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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROJECTS

Plan My Gap Year offers a wide range of challenging but rewarding community development volunteer abroad projects in GhanaIndiaSri Lanka & Vietnam. You don’t need any experience, just 100% commitment.

PMGY programs start on two dedicated start dates every month throughout the year and participants can join us from 1-24 weeks. Volunteers are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pickup, orientation, meals, accommodation, project transportation and local support throughout.

The majority of participants are first-time solo travellers, therefore safety and support is our top priority to ensure you have a positive volunteering experience.

GHANA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

Do your bit to help care for Ghanaian children with special needs. Assist local staff by getting involved in essential education and rehabilitation sessions.

FROM 375 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

This is a fantastic project for anyone interested in contributing to the lives of children with learning difficulties in a country packed with natural beauty.

FROM 360 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

SRI LANKA RENOVATION & COMMUNITY WORK VOLUNTEERS

Get stuck into community life in Sri Lanka. Get your hands dirty helping with renovation and community work across local temples, schools and hospitals.

FROM 270 USD

1-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

VIETNAM NGO VOLUNTEERS

Volunteer at a local NGO in Vietnam tackling issues such as health and human rights utilising your skills within a very stimulating environment.

FROM 465 USD

2-24 WEEKS

MORE INFO

WHY BE A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER ABROAD WITH PMGY?

Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.

 

Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.

 

Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.

 

Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.

 

Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROJECTS

GHANA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana participant, you will assist local staff with the day-to-day routines at the volunteer placement. PMGY’s Ghana volunteer programs will see you do your bit to help care for children with special needs. Support local staff at the project in various essential education and rehabilitation sessions. Moreover, provide one-on-one interaction and care for children who need it most.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Day

 

Volunteers on this community volunteer abroad program are required to provide valuable daily hands-on care, attention and interaction. More specifically, providing such support for disadvantaged children and young adults who need it most. Whether you join us in Ghana for 2 weeks or as part of your gap year, the local team will be on hand to assist your project work.

 

In general, you will volunteer at the project Monday-Friday for around 3-5 hours every day. The typical working hours for a volunteer in Ghana are usually from 7am-1pm. The early start is required to provide the local staff with much-needed assistance at the project. The chores and morning routines are where the volunteers can provide the most hands-on support.

 

Transport to and from the disabled children project is not included in your Program Fee. Consequently, a volunteer with disabled children in Ghana will usually travel by public transport, but may also choose to split the cost of a taxi. Our local team will show you how to get to and from your volunteer project location during the orientation period.

 

Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 
 

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN VOLUNTEERS

PMGY’s India disabled children volunteers help care for children with special needs. As a volunteer with disabled children in India, you will assist local staff in essential education and support sessions. On this volunteer community work, you will brighten the days of young ones, making a vital and important contribution to their lives.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day

 

Working as a community volunteer abroad with special needs children in India, you will provide valuable daily hands-on care and attention for children who need it most. Typically, there will be no strict itinerary or activities that must occur on a day-to-day basis. Volunteers with disabled children in India can expect to get involved in a range of different roles during their time. This means that a volunteer with disabled children in India must be proactive in their role.

 

As a volunteer with disabled children in India, a large amount of patience, energy and enthusiasm is required. Each day will be different, and a strict structure cannot be expected. With each day will come with different activities, challenges and perhaps even a different set of students! As a volunteer with disabled children in India, tasks may include teaching basic English, introducing activities to promote fine motor skills, and assistance with both meal and assembly times.

 

In general, work as a volunteer in India is Monday to Friday. You will usually spend 3-4 hours at the India volunteer program each day, usually, from 9am-12:30pm. If not within walking distance, you with travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. The cost of this is included in your Program Fee.

 
 

SRI LANKA RENOVATION VOLUNTEERS

You can join our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers to make a positive impact in the local community of Ambalangoda. This is a great opportunity to help out whilst immersing yourself in the local culture. From Buddhist temples, government hospitals and primary schools, you can assist the local community with renovation in a number of different settings.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day

 

Our PMGY Sri Lanka renovation volunteers are usually placed at local establishments that have expressed a great need for volunteers and request for help in renovation or restoration work. Your project runs from Monday-Friday, usually starting from 9am-12pm. Your placement will probably be a 5-10 minute tuk-tuk journey away, depending on the current project and location.

 

Each renovation volunteer in Sri Lanka will spend their mornings helping out with the required tasks for your designated project. For example, you may be busy mixing paint, digging holes, assisting builders, scrubbing walls, moving blocks, decorating a room, whatever is required for your local community. In the afternoons, you’ll have the chance to help out at one of our community volunteer projects teaching English in Sri Lanka.

 

A coordinator will be at hand to help you with your tasks. Make the most of your placement location too. For instance, learn about the Buddhist culture from the monks living at the temple, teach the children English songs during your breaks at the school, or learn more about the Sri Lankan healthcare system at the hospital.

 

All renovation volunteers in Sri Lanka are welcome to join us as an individual or a larger group. If you sign up as an individual then we are only able to organise renovation work for you. This usually involves stripping walls, plastering, painting and light building activities. However, bigger construction and renovation projects can be arranged for group applications of 6 or more people.

 

In short, the size of the project is really dependent on the duration that volunteers stay as well as the number of volunteers on the renovation and community project at the time. The need in the community is our main focus. This is a great project for those looking to get a bit more hands-on. By the end of your time with us, you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve contributed towards. Your placement is likely to be outside, make sure to bring plenty of suncream, a water bottle, and old clothes too!

 

Working outside with your fellow community volunteers abroad in the gorgeous sunshine whilst making a tangible impact on the local community – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

 
 

VIETNAM NGO VOLUNTEERS

GO volunteers in Vietnam work to help tackle issues, such as health and human rights, in and around Hanoi. As an NGO volunteer in Vietnam, you will utilise your skills within a very stimulating environment, helping to support an NGO in a developing country. This project provides the perfect opportunity for international volunteers to put leadership skills into practice and make a profound positive impact at project.

 

Your Volunteer Role & Typical Volunteer Day

 

As an NGO volunteer in Vietnam, you will support and facilitate with NGOs in a developing community. This can be anything from content writing and generating reports to helping with fundraising and building finance. Your exact role is dependent on you as a person and your experience/skillset. Each volunteer is different and brings a unique set of skills to the placement. Volunteers work closely with the staff to help strengthen the operations of the organisation. You will find the NGOs open to ideas and willing to create a role to suit your interests.

 

The typical working hours for the NGO volunteer in Vietnam project are 9am-5pm with an extended lunch break. This means that on average, an NGO volunteer in Vietnam will spend between 5-7 hours working on the project per day. Volunteers will attend the project from Monday-Friday each week.

 

Participants on this project will usually travel by public bus to and from the project each day. This fee is included in the Program Fee. Volunteers will either be provided with a bus pass in-country or reimbursed their travel fares on a weekly basis. The bus station is around a 10 minute walk from the Volunteer House.

FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INSURANCE

Flights

 

After confirming your place on your PMGY program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. This means that we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you would therefore like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

 

Your arrival airport and date is dependent on the specific destination you are joining us in:

 

🇬🇭 Kumasi – To join the community development volunteer abroad project on our Ghana volunteer program, you should book your flights to Kotoka International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is ACC. Volunteers in Ghana can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.

 

🇮🇳 Faridabad – To join the community development volunteer abroad project on our India volunteer program, you should book your flights to Indira Gandhi International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is DEL. Volunteers in India can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.

 

🇱🇰 Ambalangoda – To join the community development volunteer abroad project on our Sri Lanka volunteer program, you should book your flights to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo on the Saturday start date. The airport code is CMB. Most volunteers can arrive at any time on their designated Saturday start date.

 

🇻🇳 Hanoi – To join the community development volunteer abroad project on our Vietnam volunteer program, you should book your flights to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on the Wednesday start date. The airport code is HAN. Volunteers in Hanoi can arrive at any time on their designated Wednesday start date.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our volunteers experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

Plan My Gap Year Ltd is an appointed representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada).

 

If you’d like to purchase PMGY travel insurance, you can add this option on during your online application. You can also add this to any upcoming trips with us by getting in contact via telephone or email.

PRE-DEPARTURE SUPPORT

Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.

 

We have Facebook groups for each of our volunteer destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future volunteers. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for volunteers to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time volunteering with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.

PROJECT LOCATION & DURATION

🇬🇭 Kumasi – Our Ghana volunteer program is located in Kumasi, in central Ghana. It is Ghana’s second-biggest city, located around 6 hours away from the country’s capital Accra. It is a bustling region with so much going on! The surrounding area is made up of rolling hills and rural areas, with a much more laid back approach in life.

 

🇮🇳 Faridabad – Our main India volunteer program is based in Faridabad, located in the New Delhi Region of North India. The city is close enough to absorb the influence of New Delhi. On the contrary, it is also far enough away to offer a quieter setting. Together, these factors mean that Faridabad is a comfortable location to live and work. There are some interesting temples and local parks in Faridabad for you to visit, as well as markets and shopping malls. There are also a handful of cinemas for you to catch a Bollywood flick, should you fancy!

 

🇱🇰 Ambalangoda – Our renovation Sri Lanka volunteer program is based in Ambalangoda, on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka. It is approximately 2.5 hours away from Colombo Airport. Ambalangoda is a quaint ocean-side town. It is traditionally a fishing community but is famous for being the major production centre for demonic wooden masks.

 

🇻🇳 Hanoi – Our Vietnam volunteer programs are based in the north of Vietnam in Hanoi, around 30 minutes from Noi Bai Airport. As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi does not disappoint and will impress you on so many levels. It has all the attractions a visitor could want, but in no way is Hanoi touristy. With an array of cultural sites and some of the best markets in South East Asia, there is something for everyone.

PMGY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ABROAD LOCAL TEAMS

PMGY’s community development volunteer abroad programs are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams. All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community network provides the structure for your stay with us as a community development volunteer abroad. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique volunteering experience with us as a community development volunteer abroad.

ORIENTATION

When you arrive onto your specific community development volunteer abroad program, you will receive an orientation from your in-country team. This day will usually be broken down into two components. The first portion will usually be dedicated to all the theoretical aspects, from ‘dos and don’ts’, to safety aspects, project information and team introductions. The remainder of the day is usually used to introduce you to the local area. The local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. They will also be able to help you arrange your money and a local SIM-card. Please note that the exact itinerary of the orientation will vary from country-to-country.

SAFETY

If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee volunteer experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.

 

In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support available to them:

 

• PMGY Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team

 

Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences. With the help of volunteer feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.

 

Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time abroad. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.

 

Listed below are some general safety tips:

 

• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers

TRANSPORT TO PROJECT

🇬🇭 Kumasi – On the Ghana volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is not included in your Program Fee. You will be required to take public transport to your community development volunteer abroad program every day. Our local coordinators will introduce you to local transport methods during your orientation and first couple of days at the project. We will also indicate how much you should be paying for transport so that you do not get ripped off. The main form of public transport you will use are tro tros. They are cheap and easy to use. Most noteworthy, heavy traffic and poor road infrastructure can be commonplace within Kumasi. Subsequently, the journey to the volunteer project can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour upwards from the Volunteer House.

 

🇮🇳 Faridabad – On the India volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Our team have their own private transport networks that will transfer you to and from the community development volunteer abroad project every day. If not within walking distance, you with travel to and from project by either tuk-tuk or minivan.

 

🇱🇰 Ambalangoda – On the Sri Lanka volunteer program in Ambalangoda, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Your community development volunteer abroad project transport will usually be by tuk-tuk, but sometimes by private car. Journeys can usually take anywhere from 10–45 minutes each way. However, this will ultimately depend on which project you join as a volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

🇻🇳 Hanoi – On the Vietnam volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Most of our community development volunteer abroad projects are located within a 1 hour commute of the Volunteer House. Volunteers will either be provided with a bus pass in-country or be reimbursed their travel fares on a weekly basis. The bus station is around a 10 minute walk from the Volunteer House.

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER ABROAD REQUIREMENTS

PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds to engage in community development volunteer work abroad. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak the local language. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us will go a long way!

 

All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for community volunteering abroad, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation!

 

Your 1 USD deposit must be paid within 7 days of the application being successful to confirm your place. Your remaining fee will be due in full at least 60 days before the program start date.

 

Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join as a community development volunteer abroad with PMGY.