Volunteer with Street Children Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering with Street Children Abroad

Volunteering abroad with street children can be a great way to give back to a community, share your teaching skills, serve as a role model, and have a lot of fun! There are millions of street children in need of attention all over the world, but working with street kids does not necessarily mean volunteering with children who are homeless or orphaned. Due to a lack of proper medical care, limited or no access to education, and forced or necessary child labor, volunteering with street children abroad may entail working with parents, providing general child care, teaching, or encouraging socialization.

Why Volunteer Abroad

*Important: Here’s a list of 23 questions to ask before volunteering with children abroad.

If you love kids, want to help the less fortunate, and have a great deal of creativity, patience, and energy to give, volunteering with street children abroad could be a great fit for you! While street children populations (and the programs that help them) will be entirely different depending on the country you volunteer abroad in, all volunteer work will involve elements of education, support, and a lot of role modeling. Affection and positive reinforcement are both keys to volunteering with street children abroad. 

Recreation, affection, and time can have an immense impact on these children who have been deprived of many of their rights. A child can also provide you with a lot of insight into a new culture, so put your creativity and caring nature to service by volunteering with street children abroad!


Volunteer work with street children can be found in both rural and urban environments, but is typically in areas with minimal resources and high levels of poverty. Ecuador, India, China, the Philippines, and many nations throughout Africa are great places to spend your time volunteering abroad with street children.

In Ecuador, many volunteer programs with street children focus on helping kids who are working in the markets or forced to sell goods on the street. Volunteer work focuses on basic hygiene, allowing the children time to socialize with peers, basic education, arts/crafts, sports, as well as basic play time. Volunteering in Ecuador, or other Latin American countries, also allows you to put your Spanish skills to use (or learn some Spanish).

Opportunities to volunteer with street kids in India are prevalent, with an estimated 10 million street children in India alone. Many street children volunteer placements will focus on teaching basic social and life skills and hygiene. Some volunteer placements in India can also include informal English teaching. The slums can be an overwhelming site, but your time and energy can be a ray of light for the children who live there.

China and the Philippines are two other Asian countries with large populations of street children, and large populations in general, so if you’re looking to head further east, consider either one as an option for volunteering with street children.

Africa is another common region to find volunteer work with street kids,especially in Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. Day cares, orphanages, and community centers are all typical volunteer placement institutions. Those with musical talent or computer skills may also find themselves teaching their skills to street children. Assisting children with special needs is also a common type of volunteer placement with street children in Africa.

Volunteer Work with Street Children

Volunteers can share their skills by helping with literacy programming, motor skills, homework, hygiene habits, behavior modeling, and leading activities (both social and physical). Choosing a international volunteer program working with street kids requires a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and flexibility. Children are unpredictable, so if you like a lot of structure and predictability, this is likely not the right fit. Expect to follow a programming structure set up by the organization you are working with, but willingness to learn and flexibility as you go are key. 

Setting & Focus. Volunteering with street children in a market setting is a common type of volunteer placement. Other placements might include a dump site, day care, shelter, rehabilitation center, or at a school. The majority of street children are unable to attend school, so volunteers can expect to do anything from teaching, tutoring, and educating the kids, to planning activities and crafts or working with them in the community on larger projects. Healthcare can also be an integral part of volunteering with street children abroad, as in many locations diseases are prevalent and care or aid is non existent. 

Tasks. Sometimes organizations just need volunteers to assist them with organizational tasks, management of programming, basic cleaning, or administrative tasks too. You might even be tasked with playing sports or simply reading books to the children. Each volunteer program will have different needs and children they work with.

Duration. Volunteer placements can be as short as one week (sometimes only four actual days of volunteering once training and orientation are done) and as long as one year or more. Each is volunteer program can usually be customized to the volunteer’s desired length of time.

Experience is rarely necessary to volunteer with street children abroad, as time, energy, and a positive attitude can have a big enough impact and almost any volunteer can share basic education with the kids and make them feel more significant and loved. Every volunteer should come into the experience prepared to laugh, share, and lend a helping hand, and with a good amount of patience!

If you do have medical or nursing training, this can be a huge bonus for volunteer organizations that need support with more technical health aspects, like dispensing medications, dressing wounds, or creating medical charts.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Play! Volunteering with street children allows you to have a lot of fun. Many volunteer programs involve socialization and play to help the kids have a more balanced childhood.

Make an Impression. Any type of volunteering with young people allows you to serve as a role model and your actions and words will have an impact. As such, be mindful, caring, and encouraging. You have the power to give these kids vision for the future!

Gain Experience. Interested in education or working with children as a career? Volunteering with street kids abroad can provide insight and experience in the field that will help you determine if it’s a good fit.

Read More

written by:

Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Volunteering with Street Children Abroad


 Find Street Children Volunteer Programs Abroad Now


This listing has been saved 10 times

Working with Kids—Volunteer in Peru!

Volunteers work with at-risk children in and around the historic city of Cusco, Peru. Placements include working in community centers, orphanages, rural schools, and street children programs. Projects focus on providing boys and girls with shelter, food, and education. Various educational, recreational, and health projects are ongoing to support these unfortunate children. Volunteers work to he...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Incredible Volunteering in Ghana: Costs from USD 270

Volunteers are needed NOW through International Volunteer HQ's partner organization in Ghana! A wide range of volunteering placements are available in order for participants skills to be best put to use. Volunteers can choose from working with orphans, teaching, medical treatment and education, agriculture, and teaching sports. Work in the coastal city of Accra or the rural villages in the Ghan...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Best Volunteer Programs & Internships from $5 per day

GoEco is one of the world's top volunteer organizations, with award-winning programs that are carefully chosen by the company's founding sustainable travel experts. With projects starting at just $5 a day, GoEco provides affordable, outstanding volunteering projects, all with 24/7 support and travel insurance. GoEco was established in 2006 and has since sent thousands of volunteers to p...


This listing has been saved 282 times

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

Become a Love Volunteer and get a truly memorable experience whilst helping those in real need. Love Volunteers has provided meaningful Street Kids volunteering abroad programs to thousands of volunteers seeking safe, responsible and affordable ways to help needy communities! Check out our exciting programs and sign up now!


This listing has been saved 4 times

Care Work in Kenya with Projects Abroad

Volunteering on a Care project in Kenya is a rewarding way to help improve conditions for disadvantaged local children. Volunteers with qualifications and experience are welcome but you do not need to have either to volunteer. Energy, passion, and a commitment to the children you will be working with are all that is required. While Kenya is the most industrially developed country in East Afr...


This listing has been saved 4 times

India Summer Volunteering Program and Adventure Tour 2018

If you are looking for a perfect program to fit your Summer Break 2018, then there can be no better option other than the 3 weeks Summer Volunteering Program in India. Starting from the capital city of New Delhi, you will be volunteering at the shelter homes/childcare centers where underprivileged street kids live. Your main role will be to teach them, play with them, and shower them with imm...


This listing has been saved 4 times

Volunteer to Teach English in Costa Rica

Nestled between the Caribbean Ocean and a tropical rainforest, volunteers have the option to spend a weekend or two exploring this wonderful location and enjoy its many attractions and activities - including stunning beaches, rainforest, canopy tours and white water rafting. Volunteers plan and run lessons and assist with English language education for the community members. The local commun...


This listing has been saved 13 times

Orphan Care and Teaching - Victoria Falls

Working as a volunteer in Zimbabwe, carrying out simple acts of caring, playing, teaching, and helping, can bring hope and smiles to the needy and orphaned. By volunteering with children abroad, simply playing with them, giving them a smile or a hug, can have life-changing effects. Positive interaction increases their self-worth, instilling a sense of acceptance and giving them a vision for a h...


This listing has been saved 109 times

Volunteer Abroad in one of 8 Countries for 1-12 Weeks

Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies. As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel since 1995, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every communi...


This listing has been saved 18 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...


This listing has been saved 15 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...


This listing has been saved 14 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...


This listing has been saved 15 times

Volunteer at an Orphanage in the Philippines

ELI works with several orphanages on Leyte Island in the Philippines. Each orphanage houses 45 to more than 100 orphans, abandoned children, and runaways. While the orphanages do a wonderful job of providing the basics, orphans are deprived of many opportunities necessary for their development. Through education, individual attention, and compassion, children are empowered to challenge a life o...


This listing has been saved 276 times

Conservation, Community and Adventure Placements from $255

With more than 400 projects worldwide and with 25 years experience of providing ethical travel placements, Frontier can find you the perfect adventure whatever you want to achieve. We offer placements in more than 50 countries including Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji and loads more. Here are just some of the options available: Marine Conservation and Diving Travel to beach paradises, scuba...