Volunteer in Community Centers Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Community Centers

If you’re looking to volunteer abroad because you want to meet locals who are making real changes in their communities and build something that will last long after you leave, volunteering abroad in community centers is for you. Though the locations can differ greatly, all community centers offer amazing volunteer opportunities no matter your interest or experience. One day you may be playing with children and the next you might be put to work, wearing gloves and creating new buildings from scratch. While community centers vary in size, scope, or even how advanced their resources are, international community centers all share one need: volunteers with a desire to make a real change.

Why Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering abroad in community centers is ideal for individuals interested in serving a community in need, and getting varied experience with the chance to walk away with a greater understanding of a new culture. Those who volunteer in community centers abroad will be able to make real changes in the communities they visit by addressing specific needs, such as the renovation and construction of orphanages, schools, clinics, and community centers. Community center volunteers are commonly jacks-of-all-trades, or learn how to be quite quickly!

Community center volunteer work will give volunteers the chance to do all of this, AND expand their understanding of a new culture while traveling and experiencing a new place. Individuals that volunteer abroad in community centers will also learn about rural community development, by meeting community leaders and organizing efforts to build or rebuild a sense of community.

By working to revitalize communities abroad, volunteers will have the chance to truly improve people’s lives and provide help where it’s greatly needed.

Locations

Opportunities to volunteer in community centers can be found all over the world and community center volunteer work varies greatly, since programs are focused on meeting the needs of the particular community and local families. Therefore, when thinking about where to volunteer in community centers abroad, it’s helpful to think about what kind of experience and work interests you most.

Communities in the greatest need of volunteers are frequently located throughout rural Africa. In countries like Ghana, Tanzania, and South Africa, community center volunteers will likely be focused on construction. If you choose to volunteer at a community center in Africa, you’ll typically be working on the ground with elders and volunteer coordinators to build new structures from scratch. Each location has something different to offer, so choose your specific location within Africa based on what you’re looking for from your experience as a whole. South Africa, for example, offers major, well-developed cities with all the conveniences you’d expect, while Ghana is more widely renowned for its flourishing village culture. 

If you aren’t a builder, there will still be plenty for you to do if you volunteer in community centers abroad. In communities throughout Ecuador and Costa Rica, where building projects are less of a priority, the support of volunteers, especially English-speaking ones, can change the lives of children and students immensely. Volunteering in community centers throughout Latin America means you’ll have the chance to work on your Spanish skills while becoming an integral part of  local communities. 

Volunteer opportunities in community centers in Italy, on the other hand, often provide volunteers with the chance to create their own workshops or extracurricular programs. Becoming a community center volunteer in Italy will allow you to fully immerse yourself in a well established community, fill a need, and provide services to families and children who can truly benefit from your energy and attention. 

Community Center Volunteer Work

As mentioned above, volunteering in community centers abroad will likely look very different from one location to the next, but there is always something that volunteers can help with at any community center abroad. 

There are many opportunities for community center volunteers to work on construction projects focused on rebuilding community buildings, such as schools and clinics, which may entail manual labor, like bricklaying, painting, digging, and carpentry. In these community center placements, volunteers will work alongside locals and other members of the community, giving them the chance to learn about the local culture, whether through conversation, observation, or sharing a meal. These kinds of community center volunteer placements occasionally require some prior knowledge of construction trades, but all volunteers must be in good enough shape to handle some physical exertion.

If building and construction isn’t your thing, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in community centers by supporting child care or educational programs. You may have the opportunity to travel between community centers or schools, working one-on-one or in groups with children to support educational growth, build confidence, or teach them useful skills. Volunteers in these types of community center placements should obviously like working with children, but they usually don’t need a lot of prior experience. If you’d like to volunteer in a community center abroad in this type of role, you should plan on staying at least two weeks or more, in order to really get to know the kids and communities you’ll be working with. 

There are many more community projects and programs hosted in community centers abroad that you can get involved in that are not listed above, especially in developing countries where many families live below the poverty line and rely on various types of volunteer support. Of course, the more in need the community is, the more there is that needs to be done, which may mean volunteers starting from scratch and creating something from nothing. 

Benefits & Challenges

Individuals who volunteer in community centers abroad will have the opportunity to foster real “culture sharing”, as they will share their time, energy, and expertise with communities, who will share their customs and traditions in return. This type of knowledge and experience is only possible through volunteering abroad, and community centers are a great place to become more immersed in the local culture of a destination. 

Volunteers need an incredible amount of energy and initiative. For individuals interested in community development at home, school support services, revitalizing land, and constructing buildings, volunteering abroad in community centers will provide plenty of interesting learning experiences. 

The world is littered with problems in need of solutions, and community center volunteers will have the opportunity to be the solution (or at least begin to create one), leaving their host community better than they found it.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Community Centers

READ ARTICLE

 Find Community Centers Volunteer Programs Abroad Now

Save

This listing has been saved 9 times

Volunteer in Construction and Renovation in Ghana

Based in rural Ghana, the Construction and Renovation project offers volunteers the special opportunity to work alongside local people to help improve the infrastructure in small rural communities. This project focuses on the construction and renovation of orphanages, clinics, community centers, toilets facilities and schools. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to meet chiefs and communi...

Save

This listing has been saved 33 times

South Africa - Teach Children and Surf in Cape Town

This project takes place in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, the oldest city in the country. From the iconic Table Mountain to the magnificent Cape beaches, this city has it all. This project is an adventure club for 12-14 year old children focused primarily on extramural surfing and swimming lessons. The adventure club provides children with a valuable opportunity to take part in a rang...

Save

This listing has been saved 255 times

Make a REAL difference with Love Volunteers – From US$175!

Since 2009, thousands of volunteers have trusted Love Volunteers for travel abroad that provides cultural immersion alongside the chance to help those in real need. Join us now for a safe, fun, and sustainable Community Centres volunteer program for a truly memorable experience abroad! Check out our exciting program options!

Save

This listing has been saved 55 times

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs | Starting USD200 only!

Volunteering Solutions provides volunteering opportunities in 20 different countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin/Central America. Our main aim is to provide affordable and meaningful volunteer abroad opportunities across all countries. Our programs include both short-term (two weeks) and long-term (up to six months) placements in every country, as well as our programs are open through...

Save

This listing has been saved 9 times

Volunteer Teaching in Cape Town, South

Get involved in a progressive educational program in a township primary school situated just outside Stellenbosch and 35 minutes from Cape Town. This exciting new volunteer program aims to assist children in developing their literacy and numeracy skills as well as their conversational English through dedicated one-on-one coaching or tutoring sessions. How this program makes a difference: ...

Save

This listing has been saved 9 times

Care Work with Children in Costa Rica with Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad offers the opportunity for volunteers of all ages to join our Care project in Costa Rica, This childcare project is based in day care centers and kindergartens. Based in Heredia and San Jose, volunteers will spend their days at their Care placements, and return to their host family accommodation in the afternoon. At the placement, volunteers typically run educational games and g...

Save

This listing has been saved 20 times

African Wildlife Photography and Conservation

Through this project you not only get the chance to take amazing wildlife and magnificent landscape portraits, raising money for conservation projects, but your work will also be noticed, shared and used in various marketing drives. Your photos will support research and be used as part of the identification process of the animals on the 2 local reserves you will work between. You will have ...

Save

This listing has been saved 8 times

Volunteer in Morocco. A Life-Changing Experience Abroad!

The country's ancient medinas, quaint coastal towns, and vibrant spice markets remind you at every turn that you've left the familiar behind. For many globetrotting volunteers, Morocco provides an eye-opening first-hand look into Islam and all of its beautiful and historied layers. With Cross-Cultural Solutions, you can travel to Morocco to experience a remarkable part of the world. As you e...

Save

This listing has been saved 91 times

Great Volunteer Programs—Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru

Maximo Nivel is a locally based organization in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Volunteer abroad—get involved, make an impact, and learn to serve by working at local projects: - Working with Kids - Teaching English - Conservation - Construction - Animal Care - Eco-Agriculture - Medical & Healthcare Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been a leader in educational travel and stu...

Save

This listing has been saved 3 times

Home Building Project in the Philippines

By volunteering in the Philippines, you can help build a house for the poorer communities. Housing in the poorer communities of Tacloban City often constitute little more than single-room makeshift shacks. Work alongside skilled carpenters on numerous community building projects around the city making renovations, repairs and even new builds to the houses of a collection of underprivileged fami...

Save

This listing has been saved 15 times

Volunteer in Dublin with Connect-123!

Dedicate your time and skills for a good cause through our numerous volunteering opportunities in Dublin. As a Connect-123 volunteer, you will be placed in one of the many non-profits, clinics, hospitals, and schools we work with around the city. We have a range of placement areas available, allowing you to choose a specific role that needs your specific set of skills. Get the chance to cont...

Save

This listing has been saved 13 times

Volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico - Adelante Abroad

Make a positive impact in Mexico! Adelante Abroad offers affordable volunteer programs in a wide variety of fields and sectors in Oaxaca, Mexico including ecology internships and social work internships abroad. Oaxaca is one of the most bio-diverse areas in Mexico, known for the craft-work of local artisans. It is also home to warm spirited people and there are plenty of opportunities to give...

Save

This listing has been saved 6 times

Volunteer in the Philippines!

Like any third world country, the Philippines suffers from diseases due to poor hygiene and sanitation brought about by poor awareness programs. This is one of the major issues the country needs to face, and come up with solutions to. A lot of people in rural areas cannot afford to pay for medicines and regular medical check-ups. Volunteer for the Visayans is reaching out to those in need of...

Save

This listing has been saved 17 times

Community Development Projects in Uganda

Work with an international community development volunteer project in Uganda. Participants work with a grassroots community-based organization focused on improving the quality of life through a wide variety of community development initiatives, including adult education programs, income-generation activities, such as poultry and livestock rearing, HIV/AIDS education, construction projects, and ...