Going abroad to be a volunteer offers the possibility of seeing the world and gaining valuable experience and knowledge and being useful for society, too. It’s a chance to become immersed in another country’s customs, get acquainted with people’s joys and concerns, and meet locals.
Read some impressions about volunteering on the European Solidarity Corps blog!
Be sure to budget some time to prepare paperwork. Volunteering abroad has become popular around the world, and many opportunities are offered on a variety of international volunteering sites and services. In most cases, the volunteer has to cover the majority of their own expenses and pay the organizer a fee. It’s always worth inquiring how room and board will be arranged. A number of programmes require the volunteer to have specific professional skills.
In the following, we will talk about programmes that offer volunteers multifaceted support and cover most of the volunteer’s expenses.
European Solidarity Corps
The European Solidarity Corps is a programme launched in the European Union in 2017 to give European youth and organizations an opportunity to build a more compassionate society and respond to social challenges in fields such as education, culture, youth work, environment, social services, human rights, etc. The goal is to notice and solve social problems by mobilizing youth volunteer and voluntary organizations. The function of the programme is to shape an open society, learn from different cultures, support civic activism, and engage with communities.
To take part in European Solidarity Corps, first find a sending organization in Estonia and a hosting organization abroad and write an application to Youth for Europe. The jointly prepared application is submitted by the sending or hosting organization to the Youth for Europe office in that country. If the application receives funding, the project can be started.
To find suitable possibilities, you can register yourself in the database of European Solidarity Corps volunteers. Read more!
International volunteer camps
Through the non-profit organization International Youth Association EstYES, it is possible to take part in volunteer camps held all around the world, mainly in summer season. The range of work camps is very different and the project selection is wide. Most camps are open to volunteers from age 18, with no maximum age limit. A number of projects are geared to 14-year-olds and older kids, and there are also some camps meant for families. Participants are required to be proficient in the language of the camp at conversation level.
To take part, look for a project of interest in the database of camps, submit an application form to EstYES and pay the participation fee. EstYES will forward the application to the camp organizer. The volunteer covers their own travel expenses and insurance, while lodging and food is free of charge in the camps.
MTÜ Mondo sends European Union humanitarian aid volunteers to Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Ukraine, Thailand, Georgia, Nepal and Turkey with the assistance of EU Aid Volunteers.
Mondo’s volunteer deployments last 6-12 months and all EU citizens can apply. People with specific professional skills and work experience are sought as volunteers. Both junior and senior volunteer positions are available. A senior volunteer must have more than 5 years of work experience, while that of a junior volunteer can be less.
To apply, send in the required documents. Interviews are then conducted with the best candidates. Two people per position advance to the final round; they take part in a 10-day training in Europe. The competition winner is determined after the training. Volunteers not selected during the training are placed on a reserve list and they may be offered a new opportunity by either Mondo or by another organization participating in the initiative. The selected volunteers also undergo a five-day training in Estonia.
The training expenses are covered, and during the volunteer’s posting, travel expenses are covered, including insurance, vaccination, visa fees and local living expenses. Upon the volunteer’s return, the volunteer takes part in training new volunteers.
A volunteer can go abroad independently, or they can look for ideas from one of the international website. For example: https://www.workaway.info/