Volunteer Care Work Abroad
- Role: Assisting with caring for children and others in need of support at care centers, day cares, kindergartens, special needs centers, centers for the elderly, and other care facilities.
- Requirements: None
Care work abroad is one of the most worthwhile activities you can get involved in. Throughout the world, there are vast numbers of children who face disadvantaged circumstances such as neglect, under-education, and who are in need of general care and educational support.
Care placements are a chance for volunteers of all ages and experience levels 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.
General Care Volunteer Options
General Care Projects are available in all of our destinations and are separated into various placement categories. These include:
In some of our destinations, we also offer Care placements for volunteers who want to work with the elderly. Volunteers can help care for the elderly in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Jamaica and Romania.
Volunteering in Orphanages
Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes. 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, 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.
Care Project Mission and Management Plans
Projects Abroad places each of our Care volunteers at a placement where there is a need for extra support. Our mission for our Care Projects throughout the world is to provide sustainable educational support and individualized 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.
How Care Projects Make a Difference
At all of our Care Projects, we use a secure and anonymous database to track the development of the children and adults that we work with. Working with the database allows our staff and volunteers to monitor individual progress and identify specific areas of need related to the goals outlined in our Care Management Plans. By using the database, we can create specialized checklists to address these needs and achieve our goals. At most of the placements we work with, these checklists are designed to assess levels of English, numeracy and overall development according to the rate at which their age group should reach important developmental milestones. Other placements have checklists that focus on providing resources and educating children about proper hygiene. This means that volunteers’ work is structured, has a clear purpose and gives each volunteer the chance to make a direct impact at their placement, even if they’re only there for a short time.
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.