Home » Volunteer Programs » Ultimate Round the World Encounter

START DATES

EVERY MONTH ALL YEAR ROUND

PRICED FROM

5,775 USD + 249 USD REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

CHOOSE FROM 20-40 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD ON START DATE

ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Ultimate Round the World Encounter is the best volunteer and travel the world program we offer! Tailor your gap year around the world trip to an epic 20, 30 or 40-week journey. Explore the world in 10 enthralling destinations on this unique program. As a result, you are sure to take in the best the globe has to offer along the way. International volunteers looking for the best around the world gap year program should look no further! Volunteer and travel across four epic continents on this Ultimate Round the World Encounter! 

 

This round the world trip is an amazing opportunity to make all your travel dreams come true. Our PMGY travel experts have aimed to make the program structured and accessible to all! Therefore, if you are looking for an inclusive budget trip around the world experience then this opportunity is for you. Update your travel blog and share your social media story as you make a positive impact in local communities on this around the world gap year program. Volunteer on this once in a lifetime trip and choose the trip duration, volunteer projects and travel experiences that are right for you.

 

ENCOUNTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • TAKE IN THE BEST OF THE GLOBE IN ONE TRIP
  • CHOOSE THE VOLUNTEER PROJECT RIGHT FOR YOU IN EACH DESTINATION
  • EXCITING WEEKEND TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE ACROSS EACH COUNTRY
  • EMBRACE NEW CULTURES, ADVENTURES AND COMMUNITIES WITH NEW FRIENDS
  • VISIT MACHU PICCHU, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK AND TAJ MAHAL IN YOUR FREE TIME
  • FULLY STRUCTURED AND INCLUSIVE FROM START TO FINISH

HOW IT WORKS

The Ultimate Round the World Encounter has start dates all year round. Moreover, participants can choose the trip duration that is right for them when completing the gap year around the world trip. There are 20,30 and 40-week travel the world options to choose from on the online application. All programs commence on the first Sunday of each month, but alternate start dates can be considered on request. 

 

The around the world gap year program comprises of 10-countries. Ordered from first to last, they are Costa Rica, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali. Should you choose the 20-week option you will spend 2 weeks volunteering in each of the 10-countries across the globe. In the same vein, should you choose a 30-week Ultimate Round the World Encounter, you will spend 3 weeks volunteering in each destination. Likewise, the 40-week program will see you join us for 4 weeks in each of the ten countries. 

 

Volunteers will need to plan their flight schedules to match their country-specific trip dates. Therefore, you will need to arrange your inbound flight to arrive in Costa Rica for the beginning of gap year around the world trips. Your outbound flight will need to depart out of Bali once your time on the around the world gap year program is completed. 

 

In addition, you will need to budget and plan your intermediary flights for your travel the world experience. More specifically, you will need to book flights from Costa Rica to Peru and then all the flights that follow matching your specific trip dates accordingly. This may sound a little complicated, but rest assured, the PMGY team are on-hand for assistance.

 

Across your around the world gap year program, you will meet plenty of other travellers and volunteers along the way! The numbers and types of people you will encounter will change as you move from country to country. This will allow you to make many friendships and share experiences with a range of people on your Ultimate encounter journey!

 

You can choose any of the standard volunteer programs in each country during the online application process.  Please note, some volunteer projects may be subject to availability and you should only select one project to each destination. Additionally, there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. Any additional costs will be made clear next to the volunteer project option during the online application. You can explore your volunteer options in each destination below. It will be an unforgettable 20-40 weeks!

GAP YEAR AROUND THE WORLD TRIP JOURNEY

Your travel the world journey with PMGY will commence in the breathtaking continent of South America. More specifically, you will volunteer in Costa Rica and Peru. As you volunteer in South America, you will encounter countless views of the Sierra Madre and Andes mountains. In addition, you will take in a range of wildlife species including leatherback sea turtles, 2-toed sloths and spider monkeys. There will be lasting tastes from each country as you enjoy delicious Peruvian Ceviche or Costa Rican Dados de Queso! South America’s various climates and infinite sights will leave you wishing you never had to leave.

 

The next leg of the around the world gap year program takes us to volunteer in Africa. More specifically, you will volunteer in South Africa and Tanzania. Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing. Furthermore, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty. From the endless rippling dunes of the Sahara to the signature savannah of the east, the continent will leave you amazed. In the same vein, jagged mountains, green-tinged highlands and 100s of years of culture are all to be explored.

 

After Africa, it’s now time to volunteer in Asia on the next stage of the gap year around the world trip. Central Asia to be precise! More specifically, you will volunteer in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. From the steep mountain ranges of the Himalayas that perch in Nepal, to the tranquil and picturesque island of Sri Lanka, not forgetting the global powerhouse enriched in culture India, Asia has it all. Asia’s abundance in physical diversity and variety is one of its standout features.

 
We will then delve into South East Asia for the remainder of the Ultimate Round the World Encounter. More specifically, you will volunteer in Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali. These destinations are some of the most diverse, colourful and spiritual countries in the world. Southeast Asia stretches across eleven countries from eastern India to China. Every country is unique but across the region, you’ll find blissful beaches and ancient temples. Furthermore, you will enjoy delicious cuisine, lush landscapes and urban jungles across the continent. 

🇨🇷 VOLUNTEER IN COSTA RICA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your first stop will be Costa Rica. This beautiful country has been an explorer’s dream for decades. Its landscape is diverse with crystal blue waters, dense rainforest and over 60 volcanoes. Be sure to get comfortable with a bit of close interaction because each person you greet will be up for a kiss on the cheek. You will no doubt remember the blissful memories of Costa Rica after your time visiting this amazing country. After all, the country has been referred to as the ‘world’s happiest country’.

 

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-see’ things in Costa Rica. You will spend your first-week learning or enhancing the beautiful Spanish language. The remainder of your time in Costa Rica will be volunteering in either a childcare setting or teaching English. 

 

While Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in the world, the use of English isn’t as often as one would think. For the reason that many of the local people are still unable to communicate properly in English. Consequently, taking the time to interact with local people will help their English levels improve! You will be able to select your volunteer in Costa Rica project during the online application.

 

🇨🇷 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN COSTA RICA

COSTA RICA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Costa Rica, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the Coronado community. Not only this, PMGY’s Costa Rica volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Combine your Spanish learning and enthusiasm for childcare projects to make the most out of your volunteer with children in Costa Rica experience!

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Compared to other parts of Latin America, Costa Rica benefits from good standards of living and higher levels of education. Yet families from poorer backgrounds and more disadvantaged communities still face times of hardship. More specifically, they rely on the support of the wider community and social initiatives to help them get by. 

 

Much of this assistance comes from local organisations or religious associations within the local area. For example, the local church will raise funds and host events to provide activities and support for underprivileged children and communities. Due to the interaction of the church, there is a big Christianity influence. Volunteers will encounter this on a consistent basis within the local community.

 

In addition to this, many parents that can find work will be working long hours. They will start working early in the morning and work well into the evening. The state and community support with this by providing affordable, subsidised and well-resourced day-care centres. Coronado has a series of nurseries for young children to attend. At these nurseries, children are provided meals, education and a place to rest. 

 

The projects in Costa Rica are well resourced and maintained. This is a positive example of money going into the right places for infrastructure and community development. Whilst it may not be so visually evident, many of the children at these projects come from poorer more disadvantaged backgrounds. When these families cannot afford new uniforms for their children the wider community will step in and provide.  

 

Therefore, the volunteer need at these projects is different and not as apparent to other projects. Facilities are good and resources are plentiful. In contrast to this, many of the children come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They face much more challenging living standards outside of the project. 

 

Volunteers are on hand to brighten up the days of these children. The project environment provides a great foundation for volunteers to facilitate this. As you volunteer with children in Costa Rica, your support from the local staff is much appreciated. This is because the ratio of caregivers to children can stretch up to 1:25 at times. The children are very cute and full of energy so get ready for craft time, meals and lots of singing!

 

To ensure our volunteers are equipped the childcare program will include 1 week of Spanish language classes to start your project! Thus when you travel to Costa Rica, these lessons that take place during your first week will set you up well for your volunteering experience. 

 

Volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in Costa Rica, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Costa Rica can bring. To volunteer with children in Costa Rica, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Materno Educativo Los Ninos Primero – Located just outside central Coronado, the project is home to around 40 children each day. As you complete volunteer work in Costa Rica at this project, you will play a key role in supporting the more limited local support team.

 

Ages of the children range from as young as 2 months up to around 6 years old. The project is open from 6am-6pm although the volunteer schedule usually runs from around 7:30am-12:30pm. Volunteers are welcome to stay as long as they wish at the project. Thus, if you wish to continue volunteering in the afternoon, this is more than possible. 

 

The morning schedule sees more children in attendance and more activities and class-based learning. In the afternoons when there are lower numbers of children. Thus the daycare centre tends to adopt a more relaxed approach with more play and recreation time.

 

The project itself is very well resourced and maintained. Volunteers are encouraged to be as creative and proactive as possible to engage with all the children and plan activities. The children are generally from the poorer areas of the local community.  Whilst the centre is well resourced, your physical support doing volunteer work at the project can certainly go a long way.

 

Due to the education and support at the project, volunteers are requested to have intermediate Spanish on this project. The project staff will generally only tend to speak in Spanish adopting very limited English.

 

Gotitas De Sabiduria – Located in the main hub of Coronado, this nursery is about a 30 minute walk from the accommodation. The walk will take you right through the centre of town! The project cares for up to 30 children from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday. Children are provided with meals, music & art activities and basic education in grammar. The mornings are when the project premises is busiest and when volunteer support is more appreciated.

 

The project is available for a mix of ages from caring for newborns up to children aged 12 years. There are 6 local staff members based on the project that you will be working alongside. The teachers believe that no two students have exactly the same skill set or learning style. The classrooms are full of activity and learning time to cater to many different children and their learning styles. Volunteer interaction enhances this opportunity with small group activities or one-on-one learning. 

 

Teachers will utilise volunteers by preparing small lessons in a range of areas. These areas include colours, English alphabet, songs and active learning through games and crafts. Examples of crafts may be ‘Letter of the Week’, finger-painting activities and making paper-puppets. Volunteers should use their imagination during the day to day aspects of the volunteer projects. As preparations for this, volunteers should utilise their free time to plan activities in advance. 

 

If you like working with babies there are 5-10 at the project each day. The caregivers are always in need of assistance in areas such as cleaning, changing, feeding, soothing and playing. These little ones need a lot of love and attention to thrive and grow each day. Volunteers helping out in this area will be essential. This is because 1 caregiver managing many infants can be very challenging. Thus, the extra pair of arms means one more person to soothe the little ones. 

 

Volunteers will assist the local staff with activities and also at meal and nap times. Volunteers will also play with the children and get involved with teaching basic English through songs and games. The children will generally only be responsive to instructions in Spanish. However, some of the staff have basic, but limited English to converse in.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Volunteers will help with daily chores like cleaning and helping to feed the children. Other aspects of being a childcare volunteer in Costa Rica include singing songs, teaching about hygiene and other important skills. Playing games and outdoor activities are also a big part of your volunteer role. 

 

The work schedule is flexible and will be set between you, the centre and our volunteer coordinator in Coronado. Based on your project assignment, you will typically work either 7:30am-12:30pm or 1pm-5pm on a Monday-Friday basis. Please plan for at least 3-5 hours on the project. 

 

If you are up for it, take a 40 minute walk through the heart of Coronado to reach your childcare volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20 minute bus ride to reach your childcare project. The bus stop is located just outside the volunteer accommodation and Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN COSTA RICA

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Costa Rica programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

All PMGY volunteers in Costa Rica will participate in the learn Spanish in Costa Rica program for the first week of their experience. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons and some optional afternoon cultural and social activities. The aim of this week is to try and improve your level of Spanish before you start volunteering in your second week.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Costa Rica. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Costa Rica runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Costa Rica Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

COSTA RICA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the schools in Coronado. Not only this, PMGY’s Costa Rica volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Combine your Spanish learning and enthusiasm for teaching to make the most out of your teach English in Costa Rica experience!

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

The beautiful city of Coronado is located in the suburbs of San Jose. Communities are expanding in Coronado and classrooms are becoming increasingly overstretched. Teachers are overseeing classrooms of as many as 30 students, calling out for much-needed assistance. 

 

For over a century education has been free for all Costa Rica citizens. The literacy rate of Costa Rica is 95%. Moreover, most students will graduate from secondary school with some form of specialised training. This specialisation will help students stand out when it comes to finding a job in Costa Rica in their free time. 

 

The belief behind free education is the empowering future that comes as a result. The government believes that providing a solid education will then provide the country with a more skilled workforce. People that can advance the times and opportunities for Costa Rica. 

 

The mission of the Costa Rican school system is, “To create a well-educated populace that will one day improve their national (and even global) lot.” Costa Rica is a community-based society and not based on the individual success of students. 

 

In 1869 Costa Rica was the first country in Central America to make education free for all citizens. Primary education is mandatory for children 6 to 13 years old followed by a voluntary secondary education lasting five years. The final two years of secondary education are specialised. This includes subjects such as computer science, media & technology, clinical assistance and childcare training.

 

The public and private school systems are similar in the respect that the curriculum is enforced and determined by the Ministry of Education. The major difference between the two will be that extra classes are offered to prepare students for study abroad. The cost of private education is very high and only those from high-income families are able to receive such programs.

 

Social classes are a major factor in the social system of Costa Rica. Costa Ricans feel that their high education sets them apart from those of less fortune. Due to this, there has been a great focus on the expansion of primary and secondary education. 

 

Families with a higher cost of living born into the lower classes will almost always remain in this class. However, in certain cases due to free education and family sacrifice to save money, students can have their prospects enhanced. This may be through being placed into private education or English classes that progress them into further levels of education. This is where free assistance within the public school system can really provide a fighting chance for those of lower classes.

 

PMGY Costa Rica is happy to provide assistance and lessons for the teachers of Coronado. Many teachers have studied with foreign educators but do so at a University level. Consequently, their English was developed at an older level. To ensure our volunteers are equipped to teach English in Costa Rica, the teaching program will include 1 week of Spanish language classes to start your project! This is to ensure you are able to apply yourself with the children and teachers! 

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Costa Rica. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in Costa Rica, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Costa Rica. As a volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Patio De Agua – Located in San Rafael de Coronado, Patio de Agua School is 3 kilometres east of the Catholic Church. The school has a population of 70 students, from preschool to sixth grade. Each class has a maximum of 13 students ranging from 8 to 13 years old. 

 

The school is located in an easily accessible area. It is surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes, near the centre of Coronado. in an area that is characterized by being rural and very quiet. The children who attend this school live in the nearby surroundings. Their parents work in the dairy farms and ornamental plant farms that are in the surroundings. 

 

Volunteers will largely work as a teacher’s assistant at the school supporting the day to day lessons. Volunteers will help with teaching regular subjects such as Mathematics, Science, Spanish and Social Studies. Volunteers can also collaborate with students who need individual attention to work on a more one to one basis. 

 

The School Institute of Integral Education – Instituto de Educación Integral Hogar San Agustín was founded in 1983. The school was established by psychologist and educator Otto Silesky. It was set up as an alternative centre for isolated adolescent students. 

 

Since its foundation, the Institute focused on the incorporation of digital technologies. This would be used as a tool to address diversity within an inclusion perspective. Consequently, younger people have better prospects of developing according to their potential.

 

The educational proposal of the Institute of Integral Education is focused on the attention of individuals. More specifically, prioritising students individual needs, interests and particular characteristics. It not only focuses on content teaching but also on the development of strategies to learn. As a result, making the most of individual capacities and available resources. The school has a program of hydroponics, pastry, cooking class, craft, carpentry and other workshops that complement the education of students.

 

The San Agustín Home works in tandem with the project in giving education, attention and protection to 15 male adolescents. More specifically, 15 male adolescents who are at social risk and without parents. The program is all about learning according to the rhythm of the individual. Furthermore, it is about promoting inclusion and social integration whilst accounting for emotional, social and cognitive aspects.

 

This project environment can be a more challenging environment than others, but equally far more rewarding and involved than other projects. Volunteer tasks will include coordinating activities with the teachers, running language classes and supporting with the administration. Volunteers can also help in different workshops and assist students with their homework.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As English teachers in Costa Rica, you will work predominantly as a teaching assistant. Your volunteer work in Costa Rica will consist off preparing classes, working alongside the teacher during the class schedule and tutoring the children. Whether it be in a primary or secondary school, the additional support provided at the project will be appreciated. The teaching program generally lasts from 7:30am-1:30pm on a Monday-Friday basis.

 

The main teaching English volunteer placement is located just a short 10 minute walk from the volunteer accommodation. Alternatively, other teaching English projects may require a 20 minute bus ride. Should this be applicable, the bus stop is located just outside the volunteer accommodation and Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN COSTA RICA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Costa Rica programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

All PMGY volunteers in Costa Rica will participate in the learn Spanish in Costa Rica program for the first week of their experience. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons and some optional afternoon cultural and social activities. The aim of this week is to try and improve your level of Spanish before you start volunteering in your second week.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Costa Rica. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Costa Rica runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Costa Rica Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

🇵🇪 VOLUNTEER IN PERU (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your second stop is Peru. This country is home to the lost city that is Machu Picchu. This is recognised as the empire of the Incans and home to the infamous Inca Trail. The ancient Inca ruins are considered to be some of the most beautiful and mysterious sites in the world. You won’t just encounter visiting such ruins in this glorious city; they are all over Peru! 

 

The real gem of your time in this country will be the people. Peruvians are an interesting bunch of extremely polite, hardworking, peaceful and cultured people. Be sure to ask of their Quechua roots, they may even teach you a phrase or two! Be ready for bright colours and warm smiles as you make a positive impact in the local communities. In the same vein, stone streets, snow-capped mountains and temple ruins await you in Peru. Finally, the Peruvian cuisine you will encounter will leave your taste buds wanting more! 

 

You will spend time in the heart of Peru meeting breath-taking views and delectable cuisine. Furthermore, Cusco will be your hub to make a positive difference in volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Cusco runs throughout the year. You can choose your volunteer project to teach indigenous children the English language. Moreover, you can offer a helping hand at childcare programs provided for the working street children. Alternatively, you can choose to enhance your medical knowledge by observing clinical nurses & physicians. Finally, Peru is the only country you can engage in wildlife conservation projects in South America during your gap year around the world trip. You will be able to select your volunteer in Peru project during the online application.

 

🇵🇪 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN PERU

PERU CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Peru, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the city of Cusco. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Provide a much needed helping hand for some of the most disadvantaged and underprivileged children in the local communities as you volunteer with children in Peru.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

The majestic city of the Incas, whilst tourist-based and thriving, is a city of the poor. People will travel from hungry villages hoping to sell their crafts and clothes just to make enough to eat. Each year in the city of Cusco, millions of tourist visit to explore the Incan culture and venture to Machu Picchu. Although high tourism and a thriving economy exist, more than half of the population still lives in poverty. 

 

Due to the inability to make enough money to support their families, tourists will encounter child beggars at all hours. Among the poverty, the ageless majesty of the Incan empire radiates from the streets of this historic city. 

 

As you walk the cobblestone streets taking in what Peru has to offer, you will witness many street children. They may be posing with Llamas or adolescents pushing carts of cheese to the nearby market. You will be able to notice their features and recognise they are all direct descendants of the Andes rulers.

 

In this indigenous culture, many children are subject to troubling home environments due to low income, addiction, violence and neglect. We work with local organisations to provide assistance to children that have great need. The projects range from kindergartens and daycare centres to supporting children with a range of physical and mental disabilities.

 

The kindergarten projects and those for working children are essential in restoring families. Furthermore, they are essential in providing necessary assistance to ensure children are not abandoned. By completing volunteer work in Peru on these projects you are contributing so that children can be fed and educated. Ultimately, this will help children become positive citizens in their local communities. 

 

Lower-class families do receive some minor assistance from the government. However, in many situations, the families still require their children to leave school and take to the streets for work. Due to this reality, local groups including police, language schools and local NGOs team up to provide support. This support includes provisions of free food, shelter, entertainment and clothing.

 

There has also been an increase in assistance for those with disabilities. In many parts of Peru, the conditions are far too rural to provide appropriate care for those with physical and mental disabilities. In Cusco, the local government has provided the necessary education and infrastructure to provide care for children of 4-17 years old. 

 

Education centres and specialist schools have been developed to care for disabled children so parents can work and earn money. Such establishments focus on children with greater needs than the average child. Examples include supporting those with severe autism, bipolar, down syndrome, ADHD, Muscular Dystrophy and missing limbs.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Peru provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in Peru, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in Peru can bring. To volunteer with children in Peru, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The Pronoei Project – Established as a non-formal kindergarten for low-income families, the Pronoei project provides care and education for those that cannot afford it. This organization is funded by the Ministry of Education of Peru. The program is run by a member of the community. They are known as the ‘project mother’ and maintain the centre in a teacher role.

 

The children are 3-5 years old in one combined class. The working hours for this project are 9am-12:30pm. You will be assisting the ‘mother’ with different tasks including lesson planning, playing with the children and organising workshops. Such workshops will centre around culturally improving the care of children demonstrated by staff across the local communities. 

 

As you volunteer with children in Peru at this project, you will also assist in areas such as nutrition and hygiene. Examples of this will include preparing meals and teaching the best techniques for brushing teeth and washing hands. This project provides volunteers with the foundation to create their own daily routines. Thus, as international volunteers, you can participate in the project in whichever areas you find interest with the children.

 

The project is generally home to around 30 children with just one community teacher. Thus, volunteers can provide an essential support mechanism for the oversized community project. The facilities are overcrowded and manic. Additionally, they are small, under-resourced and condensed so volunteer support is very much appreciated!

 

The Escuela Especial San Juan de Dios – Founded as a school centre for disadvantaged children, The Escuela Especial San Juan de Dios is home to children with disabilities of both mental and physical capacities. 

 

In the city of Cusco, there are only 4 schools for disabled children which makes this program so special! You will work with children with the mental capacity of those up to 6th grade. Although they reach the 6th-grade level, the children can be anywhere from 3-20 years of age. The work schedule is only in the morning from 8am-1pm. At times, there are occupational training courses for older children from 1pm-6pm.

 

In every classroom, there is one teacher with a maximum of 10 children. They have only one teacher-assistant that rotates through all courses. Because of this, volunteers are very welcome as most children require individual attention. 

 

In a classroom of young children, you may encounter that the group sizes average around 6 children. However, the work-load is much higher than those in bigger groups and at a higher age level. The teachers try very hard to educate the children in basic skills to then pass on to future levels of education. The children will also have skills to help out at home in their spare time.

 

In the higher levels, the students will learn to do activities like sewing, cooking and art. These skills can be used at home, occupational jobs and/or doing tourism-based sales like artwork or local craft. This allows you to interact on a more detailed and personal level in a skill-based environment. The younger levels are enjoyable and more informal as you sing songs, learn letters and do some painting. 

 

Specific tasks that volunteers will participate in are classroom assistance, meal team and food preparation. More creative aspects include crafts and stimulation activities for those with confining disabilities. If volunteers wish they can rotate between groups during their period of volunteering.

 

At Escuela Especial San Juan de Dios there is one physiotherapist that gives therapy during school schedule. A volunteer can be assisting during her work in order to gain experience and help when it is needed.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As you volunteer with children in Peru, your role involves supporting local staff with daily chores. Examples include providing volunteer support at mealtimes and with cleaning tasks. This extends to more creative support in arts and crafts, teaching English and improving hygiene skills. Volunteers should also assist with homework tasks and support local staff with planned activities. 

 

The work schedule is flexible and will be set between you, the centre and our volunteer coordinator in Cusco. The local team will email you your specific project information, volunteer tasks and working hours in advance of your arrival into Cusco. You will be volunteering at the project Monday-Friday. Please use your free time to plan for at least 3-5 hours on the project.

 

If you are up for it, take a 1 hour walk through the heart of Cusco to reach your childcare volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20-45 minute bus ride to reach your childcare project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN PERU

Resources – On the childcare project in Peru, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Peru.

 

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Project Commitment – For our childcare and teaching community projects we generally recommend where possible a minimum 4 week commitment from volunteers. This is so both the volunteer and project can maximise their experience. 

 

We still have project availability for 2 and 3 week placement options where the placement benefits from volunteer support. However, such projects are usually limited to kindergartens for childcare and the afterschool project for English teaching. As a result, shorter-term volunteers will complete their volunteer work in such project settings accordingly.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.

PERU DOG SHELTER

As a Peru dog rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to these amazing animals. Create a better life for Cusco’s street dog population. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. If you love dogs, the Peru dog rescue volunteer project is a great way to give back and make an impact!

 

BACKGROUND TO THE DOG RESCUE PROGRAM

As in many South American countries, Peru is home to a large number of stray dogs. The sad reality is that many of these dogs are homeless and thus subject to illness, hunger and even abuse. The stray dog overpopulation is a growing problem in Peru. 

 

Free-roaming dogs (these are dogs with owners, but left to their own devices) roam freely throughout the day. Furthermore, they mate with homeless strays and thus increase the number of strays on the streets of Peru.

 

Cusco is the location of all our community projects in Peru. In addition, the city is one of the biggest hotspots of stray dogs across the whole of Peru. A tourist hotspot, authorities in Cusco typically have a pessimistic outlook toward stray dogs. More specifically, they see stray dogs as bringing illness and aggressiveness to the tourist population. 

 

A city like Cusco relies heavily on tourism to boost its economy. As a result, authorities traditionally adopted a more brutal approach to managing the strays dog population through culling mechanisms. In other words, they see stray dogs as a threat and a health hazard to the economic gains that tourism brings. 

 

Previously there had been no centralised government program in Peru to control the stray dog overpopulation. Consequently, the management process of controlling stray dog numbers was often left up to each local administration divisions.

 

Naturally, many disagreed with the authorities tough approach line and protests were a regular occurrence in Cusco’s main square. November 2015 represented huge progress for animal welfare workers across Peru. Most importantly, the Peruvian Congress approved the Animal Protection and Welfare Law. This law classifies animals as sentient beings. Therefore, the law punishes those found guilty of animal cruelty with 3-5 years in prison.

 

These days, dog lovers within the Cusco community take more humane approaches to save Peru’s street dogs. Examples of this include mobile clinics, educational outreach campaigns in local schools and setting up dog shelters. Peru is our only South American destination where you can embark on a wildlife conservation project.

 

DOG RESCUE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

Cusco Dog Shelter – PMGY have teamed up with a dog shelter in Cusco that takes care of rescued street dogs. The shelter is home to approximately 125 dogs that receive food and care on a daily basis. There are two staff members that work at the shelter on a daily basis. Subsequently, such staff members will be the local support for Peru dog rescue volunteers when at the project. Just like at your host family, good Spanish language skills are recommended to communicate fluently with the staff members.

 

Our dog shelter project allows volunteers to experience their love of animals during their time in Peru. Working at the centre of the project as part of your international volunteering, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution. Moreover, the care and wellbeing these rescued dogs receive will greatly improve. Here is a selection of some of the main things you can expect to get involved in during the week:

 

• Assisting the local staff with the care of the animals
• Feeding the dogs
• Playing and enrichment activities with select dogs
• Cleaning the shelter
• Helping with general maintenance
• Local support campaigns within Cusco
• Showing off your creative side to dynamically raise awareness about animal issues in Cusco

 

Peru dog rescue projects typically receive little to no government funding or assistance. Therefore volunteer support and contributions are a big help to the project that otherwise can receive limited help. In short, if you have a love for dogs, then this project is definitely for you! We have availability from 1 week upwards on the project. Furthermore, you will volunteer typically across the morning periods Monday to Friday. Older clothing for the project is recommended as are shoes that you do not mind getting dirty!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

When you complete volunteer work in Peru at the dog shelter, you will be helping with the daily chores. As a Peru dog rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, maintaining hygiene and general upkeep of the shelter. Participants may also help support local campaigns on an ad-hoc basis. The volunteering hours are typically from 9am-12pm on a Monday-Friday basis.

 

If you are up for it, take a 1 hour walk through the heart of Cusco to reach your dog shelter volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20-45 minute bus ride to reach your dog shelter project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH DOGS IN PERU

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Experience – If you are a veterinary student you may be able to assist in more tasks. Naturally, this will depend on your level of knowledge, experience and qualifications in this area. You may be able to help with the sick, injured or disabled dogs. Furthermore, there may be more opportunities in advanced veterinary care such as vaccinations or neutering procedures.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.

PERU ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Peru, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the city of Cusco. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. The basic education and English learning focus provided in the Peruvian school system are not enough. Hence, volunteer support can make a big difference when participants decide to teach English in Peru.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Peru isn’t one of the most advanced of the South American countries regarding the education system. Much of the Peruvian curriculum focuses on tradition and history. As a result, core areas including Maths, Science and communication are not widely understood at an appropriate level. 

 

In Peru, there are three languages that are spoken including Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. The English language is very important in many regions of the country due to tourism. However, many of the educators are poorly trained and left responsible for oversized class sizes. As a result, the overall quality of education is poor.

 

Other contributions for lower levels of education may be the lifestyle of many families along with their economic status. In Peru, low-income families will require children to work in the evenings. Such work may involve selling items in the markets or collecting rubbish. 

 

Children with higher-income families will have opportunities to study further and improve their levels of English. They can benefit from opportunities at specialised language schools and language institutions. Consequently, prospects improve and knowledge in areas such as sports, music and social activity increase.

 

In the 1970s, nearly 40% of the population only spoke the indigenous Quechua language. This resulted in high prejudice for anyone associated with rural work such as agriculture and maintenance. Over the decades, the importance of education has been on the rise due to the importance of social status. Slowly, the Quechua language has phased out providing an alarming reality of lost tradition.

 

Well educated people from both low and high-status families are provided with the opportunity to travel the country. This extends into opportunities to work internationally with tourism and trade along with governmental positions. As a result, many of the local people request that their children are given the opportunity to learn English. 

 

Aside from receiving improved levels of education with a focus in English and Peruvian history, children are also introduced to recreational activities. Many of the local schools will provide sports and hygiene assistance to ensure their young generation is fit and presentable. For the reason that they will be well-rounded when the time comes to enter working society. 

 

We have teamed up with local primary and secondary schools to ensure that children are given greater opportunities to learn English. Traditionally children in Peru don’t begin English classes until they are 12 years old when they enter secondary/high school. The earlier volunteers surround themselves with English, the better their prospects and learning opportunity will be. 

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Peru. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in Peru, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Peru. As a volunteer teaching English in Peru, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The Colegio Francisco Sirvichi – Established as a primary school, the Colegio Francisco Sirivichi separates into two periods of education. In the mornings the school offers an all-girls program for children 6-11 years old. The afternoons are co-ed courses providing for a more interactive learning environment for children 6-11 years old. 

 

At both periods of the day, you will find 30-40 children per classroom. Therefore volunteer support will come in very handy for the local staff! Each class has one to three instructors for general education and one teacher for English lessons. The English teacher will be teaching in the morning and afternoon to massive groups of children. 

 

Due to the lack of assistance and resources for teaching, the English lessons are not applied appropriately. As a volunteer in the classroom, your role is to assist the teachers. This is done by supervising the children, improving English pronunciation, correcting exams and lesson planning.

 

Colegio Francisco Sirivichi also provides opportunities for children to get involved in sports. This can help reduce the strain on oversized classes for the English lessons. The sports lessons take place outside in a local field and within the normal curriculum. Volunteers can also assist with sports activities. Activities include supervising, helping with exercises and instructing new activities.

 

Please note that the project schedule at the school is split into two-timetables. The morning will require volunteers to join from 8am-1pm. The afternoon schedule is from 1pm-6pm. Thus when you teach English in Peru at Colegio Francisco Sirvichi it is important to adopt a flexible working attitude. 

 

The Colibri Afterschool Program – Created to support struggling parents, the Colibri afterschool program was developed to help working parents after their children are released from school. This project is an afterschool program organised by the Police Department of Cusco. 

 

The mission of Colibri is to provide the children with a bright and promising future. This is achieved by educating and teaching them skills that will improve their prospects. Furthermore, the project structure encourages children to become more self-sufficient. 

 

The Police Department organizes recreational activities, such as painting, dancing, drawing, etc. for the children that join this program. When the volunteers are present, they can organize these activities according to their skills. 

 

The children are also often victims of domestic violence (emotional and physical) or sexual abuse. Due to this, there is a high importance that the project has upbeat and patient volunteers! The project is especially rewarding for those that want to stay for longer periods of time. This is because they can develop deeper relationships with disadvantaged children.

 

The program will engage volunteers with children aged 5-15 years old. These children either work in the street or have mothers who work into the late evening. The project runs from 2pm-6pm on weekdays. Numbers can range greatly at this project from 15 children one day to 45 children the next day.

 

The volunteers will organize and teach crafts, art, music or areas they have an interest in. The children will be taught English and assisted with homework. Volunteers are encouraged to provide lots of motivation and support at the Colibri project.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

Volunteer work in Peru involves supporting the local teachers during the class schedule. This involves helping to prepare classes, tutoring students and interacting with them during class breaks. Volunteers will generally work as teacher assistants, but there may be times where volunteers lead classroom activities.

 

The teaching program can be both morning and afternoon based. The local team will email you your specific project information, volunteer tasks and working hours in advance of your arrival into Cusco. You will be volunteering at the project Monday-Friday. Please use your free time to plan for at least 3-5 hours on the project.

 

If you are up for it, take a 45 minute walk through the heart of Cusco to reach your English teaching volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20-45 minute bus ride to reach your English teaching project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN PERU

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Peru project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Project Commitment – For our childcare and teaching community projects we generally recommend where possible a minimum 4 week commitment from volunteers. This is so both the volunteer and project can maximise their experience. 

 

We still have project availability for 2 and 3 week placement options where the placement benefits from volunteer support. However, such projects are usually limited to kindergartens for childcare and the afterschool project for English teaching. As a result, shorter-term volunteers will complete their volunteer work in such project settings accordingly. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.

PERU MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Peru, you will gain first-hand insight and exposure to the Peruvian health care system. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. We support a range of public and private clinics across the city of Cusco. The better your Spanish, the more you can communicate and ask questions with the local doctors and nurses. As a result, more will be gained from your medical volunteer in Peru experience.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Since the mid-1990’s there has been a specific focus on improving the available healthcare provisions across Peru. This is a direct result of the death of over 9,000 people from a Cholera outbreak. Consequently, it was a devastating hit to the population and opened the eyes of many government officials. 

 

Following this epidemic, the government invested millions of dollars into health care. The objective being, to ensure care providers and facilities were available to all areas of the country. One of the most impactful developments to the Peruvian Healthcare System was the construction of 15 hospitals nationwide. 

 

The government hoped that such efforts would see patient care numbers would improve by 40%. Over time, the government has created different forms of government based assistance and insurance options. This is to ensure that citizens are able to further receive necessary care and the medical system is constantly improving.

 

In Peru, the health system is split between two sectors, private and public. Like much of the western world, there is an insurance system that determines the level and quality of care. The insurance is split into two systems. 

 

Firstly, there is the Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) who have no health insurance. Secondly, there is the Peruvian Ministry of Health and EsSalud (EsSalud), which is covered through employment for working families. The clinical settings provide care to those from all coverages. This is because they have the ultimate focus of caring for all Peruvian citizens. 

 

The SIS aims to protect those from the most vulnerable populations. Most noteworthy, it cares for about 18% of these groups who come from mostly rural and urban areas. Specifically where poverty is greatest within these areas. This coverage also provides assistance to pregnant women and men over the age of 17 that suffer from extreme poverty.

 

The EsSalud is the coverage of the employed. It is much like the US system in the sense it is contributed to by employers. Roughly 20% of the population, including the working class, retirees and their families fall under this form of insurance. These forms of insurance are maintained by the Ministry of Health (MINSA). They also provide alternative health services for most of the remaining population who do not fall into these categories.

 

In Cusco, much of the medical care is provided within hospitals throughout the city. The active coverage comes from the two forms of insurance described previously. MINSA provides financial support in many of the clinical settings. This is due to local citizens being seen by medical professionals regardless of their coverage. 

 

Many Peruvians express that they are forced to wait for extended periods to receive care. For the reason that resources, funding and medical professionals are all lacking within the medical field. This is even regardless of whether the citizens have insurance or not. 

 

Due to this, many clinics are being managed locally or privately. The clinics will specialise in certain areas providing a faster process for general needs and appointment to specialists. This is where our medical volunteers in Peru can help immensely! In clinics across Cusco citizens will line up as early as 5am to see a doctor or nurse. They will then receive either direction to a specialist or be provided with general care.

 

Volunteer opportunities in Peru provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform. Such a platform that allows for valuable exposure to medicine and healthcare projects within a new culture. For the reason that many of the facilities, procedures and operations you observe will be completely new to you. 

 

More specifically, they will be completely different from how things are done in your home country. As a medical volunteer in Peru, you will need to schedule your time and skills effectively to make the most out of your project time. This is to ensure you can maximise exposure and learning opportunities at the project. 

 

Should medical volunteers in Peru wish to consider alternative or additional projects, our medical volunteer projects in India is recognised as our leading medical volunteer opportunity. For the reason that volunteers receive high exposure and involvement across a range of placement and project settings. 

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Class 7 Cuartones – The primary health care centre in Cusco is Class 7 Cuartones. This clinic offers free care for those that are unemployed in areas of general practice. This extends to support provided in psychology, gynaecology, dentistry and laboratory. The clinic will care for 200+ patients on a daily basis.

 

This clinic will allow volunteers to observe and assist the doctors with general practices like taking vitals, sugar tests and documentation. Areas of exposure for medical students include consultation, women’s health and minor surgery. This extends to observing medical staff and involvement in community projects and immunizations. 

 

If you are a long-term volunteer you can assist in the laboratory. You can also work in ‘Nino Sano’ where the nurses record children’s weight, height and provide vaccinations. The clinic will proudly arrange community programs if volunteers wish to donate and participate in health campaigns while on the project.

 

The 02 Medical Network – Established as a private care provider, the 02 Medical Network is made up of different health services. This includes inpatient care, home support, air-medical transportation, critical hyperbaric treatment, trauma and medical home care. The majority of patients will be travellers who suffer from varying illness. Examples include altitude sickness, motor-vehicle accidents, tropical-disease, dehydration, minor surgery and dental care.

 

Volunteers will typically join this clinic in the mornings. However, depending on your interest and schedule it may be an afternoon schedule. Activities during your volunteer hours will include assisting the doctor or nurse with care and laboratory analysis. Moreover, if you speak an intermediate level of Spanish, translating to patients can also be required. 

 

Medical staff typically speak a good level of English. Furthermore, they will provide volunteers with a great opportunity to learn in a variety of settings. However, International volunteers who have a better understanding of the Spanish language will have an improved volunteering experience. 

 

Clinica Hogar San Juan de Dios – Set up as a private clinic, Clinica Hogar San Juan de Dios offers various services for children of low-income families. The clinic specializes in rehabilitation for disabled children by means of physiotherapy. Furthermore, the project provides long-term shelter for neglected and handicapped children. 

 

The clinic will provide volunteers with opportunities to join in areas including trauma, rehabilitation, psychology and neurology. Patients will suffer from a physical handicap, down syndrome, autism or other minor mental illness.

 

Volunteers will assist/observe with tasks including physiotherapy, clinical care, ultrasound, hydrotherapy and consolation. The level of experience you receive on this project will be determined by a variety of factors. This includes your level of education, how you interact with staff and your levels of Spanish.

 

Escuela Especial San Juan de Dios – This project is based at the primary school Escuela Especial San Juan de Dios. The primary school is one of four special education institutions located in Cusco. This project will provide children with mental and/or motor delay the opportunity to receive physiotherapy and assistance. The children will be ages 3-20 years with the highest mental knowledge of 6th-grade students (13 years).

 

Volunteers on this project will mostly interact with older children assisting in occupational workshops. The skills will provide the children with the ability to provide for themselves or assist with income for the family. There is only one physiotherapist in the school assisting 10-15 children a day. One-on-one assistance and occupational therapy from volunteers are a big support to the local teachers. 

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

When you complete volunteer work in Peru, you can assist in both community health programs and clinical settings. Usually, the clinics are made up of a range of small departments from paediatrics and general practitioner to maternity and dentistry. Naturally given the relative small clinic setting, the departments are on a small scale in comparison to a big government hospital. Consequently, volunteers should be willing to gain exposure to a range of departments within the clinics.

 

Volunteers will spend most of their time observing within the clinics in Cusco. In some cases, the hospital staff may provide the opportunity to get some hands-on experience. Examples include helping with blood pressure, immunizations, health screenings and community awareness programs. 

 

The ability to apply yourself on the project will be reflected largely by your level of Spanish. The better your Spanish, the more the doctors and nurses can communicate with you. As a result, the more the medical staff will be able to trust you. Therefore, you will enjoy your volunteering experience greater as a medical volunteer in Peru. 

 

In general, you will join volunteer on the medical projects in Peru Monday-Friday. The project will begin at 8am each day to ensure you get a busy morning. The average time on the project will be 3-5 hours finishing in the early afternoon or time off requested completion.

 

If you are up for it, take a 45 minute walk through the heart of Cusco to reach your medical volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20-45 minute bus ride to reach your medical project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN PERU

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Project Commitment – Volunteers are advised to note there is a minimum of four weeks commitment to the medical program. School leavers or those with no medical experience are not able to join this program. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to these policies.

 

University Students Only – Volunteers are advised to note that the hospital/clinics will not permit applicants who are not studying medicine, healthcare sciences or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Peru participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for medical students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.

PERU WILDLIFE RESCUE

As a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to some amazing animals. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. As a Peru wildlife volunteer, you will help care for a variety of different species of animals. Most noteworthy, animals who are endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE WILDLIFE RESCUE PROGRAM

As in many South America countries, Peru is home to an abundance of wildlife. The sad reality is that much of this wildlife is vulnerable to wide-ranging forms of mistreatment. Examples include more localised problems such as abandonment or a failure to properly feed and house animals. However, wider-spread systematic forms of cruelty are also prevalent. For example, bestiality, illegal trafficking and raising animals to fight. 

 

In 2015, the Peruvian Congress has passed animal cruelty laws which mandates criminal penalties for animal mistreatment. For the reason that a series of animal-cruelty cases went viral. Naturally, this is not a good perception of Peru as a country or as a tourist hotspot. Such penalties for animal mistreatment range from fines to prison sentences.

 

However, many Peruvians would argue that more can be done and enforced by Congress and law enforcement in protecting Peru’s wildlife. Specifically, when it comes to wild animals, tourist traps and endangered species. Nowadays, there are many rescue centres and sanctuaries taking action upon themselves against animal mistreatment. The main mechanism to achieve this is through education. 

 

Education is considered as the most important factor to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts. In addition, education is also the reason that justifies the existence of a wildlife sanctuary or wildlife rescue centre. Through engagement, information and communication, stronger respect and understanding for nature, wild animals and endangered species can be achieved. Not only this, wildlife rescue centres play a big role in recovery programs, animal rehabilitation and reproduction programs. Peru is our only South American destination where you can embark on a wildlife conservation project.

 

WILDLIFE RESCUE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary – PMGY have teamed up with a family ran wildlife rescue centre in Cusco. The centre is dedicated to rescuing animals that have suffered any forms of mistreatment. For example, rescuing animals from illicit trafficking or those that have suffered physical neglect from former owners or evil poachers. 

 

The rescued animals are put under the care of the forest rangers at the wildlife sanctuary. As a Peru wildlife volunteer, you will play a vital role in supporting the forest rangers. In the same vein, you and your fellow volunteers will work alongside the rangers to complete core tasks at the volunteer project. Such tasks for Peru wildlife volunteering include: 

 

• Taking care of the animals
• Assisting with cleaning and general maintenance 
• Support with feeding the animals
• Helping with any medical treatments required
• Assisting in any educational programs
• Help build new houses on-site

 

Since 2007, the wildlife rescue centre has been sheltering wild species. Moreover, many species are endangered. The Andean Condor receives special consideration at the centre and is the primary focus of the program. Most noteworthy, because its population has been seriously decimated in recent years. This is all inflicted by human activity. More specifically, the feathers of the bird are sold as souvenirs for tourists. This activity stimulates illegal hunting for these magnificent birds. Efforts at the centre are being made to encourage reproduction in captivity with the aim being to release the young Condors. 

 

There is a range of other animals at the centre that you will encounter during your Peru wildlife volunteering. For example, pumas and small bears that had been drugged and used for entertainment purposes can usually be found here. In addition, there are many special types of birds to be found at the centre. A hawk who last one of his eyes because of human hunting cannot hunt anymore in the wild and has been displaced to the centre. Other animals at the centre include foxes, turtles, monkeys, deers, alpacas, llamas and more!  

 

On a broader level, the sanctuary has a range of programs that you as a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer can support with. For example, educational campaigns at local schools, recovery projects for sick and mistreated animals and reproduction programs for endangered animal species as exemplified with the Andean Condor. 

 

Our Peru wildlife volunteering project allows volunteers and interns to experience their love of animals during their time in Peru. Working at the centre of the project as part of your international volunteering, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution. Moreover, the care and wellbeing these rescued animals receive will greatly improve. The sanctuary cares for all types of wildlife animals. Ultimately, the long-term aim of the project is to liberate the rescued animals back into natural environments.

 

Peru wildlife rescue volunteer projects typically receive little to no government funding or assistance. Therefore volunteer support and contributions are a big help to the project that otherwise can receive limited help. By choosing to work closely with this wildlife project in Peru, your support as a Peru wildlife volunteer will be much appreciated by those connected at the sanctuary. 

 

In short, if you have a love for wildlife, then this project is definitely for you when visiting Peru! We have availability from 1 week to 4 weeks on the project. Furthermore, you will volunteer typically across the morning periods Monday-Friday. At this project, all animals have had their required vaccinations. Older clothing for Peru wildlife volunteering is recommended as are shoes that you do not mind getting dirty! 

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

When you complete volunteer work in Peru at the wildlife rescue centre, you will be helping with the daily chores. As a Peru wildlife rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, medical assistance and general support for the local project staff. The volunteering hours are typically from 9am-1pm and/or 2pm-5pm.

 

You will be required to take a 45 minute bus ride to reach the wildlife rescue project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH WILDLIFE IN PERU

Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Peru programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience.

 

PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country.

 

We also offer a learn Spanish in Peru program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

 

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Peru. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.

 

Experience – If you are a veterinary student you may be able to assist in more tasks. Naturally, this will depend on your level of knowledge, experience and qualifications in this area. You may be able to help with the sick, injured or disabled animals. Furthermore, there may be more opportunities in advanced veterinary care such as vaccinations or neutering procedures.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Peru runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Peru Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Peru. We offer the Lake Titicaca & Islands Trip along with the Machu Picchu Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇿🇦 VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AFRICA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your third stop is South Africa. The second largest of nine provinces, the Eastern Cape is situated along South Africa’s eastern coast. It is the homeland of the Xhosa-speaking nation and birthplace of Nelson Mandela. The diverse landscape ranges from the dry, desolate Great Karoo to the under-developed, lush Wild Coast. In the same vein, the Eastern Cape offers an abundance of activities for your gap year travel in Africa. For example, enjoy surf experiences, take in a `Big 5’ game reserve safari or climb Cape Towns table mountain. 
 
Your volunteer locations in South Africa are varied, but still within the Eastern Cape. We have community-based projects in Cape Town. Alternatively, we also have wildlife-conservation projects based in Port Elizabeth. Despite a number of years of relative prosperity, Cape Town still suffers from endemic social problems. More specifically, extreme poverty still persists today in Cape Town. Port Elizabeth is a more laid-back city. The centre is surrounded by wildlife reserves home to masses of flora and fauna. 

 

You can choose your volunteer project in South Africa to help provide childcare facilities to struggling families. More specifically, working with children who come from some of Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities. In the same vein, you can have the opportunity to learn as a teachers assistant volunteering at a local school. Alternatively, move away from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town and choose to volunteer on a game reserve on a structured conservation project. Port Elizabeth is the only project location you can engage in wildlife conservation projects in Africa on the gap year around the world trip. You will be able to select your volunteer in South Africa project during the online application.

 

🇿🇦 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in South Africa, you will provide additional support to childcare projects within the Cape Town community. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs will see you help young children in Cape Town. Volunteer with children in South Africa to make a vital contribution in brightening up the lives of young children.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

It is estimated that 80% of young children in South Africa’s townships do not have access to early childhood development education. As a result, many lack the support required to develop to their full potential. Since the end of Apartheid in 1994, poor government funding and flawed policies have hit the most vulnerable South Africans hardest. For instance, many of the problems for South Africa’s poorest have been exacerbated. 

 

Today about 57% of South Africa’s population lives in poverty. In low-income township areas, living conditions are challenging, with high crime and unemployment rates, health problems and high population densities. A lack of childcare facilities leaves many children unattended and unprotected.

 

Affordable and accessible childcare services can be very difficult to source across Cape Town and surrounding communities. Above all, it is families from low-income backgrounds that struggle the most. Whilst this has not gone unrecognised, many centres established to accommodate for such families are inadequate. To clarify, such centres are understaffed and operate with a limited stock of resources. This makes the roles of our PMGY volunteers invaluable to the quality of care that can be offered to these children.

 

The daycare centres we support are either independent local initiatives or government subsidised community support programs. Some are home-based crèches run by local women and others are more structured organisations. They all have a common goal. That is, to help children develop to their full emotional, social and physical potential. 

 

Plan My Gap Year supports a range of crèches, day-care centres and kindergartens. All based centrally in the city within Cape Town. These facilities provide essential childcare to impoverished families of nearby communities. The majority of these children come from the Townships and other underdeveloped backgrounds. In short, locations where social and health problems are rife whether it be gang violence, drugs, malnutrition and HIV/Aids. 

 

Most parents or relatives of these children from vulnerable communities work in the city. Consequently, they are able to bring the children with them in the morning to drop them off at the daycare centres. Other children arrive each day by bus. The teachers and assistants communicate to the children using a mixture of Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. Some of the centres provide meals for the children so volunteers can assist with feeding times.

 

Volunteer opportunities in South Africa provided by PMGY will provide you with a platform to make a positive impact. When working at our childcare volunteer projects in South Africa, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. For the reason that many of these children will be seeking the care and attention that you as a childcare volunteer in South Africa can bring. To volunteer with children in South Africa, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The Kiddies College – A cross between a crèche and a Kindergarten, the Kiddies College was established in 1997. The project supports children from 2-6 years old. Volunteers aid local staff with the day to day schedule and supervising the children. Kiddies College was formally a preschool closed down by the local council. However, the passion of one of its former staff members led to its re-emergence. As a result, local employment benefits and many spacious rooms and a nice garden area are utilised.

 

Meals are provided for the children at the project. In addition, activities such as visits to the library, swimming and karate lessons or speech and drama classes also take place.  Volunteers can support such activities if placed at this specific volunteer project. PMGY volunteers ease the workload of the understaffed team by providing the children with extra care and attention.

 

Mini Einsteins Crèche – Home to around 160 learners, Mini Einsteins crèche can be a hectic environment! Most of the children are aged from 3 months to 6 years old. However, some of the children can reach up to 12 years old. The crèche aims to provide a safe, secure, supportive and stimulating environment for all children to discover their full potential naturally.

 

There is a strong philosophy at the crèche that children’s development is based on playing and growing. Volunteers are encouraged to support and embrace such a philosophy. Subsequently, international volunteers help with homework and games. In addition, volunteers will also get involved in creative arts activities or even support in the two designated baby rooms.

 

Many of the children at the crèche come from broken homes and deprived backgrounds. As a result, the children highly appreciate the extra care and attention that PMGY volunteers contribute. In the same vein, contributions made by childcare volunteers in South Africa are also highly appreciated by the staff and the local community. 

 

Gingerbread House Educare – Located in one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town, Gingerbread House Educare can be found in the Mowbray district. A serious shortage of affordable childcare facilities in the area led to its initial opening in 1993. Since then, the centre has grown year-on-year. Moreover, the centre now provides care for more than 110 children in the morning. In addition to this, 30 primary school children join the centre in the afternoons! 

 

The facility aims to provide its learners with a well-balanced education. Emphasis is placed on building up the children’s overall character and self-confidence. As a volunteer in South Africa at the Gingerbread House, you will assist in every facet of the projects daily routine. This involves helping the local teacher run lessons and dance/creative arts, to food preparation and feeding. General playtime is everyone’s favourite time of day!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in South Africa, you can expect to participate in a range of activities.  Most noteworthy, you will be supporting the local staff with daily duties (whether this is cleaning activities and/or admin work). Furthermore, you will assist with food preparation and feeding, supervising during free playtime and nap-times. 

 

When you volunteer with children in South Africa, you will also have the opportunity to carry out some teaching. Examples will include helping with basic maths, reading and arts & crafts activities. Most importantly, you will become a positive role model for the children. Sadly, this is something that many of the children are lacking. Ultimately, as you complete volunteer work in South Africa, you will be providing invaluable assistance to the overstretched local staff.

 

The typical working hours are 8am-1pm Monday-Friday with a lunch break in between. The children usually have nap time in the early afternoon. If volunteers wish too, they can return after until the project closes. Weekends are your own free time.

 

Volunteers will need to make their own way to the childcare project each day. Moreover, this usually involves taking public transport but sometimes projects can be walking distance from the Volunteer House. On average, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the childcare project. Our local team will instruct you as to how to get to and from the project each day. Alternatively, you will be paired with a volunteer who has already been working at the placement you have been assigned to.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Township Projects – Please note, most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Projects in the township area represent a much more challenging experience both logistically and structurally. 

 

Consequently, we do not promote or endorse projects in these locations. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis. This is dictated by the discretion of the local team. Volunteers are best to discuss such options with the team upon arrival into South Africa.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in South Africa, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in South Africa.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for South Africa. We offer the Garden Route Trip along with the Western Cape Trip with opportunities running every month.

SOUTH AFRICA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will play a vital role in developing local children’s English skills. Consequently, as the students English levels improve, so will their future prospects. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs will see you help young children in Cape Town. Teach English in South Africa and a range of other subjects to underprivileged children from government schools. All within the stunning setting of cosmopolitan Cape Town.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

South Africa adopts 11 official languages. It is a nation with huge potential. Much of its future hope lies with the youth of this great country. Huge steps have been made by the post-apartheid regime to implement a fully inclusive and comprehensive education system for all. However, the sad reality is that the quality of education received is largely dependent on location and family wealth. 

 

Those with high-income families and a low cost of living correlate to more prosperous opportunities. Examples include private school and language school learning opportunities. Consequently, direct gateways are provided for children of a more advantageous background to get the top jobs in South Africa.

 

On the other hand, many young ones from disadvantaged communities don’t have it so easy. More specifically, they don’t receive a sufficient level of education to prepare them for the future.
Furthermore, the influx of refugees to emerging cities such as Cape Town is causing further conflicts. In the same vein, extra burdens are being placed on already under-resourced and overcrowded government schools. Most classrooms are filled with 40+ children to only one local teacher.

 

Many of the children that attend public schools we support come from broken homes. These are places where criminality and illiteracy are commonplace. Far too many children become a product of their environment and so become largely disengaged with formal education. 

 

The further difficulty lies in the fact that the schools seriously lack manpower and the resources to tackle these issues. In addition, the schools will offer little or no recreational activities to help integrate some of the less enthusiastic learners.

 

PMGY South Africa volunteers provide assistance to primary schools in and around the popular tourist destination of Cape Town. The children are aged 6-13. Primary school teaching will be largely focused on core subjects such as maths, art and science. Above all, there is a focus on students to improve in English. 

 

The primary schools are government based schools. In addition, class sizes vary from 15-40 pupils and ages from around 5-12 years old. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you can expect to participate in the following activities. For example, supporting with lesson planning and execution as well as one-on-one support for students. 

 

Furthermore, as a volunteer teacher in South Africa, you may be required to substitute for the main teacher. Other tasks expected when you teach in South Africa include leading physical education lessons and administration duties. In addition to this, you will be providing assistance for fundraising and annual functions/events.

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in South Africa. When working at our English teaching volunteer projects in South Africa, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in South Africa. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people. 

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Chapel Street Primary School – The majority of the 800 students who attend Chapel Street primary come from disadvantaged local communities. For instance, many of the students arrive at the school from the townships of Cape Town that suffer great poverty. This means that classrooms are often overcrowded and resources limited. 

 

With only 24 staff members, the approximate ratio is 1 teacher to 30-40 students. Despite this strain, the teachers do their utmost to combat the economic and social hardships the learners face. Typically, the teachers achieve this through education, information and communications technology.

 

Most of the students who attend the school are between 6-13 years of age. Firstly, volunteers primary role is to assist the local teachers in the classroom. Secondly, volunteers will also be expected to lead lessons and support with sports education. Finally, volunteers may also have the opportunity to help with swimming lessons and art classes. PMGY volunteers provide invaluable support to overburdened local teachers and can build great bonds with the students along the way.

 

St. Pauls Primary School – Located in the iconic and historic Cape Malay community of Bo-Kaap, St. Pauls primary school is surrounded by colourful houses and steep cobblestone streets. The school is conveniently located within walking distance of the Cape Town city centre. However, most of the students come from townships. These are areas that are home to some of the city’s most impoverished communities. Most noteworthy, these townships often face challenges such as substance abuse and high crime rates. Consequently, schools such as St. Pauls primary are often seen as ‘places of safety’ for these children.

 

Volunteers at this school are placed in the younger/lower grades with children aged between 6-8 years. For these students, the focus is placed on language, basic math, art/music and physical education. Volunteers that teach English in South Africa largely work as a teaching assistant. Tasks include coordinating tasks such as reading groups and performing admin duties. In addition, teaching jobs will also see you work one-on-one with students who require an additional hand. Occasionally, volunteers may be given the opportunity to lead their own class. Moreover, volunteers may also be called upon to help in older classes.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you provide an important pair of extra hands. Subsequently, you play a vital role as a volunteer in South Africa in reducing burdens placed on local staff. In addition, extra support and teacher presence help improve discipline and overall class productivity. Troubled students and those with learning difficulties greatly benefit from the individual attention provided by international volunteers. 

 

Volunteers will usually work as a teaching assistant. However, please note there may be times where you are required to lead a class yourself. It is not uncommon for this to happen when participants complete volunteer work in South Africa. Therefore, volunteers encouraged to prepare lessons accordingly in advance if so. Ultimately, it is essential volunteers spend time planning and preparing for each day. Consequently, this will allow you to get the most out of your project time.

 

The typical working hours are 7:45am-2:30pm Monday-Friday with a lunch break in between. Upon request, additional working hours/duties can be assigned. We expect volunteers to spend at least 1 hour each day planning activities and lessons for the following day. Weekends are your own free time.

 

Volunteers will need to make their own way to the English teaching project each day. Moreover, this usually involves taking public transport but sometimes projects can be walking distance from the Volunteer House. On average, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the English teaching project. Our local team will instruct you as to how to get to and from the project each day. Alternatively, you will be paired with a volunteer who has already been working at the placement you have been assigned to.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Township Projects – Please note, most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Projects in the township area represent a much more challenging experience both logistically and structurally. 

 

Consequently, we do not promote or endorse projects in these locations. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis. This is dictated by the discretion of the local team. Volunteers are best to discuss such options with the team upon arrival into South Africa.

 

Resources – On the teach English in South Africa project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for South Africa. We offer the Garden Route Trip along with the Western Cape Trip with opportunities running every month.

SOUTH AFRICA WILDLIFE RESERVE

As a South Africa Wildlife Reserve Volunteer, you will get the opportunity to work behind the scenes on a world-class wildlife reserve. In addition, you will gain a rich education in conservation management. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs provide a fantastic opportunity to engage in meaningful wildlife volunteer work in South Africa. If you have a real passion for animals then this South Africa wildlife volunteer program is the opportunity for you. 

 

BACKGROUND TO THE WILDLIFE PROGRAM

The South Africa wildlife volunteer program is home to vast populations of the incredible ‘Big 5’. In Africa, the Big 5 game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo. The term originates from hunters. More specifically, hunters would refer to the animals as the five most difficult to hunt on foot in Africa. 

 

Poaching of wild animals is on the rise in most parts of Africa. Consequently, more species are becoming endangered. Most noteworthy, the Big 5 species represent the highest-profile examples being threatened with extinction. Other threats come in the form of diseases from domestic animals. Cattle and dogs can easily spread disease into wild animal populations. 

 

Alien species of animals and plants introduced to Africa represent another threat to the extinction of flora and fauna. Whether introduced deliberately or accidentally, alien species compete with native species for limited food and water. Furthermore, the earth’s changing climate is making much of Africa more prone to drought. This puts even more pressure on all species to compete for scarce water. In the same vein, the human population are diverting rivers for their own needs, leaving many other species high and dry.

 

All of these are exacting a terrible toll on Africa’s once-thriving wildlife. Game reserves and their conservation efforts in South Africa aim to play a role in counteracting these threats. They provide a large area of land where wild animals can live safely. Not only this, they represent a managed ecosystem that encompasses many miles of beautiful terrain. 

 

The focus of a game reserve is specifically animals (fauna). However, there can be an equal concern with all aspects of native biota of the area (flora, fungi, etc.). Volunteer support in conservation-based activities at the game reserve provides big support to maintaining the flora, fauna and biodiversity. 

 

This project was established to return the natural land to its former glory. This includes being home to the wildlife species that once roamed freely here. Since its beginning, the project has worked hard to successfully reintroduce native wildlife and flora. To help sustain the environment, volunteers take part in a variety of conservation and maintenance based activities on the reserve. 

 

WILDLIFE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT

South Africa Big 5 Wildlife Reserve – This fabulous South African game reserve is situated on the Eastern Cape and spans over 6,000 hectares. This experience aims to give volunteers a holistic experience of life on a game reserve. Consequently, as you complete wildlife volunteer work in South Africa, opportunities and exposure will come in abundance. Not only will you be exposed to the majestic Big 5 family but also conservation of all types of fauna and flora. They all go hand in hand.

 

The game reserves education and rehabilitation centre is home to a number of species of endangered predators. For example, lions, Bengal tigers and cheetahs. The dedicated conservation team are committed to the preservation of these elusive creatures. Subsequently, this is done through rehabilitation and releasing them back into the wild. The team will conduct such a process whilst considering the effects on a managed ecosystem. 

 

The work is exciting and varied with lots to learn! Naturally, due to the wild and predatory nature of the animals, this is not a hands-on experience. Furthermore, interaction and close-up monitoring of these animals is not an option as a South Africa wildlife reserve volunteer. 

 

Big cats like the Bengal tigers are also found at the centre. Their population has deteriorated at an alarming rate. Over the last 100 years, hunting and deforestation have reduced tiger populations from hundreds of thousands to perhaps fewer than 2,500. The centre has been lucky enough to see the birth of a Bengal tiger cub. This was after an arduous 4 years of work and research at the wildlife sanctuary. 

 

This is a program designed for volunteers interested in having a true African wildlife experience. In other words, on the South Africa wildlife volunteer program, you will make a difference to the local wildlife and environment. Activities for this program vary on a day to day basis and are dependent on weather and other factors (so please expect the itinerary to change from time to time!).

 

The itinerary is designed in such a way that volunteers are divided into groups of up to 10 volunteers per group. Naturally, this is dependent on the number of South Africa wildlife reserve volunteers at the time. Each group will have an outdoor volunteer coordinator as a leader and mentor.

 

The groups will be engaged in different daily activities. However, each group will all do the same type and number of activities by the end of the week. In some cases, all the groups might do the same activity at the same time depending on the type of activity.

 

So it is a busy yet highly rewarding and exciting program from start to finish. The dedicated volunteer coordinator will ensure that you have a wonderful learning experience. In addition, the local staff will ensure you make a real contribution to the conservation work at the reserve. Ultimately, you will leave with a stronger understanding of the conservation issues in South Africa.

 

The volunteer tasks are largely a combination of land management and animal management program activities. Here is just a small selection of the volunteer opportunities you can expect to get involved in during the week on the wildlife conservation program!

 

• Lion monitoring
• Rhino monitoring
• Educational lectures and classroom activities within local communities
• Removal of alien vegetation
• Planting of indigenous trees
• Landscaping
• Re-establishment of vegetation and vegetation management
• Fence and anti-poach patrols
• Fence repairs and road maintenance
• Monitoring of predators in the rehabilitation centre
• Game counts

 

Your efforts will help to make sure the reserve is a safe and suitable environment for these animals to not just survive but thrive. The activities for the week are extremely varied so no two days will be the same. It’s not all work and no play as the program is designed to provide a physical and fun experience every day.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Each volunteer in South Africa participant will play a big part and benefit to the conservation efforts of the reserve. All your day to day activities is shown on the itinerary which will be displayed on the volunteer notice board. The itinerary will show you what activity your group will be doing and at what time. If you have any suggestions around working with animals in conservation, you can discuss these with the local team.

 

On the South Africa wildlife volunteer program, you will play a key role in saving the precious wilderness. This is not just for the here and now, but also in protecting it for future generations. So, if you fancy rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in a once in a lifetime setting then this is the program for you. Whether it be for 1 week or part of a gap year, there is no better place to volunteer with animals in conservation when you complete volunteer work in South Africa.

 

Working hours as a conservation volunteer are generally quite fixed across Monday-Friday. They are split into a morning and afternoon session. The morning session is often more physically demanding where temperatures are relatively cooler running from around 9:30am-1:00pm. A lunch break then follows with the afternoon session usually running 2:30pm-4:30pm thereafter. Please note that times are subject to change based on summer/winter times and the activities. Finally, as volunteers are based on the reserve, they are only ever a short jeep drive or walk from where their daily volunteer tasks take place. Any project transport required is included in the Program Fee. 

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Additional Opportunities – On an ad-hoc basis, the local team sometimes arrange evening reptile shows, lectures, and cross-cultural dance shows. Additionally, volunteers may also have the opportunity to experience extra major conservation activities. Examples can include capturing of wildlife animals, game introduction and fire management activities. These activities take place on an ad-hoc basis but certainly provide volunteers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Free Time – It is important to note that the reserve is based remotely. Therefore, volunteers are encouraged to embrace all facilities and aspects of life on the reserve. During free time on the reserve, volunteers have great amenities around them. For example, volunteers can relax in the lounge and swimming pool. Alternatively, choose to enjoy the entertainment room and tennis courts. At weekends, transfers to and from Port Elizabeth run complementary at fixed times from the reserve. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

🇹🇿 VOLUNTEER IN TANZANIA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your fourth stop is in Tanzania. Tanzania has many, many highlights but it’s frequently billed as ‘the’ place to safari. There is much to love about this magical country. For example, the country boasts idyllic beaches, world-class national parks and is topped off with the stupendous Mount Kilimanjaro. Furthermore, the exotic delights of Moshi Hot Springs and Zanzibar also await you in Tanzania. In short, the adventure travel opportunities of Tanzania makes it an unforgettable part of your around the world gap year program. 

 

Not only will you get the chance for adventure but also to volunteer in Arusha. As a result, you can make a huge difference in volunteering at one of our community-based projects. Teach in a school or volunteer in a children’s home in one of the most extraordinary places in the world. Alternatively, kick start your medical career combining learning with wide-ranging medical exposure in a hospital or clinic. You will be able to select your volunteer in Tanzania project during the online application.

 

🇹🇿 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN TANZANIA

TANZANIA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will brighten up the lives of young children, making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives. International volunteers with children in Tanzania work to support centres in Arusha, organising educational activities and games whilst assisting in tasks to complement the work of local staff.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

It is estimated that around 1.4 million Tanzanians are infected with HIV. Furthermore, for every 1,000 births, almost 6 women die in childbirth. These factors along with general widespread poverty and minimal state welfare have resulted in an alarmingly high level of abandoned kids and street children in Tanzania. PMGY Tanzania childcare volunteers work with a number of centres in Arusha that strive to address this issue.

 

There are two main types of childcare centres in Tanzania – board children’s homes and daycare centres. Ordinarily, boarding homes act as day-care centres too. While some of the children in the homes may have lost both of their parents, the majority are cared for by single parents who cannot afford to raise their child. PMGY currently supports three main children’s homes. Since the day nurseries are also run on-site, these homes can be classed as both boarding and daycare centres.

 

Children in boarding can permanently reside at the homes, whilst those who attend nurseries come from underprivileged families who cannot care for them in the daytime. These children attend the centre during the day and then return to stay with family, friends or relatives in the afternoon. The centres provide lessons and activities for children before school age.

 

The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. These years form the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement. This is not only in their education, but within their community, and life in general. As a childcare volunteer in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to think and act creatively to positively influence the young ones in Arusha. Childcare volunteers in Tanzania will be placed in one of the childcare centres PMGY support in and around Arusha. As a volunteer with children in Tanzania, you will be expected to lead basic educational activities, run games and assist in tasks such as mealtimes.
 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Rafiki Day Centre – Rafiki Day Care tends for children too young for primary school, from the ages of one to six years old. The centre provides activities for the kids to learn and play in a fun and safe environment during the day, allowing their parents to work. Our volunteers support and complement the work of local staff members to ensure that these children receive the attention and support that they deserve. 

 

Each day on this volunteer program in Tanzania will begin with very basic English lessons. During this time, volunteers with children in Tanzania are expected to create and lead activities that promote the fundamentals of the language. During the remainder of the day, participants will spend their time entertaining the children, frequently resulting in time spent in the garden! There are a number of different toys and learning tools for the children to use during their time at the childcare volunteer project. In addition to assisting during mealtimes, volunteers will continue to get involved during nap time. During this period, as a childcare volunteer in Tanzania, you will assist staff with additional tasks such as gardening, food preparation or general upkeep of the centre. Naptime is scheduled after lunch to ensure the children get plenty of rest and proper nutrition for their childhood development. The responsibilities as a childcare volunteer in Tanzania noted here are similar in the two further project examples below.

 

Upendo Face Children’s Home – One day, the founder of Upendo Face Children’s Home realised that there was a large population of children who had nowhere to go in his neighbourhood. This inspired him to start a childcare development centre for children whose parents had passed away unexpectedly. The centre started over 5 years ago in his home and has since grown into a full compound where students even take introductory classes. This home is located about 40 minutes away from the volunteer house and 30 minutes from the city centre of Arusha.

 

Aston Vision Children’s Home – This is situated in the Meru district of the Arusha region, in Machumba village, around 15 minutes away from Arusha city. The children’s home houses 15 kids aged 5-10 years (8 girls and 7 boys). In addition to the kids who live on-site, 30 children attend the nursery classes that are offered daily from Monday to Friday, returning home to their families in the afternoon. Aston Vision employs 8 local staff, 3 house mamas, 2 nursery teachers and 3 cooking/cleaning staff.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Volunteers with children in Tanzania are required to support and assist with the daily care, attention and interaction with the children across the day and prepare activities accordingly. Whilst each project is different, the typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm Monday-Friday. There may be the opportunity to work up to 3pm upon request.

 

The homes PMGY Tanzania childcare volunteers work with are typically understaffed and highly overcrowded. Volunteer roles will range from teaching basic English to feeding and helping to prepare meals, organising games and sporting activities, or simply spending time with the children. Most of our volunteers play an active role in the general care of the children but have a primary focus on basic English lessons and class activities. Free time in the afternoons after the project can be used to prepare sessions, chill in the Volunteer House or to explore Arusha.

 

Transport to the childcare volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. Some of the volunteer projects are within walking distance from the Volunteer House, but many are further afield. In these latter cases, you will be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN TANZANIA

Resources – On the childcare project in Tanzania, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Tanzania.

 

Project Locations – Childcare and teaching participants on the Tanzania volunteer program are sometimes based at the same site. In these instances, volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. At the volunteer project, teaching volunteers will tend to work with slightly older children. Childcare volunteers will work with children of preschool age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and setups. 

 

Important Visa Information – On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.
 
For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD. The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 USD for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by: 

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

TANZANIA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you will work to encourage students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. This project, therefore, provides the perfect opportunity for international volunteers to teach English in Tanzania. Develop your leadership skills and make a profound impact on the lives of disadvantaged children in Arusha.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Early in this century, there was a large push from the Tanzanian government to get all children into education. This success was largely achieved through a drop in primary school education fees across the country. As a result of this movement, it’s estimated that a staggering 96% of primary-school-age children are now enrolled in a school. However, despite this progress in the education system, the average primary school class consequently host approximately 53 pupils to one teacher. This statistic is even more dramatic in rural areas. International aid is also faltering since the global recession. Together, these factors are heightening the concern towards the quality of education offered across Tanzania. 

 

To make matters worse, teaching methods in Tanzania are largely based on learning through repetition and aimed at passing exams. This has led to a situation where, though the children can reel off information, they have very little understanding of what they are saying, particularly in relation to learning English. As most secondary school classes are taught in English, this way of learning causes problems later in the education system. For this reason, improving the methodologies of learning can lay the foundation for increased learning potential in later life. In turn, this can improve the employability of Tanzanian students during adulthood.

 

Over a third of people in Tanzania live below the national poverty line. Education is one of the essential skills for children to develop and is their doorway to a bright future. Tourism is big business in Tanzania. This means that typically, the ability to speak English dramatically increases the opportunities for young people to gain meaningful employment. 

 

PMGY’s English teaching program in Tanzania aims to support local schools and childcare centres to maximise their impact. PMGY’s international volunteers working in Tanzania teach children English, Maths and other subjects, whilst transferring skills and sharing cultural perspectives. As a teaching volunteer in Tanzania, no previous teaching experience is required – you just need is to be creative and proactive! Our team will help you settle into a role, allowing you to make the biggest impact, and gain valuable skills yourself. 

 

We predominantly support primary schools, however, volunteering opportunities within secondary school locations may be possible upon request. Additionally, many of the childcare projects we support have nursery schools for children of pre-school age. In these locations, PMGY volunteers wishing to teach English in Tanzania are also able to assist here.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Huruma Nursery School – This school is located on the street of Ngusero Arusha, Tanzania. This region is renowned for its poverty and lack of opportunity around education. The school has been open for over 7 years, hosting approximately 25-30 students at a time, aged between 3-5. The founders of the school recognised a great need for education for families with very little income. If a school such as this wasn’t around, there would be very little other opportunities for education. Every morning, the founder collections students from their homes so they don’t have to walk a long distance to school. 

 

Upendo Nursery School – ‘Upendo’ meaning ‘love’, this nursery school was founded in 2012. The school started with a low capacity of only 6. However, having grown over recent years, the school now hosts up to 60 children per day. Within the school are two classes: Class 1 (3-4 years) and class 2 (5-6 years). Pupils at the school are incredibly passionate about learning. 

 

During your time as a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you will be required to think and act creatively and pro-actively, to ensure that your classes as enjoyable and productive. You will be playing an important part in supporting local teachers at the school. Many of the students will also benefit hugely from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Tanzania.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you are expected to plan and lead your own lessons. Volunteers sometimes work as assistants to the local staff and English teachers. However, there is usually an expectation from the staff for international volunteers to lead the majority of lessons. To teach English in Tanzania, you must use a lot of initiative and creativity to succeed in your role. There may also be times across the project where volunteers work as assistants to the local teachers in Tanzania. 

 

All lessons are taught in English apart from Swahili language lessons. The schools have a basic curriculum, which is followed, however, volunteers have the freedom to introduce new ideas/topics. It is important that volunteers spend an hour or two each day preparing for the following day’s lessons

 

Whilst each volunteer program in Tanzania is different, the typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm Monday to Friday. Around 3-4 hours a day are spent teaching basic English, with the remainder spent assisting with mealtimes and/or arranging activities. As a volunteer teaching English in Tanzania, you are usually welcome to stay at the project longer if you wish to. 

 

Staff shortages can be a regular occurrence in the under-resourced schools that we work with and volunteers are encouraged to adapt and be flexible with this. If you are new to teaching, your confidence will grow massively once you have taught a couple of classes! Additionally, the more time spent planning, the easier classes will be to run. 

 

Transport to the childcare volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. Some each English in Tanzania projects are within walking distance from the Volunteer House, but many are further afield. In these latter cases, you will be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN TANZANIA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Tanzania project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Locations – Childcare and teaching participants on the Tanzania volunteer program are sometimes based at the same site. In these instances, volunteers will be able to travel together accordingly. At the volunteer project, teaching volunteers will tend to work with slightly older children. Childcare volunteers will work with children of preschool age. Although similar in nature, they each follow different daily itineraries and setups. 

 

It is worth noting that all the schools our volunteers work with are run privately. Tanzanian government legislation does not permit volunteers to teach within government-funded schools. This is despite the fact that these establishments often visually appear to require a greater level of support. 

 

Important Visa Information– On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.

 

For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD. The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by: 

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

TANZANIA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Tanzanian health care. If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or you are studying a health-related subject at university, this program will offer you essential first-hand experience to assist in your career development. As a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you will learn from local staff. By supporting them, you will gain exposure that you are unlikely to obtain in your home country.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Like many African countries, Tanzania faces an acute shortage of healthcare workers. Low pay, poor working conditions and limited training programs contribute to the problem. The situation is further amplified by the rising burden of HIV/AIDS treatment. Unfortunately, health standards in Tanzania have declined so much that it trails most other developing nations.

 

The leading causes of death in Tanzania are malaria, HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases and cardio-circulatory diseases. Many of these major causes of death and serious illness are difficult to avoid. The work of the healthcare system in Tanzania largely centres on treating immediate cases. However, it also extends to educating patients in preventative measures.

 

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania with PMGY, you will have a unique and exciting opportunity to experience health care in Tanzania first hand. PMGY collaborate with a government hospital and community clinic within the Arusha and Meru district of the country. PMGY’s medical program offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to gain volunteer experience to further their career. The various departments across these settings that offer a variety of exposures to participants looking to further their medical background and experience. Additionally, the program allows individuals to explore one of the most amazing countries in the world!
 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Tengeru Hospital – We place volunteer overseas at a government hospital located in the town of Tengeru, a neighbouring town of Arusha. This tends to be the main placement for our medical volunteers. Having started originally as a women’s health centre, the hospital currently caters to all kinds of general health matters. 

 

The hospital is a 24/7 facility, treating around 50-80 patients each day. The hospital has a strong maternity ward with an average of 500 newborns delivered each month. This, therefore, makes this is a very good placement for midwifery students. There is also a recently opened Dental Ward, ideal for dentistry students who wish to promote dental hygiene education.

 

Often, we are able to place medical volunteers in Tanzania at the following departments: Dental, Diabetes Clinic, General Medical Consultation, Laboratory, HIV Awareness and Testing, Midwifery & Labour Ward, Newborn Care and Immunisations, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Optical, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy (part-time), Prenatal Care & Antenatal Care, Radiology Surgery (Minor and Major) & Tuberculosis Wing. Any preferences can be noted within your application, however, please note that these can never be guaranteed.

 

Volunteers will be working alongside qualified local staff during the time spent in each department. On your first day, you will receive a full introduction from the matron. The matron will discuss with you what departments you’re interested in and devise a work schedule for you. You can choose to spend your time within a number of different departments or focus on one or two. We typically recommend volunteers to spend a minimum of one week within a department.

 

During your time, you will likely witness a range of cases you may never come across back home. This could include Typhoid and TB. There will also be the chance to learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Yellow Fever and Dengue.  Working in a government hospital will come with its own set of challenges. You should be prepared to experience some strong emotions with the standards of the facilities and limited equipment available. 

 

Things tend to be a lot more laid-back in Tanzania. This lack of urgency can be frustrating, as well as the impersonal way many of the Tanzanian medical staff treat their patients. Please, therefore, be prepared for some eye-opening experiences, which may be difficult to cope with at times. However, remember to throw yourself into the experience and challenge yourself to learn. Do this and you will have a really rewarding time, and assist in making a positive impact.

 

Community Clinic – Our second medical placement is a local community clinic. This centre offers affordable healthcare to some of the poorest people in Arusha and surrounding areas. It is the first full-service charity clinic in Arusha. The clinic sees up to 3,000 patients per month, although it is relatively small in size. At the clinic, patients are able to see a doctor. Following the consultation, if needed, patients can receive any necessary blood word or prescription treatments for a very nominal fee.

 

The clinic has the following departments: General Medical Consultation, Minor Surgeries (largely fractures), Laboratory, Pharmacy, X-ray, Ultrasound. Volunteer in Tanzania participants will have the chance to work in multiple departments. The head doctor and his team will mentor you throughout your time at the clinic. They will go out of their way to get you involved in as much as you can.

 

In the small surgery room, there may be opportunities to learn and assist as procedures. This could include circumcision, abscess/cyst/growth removal and drainage and stitching. Within the pharmacy, you will learn about the different medication prescribed – mainly antibiotics, anti-worm, or antimalarial treatments. This placement is open to people of all medical backgrounds, including school leavers and university students. You will get to witness a range of cases, largely malaria and typhoid. Other frequent cases tend to be in the area of obstetrics, basic dentistry and the urinary system.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a medical volunteer in Tanzania, you will have the opportunity to learn and work alongside qualified staff. Those with little or no medical experience will assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you may get the opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement, at your discretion. However, the opportunity for this is dependent on a volunteer’s relationship with the doctors/nurses you work alongside and permission of patients. 

 

In general, during time as a medical volunteer in Tanzania, your role should predominately be seen as an opportunity to learn about a healthcare system in a developing country. It is a chance for you to learn about differences in practice compared to those you would find in your home country. You will have the opportunity to learn about common health problems within a third world country and understand how these are dealt with. International volunteers can expect to be on the project for 3-5 hours per day. Typical working hours are 8:30am-1pm or 11am-4pm, Monday to Friday. Volunteers are usually welcome to stay at the project for longer if they wish. 

 

Transport to the medical volunteer in Tanzania project is not included in the Program Fee. You will usually be required to take a Dala Dala (local bus) to placement. It can take up to 45 minutes to travel to your volunteer work in Tanzania. Our local team will guide you through the local transport methods during your in-country orientation. You can also always ask them if you are unsure of how much you should be paying for a journey.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN TANZANIA

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Tanzania participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.
 
Multiple Projects – Please note you can only be placed at one medical facility during your time with us. In some circumstances, it may be possible to combine medical facilities across your time. This is a medical donation to the new facility you are transferring over to.

 

Community Volunteering – There may be the possibility to get involved in our community volunteer opportunities in Tanzania, alongside the medical volunteer program. However, this cannot be guaranteed. If this is something you are interested in, please highlight these volunteer programs in Tanzania on your application under ‘special requirements’.

 

Important Visa Information – On-arrival into Tanzania you will need to obtain a Tourist Visa. This costs 50 USD (100 USD for US Citizens). You do not need to worry about this in advance since this can be purchased at the airport on arrival. Please bring US Dollars that have been issued from 2006 onwards to pay. Card payments will not be accepted.

 

Tanzanian law stipulates that all volunteers must also have a Volunteer Visa. If you’re joining PMGY in Tanzania for less than 90 days, this will cost 200 USD. Your volunteer coordinator will process this on your behalf during your orientation after arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. For the Volunteer Visa, please make sure you have 200 USD in cash (issued from 2006 onwards). Our local team will process this for you within the first couple of days of your arrival. They will then return your passport to you with the visa inside it. You, therefore, do not need to obtain this Volunteer Visa prior to arriving in Tanzania. If you are volunteering for more than 90 days, the local team will instead help arrange a Residency Permit. This permit costs 550 USD.

 

For those engaging in volunteer work in Tanzania for 90 days or less, the total visa fee is 250 USD. The cost is 300 USD for US citizens. You should bring this amount with you on your volunteer trip to Tanzania in cash (US dollars, issued from 2006 onwards). The cost would be 600 USD (650 for US citizens) for volunteers joining us in Tanzania for more than 90 days.

 

Yellow Fever – Recently, the Tanzania Embassy have changed legal requirements for the Yellow Fever Vaccination. The government now states that this must now only legally be obtained by: 

 

• Individuals who are travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission
• Individuals who are transiting through one of these at-risk countries for 12 hours or more

 

However, some participants outside of these parameters have still been asked to show evidence of the vaccination upon arrival into Tanzania. You may, therefore, wish to still obtain this vaccination to avoid any confusion or difficulties upon arrival into the country. To obtain this vaccination, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to arrange this before you go.

 

There has been a lot of debate on this issue. However, from the PMGY team’s experience, we have always been asked to show proof of our Yellow Fever Vaccination. We therefore strongly advise all our volunteers to do so as well to avoid any complications on-arrival.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Tanzania runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Tanzania Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Tanzania. We offer the Wildlife Safari Trip along with the Zanzibar Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇳🇵 VOLUNTEER IN NEPAL (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your fifth stop is Nepal which has been a hotspot for travellers, dating back many years. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still catching up. Certainly, this provides one of the many reasons that make it such a fascinating country. Its landscape is diverse and harsh yet beautiful beyond belief. Many of its people live in poverty yet remain as proud and welcoming as ever. You may leave Nepal at the end of your duration but you are certain never to forget it.

 

Combine adventure travel with community volunteering as well as ticking off all the ‘must-see’ things in Nepal. You can choose to volunteer and live in a Nepalese Buddhist monastery teaching monks English. As a result of living at the monastery, you will also learn and embrace the monks’ cultures and ways of life. 

 

Alternatively, you can choose to teach young people English in a school community development setting. Finally, choose your volunteer project to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. You will be able to select your volunteer in Nepal project during the online application.

 

🇳🇵 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN NEPAL

NEPAL CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Nepal, you can contribute your time and affection in making a difference to children facing poverty or neglect. You will become part of the family as you integrate into their daily lives. Encourage learning through creative and stimulating educational activities as well as assisting in day-to-day care. From helping with homework to supporting the maintenance of the children’s home, you will be spending time surrounded by the natural beauty of our rural locations.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Nepal is considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia and even across the world. Almost half of the Nepalese population live below the poverty line and families’ needs are often not provided for. As a result, children are repeatedly the worst affected by high levels of poverty and malnutrition, hence facing the greatest need. 

 

Around 1 in 3 children are engaged with child labour and the literacy rate is particularly low, especially for girls. Subsequently, through volunteer work in Nepal you can help the younger generation to thrive and develop, focusing on education and inspiring young minds.

 

PMGY’s childcare program in Nepal works with children who have lost their parents or whose families cannot afford to look after them. There is minimal to no support or funding provided by the government. Consequently, these children’s homes appreciate all your support when you Volunteer in Nepal.

 

The kids live together in the children’s homes to receive love, care and their basic needs. Most importantly, this means they also have access to education and future opportunities. As a result, they are diverted from skipping school to work or subject to a life in poverty. They have been dealt a bad hand in life, but you can volunteer with children in Nepal to make a real difference. Giving your time and affection will be a vital contribution to brighten up their days.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Chitwan Khusi Ko Ghar – The children’s home for girls is based in the south of Nepal, amongst the forest lowlands of Chitwan. This project was set up in 2008, becoming a crucial lifeline for many girls after the 2015 earthquake that shook Nepal, from Chitwan and the surrounding mountainous areas. There are now usually 15 girls living here, where we support the house mother in looking after the children. As a childcare volunteer you will assist with hands-on support and making a positive impact. In addition, this is the best project to experience Nepali village life and a traditional lifestyle.

 

Pokhara Khusi Ko Ghar – As a childcare volunteer in Nepal you may also be based at the boy’s children’s home in Pokhara, in a small village near the foothills of the Himalayas. There are around 7 boys who live here, all with a huge love for studying and football! They will live here until they finish their exams. After that, they get help training different jobs and learning to support themselves. The house auntie cares for the children, so you will be supporting her as well as developing the boy’s education. In addition, you can take a break from your volunteer work in Nepal by enjoying a swim in the local river during the monsoon or hiking to Shanti Stupa World Peace Pagoda. Set on top of Anadu Hill, this beautiful temple overlooks Phewa Lake and the Annapurna Range beyond.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

On the Nepal volunteer program you’ll be up early (around 6am) to help prepare breakfast and get the children ready from Monday to Friday. After walking them to school, you can help out with chores around the home. For example, cleaning, tidying and preparing meals as well as helping to feed any livestock or maintain the garden area. These tasks tend to finish at around 10am. 

 

You are then free until the children return from school. There may be childcare or teaching work available during the day at a nearby project, but this depends on your placement location and need at the time. You can discuss this option with our local team during your in-country orientation to you volunteer work in Nepal. Alternatively, this may be your opportunity to explore the local market or learn about the local community.

 

After that, volunteers pick up the kids from school at around 3pm. As a childcare volunteer in Nepal, your role involves assisting many different tasks. For example, helping to prepare and serve dinner, assisting the kids with their homework, teaching English, playing games and sports and organising activities for the little ones. Furthermore, the children will have lots of energy. Consequently, you will need to have the energy to match as you will be based on-site during the project week. The children are of various ages (5 to 16 years of age) and backgrounds. 

 

Both children’s homes have outdoor space for games and activities with the children as well as resource cupboards for board games and learning materials too. Sharing your time and skills will be much appreciated during your volunteer placement, engaging the children and making a positive impact on the local people. In the evenings the children have free time for an hour after dinner to watch TV, play board games or read books. Volunteers are encouraged to get involved and help them burn out the kids’ energy so they are ready for a good night’s sleep!

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Resources – On the childcare project in Nepal, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Nepal.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will make a positive impact at a community level. In addition, you will immerse yourself in a fascinating local culture. From kindergartens to primary schools, you can lead classes and assist lessons to educate and inspire the next generation, preparing them for a better future.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

PMGY Nepal English teaching volunteers encourage students to develop a skill that will help them to achieve their future goals. By conversing with fluent, native English speakers, their language skills will greatly improve, which is essential for future employment. Therefore, education is the key to driving economic, political and social development. With the help of your volunteer work in Nepal, you can help to achieve this via the younger generation.

 

However, the education system in Nepal is of an extremely low standard. It seriously lacks real investment and many teachers are under-qualified, particularly English teachers. The sad result is that 41% of the Nepalese adult population is illiterate, leading people to basic jobs involving labour and low pay.

 

Tourism is Nepal’s biggest industry and source of employment, aside from agriculture. In addition, working in tourism brings in serious money and offers huge employment opportunities. However, a key requirement for a job in tourism is the ability to speak English. As a result, being able to speak English opens up so many doors for young people in Nepal. Nonetheless, the level of English in government schools is poor, so effective English tuition is only a viable option for children from wealthy backgrounds in international schools.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will expose the children to more opportunities in their future. Consequently giving hope and inspiration to the young minds who do not have access to private school education.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

On your Nepal volunteer program you will be placed at one of the local schools or kindergartens that provide education to some of the most deprived communities. Depending on your placement location and needs of the projects at the time, there may also be the opportunity to get involved in working at a day-care centre, which involves providing care and basic education to children of pre-school age.

 

Smart Kids Kindergarten – Located within Kathmandu Valley, this kindergarten was set up in 2015 with a strong focus on education in a child-centred infrastructure. They aim to provide an enriching and exciting environment for young children aged 3+. Although, they often have minimal resources and limited English communication. As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you can offer your language skills and passion to help boost the children’s education from a young age. The activities here are focused on high interaction and engagement, underpinned with a focus of fun, as the children will not be so confident or able in English.

 

Chitwan Primary School – Our volunteers teaching English in Nepal may be based in the south, at a small local school within Chitwan town. The class sizes generally range from around 20 – 30 children, with ages varying from five years old up to lower teens. You will often be paired with one teacher for your whole placement, although this usually depends on the need and availability at the time. Additionally, there is usually a curriculum that you can follow at school. Otherwise, you may be free to design and lead your own classes. During your volunteer work in Nepal you’ll find the resources at the schools can often be quite limited. Consequently, it’s good to find props and use your imagination!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

You’ll be up early with your host family to get ready for the day ahead. Make sure you wake up with plenty of energy! Depending on your location, it will probably be a short walk from your homestay to your volunteer placement, Otherwise, transport will be provided.

 

Your main role as a volunteer in Nepal is to teach English, Although, there is also the chance to teach other subjects such as Maths and Arts when required. The schools have local staff who will assist volunteers, but most of the time international volunteers lead their own lessons. In addition, the lessons are largely informal and volunteers have the freedom to be creative with their lesson plans.

 

During your lessons, we encourage volunteers teaching English in Nepal to use engaging educational activities to hold the student’s attention, as well as inspire their learning. Be creative, use exciting ways to learn new vocabulary and introduce interesting topics in a fun way. Use educational games like interactive word searches or Hangman to test the students. Or try a bit of class competition in Hot Seat or team quizzes. Games, songs, art, sport and music can all be great tools.

 

The schools usually have basic resources available. Some of the teaching project sites do have outdoor space and playground facilities as well as a range of toys and books to engage with the children. However, these can be limited at times so you may wish to bring some extra educational books or games to assist with your teaching whilst you volunteer in Nepal.

 

Flashcards and stickers are a good idea as well. Plus you’ll find it much cheaper to buy resources during your Nepal volunteer program, which puts money into the local economy too. Additionally, souvenirs from your home country can also be a great resource, especially for introducing yourself to the children and helping them learn about you and your culture.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Nepal, you will typically be teaching around 3-5 hours a day from Monday-Friday, depending on which placement you have joined. School often starts around 9-10am, after a busy morning of cooking Dal Bhat to fuel your day! You’ll have a break for lunch and most projects will be finished between 2-4pm. Use your free time after your Nepal volunteer program to meet the local community in your neighbourhood, explore the local market or join in cultural activities.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Nepal project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

NEPAL ENGLISH TEACHING TO MONKS

Would you like to immerse yourself in a completely new culture, whilst teaching others your skills? As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will experience a fascinating culture. Live within a Nepalese Buddhist monastery and learn about a whole new way of life in this unique experience. You’ll be joining the monks’ daily routines and practising meditation before the sun rises, ready for a day of sharing knowledge and helping these communities to learn English.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Although Buddhism is not the most practised religion in Nepal, the influence of this religion can be found throughout; well Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha! From the countless temples and stupas located around the country to the thousands of Tibetan Buddhists who have sought refuge, Nepal remains an important place for Buddhists.

  

Many young Nepalese men spend a period of their life training as a monk. The majority of the children at the monasteries are Tibetan refugees and impoverished children from ethnic hill tribes. Therefore becoming a monk offers many children the chance of a better life.

  

Training to become a monk starts at an early age. Firstly, young monks are taught about Buddhist practices and philosophies as well as receiving general mainstream education – including learning English. Consequently, the ability to speak English allows monks to translate religious text and communicate the teachings of Buddhism to all. As the Dalai Lama said, “To learn English is to spread the word”.

  

It is very important that monks receive a formal education as well as religious training. It is not totally uncommon for monks to leave the monastery when they get older, therefore it is important for them to learn English in order to boost their career prospects in mainstream society.

  

As a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you can enormously benefit their learning and language development. As a result, by working with international volunteers the monks can vastly improve their communication and pronunciation skills on a new level.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

If you would like to teach English to monks in Nepal you will be living at the monastery, in separate living quarters. The location of where you Volunteer in Nepal will be at one of the monasteries that we support in either Kathmandu or Chitwan. The monasteries in Kathmandu are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are more rural outside of town.

 

Nala Monastery – This monastery is a couple of hours outside of the main town of Kathmandu. It lays within a peaceful rural setting, close to the ancient Bhaktapur City. Here around 150 male monks of all ages are living at the monastery. Around 50 of the young monks are divided into four classes for teaching. The rooms are basic but comfortable with a modern ensuite. However, there is usually no hot water or Wi-Fi. In addition, there’s a snack shop on-site and a sports field to unwind with the monks next door.
 
Kwung Gumba Monastery – In contrast, your volunteer work in Nepal may take place with another monastery in Kathamandu, which is located amongst a small neighbourhood. This placement is close to the shops with easy access to the main town. There are western toilets and Wi-Fi available here, although the signal is often intermittent. Volunteers teaching English to monks in Nepal will be based in one of the three classrooms that surround the library. Each room is equipped with a whiteboard and benches, and the students will be split according to ability.

 

Daunne Monastery –  The monastery placement in Chitwan, on the other hand, is very rural and located within a jungle environment. Monkeys will be your new neighbour on this Nepal volunteer program! Consequently, international volunteers are advised to note the Chitwan monastery offers a much more authentic experience, where facilities are very basic and general resources are more limited. Another unique aspect of the monastery in Chitwan is that volunteers will work with both male and female monks. The school here is also open to children in the local village and is a short walk uphill into the forest.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

For every volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, expect to be woken early each morning as the gong is sounded and morning prayers commence. What a unique opportunity to learn and get immersed in the Buddhist way of life!

 

You will generally be given a timetable for your classes for 3-5 hours a day, from Monday-Friday. Above all, English teaching is the main way you will help whilst you volunteer in Nepal, but there may also be the chance to teach other subjects like Maths and Science.

 

As a volunteer in Nepal you will follow a flexible curriculum syllabus when conducting your lessons, whereby most of the time you will plan your own lessons and activities, working independently or alongside a fellow volunteer. There is usually a government course guide book available according to class standards that focuses on English, Maths, and Science.

 

In Kathmandu expect there to be around 40-150 young monks, depending on your monastery. If your volunteer work in Nepal is based in Chitwan, then there are around 100 monks. The ages range from around seven years old to lower teen and average class sizes tend to be around 10-15 per class.

 

The level of English will vary depending on which class you’re assigned. Therefore, you should be prepared to spend time planning for each lesson. Anything that you can teach about your own culture will also be gratefully received. In the evening times, volunteers in Nepal are encouraged to help the monks with their homework and any one-to-one learning experiences formally or informally.

 

You will have a lot of free time on your Nepal volunteer program, which you can spend travelling, relaxing or learning about the Buddhist way of life. Meanwhile, this may be your opportunity to explore the local market or learn about the local community. Alternatively, you could spend the evenings playing sports, games or extracurricular activities with the young monks.

 

Depending on your Nepal volunteer program, you may be able to provide extra help like preparing meals or collecting firewood and wild mushrooms from the jungle. You will find the monks to be accepting and genuinely grateful for your help. As a result, they will be interested to teach you about their unique culture. As a volunteer in Nepal, this will give you an insight into the Buddhist religion not granted to tourists.

 

On arrival, young monks will be keen and excited to meet you. However, some will also be shy of you in your first few days at the monastery. You will get the chance to eat with the monks and have the opportunity to take part in some meditation rituals if you are up early enough to learn this practice too!

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN NEPAL

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Nepal project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Location – When you volunteer in Nepal you may have the option to choose which location you will be placed in. This will be determined during your orientation day when you arrive in Kathmandu – a staff member will discuss the current need, availability and any preferences you might have. You may meet other volunteers in your orientation who you enjoy spending time with too!

 

Weekends – Your project work in Nepal runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Nepal Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Nepal. We offer the Chitwan Safari Trip along with the Pokhara & Annapurna Trek Trip Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇮🇳 VOLUNTEER IN INDIA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your sixth stop is India. Architectural splendours, chaotic street life, tranquil havens and culture shocks are all guaranteed during your time in India. Consequently, there will be lots for you to experience in this vast, endlessly diverse and hugely inspiring country. India’s Golden Triangle comprises the three most visited cities in the country’s north-west – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. All of these three bustling cities are accessible from our project location. 

 

Jaipur, the capital of the largely desert state of Rajasthan, is home to the iconic Amber Fort. In addition, it boasts some of Asia’s best bazaars. You could spend weeks in Delhi and not see it all! The sprawling, fascinating Indian capital has so much to offer! Agra, once the heart of the Moghul empire, boasts the unparalleled beauty of the Taj Mahal. 

 

Your volunteering choices are very varied. Contribute to the lives of children with learning difficulties. On the other hand, you can choose to teach English to help children reach their full potential. In the same vein, you can choose to gain practical medical experience and insight on elective programs. Finally, during your gap year travel in India, choose your volunteer project to engage in the lives of underprivileged children in children’s homes. You will be able to select your volunteer in India project during the online application.

 

🇮🇳 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN INDIA

INDIA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in India, you will brighten the days of young ones, making an important contribution to their lives. As a volunteer with children in India, you will act as role models to underprivileged individuals. Our volunteers coordinate fun activities and assist with tasks such as homework, to make a positive impact on local Indian communities. Above all as a volunteer with children in India, you will be assisting with the general childcare and daily activities at the volunteer placement.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

Similar to other developing countries, across India, hundreds of thousands of children find themselves with insufficient levels of care. Over 5% of all children in India are without any form of support from a parent or guardian – approximately 20 million of India’s population. Not all of these children have physically lost both of their parents. However, many of them are sadly abandoned, with poverty a leading factor of this. Across India, many parents simply do not have the income or resources to provide care for their children. Consequently, many of these children find themselves in the undeveloped childcare system with nowhere else to turn. Typically, this system lacks the funding, resources and manpower to take proper care of these children.

 

Volunteers with children in India with PMGY work to support children centres in the Faridabad community. Not only do volunteers provide a friendly face to brighten up a child’s day, but they work hard to support and lead activities, making days at the centres fun and productive. Volunteers with children in India are required to have masses of energy, enthusiasm and creativity to ensure that contributions to the project can be as successful as possible. Volunteering with children is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in.

 

Each day as a volunteer with children in India is different and you will get out of the project what you put in. It is a good idea to join the project well prepared with lots of ideas of activities so that you can get stuck in as soon as possible. As a childcare volunteer in India, you have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, they make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Alice In Wonderland – PMGY fund and support a children’s home for 7-10 children aged from 6 to 17 years old. The home is located next to the main Volunteer House, so the children receive regular support from our volunteers. There is a house father who manages the home on a day-to-day basis. However, volunteers play an important role in looking after the children in their free time. This ranges from helping them with their homework to playing games. The local team frequently arrange activities for the children to engage in, from kickboxing to yoga. Childcare volunteers on this program in India will accompany the children. Not only do volunteers provide encouragement to the children, but they provide a helping hand as they develop new skills.

 

Lakshya Kadam – Set up in 2004, Lakshya Kadam is a youth home. The home is operated by once run-away street children, working with children rescued from Delhi Railway Station. Although PMGY does not directly run this home, our childcare volunteers make regular visits. Our international volunteers both support and complement the services mediated by the local staff.

 

Lakshya Kadam is a self-funded project in India. The home employs local people from the community to make handmade crafts from newspaper and fabric bags. The income generated through this allows the children to have an education, with all children, enrolled at a local Convent School. The overall aim is to give the children the best opportunities in life. This helps prevent them from becoming involved in negative activities, such as drugs or theft.

 

Volunteers with children in India will go to project in the late afternoon. Here, during this volunteer work in India, you will help the children with their homework. As a children volunteer in India, you will also have the chance to lead activities, play games and dance!

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in India, you will coordinate activities and provide care, attention and support for underprivileged children. As the children attend school in the morning, your help is needed in the afternoon. There, the volunteer project runs in the afternoons for between 2-3 hours, Monday to Friday. Typical hours at the volunteer program are between 3-6pm. However, this may vary depending on the needs of the project at the time. 

 

The role of a childcare volunteer in India can vary. Some days, you may work hard to assist the children with homework or a school project. Other days, you may be responsible for arranging activities, providing the children with some relief after a busy day at school! Childcare volunteers in India must, therefore, be proactive in their role. This means that they must identify the needs of the children each day and coordinate activities accordingly. With any challenge will come reward, meaning that volunteers in India can expect to find their time both rewarding and fun!

 

As a volunteer overseas with children in India, you are welcome to join one of our morning projects for additional volunteer work. Alternatively, a childcare volunteer in India is welcome to use their mornings to lesson plan or explore Delhi and surrounding areas.

 

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN INDIA

Alternative Opportunities – On the India childcare project, participant roles mainly involve the organisation and coordination of activities with the children. For individuals looking for a more challenging experience, PMGY recommend joining one of our other childcare volunteer programs.  PMGY recommend our volunteer in Cambodia childcare program offers participants with a more defined and structured role.

 

Project Flexibility – For the majority of the year, childcare volunteers in India will only be able to participate in the late afternoons. This will be after the children have returned from school and had an opportunity to rest. We, therefore, encourage participants to become involved in other PMGY India volunteering experiences during the mornings, such as the teaching English program. This is a great opportunity to spend your mornings doing something really productive and impactful before heading to support at the children’s homes in the afternoons. These arrangements can be discussed in-country. 

 

Please note that there may be instances where this opportunity is not possible, or volunteer project options are limited. This could otherwise lead to overcrowding at the project and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific community-based programs originally.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in India, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for childcare volunteers in India to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA DISABLED CHILDREN

As an India disabled children volunteer, you will 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.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE DISABLED PROGRAM

Traditionally, people with disabilities in India have had vastly reduced opportunities in life. Many attitudes towards disability have been influenced by the concept of Karma. Unfortunately, it is frequently perceived that disability is a punishment for actions in their past life. In recent years, India’s Government has changed policies and laws which now enable young people with disabilities to receive an education. However, conflicting goals and a lack of clarity still affect disabled young people’s experiences and outcomes of education.

 

People with disabilities face many barriers within and outside the Indian school system. Lack of awareness and limited access to resources has left many disabled people in India without the care many desperately need. According to the India office of the World Bank, Indian children with disabilities are 5.5 times more likely to not be enrolled at school compared to abled-children. Those who do attend school rarely progress beyond the primary school level. Currently, 52% of adults with disabilities are illiterate, compared to 35% amongst the general Indian population. In India, 74% of people with physical impairments are unemployed.

 

Our volunteers with disabled children in India work hard to provide support for centres across Faridabad. Volunteers in India on this program support local staff to complement and further enhance opportunities of children with special needs. The role of a volunteer with disabled children in India is varied and rewarding. Whilst also challenging, volunteering on this project offers volunteers the chance to showcase their skills to support others in need.

 

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

KRC for Special Children – This centre was founded some years ago by a physiotherapist. The project aims to provide children with disabilities the care and attention they deserve. The overall goal is to provide children with the skills and rehabilitation for the greatest chance of independence. Staff at the centre have worked with local people and children with conditions that include Down Syndrome and Infantile hemiplegia. 

 

There are local staff at the volunteer project, but most of the additional support is provided by PMGY volunteer with disabled children in India participants. Daily activities often include storytelling, physical exercise, basic life skill lessons, singing songs and games. You may even get involved in some English language teaching. It is hoped that through these activities, the children will also interact with each other. This, in turn, helps to promote social skills that the children may not otherwise have the opportunity to develop extensively. Volunteers with relevant experience may be able to assist with physiotherapy and speech therapy sessions. Such interaction will be under the guidance of the local staff. Volunteers will usually take along toys and educational aids each day to the community centre project. 

 

When participants arrive on the volunteer program, they take over the room with their energy, stimulating and supporting children. The project is very hands-on. Volunteers will have important roles in teaching English and feeding, as well as assisting in activities that focus on motor skills. 

 

Although the project can be challenging, feedback from participants suggests the project is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities. The bonds international volunteers build with the children at the project are very unique and special to each participant. As funding and volunteer support increases, we can continue to maximise our support to communities and the centre.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Working 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, volunteer work 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.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN INDIA

Your Approach & Project Structure – Please note that this project relies on the proactivity of PMGY volunteers. Each individual child offers a unique set of characteristics and behaviours. It is, therefore, an important task for a participant to explore these and tailor tasks and activities towards these. 

 

Although our local team/staff will be at hand at the project, you will not always be working as a group. During your time on the project, most of your time will be spent working with children individually or in small groups. 

 

The structure across the classes can be limited. As mentioned, this is because of the varying needs across the children. Together, this naturally can be very challenging. However, this is found to equally be one of our most rewarding volunteering opportunities in India. 

 

Naturally, this project can be quite challenging to structure and plan for. Volunteers are encouraged to be good time managers, adaptable, resilient, creative and able to maintain a positive attitude. This is because many of the children and young adults lack the ability to speak or communicate functionally. Additionally, individuals may find it difficult to follow instructions. This means that interaction and engagement for volunteers can require a lot of patience, time and effort. Language barriers can add an additional hurdle into the mix. Regardless of this, as you persevere, you will begin to see what a truly inspirational experience you are a part of. Although not always visually recognised, your efforts will be met with appreciation and warmth by all staff, local coordinators and children. Any small differences you can make, even just the care and attention you can give will go a very long way.

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in India, you will encourage students to develop skills, helping to achieve future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves student’s language skills, essential for future employment. This project provides the perfect opportunity for India English teaching volunteers to put leadership skills into practice and make a profound positive impact within poor communities in India.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

India has made some rapid economic advancement in recent years. Despite this, around 28% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. The disparity of wealth in India is plain to see. It can be shocking to witness the extreme differences in living conditions. However, unfortunately, the slums are a regrettable fact of life in India.

 

Indian culture places a major emphasis on education, but unfortunately, the education system in India is still a work in progress. For one thing, class sizes go far beyond suitable capacities. Additionally, schools are highly understaffed. PMGY, therefore, supports two schools located within Faridabad’s largest slum community. Our team provides free education, school supplies and uniforms to local children. This aims to encourage parents to let their children go to school. Without this, they may be forced to wander the streets, begging and collecting rubbish to earn money.

 

The children at the schools range from 3-16. The schools we support are located within the slum areas, making facilities are extremely basic with cramped conditions. However, you will find the spirit of the children and their passion to learn a real joy to behold. English teacher volunteers provide invaluable support to the limited local staff. In particular, the presence of a fluent English speaker brings a major boost to the children’s educational development.

 

When there are a higher number of volunteers teaching English in India, we may also be able to support more slum communities or disadvantaged areas with English classes. Consequently, as a volunteer organisation, this helps us to further community development.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Eco Slum School – Based in the heart of Faridabad’s largest local slum community, this is our main English language teaching volunteer project. The children are aged between 3-15, although the average age is between 7-10. The school was set up by our team in 2010. The aim is to provide children from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to receive free basic primary education. 

 

Volunteers are encouraged to teach English in India, as well as some Maths. However, volunteers teaching English in India are welcome to discuss other ideas with their project coordinator. In addition to teaching, volunteers are expected to carry out the assembly daily, which consist largely of nursery rhymes and dancing. The majority of volunteers teaching English in India will spend their time working with this school. However, this cannot always be guaranteed. 

 

Eco-School is also the hub for several other initiatives within the slum community. Here, our local team have also set up medical clinics and a woman empowerment program, with the aim to increase opportunities and the provision of health care within the community. Volunteers teaching English in India may have the opportunity to engage in or learn about these projects during their time on the India volunteer program. 

 

Nehru School – The Nehru School is a high school, based in a neighbouring local community to that of the Eco-School. Unlike the Eco Slum School, students here are required to pay a fee to receive an education. Several students who have previously attended the Eco-School have received sponsorship to attend here. In 2019 alone, 15 children have been sponsored to receive education at Nehru School. This funding has largely been generated by volunteers.

 

This is an additional project which some teaching volunteers choose to support, and here lessons can be operated more formally. The children are a little older here and usually aged between 10-12 years of age. Volunteers are actively encouraged to lead lessons and teach more advanced English and Maths to the students. There may also be the opportunity for volunteers to get involved in other areas such as assemblies, sports and drawing/painting.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer overseas teaching in India, you will teach English and Maths lessons to one or more classes in an underprivileged school. India English teaching volunteers are also welcome to lead other subjects such as Science and Geography.

 

If you’ve never taught before then there is no need to worry! To be successful in teaching English in India, you just need to be energetic, creative, patient and proactive. Should volunteers require it, our local coordinators can guide you as to how to prepare lessons and what to teach. However, volunteers are required to be proactive in establishing the levels and educational needs of the class. 

 

The volunteer project runs in the mornings for between 3-4 hours, Monday to Friday. Typical hours at the volunteer program are between 9am-12:30pm. However, this may vary depending on the needs of the school at the time. We highly recommend that volunteers use time outside of the project to prepare lessons in advance. If you are new to teaching, your confidence will grow massively once you have taught a couple of classes! Additionally, the more time spent planning, the easier classes will be to run. 

 

You will usually spend your first few days working with children alongside a local teacher or another volunteer. After this, due to staff shortages, it is appreciated if volunteers can lead their own classes. If you are uncomfortable teaching independently, we will do our best to ensure you work alongside a local teacher or peer. 

 

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.  

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN INDIA

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in India project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

INDIA MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in India with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Indian health care. Medical volunteers in India work with highly trained local staff. This gives individuals exposure and tuition that you are unlikely to obtain in your own country. If you are thinking of studying or even pursuing a career in healthcare, joining PMGY’s India medical programs will offer you essential first-hand experience that will assist in your career development.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

Despite advances in India’s healthcare system, the majority of the population still experience poor health. This is largely due to a lack of awareness of health issues. Additionally, many Indians simply cannot afford regular, if any, medical treatment. The projects we support therefore offer free, or highly subsidised, healthcare to local people from slum and rural communities.

 

Our main project for India medical volunteers focuses on supporting medical camps within slum communities. In these areas, there is a prominent lack of health education and access to medical help. To contribute to improving this, we have established our own primary healthcare clinic, running all year round in the heart of the core slum community we support. Additionally, our team establish pop-up clinics across some of the local area’s poorest communities. This helps to ensure our team and international volunteers are able to make the biggest impact possible.

 

As a medical volunteer in India, you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of different medical facilities. This can range from shadowing in surgeries to sitting in on GP consultations. We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement, we also have you covered.
 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Eco-School Slum Clinic – The healthcare clinics we run really are the core of the medical volunteer project in India. Our main clinic is based in our Eco Slum School. The centre acts as the main point of health access for the local community. This is particularly important since individuals here may not otherwise have access to any other form of healthcare. Our medical staff can see anywhere from 40-100 patients daily. There are two clinics where doctors undergo consultancies – one general and one gynaecology. There is also a lab. 

 

The gynaecology clinic is a newer development, with hopes of further expansion in the future. This clinic provides women from the local community with education about female health. We have also developed our own lab at the program. Here, the lab technician carries a variety of health checks. This often includes testing urine glucose levels, blood type and for pregnancy. Since the clinics are located within the slum school, medical volunteers in India will also have the opportunity to engage with the local children. Individuals can even try teaching English!

 

Whilst it cannot be guaranteed, medical volunteers in India may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement. This may include taking blood pressure, blood sugars and dressing minor wounds. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to during your time. The local staff are extremely welcoming and very keen for volunteers to learn. Although the patient interactions will be in Hindi, the doctors speak English and will explain everything to you in English.

 

Slum Outreach Health Campaigns – PMGY periodically run free medical camps across other poor communities in Faridabad. The slums we work in at any point in time are dictated by the communities that have the greatest need. Additionally, during the summer months, we receive higher numbers of participants. This often allows us to run these outreach campaigns as an extension of the Eco-School Slum Clinic operation. These campaigns are designed to offer primary healthcare and medical check-ups to members of local slum communities.

 

We hire a local doctor to lead the campaigns and supervise volunteers. Our team also supply the relevant medical supplies and equipment needed. An interpreter is also recruited to help PMGY India medical volunteers overcome the language barrier when interacting with patients.

 

We welcome medical volunteers of all backgrounds to join this initiative. Participants often have the chance to learn basic skills. This might include taking blood pressures, checking blood sugars and assisting doctors in seeing the patients. You will also get the chance to see and learn about interesting clinical signs and syndromes typically found in slum communities. Volunteers receive ongoing training and mentoring from the local doctor, enabling each participant to get as involved as possible. The range of health conditions encountered in the slums is vast. Although many patients only have simple problems, there are many that would benefit immensely from specialist input.

 

Shadowing in a Hospital Setting – We have a number of hospitals within our network. Generally speaking, volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow within hospital departments. Here, individuals may be able to carry out basic health checks on patients during doctor’s rounds. Common departments volunteers in India will be placed within include: ultrasound, paediatrics, ophthalmology, non-urgent care and theatre.

 

Medical volunteers in India can also witness surgeries. However, these are on an ad-hoc basis. You will, therefore, be notified a day in advance or even on the day, once the surgeries have been confirmed. Naturally, we cannot guarantee those specific surgeries will take place. In any case, it can be a real eye-opening experience to see the difference between hospitals in India compared to those at home.

 

GP Clinic – Here, participants have the opportunity to work alongside a local doctor. Medical volunteers will assist in carrying out basic health checks on members of the local community in a bustling street market. Usually, the doctor sees up to 100 patients daily. The clinic can run in both morning and late evening time, usually around 2-3 hours each session. This may allow for basic hands-on involvement if volunteers choose to undertake such an opportunity.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a volunteer in India, most participants in the medical program will have the chance to experience a number of different facilities. On a volunteer trip to India, our main placement base will be within the health campaign programs that we operate in the slum communities. India medical volunteers can expect to work 3-5 hours in the morning. This will usually be from 9:30am-1pm. Surgeries may be available for observation at any time of the day. Afternoons may be used to engage in hospital placements, the India childcare program or explore Delhi. 

  

It is advised, where possible, that volunteers spend a minimum of three days on a specific placement. Doing this allows relationships with the staff to be made, often leading to increased exposure and responsibility. However, this will ultimately be dependent on the level/qualifications of volunteers. 

  

PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.
 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN INDIA

Top PMGY Medical Program – The medical volunteer work in India is rated as our top overseas medical program across all PMGY destinations. This is due to the exposure our participants get and the range of projects involved. The program is not only for general medicine and nursing students but also for all those with health-related interests. This opportunity is available to school leavers and those who have never studied medicine before. This is the ultimate experience to make a positive impact within poor communities, regardless of your experience.

  

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in India participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas. 

 

Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.

 

Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.

🇱🇰 VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your seventh stop will be Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may be small but it has 2,000-plus years of culture! Furthermore, the country is home to 8 (yes 8!) Unesco World Heritage Sites as well as endless beaches and lush rainforests! Embrace everything the country represents with its welcoming people, beautiful beaches and oodles of elephants. Finally, get ready for those taste-buds to be tickled as you enjoy some wonderful food and the infamous Sri Lankan tea. Sri Lanka is spectacular, affordable and still uncrowded so now is the time to go!

 

Your time on this largely undiscovered little island will give you the chance to explore its length and breadth. In addition, you will be able to make a positive impact when volunteering at local projects. PMGY’s development work in Ambalangoda and Wasgamuwa runs throughout the year. There is something for everyone in Sri Lanka. For example, you can teach in our community volunteer project or support on our childcare projects in the afternoons. 

 

In contrast, choose your volunteer project to learn about the Sri Lankan mental health system. You can even choose your gap year programs in Sri Lanka to be more physical with renovation, elephants and sea turtle conservation opportunities. You will be able to select your volunteer in Sri Lanka project during the online application. 

 

🇱🇰 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA CHILDCARE

A childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka can make a vital contribution to brighten up the daily lives of children from challenging backgrounds. From supporting educational development and encouraging a positive lifestyle, you can play a key role in making a positive impact on the local community. The projects we work with provide a vital safety net for these children. The more help and encouragement they can get from volunteers, the better and brighter their future.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

In Sri Lanka today, care homes are the fate of many children for a multitude of reasons. According to UNICEF, out of over 21,000 children in children’s home’s in Sri Lanka, one or both parents of over 19,000 of them are still alive. Poverty is a root cause with families feeling they cannot afford to adequately provide for the child, to give them the education and start in life they need and deserve.

 

These children may have been abandoned by their parents, abused, lost both parents or not have a family who is able to support them. In addition, there are also a lot of children in care due to the high number of people who seek employment outside of Sri Lanka, especially in the Middle East. As there are not enough jobs available or a sustainable income in Sri Lanka, many parents are forced to find work abroad. In these cases, their child may be temporarily living in care.

 

If you volunteer with children in Sri Lanka, you’ll find it is a highly rewarding experience and one that people from all backgrounds can get involved in. You can support these children’s homes to ensure the kids get a positive start to their education and development. Sharing your time, skills and affection as a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka will be deeply appreciated by the families affected.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Sun Rise Preschool & Day Care Centre – Each childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka has the opportunity to join this morning project. You’ll be providing much-needed help to the local community and working parents, who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. PMGY provides a fully-funded safe environment for children aged 1-4 years old. Subsequently, this allows parents to work and earn an income, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families.

 

Sri Lanka United Nation’s Friendship Organisation – In the afternoons, the volunteers will support the girls’ children’s home, which was established by the UN in 1999. There are around 30 girls at the home, between 4-17 years of age. The children at this facility are full-time residents of the home due to difficult family situations, which may range from neglect to poverty. Please note that generally only female volunteers are permitted to work at the girl’s home.

 

Government Child Development Centre – As a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may also support the government-funded Child Development Centre, which cares for around 80 boys and girls between 6-18 years of age. While some of the children may have lost both of their parents, others are rescued from broken homes and abusive families. For instance, their parents may have been involved in criminal activities, or many are given up by their families as they simply cannot afford to look after them. For any male volunteers wishing to join our childcare program then this may be where you are located.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Your main role as a childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka is to help encourage and care for these children, providing them with the opportunity to boost their confidence and to help maximise their potential. You will volunteer in Sri Lanka from Monday-Friday. The morning sessions at the preschool run from 9am-11.30am. The afternoon sessions are typically from 3pm-6pm. The placement locations take around 30 minutes to reach by tuk-tuk or private minibus.

 

The first hour or two of your afternoon on the childcare program is allocated for teaching the children English and enhancing educational development. We encourage volunteers to use engaging educational activities to hold the children’s attention, as well as inspire their learning. Be creative, use exciting ways to learn new vocabulary and introduce interesting topics in a fun way. You could use alphabet props in a matching game, create topical posters, or even find items in the garden to create a counting activity.

 

The remaining time on your Sri Lanka volunteer program will be spent inventing outdoor games, designing creative activities and playing sports. The children’s homes have a lot of outdoor space so utilise it! This time can be used to practice conversational English and commands in a more informal manner, as well as boosting confidence and encouraging the children to engage in a positive way. Our local team are on hand to support you with any ideas or activities you wish to perform whilst you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

At the preschool, the childcare volunteers will be supporting the preschool with basic education. Working with this age group is not as structured as teaching older children. In other words, their language can be improved simply through play and interaction. As a result, just a few words or phrases will stand them in good stead for learning English in the future. If you volunteer with children in Sri Lanka, you’ll need to prepare activities for this accordingly.

 

Each childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka will be the driving force behind some light housekeeping such as meal preparation and sanitary assistance to the young children at the preschool.  In addition, your volunteer work in Sri Lanka will involve helping out at mealtimes, as well as organising free-time activities and games for the preschool children.

 

A rotation between the projects can be organised when you volunteer in Sri Lanka. For instance, if volunteers would like the opportunity to partake in both morning and afternoon programs then the local team can help to arrange this.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY  volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location. 

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects. 

 

Resources – On the childcare project in Sri Lanka, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Sri Lanka.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

Join us as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka to play a key role in education, research and conservation of Asian elephants. Based in the central province, the Wasgamuwa region and National Park is famous for hosting a large number of wild elephant herds. Volunteers will engage in a wide range of research and conservation to see how these elephants live and move in their natural habitat. Help provide solutions and education to the conflicts that exist between the elephant population and multiple villages located within the area.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE ELEPHANT PROGRAM

Over the past 50 years, the elephant population in Sri Lanka has reduced substantially. Firstly, not only are there persisting issues of keeping captive elephants, elephant riding and labour, but nearly 5,000 elephant deaths in this period are believed to be a direct result of the conflict that exists between humans and elephants. In the present day, human-elephant conflict is said to be responsible for around 250 elephant deaths and 80 human deaths annually in Sri Lanka.

 

So what is human-elephant conflict? The simplest explanation would be the elephant and human populations not getting along. One of the main reasons is the competition for land. On one side of the coin, it is humans encroaching onto the territory of elephants and habitats shrinking daily. On the other hand, rising populations and urbanisation challenges see elephants having nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food. This is much to the dismay of many poor farmers who haven’t changed their daily lives and routines for generations. However, they see their crops, villages and ultimately livelihoods being destroyed.

 

To expand on this, the destruction of forests through logging, encroachment and shifting cultivation are some examples of major threats to the survival of elephants. Conflicts occur when elephants raid crops of subsistence farmers, which are scattered over a large area fragmenting elephant habitat. Devastation and destruction in human settlements is another major area of human-elephant conflict occurring in small forest pockets, encroachments into elephant habitat, and on elephant migration routes. Subsequently, thousands of homes are destroyed by elephants and millions of dollars worth of crop damage arise, wrecking livelihoods and incomes of rural farming communities.

 

ELEPHANT VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT

Wasgamuwa is the core base of your work as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, representing an area where human-elephant conflict is the highest prevalent issue and concern. Wasgamuwa National Park is adjacent to the villages and forest reserves where most of the volunteer work is conducted. Moreover, this is the only national park in the whole of the central province where you will encounter these gentle giants in their natural habitats. Established originally by a team of biologists in 1995, the wildlife volunteer program aimed to distinguish root causes to the conflict, as well as work with the local people to educate and establish mitigation systems. It was vital that these measures protect the villagers’ livelihoods, as well as help minimize elephant casualties. Meanwhile, allowing wild elephants to live in their natural habitat.

 

As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will be working directly with 12 of the villages based in the Wasgamuwa area where human-elephant conflict is an ongoing issue. Your role on this wildlife volunteering abroad program will be aiding the research and conservation techniques to halt the decline of this wonderful endangered species. This includes monitoring elephant behaviour and movements. Meanwhile, your role is in tandem with helping the communities and villages learn to live side by side with these amazing creatures.

 

Working alongside local biologists, research assistants and conservationists to help conduct research, you will get involved in a number of activities as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka. You’ll be focusing in the fields of conservation and research on this wildlife volunteer program, all with the ultimate aim of reducing human-elephant conflict and promoting sustainable land-use practices.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Based in the wild Wasgamuwa region, each elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will be working in one of the most spectacular and tranquil places across the globe. Your day will be split into morning and afternoon activities, often working in subgroups depending on how many people volunteer in Sri Lanka. Usually, you’ll be up early to start after breakfast around 8:30am, breaking for lunch and finishing around 6pm from Monday-Friday. You will get around the project by jeep from the accommodation into the heart of the reserve and jungle. Journey times will usually be up to 45 minutes. The schedule is designed around the activity patterns of elephants.

 

Consequently, this ensures conservation techniques and research can be maximised and your role is varied and meaningful. The timings of each activity are set in a routine to minimise the impacts on the daily cycle of an elephant. There are two main goals of the project; reducing the human-elephant conflict to protect elephants and help the local community as well as protecting elephants through applied conservation methods. Here are a variety of tasks that you will get involved with to achieve these goals:

 

Reducing Human-Elephant Conflict

 

Throughout your time as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will work closely with the local villages to help them live compatibly with elephants. The main goal is to naturally decrease the conflict and repercussions that follow between humans and elephants. Your role in this includes:
 

Observing Interactions – Most importantly, between wild elephants and also human-elephant interactions.

 

Conducting Human-Elephant Conflict Surveys – An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will visit village homes that had been raided by elephants to collect information about the conflict.

 

Monitoring Electric Fences – These fences were erected to stop elephants from raiding village homes. Walking the length of solar-powered electric fences erected to protect villages and their fields, identifying the need for maintenance and repair along the way.

 

Meeting with Community Leaders – Monitoring human-elephant conflict resolution projects and to understand the cultural perceptions and attitudes of local people.

 

Riding the Elefriendly Community Bus – You can travel on the bus early in the morning when school children are transported to school and home through the elephant corridor. The bus was established in 2016 and educates the children on living alongside the elephants. The maintenance of the bus and its operation is fully funded directly through the elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka project. Before the bus, many children would not go to school or turn back home should they encounter an elephant while walking to school.

 

Promoting Project Orange Campaigns – Research by the team has found elephants dislike citrus. As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, your role is working alongside the team to educate and promote citrus-based crops as natural deterrents and to provide farmers with an alternative income in the village communities of Wasgamuwa. Consequently, this will protect and conserve their crops, property and livelihoods. At the same time, it provides them with a sustainable additional income. Help farmers to take care of their orange groves, check for diseases and pests, dig holes to plant new orange plants. During the fruiting season, help count fruits, harvest and sort them for sale. The Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program will provide transport costs for the farmers to take them to the markets for sale with the long-term aim to get into supply with Sri Lanka’s largest supermarket supply chain.

 

Protecting Elephants Through Conservation Techniques

 

An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will monitor elephants closely in order to help develop strategies to conserve and protect the local wildlife. Here you will use an array of field methods, conduct observations and help to implement conservation measures:

 

Monitoring Tracks – Setting up sand traps across the jungle and elephant corridors to study tracks, building research, analysing findings and understanding the diversity that exists in the forest. This will require physical energy as you will dig up and rake fresh new 2 x 2-metre sand traps each week to check for new footprints. Expect to find more wildlife prints than just elephants as you look for signs of leopard, sloth bears, wild buffalos and of course elephant activity.

 

Setting up Camera Traps – As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may be responsible for setting these up in hotspot locations across the forest. You’ll be replacing these each week with new SD cards. After a busy morning in the depths of the Sri Lankan forest, it’s time to return to the office to download data from the SD cards you collected and check the computer for what the camera traps have picked up in the last week. Be ready to make conclusions on the findings as you learn what different wildlife exists in the forests, what times of day elephants and other wildlife pass through the corridor and more.

 

Gaining GPS Experience – You’ll be polishing off your navigation skills on the Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program. For instance, in the use of GPS across your time in the forest.

 

Observing Movements – During the afternoons you might be located high up in the jungle treetop in tree huts. These are along the elephant corridor, which is the traditional popular route elephants use to move between the forest reserve and national park. Here you will observe passing elephants, collate data on their movements, behaviours and other variables.

 

Gathering Data – For example, on elephant foraging transects, plants elephants eat and their impact on various habitats and plant species.

 

Inspecting Elephant Dung – Taking measurements to assess the size and sex of elephants. After that, analysing the dung to find out what the elephants have been eating, any foreign objects inside and their movement patterns. An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka can also learn about the elephant’s sex and age through the size of the dung!

 

Trekking Through Dense Jungles and Wetlands – As you walk along typical elephant trails to record findings, you’ll assess any seasonal variations in behaviours, habitat preferences and better understand elephants that live outside the national park.

 

Updating Records – You will get to spend a session at the Weheragala Tank looking for Sri Lankan elephants to observe and photograph for ID purposes. You will also have to fill in an elephant identification datasheet to build up a catalogue of elephant numbers, movement behaviours and any individually defining physical features.

 

Whatever the activity, being an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will incorporate you being based in the heart of their natural habitat as you trek through the jungles, wetlands and mountains of Wasgamuwa along the way. In your free time enjoy the incredible views offered by the volunteer accommodation, overlooking a large central reservoir surrounded by the Knuckles Mountain Range.

 

Each volunteer will receive an orientation session before heading into the field to better understand their role, impact and history of the Sri Lanka volunteer program. If you truly want to make a difference to wildlife conservation efforts by working closely with local communities, then volunteering in Sri Lanka with elephants is the project for you.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH ELEPHANTS IN SRI LANKA

Strictly Hands-Off – Please be aware the elephant conservation volunteer work in Sri Lanka is strictly hands-off. Volunteer work with elephants in Sri Lanka will involve no physical interaction with animals. This project is designed to observe elephants in their natural habitat rather than offering a human interaction experience

 

Rural Location – Please note that our Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program is based in a rural area, which is more remote than our other projects where you can volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

Combining Projects – It is possible to join another Sri Lanka volunteer program on the south coast at the beginning of your trip, before your volunteer work with elephants in Sri Lanka. Please speak to a member of our team to discuss your options.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

SRI LANKA ENGLISH TEACHING

You can volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka to dramatically boost future opportunities available for young people. Having the ability to speak English is a valuable tool, especially for career prospects and achieving future goals. Above all, conversing with fluent English speakers can encourage students to develop this essential language skill. If you are enthusiastic and have lots of positive energy then this is the project for you!

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Sri Lanka’s education system is pretty impressive for a developing country of its size. Universal public education is available from the age of 6 to the age of 18. However, many government schools, particularly in rural areas, receive minimal government funding. Especially considering the size of the communities they are expected to serve. The facilities at the schools are very basic. In particular, the classrooms get extremely cramped as average class sizes are around 40 to 60 children.

 

The ability to speak English is becoming of growing importance in Sri Lanka. The two main sources of income in Sri Lanka are from tourism and migrant workers going to the Middle East. Both occupations require the ability to speak English – the world’s global language. However, the level of English teaching in government schools is limited. Class sizes are large and the teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect. It is only the middle and upper-class children who can afford private English lessons.

 

The children attend local government schools during the mornings but often can’t afford the tuition needed to excel beyond the basics. In Sri Lanka, these additional tuition classes are key to excelling at school. In other words, the government education system is too basic to be able to provide enough time and provisions for students. Certainly, there is not enough time allocated to learn English. The teachers will have basic English themselves, often using “parrot style learning”. For instance, students only learn to repeat from a textbook, rather than understanding words in context. However, tuition classes involve a weekly fee that many of these families cannot afford.

 

Therefore it is no surprise that children from most low-income families speak little or no English. Our aim on the English teaching program is to give the poorer children of Ambalangoda the same opportunities as their more wealthy peers. As a result, they too will have the chance to develop their ability to speak English and enhance their future career prospects.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

A volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will be based at one of the locations where we provide free English lessons. Most importantly, you’ll be helping in one of the local Tsunami village communities, on our own after-school education program. In addition, you have the amazing opportunity to teach English in Sri Lanka to young Buddhist monks.

 

Community Village School Projects – These English teaching projects provide an after-school education program, initiated and ran by PMGY since 2013.  This is the main project for a volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka. We work in a number of villages across the Ambalangoda district, often with fishing communities who were displaced by the Tsunami.

 

These families were relocated further inland by the government following the natural disaster in 2004. At this time, education was not seen as essential and survival was the main priority. Each volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka can help to provide free language lessons and education opportunities for children typically from lower-income families.

 

Our aim is to further their English language development by providing these free after-school English lessons in the afternoons. These projects will take place in a makeshift classroom or community centre within the village. One of the projects is even based at a teachers house, where the volunteers will teach in her front garden.

 

On the English teaching program, each class is divided based on the student’s level of English. Class sizes usually vary from 4-15 children per class. You could be teaching students from 6-18 years old, depending on the current project need and availability. A local team member will be on hand to help when you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

Temple Schools – Every volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will also have the option to enrol in our Temple School project. This may be joined in addition to the standard afternoon community village school project.

 

The temple schools run in the morning, where you will teach English to novice Buddhist monks. Many of the Buddhist monks speak very little English and the temple schools often welcome poor children from the community to come and learn English too. There tend to be around 5-10 students in each class, generally between 6-18 years of age.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

Your main role as a volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka is to share your time, knowledge and skills to teach English to the local communities in Ambalangoda, boosting their confidence in conversational English and helping to maximise their potential.

 

The after-school education Sri Lanka volunteer program is available from 3pm-6pm each afternoon from Monday-Friday. Usually, you’ll get there by tuk-tuk or minibus, which takes around 10 minutes.

 

The first two hours are spent teaching English and the last hour is allocated for games and activities. We encourage volunteers to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible by being creative and proactive when preparing lessons. Use fun educational games like interactive word searches or Hangman, or a bit of class competition in Hot Seat or team quizzes. Games, songs, art, sport and music are all great tools.

 

The presence of international volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.

 

Each volunteer teaching English in Sri Lanka will lead their own classes and have the freedom to create a lesson plan of their choice. There may be a topic or curriculum materials that you can follow if you need some inspiration. Your volunteer work in Sri Lanka may be in pairs or small groups per class, however, this is dependent on the current need and the number of volunteers at the time. We usually run three to six classes in each community, but again this will be dependent on the number of volunteers. 

 

There will be a local coordinator at the project each day who is on hand to support volunteers with their efforts and can help with overcoming the language barrier. Please note the local staff will not be leading the class. It is also important not to constantly rely on the coordinators for translation when you are teaching English in Sri Lanka.

 

At the temple schools the classes run in the morning, usually at 8:30am-10am from Monday-Friday. The tuk-tuk journey takes about 5 minutes. The topics and activities here can be very similar to the after-school education program, with a focus on learning in a calm environment (minus any shouting or active games). In return for your contribution to the temple, you will find the monks are often keen to invite you to learn more about their religion and way of life.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY  volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location. 

 

Experience – For the English teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their English teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Sri Lanka project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA MEDICAL EXPERIENCE

As a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka you can gain valuable medical experience in a new culture, an opportunity not to be missed in this gorgeous part of the world! If you are looking for a learning experience or would like to pursue a career in the medical field, then this program is the ideal way to give you an insight into the Sri Lankan healthcare system.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

The history of the Sri Lankan medicine system dates back thousands of years, with a rich history stemming from their extensive kingdoms. It is believed that the concept of hospitals around the world was actually introduced by the Sinhalese, thanks to their royalty. Kings were not only demanding to have their own hospital homes built but they were often practitioners of medicine themselves.

 

In addition, the ancient practice of Ayurveda is also deeply rooted in the Sri Lankan medical system. Known as one of the oldest healing sciences around the world, Ayurveda translates from Sanskrit as “The Science of Life”. Ayurvedic medicine originated in India over 3,000 years ago, focusing on the concept of balance in one’s life. This can be linked to mental health issues, diet, lifestyle, healthcare and more. 

 

Using holistic and natural health practices, Ayurveda emphasises prevention and balance in order to attain balance within your physical, emotional and mental states. Ayurvedic system government hospitals and teachings are also widespread across Sri Lanka. Moreover, many citizens will choose to follow Ayurvedic medicine practices for certain illnesses or accidents and western medicine for others.

 

The healthcare system in Sri Lanka is universal to all local citizens, offering both traditional Ayurvedic and modern healthcare for free across government hospitals. Nowadays most hospitals in Sri Lanka do follow a more “western medicine” approach, using procedures and medications that are seen worldwide. Certainly, as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, it may be perceived as very basic and outdated in some ways. On the other hand, there is a higher life expectancy and lower infant death rate than neighbouring countries in the region. Even so, there are often long waiting lists with a limitation of capacity, staff and resources. As a result, the number of private hospitals has risen to offer private healthcare services.

 

Working in a hospital as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about health care systems in developing countries. You will witness a variety of cases, which offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital! PMGY’s medical volunteer program is a learning experience available for both medical students and school leavers looking to pursue a career in medicine. Join as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka for the perfect way to gain invaluable hospital work experience whilst exploring the wonders that this amazing island has to offer.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Your placement timetable on the medical volunteer program will depend on your current status of study. Those who are studying a health-related degree at university will be placed at a government hospital. High school leavers and applicants not from a health-related background will be placed at a private hospital.

 

Roseth Private Hospital – You might volunteer in Sri Lanka within a small private hospital in Ambalangoda. The private hospital provides a structured observational and informative approach to give participants a broad insight into a medical facility in Sri Lanka. The following departments are available in the private hospital: Physiotherapy, Dental Surgery, Radiology (x-ray machine and computerised radiology), Laboratory, Phlebotomy, In-Patient Ward, Out-Patient Ward

 

Balapitiya Government Base Hospital – PMGY partner with a government hospital located only a 15 minute journey from Ambalangoda. It is a medium-sized hospital with over 500 stations. There are 20 doctors and 2 surgeons at the hospital. We can place participants at the following departments in the government hospital: Out-Patient Unit, Emergency Treatment Room, General Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Antenatal, Postnatal, Labour Room, Paediatrics

 

Please note that the government hospital will not permit applicants who are not studying medicine, nursing or healthcare at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule. You will need to bring a supporting letter or document when you volunteer in Sri Lanka as evidence that you are a medical/healthcare university student. After that, you will be granted permission to be placed at the government hospital during your time on the Sri Lanka volunteer program.

 

Polwatta Village Hospital – As a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may also be able to get involved at a local blood pressure clinic. This is based at a smaller village government hospital, whereby service users come weekly to get free blood pressure checks.

 

Sri Lankan Ayurvedic Medicine – Every medical volunteer in Sri Lanka will have the opportunity to participate in an Ayurveda medicine lecture, regardless of whether you are placed at the private or government hospital. A local Ayurvedic specialist will teach you all about the history of Ayurveda, its role within healthcare in Sri Lanka and how it is implemented to treat a variety of cases.

 

Ayurvedic concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique natural health practices. The earliest references of Ayurvedic medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana, a king of Sri Lanka dating back to prehistoric times.

 

Balapitiya Community Eye Clinic – We are delighted to share that through our medical program and renovation volunteers, our Sri Lanka team have funded the creation and development of a community eye clinic within the local government hospital. Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Now through developing this eye clinic, the hospital can provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community.

 

Whilst no project work is directly affiliated with the eye clinic, as a volunteer in Sri Lanka you can get a chance to observe the daily processes here. Subsequently, you can get a feel for the positive impact its creation has brought Ambalangoda.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Your main role is to learn and experience the Sri Lankan healthcare system, procedures and culture, observing how this may differ to the experience you have at home. In addition, you may encounter different scenarios as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, such as dengue fever, snake bites and motorcycle accidents.

 

The medical project takes place for around 3 hours a day from Monday-Friday between 9am-12pm, depending on the current opportunities available. For instance, each medical volunteer in Sri Lanka may have the chance to stay longer if there is a major surgery or labour whilst you are allocated to that ward. The option is available to join the project in the afternoon. However, please note the doctors will only be present in the wards during the morning. The hospitals are 5-15 minutes away by tuk-tuk.

 

Private Hospital – Your time will be allocated across the hospital departments at the private hospital. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances.

 

Your role is purely observational as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, so you should not expect any hands-on involvement. Depending on your interests, you will be placed within different departments and you will be attached to an English-speaking member of staff. Please note there may still be a communication barrier and the staff will do their best to translate when they can.

 

As the role is purely observational, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka. In our experience, whilst you will gain invaluable medical insight and knowledge at the private hospital, after a while, most people are eager for some hands-on volunteer work in Sri Lanka. Whilst PMGY cannot offer you hands-on work as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, we can welcome you on to our community projects teaching English in the Tsunami villages.

 

Our local team will go through the options with you during your in-country orientation. You can join one of these projects in the afternoon and attend the private hospital in the morning – it is completely up to you. Furthermore, if you’d like to join us for longer than 2 weeks, it is absolutely fine for you to sign up for 2 weeks as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka and then go on to do another project for the remainder of your stay. If this is something you’d like to do then please drop us an email to discuss the idea in more detail pre-departure.

 

Government Base Hospital – You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just a few. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed depending on the circumstances, We would recommend a mixed timetable in order to experience the different hospital settings.

 

Whilst you will be assigned a member of staff within the department to mentor each medical volunteer in Sri Lanka, it is important to understand that the local staff are extremely busy. Therefore, you should be proactive, ask questions and be assertive in requesting additional guidance should you require it. Please note there may still be a communication barrier and the staff will do their best to translate when they can.

 

Your role as a medical volunteer in Sri Lanka at the government hospital is largely observational. Whilst this cannot be guaranteed, you may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars etc. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the medical professionals, and such permission is at the sole discretion of the staff.

 

Government Village Hospital – During your time with us on the Sri Lanka volunteer program, volunteers will usually get the chance to support at our village clinic campaign helping the local doctor by checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels of the people of Ambalangoda.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY  volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location. 

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects. 

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Sri Lanka participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students or people looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas. 

 

Unforseen Circumstances – As Sri Lanka is a developing country their healthcare facilities reflect this. Participants on the medical program are advised to note that from time to time unexpected factors outside of PMGY’s control can limit project and schedule availability. This can be commonly associated with the hospital setting of the placement where doctors can strike at late notice or the consultants can be absent from the hospital when expected with no advanced notice. In such situations, PMGY will do their best to arrange alternative volunteer work in Sri Lanka, though this will likely be outside of the hospital setting for that day and might be another form of the community programs we operate.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA MENTAL HEALTH

As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, you can gain psychology work experience and learn about mental health in the developing world. This program is designed for those currently studying in the field of psychology or mental health. Meanwhile, providing an opportunity to gain insight and awareness within a range of settings in the healthcare system. The mental health needs of Sri Lanka have continued to increase in recent decades. However, mental health services have struggled to respond to such developments.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Sri Lanka’s suicide rates are amongst the highest globally, according to the World Health Organisation, and mental health needs in Sri Lanka today are soaring. It is estimated that in tsunami-affected areas 40% of people suffer from common mental disorders and there is a 3% prevalence of severe mental disorders.

 

In more recent times, the country as a whole is moving away from this traditional cultural stigma.  This had always been attached to mental health in Sri Lanka, particularly stemming from the Buddhist beliefs of reincarnation. Integrating mental health into the primary care of Sri Lanka’s public health system and private sector still remains challenging. However, more recently there has been encouraging signs that right tracks are being made to do this.

 

Such progressions originated in the late 1970s with the emergence of a Non-Government Organisation – ‘The National Council for Mental Health’. Consequently, Medical Officers of Mental Health (MOMHs) were introduced, with the aspiration of having a MOMH in each of Sri Lanka’s 276 subdistricts – at a ratio of one MOMH per 70,000 population.

 

However, such a ratio led to its own constraints. MOMHs often suffer from excessive workloads, with too many patients to see or not enough valuable time spent with each patient in the clinic. Shortage of essential medicines in both clinics and inpatient units is also a problem. Plus, a lack of community based psychiatric treatment settings.

 

Systematic training programs have been introduced to help support mental health officers. This includes a process for them to then pass on such training they receive downwards to the medical staff in their district. Their training includes multiple discussion sessions and role-plays that facilitate active learning and practising core competencies. For example, they will have assessments about the severity of depression/suicide and explanations of medication side effects to facilitate adherence.

 

In line with this, emerging mental health issues are now being ingrained, accepted and made accessible to the general population as part of Sri Lanka primary healthcare, both in government and private hospitals. For instance, the healthcare system now provides for coping with trauma and stress-related problems and understanding the mental health problems of those physically ill. Rehabilitation for people with prolonged mental illnesses is becoming more important, as well as raising awareness through community mental health education problems. Our mental health & psychology program provides participants with the opportunity to gain a broad overview, understanding and insight into mental health care and needs within a different culture.

 

The Sri Lanka volunteer program is based mainly in the Galle District. This was one of the worst affected regions from the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and to this day today has left a lasting impact both physically and mentally on Sri Lankan people.

 

MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The mental health & psychology program aims to provide you with an opportunity to work within a range of settings in a new environment and culture:

 

Balapitiya Government Base Hospital – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will spend time shadowing and observing mental health doctors in a hospital setting. This will be during consultation periods with in-ward and out-ward patients at government hospital clinics. You may encounter various forms of mental health disorders and conditions.

 

Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will usually spend time across two hospitals where the mental health consultant sets up their out-patient clinics. This is usually the local Balapatiya Government Hospital near Ambalangoda, plus another Galle District Hospital.

 

When in the hospital setting, the doctor will aim to translate and explain as much as possible to participants whilst the consultation with the patient is taking place. They will speak good English so should be able to debrief and receive questions from you accordingly. It is important for participants to be flexible in the environment they are in and appreciate that a doctor’s schedule is busy. Therefore, the doctor may not be able to translate and explain to you each patient consultation.

 

National Institute of Mental Health – In addition, participants will usually get the chance to spend time at the National Institute of Mental Health. This is the largest hospital for mental health in Sri Lanka.

 

Here participants receive a presentation around mental health in Sri Lanka and get a tour of all the in-patient services. For instance, you’ll learn about the psychogeriatric, ECT and isolation units and how they administer therapies, drugs and injections. There is also a range of out-patient services that you will be able to visit as a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, such as day rehabilitation centres.

 

Generally speaking, the first line of treatment for mental health patients in services remains to be medication. It is a lot more available and accessible than other therapeutic medications such as creative therapies and meditations. As a consequence, in reality, these alternatives treatments are often not widely received by those with mental health needs.

 

National Council for Mental Health – Part of your placement will be at the National Council for Mental Health. This serves as a “half-way home” treatment centre to integrate those with mental illness back into society. Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will be able to partake and observe their daily schedule of activities or consultations, depending on the available timetable.

 

Located close to Colombo, this is a weekly placement that is one of the highlights of the mental health experience. The NCMH is very much a forward-thinking framework, which is all about rehabilitation for the patients and providing a wide range of occupational therapies. Moreover, the long term goal us for patients at the home to return back into mainstream society without relapsing. The setting is mostly home to adults and has a team of nurses to support the day to day running and support at the halfway home.

 

Each volunteer in Sri Lanka will get a chance to interact with those based at the home, so you can ask them questions and learn about their experiences. In addition, you can provide hands-on support with occupational therapy, such as creative arts and learning, as well as structured daily exercise classes to encourage positive wellbeing.

 

Participants will also get the chance to have one on one time with the director at the NCMH. You can ask questions and learn more from the experts around mental health in Sri Lanka, as well as the stigmas attached.

 

Community Setting – Participants will spend time at the heart of community projects, providing care and attention for mentally disabled children in a government school or NGO.

 

Each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will be expected to be dynamic and creative when preparing engaging activities and games. For instance, arts, crafts, drawing and painting. These can be used as a fun mechanism to help support creative therapy amongst children who have mental health disabilities. The children may range from small groups of around 5-10 to groups of up to around 30-40 children.

 

Participants are advised to note that around the holiday times of April, August and December availability at the community placement setting may be limited or unavailable.

 

Lectures, Seminars & Workshops – You will also get the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops relating to mental health in Sri Lanka.

 

Firstly, you will learn about Ayurveda, which is an ancient medicine system rooted in the Indian subcontinent. Ayurveda consists of concepts and practices that promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique natural health practices. The seminar will explain a different dynamic and perspective onto how patients are treated with regard to mental health and the traditional Sri Lankan medical system.

 

Every mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka will also be welcome to a lecture from a Buddhist monk. Here you will explore how Buddhists and Sri Lankan people are dealing with mental health problems. In addition, you may learn how core values, practices and beliefs are helping with this, such as meditation.

 

On an ad hoc basis, you may also be invited to attend additional mental health events and workshops. It is usually quite rare that these opportunities become available, but if they do our local team are on hand to provide such opportunities for you.

 

We are able to support students who would like to join our mental health & psychology program as part of an elective or university placement. Please contact a member of our team to discuss this in detail.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Your main role as a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka is to learn and experience their mental health system, procedures and culture. Subsequently, you will be observing how this may differ to the experience you have at home. The project timetable will vary each day, including a range of activities and placement settings, combining consultation observations, lectures, meditations and local community project work.

 

At the start of your mental health experience, every volunteer in Sri Lanka will receive a workbook. This can be completed each day as you go through your psychology project journey. There will be questions to test your knowledge on each different section of the mental health experience, encouraging proactive learning and engagement across your placement.

 

Placement Timetable – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, your schedule and timings will vary each day. Usually, you will be at your placement for 2-5 hours per day from Monday-Friday, ranging between 8am-6pm. Depending on the placement, you may travel by tuk-tuk or private car. Journey times will range from 5 minutes to the local schools and hospitals to possibly an hour for the institutions in Colombo.

 

It is advised to note that the mental health & psychology program is always changing and this is just a sample schedule. Therefore, it is likely to run differently when you volunteer in Sri Lanka.

 

The schedule usually includes one placement per day. Participants may be split into teams for an equal chance to experience and participate in a range of volunteer work in Sri Lanka. In particular, this is relevant when there are higher numbers.

 

The day by day breakdowns here are examples of typical morning and afternoon activities:

 

Monday – Galle District Hospital & Lectures & Seminars
Tuesday – Community Setting & Galle District Hospital
Wednesday – National Council for Mental Health & Community Setting
Thursday – National Institute of Mental Health & Galle District Hospital
Friday – Community Setting & Galle District Hospital

 

As Sri Lanka is a developing country their psychiatric facilities reflect this. Participants on the mental health & psychology program are advised to note that the project and schedule availability may be limited from time to time. This is due to unexpected factors outside of PMGY’s control. For instance, it is commonly associated with the hospital setting of the placement where doctors can strike at late notice. In addition, the consultants can be absent from the hospital when expected with no advanced notice.

 

In such situations, PMGY will do their best to arrange alternative project work for each mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka. However, this will likely be outside of the hospital setting for that day and maybe at another form of community program we operate.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MENTAL HEALTH VOLUNTEER IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY  volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location. 

 

University Students Only – Please note the mental health & psychology program in Sri Lanka is only available to those already studying a psychology/mental health-related degree at university and is not be available to those with no exposure or studying at levels beneath this (e.g. A-Levels). The project is available to graduates, but as this is a learning and insight experience graduates may not find this suitable to what they would be looking for from the placement.

 

Project Duration – We recommend four weeks on the program to gain experience and get a broad insight into your mental health placements. This should allow you to experience most of the placement settings described above within the mental health & psychology program.

 

Hands-On Involvement – As a mental health volunteer in Sri Lanka, your level of involvement at the project is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience (if any), duration of your program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a mental health-related degree, then you may have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff and their patients.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for students looking to go into the mental health or psychology field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA RENOVATION & COMMUNITY WORK

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.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE RENOVATION PROGRAM

Our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers can be based at a wide range of community facilities in and around Ambalangoda. You could be helping out at schools, government hospitals, children’s homes or Buddhist temples. These institutions often struggle to find the funding and manpower to undertake important development work.

 

Even for government schools and hospitals, most of the allocated budget it stretched for the basic necessities. Resources such as books, medication and health supplies are often understocked, as well as being understaffed. As a result, renovation work is a very low priority and often overlooked in these establishments.

 

Meanwhile, Buddhism is the most practised religion in Sri Lanka, with over 70% of the population following this ancient philosophy. With a deep history preserved by Sinhalese kings, this religion retains its importance to the country, promoting Buddhist education and learning to this day. In each town and village, there is a Buddhist temple for followers to worship Lord Buddha and learn about his teachings. These temples require a lot of maintenance and upkeep from the local community.

 

Therefore, our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers offer a helping hand whilst also learning about their fascinating culture. With your help, we can continue to support Ambalangoda’s community projects and you can do your bit to leave a lasting impression!

 

Volunteers don’t need to have any previous construction or renovation experience, just bags of energy and the willingness to help. Your Sri Lanka volunteer program will mainly be during the morning, so you will have the opportunity to teach English and support in our afternoon childcare program if you wish.

 

VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Balapitiya Primary School – At one of the village schools within Ambalangoda, the Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have created a new playground area for the children. This included renovating an entire area of abandoned land. After clearing the debris and weeds, they assisted with digging the base and creating the infrastructure for the new playground. This included replacing the broken, rusty equipment for new swings, slides and climbing frame.

 

The volunteers made the playground fun, safe and exciting, with colourful paintings and enough space for all the children to play. Next to the playground, a vegetable patch was planted to teach the students about the different plants and how to take care of them. This brought an educational and sustainable aspect to the new area. The children and staff have loved their new addition to the school, bringing a brighter and safer playtime to their day!

 

The Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have also helped re-plastering and re-painting the old, crumbling classrooms in the school. As a result, the students have a better environment to work and study. The volunteers have relieved this task from the staff and teachers, who can now focus their time and limited budget on teaching and essential resources for the school.

 

Balapitiya Hospital Eye Clinic – Through our medical program and Sri Lanka renovation volunteers, the team have funded a new community eye clinic within the local government hospital.

 

Previously, people in the community would have to travel long journeys outside of Ambalangoda to receive free eye treatment and eye tests. Through building this eye clinic, the hospital can now provide free, easily accessible eye care services to the local community.

 

Buddhist Temples – Our Sri Lanka renovation volunteers regularly support three Buddhist temples in the local area with much-needed renovation and maintenance work. You may be helping to construct offering tables, where worshippers will offer flowers, incense or oil lamps to Lord Buddha. This acts as a symbol of their gratitude, virtue and inspiration, deepening one’s commitment to the philosophy of Buddhism.

 

It is of the deepest importance to Buddhists to keep the temple areas clean and respected, with constant upkeep and maintenance. When you volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will notice that you must remove your shoes when you enter the temple area, even outside. In addition, Buddhists will also always ensure that they are freshly bathed to enter the temples, often wearing white. These are signs of respect and tradition for their beliefs and the monks who reside there.

 

Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have helped to redecorate an entire temple within a small local village, in preparation for a special full moon celebration. The local community were extremely grateful for their contribution, which they also believe brings merit to your “karma”.

 

During their volunteer work in Sri Lanka, the renovation volunteers were able to see everyday life in the temple. In particular, the intriguing life of a Buddhist monk. The monks will often share their stories and philosophies with you, as well as introducing you to the exotic fruits they grow in the temple gardens!

 

Sun Rise Preschool & Day Care Centre – Our renovation volunteers have also helped to create the preschool at our childcare project. This day centre now provides a fun and educational space for the younger children who don’t have access to school to learn at the children’s home.

 

The volunteers have provided much-needed help to the local community and working parents, who otherwise would not be able to afford quality care for their young children. Subsequently, this allows parents to work and earn an income, generally in local cinnamon or garment factories, in order to provide for their families.

 

Our PMGY Sri Lanka renovation volunteers supported local builders with the main construction, as well as digging pits for the plumbing. After that, they painted all the classroom walls with inspiring artwork, bright colours and educational alphabets to aid their learning. This preschool is now in full swing, with thanks to the help of our renovation and childcare volunteers.

 

Polwatta Village Hospital – At this local village hospital, the Sri Lanka renovation volunteers have helped to spruce up the aged hospital wards. As you can imagine, funding is low and will be directed towards medicines and equipment for the hospital, which has very basic facilities and limited resources.

 

Each renovation volunteer in Sri Lanka helped to scrub, clean and brighten the wards, creating a more pleasant environment for the patients and staff. As a result, the newly painted walls and clean areas boosted the hospital atmosphere. The in-patient wards are very basic and cramped. Therefore people from all over the hospital were intrigued and thankful for the international volunteers who gave their time to improve the living and working conditions in this village hospital.

 

YOUR ROLE & TYPICAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Our PMGY Sri Lanka renovation volunteers are usually placed at local establishments that have expressed a great need for volunteers and request 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 Sri Lanka renovation volunteers 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 volunteers in the gorgeous sunshine whilst making a tangible impact on the local community – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN SRI LANKA

Top PMGY Destination – Sri Lanka is widely considered to be the best PMGY  volunteer destination due to the superior local support, value for money and overall experience on offer in Ambalangoda. The local Sri Lankan team really go above-and-beyond to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience and this is reflected in volunteer feedback. As a result, we believe this is the perfect destination for a first-time traveller who is looking for a little extra support, plenty of organised weekend trips and wants to get involved in some fantastic local initiatives in an exotic location. 

 

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There is no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community programs

 

Project Donation – All participants in this project will need to make a donation whilst they volunteer in Sri Lanka, which goes towards the costs for materials and skilled labour that are required to support the initiative. Our local team will collect this from you during the orientation and you may assist them in purchasing the relevant materials for the project work. Remaining donations will go towards larger renovation projects that our project supports.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

SRI LANKA TURTLE CONSERVATION

You can protect and rehabilitate sea turtles whilst also helping at community development projects as a Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer. Many species of turtles are under threat and at risk of becoming endangered, hence there is a great need for wildlife conservation efforts. Raise awareness of plastic pollution, care for injured and disable turtles and release freshly hatched babies back into the wild, safe from natural risks and local poachers.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAM

In Sri Lanka, there are five species of turtles that are commonly encountered. These are the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback. The Green turtle is the most common turtle species and will likely be the one you come across the most if you volunteer in Sri Lanka. The Loggerhead turtle is the rarest and thus hardest to spot in Sri Lanka. They are more commonly found on the East Coast of America.

 

The Hawksbill (renowned for its beautiful shell), Olive Ridley (smallest of the sea turtles) and Leatherback (largest of the 5 species) are harder to spot for different reasons. Sadly they are critically endangered and sit on the brink of extinction. This is mainly because they have been heavily hunted and fell victim to other human activity as well.

 

For instance, fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda. The location of the volunteer work in Sri Lanka is very close to the local fisheries port. Sea turtles are often found in fishing nets and many have lost limbs, becoming disabled and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Many of these disabled turtles are found by local fishermen who bring them to the project site for rehabilitation and care.

 

Most importantly, each environmental choice we make every day as a human has an impact upon all marine life. Millions of microplastics, straws and bottles are found in the sea and beaches across the globe. Plastic pollution is becoming a huge problem worldwide and our Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteers aim to fight the battle against this environmental catastrophe.

 

Volunteering with turtles in Sri Lanka on our wildlife conservation program is an incredible opportunity to do your bit to care for these incredible creatures, whilst spending time in a country that will amaze you on so many levels. 

 

TURTLE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Ambalangoda Turtle Conservation Sanctuary – Each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will be based at a turtle sanctuary in Ambalangoda. Here, the Sri Lanka volunteer program aims to provide daily care and rehabilitation for the disabled turtles. They have a long term goal to release the healthy turtles back to the wild, as well as protecting turtle eggs that have been stolen by local poachers.

 

Beginning from the orientation, volunteers will learn a great deal about turtle conservation. For instance, how to nest eggs, identify different kinds of turtles, how eggs hatch, how to treat turtles, the differences between the species, how to send turtles back into the sea and so much more. In short, this is a project where you will learn a lot and be able to make a tangible difference with your time.

 

Beach Cleans – As female turtles will only lay their eggs on beaches that are safe environments to them, it is crucial the area is maintained in order to encourage them to nest. Consequently, every Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will get involved in cleaning the local beaches for litter and dangerous debris.

 

Climate change, waste and plastic pollution is increasing at an alarming rate across the world and we want to continue raising awareness and promote conservation through our wildlife volunteer program.

 

Turtle Hatchery & Baby Turtle Release – Volunteers will help to nest, monitor and care for turtle eggs that have been brought to the turtle hatchery. Usually, these are removed from an unsafe area where they may be at risk from human activity. This often includes outside tourist hotels but also if they can be stolen by local poachers. 

 

Across Asia, there is an ancient myth that eating turtle eggs and meat will increase your life span. As a result, turtle eggs are sold illegally on the black market. The hatchery provides a safe environment for the turtles to be nested and monitored for conservation. They follow the National Wildlife Department guidelines and release the babies back into the wild with the help each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer.

 

Community Conservation Awareness – You can lead sea turtle conservation sessions at the community village school projects, as part of the English teaching program. Increase awareness in the next generation by educating them about the issues and solutions surrounding turtle conservation and plastic pollution.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

Every PMGY Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will spend their days next to the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site. Your project will run from Monday-Friday between 9am-12pm. You will get your project usually by tuk-tuk, which takes about 10 minutes. Your typical duties as a volunteer in Sri Lanka will include:
 
• Preparing fresh food and assisting feeding on a daily basis
• Cleaning within the project premises and nearby beach area
• Taking care of the nesting area
• Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks
• Assisting with medication
• Cleaning the turtles’ shells
• Counting and burying turtle eggs safely
• Designing education boards around the sanctuary
• Painting and drawing for information and animal welfare education
• Releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea
 
Each Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will join with the local staff at the project to get to grips with the daily tasks and what is expected of them. This will include tasks as part of a team as well as individual roles. In addition, our local team regularly arrange a day for the volunteers to engage in a mass beach clean across the Ambalangoda area.

 

You can do your bit to help tackle the global issue of plastic pollution by cleaning the beaches where many turtles lay eggs in the south. Although this may be one of the more mundane aspects of the program, its importance cannot be underestimated. The volunteer’s efforts are recognised positively by the Wildlife Department. It is not uncommon that after one beach clean we have collected up to 20 bags of litter!

 

As a Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer, may also wish to get involved with community awareness education. The purpose of these sessions is to educate young Sri Lankans in the local communities about the importance of protecting these endangered species.

 

From factual presentations on sea turtles to information on what the community can do to aid conservation, we aim to introduce the concept of conservation on a community level and so bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis. If it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team, who can help to make the appropriate arrangements.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH TURTLES IN SRI LANKA

Project Flexibility – As this volunteer project only runs during the morning period in Sri Lanka, there is an opportunity to get involved in the childcare or teaching projects in the afternoon. We do require a minimum commitment of 1 week on each project and you can make these arrangements once you are in Sri Lanka. There are no additional costs and we would always welcome any additional support across the community-based projects. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Sri Lanka runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Sri Lanka Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Sri Lanka. We offer the Adventure Hill & Country Trip, the Cultural Triangle & Elephants Trip along with the Maldives Chill Out Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇻🇳 VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Volunteers are vital and you have your choice of where you’d like to help. Ho Chi Minh City may be the capital, but Hanoi is where we feel the maximum positive impact can be made. Consequently, our volunteer programs in Vietnam are based in Hanoi and its surrounding local communities. 

 

Whether you’re playing games with sick children at Hanoi’s Paediatric Hospital or teaching English to a community class, you choose how to make a difference during your time in Vietnam. Furthermore, you can choose your volunteer project to care for special needs children or even working in the offices of a development NGO. Ultimately, there is so much positive work that can be done in the bustling city of Hanoi. You will be able to select your volunteer in Vietnam project during the online application. 

 

🇻🇳 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN VIETNAM

VIETNAM CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Vietnam with PMGY, you will work to brighten up the lives of young children, making an important contribution to their daily lives. Our local team and volunteers work with a range of organisations in and around Hanoi. Our international volunteers provide vital support and care for children and young adults in NGO care centres, kindergartens and hospitals.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

As a childcare volunteer in Vietnam, you will be involved in one of two project types during your time on the program. Our volunteers support a range of facilities in and around Hanoi. Not only do participants work with childcare centres, but also facilities caring for young adults and children with disabilities.

 

As in most developing countries, disabled people in Vietnam do not receive the level of support they need. It is estimated that nearly seven million people in Vietnam are disabled (8% of the population). We support NGOs in Hanoi that provides vital assistance to these vulnerable groups. Volunteers on one of these programs work with local staff to complement their work and enhance the opportunities of both children and young adults that they help care for.

 

Volunteering with disabled people is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. These projects require you to use your creativity, emotional strength and resourcefulness to make a difference. Through your hard work, you will not only change their lives but yours as well. Although challenging, the project offers volunteers the opportunity to showcase their skills in supporting others.

 

In the childcare centres we also support, the aim of volunteer work in Vietnam is to provide daily support in caring for children. In addition, Vietnam childcare volunteers will work to nurture their English, confidence and communication skills. Roles may vary from teaching basic English to leading fun activities, and assisting with tasks such as mealtimes.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Phuc Tue Centre – Phuc Tue Centre was established in June 2001 and provides support to around 75 children and young adults. The students range from 2-30 years of age and suffer from a variety of physical and mental disabilities. These include the effects of Agent Orange, Autism, Down Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis. The centre aims to provide the children with the support needed to facilitate them to become as independent as possible. Therefore, it is hoped that in this way, the students will be able to integrate into mainstream society. 

 

There are 4 classes at Phuc Tue and 12 teachers work at the centre. All of the teachers graduated from the Hanoi National University of Education. Volunteers assist the staff in their daily activities and sessions. These include early grade academic learning, life skills training and physical education/therapy. During the lessons, volunteers assist the teaching staff, often working one-on-one with individuals. The students really enjoy dancing and singing, so any type of musical activity is always popular. A few of the children can speak a little English which volunteers can work to enhance. As well as providing assistance in the classroom, Vietnam childcare volunteers can help to feed the children requiring special assistance during mealtimes. 

 

Morning Star Centre (Sao Mai) – Founded in 1995, Morning Star centre is a subsidiary of the Vietnam Relief Association for Children with Disabilities. The centre has nearly 70 staff members caring for approximately 150 children ranging in age from 1-25 years. Morning Star’s mission is to provide opportunities for children and young adults with special needs. Local staff and volunteers work to ensure that individuals receive education and training. This aims to help them successfully play their part in the local community. The centre strives to provide assistance for those children suffering from developmental disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy.

 

The children are grouped in smaller classes of around 12-13 children. On average, there are 2-3 teachers per class. The classes are tailored to the needs of the children. Volunteers can get involved in a range of activities from basic education, motor skill development, play therapy and physical education sessions.

 

Where possible, Morning Star strives to prepare the children to enter mainstream education. However, it is quite common for former pupils who have entered mainstream education to return to Morning Star. This is unfortunate because government schools are by no means equipped to welcome special needs students.

 

In addition to their traditional classes, each pupil will also participate in one-on-one occupational and/or speech therapy classes. Volunteers with relevant experience may have the opportunity to sit on in these sessions to provide further guidance to staff members. However, participants with the appropriate experience will not be able to run these sessions independently.

 

Morning Star offers some vocational and pre-vocational courses for teenagers before sending them to outside vocational schools. The courses help increase the student’s independence and confidence, and their abilities to get enrolled in professional training centres outside. Having recently set up a coffee shop within the centre, some of the students help out here. Through this scheme, the students receive valuable experience in working and interacting with the public. Many students have also been participating in cooking lessons, with the eventual to sell these masterpieces within the shop.

 

Friendship Village – This is a living, health, and educational centre for children and adults living with the effects of Agent Orange. The centre also provides healthcare to war veterans. Friendship Village was founded in 1992 by George Mizo. The American veteran wanted to help repair the damage caused by Agent Orange in the America-Vietnam War. The Friendship Village complex is primarily composed of: two living quarters, two classroom buildings and a health centre. There is also a vegetable garden, as much of the food is grown on-site.

 

The centre provides a home to 120 residents, aged from 4-26 years of age. The residents come from all over Vietnam and suffer from a range of disabilities. This can include Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, physical deformity, and severe mental disability.

 

Volunteers help out in a number of different ways. This can include collaborating with the teaching staff as to new ideas and techniques to help the residents. You can share ideas on how to structure lessons, provide an independent evaluation of the students, and work on updating profiles. If appropriately qualified, volunteer in Vietnam participants can also help in giving individual assistance to the students. Sometimes volunteers will also teach English to the staff, teachers and residents.

 

Please note that the minimum time commitment to join Friendship Village is 4 weeks. Volunteers on this project are advised to have experience working with people with physical and/or mental disabilities. This experience can be professional or obtained through education.

 

Khanh Tam Day Care Centre – This is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation. The project was established in 2006 for early detection and care of mentally impaired children. The centre cares for approximately 80-90 children, aged 1-12. Here, there are a total of 4 classes:

 

Early Intervention – The target group is aged between 2-5 years. The program provides children with basic skills to develop (communication skills, playing with others and etc). Namely, this aims to help children integrate into society at an early age (kindergarten age).

 

Primary/Elementary Program – The target group is aged between 6-12 years. The children in this class will learn how to read, write and calculate.

 

School Function Program – The target group is aged between 6-12 years, with no ability to study standard primary school program.

 

Living Skills Program – The target group is individuals between 10-16 years. These students have no ability to integrate into society or study a standard primary school program. Children will focus on learning living skills to help them prepare for when they grow up.

 

Volunteers will initially begin the project with an observational role. This will become more hands-on after generating a better understanding of the project and the individual abilities of the students. Vietnam childcare volunteers will start to provide a helping hand to run the class activities and lessons. In time, volunteers are encouraged to come up with and run their own ideas, bringing in new perspectives to the centre.

 

Please note that the minimum time commitment to join Khanh Tam Day Day Centre is 4 weeks.

 

The Centre for the Future of Autistic Kids – Known locally as ‘Lac Long Quan’, the centre was established in 2005. The founder of the centre was initially a psychiatrist working with parents of autistic children. The founder believed that there was a lack of support within the community. With this in mind, she decided to set up her own centre to care for these children. This would also help provide respite for the parents. Since the initial opening of the centre, the doors have been opened to a bigger cohort of children. This means that the centre can now provide care for those with Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy too.

 

There are three floors to the centre, divided depending on the severity of each pupils’ disorder and age. The centre aims to provide support and education, enabling the pupils to eventually enter mainstream primary and/or high school. For those who may find this difficult, the centre continues to provide the support that instead promotes the development of vocational skills.

 

Volunteers on this project work with the younger pupils in two of the three classes. The role of a participant on the childcare volunteer program in Vietnam is largely dependent on project needs at the time and any relevant experience/qualifications. Roles may vary, from performing one-on-one or group activities that promote motor and sensory skills, to supporting the advanced students as they attend basic English and maths classes.

 

Volunteers with a background in physio- or occupational therapies may have an opportunity to work with the staff in this field. The staff really appreciate any guidance and feedback, so knowledge in these fields, although not essential, is invaluable.

 

Volunteers on this program are strongly advised to join the project for a minimum duration of 3-4 weeks.

 

Smile Kindergarten – This centre is home to children aged from 12 months to 6 years old. The kindergarten’s mission is to explore and develop children’s abilities. This is done through teaching art subjects, languages and various methods of communication. It also has different clubs in the school where the kids can nurture their talents and cater to their hobbies.

 

Generally, one class will hold 15-20 kids. The volunteers are expected to help the children improve their English through songs, dance and informal education. They should be creative in generating fun basic educational materials. Doing this allows the children to become more confident in their communication and mannerisms. This may include arranging drawing, painting and handicraft activities. There will also be a local teacher in the class to help the volunteers if needed.

 

Little Seeds Project – The Little Seeds Project is based at the National Hospital of Paediatrics in Hanoi. Aside from the medical treatment provided at the hospital, the children have very little social interaction. Quite a few of the children come from rural communities. Therefore, a family member, usually the child’s mother, will stay with their child 24/7 in the hospital. You can, therefore, imagine how stressful the whole experience is for not only the child but their family as well.

 

The time children spend at the hospital varies from a week to several months. We have therefore identified a placement where we can create regular activities and engagement for the children. The aim of this is to improve their psychological well-being. When hospitalised, the children face huge changes in their life and daily routine, which has numerous psychological effects. Infants, toddlers, school-aged children and teenagers all respond differently to illness in regards to their individual development.

 

Without the right stimulation and routine, long-term hospitalisation will result in a higher susceptibility to long-term psychological damage. The program aims to bring entertainment to the children and pay attention to specific needs that develop during long-term hospitalisation. Responsive activities will be strategically developed to support the various needs of the children. We aim to introduce a concept called ‘play therapy’.

 

From childhood to adulthood, play is fundamental in our lives. At a young age, we have not developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills to articulate our feelings. Kids, therefore, use toys as adults use words, playing to communicate in the same way we would have conversations.

 

Vietnam childcare volunteers will play and work with the children. The scheme provides them with the space to develop strategies, helping to cope with the difficulties they experience. During playtime, the children’s defences are reduced and it becomes natural for them to express their feelings. Play releases stress connects people to one another in a positive way, stimulates creativity and curiosity, and helps to regulate emotions.

 

Volunteers with children in Vietnam create an environment where the children can grow, play and learn with adults who are respectful and understanding of their needs. Furthermore, the sessions give family members a much-needed break. A mother may use this time to take a shower, buy groceries, or just take some time for herself. The mothers and families take great joy in seeing their child being happy and interacting with other kids. This opportunity for the families also helps relieve pressures, assisting them to cope with the situation as a whole.

 

The project generally takes place across mornings and afternoons. Three days a week, the project runs only in the morning. This means that volunteers will get two afternoons off a week as well. PMGY volunteers will work alongside local volunteers who will help with translation and general support. We expect volunteers to spend an additional 1-2 hours each day preparing activities for their sessions at the hospital. The number of children who turn up each day varies. This can depend on how the children are feeling and if they have any treatments scheduled for the afternoon.

 

The average group size is 5-10. The children can also vary on a daily basis given the nature of volunteering at a hospital. The children differ in age, so volunteers will need to prepare a range of activities. At the hospital, there is a small classroom where the sessions take place. Within the room, there are some limited resources available for you to use, such as board games and play-doh. Our Volunteer House also has resources you can take to the hospital. There are also plenty of places you can purchase additional materials should you require them.

 

Ruby Kindergarten – The centre was founded in 2013 and currently hosts up to 90 children. Spread over two floors, there are a total of 5 classes, split according to age group. Within each of these classes are between 10-15 children. There are three older classes and two younger classes.

 

Each day starts with stimulating exercises, helping to wake up the children (and volunteers!) in preparation for the day ahead. Volunteers then start with their designated older class for 1.5 hours. As a volunteer with children in Vietnam, you are encouraged to help lead activities that promote very basic English. After feeding time and a nap, class time starts up again. Volunteers spend the afternoon with one of the younger classes.

 

Volunteers with children in Vietnam are always accompanied by a Vietnamese teacher during their time at the project. However, it is important for volunteers to prepare activities for the classes in advance. This ensures that the time is used most productively. A member of the local team will be available to make suggestions and steer you in the right direction. The kindergarten has a whole host of resources you may wish to use. Additional items may be found in the Volunteer House.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

Each of our Vietnam volunteer programs mentioned will have different expectations and roles for their international volunteers. In general, you can expect to provide daily hands-on care, interaction and attention for those who need it most. We try our best to outline expected roles under the specific ‘Project Placement Placements’ above. However, it must be noted that these roles can still vary. 

 

Whilst each project location is different, as a childcare volunteer in Vietnam you will typically volunteer for around 4-6 hours per day. Volunteers are usually only expected to volunteer 4 days per week, however, Monday-Friday is possible. Project hours each day will vary depending on the location. Typically, volunteers will partake in the project from 9am-12pm and then 2-5pm, although this can vary.

 

Volunteers 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.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN VIETNAM

Resources – On the childcare project in Vietnam, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Vietnam.

 

Project Availability – A childcare volunteer in Vietnam is advised to note that we support a range of childcare projects in and around Hanoi. This is in addition to the examples provided across this overview. Thus volunteers may be located at such placements not listed in the overview. This can be particularly true for our volunteer projects across the summertime, where we have higher numbers of volunteers. With great volunteer numbers, we are able to further our contribution to the community and also prevent overcrowding at current establishments. This is also in line with school holiday periods in Vietnam. During this period, there is more need and availability for community programs and summer classes through the day. 

 

Please note that although we do our best to place volunteers at their chosen project, this is not always possible. This can be requested under the ‘Special Requirements’ section of your application. Vietnam childcare volunteers should expect to be placed at either a childcare centre or facility for individuals with special needs. Participants must note that it is possible that participants may work with young adults and/or children. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Vietnam runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Vietnam Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Vietnam. We offer the Ha Long Bay Trip along with the Sapa Trekking Trip with opportunities running every month.

VIETNAM ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam with PMGY, you will work to encourage students to develop skills that will help them to achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. This project provides the perfect opportunity for international volunteers to teach English in Vietnam, putting their leadership skills into practice across schools and communities in Hanoi.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

Education is becoming an increasingly important issue in Vietnam. Traditionally, agriculture has provided jobs for the masses, but this sector’s growth has plummeted. Nowadays, international commercial trade governs the Vietnamese economy, especially in major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This economic shift has created a greater demand for skilled labour and a workforce that is multilingual. In such circumstances, English is frequently the main language required.

 

In recent years, access to primary and secondary education has risen significantly, and schools have received increased levels of funding. Furthermore, there is a greater focus on physical, psychological, social and emotional growth, alongside general educational achievement. English language training was introduced into the national curriculum in 2010. This follows continued recognition from the government for the importance of the ability to speak English to young people.

 

PMGY support a range of educational establishments and classes, from government high schools, universities and education classes for the local community. The aim of our teachers in Vietnam is to create an environment to encourage students to practice their English and improve their confidence. We encourage volunteers in Vietnam participants to keep the lessons fun. Being creative to make the lessons interesting will encourage the students to engage and improve their confidence. 
 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

High Schools – The main school we support is Nguyen Tat Thanh (NTT) project. NTT is a secondary school (11-18 years of age), home to over 2,500 students. English language skills are of growing importance at the school. However, the local teachers tend to focus on teaching listening, reading and writing skills, rather than focussing on communication skills. This is often because this is an area they are limited in themselves.

 

NTT is fairly well-resourced, but the school cannot afford to hire enough native speaking English staff. Furthermore, with large class sizes, it is difficult for teachers to give students the individual attention they need. Therefore, English speaking volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the school’s ambition to improve the English of their students. There may also the chance to help with sports classes: badminton, basketball, football and volleyball are the main sports taught. If willing, as a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam, you can also spend time helping improve the English of the teaching staff. This helps bring about long development at the school.

 

Community & University Classes – Alongside our work with schools in Hanoi, our volunteers in Vietnam contribute to a number of community classes. These take place within the local community and nearby Universities. There are typically four different levels of classes per Community/University setting. Each class will attend two sessions per week. Every day, volunteers will engage in two classes: one morning, and one afternoon. The first hour of the lesson will typically focus on learning and understanding English vocabulary and phrases. The second hour tends to then concentrate on putting this into practice.

 

The community classes are attended by high school and university students wishing to improve their English. Unfortunately, these individuals cannot afford private tuition. Most of the students come from rural areas and move to the city to attend university. The aim of the classes is to create a fun and interactive environment for the class participants to practice their English. On average 5-20 people attend each class. 

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in Vietnam, you will be responsible for preparing and leading your own activities within the lessons. Depending on the volunteer project location you may be required to follow a curriculum. Communication with the local teachers and staff is therefore key, ensuring they can support with the lessons and activities you prepare. 

 

As an English teacher on this Vietnam volunteer program,  you must be proactive in taking lead around the topic. Our local team will be on hand to guide you as you plan your lessons. They will give you an idea of what former volunteers have taught and what students wish to learn. We will also give you ideas on what activities you can implement when teaching. To teach English in Vietnam, there is no requirement to have taught before. Where possible our local team aim to segment the group the students relative to their ability and level of English. This helps to improve the structure and productivity of the classes.

 

Whilst each project is different, the typical working hours to teach English in Vietnam are 8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday. In school settings, volunteers will be expected to teach up to four classes per day. Typically, two classes will be taught in the morning and the same in the afternoon. Each class lasts approximately 45 minutes, with a 10 minute break between two consecutive classes. Lunch is taken between the morning and afternoon sessions. With up to 50 children in one class, experience and confidence are great skills to have and develop. Volunteers must also be flexible, creative and having determination to succeed!

 

The university and community classes both follow a similar structure. Volunteers who teach English in Vietnam will lead two classes per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each class will last 2 hours (4 hours total per day). In general, volunteers will be at the project from 9am-4pm each day, with an extended lunch break. Volunteers will teach 4 different classes each week. For all teaching projects, Fridays are not spent at the project and are instead used to prepare lessons for the following week.

 

Local transport to and from the project each day is included in your Program Fee. Most placements 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.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN VIETNAM

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Vietnam project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Project Availability – When you participate in your volunteer work in Vietnam, your project location will be dictated based on the greatest need at the time. Where possible, the local team will place participants on their preferred project, when this has been noted within their application. However, this cannot be guaranteed in any case, and participants must be open to working in any location. 

 

During June and July, most schools in Vietnam and universities will be on summer vacation. During this time, volunteers on Vietnam English teaching program  will be placed within one of our community classes or a summer camp. Each summer camp lasts around 2 weeks within a relatively relaxed and casual setting. In these cases, there are usually three levels of students, with each level taught separately: Primary, Middle School and High School. Every group receives ten lessons, one each day over a period of two weeks (Monday to Friday).

 

Weekends – Your project work in Vietnam runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Vietnam Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Vietnam. We offer the Ha Long Bay Trip along with the Sapa Trekking Trip with opportunities running every month.

VIETNAM MEDICAL

As a medical volunteer in Vietnam with PMGY, you are offered a fantastic opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into the Vietnamese health care system. On the medical volunteer in Vietnam program, you have the chance to learn from local staff within Vietnam’s leading paediatric hospital. If you are thinking of a career in healthcare, or you are studying a health-related subject at university, this program will offer you essential first-hand exposure to assist in your career development.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

The health status of the Vietnamese has seen significant improvements across the last 30 years. This has largely mirrored the rapid economic development that followed economic and political reforms, launched in 1986. This has led to increased life expectancies at birth and decreased infant mortality rates. However, everything is not as rosy as it may seem.

 

Despite the aforementioned advances, the workforce in this field still remains insufficient to effectively meet the needs of the population. In 2015, on average across Vietnam, there were 8 physicians per 10,000 patients. However, during the same time period, there were 28 physicians per 10,000 in the UK. Similarly, there were 26 per 10,000 in the US. The statistic was also significantly lower compared to other countries across South East Asia. This has meant that in recent years, too many patients for medical facilities has been an increasing problem.

 

Medical volunteers in Vietnam with PMGY have the fantastic opportunity to gain volunteer experience and thus further their career goals. The various opportunities within the Vietnam health care setting expose participants to a variety of interesting cases, allowing medical volunteers in Vietnam to further both their background and experience in the field. Additionally, the program allows participants to explore the fascinating and exciting culture of this Southeast Asian treasure.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

VNCH – PMGY participants on the medical program in Vietnam will spend time within Vietnam National Children’s Hospital (VNCH). VNCH is Vietnam’s leading paediatric hospital, serving a population of 30 million people across central and northern Vietnam. The hospital was established in 1969 as the ‘Institute for the Protection of Children’s Health’. It adopted its present name in 1997. Currently, the hospital has 1,500 beds, organising services and making a positive impact for 1,500 inpatients and 3,000-4,000 outpatients a day.

 

VNCH collaborates with the pediatric department of the Medical University of Hanoi, training medical students, specialists, sub-specialists, general practitioners, and MD-PhDs. The VNCH also holds up to 25 training sessions per year for doctors and nurses from all over the country. These aim to provide greater knowledge of Vietnamese health care workers.

 

The hospital provides treatment in the following departments: neurology, respiratory diseases, malnutrition, oncology, nephrology, endocrinology, haematology, cardiology, gastroenterology, surgery, neonatology, intensive care, emergency, infectious diseases, psychiatry, anesthesiology, surgical recovery, out-patient examination, physiotherapy rehabilitation.

 

As a medical volunteer in Vietnam with PMGY, you may have the chance to partake in some or all of the following:

 

Extensive Learning Opportunities – Participate in bed-side interactive teaching sessions, ward rounds, ward classes and small group discussions. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn about patient care for Vietnamese people by interacting with patients.

 

Take Your Knowledge One Step Further – Attend lectures/seminars/symposia (if organised in English).

 

Engagement in Various Medical Settings – Visit clinics and units such as neurology, respiratory diseases, oncology, nephrology, endocrinology, haematology, cardiology, gastroenterology, surgery, neonatology, intensive care, emergency, infectious diseases, psychiatry. There can also be the opportunity to visit the blood bank and outpatient department.

 

Watch Medicine in Practice – Observe surgeries at the surgical department and laboratory departments if their academic and experience background supports it. 

 

Work with Children – Play, learn and work with children in the Psychiatry department.

 

During your volunteer work in Vietnam, you may encounter examples of the following: health defects consequent of Agent Orange, tuberculosis, respiratory infection, malnutrition, and tropical disease.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

In general, as a volunteer in Vietnam, you will be working alongside and learning from qualified staff at VNCH. Pre-medical students will up-hold an observational role only. As a medical student, you may get the opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement at your discretion. However, we can never encourage nor guarantee hands-on opportunities on the volunteer experience, as the decision ultimately lies with the medical staff. 

 

Participants will usually travel by public bus to and from the project each day. This fee is included in the volunteer 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. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to reach the hospital by bus.

 

Medical participants on the PMGY Vietnam volunteer project will typically attend VNCH between 9am-5pm on a Monday-Friday basis. Participants will have an extended lunch break to break up the day. This means that on average, volunteers will spend 4-6 hours on the project each day. 

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN VIETNAM

Project Duration – There is a recommendation to join a PMGY medical volunteer project as a short term volunteer for between 2-4 weeks. However, up to 8 weeks is possible in Vietnam.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Vietnam participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Vietnam runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Vietnam Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Vietnam. We offer the Ha Long Bay Trip along with the Sapa Trekking Trip with opportunities running every month.

VIETNAM NGO

NGO 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 on the project.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE NGO PROGRAM

The number of local NGOs has risen significantly, addressing various issues. These include as supporting underprivileged communities, environmental conservation and children’s rights. However, due to a lack of funding and trained staff, these NGOs potential for advancement has been limited.

 

PMGY’s Vietnam NGO program is a fantastic way to get involved in development work within a more holistic environment. University students and graduates will find these placements to be an exciting way to gain work experience. The projects offer the chance for volunteers to learn about core economic, educational, environmental and social issues in the developing world. Working alongside NGO professionals is an amazing opportunity to develop your skillset, gain experience and learn more about the world.

 

As a Vietnam NGO volunteer, you are needed to bring new energy and perspective to NGOs in and around Hanoi. Our volunteers help NGOs to continue to make a difference in Vietnamese society. Your role in this project will be dependent on the needs of the organisation and your experience. The opportunities are office-based and offer a great opportunity for university students and graduates to develop invaluable work experience. This program is a great way to gain insight and make an impact on social development on a more strategic level.
 

NGO VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Vietnam NGO volunteers support a variety of establishments, and a list of examples can be found via the ‘NGO’ tab at the top of the page. Participants will be assigned to these depending on their skills, experience, interest, duration of the program, as well as project needs at the time. Projects that the NGOs are involved in will naturally come and go. Our team will try their hardest to match volunteers to a project best suiting their skill set. For this reason, it is important that this is well detailed within your application. You will be asked to send through a CV to a member of our PMGY team. This will help ensure that the NGO program assigned to you is the best fitting.

 

Below are some ideas of what you could be doing on an NGO project, making an impact on local communities:

 

Content Writing – Each NGO we support has a website that is displayed in English. Volunteers with strong writing skills can review the current website content – proofreading and developing the content.

 

Design – Volunteers with graphic design skills can help NGOs in promotional activities. This could be helping to design websites, leaflets or presentational material.

 

English – The local staff really appreciate if volunteers can help improve their level of English.

 

Finance – Volunteers with accounting and finance backgrounds can assist with bookkeeping and developing cash management systems.

 

Fundraising – International volunteers have the communication skills to create and edit fundraising proposals and foster national and international alliances. Fundraising is the key to the future of NGOs. Whether it’s compiling a list of prospective donors and creating concept notes. In the past PMGY volunteers have been involved in creating fundraising proposals that have brought in five-figure dollar donations! 

 

Report Editing – The NGOs have to provide regular reports to their sponsors, partner NGOs and various committees. Typically, these reports need to be produced in Vietnamese and English. Volunteers can lend a hand in editing the reports produced in English.

 

Research – University students/graduates have the analytical and research skills to design and support research drives and fieldwork.

 

Social Media – NGOs we support are becoming aware of social media power and its ability to raise awareness and build support. Training the local staff about effectively using social media is a great way volunteers can add value.

 

Website Support – For those with relevant skills, assistance can be provided through updating and improving the NGOs website. Better still creating or introducing new software/systems that improve the efficiency of the NGO.

 

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 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 PMGY Community Volunteer 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. 

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING IN VIETNAM

Project Availability – When you participate in your volunteer work in Vietnam, your project location will be dictated based on your experience and the greatest project need at that time. Where possible, the local team will place participants on their preferred project, when this has been noted within their application. However, this cannot be guaranteed in any case, and participants must be open to working in any location. 

 

Requirements – Participants on this Vietnam volunteer program are advised to note the minimum age of most our of NGO projects is 20 years. In addition to this, the minimum time frame on the project tends to be 4 weeks. As an NGO volunteer in Vietnam, you should have completed a bachelor degree or be working within a relevant profession. Anyone outside these categories will usually be assigned to a project working directly with our local team. However, this again is dependent on a variety of factors and ultimately NGO placement is decided by our local team. 

 

Volunteers joining us for a shorter time frame, or with limited experience, are advised to note that naturally, there is not as much opportunity for long term developments and input to be made. In such situations, the main purpose of the program instead is for insights, learnings and sharing of information. As an NGO volunteer in Vietnam, you will need to bring a laptop for this program.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Vietnam runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Vietnam Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Vietnam. We offer the Ha Long Bay Trip along with the Sapa Trekking Trip with opportunities running every month.

🇰🇭 VOLUNTEER IN CAMBODIA (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your ninth country is Cambodia. Cambodia is a country emerging from years of turmoil and civil unrest. Yet, it has the most beautiful and blissfully undeveloped coastlines in the region. Moreover, the country is blessed with one of the most spectacular temples in the world, Angkor Wat. Spend time at weekends during your gap year travel exploring such iconic sites! In contrast to all its beauty and adventure travel opportunities, Cambodia is also one of the poorest countries in the world.

 

With PMGY you can contribute to grass-roots development projects in Cambodia. These are projects that take place in a rural community around 2 hours from Phnom Penh. Teach English in a community school or help give children a head start at a kindergarten style project. Ultimately, by volunteering in Cambodia, you will be providing disadvantaged young people with the tools to gain meaningful employment and break out of the cycle of poverty. You will be able to select your volunteer in Cambodia project during the online application.

 

🇰🇭 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA

CAMBODIA CHILDCARE

As a childcare volunteer in Cambodia with PMGY, you will educate and work with children between the ages of 4-7 years at a time before they begin formal schooling. International volunteers with children in Cambodia help to brighten up the lives of young children in Takeo Province. As a childcare volunteer in Cambodia organise educational activities and games that will positively promote stimulation and productiveness in young ones.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. This time is critical for forming the foundation that helps shape their future health, happiness and learning achievement. As a childcare volunteer in Cambodia, you will have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, you have the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community.

 

Tourism in Cambodia contributes a tremendous amount to the economy. This means those who are able to converse in English with foreigners have far more prospects than those who do not. Exposure to the English language at a young age helps initiate the development of this life-long skill of multilingualism. Engagement with native English speakers, therefore, provides a great starting point for this. Our PMGY childcare project in Cambodia helps local children develop skills that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives. This includes an introduction to the fundamentals of the English language, assistance with social integration and the development of motor skills.

 

Each day as a childcare volunteer in Cambodia is different and you will get out of the project what you put in. It is a good idea to join the project well prepared with lots of ideas for activities so that you can get stuck in as soon as possible. Volunteers with children in Cambodia will have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, they make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

Hope School – Our main program in Cambodia is based in Takeo Province, south of the country’s capital city, Phnom Penh. The kids attending the childcare program are from villages nearby. The childcare centre is located on the same campus as our team’s teaching English program for older children and teenagers. It is hoped that the younger children will continue their journey with our team in the future. The childcare project, therefore, aims to also help with this eventual transition and integration.

 

Our team’s community education program was established in 2010. The aim was to provide accessible English classes to children in underprivileged villages. The opportunity to learn and develop English is so low in this rural area that children are prepared to travel 7km each way for a one hour lesson each day. The school usually has over 250 children attending each day. The project has grown so much that in December 2018, our local team opened a new school in a nearby province. This new school in Ang Tasom has allowed our volunteers to extend the outreach of our team’s overall goal. We now work with an additional 130 kids to whom English is taught. Further growth in this project has allowed our childcare project to open up here, widening our impact within the community.

 

As a volunteer with children in Cambodia, you will be based within a classroom setting. This responsible volunteering project focuses on developing core English skills, promoting social interaction and routines from a young age. Our international volunteers will work to advocate all of these aspects through itineraries set by the local staff. For volunteer work in Cambodia, there is an office of resources and textbooks that you can use to assist you. A volunteer with children in Cambodia is encouraged to introduce creative and engaging ways to manage the class.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in Cambodia, you will be required to prepare, deliver and lead activities and basic English lessons to support local children. Volunteers with children in Cambodia can expect to spend 3-4 hours on the project each day. The typical hours of work as a childcare volunteer in Cambodia are 1-4pm. Time on the Cambodia volunteer work will include various roles and tasks for the volunteers.

 

Days will usually begin with a lively and energetic first hour of songs, games and basic hygiene tasks like teeth brushing. After burning off any excess energy, approximately 1 hour will be dedicated to learning. This may include activities such as learning and recognising the alphabet, understanding phonics and the coaching of basic greetings. Combined, these tasks help to familiarise the children with this foreign language. Furthermore, it advances their learning ability for other subjects in the future. The day will usually end with various activities that focus on practising fine motor skills and dexterity, perhaps through arts and crafts or group games.

 

Volunteers and coordinators have also introduced a Fun Friday aspect to the program. For this, fellow volunteers can come together to organise entertaining activities for the children. Sometimes volunteers will organise and fund an afternoon trip outside of the program for the children. Volunteers usually contribute a small expense to facilitate this, but contributing and participating in Fun Fridays are by no means compulsory.

 

When you volunteer in Cambodia, you should spend time planning for each day. This will allow them to get the most out of their project time. This also provides focussed learning activities for the children. As a childcare volunteer in Cambodia, you will also have the opportunity to assist or lead an older class on our English Teaching project. However, this is optional and not a mandatory requirement of the program.

 

The project is located on the same grounds as the house for participants on our volunteering programs in Cambodia. Participants therefore only have a short walk to project each day. Free time can be used to prepare sessions, chill in the Volunteer House or explore the nearby villages.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN CAMBODIA

Accommodation Setup – Our Cambodia volunteer programs are based in a rural setting in Takeo Province, approximately two hours south of Phnom Penh. The accommodation is very basic, based in a remote location and in a dormitory-like form. There is a sense of community on the program, with volunteers responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the living area. This includes completing morning chores. This can involve tasks such as gardening, cleaning and renovation work. Together, this contribution from volunteers helps to maintain a happy and clean living environment for everyone.

 

Resources – On the childcare project in Cambodia, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Cambodia.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Cambodia runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Cambodia Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

CAMBODIA ENGLISH TEACHING

As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia with PMGY, you will encourage students to develop a skill that will help them achieve their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills, essential for future employment. This project, therefore, provides the perfect opportunity for a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia to put their leadership skills into practice and make a profound impact in a teaching position.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

The reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s devastated the education system in Cambodia. Since then, the Cambodian government has invested a lot of time and money into rebuilding its education system. However, change is slow and Cambodia still has one of the poorest literacy rates in Asia, especially amongst women. High dropout rates, lack of qualified teachers and classroom overcrowding are all significant factors that negatively impact the country’s education system.

 

Cambodia’s economy is shifting from that of traditional sustenance farming to an economy driven by industry and service. This economic change has further enhanced social inequality within the country. This follows the drive of less educated and economically poorer members of society into lower-paid jobs, that rarely offer career development. The demand for skilled labour calls for a greater need for children to develop English language proficiency. This is particularly true within the service sector, to keep up with Cambodia’s growing tourism industry.

 

For many children living in rural villages, learning English is seen as the only way to progress in life. This is since it helps individuals achieve better jobs in Cambodia. Individuals often desire to source jobs in accounting and hotel work, to bring an overall higher standard of living for themselves. As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you will help to provide free English lessons to children from low-income families in the region. The children will still attend public school in the mornings. However, in the afternoon, they continue their education at our English education program. Our team’s project provides a key focus on English language development. During your time as a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of the students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Cambodia.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE

Hope School – As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you will be based at a community education program, established by our local team in 2010. The aim of the school was to provide accessible English classes to children in underprivileged villages. The opportunity to learn and develop English is so low in this rural area that children are prepared to travel 7km each way for a one hour lesson each day. The school usually has over 250 children attending each day. The project has grown so much that in December 2018, our local team opened an extension of the school in a nearby province. This new set-up in Ang Tasom has allowed our volunteers to extend the outreach of our team’s overall goal. We now work with an additional 130 kids to whom English is taught.

 

Volunteers teaching English in Cambodia are required to prepare, deliver and lead lessons and learning activities for the children. Classes are divided based on ability and age range and the size can vary from 5-30 children. The children’s ages range from 7-18 years. Younger children tend to come at the start of the afternoon and the older children come late afternoon. There are ten classrooms in total across both school sites. You will usually be based at one of the school sites only during your time.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you will teach a variety of different classes throughout the day. When each class finishes, the children from that lesson will return to their nearby village. Your next class with different students will then begin. Typically, volunteer work in Cambodia involves leading four classes per day. Participants may also choose to work one-on-one with students during their 1.5 hour break.

 

Teaching the same classes daily within the same time slots allows you to ingrain structure and build rapport with the children. Furthermore, this enables you to witness the development of the children, from the start of your program to its end. Even after the lessons, you will find a lot of the students stay at the school, to socialise and play games. Some pupils will undertake one-to-one tuition with volunteers.

 

As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you are encouraged to make your lessons fun and engaging. This may include storytelling, singing songs and arts and crafts activities. There is plenty of outdoor space at the project. Here, volunteers can take the class out to enjoy some playtime at the end of a lesson. If you have a specific skill as a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you are welcome to teach this to students too. There is an office of resources and textbooks that you can use to assist you. A volunteer with children in Cambodia is encouraged to introduce creative and engaging ways to manage the class.

 

To successfully teach as a volunteer teaching in English in Cambodia, you should spend time planning for each day. This will allow you to get the most out of the project time and will provide focussed learning activity for the children. Ultimately, the more time spent planning, the easier classes will be to run. You can use the mornings before the project or your afternoon break as preparation time.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a teaching volunteer in Cambodia, you are required to prepare, deliver and lead lessons for students in Cambodia. The typical working hours are 1pm-7:30pm Monday to Friday. Volunteers will usually teach 1 hour lessons across this period with a 1.5 hour break in between to rest. As a volunteer teaching English in Cambodia, you will also need to dedicate time to plan your lessons in advance.

 

The school that our team run in Cambodia is located in two regions. The village school is based on the same grounds as the Volunteer House. International volunteers here, therefore, have a short walk to the project. The second school is located a 15 minute tuk-tuk journey from the House. Free time can be used to prepare sessions, chill in the Volunteer House or explore the nearby villages.

 

Volunteers and coordinators have also introduced a Fun Friday aspect to the program. For this, fellow volunteers can come together to organise entertaining activities for the children. Sometimes volunteers will organise and fund an afternoon trip outside of the program for the children. Volunteers usually contribute a small expense to facilitate this, but contributing and participating in Fun Fridays are by no means compulsory.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING IN CAMBODIA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Cambodia project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Most volunteers lead their own classes. However, if requested, our team can buddy you up with a more experienced, long term volunteer to start with. Note, however, that this will be dependent on volunteer numbers at the time.

 

Accommodation Setup – Our Cambodia volunteer programs are based in a rural setting in Takeo Province, approximately two hours south of Phnom Penh. The accommodation is very basic, based in a remote location and in a dormitory-like form. There is a sense of community on the program, with volunteers responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the living area. This includes completing morning chores. This can involve tasks such as gardening, cleaning and renovation work. Together, this contribution from volunteers helps to maintain a happy and clean living environment for everyone.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Cambodia runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Cambodia Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.

🇮🇩 VOLUNTEER IN BALI (2, 3 OR 4 WEEKS)

Your final stop on the Ultimate Round the World Encounter is Bali. With a population of less than four million, Bali is an island of soft white sands. In addition, the country also boasts crystal clear waters, lush tropical forests and ancient temples. Many say that Bali is not so much a place but a state of mind. In the same vein, people talk of Bali being a feeling of wonder and a mood of serenity.

 

Our programs in Bali aim to provide a true insight into the Balinese way of life. Most noteworthy, all international volunteers can experience Bali’s famous beauty and white sand beaches whilst also giving back. By volunteering in a local community of Bali, you will get the opportunity to see a side of the country the tourists don’t see. 

 

Stay in the rice bowl of Bali in the traditional town of Tabanan. Use your volunteer experience to give the most precious commodity of all, your time. The children in the community projects will be desperate to learn from you. Teach English set amongst rice paddies, steep ravines and forests. Invest your time in Bali’s children and help to ensure their future is bright! Alternatively, choose to help out at a wildlife rescue centre or learn about the Balinese healthcare system in a government hospital. You will be able to select your volunteer in Bali project during the online application. 

 

🇮🇩 VOLUNTEER PROJECTS IN BALI

BALI CHILDCARE

Want to share your time, energy and enthusiasm with children across the world? As a childcare volunteer in Bali, you can make a positive impact in the local community of Tabanan. From supporting daily care, organising crafts and creative activities, to teaching English through songs and music. You’ll have the opportunity to volunteer with children in Bali between 1-8 years old, giving them an amazing head start before they begin formal schooling.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM

In Bali, it can be difficult to afford a high standard of care or education for their children, particularly for families in the relentless farming and fishing industries. Therefore as a childcare volunteer in Bali, you can support struggling families and childcare centres. By complementing the work of local staff members we can ensure that these children receive the attention and support that they deserve.

 

Increased tourism in Bali has meant that local people who are able to converse in English with foreigners have far more prospects than those that can’t. As a result, education at this level will allow them to improve their future and that of their families.

 

It has been suggested that pre-school years are the most important years of a child’s life and an ideal time for learning a foreign language. Above all, this makes time with international volunteers invaluable. Subsequently, as a childcare volunteer in Bali, you can focus on educating the children with very basic English skills. For example speaking and vocabulary, such as colours, shapes and animals.

 

CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Lotus Childcare – Lotus Childcare Centre was founded in 1996 by a Catholic church. Each day, the centre can receive up to 62 children and the care provided here is free of charge. With only 8 local staff members, the ratio of 1 adult to 8 children can sometimes be a handful to manage alone! Consequently, as a childcare volunteer in Bali, you can provide invaluable assistance to the quality of care that the facility can offer.

 

Children attending this centre range from the ages of 6 months to 8 years. In the morning, the facility cares for children up to the age of 4. During this time, your volunteer work in Bali will involve helping to run basic English lessons for the toddlers, in preparation for starting school in the future.

 

In the afternoon, children aged 5-8 visit the centre after school whilst their parents remain at work. Meanwhile, volunteers will usually lend a helping hand with the youngest of the children, aiding the staff with bath-time, and entertainment. There is however the opportunity on your Bali volunteer program to spend time with the older children, especially those who may need some additional help with their studies.

 

Bumblebee Childcare – Bumblebee Childcare Centre was also founded by a Catholic Church, hosting up to 80 children per day. Ages range from as young as 3 months to 7 years. In the morning, volunteers will run basic English classes for the children who are due to begin primary school within the next year or two.

 

After that, the remainder of our volunteer’s work in Bali will often be spent with the younger children aged 1-3 years. Volunteers will usually lend a hand during mealtimes, to encourage the fussy eaters and clean up the messy ones! In addition, assistance is also often required during bath times. However, help is appreciated in all aspects of the centre. As a result, each childcare volunteer in Bali may be asked to spend time with the older children, or even assist staff members in daily chores.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY

As a childcare volunteer in Bali, your main role will be sharing your time, enthusiasm and skills to help encourage and care for these children. By exposing them to the English language you are providing them with an early opportunity for social interaction and educational development.

 

You will be volunteering from Monday-Thursday, usually starting around 9am-12pm, with the afternoon session from 2pm-4pm. You will be transported to the project via minivan, which takes about 10 minutes.

 

The childcare program is a hugely rewarding experience and very enjoyable. As a volunteer in Bali, you are encouraged to structure the day to ensure you get the balance right between keeping it fun with play activities, whilst keeping it controlled and routined with some basic learning activities.

 

Above all, lesson planning is essential. Get creative with different enrichment activities to foster positive social development. You can use songs, music, puzzles, interactive props and educational resources to get the kids engaged. Local coordinators will be on hand to support you at the project as well.

 

Balinese children are an absolute joy to teach and work with, their enthusiasm for learning is guaranteed to make you smile! Working with this age group is not as structured as teaching older children. In other words, their language can be improved simply through play and interaction. As a result, just a few words or phrases will stand them in good stead for learning English in the future. If you volunteer with children in Bali, you’ll need to prepare activities for this accordingly.

 

We generally find that the more volunteers prepare for their day then the more they and the children get from the whole experience. Depending on the number of childcare volunteers in Bali at the time, the children will be divided into smaller class sizes. In addition, you will have local coordinators/teachers at the project to assist.

 

The most important thing is that you engage the children, get them excited about coming to kindergarten and learning new things. Your role is not limited to just teaching and volunteers are actively encouraged to get involved in other areas such as arts & crafts, physical education and helping local staff in their day-to-day role. What activities you choose when you volunteer in Bali is completely up to you.

 

You can find resources and inspiration at the office and there may be some materials and props available at the childcare centres. The local team also run weekly lesson planning sessions, providing volunteers with a fantastic opportunity to both share and discuss ideas, as well as plan for the upcoming week.

 

PMGY’s volunteer work in Bali focuses on making learning a fun and enjoyable experience so be creative, there are so many ways to educate these children in a way that will make a huge impact. Our childcare program is an empowering and rewarding one to really make a difference to those less fortunate. Balinese people are warm and friendly, you can expect the children you teach to welcome you into their community with open arms. They will be excited to get to know you!

 

As a childcare volunteer in Bali, you should have a genuine passion for working with children. Working with such friendly and excitable children can get overwhelming so it is important to be happy and completely immerse yourself in this once in a lifetime experience!

 

With the heat and high temperatures that exist when you volunteer with children in Bali, shorter sessions split throughout the day are seen as beneficial all round and allows for volunteer energy levels to remain high with positive intensity in each morning and afternoon session. Volunteers are encouraged to use the lunch break in between to relax, refresh or plan future activities to maximise time at the project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN BALI

Resources – On the childcare project in Bali, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Bali.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Bali runs from Monday-Thursday and weekends are free (Friday-Sunday). You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Bali Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Bali. We offer the Gili Paradise Island Trip along with the Ubud Trip with opportunities running every month.

BALI ENGLISH TEACHING

Volunteer teaching English in Bali to encourage students by developing skills and achieving their future goals. Conversing with fluent, native speakers greatly improves student’s English language skills, a tool essential for future employment. The ability to speak English has become essential as a language to learn for Balinese people to move forward in life. As a result, it enables them to have direct contact with tourists, enhancing the country’s recognition and visibility on a global stage.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

English is a key component in both the formal and informal industries that exist in Bali, as well as the communication mediums that underpin them. This ranges from the schools, offices and banks to the shops and restaurants that make up much of the booming tourist industry in Indonesia today. Bali is a destination that has become not only a hub for tourists from across the globe, with its beautiful scenery and traditional authenticity, but is also recognised as an ideal location to hold international conferences and seminars.

 

PMGY’s English teaching program gives volunteers the chance to really make a difference by opening up possibilities of developing English for local children in Tabanan. The explosion of tourism in Bali means the need to speak English has never been greater. Though English is taught in school by a local Balinese teacher, the opportunity to converse with a native, fluent English speaker is invaluable.

 

Balinese people are warm and friendly. You can expect the local community, the staff you work with and the children you teach to welcome you into their community with open arms. They will be excited to speak with you and hear all about your life! Your volunteer work in Bali can benefit your future prospects as much as it does the people you teach. You will come away with skills that are easily transferred into the workplace, such as leadership, time management and organisational skills.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Your schedule will be mixed when you volunteer to teach English in Bali. You’ll spend your time across the different projects where we provide free English lessons in Tabanan, with the main placement being at the Akasa Foundation. Moreover, the PMGY Bali volunteer program runs additional English teaching projects across the year. As a consequence, we can help to maximise the positive impact you have throughout the local community when you volunteer in Bali. These run on an ad-hoc basis and your timetable may be varied throughout the week. Here are some examples of where you could be teaching:

 

Akasa Foundation Program – Akasa Foundation is a Community Learning Centre, founded by Ketut in 2011. Until recent years, Ketut ran this within her family home. However, the centre now has a permanent location only a 5 minute walk from the Volunteer House. Having lived within the Tabanan community her whole life, Ketut had noticed a lack of opportunity for children from less well-off families to thrive within the educational system. Consequently, this drove her to set up the Foundation and to seek the help of international volunteers. As a volunteer teaching English in Bali, you can support the quality and diversity of the knowledge that could be shared with these children. First of all, a major goal of the centre is to provide basic education to preschoolers from low-income backgrounds, in preparation for primary education. Another goal is to offer additional learning for students already attending school.

 

Junior High School Summer Program – The PMGY Bali volunteer program offers Junior High School students, the opportunity to participate in a 12 week program during summer. These sessions are hosted 4 times a day to accommodate as many students as possible, aged between 13-15 years. Volunteers in Bali work together with the students through a 12 week structured course to fully prepare the students for senior high school. This course is designed by Akasa Foundation, thus volunteers are provided with a set itinerary and curriculum. However, when you teach English in Bali you are also welcome to introduce additional subjects. The course is mainly focused on improving the students’ conversation and grammar skills, as well as giving them a confidence boost and head start before they are off to senior high school. Subsequently, each student that completes the course gets a certificate at the end of the 12 week course to reward them for their hard work and dedication.

 

Senior High School After-School Program – As a volunteer teaching English in Bali, you can often team up with a local Senior High School. Above all, this gives volunteers a chance to interact with older and more advanced English students. Once a week, the high school hosts a free after school English club and as a PMGY volunteer in Bali you are invited to help students with their pronunciation and conversation skills. The students are typically aged between 16-17 years old. Most of the English that these students have learned comes from textbooks, with little opportunity to practice English in day to day conservation. As a result, this is a unique opportunity for students to interact with other English speakers. This is particularly important since Tabanan remains a traditional town, meaning inhabitants don’t often encounter English speakers in their daily lives. This project is open for volunteers to create their own activities and subjects, as there is no set curriculum.

 

Summer Village Program – From around late May to early July, during the school summer holidays, participants may be required to teach English in local farming villages. Lessons are hosted within community halls or schools. Volunteers will spend one morning per week in each of these locations. Consequently, this means volunteers will need to prepare lessons and activities accordingly. Most importantly, be ready to learn lots of names and faces in your time on the teaching program. The schools are located within a 20-30 minute drive away from the Volunteer House.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

Your main role as a volunteer teaching English in Bali will be sharing your time, knowledge and skills to the local communities. Moreover, by boosting their confidence in spoken and conversational English you can help to maximise their potential. The projects run from Monday-Thursday, with class times varying from 8am-4pm. Your timings will be based on your individual schedule. You may have a 5 minute walk to your placement, or for further distances like the Summer Village Program, you will be transported by minivan.

 

When teaching English in Indonesia you may be leading the class alone, working in pairs, or part of a small group. Volunteers are usually scheduled to teach two or three classes per day. These factors depend on the current project need, availability and volunteer numbers. Timetables tend to be split between two of the placement locations for each volunteer across the week. The Akasa Foundation program tends to be the main teaching project.

 

The Akasa Foundation runs 3 classes: Kindergarten (3-4 years) and Beginners (5-7 years) classes are usually in the morning and Advanced (8-14 years) classes in the afternoon. Depending on the number of volunteers at one time, each volunteer in Bali may be required to teach each class.

 

It has been suggested that pre-school years are the most important years of a child’s life and an ideal time for learning a foreign language. This makes these Kindergarten classes invaluable, with a focus on educating the children with very basic English vocabulary, such as colours, shapes and animals. As a volunteer teaching English in Bali, you are required to be creative and very patient, although a local teacher will act as a guide. The difficulty of the content is taken up a level within the Beginner’s class, focusing on similar topics to Kindergarten, but introducing the basic concept of sentence formation.

 

PMGY’s advanced community classes aim to make the learning of English an enjoyable experience, especially after the children have had a long day at school already! Get creative and teach English through songs, art and sport. You will usually work with another volunteer and teach as a team.

 

We expect there to be at least 60-100 children across these classes at this program each day, aged from 3 to lower teens. We generally find that the more volunteers prepare for their day then the more they and the children get from the whole experience. Depending on the number of volunteers at the time, will depend on how we segment the group into smaller class sizes if applicable. We will have local coordinators/teachers at the project to assist.

 

In all cases, Balinese children are eager to learn, this thirst for knowledge can sometimes turn into extreme excitement so it is important to be able to control the class to maintain focus. This is an empowering and rewarding project which really makes a difference to those less fortunate in providing free English education to the children of Tabanan. Inspire through your methods and give these children the confidence to converse with tourists. This, in turn, will improve their future and that of their families.

 

The presence of an English speaker really benefits the children’s pronunciation and can also help empower local teachers who may be looking for additional assistance with their own education. As a volunteer teaching English in Bali, we encourage you to make lessons as engaging and interactive as possible by being creative and proactive in your preparation.

 
Use fun educational games like interactive word searches or Hangman, or a bit of class competition in Hot Seat or team quizzes. Games, songs, art, sport and music are all great tools. The presence of volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. Use your creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.

 

What you teach when you volunteer in Bali is completely up to you, though there may be a topic or curriculum materials that you can follow if you need some inspiration and guidance, from a general syllabus or past volunteer examples. We have a library of resources on-site for volunteers to use and the children are provided with exercise books and learning books to help facilitate their learning. The local team also run weekly lesson planning sessions, providing volunteers with a fantastic opportunity to both share and discuss ideas, as well as plan for the upcoming week.

 

With the heat and high temperatures that exist during your Bali volunteer program, shorter sessions split throughout the day are seen as beneficial all round. In addition, this allows for volunteer energy levels to remain high with positive intensity in each morning and afternoon session. As a volunteer teaching English in Bali, you are encouraged to use the lunch break in between to relax, refresh or plan future activities to maximise time at the project.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN BALI

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education. 

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Resources – On the teach English in Bali project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Bali runs from Monday-Thursday and weekends are free (Friday-Sunday). You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Bali Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Bali. We offer the Gili Paradise Island Trip along with the Ubud Trip with opportunities running every month.

BALI MEDICAL

Every PMGY medical volunteer in Bali is offered a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and insight into the Indonesian healthcare system. This program allows you to learn from local staff in a hospital setting, get involved in community projects, as well as experiencing more traditional medical practices involving herbal remedies, cultural beliefs, meditation and holistic healing.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM

The healthcare of Indonesia must be prefaced by the physical layout of the country, consisting of more than 17,000 islands, which house 260 million people. This makes it the fourth most populous country in the world and the 14th largest country by landmass. The population offers a wide diversity of cultural, social and economic backgrounds.

 

Indonesia’s previous healthcare system consisted of mostly private care for the wealthy or for those in severe poverty, leaving the majority to fall in between without proper medical provisions. Subsequently, in 2016 Indonesia adopted a national healthcare system, which has now called for new methods of care. Previously, citizens were left for so long without any ability to have affordable medical assistance.

 

Bali is the home of PMGY in Indonesia. This land is one that still revolves very much around culture and religion. Even though healthcare has developed tremendously over the last decade, Balinese people are still deeply rooted in their customs and religious beliefs; especially regarding health. As a result, joining as a medical volunteer in Bali will open your eyes to the traditional beliefs of healing along with the evolving care of Western medicine within this region.

 

Our Bali medical program is a learning experience for healthcare, nursing and medical students looking to pursue a career in medicine. Working in a hospital as a volunteer in Bali is a great opportunity to get close up clinical exposure and learn about healthcare systems in developing countries. In addition, as a medical volunteer in Bali, you will witness a variety of cases. This offers a fantastic contrast to what you might find in your local hospital.

 

MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

The Bali volunteer program is based mainly at a government hospital. In addition, there are opportunities to learn about more traditional beliefs and practices in Indonesia on the medical program, as well as community outreach projects.

 

Tabanan General Hospital – Bali medical volunteers will be placed at Rumah Sakit Umum Tabanan, which is a local government hospital situated in the middle of Bali. This facility consults nearly 500 patients each day, providing a range of opportunities for volunteers that join this medical experience program. For example, the departments at this hospital include: Paediatrics, Pre and Post-surgery, High Care Unit, Maternity, Intensive Cardio Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit.

 

Please be aware that while you are on this Bali volunteer program you will be placed in a specific department for a set duration of time and/or on a specific rota. The departments you are placed within will be arranged either to cater to your interests or decided by the hospital at the time, dependent on what and who is available. Across your time on the medical program, you will have the opportunity to spend time across a large number of the departments that the hospital is home to. You will receive your timetable from the local team during your orientation period.

 

In addition, participants on the medical program may have the opportunity to get involved in some of our community outreach programs on an ad-hoc basis. There may also be a chance to learn more about herbal remedies and traditional treatments. Some of these examples include:

 

Holistic Healer – The local team will be able to arrange a seminar with a local healer. This will better explain how culture plays a key role in the care of each patient and how medical professionals apply care to cater to these beliefs. The seminar will be lead by a guru, focusing on meditation and holistic healing. The guru will explain how everything is connected in the body, natural healing practices and the benefits of this over more modern medicine.

 

Local Birth Clinic – Participants who volunteer in Bali will usually get the chance to visit a holistic birth clinic in Ubud. You can learn about how their beliefs, concepts and daily activities may differ from Western medicine. During your visit, you can observe how the midwives use different techniques and holistic methods for babies and mothers, including monitoring health. If you’re lucky you may be able to experience the miracle of birth!

 

Elderly Community Projects – There may also be the opportunity for a medical volunteer in Bali to provide help at local elderly community projects, working in elderly homes and village campaigns. Across Indonesia, it’s very common for members of the older generation to live with their oldest child, making elderly homes quite rare in Bali. Unfortunately, it is only those who have no family at all or are unable to afford a home, who end up in an elderly care facility. Furthermore, these elderly homes receive no input or support from other services and organisations. This makes the contribution of supporting local elderly communities invaluable from a volunteer in Bali. Other elder members of the local community will join for regular health checks at the village campaigns too, set up in community houses. 

 

Depending on how many participants are able to help on the Bali volunteer program, there might be up to 50 elderly members attending. As a medical volunteer in Bali, you may get the chance to monitor cholesterol levels, blood pressure, glucose levels, respiratory rate and body temperature. This is also a great way to interact with the elderly and help with their social interaction in general to improve their overall well-being.

 

Charity for Stroke Victims – On an ad-hoc basis, PMGY Bali medical participants could have the opportunity to work alongside a local charity for stroke victims. The patients that this charity work with unfortunately cannot afford rehabilitation services through specialised therapists and centres. Additionally, these patients live in rural areas and have no access to physiotherapy and check-ups. Therefore, the charity offers basic services, free of charge, that focus on stimulating their rehabilitation process. 

 

Our international volunteers work together with the charity’s physiotherapist to help with treatment, activity and massage therapy of one local patient in particular. Volunteers might also get the chance to perform basic health checks on the patient by checking and recording vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature and respiratory rates. Please note that this opportunity is usually available less frequently.

 

Please note that the main focus of PMGY Bali’s medical program continues to be at the General Hospital in Tabanan and these additional projects are subject to availability and the volunteer’s previous experience.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a medical volunteer in Bali, your main role will be observing the different departments at the General Hospital in Tabanan, learning about and experiencing the Indonesian healthcare system, procedures and culture.

 

The medical project takes place from Monday-Thursday. Your schedule and transport will depend on the current opportunities available when you volunteer in Bali. For instance, the hospital placement generally runs from 7.30-10am, which is a 5 minute minivan ride. The birth clinic is visited in the afternoon for 2-3 hours, which is 45 minutes away by private car. The community projects run from 2-4pm, which are 5 minutes away by minivan.

 

As you are expanding your knowledge of the medical field, please note that those you are interacting with may also be interested in communicating with you to build their confidence and spoken English language skills. As Tabanan is a very traditional area of Bali, you will find the local staff are not as confident or accomplished in conversing in English as perhaps other people are across Bali.

 

The hospital itself will not provide information or training to volunteers, therefore participants will have to be dynamic and creative when interacting with the staff when asking questions, so use your free time to learn through the junior doctors. Showcase which departments you want to prioritise your time with and be proactive in learning about the general day to day goings-on at the hospital.

 

The local staff at the hospital will also be intrigued in understanding the care provided in your healthcare education system, so be encouraged to communicate around this where possible. While the Balinese people are welcoming you into their place of work please be open to their beliefs and culture as they will be open to yours.

 

In addition, the hospital staff often welcome PMGY medical volunteers to participate in any weekly staff meetings as and when they occur. Examples of things discussed in these meetings include talking about the logistics of the hospital and care-plans for individual departments.

 

The community outreach programs can offer opportunities for participants to perform basic hands-on tasks, such as taking vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, temperatures and respiratory rates. The other elements to your placement can teach you more about how Indonesian culture and beliefs shape medicine, including holistic healing, herbal remedies and more traditional treatments to compare and contrast to your experience in the hospital. 

 

As the role is purely observational and feedback has suggested the project can be quite stagnant at times due to a language barrier, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks on the Bali volunteer program. In our experience, whilst you will gain medical insight and knowledge at the hospital, after a while, most people are eager for greater exposure and engagement, which this project can be limited in providing. In such situations, volunteers may be able to split or extend their time working with children across our community community childcare and English teaching programs in local schools.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN BALI

Alternative Opportunities – For volunteers who are looking for maximum exposure, opportunities or perhaps a more interactive nature to the program, we would strongly advise considering an alternate medical placement than the volunteer work in Bali. Volunteer work in India is generally seen as our strongest medical program due to the exposure our participants get and the range of projects involved. Ghana and Tanzania volunteer programs are also popular where participants can get involved in a number of high impact projects.

 

Univeristy Students Only – Volunteers are advised to note that the hospital will not permit applicants who are not studying medicine, healthcare sciences or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

 

Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures. 

 

Previous PMGY medical volunteer in Bali participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.

 

Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.

 

Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas. 

 

Weekends – Your project work in Bali runs from Monday-Thursday and weekends are free (Friday-Sunday). You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Bali Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Bali. We offer the Gili Paradise Island Trip along with the Ubud Trip with opportunities running every month.

BALI WILDLIFE RESCUE

Bali wildlife rescue volunteers help to care for a variety of different species of animals, who may be endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat. Help with rehabilitation, enrichment and improving the wellbeing of each animal at the wildlife rescue centre. Get involved in additional opportunities to focus on environmental sustainability, plastic pollution and increasing awareness in the local communities.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE WILDLIFE PROGRAM

Indonesia is home to hundreds of different species of animals, many of which find themselves dispersed by deforestation whilst the country expands it’s exporting of goods like palm oil and rubber. As a result, there are now seven centres in the whole of the country that rehabilitate and release endangered animals into their native habitat in the wild. PMGY Bali wildlife rescue volunteers will gain great insight and opportunity to join in on the care of these animals at the wildlife rescue centre.

 

Within the centre, you will find a range of animals that were victims of poachers and traffickers. The primates and birds looked after have usually been rescued from markets, private homes and businesses where they were kept as pets or for entertainment purposes. This is a huge problem in Indonesia, displacing wild animals from their natural habitats and separating them from their families. Most importantly, these animals need extra care, attention and enrichment in order to improve their wellbeing and daily lives.

 

As a volunteer in Bali you can give endangered animals daily support and enrich their lives. On the wildlife volunteer program, you can also get involved in additional opportunities to support the wildlife and environment in Bali. For instance tackling environmental issues via mangrove restoration.

 

WILDLIFE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Wildlife Rescue Centre – Our Bali wildlife rescue volunteers can get involved in work across a number of different projects. The wildlife rescue centre will be your main placement, caring for the displaced, injured and rescued animals who currently reside there. The focus here is on the daily care, wellbeing and rehabilitation of many different species, with the goal to release them back into the wild if they are healthy and equipped with the necessary skills to survive.

 

There are currently over 40 endangered primates and bird species living at the centre. For example, you may see Javan Lutung, Southern Pig-Tailed Macaque, Grey-Headed Fish Eagle, Southern Cassowary, Palm Cockatoo and more. The Program Fee involved helps provide upkeep and care for these beautiful creatures.

 

In addition to the wildlife rescue centre, your volunteer in Bali experience may involve several of our other wildlife and conservation projects:

 

Beach Cleans – Did you know a plastic straw takes one minute to manufacture, will be used for ten, before being disregarded and taking hundreds of years to decompose? Millions of plastic straws are found on the beaches of Bali every year and they are just one of the many items that are littered and washed ashore on this island and across national parks every single day.

 

Plastic pollution is becoming a huge problem worldwide and our Bali wildlife rescue volunteers aim to fight the battle against this environmental catastrophe. Our team promotes this by hosting regular beach cleans with our international volunteers and the local community. Every day, our volunteers visit local beaches to collect disregarded items, before correctly disposing and recycling these. In addition, we also work with local people to create an even bigger impact, by educating them about environmental conservation and recycling. Above all, education and awareness is a crucial factor in encouraging a sustainable lifestyle to tackle this global issue.

 

Mangrove Conservation – Bali wildlife rescue volunteers also sometimes work with local villages to restore existing mangroves, which have been affected by climate change and littering. Our conservation volunteers work directly with the villages to help them plant mangrove plants and educate the villagers about restoring ecosystems and environmental conservation. As a result, the knowledge will pass on from generation to generation. This is another important way to raise awareness and support sustainable development across the world during your Bali volunteer program.

 

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY

As a wildlife volunteer in Bali, your main project will be based at the wildlife rescue centre, which is 5 minutes away by minivan. The daily shifts run from 8-10.30am and 2-4pm. While on the project you will work alongside the animal keeper and other staff members who have years of experience interacting with animals.

 

The beach cleans are about 20 minutes away by minivan, usually from 8-10am or 3-5pm. If your volunteer work in Bali includes the mangrove restoration, you will be transported by private car as it’s about an hour away, normally between 7-11.30am.

 

In general, Bali wildlife rescue volunteers are expected to work for around 3-5 hours per day from Monday-Thursday. The activities you will get involved in during your time on the volunteer in Bali projects include:

 

Feeding – These animals are fed based on the species and time of year. For instance, the crocodiles are fed two times a week with things like chicken or duck, while monkeys are fed daily with fruits. You will be able to cut and prepare meals based on the species you are working with and learn about the types of food that are best.

 

Enrichment – Many of these animals are endangered and have come from the loss of their native habitat or poor treatment in the black market. Their displacement often leaves these animals irritable and at times depressed, causing them to have poor eating habits or behaviour. Your time interacting with them and coaching them on things such as eating, foraging, play or social interaction with other animals is imperative. Over time these animals may just learn to trust you and in turn, you could find one of those pretty Parakeets on your forearm.

 

Enclosure Cleaning – These enclosures are made for each animal based on the feedback of the veterinarian during the first assessment. You may find the enclosures to be small, but some animals who are irritable find it more comfortable to be in smaller spaces. Over time the enclosures will be expanded and eventually they will be released back into the wild. The crocodiles tend to need the brush cleared back to keep them from being confined to one area, so an example of this upkeep would be cutting the brush back, while the staff keep the crocodile occupied. In the bird enclosures, the branches and chains may need to be replaced and cleaned as they begin to rot. If you are comfortable they will let you clean and make repairs in the enclosure with these beauties flying all around you!

 

Maintenance – The rescue centre is a great place, but with limited funding it could do with some tender loving care. Volunteers will be asked to help with creating a better atmosphere for the animals by clearing up the grounds. While you are doing a bit of upkeep this can include fixing the hinges on enclosure doors, relining the fencing, adding new gating on the enclosure, repairing the habitats or cleaning the grounds of rubbish and weeds.

 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING WITH WILDLIFE IN BALI

Individual Project Availability – The European summer months (June-August) is our peak time for volunteer work in Bali. As a consequence, volunteers may be allocated to alternative placements (outside the project examples above) during their time on the program in this period.

 

Weekends – Your project work in Bali runs from Monday-Thursday and weekends are free (Friday-Sunday). You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Bali Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for Bali. We offer the Gili Paradise Island Trip along with the Ubud Trip with opportunities running every month.

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (SJO) on the selected Sunday start date.

 

The following itinerary is based on a standard 20-week Ultimate Round the World Encounter (i.e. 2 weeks per destination). If you opt for the 30 or 40-week options then you will split your time equally across each of the 10 destinations. For example, the 30-week option involves spending 3 weeks across the destinations and the 40-week option involves 4 weeks per destination. For the South Africa segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Cape Town. For the Sri Lanka segment of the route, this itinerary is based on joining us in Ambalangoda. The itinerary will follow a similar format as below.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to Costa Rica

 

Welcome to Costa Rica! You will be met at San Jose airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take around 45 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Volunteers are advised to note the local team does not work on Sunday. Moreover, the accommodation is more designed for independent living. Should volunteers need any food or supplies for the rest of the arrival day they will need to plan ahead. Therefore, international volunteers are advised to withdraw or change a small amount of money at the airport. Finally, you should ask the pickup driver to stop at the supermarket on the drive back to the accommodation.

Day 2 (Monday) - Orientation in Costa Rica

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in Costa Rica will take place on Monday.

 

After a good first night’s rest in Coronado, it’s time to begin your induction into life in Costa Rica. Your day will kick-start with a placement testing that aims to identify your level of Spanish. This test is not to be intimidating, rather to simply ascertain the level of Spanish you are at. This will, in turn, mean that your classes during your first week can be tailored accordingly. There is, therefore, no need to worry or stress on this in advance! After the test, you will learn about the history of the Spanish school and your schedule. During your ‘new student’ introduction, you will meet the team and travel around Coronado.

 

The local team will teach you about life in Costa Rica, the ‘dos and don’ts’, culture and religion. They will spend time talking through the transport system, weekend opportunities, safety advice and all the projects we support within the community. There are lots of cultural activities arranged by the local team that you can get involved in at a low cost. From salsa to cooking classes and visits to nearby waterfalls, there’s something for everyone. If these sound like activities of interest, you can speak to the team about getting these arranged.

 

For the final part of the day, your coordinators will take you to see some important spots in Coronado. Our team will help you locate every essential you may need during your time, such as the ATM and bus-stop! They’ll also be sure to show you the gym and restaurants. If you need to exchange money, there will be a chance for you to do this too. In short, your orientation as a volunteer in Costa Rica will consist of a written and oral Spanish test, a presentation from the local team, your first Spanish lesson and a walking tour of the local area.  

Day 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) - Learn Spanish in Costa Rica Week

 

The time in class will be around 4 hours each morning. In addition to this, there are also cultural activities to get involved in during the afternoon. Activities include salsa classes, Costa Rican fruit tasting and visits to museums. More adventurous activities extend to hiking in the Coronado cloud forest, trips to volcanoes and coffee tasting!

 

Such activities usually run a couple of times each week and change on a weekly basis to keep the variety. Some of the activities may have small fees associated with them for logistics and materials. In addition, the activities usually require a minimum number sign up to ensure they run. The best part of these activities is that you are interacting with your peers and other Spanish speaking locals. Such an experience allows volunteers to learn Spanish and the culture of this beautiful country.

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) - Weekend in Costa Rica!

 

After a week of learning Spanish, it is your time to explore the wonders of Costa Rica. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend surfing by the beach, a mesmerizing visit to the cloud forest, some adventure activities in the jungles of Monteverde or Arenal volcano or a more cultural experience locally – Costa Rica has it all! As a volunteer in Costa Rica, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. 

Day 9 (Monday) - Volunteering Begins in Costa Rica

 

You will start your volunteer work on Monday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team is only a phone call away. You will see Costa Rica coordinators throughout the day at the Spanish School. This is located adjacent to the Volunteer House. The team is always happy to help and hear how your volunteer work in Costa Rica is progressing.

Day 10-14 (Tuesday-Saturday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Tuesday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Saturday will either be a free day for you or a transit day depending on your flight schedule. 

Day 15 (Sunday) Goodbye Costa Rica - Hello Peru!

 

Our in-country team will help you organise your transfer to Juan Santamaria International Airport for your flight to Peru. Please note this transfer is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to Peru! You will be met at Cusco airport by your homestay parent(s) who will be holding a name sign. The journey to the accommodation will take around 15 minutes, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

 

Day 16 (Monday) Orientation in Peru!

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in Peru will begin on Monday at the Spanish school. This is also where you will find the offices of our local team. Usually, a member of the host family will show you how to navigate to the Spanish school on your first day.  

 

Across the morning, our local team will teach you about life in Peru and ‘dos and don’ts’. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the transport system. Our team will also talk through safety advice and all the projects volunteers in Peru support in the community. Depending on your program, your morning may also involve visiting your volunteer project location. 

 

You will also learn about the history of the Spanish school and its origins. Most noteworthy, you will find out about the learn Spanish in Peru schedule should you have signed up for Spanish lessons. Alternatively, if you are yet to sign up for Spanish lessons then you can arrange this during your orientation day. Furthermore, our local team will inform you about the weekly social activity volunteers can engage with. For example, cultural activities like salsa dancing and cooking lessons for local delicacies! 

 

The local team will also give you a presentation at the office to develop your knowledge and understanding of life in Peru. More specifically, they will teach you about customs, how to greet people, popular places in the local area and where to find ATMs or change money. The presentation usually lasts around 45 minutes. 

Day 17-20 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Peru

 

You will start your volunteer work in Peru on Tuesday with an induction to your placement. Our local team will meet you as per the time on your first-week schedule for the project. Moreover, the local coordinator will introduce you to the project staff. Similarly, they will explain the travel routes to get too and from the project from your homestay. This usually involves a local bus journey. You will be emailed your first-week schedule from the local team around 1 week before your arrival into Peru.

 

Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Peru coordinators throughout the day at the Spanish School. This is located walking distance from the host family accommodation. In addition, volunteer coordinators will visit the projects from time to time. The team is always happy to help and hear how your volunteer work in Peru is progressing.

 

There is also an optional weekly evening activity for participants to join every Thursday. Activities vary on a weekly basis. They include salsa classes, Peruvian cuisine classes and day trips to local Incan museums.

 

The weekly activity changes on a weekly basis to keep the variety. Some of the activities may have small fees associated with them for logistics and materials. In addition, the activities usually require a minimum number sign up to ensure they run. The best part of these activities is that you are interacting with your peers and other Spanish speaking locals. Such an experience allows volunteers to learn Spanish and the culture of this beautiful country.

 

Finally, the team try and hold weekly feedback with participants every Thursday. They usually take place in a one to one format with a member of the local team. Furthermore, the meeting takes place at around 6pm before the weekly social activity begins. Based at the Spanish school, the meetings give you a chance to give the local team feedback on your experience in Peru. Consequently, if there are opportunities for improvement or issues to be addressed the team can handle this pro-actively. As a result, your volunteer experience in Peru will hopefully improve. 

Day 21-22 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Peru!

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Peru.  Whether you are delving deeper into Cusco, travelling to Rainbow Mountain or more adventurous activities trekking to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu – Peru has it all.  As a volunteer in Peru, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

Day 23-27 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 28 (Saturday) Last Day in Peru!

Unfortunately, today is your last day in Peru and in South America! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. It is time to say goodbye to Peru and get ready for South Africa! Your host family can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

Day 29 (Sunday) Hello South Africa!

Welcome to South Africa! Volunteers will be picked up at Cape Town airport by a local backpacker bus. You will then be taken to our Volunteer House in downtown Cape Town. The journey will take around 20 minutes, depending on traffic. The drive will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing location. 

 

You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in. Depending on your arrival time, the hostel manager may take you on a walking tour of the local area. As a result, you can get acquainted with where the ATM, supermarket, laundry service etc are located. Alternatively, if you have a later arrival time into Cape Town on Sunday this will take place on the following day. 

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation in South Africa

Your orientation as a volunteer in South Africa will begin on Monday. After breakfast, you will be picked up and taken to our local team’s office in central Cape Town. For the reason that the theoretical part of your in-country orientation will take place here. Alternatively, if it is only a small group partaking in the orientation then this will take place at the Volunteer House. 

 

Over the course of the morning, our local team will talk through all aspects of the program. For example, they will teach you about South African culture, safety issues and local transport. Moreover, our team will also explain everything you need to know about the volunteer projects, the ‘dos and don’ts’, and answer any other questions you may have about your time as a volunteer in South Africa. Finally, there will also be a chance to learn about travel opportunities and experiences to engage in outside of your volunteer work in South Africa.  

 

After your initial briefing, and a chance to purchase lunch in town, it’s time to explore the area. Most importantly, let’s check out what Cape Town has to offer! You will be taken on a walking tour of this great city. As a result, you will get the chance to see some of the city’s major sites. In the same vein, you will also learn about its tragic history. 

 

In addition, our local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. Therefore, you will leave how to navigate the markets and malls and where to find the nearest shops, ATMs and bus stop! On completion of your city tour, the rest of the day is free to spend time hanging out with fellow volunteers. Alternatively, take the time to prepare for your upcoming South Africa volunteer program. 

 

Please note, the walking tour only takes place when there is a big arrival group. Should there only be a handful of arrivals, then, unfortunately, the walking tour will not take place. However, in your first few days, you will soon acclimatise and find yourself navigating Cape Town at your leisure with your fellow volunteers! 

Day 31-34 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in South Africa

Tuesday will be your first day at the volunteer project. On the induction day, our local team would have illustrated to you how to travel to and from the project. In most cases, you will travel to the project with a fellow volunteer. Alternatively, a local coordinator will travel with you and introduce you to the project themselves. Spend the first couple of days getting into the swing of things and working out your weekly schedule. 

 

Volunteers will usually have a 1 hour lunch break during each volunteering day. You may decide to arrange a packed lunch before you leave for the project in the morning. Alternatively, choose to buy lunch from a nearby cafe or restaurant. Cape Town is a fun place to be with lots to do in the evenings. However, we expect you to be committed to your volunteer project and punctual at all times. Remember that our local team are only ever a phone call away should you need anything! 

Day 35-36 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in South Africa!

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of South Africa. Whether you are delving deeper into the huge numbers of trips and activities around Cape Town or heading further afield on safari or to the wine regions – South Africa has it all.  As a volunteer in South Africa, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Garden Route and the Western Cape

Day 37-41 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 42 (Saturday) Goodbye South Africa!

 

Unfortunately, Saturday is your last day in South Africa! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. It is time to say goodbye to South Africa but get ready for Tanzania! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

Day 43 (Sunday) Hello Tanzania!

 

Karibu! On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by a member of the PMGY team who will take you to our Volunteer House in Arusha. The journey takes around 1 hour. The rest of the day you can relax, meet other volunteers and begin to enjoy your first glimpses of Tanzania. 

 
 
If you arrive early in the morning and if you are not too jet-lagged, you may get the opportunity to begin your orientation period early in the afternoon. Otherwise, the local team will be able to help you arrange anything you may require in this first day in order to settle in.

Day 44 (Monday) Orientation in Tanzania

Your orientation as a volunteer in Tanzania will begin on Monday. You will spend the day learning about life in Tanzania and preparing for your upcoming volunteer program. Our local team will teach you about Tanzanian culture, the Swahili language and safety issues.

 

The day will begin with the theoretical aspects. This will include important health and safety information for your time as a volunteer in Tanzania. Additionally, your coordinators will talk through your project. The team will brief you about what is expected from you and what you can expect. You will then head off into the centre of Arusha for your tour of the area. Our team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time, from the nearest shop to ATM to bus stop! There will be a chance for you to purchase some lunch, as well as a SIM-card, should you wish. Your evening is then free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow volunteers before your first day volunteering on Tuesday.

Day 45-48 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Tanzania

It’s time to start your volunteer placement. Our local team will travel with you to the project on your first day to ensure you receive a comprehensive introduction to the project. This will give you the opportunity to meet your new colleagues, learn about the project and the role you will uphold as a volunteer in Tanzania. 

 

As the week continues, your confidence will grow and you will begin to really come into your own at the volunteer project. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away! They will always be very happy to help you in any way that they can.

Day 49-50 (Saturday & Sunday) Weekend in Tanzania!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Tanzania has it all! As a volunteer in Tanzania, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. 
 
 

Here is an idea of what you could be getting up to: 

 

Climbing Mt Meru – The sister mountain to Kilimanjaro, this is a great option for those who don’t have the time to climb Kilimanjaro. The Mt Meru treks generally take around 4 days and 3 nights. It’s also considerably less expensive than Kili and will include park fees, camping accommodation, meals etc.

 
 
Arusha National Park – Although the smaller of the national parks in the area, it is one of its most beautiful and most topographically varied. Typical costs are between 180-250 USD per day, although this price will largely depend on the number of people in a group. You should also budget for a tip of around 25 USD to 40 USD per day to the guides and cooks. 

 

Shopping at the Maasai Market – A shopper’s paradise; this is the perfect place to find traditional African arts, crafts and paintings. Time to practise your bargaining skills! If you have some extra time before or after your placement you may also want to consider… 

 

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa – Costs start at around 1,400-2,000 USD per person, depending on group size. This includes all meals, camping accommodation etc. You are also expected to tip between 5% to 15% of the total cost of the trek for the guides, porters and cooks. 

 

•  Spotting the Big 5 at Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park – It is recommended to spend at least 3 days on safari as the deeper you go into the parks, the more you will see. The cost is around 180-250 USD per day for all accommodation, meals etc plus a tip of around 25 USD per day to the guides and cooks. 

 

•  Zanzibar Island – You can get a return flight from Arusha to Zanzibar for 150 USD to 200 USD. Typical accommodation costs per night in Zanzibar are around 20-40 USD depending on the area and time of year. On certain dates across the year, our local team also assists volunteers in Tanzania in arranging a trip to Zanzibar Island.

 

Please note there is a strong customary tipping culture when it comes to partaking in safaris or climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru. Staff such as the driver, guide, porter and cook are paid reasonable wages. However, the tips are relied upon by the staff to supplement their wages and so your consideration of their hard work is appreciated. The amounts vary, specific to which activity you complete and can also be relative to the group size; but as a guide budget 25-30 USD per day for tips on safari and 50-65 USD per day for tips when climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru.

Day 51-55 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 56 (Saturday) Last Day in Tanzania!

Unfortunately, today is your last day in Tanzania and Africa! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. We can help you arrange your return airport drop off for your flight to Nepal. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.  

Day 57 (Sunday) Hello Nepal!

Welcome to Nepal! You will be greeted at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu by one of PMGY’s local coordinators holding a PMGY sign. We will transfer you to the volunteer host family accommodation, where you can relax and let home know you have arrived safely. In the evening you will get the chance to experience your first Nepalese dinner.

Day 58-59 (Monday-Tuesday) Orientation in Nepal

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in Nepal will begin on Monday. After a refreshing breakfast, your day will kick off with a 2 hour Nepalese language lesson. Learning Nepalese is not only a great cultural experience, but it is also an important preparation for your volunteer placement. Being able to readily communicate with the locals will make your experience all the more enriching.

 

You will then continue with an introduction to the transport system, safety advice and our Nepal volunteer programs. This theoretical part of the day will be based in your in-country director Asim’s house.

 

After lunch, we will then head into the heart of Kathmandu’s tourist centre. Our local team will take you sightseeing around the city. This will offer you the chance to check-out the famous Monkey Temple, Boudha stupa and Pashupati temple. You will be accompanied by a local team member who will teach you all about Kathmandu’s rich and diverse history.

 

You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM-card and visit the supermarket. You’ll then return back home for a home-cooked evening meal. The rest of the day is a further chance to better know your fellow volunteers.

 

You will complete your orientation the following morning with a cultural lesson. Our local team will teach you about life in Nepal, the “dos and don’ts”, the local culture and religion. After lunch, you can spend the rest of your day how you wish. Perhaps you’ll start your souvenir shopping early, or tick-off some more sightseeing locations.

 

The evening will be your time to pack and prepare before your journey to your volunteer placement location the next day. If the location is close by, you may be dropped off here this evening instead.

 

During your orientation period (Monday-Tuesday), your lunch is not included in your Program Fee. Additionally, you must budget for entrance fees to any tour sites visited during the orientation.

Day 60 (Wednesday) – Travel To Your Placement in Nepal

 

On Wednesday morning you will move to your project location. If you’re a volunteer in Nepal placed in Chitwan or Pokhara, then you will take the tourist bus. Our local team will take you to the bus station and ensure you have your ticket and seat on the bus. The buses are comfortable, come with air conditioning and reclining seats.

 

On arrival into Chitwan or Pokhara bus station, each volunteer in Nepal will be picked up by one of our local coordinators who will take you to your accommodation. The cost of your bus ticket and transfer to/from the bus station is included in your Program Fee.

 

Each volunteer in Nepal is advised to note that depending on road, weather and traffic conditions the journey times from Kathmandu to Chitwan or Pokhara can take anywhere from 7-12 hours.

 

If your placement is in Kathmandu then one of our local coordinators will take you to your host family or project residence.

Day 61-62 (Thursday-Friday) - Volunteering Begins in Nepal

 

You will start your volunteer work in Nepal on Thursday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away.

Day 63-64 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Nepal!

 

The weekend is your time to explore the wonders of Nepal. Each volunteer in Nepal is offered a choice of rural and urban locations in this stunning and visually arresting country, with volunteer programs in Chitwan, Pokhara and Kathmandu. Each location is unique in its own way. These off the beaten track destinations offers such stark and beautiful scenic contrasts from mountains to jungles. There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Alternatively, there are also plenty of local sites to explore too! From jungles to lakes to mountains – Nepal has it all.

 

As a volunteer in Nepal, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team run structured trips on a Chitwan safari and Pokhara trekking trip. 

Day 65-69 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Sadly Friday is your last day at the project residence but the good news is you’re heading back to Kathmandu.

Day 70 (Saturday) Back in Kathmandu

 

Saturday is your last full day in Nepal and you will spend this in Kathmandu. You will have a full free day to explore this fascinating city further. Your transport costs back to Kathmandu are included in your Program Fee and you will be met at Kathmandu bus station to come back to our local teams’ accommodation.

Day 71 (Sunday) Goodbye Nepal - Hello India!

 

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to Nepal but get ready for India! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is included in your Program Fee. 

 

Welcome to India! Volunteers in India will be met at Indira Gandhi International Airport by a member of our local team, or one of our appointed drivers, who will be holding a name sign. 

 

As a volunteer in India, you will be taken straight to our Volunteer House, which is about 40 miles away. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to depending on the traffic. The rest of the day is relatively informal, as we may have volunteers arriving throughout the day. This is the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest, get to know the rest of your group and become familiar with your accommodation.

Day 72 (Monday) Orientation in India

 

Your orientation as a volunteer in India will begin on Monday. After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we will begin the orientation day. The day will kick-off with the theoretical aspects. During this, our team will cover everything from health and safety, language, money matters, cultural differences, rules and regulations. This part of the orientation usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours in the morning. 

 

Following this, you will have the opportunity to visit our main project base within the local slum community. Here, the team will outline the background behind the project and introduce you to the local staff. Our teaching and medical volunteer opportunities are based within this location. Then, following a hearty lunch back at the Volunteer House, the local team will help arrange SIM cards and money exchange for those who require assistance. 

 

As a volunteer in India, you are strongly advised to purchase an Indian SIM at a cost of roughly 300 INR. This means that volunteers are required to have an unlocked phone. SIM-cards are very important, allowing volunteers in India to contact each other and the team. This is particularly vital in times of emergency. Mobile numbers with the local team must be exchanged upon arrival. 

 

The group will then venture out to explore a local temple and visit the market. On an ad hoc basis, the local team may be able to arrange an afternoon tour around Delhi for a small cost. Other options may include: visiting a monkey temple (~ 500 INR), pottery lesson (~ 600 INR) and a culture class. These afternoon activities are voluntary and can also take place across the week. This means that the associated costs, including travel, are paid for by volunteers, dependent on participation. Please note that all activities are not guaranteed and are both weather and staff dependent. The evening is then free for volunteers to lesson plan, relax or arrange to go into Delhi if they so wish.

Day 73-76 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in India

 

On Tuesday, you will start your volunteer placement. The first couple of days should be spent learning the ropes and getting to know the people at the project. As the week goes on you will find that your role develops as you begin to get more comfortable. You will also have regular interaction with our local coordinators. Whatever the problem, big or small, you’ll be fully supported throughout your time with PMGY. 

 

On average, you will volunteer for around 3-5 hours per day. This will usually take place in the morning, however, this will ultimately be dependent on your project. You will also have the chance to discuss with your local coordinator about the possibility of getting involved in more than one project.

 

To help make your evenings more entertaining, our local team are always happy to arrange cultural activities if volunteers wish to join. These include a Bollywood dance class (~200 INR), cooking class (~300 INR and a Yoga class (~200 INR).

Day 77-78 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in India!

 

The choices in India are endless! Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend in the mountains, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – India has it all! As a volunteer in India, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. 

 

As PMGY receives a high number of volunteers to India, particularly in the summer months, you will have no problem finding a travel buddy or two to travel around with! Also during this period, our local team also help to arrange a trip to Dharamshala, as well as a Golden Triangle Trip.

 

There isn’t a huge amount to do in Faridabad itself, meaning that evenings during the weekdays tend to be quiet. This means that you should take the opportunity to travel at the weekend.

Day 79-83 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 84 (Saturday) Goodbye India - Hello Sri Lanka!

 

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to India but get ready for Sri Lanka! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to Sri Lanka! You will be met at Colombo airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Ambalangoda will take around 2 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and settle in.

Day 85 (Sunday) Orientation in Sri Lanka

 

Your orientation will begin on Sunday. Our local team will teach you about life in Sri Lanka, the “dos and don’ts”, local culture and religion. Your coordinator will introduce you to the transport system, safety advice and outline all the projects we support in the community. If you wish to take part in multiple projects during your time as a volunteer in Sri Lanka, this can be discussed during your orientation.

 

In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around Ambalangoda. You will visit the longest sleeping Buddha statue in Asia, an original blue moonstone mine and perhaps some famous Buddhist temples. You will also have the chance to change money, buy a local phone or SIM-card and visit the supermarket.

Day 86-90 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Sri Lanka

 

You will start your volunteer work in Sri Lanka on Monday morning.

 

Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see Sri Lanka coordinators throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

Day 91-92 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Sri Lanka!

 

After a week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka. Whether you are staying local in Hikkaduwa and Galle, travelling to Ella or completing more adventurous activities hiking Adam’s Peak or taking an elephant safari – Sri Lanka has it all. As a volunteer in Sri Lanka, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team run structured trips on a Cultural Triangle and Adventure Safari weekend trip. 

Day 93-97 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 98 (Saturday) Last Day in Sri Lanka!

 

Unfortunately, today is your last day in Sri Lanka! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. It is time to say goodbye to Sri Lanka and get ready for Vietnam! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

Day 99 (Sunday) Hello Vietnam!

Welcome to Vietnam! You will be met at Noi Bai International Airport by a driver from our local team, holding a sign with your name on it. They will take you straight to the Volunteer House where you can relax and meet your fellow volunteers. You will also receive your locker key and house key. 
 
 
 
Should you arrive in the morning or early afternoon, our local coordinators will give you a brief guide of the local area via a neighbourhood tour. If not, you will get the chance to explore the local neighbourhood on the following day.   
 
 
 
After getting your bearings, you will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know other volunteers in Vietnam.

Day 100 (Monday) Orientation Begins in Vietnam

 
 
Your orientation as a volunteer in Vietnam will begin on Thursday and will commence until the end of the weekend. The first day (Thursday) will cover all the theoretical aspects, with an insight into the overall program, Vietnamese history, culture and language. The team will go through all the relevant safety protocols. This will include staff contact details, ‘do’s and don’ts’ and advice for staying safe in your free time. 

 
 
You will meet various coordinators across the day who will take different leads during this induction to the program in Vietnam. The rest of this jam-packed day will cover an overview of your volunteer project and useful tips for your placement. The team will talk you through how to deal with potentially challenging situations. This will be ended with a fun and interactive Vietnamese language lesson.
 

Day 101 (Tuesday) Orientation Continues in Vietnam

 
 
On Friday, your project coordinator will take you to visit your volunteer project and meet the local staff. Today will be a great opportunity for you to get a feel for the program before officially starting on Monday. If you are feeling confident, it may even be possible to begin the project in full on this day!

Day 102-104 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Vietnam

 

Now your volunteering begins! Should you need anything whilst at the project, our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinators throughout the day at the Volunteer House; they are always happy to help. You will also be assigned to a specific coordinator from the team, who will help you settle into your project initially. They will then visit you across each week, and will also be available for advice back at the Volunteer House. 

Day 105-106 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Vietnam!

 
 
After a hard week of volunteering, it is your time to explore the wonders of Vietnam. Whether you are looking to soak up some culture, relax by the lake or cruise around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam has it all! As a volunteer in Vietnam, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team help to organise trips to Sapa and Ha Long Bay.

Day 107-112 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Week

 

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 113 (Sunday) Last Day in Vietnam!

 

Sunday is your last full day in Vietnam and you will spend this in Hanoi. You will have a full free day to explore this fascinating city further.

Day 114 (Monday) Goodbye Vietnam - Hello Cambodia!

 

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to Vietnam but get ready for Cambodia! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to Cambodia! You will be met at Phnom Penh airport by a member of our local team or an appointed driver who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Bakod village will take around 1.5 hours, depending on traffic. Upon arrival at the volunteer in Cambodia accommodation, you will be shown around the volunteer grounds and have your initial introduction with fellow peers.

 

After getting your bearings, you will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know other volunteers in Cambodia. Depending on what time you arrive on Monday, you may be able to observe and get involved in the project, if you are not too tired!

Day 115 (Tuesday) Orientation in Cambodia

Your orientation as a volunteer in Cambodia will usually begin on Tuesday. The local team will teach you about the program setup, ‘dos and don’ts’, the local area and give an idea on what to do on weekends. Your orientation will in Cambodia is quite brisk as it intertwines with a normal project day. It is therefore likely that you will find yourself involved in the day to day of the project from Tuesday onwards. The Tuesday afternoon will therefore provide you with a chance to get your first full taste of how the project works. You will begin to meet your fellow volunteers, local staff and children that attend the projects. Where possible, our team will look to buddy you with another volunteer for your first couple days at the project. However, there can be occasions where volunteers must independently take the lead at the project. Although this can appear a little daunting, our local team are always on hand to support you. It doesn’t take long for volunteers in Cambodia to get to grips with the project life!

 

You can also have the chance to pop into a local town, around 7km away from the project. Here, you will have the chance to visit the local market, go to the ATM, buy a local phone or SIM-card and visit the convenience stores. The price of this can be shared between those catching the tuk-tuk at the time.

Day 116-118 (Wednesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins in Cambodia

You will start your work as a volunteer in Cambodia more formally on Wednesday. Depending on the number of volunteers at the time, our team will try and buddy you up with other participants whilst you settle into the program. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away! However, members of the team can always be found walking around or assisting at the project, meaning that there will always be someone on hand to help!

 

Across the evenings, volunteers in Cambodia will often relax around the dinner table, play games, or perhaps organise movie and quiz nights. There is also a local cafe for volunteers to pop to for a change of scenery.

Day 119-120 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend in Cambodia!

Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience – Cambodia has it all! As a volunteer in Cambodia, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips.

Day 121-126 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Day 127 (Sunday) Goodbye Cambodia - Hello Bali!

Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to Cambodia but get ready for Bali! We can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

 

Welcome to Bali! You will be met at Ngurah Rai Airport by a member of our local team who will be holding a name sign. The journey to Tabanan will take up to 2 hours, depending on traffic. You will have the rest of the day to relax and get to know your fellow volunteers.

Day 128 (Monday) Orientation in Bali

Your orientation as a volunteer in Bali will begin on Monday. The local team will start the day by teaching you about life in Bali, the “dos and don’ts”, the local culture and religion.

 
 
Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the local language and safety advice whilst you volunteer in Bali. Our team will also talk through all the projects we support in the community. After lunch, you will visit the local Subak museum. Your tour here will offer you the chance to learn more about traditional Balinese agriculture.

 

Later in the day, our team will conduct a local tour of the area. Your coordinator will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time as a volunteer in Bali. From the nearest supermarket, ATM, and even a bakery, you will become an expert in the local area. You will have your first glance of a traditional Balinese market, and the chance to also get a local SIM-card.

 

Your evening is free to relax, catch up on sleep, and get to know your fellow volunteers. You may even start preparing for your volunteer in Bali placement.

Day 129-131 (Tuesday-Thursday) Volunteering Begins in Bali

You will start your volunteer work in Bali on Tuesday morning. Should you need anything whilst at the project, remember our local team are only a phone call away. You will see our coordinator throughout the day at the Volunteer House and they are always happy to help.

Day 132-134 (Friday-Sunday) Weekend in Bali!

The weekend is your time to explore the wonders of Bali. Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend by the beach in Canggu, some adventure activities, or a more cultural experience in Ubud – Bali has it all. As a volunteer in Bali, our team both welcomes and encourages participants to explore the country’s wonderful treasures. They will be very happy to help you plan your weekend opportunities and outline any travel tips. There are also set dates across the year in which our local team run structured trips on a Gili Island and Ubud & Mountain weekend trip. 

Day 135-139 (Monday-Friday) The Following Week

Your next week will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday-Thursday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your phone, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

 

Friday will be a free day for you. Take the time to travel one final time during the Asia part of your Ultimate Round The World Encounter! Alternatively, stay local and pick up some last-minute souvenirs! 

Day 140 (Saturday) Last Day

Unfortunately, today is your last day with PMGY and the end of your Ultimate Round the World Encounter! Spend your last day packing, buying any last-minute gifts and bidding farewell to the friends you have made along the way. If you are heading home then we can help you arrange your return airport drop off. Please note that this is not included in your Program Fee.

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances. This includes for the orientation periods in each country which may be more basic in some countries depending on specific day of arrival.

CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP

Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?

Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.

Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other travel organisations?

The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience. 

 

Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.

 

Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests. 

What are the requirements to volunteer on the Encounter?

PMGY welcomes gap year around the world trip volunteers of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak the local dialects. However, you will find that learning a few local words in each destination in your days with us will go a long way.

 

As a gap year around the world trip volunteer, you must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program. 

What are the Encounter volunteer program start dates?

The program start dates as a gap year around the world trip volunteer are as follows –

  

9th January 2022
6th February 2022
6th March 2022
3rd April 2022
1st May 2022
5th June 2022
3rd July 2022
7th August 2022
4th September 2022
2nd October 2022
4th December 2022

What date should I arrive and leave the Encounter volunteer program?

For your gap year around the world trip, you should book your flights to Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose on the Sunday start date. The airport code is SJO. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The program ends in Bali on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day. As a result, your final flight as a gap year around the world trip volunteer should depart from Denpasar International Airport in Bali. The airport code is DPS.

When is the best time of year to volunteer on the Encounter?

Feedback from gap year around the world trip volunteers often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community. 

Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer on the Encounter?

In order to join as a gap year around the world trip volunteer, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25. 

 

There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range. 

When should I apply to be an Encounter volunteer?

For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.

 

Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date. 

Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.

 

Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact with have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.

 

The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.

 

When you join as a gap year around the world trip volunteer, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas. 

 

When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.

When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.

 

Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.

Can I use the program as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to be a gap year around the world trip volunteer as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your time as a gap year around the world trip volunteer will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements. 

 

First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after a gap year around the world trip volunteer has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in each destination can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For the PMGY gap year around the world trip volunteers, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you have chosen an English teaching volunteer program in one of your destinations and would like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’. 

 

The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.

Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?

With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the gap year around the world trip. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that gap year around the world trip volunteers set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip. 

 

PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For gap year around the world trip volunteers looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.

How do I register for your online webinars?

Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide gap year around the world trip volunteers with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.

 

For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs. 

 

For gap year around the world trip volunteers who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?

It is possible that as a gap year around the world trip volunteer you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights to volunteer on the Ultimate Round the World Encounter?

When you apply to be a gap year around the world trip volunteer, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a gap year around the world trip volunteer has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it 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. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would 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.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

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). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

How do I obtain a background check?

To become a gap year around the world trip volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions. 

 

If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid DBS check , then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a gap year around the world trip volunteer.

 

For gap year around the world trip volunteers from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body. 

 

For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All gap year around the world trip volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook for each destination they join us in once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbooks. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

Each Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare for each of your destinations as a gap year around the world trip volunteer. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbooks for each destination carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options on the gap year around the world trip volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our gap year around the world trip volunteers.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a gap year around the world trip volunteer. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program. 

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in each of your destinations. 

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.

 

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a gap year around the world trip volunteer can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a gap year around the world trip volunteer, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as a gap year around the world trip volunteer.

ACCOMMODATION

COSTA RICA

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Costa Rica volunteer programs you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in Coronado, a suburb of San Jose. You will find restaurants, convenience stores, cafés, pubs and ATMs all within walking distance. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is comfortable and comes with free Wi-Fi. Each room has single beds with up to 3 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with cupboard space and bed linens. Bathrooms are shared but have a hot shower and western-style toilet.

 

The house has a communal area for international volunteers to hang out after completing volunteer work in Costa Rica. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks to store any valuables in your own bags. However, there is a safe in each room for shared storage should you wish to use this. In addition, there will be fridge space available for volunteers to store any chilled items. The Volunteer House has a laundry room on-site. Consequently, you can do all your own washing equipped with washers and dryers!

 

Volunteers are a short walk from the centre of Coronado. As a result, many restaurants, supermarkets and volunteer projects are nearby! The residence accommodation is in a compound that comes with 24 hour security. Moreover, there is a digital keypad to open and close the front gates. This is to ensure that volunteers are safe. There are fully equipped kitchens to prepare all of your food within the house. To sum up, the volunteer accommodation setup offers volunteers a unique experience. That is, you get the opportunity to live with other volunteers as well as an independent living environment. 

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in Costa Rica program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

PERU

Homestay

 

During your time on the Peru volunteer programs, you will live in our homestay family accommodation. The accommodation is basic but comfortable and located in the city of Cusco. You’ll be living with local families who will guide you in Cusco. Furthermore, they will help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! It is important to note that the homestay families usually have very limited English.

 

The host families are located just outside of central Cusco. They are all within 30 minutes bus of your volunteer work in Peru. In addition, the volunteer homestays are usually walking distance from the local team’s offices. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.

 

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is usually warm (although can be a victim to power cuts) to ensure you keep warm in the chilly nights of Cusco! The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. However, please ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance. 

 

The host families will prepare all meals across your time on the project with us (including a packed lunch if you wish). The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, yet they love to interact with volunteers. Therefore they will be excited to hear about your days and experiences in Peru. Above all, the host family set-up ensures you have round the clock support and security. In addition, you will get the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.

 

Your host family location is usually linked to your volunteer in Peru project location. For the reason that it allows for more practical logistics to get to and from the project. Therefore, should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on your online application.

SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the South Africa volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in Observatory – better known as ‘Obz’ by the locals! Home to South African’s oldest Astronomical Observatory, this is Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb; an arty district. The main entertainment area is located only a 10 minute walk from the hostel, along lower Main Road. During the day, this road is home to various boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. However, at night, the street comes to life, with a vibrant nightlife.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable. Moreover, Wi-Fi is available, but there will be a small charge via a voucher system. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room. These are usually single-sex rooms, although this cannot be guaranteed. Bathrooms are shared, with showers and western-style toilets. During the winter period (June to August) it can get quite cold, so please bring warm clothes. International volunteers are provided with a bedsheet and blanket. However, you may also choose to bring a sleeping bag or buy an additional blanket from the local store for extra warmth. 

 

The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out after completing volunteer work in South Africa. Moreover, the Volunteer House comes with sofas, a flat-screen TV and DVD player. In addition, there will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any chilled items. Each volunteer will be assigned their own lockable cupboard for the safekeeping of small valuable items. For example, this could be storing your passport and/or money. Therefore, volunteers are advised to bring with them a small lock to make use of these.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in South Africa program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SOUTH AFRICA - PORT ELIZABETH

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the South Africa volunteer programs you will live in one of our Volunteer Houses. This is located right in the middle of the reserve compound. The accommodation is basic but comfortable. Furthermore, it offers a friendly and lively atmosphere for international volunteers. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

We will transport you via jeep to and from the accommodation for your volunteer work in South Africa. Volunteers will be transported to each volunteering activity on the reserve. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

You will be housed in either the Kubs Quarters or Mafusa Camp dorms. The dorms are single-sex dorms. Volunteers are provided with bed linen, cupboard space and a mini-locker safe to store any valuables. We strongly recommend that volunteers bring a padlock. Alternatively,  they can often be bought from our small shop on-site if forgotten. Bathrooms are shared In a dorm-like form with a western-style toilet. In addition, hot showers are usually available. 

 

There are communal areas across the accommodation. They come with comfortable sofas, fridge space, books and tea/coffee stations to enjoy some relaxation. Wi-Fi is available (although intermittent) in the main lounge area outside of volunteering hours. This is a short walk from the volunteer accommodation. Volunteers have access to the swimming pool, tennis courts and entertainment room during downtime as well. 

 

Furthermore, a chargeable laundry service also operates once per week for all volunteer in South Africa participants. As a result, volunteers can hand over their clothes to be washed, dried and returned to them. Most importantly, the reserve has on-site security throughout. This includes around the accommodation compound and on the main entrance into the reserve.

 

TANZANIA

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Tanzania volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the town of Arusha, a city located at the foot of Mount Meru. Our volunteer programs are also located in this region. Our accommodation is located within a quiet neighbourhood of the city. However, there are a number of restaurants, supermarkets and ATMs only a walk or short Dala Dala journey away from the Volunteer House. 

 

As a volunteer in Tanzania, you will be living with other international volunteers. The Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each volunteer in Tanzania is provided with a mosquito net and their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. When possible, there is hot-water in the accommodation.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within the house. This can be intermittent, therefore volunteers in Tanzania are also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. The accommodation has a communal area with comfy sofas to relax in during the evening. There is also a refrigerator for volunteers to store food and drinks as they wish. There is a weekly laundry service available for a nominal fee, or volunteers in Tanzania may choose to hand wash their clothes. For extra security, a nightguard is employed on the premises. Individuals on a volunteer trip to Tanzania are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Tanzania. It is recommended that volunteers pack ear-plugs if they choose to stay in the Volunteer House across the weekend. This follows events held at the restaurant across the road from the Volunteer House during this time. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in Tanzania although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours. 

 

Our in-country directors live on-site of the volunteer accommodation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. There is a great atmosphere at the accommodation and you will meet some wonderful people to share your experience with. Most of our volunteer projects in Tanzania are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, you will need to travel to and from the volunteer placement each day. The local team will introduce you to different options during your orientation. 

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

NEPAL

The first few days of your Nepal volunteer program will be based in Kathmandu, living with our host team in their family home. The accommodation here is nice and comfortable, has Wi-Fi and is a nice welcome to life in Nepal. Your accommodation after these few days will depend on which program you are joining. The host team will keep in touch with you throughout your stay, plus there will be local staff at your accommodation site as your main point of contact during your volunteer placement. Your final night on the program will be back in Kathmandu at the family home before you depart for the airport.

 
 
It is important to note that for your volunteer work in Nepal the accommodation will be comfortable but generally very basic; particularly in rural locations. Most accommodation will have western-style toilets, however, some options only have Nepali style squat toilets so be prepared! More rural placements have bucket showers. Most accommodation does not have Wi-Fi access and electricity is intermittent so it’s a good idea to bring a torch and plenty of books! It’s a wonderfully rustic way to live and a million miles away from today’s hectic, hi-tech lifestyle, so enjoy every peaceful second!

 

Children’s Home

 

The children’s homes we support in Chitwan and Pokhara have separate living quarters for childcare volunteers in Nepal, which are located next to the project. Each site will have the house mother as your main point of contact for support and safety. The rooms are basic and fit between 2 and 4 people with bedding provided. Wi-Fi may be available in communal areas but generally, it is quite intermittent and unreliable. You should expect cold showers, potentially even bucket showers, and usually, there are western toilets. International volunteers have their own space and privacy but are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe. There are small shops around 15 minutes walk from the accommodation, otherwise, the local team can help you to get a bus or taxi into the local towns.

 

Monastery

 

During your time as a volunteer teaching English to monks in Nepal, you will live at one of the monasteries in Kathmandu or Chitwan. International volunteers will sleep in separate living quarters to the monks, where the accommodation is basic but comfortable, usually up to 4 people per room. Volunteers have their own space and privacy, but are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe.

 

The monastery in Chitwan is located in a rural setting so volunteers should not expect western-style toilets, hot water showers or internet access at this monastery. It is situated on a hillside within a jungle, a couple of hours bus ride from the local town.

 

The monasteries in Kathmandu tend to be more modern and are situated in various locations across the valley – some are close to the city centre and others are in more rural areas outside of town with only small shops nearby. Generally, you should expect not to have Wi-Fi or hot showers, but they usually have western-style bathrooms. 

 
 
Living at the monastery is a truly unique experience that can bring with it some amazing views. You’ll hear the gong go off at 5am every morning to call the monks for prayer and meditation – something you’re welcome to take part in! Living life side-by-side with the monks and engaging in simple ritual life is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

Host Family 

 

If you are a volunteer teaching English in Nepal you will be staying with a host family close to your project, usually within easy walking distance. This is a great way to immerse yourself into the Nepalese way of life and get involved in the local community and cultural traditions. The more questions you ask and the efforts you make to socialise with the host family generally correlates to how much they interact with you and open their home to you. You can be sure you will be made to feel like part of the family!

 
 
You will either have a private room or share with fellow volunteers. In general, you will be provided with bedding, a mosquito net and fan. There may be intermittent Wi-Fi available, however, volunteers in Nepal can purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. You are encouraged to only bring essential items during your volunteer work in Nepal and use a padlock to keep valuables safe.

 
 
Please note that some host families have Nepalese toilets. These are squat toilets with a bucket of water to flush, and in more rural locations it can be a hole in the ground. Usually, there will not be hot water and you may have a bucket shower. The level of facilities at the host family will vary depending on how rural the location is, including access to nearby shops.

 

It’s always handy to carry toilet paper and some hand sanitiser when you volunteer in Nepal – just in case. Toilet paper is easy to find in the shops but hand sanitiser is only available in the cities, so it’s worth bringing a couple of bottles from home.

INDIA

Volunteer House

 

On the India volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the centre of Faridabad – a satellite city, located around 15 miles south of India’s capital Delhi. Our main India volunteer programs are also located in this region. There are a number of restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs only a walk or short tuk-tuk journey away from the Volunteer House. 

 

As a volunteer in India, you will be living with other international volunteers. Consequently, you will find that the Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each bedroom is provided with fans and individuals will be provided with their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are also recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. There is no hot-water in the accommodation.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within the house, however, this can be intermittent. Volunteers in India are therefore also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. Throughout the accommodation are numerous communal areas for international volunteers to relax and socialise. There is also a large space for handwashing to be completed, and for clothes to be hung. Alternatively, a laundry service is available for a nominal fee. Individuals on a volunteer trip to India are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can also be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in India. Furthermore, there is a fridge space within the accommodation for volunteers to cool items they need to keep chilled. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in India, although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

The Volunteer House is located on the same quarters as the wonderful host family who coordinates our projects in India. There is a clear divide between the two houses, however, international volunteers still have regular interaction with our local coordinators. Most of our volunteer projects in India are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, our local team will, therefore, transport you to and from the project each day. The cost of this service is included in your Programm Fee. Transport to our volunteering opportunities in India may be via tuk-tuk or minivan.

 

During our busiest months (June to September), you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Sri Lanka volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is just a 10 minute tuk-tuk journey into the main town, where you can find ATMs, supermarkets and local restaurants. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way!

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean, fitting up to 10 people per room in single-sex bedrooms with bunk beds. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and bed linen. You will have cupboard space to store clothes and accessories as well as a personal locker to store your valuables. However, volunteers are still encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Sri Lanka.

 

The bathrooms are shared, each with a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem if you volunteer in Sri Lanka, as the climate is hot and humid all year round!

 

The house has a voucher-based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for international volunteers to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare lesson plans if you are teaching English. There is also a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. A member of our local team will also live at the house. This ensures you have round the clock support and security.

 

We will transport you via tuk-tuk or private car to and from your volunteer placement, which is usually between 5-30 minutes away from the house. This service is included in your Program Fee.

 

During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our alternative Volunteer Houses.

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

Volunteer House

 

When you volunteer in Sri Lanka with elephants, you’ll be staying in the central region of Sri Lanka. The Volunteer House, also known as the Pussellayaya Field House, is located on a scenic hill overlooking a lake and the Knuckles Mountain Range. The accommodation is just 15 minutes from the Wasgamuwa National Park and the local town is named Hettipola.

 

The project accommodation is very basic, but comfortable and clean, fitting up to 8 people per room. On your Sri Lanka volunteer program you will be sure to meet volunteers from around the world, to mix with other cultures and countries in this fantastic setting, as well as having the security knowing that the local team also lives on-site.

 

The Volunteer House has same-sexed bedrooms, sectioned off for privacy situated around two communal social areas. There are shared bathrooms that have western style toilets and cold showers, which will prove refreshing after a hot, humid and energy-sapping day on the project!

 

All of the essentials are provided for you, such as mosquito nets, electric fans, pillows, plug sockets and clean bedsheets. A fridge is provided for volunteers should you want to store any cool items. The Volunteer House has a dining room and lounge area where volunteers gather and socialise during meals and evenings.

 

The accommodation is open and spacious with a high roof, which catches breezes off the lake to keep the house relatively cool during hot days and nights and ensures the house remains dry during the rainy season. You are awoken every morning by the gorgeous sunrise and the vibrant songs of the local birds around. If you wake up early enough, you will be lucky enough to catch the amazing sunrises from the open entrance of the accommodation!

 

There is a communal area where everyone comes together in free time. The accommodation is very simplistic with no entertainment or media such as television, giving a perfect opportunity to interact with fellow volunteers. The walls of the field house are covered in decorative paintings, murals and graffiti done by past volunteers and you are encouraged to pick up a paintbrush and contribute to brightening up the house surroundings! There are many board games and local games to get involved with to keep you occupied or simply choose to read a book on the veranda as the sunsets down in the evening!

 

You will be transported to the national park for your project, where your schedule of tasks may vary each day for your volunteer work in Sri Lanka.

VIETNAM

Volunteer House

 

On the Vietnam volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood of Hanoi, approximately a 45 minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi (the main tourist area). There are a number of restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs only a walk from the Volunteer House. Our Vietnam volunteer programs are also located in various locations around the city.

 

As a volunteer in Vietnam, you will be living with other international volunteers. The Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Air-conditioning is available in each room and individuals will be provided with the bed linen. During the winter months, participants are recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Each bedroom in the Volunteer House has its own shared bathroom, with a western-style toilet and shower. Hot water at the accommodation is provided in the winter months only. There is some, but limited hanging space in each room.

 

There is free Wi-Fi within certain areas of the house, including the main communal area. This can be intermittent, therefore volunteers in Vietnam are also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. There is a large designated communal area within the Volunteer House where volunteers can relax and socialise. Within the accommodation, there are two washing machines that can be used free of charge, and participants can purchase detergent cheaply from shops nearby. Alternatively, there are laundry services around the neighbourhood, available for a reasonable price.

 

Each volunteer will be provided with a locker to keep valuable items. Volunteers are asked to pay a deposit of 50,000 VND or 5 USD for the locker key which can be reclaimed at the end of your program. However, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Vietnam. There is fridge space within the accommodation for volunteers to cool items they need to keep chilled. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in India although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

In our main Volunteer House, our local team have an office on the ground floor. This makes for a great atmosphere and ensures that volunteers are well supported throughout their stay. Each volunteer is provided with a house key (subject to a deposit of 5 USD) so the house is accessible at all time and to ensure general volunteer safety. We also have a member of staff (usually a nanny or an intern from the local team) present in the house overnight. Please note if you arrive late in the evening on the arrival day at our Volunteer House, it is likely our local team will not be present and you will meet them the following day.

 

Most of our volunteer projects in Vietnam are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, you will need to travel to and from the volunteer placement each day. The local team will introduce you to different options during your orientation. Most participants will reach their project via public bus. The cost of a bus pass for the volunteer project is covered in your Program Fee.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

CAMBODIA

Volunteer House

 

On the Cambodia volunteer program, you will live on our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based in the remote village of Bakod, around a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride from Takeo. In Takeo, you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. Our main volunteer projects in Cambodia are based on the same site as the Volunteer House. You’ll be living and working with other international volunteers from around the world.

 

The volunteer accommodation is very basic. Bedrooms usually conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 16 people per room. Within each room are fans, and each bed will have its own mosquito nets. Volunteers are advised to note that mattresses are not provided due to hygiene issues and come with a wooden bottom, thin duvet sheet and pillow. On a volunteer trip to Cambodia, you are therefore welcome to bring your own mats, travel pillows or blow up mattresses if you want some extra comfort. Bathrooms at the volunteer accommodation are communal. There is no hot water, however, this shouldn’t be a problem as Cambodia is hot and humid all-year-round! The bathrooms are separate from the volunteer bedrooms.

 

There is no Wi-Fi within the volunteer accommodation. However, volunteers are recommended purchasing a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. There are several communal areas across the accommodation where volunteers in Cambodia can relax and socialise. There is also a small cafe just offsite of the accommodation. There is a local laundry service available, with a cost per person usually only a couple of dollars. Alternatively, hand-washing can be performed on-site of the volunteer accommodation. Each volunteer is provided with a trunk to place their items. These trunks can be locked, and volunteers should bring a small padlock for these. Alternatively, valuables can be stored with our local team in their private area. Volunteers are advised to note that cupboard space is not available within the dorm. Please note that the accommodation volunteers live in is within very close proximity to a lot of animals, including dogs, cats, cows and chickens.

 

The Volunteer House is located on the same campus where our local coordinators live. Although volunteers have their own private space there is still the security of living next to our local team who can assist you if need be. It is also a great way to learn more about Cambodian culture and practise your new-found language skills! Most of our volunteer work in Cambodia is also based on the same grounds as the volunteer accommodation. If you are based in our second volunteer project location, our local team will transport you to and from the project each day. The cost of this service is included in your Program Fee. Transport to our volunteering opportunities in Cambodia may be via tuk-tuk or mini-van.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

BALI

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the Bali volunteer program you will live in our Volunteer House, which is just a 5 minute walk from the centre of Tabanan. Here you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. Tabanan is a more traditional town, so you won’t find many other tourists around. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with air conditioning in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, with a shower and western style toilet. The water is often cold, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you volunteer in Bali, as the climate is hot and humid all year round!

 

We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables within the lockers provided within the volunteer accommodation, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in Bali. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled.

 

International volunteers have several communal spaces to relax, hang out with new friends or prepare lesson plans if you are teaching English.

 

The Volunteer House is located right next to where our local team live. Although volunteers have their own private space there is still the security of living next to our host family who can assist you if need be. It is also a great way to learn more about Balinese culture, get immersed in the local community and practise your new-found language skills!

 

Some of our projects are within walking distance of our Volunteer House and some are not. PMGY will take you to and from your volunteer placement each day if it is not within walking distance, via minivan or private car, and the cost of this service is included in your Program Fee.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

COSTA RICA

During your volunteer trip to Costa Rica, meals are not included. However, there is a food truck that comes to the volunteer residence Monday-Friday. Moreover, the truck is packed with sandwiches, local meals, Caribbean dishes and yummy desserts. 

 

The food truck ensures that even if you aren’t quite the chef your fellow volunteers may be, you can still eat well. As a result, you will feel full whether you are learning the Spanish language or making a positive impact on the volunteer project! In addition, if you like something specific you can even ask for them to bring it the next day.

 

From time to time, the Spanish school will host a cuisine night to teach you how to make Costa Rican dishes. These are free to join. Your dinner will be some of the best-prepared food. Who needs to go to a restaurant when you can try your very own Latin American cuisine!

 

Local supermarkets are within walking distance of the volunteer accommodation. On the weekends, there is a local farmers market that volunteers love to visit. This is located just a few blocks from the Volunteer House.

PERU

During your volunteer trip to Peru, international volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are served at the homestay, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch (upon request). With notice, the local team can even provide pre-cooked meals for you. You can then store and warm the meals up at the Spanish school during your lunch. In addition, boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.

 

It is important to note that meals are traditional Peruvian dishes. In short, they can be very carb-heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body. Therefore, at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. Consequently, it may take you a few days for your body to get accustomed to this as well. 

 

The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10 minute drive from the accommodation. Therefore, home comforts are not too far away. In the same vein, there are also some vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation. 

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN

During your volunteer trip to South Africa, volunteers will be provided with breakfast. You will need to purchase your own lunch and dinner during the volunteering week. In addition, you will need to budget for all meals at the weekend. Please note, that although the Volunteer House has a kitchen, this is quite small. As a result, cooking meals can be difficult and it can be more practical to eat out for lunch and at weekends.

 

Breakfast operates in a self-service format. Volunteers just help themselves and all cutlery and crockery are provided. If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and local amenities in the surrounding area.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

SOUTH AFRICA - PORT ELIZABETH

During your volunteer trip to South Africa, volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week so that each day is different. For example, the breakfast consists of cereals, bread, butter, jam, peanut butter, tea, coffee and cheese. However, sometimes the reserve serves eggs, sausages or baked beans.  In other words, it can vary and also be a combination of the above from time to time.

 

As for lunch and dinner, the reserve provides a wide variety ranging from burgers, chicken and macaroni cheese. This extends to vegetarian dishes, chips, potato casserole and so on (so you definitely won’t go hungry!). Finally, all meals come with a salad option as well. Please note that all meals are served at the Mafusa dining area. Above all, no cooking is allowed in any of the kitchen areas.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

TANZANIA

Volunteers receive breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House, which are freshly prepared on-site by our cook. Meals are a mixture of Tanzanian and western cuisine. There is a restaurant opposite the volunteer accommodation where volunteers can purchase lunch. There are also several options located close to many of the volunteer placements. Alternatively, there are western supermarkets in Arusha where you can purchase food and store it at the house if you’d like to prepare your own lunch/meals.

 

Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. Generally, we have a weekly rotating menu, which offers a varied choice of meals. Dinners are usually divided into equal portions by the cooks to ensure everyone gets an equal amount. Filtered water is available at the Volunteer House at a very small cost. 

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

NEPAL

You will be served three freshly prepared Nepalese meals a day at your project residence, which will generally be traditional Nepalese food. You’re more than welcome to lend a hand in the kitchen and learn how to cook Nepalese dishes! Traditional food generally uses a variety of fresh, local ingredients including; lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, chillies, yoghurt and lots of rice, so it may take a little getting used to. Some dishes may typically be quite spicy too.

 
 
Dhal Bhat is the national dish and is usually served for breakfast and evening meal every day. It is a dish comprised of rice, lentils and seasoned vegetables.

 
 
Most meals are vegetarian with typical dishes being pasta or noodles complemented by locally grown vegetables. There is the occasional chicken, pork or fish dish served up from time to time.

 
 
Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

INDIA

During your volunteer trip to India, you will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes. Typically, these are made up of vegetarian ingredients. Our team do their best to ensure that dishes are not too spicy, however, remain flavoursome. On occasion, the local team will prepare western dishes, such as pasta and vegetarian burgers. Filtered water is also available at the accommodation free of charge. 

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

SRI LANKA - AMBALANGODA

You will be served three meals per day at the Volunteer House. Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available. 

 

All meals are freshly prepared each day. If you fancy some western comforts, you will find plenty of restaurants serving western meals in the nearby town of Hikkaduwa.

 

A weekly menu has been introduced that blends Sri Lanka cuisine with Western cuisine so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day!

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program. 

SRI LANKA - WASGAMUWA

You will be served three freshly prepared meals per day at the Volunteer House. You will have some free time after lunch for your stomach to settle before the afternoon session! Most meals are traditional Sri Lankan dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Sri Lankan cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available and the meals tend to be mainly vegetarian anyway.

 

There are tea and coffee facilities provided for volunteers to refresh themselves whenever required as well as water filters, so remember to top up before you head into the jungle!

 
 
Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

VIETNAM

During your volunteer trip to Vietnam, you will be provided with three meals per day. Meals will be traditional Vietnamese dishes – this means a lot of rice! All food will be nutritious and freshly cooked. Free drinking water is available 24/7.

 

For breakfast, you can expect fruit toast and tea/coffee. Some of the volunteer opportunities will provide you with lunch. In other cases, participants will either eat at the Volunteer House or take lunch at a nearby cafe. In the latter circumstance, the local team will reimburse you up to 40,000 VND. When lunch is taken at the Volunteer house, the dish is usually always a Vietnamese dish, which will include soup, rice, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish.

 

Dinner is served at the Volunteer House. Generally speaking, meals are served in the early evenings and usually divided into equal portions by the nannies to ensure everyone gets an equal amount. You can expect a variety of dishes, so there will be always something to suit even the fussiest eaters! A typical meal will have pork, fish, beef or chicken and tofu or egg and at least two different kinds of vegetable dishes, along with rice and soup. On an ad-hoc basis, our team also serve a western meal – our volunteers always appreciate this.

 

If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes and local amenities in the surrounding area or you can take a bus or taxi into the main tourist area, the Old Quarter, in the city of Hanoi.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

CAMBODIA

During your volunteer trip to Cambodia, you will be served with breakfast and dinner from Monday-Friday at the volunteer accommodation. For breakfast, you’ll be provided with toast, eggs, jam, noodles, coffee, tea. In the evening you will be provided with a traditional Cambodian dish with the odd western meal. Filtered drinking water is available free of charge for you to help yourself as you please.

 

You will need to purchase your own lunch during your time on the Cambodia volunteer project. Volunteers will usually head into town/the local market a couple of times a week and stock up on lunch supplies such as noodles, pasta or snacks to bring back and store at the accommodation. Alternatively, a few meals can be prepared at the accommodation and purchased at a small fee. Some food is also available from the local cafe just off-site of the accommodation.

 

Across the weekend, you are welcome to stay at the volunteer accommodation. However, you are asked to note that during this time, local staff may not be available on site. This means that no meals will be provided across these days. Meals will need to, therefore, be prepared/purchased at a volunteer’s own expense. However, in most cases, volunteers will travel across this time anyhow.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

BALI

During your volunteer trip to Bali, you will be provided with three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indonesian dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Balinese cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available.

 

There is a large choice of restaurants and local warungs (authentic, local food stalls) in Tabanan. The food on offer is traditional Balinese cuisine – typically amazing and mainly vegetarian! There may also be a western option served once or twice every week and there are restaurants serving western food available around a 20 minute walk from the Volunteer House.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

FEES INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAM FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

20 weeks
5,775 USD
249 USD
6,024 USD
30 weeks
7,275 USD
249 USD
7,524 USD
40 weeks
8,775 USD
249 USD
9,024 USD

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.

 

If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

 
 

OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME – 105 USD

PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers works as follows –

 

Kenya – 173 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip around the world and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.

 

India – 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don’t have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.

 

USA – 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.

 

This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.

ULTIMATE ROUND THE WORLD ENCOUNTER REVIEWS

COSTS INVOLVED

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAM FEE

  • ONE WEEK OF SPANISH LESSONSYES
  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • PERU MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • SA CAPE TOWN MEALS (B MON-FRI) YES
  • SA PORT ELIZABETH MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • TANZANIA MEALS (B & D) YES
  • NEPAL MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • INDIA MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • SRI LANKA MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • VIETNAM MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • CAMBODIA MEALS (B & D) YES
  • BALI MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPSYES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT

    YES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAM INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • MEALS NOT INC ABOVE NO
  • FLIGHTS NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS NO
  • VISAS NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK NO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME

OPTIONAL 105 USD PAYMENT

  • TREES PLANTED IN KENYA173
  • DAYS OF SOLAR ACCESS IN INDIA80
  • HOMELESS MEALS PROVIDED IN USA1.25KG