Volunteer in Fiji on a Life changing expedition
Through Cultural immersion and collaboration, we improve the life-skills of young people and help them reach their potential.
Think Pacific is a social enterprise and registered Fijian charity, which works with local government partners to achieve ethical, responsible and sustainable development in remote Fijian communities, whilst allowing university students to have a safe, structured and rewarding experience.
Our project is a two-way process. We improve the life-skills, global understanding and personal development of both young Fijians and international students through collaborative learning and volunteering.
On a 1 month or 2 month team expedition, international volunteers live at the heart of a Fijian village, experience challenges, teamwork and cultural differences and work side-by-side with Fijian youths to discuss, explore and implement programmes to tackle a range of social issues. Themes include health promotion, mental health awareness, sports development, enterprise start up, employability and improving life skills as well as running youth and sports activities in rural villages for Fijian children. All our initiatives achieve the aims of the Fiji National Development Plan.
In partnership with the Fijian government our overall goal is to increase access to information, advice and opportunity for children and youths in rural Fijian communities, whilst empowering young people to become more self-confident, culturally astute and empathetic leaders, who can tackle local and global challenges. Over 100 Leeds Beckett students have volunteered in Fiji over the last five years and many of the Think Pacific’s staff team are LBU graduates.
For more informstion, visit Think Pacific
Visit us: 15 Queen Square, Leeds, LS2 8AJ
Volunteer Teacher Thailand
Volunteers will work with an organisation called Volunteer Teacher Thailand who provide free English language teaching to children of all ages and adults. Volunteer Teacher Thailand is a non-profit making service run by volunteer staff providing free English lessons to children in Phang-Nga province. They raise the money needed to keep the service going and rely on volunteers to do the teaching. Schools in affluent areas levy a fee from parents in order to hire Native English Teachers. Most schools in Phang Nga province cannot afford the fees. Volunteers mean that the children in poorer areas have the same advantage as children from more affluent areas, they have English speakers in their classes. English is a very important skill in Thailand. It opens up many opportunities to young people in tourism and commerce. It has been adopted by the new SE Asian Economic Community as the common language between ten nations. University entrance is dependent on passing the English exam, no pass – no place.
For more information, visit Volunteer Teacher Thailand
East African Playgrounds
East African Playgrounds is a UK registered charity and international NGO, focused on East Africa, primarily Uganda. Children need to play to access their childhood, allowing them to gain all the developmental benefits that play has to offer giving them the tools for future success.
East African Playgrounds strives to ensure every child can access their right to a childhood and that no youth is left without the skills to develop.
East African Playgrounds take an innovative child-centred approach to education and use the power of play to transform the lives of children through their play programs.
Working with disadvantaged young adults, lacking formal education, East African Playgrounds provide apprentice programs to develop young people’s skills, knowledge and experience to enter the work place with a trade, skill and greater confidence.
A dynamic, fast growing charity that in the past 9 years have become the leading play-based charity in East Africa, resulting in their impact being recognised by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education and Sport.
By taking a collaborative approach, their beneficiaries in Early Childhood Development (ECD)centres, Primary schools and Child Friendly Spaces in refugee settlements benefit from a holistic approach to their development, creating wide enjoyment and impact from their high quality, fun, safe playgrounds and interactive play training programs.
East African run playground builds and Gorilla Trek/Playground build challenges.
For more information, visit East African Playgrounds
Archelon, was founded in 1983 and works to protect sea turtles and their habitats in Greece through monitoring and research, developing and implementing management plans, habitat restoration, raising public awareness and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles. In 1990, the organisation began running summer field projects on Crete to monitor and protect the nesting population of Loggerhead turtles, and raise awareness among local people and tourists.
Join Archelon’s large number of volunteers from all over the world and be accommodated across various campsites across the Greek Islands. Volunteer role(s) include beach surveys, excavations of nest sites, tourism awareness raising activity, fundraising and helping with camp life.
For more information, visit Archelon
BEES – Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary is a safe, natural home for elephants to just BE elephants. A place for elephants to be rescued and retire too OR at times we open our doors to elephants that need rest/care with the hopes of being able to permanently live out their days in at the sanctuary in a natural environment free from exploitation and abuse.
Allowing elephants the ability to BE elephants, to naturally forage, dust bath, roam, explore and socialize. BEES is a place where humans now work FOR them. BEES also provides a home to many rescued cats and dogs and provides Domestic Animal Outreach within the local community, we run sterilization programs and provide care to local animals in need.
We work within the community running clean up days, education for kids days, teach English once a week in the local school, have a community Christmas every year and give gifts to the village and often send volunteers to help with irrigation, fire walling and clean ups after natural disasters in the local area.
Our Sanctuary provides 5 locals with full-time employment and many local villagers part-time employment in construction, electrical maintenance etc We support local businesses such as massage, snack shops, local handy crafts village, restaurants etc as well as buying fruit and vegetables from the local farmers to feed the elephants, often at times buying local farmers watermelons or pumpkins they arent able to sell – providing them with an extra income.
We run a visitor program for travelers to see and experience elephants in a natural and safe environment free from exploitation and abuse. By joining us you’re directly helping these elephants to live a happy more natural life. This is a responsible and ethical program focused on giving back to the elephants after they have spent their lives working for humans. BEES are a place where humans now work for them.
For more information, visit Bees Sanctuary
Volunteer with Andreea's Club in Alphard Educational Centre, which has welcomed volunteers from Leeds Beckett University for several years. The project provides an amazing all-expenses paid trip to Romania in return for your time teaching English! The club provides an enjoyable experience for Romania children to spend a week learning essential language skills run entirely by volunteers. The students are aged between 6 – 18 years old.
Volunteers are recruited from all over the world including England, Europe, America and many more countries and many return repeatedly as they enjoy the experience so much. The camp operates on a weekly schedule, Monday evening – Sunday morning and consists of English classes, sports, trips and fun activities such as face painting and discos. The children arrive on Monday and have a graduation ceremony on Sunday morning, then the whole process begins again the next day with the new arrivals.
They are seeking volunteers who are enthusiastic with a passion for working with children and young adults. No prior experience is required as training is provided. You will be expected to ensure that lessons are fun, using games and other creative activities to engage the children to improve their English. We are looking to recruit a group of 20 – 25 volunteers who can commit to a minimum of 4 weeks up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
For more information, visit the Andreea's Club Facebook page
For volunteers under 30 there is significant funding available for the Erasmus+ programme. Depending on how careful you are with money, it should cover most if not all the volunteering- related costs. Exact grant amounts are calculated according to the exact number of days spent volunteering, plus the distance you are travelling.
Erasmus+ has held a long commitment to supporting volunteering opportunities for young people and mobility across borders. Starting in 1996, the European Voluntary Service has allowed more than 100 000 young people to go abroad and gain a life changing experience as a volunteer.
The reason for this commitment is that Erasmus+ values volunteering as a non-formal learning experience enhancing volunteers' professional skills and competences, thus contributing to their employability. At the same time, it increases their sense of solidarity, develops their social skills and promotes active participation in society. It is a win-win situation, where both the volunteer and the community benefit.
There are many things to research about your chosen organisation, whether you are going directly to an overseas organisation or signing up via a third-party which promotes various opportunities.
Below are 10 questions to consider before selecting an organisation. If you can't find what you are looking for on the organisation's website you can always ask them directly (bearing in mind that they will be very busy so don't ask before you've looked for yourself!):
- What does the work involve and is there a role description for volunteers?
- Who decides what I will be doing?
- What’s the aim of the charity or community organisation?
- Who runs the charity or organisation?
- Is the project sustainable, ethical and do the values match your own?
- Do they have volunteers all-year round?
- Who will support me before I go and when I get there?
- Will I be given all the training I need?
- If there is a participation fee, how will my money be spent?
- Can I contact previous volunteers about their experiences or local people who I will be working with?
Each volunteering project will be different so you need to think about what kind of experience you would like to have. A good starting point is to consider why you want to volunteer and to determine whether the aims of the organisation are important to you, or whether you are more focused on the type of activities you will be involved with on a daily basis?
Whatever your chosen organisation, the level of support and commitment required from you will be different. You may be required to undertake fundraising with a specific target which can be time-consuming but worthwhile. Organisations will provide varying levels of support, with some unable to interact with you until you are overseas. Things to consider include whether you would like to share your experience with other volunteers, be in a remote area or would rather be with creature comforts. Ask around and find out whether a friend can recommend an organisation they have volunteered with.
- Vaccinations Essential and recommended
- Living costs
- Visas - Are you eligible? Can you apply before on on arrival? Cost? Duration?
- Travel insurance Are you going to be bungee-jumping, hiking, elephant-riding? Check your activities will be covered.
- Local transport
- Police check or a DBS certificate If working with children, do you require certification?
- Special equipment or clothing
- Time Management preparation, training and fundraising
Each organisation will provide varying levels of support. Usually, you'll have the support and guidance you need to prepare for your adventure and the organisation should be able to give you a name and contact details for a local contact where you will be volunteering who you can turn to for advice once you get there. This may be someone who works for the charity, a member of the local community who is helping the project or a more experienced volunteer. It’s good to be as independent as possible, but as with all volunteering projects, things may not always go according to plan and it’s great to know you have someone you can turn to ask advice about the best way forward. Try and add people on facebook, whats app before you depart, in case you need to contact them beforehand.
Will it be safe? The Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advise website is a great place to start and you can search for advice about specific countries as well as getting general travel advice.
Where will you live? Is accommodation included in the project or can they suggest somewhere that is cost-effective and safe.
Whilst you’re away, what is the best way to get around? Is there a local public transport system and is it safe for you to use?
Are you arriving at a good time? It’s best not to arrive into a new country on a national holiday day, as many people will not be working and you could find yourself struggling to get transport or to contact people.
What cultural differences do you need to be aware of? Including your behaviour, etiquette or clothing or behaviours or attitudes of others that might be a surprise to you.
What 's the food like? If you have specific tastes or dietary requirements you will need to know what's available.
Your health and safety. Will you have access to medical help if you need it and if you have any existing health issues, will you be ok? E.g. if you are on medication that needs to be kept cool? Will you have to take enough of your prescription medication for the whole time. Do you have a condition that is incompatible with the work? Make sure you have visited your travel nurse at your doctors in plenty of time to plan for which injections/medication you may need to take before you travel. The Travel Health Pro website, is great for checking what you may need.
- 1Build your resilience
- 2Challenge yourself
- 3Experience different cultures
- 4Get to know yourself better
- 5Give something back
- 6Get practical experience in your chosen field
- 7Make friends for life