Orphanage and Care Volunteer Work Abroad
- Role: Assisting with caring for children and others in need of support at orphanages, day cares, kindergartens, special needs centers, elderly homes, and other care facilities.
- Requirements: None
Volunteer care work is one of the most worthwhile activities you can get involved in, whether it is in a developed or a developing country. Throughout the world, there are vast numbers of children who are orphaned, neglected, or under-educated and in need of love, general care, and educational support.
Care placements are a chance for volunteers on a college vacation, gap year, or career break to really make a difference to children who may otherwise have little or no mental stimulation in their lives. People are often unaware of the impact they can have on another person's life, with even the smallest gesture.
Care volunteers don’t need to be qualified or have previous experience. The only qualities that our volunteers need to possess are compassion for fellow human beings and a desire to improve the lives of those with domestic or physical circumstances less fortunate than their own.
Options for Volunteering on a Care Project
Our standard Care projects are separated into various placement categories. There are options for General Care Projects available in all of our destinations. These include Orphanage Work, Care Centers, Kindergartens, Special Needs, and Elderly Care. Below is a chart of where these placements are generally available. If you have any placement preferences for General Care Projects please let us know when you apply.
*Care Centers can include day cares, children's homes, centers for street children, community centers, hospital wards, and homes for the elderly
We also have additional Care projects available in some destinations, such as HIV/AIDS, Equine Therapy, Canine Therapy, and Child Rights Initiative. You can browse all the options for Care projects below.
Orphans and Volunteering Abroad
As a care volunteer working with children in orphanages, you would be helping the kids to learn life-skills that parents would normally teach. By getting involved in the day-to-day running of an orphanage - making sure children are fed, washed and dressed, and paying them personal attention - you will be making a really positive impact on their lives.
There is always scope for any talents or interests you may have to be utilized. Art & crafts or music are always popular activities and many care placements have outside areas where sports and games can be played. Many volunteers also help to educate the children in personal hygiene and social skills.
Opportunities exist in some orphanages for our volunteers to be more involved in the "teaching" or "medical" side of care work. Some orphanages even have schools on site. You may spend your afternoon helping the older children with their homework on their return from school, or running simple educational activities with the younger children. If you have the relevant skills, you can administer first aid to any children in need. The work volunteers do can be challenging at times but the strength and resilience of the children will inspire you to persevere.
Your day may start early to help get the children up and give them breakfast. However, you will probably finish early too or have several hours off at lunchtime before returning to play with the children in the afternoon.
Children and Adults with Special Needs and Volunteering Abroad
Volunteers work within a number of care homes with people with physical or mental disabilities such as AIDS hospices and schools for the handicapped, the blind, or the deaf. Conditions are often basic and staff are sometimes overworked. Volunteers are needed to provide another pair of hands, helping some of society’s most vulnerable people to lead a full and rewarding life.
Volunteers assist in improving the children's competence and awareness in social areas, such as understanding and following the rules of society, adjusting their behavior to the situation, problem solving and understanding others. Helping the children in these areas is vital in order to give them the best chance of living independently in the future.
While a volunteer’s impact will be beneficial to the placement, in turn the placement will often prove to be beneficial to the volunteer. Having responsibility for others and developing personal relationships in a new cultural setting has been shown time and time again to develop individuals. In our supportive role, Projects Abroad staff is used to seeing volunteers returning home with more self-confidence and a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.
Volunteer in a Kindergarten or Day Care Center Abroad
Volunteering in a kindergarten or day care center, you will be working with children of different ages. You will help with a variety of fun and educational activities such as art, games, and songs, and assist local staff to develop stimulating new ideas to interest young children in learning. Any encouragement you can offer goes a long way toward building a child’s self esteem and confidence.
Volunteers can get involved in working with street children in a number of our destinations. You could help to prepare free meals, provide personal hygiene advice, and teach literacy skills.
Care Project Mission and Management Plans
Projects Abroad places each of our Care volunteers at a placement where there is a real need. Our mission for our Care projects throughout the world is to provide sustainable educational support, care, and protection to disadvantaged children and vulnerable groups to enhance their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
In order to work towards this mission, in each of our destinations we produce a detailed Care Management Plan. The management plan is created based on the needs in each destination. Our management plans establish our goals for the year and list our actions for achieving these goals. Through following these management plans we are then able to evaluate our impact at the end of each year and set new goals for the year to come. You can read more general information about the Care Management Plans here, and read the care plans for specific destinations on their Care Project pages.
We take seriously the safety of our volunteers and the children with whom they work. Read more about our policies for care projects and care volunteers.
Group Care Projects for High School Students
For teen volunteers, Care projects are available as Care & Community High School Special programs. High School Specials are designed for volunteers aged 16-19 to join a group of their peers working together under the guidance of our local staff.
Volunteering Abroad as a Professional on a Care Project
If you are a professional and want to put your skills to use on a Care project, Projects Abroad offers a range of worthwhile volunteer projects for professionals. Our main focus is to match your skills with our partner organizations' needs. Please visit the Care Projects for Professionals section for more information.