When it comes to volunteering, please be very careful with when looking for opportunities abroad.  There are many companies out there charging to place you in positions when it’s just as easy to get to your destination and find volunteer opportunities locally.  A friend is working on a database for just this purpose – sources of free volunteer opportunities and holidays that benefit charitable organizations.  As soon as it’s up I’ll have it on the recommended resources page.

These resource pages are ongoing and come from many sources including online searches, word of mouth recommendations, books, pamphlets, brochures, and my own travel experiences.  If you have anything to add, would like something removed, or something isn’t working correctly, please let me know.

The flags below are meant to give you an idea of which nationalities the link is for or where the company is located.  Common sense should tell you if you’re able to use a given link from another country.

Volunteering Holidays

  • Adventure VSA (Volunteer Service Abroad): www.vsa.org.nz New Zealand Flag – Volunteer opportunities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa
  • Go Differently: www.godifferently.com UK Flag – Homestays and volunteer opportunities in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India
  • Hands up Holidays: www.handsupholidays.com UK Flag Australian Flag – Tours that blend sightseeing with volunteering
  • Madventurer: www.madventurer.com UK Flag – Gap year volunteer projects in Fiji, Ghana, India, Kenya, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam
  • PEPY Ride (Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself): www.pepyride.org US Flag – Intern and volunteer opportunities in Cambodia
  • Travellers Worldwide: www.travellersworldwide.com UK Flag – voluntary placements, work experience internships and study abroad courses overseas
  • World Expeditions: www.worldexpeditions.com Australian Flag – “Community projects” and “charity challenges” are two styles of trips offered by this adventure travel company

Organized Programs

  • AFS Intercultural Programs: www.afs.org.au Australian Flag – Fairly short-term international community service projects for Australians
  • Amigos de las Americas: www.amigoslink.org US Flag – Leadership and community service in the Americas
  • Amizade: www.amizade.org US Flag – A variety of programs and locations for those seeking to volunteer abroad
  • Australian Volunteers International (AVI) Youth: www.australianvolunteers.com Australian Flag – They “manage people-centred development projects and programs in a wide range of countries. Our work focuses on reducing poverty, providing health and education services, promoting human rights and gender equality, and protecting the environment.”
  • Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD): www.ayad.com.au Australian Flag – Sends young Aussies to the Pacific, Asia and Africa in different positions and for different time periods
  • Azafady: www.azafady.org UK Flag – Community based projects in Madagascar
  • Biosphere: www.biosphere-expeditions.org UK Flag – Non-profit, award-winning conservation holiday volunteer work expeditions.
  • British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV): www.btcv.org UK Flag – Various volunteer programs for the UK’s largest conservation charity
  • BUNAC (British Universities North America Club): www.bunac.org/volunteer UK Flag – A wide range of volunteer programs are offered in places like China, Costa Rica, Ghana or South Africa
  • Changing Worlds: www.changingworlds.co.uk UK Flag – Volunteer experiences and work placements in a variety of fields and positions
  • Conservation Volunteers: www.conservationvolunteers.com.au Australian Flag – Focusing on conservation and the environment, they offer volunteer options in Australia, New Zealand and around the world
  • Global Volunteers: www.globalvolunteers.org US Flag – Live and work with local people on life-affirming service programs for one to three weeks. Extended-term service option for six to 24 weeks.
  • Global Xchange: www.globalxchange.org.uk UK Flag – Offers two separate programs focusing on “issues that really matter”.
  • Inter-cCultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) UK: www.icye.co.uk UK Flag- ICYE volunteers live and work in countries throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe, helping to support local NGO’s and aid International development.
  • International Voluntary Service (IVS): www.ivs-gb.org.uk UK Flag- A wide variety of short- and long-term programs and projects that benefit local communities in many different countries.
  • Lattitude: www.lattitude.org.uk UK Flag – Lattitude provides that volunteering opportunity – the chance to go beyond the comfort zone and make a lasting difference.
  • The Leap: www.theleap.co.uk UK Flag – Conservation and eco-tourism projects in Asia, Africa and South America
  • Outreach International: www.outreachinternational.co.uk UK Flag – They “organise gap year and career break volunteer projects plus summer breaks in Mexico, Cambodia, Nepal, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos.”
  • World Youth International: www.worldyouth.org.au Australian Flag – A not for profit, non-religious & non-political international development organisation that offers people the opportunity to volunteer overseas in a meaningful way. They offer a range of programs and placements to countries including Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Cambodia, India and Peru.
  • Youth for Development (YfD): www.vso.org.uk UK Flag – VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries.

Charities, NGOs and Sending Agencies

  • Australian Volunteers International (AVI): www.australianvolunteers.com Australian Flag – They “manage people-centred development projects and programs in a wide range of countries. Our work focuses on reducing poverty, providing health and education services, promoting human rights and gender equality, and protecting the environment.”
  • Coral Cay Conservation (CCC): www.coralcay.org UK Flag – Specialists in coral reef and tropical forest conservation, they run expeditions in costal areas of Fiji, Tobago and the Philippines
  • Experiment in International Living (EIL): www.eiluk.org UK Flag – Programs that include volunteering, study and travel in the UK and abroad
  • Global volunteer Network: www.volunteer.org.nz New Zealand Flag – a massive collection of global opportunities for all nationalities with an emphasis in Africa and Asia
  • Mondo Challenge: www.mondochallenge.org UK Flag – MondoChallenge volunteers help communities abroad, using their skills while on a career break they volunteer overseas, teach english abroad, work in childcare, women’s empowerment or other community based projects
  • Oceanic Society: www.oceanic-society.org US Flag – The Oceanic Society’s mission is to protect endangered wildlife and preserve threatened marine habitats worldwide. The Society works to establish protected natural areas, supported and sustained through scientific research, in cooperation with local communities.
  • Peace Corps: www.peacecorps.gov US Flag – Peace Corps Volunteers live, learn, and work with a community overseas for 27 months, providing technical assistance in six program areas: education, youth and community development, health, business and information and communications technology, agriculture, and environment.  Volunteers serve in 77 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
  • Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA): www.vsa.org.nz New Zealand Flag – Volunteer opportunities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa
  • Volunteering for International Development from Australia (VIDA): www.vidavolunteers.com.au Australian Flag – VIDA volunteers work with local counterparts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development results in the communities in which they work through skills and knowledge exchange, institutional strengthening and capacity building.

Useful Websites

  • British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND): www.bond.org.uk UK Flag – Bond is the UK membership body for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in international development.
  • Go Overseas: www.gooverseas.com US Flag – A community driven website of like minded people who are all passionate about teaching, studying and volunteering abroad.
  • Network of International Development Organizations in Scotland (NIDOS): www.nidos.org.uk UK Flag – NIDOS’s member organizations work to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the most vulnerable communities around the world.
  • Transitions Abroad: www.transitionsabroad.com US Flag – A Portal for volunteer work and volunteer vacations overseas.
  • University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center: umabroad.umn.edu US Flag – A good resource cite for helping choose a program abroad.
  • Volunteering Australia: www.volunteeringaustralia.org Australian Flag – Volunteering Australia is the national peak body working to advance volunteering in the Australian community.  Its role is to represent the diverse views and needs of the volunteering sector while promoting the activity of volunteering as one of enduring social, cultural and economic value.
  • Volunteering New Zealand: www.volunteeringnz.org.nz New Zealand Flag – Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) is an association of volunteer centres and national and other organisations with a commitment to volunteering. Current member organisations cover emergency services, health, welfare, education, culture, faith based services, community support, ethnic groups, sport and recreation, conservation, special interests, advocacy and international volunteering.
  • Volunteering Options: www.volunteeringoptions.org UK Flag – Tons of information about volunteering abroad.