—serve in the Jewish Volunteer Corps (JVC). The JVC places volunteers on short-term consulting projects with local, grassroots NGOs around the world. Through the JVC partnership, volunteers from a variety of backgrounds provide humanitarian aid in the form of technical assistance, training, and advocacy work.
Amigos de las Americas
Places individuals in three- to eight-week community health and development projects in several Latin American countries. Applicants are expected to be competent in either Spanish or Portuguese. The fee for the program covers room and board and air fare.
Places individuals and groups with community projects in ten countries, from Australia and Brazil to Tanzania and the United States. Most service trips are short (about three weeks) but both alternative breaks for college students and long-term projects can be arranged. Volunteers pay for all of their expenses and a percentage of the cost of the project on which they will volunteer.
Concentrates on volunteer projects in the United States and Southern Africa that focus on global and local community issues such as housing, poverty, HIV/AIDS, cultural heritage preservation, and appreciating the environment. Anir offers volunteer trips as short as a week in duration, as well as an internship program in its Academy for Tolerance, Peace, and International Awareness. Prices vary depending on program focus and location.
Places artists in nine- to twelve-month projects within a nonprofit organization in Central America. Applicants are expected to be fluent in Spanish. The program provides $1,000 towards air fare and a stipend for art supplies, if needed; the host organization covers room and board. The artist assists the host NGO to communicate its message via the artist's art form—visual, performing, musical, etc. Teaching experience helpful.
Association of Voluntary Service Organisations (AVSO)
Its member organisations place residents of European Union (EU) and most other European countries in positions of up to 18 months duration. The projects are primarily in the EU. Click on "Membership" to see AVSO member organizations, and find more volunteer opportunities in the "How to volunteer" section.
Atlas Service Corps
Places mid-career nonprofit leaders with 3 to 10 years of experience from around the world at host organizations in the U.S. (Washington, DC and New York City), and overseas (Bogota, Colombia and New Delhi, India). This is a one year fellowship where all the expenses are paid and fellows receive a modest living stipend and health care. All applicants are required to be fluent in English and, if going to Bogota, Colombia, Spanish as well. Nonprofit leaders from any country may apply; application process begins in January.
AVIF is an online charity devoted to sustainable development which is sensitive to climate-change. They operate online & onsite volunteering, help to bridge the technological divide, and endeavour to achieve the Millenium Development Goals within rural Kenya.
Biosphere Expeditions offers hands-on conservation volunteer expeditions that bridge the gap between scientists at the forefront of conservation programs in need of funds and helpers, and enthusiastic travelers, who during their vacation time and through their hands-on assistance and expedition contributions, want to support them.
Trains college and nonprofit personnel in the organization of alternative spring breaks for students. It can be a great resource for locating a program that allows you to perform valuable volunteer work during your college breaks.
Brethren Volunteer Service
A program of the Church of the Brethren. Volunteers serve a year or more on U.S. and international projects related to BVS goals including working for peace, advocating justice, serving basic human needs, and maintaining the integrity of creation. Service benefits include: housing, food, full medical insurance, and a monthly stipend. Requirements to serve in BVS include: 18 years of age or older, sound physical and mental health, willingness to examine the Christian faith, and commitment to the goals of BVS.
BUNAC offers a range of volunteer abroad programs in locations such as Peru, Ghana, Costa Rica, India, China, South Africa, USA and Cambodia.
Canada World Youth
Places Canadian citizens in six- to seven-month service projects around the world, usually with a Canada-based component before the international period. The organization pays all transportation and living costs, but participants are expected to fundraise up to $1,950 (CND) depending on the program.
Canadian Alliance for Development Initiatives and Projects (CADIP)
A nonprofit that organizes mainly short-term voluntary service projects in Canada and overseas. They are in various fields: charity work in favor of children and youth from underprivileged and disadvantaged backgrounds, care for people with special needs, environmental protection, restoration and conservation work, cultural events and festivities, etc.
Places committed Christians in ten- to twelve-month service projects in the United Kingdom. The program covers room and board and a stipend. Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements.
This Canadian-U.S. Christian nonprofit places individuals in service projects in several countries including the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Canada, and the United States. Knowledge of the language of the host country is helpful, but not required. Volunteers typically fundraise between $1,600 and $3,000 (CND) to cover their own costs.
Catholic Network of Volunteer Service (CNVS)
Serves as a clearinghouse for long- and short-term volunteer service projects of CNVS member organizations around the world. There are no fees for the service, but the details of each project vary.
Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI)
In addition to offering various study abroad programs, CCI places individuals in one-week to three-month service projects in such places as Ireland. The fee for the program covers room and board, but participants are expected to pay separately for their travel arrangements.
Provides an editor-reviewed directory of volunteer vacation opportunities. A wide variety of options are presented around the world, suitable for all budgets. Volunteer vacation coverage includes opportunities to make a difference for: animal protection, child protection, community and society, the environment, health and safety, and poverty and homelessness.
A nonprofit development organization offering a wide variety of expeditions to Bolivia, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, and Vietnam. The program fees include most in-country expenses, but participants must make their own travel arrangements.
Claretian Volunteers live in community with other volunteers and work full-time at a one-year ministry placement in the U.S. states of Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, or New Jersey. Lay missionaries receive room and board, medical insurance, transportation to and from the ministry site, and a monthly stipend.
CommonThreadz is a nonprofit organization working to better the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa and other nations. They organize international volunteer trips throughout the year for individual participants and teachers.
Coral Cay Conservation
Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) is a not-for-profit international conservation organization that helps protect threatened coral reefs and tropical forests. As part of a CCC expedition, volunteers receive PADI Scuba training (if they are not already qualified) and training in tropical marine ecology. Qualified volunteers then survey these environments to produce habitat maps and provide long-term management recommendations.
Helps you make connections worldwide. You can use the network to meet people and then go and surf other members' couches. The friendships made through CouchSurfing can enhance members lives and contribute greatly to making the world a better, safer, more peaceful place.
Cross-Cultural Solutions is an international not-for-profit volunteer organization offering programs in 12 different countries and 20 different sites ranging from 1 to 12 weeks. Volunteers pay a program fee which covers accommodation, food, in country transportation, cultural learning activities and medical insurance.
The Canadian branch of Voluntary Service Overseas (see below) places individuals from Canada or the United States in long-term service projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. Applicants may be expected to have degrees to participate in certain projects; youth-oriented programs are also available. The organization pays all costs and a stipend is included.
Development in Action
Aims to enhance young peoples' wider education in the United Kingdom and in India, in particular through the promotion of cultural exchange between the two countries. Each volunteer is encouraged to produce a project and develop resources during their time in India.
Disaster Volunteers of Ghana
Volunteers stay in the Volta region of Ghana with a host family and pay a monthly program fee of $500 (USD). This covers food and lodging and also goes toward community projects. Individuals volunteer year round for many different projects, such as working in health care clinics, working with women in rural communities, or teaching at local schools.
Places individuals in one- to three-week scientific research projects sponsored by the Earthwatch Institute around the world. Participants pay a share of the costs of the program and receive room and board as part of this fee; travel to the research country is not included in the fee.
Encore! Service Corps International
Encore! Service Corps International engages returned Peace Corps Volunteers in shorter term projects to build capacity in communities around the globe. Open free of charge to individuals with Peace Corps or similar overseas service experience, volunteers participate in countries where they have language fluency and have previously lived for one to two years.
Financial Services Volunteer Corps
Places financial professionals in one- to two-week service projects in some 30 developing countries, including Russia, the Balkan region, and Indonesia. Participants must have practical financial experience and/or skills necessary for each project. The organization covers transportation and room and board. It also runs a U.S.-based internship for Russian and Ukrainian bankers.
Foundation Cabo San Francisco
The Foundation offers opportunities for volunteers in communitarian services, research, and conservation of the flora and fauna of the region of San Francisco de El Cabo in Ecuador.
Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)
Offers opportunities to volunteer for one or more weeks at primary care medical clinics in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, and Uganda. Volunteers shadow and assist local medical staff in the clinic, and also travel into local communities to promote preventative health awareness and education.
Foundation for Sustainable Development
Places college students, recent graduates, and adults with local NGOs in Latin America and Africa.
Gapforce works in conjunction with various charities such as Red Cross, UNESCO and AWF to offer people adventures around the world whilst partnering with people in developing communities. Training programmes include Ski, Dive and Expedition instructors.
Geekcorps promotes economic growth in the developing world by sending highly skilled technology volunteers to teach communities how to use innovative and affordable information and communication technologies to solve development problems.
Give Us Wings
Give Us Wings is a small, nonprofit organization that works at the grassroots level in villages within Kenya and Uganda, funding community development projects, providing financial assistance and training for economic self-sufficiency, and funding educational and medical needs of adults and children in Africa. Volunteer trips are focused on poverty education, as well as volunteer assistance with sustainable development programs.
Global Citizens Network
Global Citizens Network sends short-term teams of volunteers to communities in other cultures where participants immerse themselves in the culture and daily life of the community. Each volunteer team is partnered with a local grassroots organization active in meeting local needs.
Offers overseas voluntary work opportunities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean for high school students, as well as teaching internships for volunteers 17 years old and older.
Global Service Corps
Provides short- and long-term opportunities for volunteers, interns, and fellows to live with local host families in Tanzania and Thailand and work on projects in health, HIV/AIDS, education, sustainable agriculture, and the environment. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Participants pay a fee for their room and board, and are expected to make their own travel arrangements.
Global Vision International
Places individuals in a range of expeditions, volunteer projects, and training courses all over the world. There are over 30 programs in more than 15 countries including Brazil, China, Ecuador, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, and South Africa. Program durations vary from two weeks through more than a year.
Global Volunteer Network
The Global Volunteer Network offers volunteer opportunities in community projects throughout the world. Their vision is to support the work of local community organizations in developing countries through the placement of international volunteers.
Places individuals in one- to three-week service projects in 20 countries around the world. Participants pay a fee for their room and board, and are expected to make their own travel arrangements.
Guatemala Accompaniment Project
Places individuals in three-month-minimum stay projects as trained human rights observers in Guatemala. Applicants must be residents of the United States or Canada and speak English. Individuals are expected to fundraise to cover costs which include room, board, and a stipend.
Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International's Global Village trips offer opportunities to volunteer alongside members of a host community as well as get to know another culture in new ways. Volunteers also participate in local cultural activities, help raise awareness of the burden of poverty housing and further Habitat's mission to build decent, affordable housing worldwide.
Health Volunteers Overseas
Places fully-trained health and medical professionals in 25 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Volunteers serve for an average of one month in a teaching and training capacity. Volunteers must be fluent in English and pay their travel expenses to and from the country. Room and board are often provided, but this depends on the site chosen.
HOPE International Development Agency
Places volunteers in a variety of countries including Ethiopia, Cambodia, India, Afghanistan, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Volunteers participate in projects that combine the lives and work of people living in impoverished communities coming to understand their struggles and hopes. Many projects focus on the provision of clean and safe water, sustainable living, primary health and sanitation, and the environment.
The Humanity Exchange
Places citizens from any country (18+) in volunteer, internship, or research placements in Africa and South America. Program can be any length of time up to one year, and can be combined with learning French or Spanish. Internships may also be considered for course credit.
International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE)
An international federation of national committees promoting youth mobility, international understanding, and global education through long-term (six months or a year) voluntary service exchange programs for youths. There are opportunities in over 30 countries.
International Medical Volunteers Association
Serves as a clearinghouse of medical service projects around the world for long- and short-term projects. There are no fees for the referral service. The details of each project vary.
International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership
Unites academic study for credit and volunteer service, giving students a fully integrated study abroad experience. Both students and the host communities benefit from the substantial service each student gives by studying at a local university and serving 15-20 hours per week in a school, orphanage, health clinic, or other agency addressing human needs.
International Volunteer Programs Association
The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an alliance of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations based in the Americas, which are involved in international volunteer and internship exchanges. The IVPA site features a search engine for international volunteer placements.
Involvement Volunteers Association Inc.
This Australia-based nonprofit places individuals in service projects around the world, lasting from two weeks up to a year. Volunteers are assessed a small placement fee of AU$275 by the organization. Volunteers then pay a fee depending upon the organization with which they choose to work, and need to make their own travel arrangements.
Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)
JVC is active in various projects such as agriculture, water provision, forest preservation/utilization, children's education, peace building, and emergency relief. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, South Africa, Ethiopia, Palestine, Afghanistan, and North Korea are the current fields of the projects.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Jesuit Volunteer Corps is the largest Catholic lay volunteer program in the United States, and has volunteer placements in six other countries. Some placements require specific credentials, but most jobs can be done by people with a general educational background. U.S. placements require a one-year commitment; international placements require a two-year commitment. International volunteers make their own travel arrangements, and receive room and board once in-country.
The LiveLearning program partners with development organizations in Peru and the Dominican Republic to offer educational expeditions for student groups and educators.
Manna Project International
Provides shorter-term Spring Break and summer opportunities, as well as year-long program director positions, for college students and recent graduates seeking to connect education and learning with hands-on service in Nicaragua and Ecuador.
Marhaba: Volunteers in the Middle East
Offers six week summer service-learning programs for college students and recent graduates in Cairo, Egypt to encourage cross-cultural understanding between the United States and the Arab world while providing meaningful service to communities in the Middle East.
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
This Catholic faith-based service has a number of short-term volunteer opportunities. Group study/exposure/service programs range from two weeks to one year, and individual volunteer opportunities last a minimum of three months. The trips offer a chance to study and learn about cultures, global realities, and peoples, especially the poor.
Places individuals in two-week to one-year service projects around the world. There are a wide range of positions, some of which require professional training. The program covers room and board and a stipend. Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements for short-term trips (three months or less). Applicants interested in long-term opportunities are expected to participate in a training program.
Mercy Volunteer Corps
Mercy Volunteer Corps places full-time volunteers in the United States and Guyana. Volunteers work in education, health care, and social services projects for one or two years and receive housing, food and personal living stipends, medical insurance, and school loan deferment.
Mission Doctors Association
The Catholic MDA places volunteers in mission hospitals and clinics in Africa, Latin America, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. There are two service opportunities: long-term (three years) or short-term (one to three months). Physicians must have completed a 12 month residency program. For the long-term program, MDA provides complete sponsorship, airfare, insurance, and a small stipend. Short-term volunteers cover these expenses themselves. In both cases, hospitals provide room and board.
With current projects in Thailand and Guatemala, Mundo Exchange is teaming with local communities in rural, high-need areas to facilitate cultural exchange projects that enrich the lives of the participants and strengthen the communities in which they work.
NABUUR.com offers a platform where people from Villages in developing countries and Neighbours from all over the world meet, share and act together toward new solutions. The progress and results are all visible on the website.
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos
NPH is a network of orphanages in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, including: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bolivia & Peru. For long term volunteers, they prefer a year of service. However, many of the homes allow visitors for shorter volunteer stays.
Places individuals of all ages and backgrounds in one- to two-week field research projects around the world. Longer-term conservation projects emphasize protection of marine wildlife, the marine environment, and other aquatic habitats. Participants pay a share of the costs of the research program and receive room and board, in addition to partial transportation with certain expeditions, as part of the fee.
Operation Crossroads Africa
Has seven-week programs in 35 African countries, 12 Caribbean states, and Brazil. Participants go in teams to assist in community projects, living and working with the local population. The program cost is $3500 and includes international airfare to the country, plus most in-country expenses.
Partners of the Americas
Networks individuals from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States in one- to two-week service opportunities in partner communities in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. Applicants are expected to have an expertise related to the project. Costs for projects vary widely.
Peace Brigades International
Places individuals in long-term service projects accompanying endangered human rights defenders in Colombia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mexico. Applicants must be at least 25 and be fluent in the language of the host country. Participants pay their airfare and are sometimes expected to fundraise to cover part of the program costs.
The Peace Corps is the U.S. government's international volunteering program. Currently, more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 72 countries, working to bring clean water to communities, teach children, help start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS.
Peacework arranges international volunteer projects and service-learning programs for colleges, universities, schools, campus ministries, civic groups, and service organizations seeking to expand their knowledge of the global community. Projects are available in the fields of health, housing, education and literacy, environment and conservation, and institutional programs for children and youth.
Por un Mejor HOY
A flexible program of participatory trips that offers an unforgettable opportunity to get to know Mexico from the inside out during any time of the year. Typical trips consist of hands-on work with a community, collaborating together on a local project or need during the day, while in the afternoons visiting a museum, a historic neighborhood, another cultural institution, or a local artist or activist home.
Places participants (ages 20 to 25, college graduates preferred) in Israel for ten months in settings that include immigration absorption centers, kibbutzim, youth aliyah villages, and areas of urban renewal. The program cost is $1950, excluding air fare.
This British organization places students in their gap year in volunteer positions in 24 countries. Volunteers must be European Union citizens and be between the ages of 17 and 19.5.
Projects Abroad offers internships and volunteer opportunities in over twenty countries, ranging in length from two weeks to three months. Volunteers are engaged in projects addressing topics like education, healthcare, conservation, journalism, sports, human rights, and archaeology.
ProWorld Service Corps
Promotes social and economic development, empowers communities, and cultivates educated compassionate global citizens. ProWorld links volunteers with community development projects, language classes, and local activities in Belize, Mexico, and Peru. Trips are available for as short as two weeks, or as long as 26 weeks.
Religious Youth Service (RYS)
Places individuals in one- to two-week (and occasionally up to four-week) service projects around the world. Applicants should be at least 18 years old and have an interest in world religions. There is no program fee, but participants pay a modest fee (typically $200 for two weeks) and cover their transportation costs.
This British organization runs four- to nine-month volunteer programs in India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. All volunteers receive intensive training (up to six weeks) before working together in teams in rural communities, raising awareness of important health and environmental issues. Participants must be aged 18 to 28 years, and pay fees for each program; Restless Development offers fundraising advice.
Service Civil International (SCI)
Places volunteers in two- to four-week international group workcamps and in three- to twelve-month volunteering with small stipend. Participants pay for airfare and a $175 fee. SCI is a secular, grassroots, and nonprofit volunteer placement and development movement run in the United States by an all-volunteer staff and board.
Servicio Internacional Para la Paz (SIPAZ)
Places individuals in long-term service projects in Chiapas, Mexico. Applicants must be fluent in Spanish and it is helpful to have some conflict resolution skills. Participants pay no fee and receive transportation costs and room and board.
Social Entrepreneur Corps
This program, working together with the nonprofit Community Enterprise Solutions (CES), invites volunteers to go to Guatemala, Ecuador, or Nicaragua and participate in successful development work and to provide the human and financial resources necessary for CES to continue to achieve its mission.
St. Vincent Pallotti Center
Connects prospective volunteers to the 100+ volunteer programs it works with, which offer one and two-year placements in the United States and abroad.
SYTO (Student and Youth Travel Organization)
A group of organizations that place participants in nongovernmental and governmental organizations, private and small-scale businesses, and schools in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Benin, Nigeria, and South Africa. Programs last for three months (though can be extended) and have an associated program fee.
Thai Experience is a nonprofit organization linking volunteers from developed countries with projects in rural Thailand. Volunteers teach English or computer skills, or use other special skills, bridging the gap while gaining valuable knowledge and a cross-cultural experience.
ThinkImpact empowers a generation of young leaders to identify and develop sustainable solutions to health and education challenges in partnership with developing communities, implementing community-based development projects through ThinkImpact's Global Development Program which offers internship and fellowship experiences for projects and social enterprises.
is a nonprofit organization that aims to transmit knowledge of English from wealthier nations to poorer ones by way of volunteers. The length of time can be anywhere from a week to six months or longer. Program costs start at 150 Euros for a week in Thailand, but diverge widely depending on the selected country. Air fare and food are additional costs.
TravelWorks is a tour operator offering volunteer project placements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. Volunteer work possibilities include child care, education, health, tourism, construction, and environmental and wildlife conservation. In Latin America, participants improve their Spanish or Portuguese skills through language courses and cultural immersion. Projects last from 2 weeks to several months.
Travellers Worldwide offers voluntary placements and work experience internships in over 20 countries to volunteers aged 17+. Choose from over 250 voluntary projects including Care and Community, Teaching, Sports, Work Experience Internships, Conservation, Marine, Language Courses, Cultural Courses, and Drama, Dance & Music.
This British registered charity offers challenging expedition and gap year programs consisting of sustainable jungle and rainforest conservation projects, language teaching, and cultural experiences in diverse environments such as the rainforests of Central and South America and South East Asia.
True Travellers Society
Aims to connect individuals to no-fee volunteer or meaningful travel opportunities around the world. They do this through an online community and database, relying on information submitted by its users.
Work and Volunteer Abroad (WAVA)
Provides international work experience programs, volunteer projects, travel, languages, teaching, and working holidays for students, graduates, and people taking a gap year or career break.
Unite For Sight
Trains and engages international volunteers to support local eye clinics around the globe. Volunteers can assist with hands-on clinical services and screening programs as well as participate as filmmakers and photographers to capture the stories of patients, all while developing skills and learning more about international health and development.
United Nations Volunteers
Places individuals in service projects around the world, usually for one- to two-year projects, though sometimes for shorter timeframes. Applicants must be at least 25, should be fluent in the language of the country in which they aspire to volunteer, and be experts in their area of service. Participants receive transportation costs, room and board, and a stipend.
is the nonprofit U.S. partner of the ICYE (see above) and is devoted to building cross-cultural understanding and friendship around the world. UP offers a diverse range of initiatives to build global understanding, including short- and long-term (from a week to a year) Volunteer Quests, as well as educational Learning Quests, in some 35 countries. Program fees and included costs vary depending on destination.
uVolunteer is an international volunteer travel organization that designs volunteer vacations for individuals whose goal is volunteer in Latin America. They currently offer volunteer abroad placements in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Ecuador.
Customizes international volunteer opportunities for students, professionals, and anyone with the desire to make a difference. Whether you work in a clinic or school, or simply assist in the day-to-day tasks of a program, the camaraderie and friendships that develop enrich lives and create an atmosphere of renewal and healing.
Visions in Action
Places individuals in six-month and one-year service projects with local nonprofit development organizations, research institutes, health clinics, community and activist groups, and media outlets in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, and Mexico. All programs include a one-month language training program. Applicants must be at least 20 and have two years of college or the equivalent work experience. Participants pay fees for each program that cover all expenses, but the organization does offer fundraising advice.
Voluntary Service International
The Irish branch of Service Civil International (see above) places Irish individuals in short- and long-term service projects both in Ireland and around the world. Program costs depend on the destination.
Voluntary Workcamps Association of Ghana
VOLU organizes a variety of projects, including the construction of primary or secondary schools, roads, and hospitals, as well as reforestation, cocoa plantation, literacy projects, community development, oil palm production, and AIDS awareness campaigns. There are two cycles of workcamps—summer and winter—which run about three or four weeks.
Volunteer Healthcare Corps
The Volunteer Healthcare Corps, a program of the HIV/AIDS Twinning Center and the American International Health Alliance, recruits skilled volunteers for placements at AIDS service organizations in Africa.
Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)
VSA recruits and sends New Zealanders to work as volunteers with communities in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, and works with partner organizations to formulate assignments that address their needs. Assignments usually last two years, but are sometimes shorter.
Volunteer Abroad with VSO
This British development charity places professionals from a variety of fields in two-year service projects in over 40 countries around the world. Potential participants should have a university degree and a few years work experience; programs for youths are also available. The organization pays all costs and a stipend is included.
Volunteers For Peace
Places individuals in two- to three-week workcamp-based service projects in over 95 countries around the world. Participants pay a fee between $250 and $500 for their room and board, and are expected to make their own travel arrangements.
Volunteers for Prosperity
Volunteers for Prosperity connects experienced U.S. professionals with volunteer opportunities around the globe via partnerships with over 240 businesses and nonprofit organizations. In addition, with the Global Giving Foundation, they offer matching grants of $500-$1000 to support skilled volunteers with demonstrated financial need via their Volunteers for Prosperity Service Incentive Program (VFPServ).
Volunteers for Rural India
A British charity allowing anyone to visit and become involved in rural development projects in India for three weeks to six months; the first three weeks are an orientation to rural India, and longer stays permit access to ongoing development projects. Placement fees are £265 for the initial three weeks and £3 per day thereafter, excluding travel costs.
Volunteers in Asia
Places individuals in six-week, or one- to two-year, service projects in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Those participants bound for English teaching positions must attend a two-week training session in Thailand. Applicants for the one- and two-year programs must have a BA/BS. Participants pay fees for each program, but most costs are covered by VIA.
Places U.S. professionals in two- to six-week volunteer assignments to promote agricultural, business, and technical development overseas. Winrock covers transportation, lodging, and travel expenses.
Witness for Peace
Places volunteers in two-year social justice missions in Mexico; there are also shorter delegations to Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Volunteers must be 21, fluent in Spanish, and U.S. citizens. The cost is transportation to the training site, plus volunteers are expected to raise $1000 over two years of service.
World Leadership Corps (WLC)
An organization dedicated to global service and to the preparation of future leaders, the WLC recruits young people with exceptional promise for leadership from across the world to participate in a two-year service-learning graduate program.
Based at the Center for International Development at Harvard University, WorldTeach provides opportunities for individuals interested in international education to serve as volunteer teachers in developing countries. WorldTeach has two-month summer programs and year-long placements in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Guyana, Ecuador, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Poland, and South Africa.
World University Service of Canada
Through Uniterra, a new international volunteer cooperation program, WUSC aims to help reduce poverty in the world and to help achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The site includes a list of volunteer positions.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
Global network to connect volunteers with organic farms. For a minimal fee sometimes assessed to assist with costs, volunteers receive food and accommodations while learning more about organic lifestyles. Volunteers can search for opportunities by country.
Yomps offers overseas volunteering projects, expeditions and courses in more than 20 countries around the world, including Wildlife Research volunteering projects in South Africa, Amazon rainforest conservation in Ecuador and working with local communities in Venezuela. Program durations vary from two weeks to over two years.
Youth Challenge International
Places 18- to 35-year old Canadian, Australian, Costa Rican, Guyanese, and Vanuatan citizens in five-week to three-month service projects in such countries as Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guyana, Tanzania, and Vanuatu. Participants are expected to fundraise to cover their air fare and room and board costs.
Youth With A Mission
This multidenominational Christian organization places individuals in one-week to one-year-plus service projects globally. There are no fees for the program, but applicants are expected to meet all their travel and living costs.
This page was last updated in September 2010.