Volunteer Care Work with Children and Adults in Jamaica
- Placement locations: Mandeville
- Types of care projects: Childcare centers, child welfare agencies, homes for the elderly, homes for people with severe disabilities
- Ages: Babies, children, or the elderly
- Number of people cared for: 10+
- Role: Assisting local staff by playing with children, helping with their daily care, teaching basic lessons, and providing general support.
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 1 week
- Start dates: Flexible
As a volunteer on a Care project in Jamaica you have an important role to play, whether you are a trained professional offering us the benefit of your experience, on a gap year, or on a career break looking for some experience in development work. Everybody is welcome, provided they are willing to work hard and committed to their role, their work-colleagues, and the ones they are there to help.
At Projects Abroad Jamaica we work with childcare centers, an infirmary, and social service organizations in and around Mandeville and in Montego Bay. Though we don't pretend that we can solve all the social problems affecting modern day Jamaica, we can work to make a difference to the prospects of a large number of underprivileged children and adults. But we cannot do this without the help of our volunteers.
Please let us know when you apply if you have any work preferences for your Care project. We will work with you to develop a role for you that is beneficial for both you and your work placement.
Volunteering in Childcare Centers in Jamaica
For volunteers who work at childcare centers, helping with basic education is important as many of the children have received no previous formal education. Volunteers also help to provide vital information about nutrition and some of the centers we work with have their own small farms on site.
Did you know? Almost ¼ of births in Jamaica are by mothers under the age of 18.
Working at a care placement in Jamaica offers you the opportunity to help in the emotional, social, educational, and physical development of children. Please be aware that you will be asked to do more than just play with the children and a flexible attitude is always appreciated. All the Care work in Jamaica focuses on providing worthwhile services to produce real results and also expand the skills of the volunteer.
Volunteering with Special Needs Children in Jamaica
Some Care volunteers in Jamaica teach in pre-schools or special needs schools for children with mental, physical, and learning disabilities. You can also choose to volunteer in a center for people with severe disabilities. Volunteers at these placements assist with interactive activities that enhance the growth and development of the children. As a volunteer, your job is to help improve their lives in whatever way possible. This may involve playing games and sports with the children, helping with their homework, or attending to their daily needs such as bathing, feeding, and laundry.
Volunteering with the Elderly in Jamaica
The elderly, as well as children, need the attention of volunteers in Jamaica. By working with the elderly you provide assistance to individuals who have been neglected or abandoned by their families or who are in need of support at this stage in their lives. The objective is to provide efficient needs-based care to these individuals. Volunteers can assist on this project by helping to feed the residents as well as reading to them, taking them for walks around the compound, and engaging them in wholesome activities that will stimulate them mentally, physically, and socially. This is a chance to really get creative and help to touch the lives of people in a meaningful way. Volunteers who have experience working with the elderly are encouraged to help develop new programs.
Volunteer Social Work Abroad in Jamaica
Care volunteers in Jamaica can also sign up for our Child Rights Initiative project. This project is particularly good for volunteers with experience in social work, psychology, sociology, family life education, or counseling.
The Child Rights Initiative (CRI) is a Care project that combines the four broad categories of children’s rights based on UNICEF’s Convention of the Rights of the Child. These are Participation Rights, Survival Rights, Developmental Rights, and Protection Rights. The project directly addresses the social needs of children in Jamaica while utilizing the skills of volunteers in related fields. Volunteers work alongside social workers, psychologists, counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, and child protection officers on a wide variety of tasks in diverse care delivery settings.
Volunteering at a Care Placement in Jamaica
Our Care Project Officer in Jamaica also organizes regular workshops for our volunteers. The workshops provide tools and tips on how to better organize your work at your placement, information on key issues relating to the placement, and problem solving ideas. The workshops are a great opportunity to receive and give feedback and learn some new activities and informal educational methods to use at your placement.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Jamaica Care Management Plan.
In whichever Care project you find yourself, you need to be ready for a challenge. Many of the children have had difficult lives and may require special care and attention. There may be children who have special needs that range from mild to severe disabilities and require special diets, physical therapy, special education plans, or social development intervention plans.
Volunteering in Orphanages in Jamaica
Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Jamaica. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.
This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Jamaica, volunteers will work in placements like day care centers, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.
This project is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
Volunteers interested in supporting HIV/AIDS patients also can join our HIV/AIDS Care Project in Montego Bay.
If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills volunteering abroad as a professional in Jamaica. If you are a high school student and first-time traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Jamaica.Jamaica Care Management Plan