Global Volunteers is International volunteer service. Raising children’s potential. Waging peace and promoting justice. Travel that feeds the soul. Service. Seriously.

Our Mission: Extraordinary International Volunteer Programs

International volunteer programs offer an experience of a lifetime. Choose a program wisely, and you’ll change the world – yours and global society. Join us!  We’re an internationally recognized and respected non-profit leader.  Since 1984 we’ve provided:

  • Genuine human and economic development to hundreds of communities in 35 countries on 6 continents
  • Short-term assignments on long-term community-defined projects
  • Sustained community-based partnerships

You’ll help deliver essential services uniquely and personally.  With your teammates, you’ll contribute to the physical health and intellectual development of the world’s future leaders – its youth.

Can one or two weeks truly make a difference?  Yes!  We know that when properly managed, international community-based service projects benefit greatly from short-term volunteers – an infinitely renewable resource of expertise, energy and compassion.  We’ve seen the tremendous cumulative benefits of international volunteers over more than three decades – helping children reach their full potential.

We listen to local people’s needs, dreams and plans. Then, we mobilize volunteers to work hand-in-hand with them on their community’s vision to serve youth and families. You’re part of that vision.   Read our Essential Services Prospectus here.  

Our International Volunteer Program Partners: U.N. and UNICEF

Global Volunteers was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 1999, and formalized a relationship with UNICEF in 2008. Through high-level associations, our international volunteer service work protects children’s security and welfare as we address hunger, health, poverty and educational issues at the community level around the world.

For instance, we’ve taught English to entire villages, built schools, health clinics and water systems where there were none; cared for children who had nowhere else to turn; supplied pregnant women and new mothers with household gardens and professional assistance, and so much more. Most important, we’ve proven that these people-to-people initiatives are successful where simply writing a check too often fails.

Measurable, positive outcomes in international volunteer service is our agenda. International volunteer service teams provide the resources enabling us to succeed. Engaging more than 34,000 international volunteers in more than 200 communities in 35 countries on six continents since 1984, we’re recognized by USA Today as the “granddaddy of the volunteer vacation movement.” Our international volunteer service expertise is our legacy – and your resource.

“Global Volunteering is a wonderful thing. It brings people together in ways that are mutually beneficial on so many levels and always has the potential for experiences and human contact that are profoundly life-changing. A single spark can indeed start a prairie fire.”

– Bob Klepperrepeat volunteer

“I encourage all who want to make a difference in this world to serve with Global Volunteers. I wholeheartedly endorse their approach. On every program, I truly feel we’re waging peace by making friends with the ordinary people of another nation. Besides, these programs are FUN!

– Mary Ann Novotnyrepeat volunteer

“Thank you for starting such an organization which has enabled me — and so many others — to become a network of people who change lives.”

– Jane Prochazkarepeat volunteer

“Global Volunteers overwhelmingly bolstered my sense of compassion for humanity and fueled an insatiable desire to aid in the global pursuit of peace. My service helped establish the foundation for the rest of my life. I am forever indebted to Global Volunteers!”

– Heath Kirbyrepeat volunteer

Our Vision: Waging Peace Through International Volunteer Programs

We’re a worldwide network of local people, community leaders, volunteers, staff and board members committed to waging peace and promoting justice.

Our co-founders followed their vision of international volunteer service to create, nurture and sustain the well-being of the world’s children after a decidedly unconventional “volunteer honeymoon” in 1980.  Our community partners are devoted to delivering essential services to at-risk children and families. Most of our international volunteer service programs are led by country managers who were born and raised in the host country.  Our board members are passionate professionals from diverse fields with expertise in international volunteer service.  Our dedicated staff contributes deep international and development expertise to providing exceptional volunteer management.

Together, Global Volunteers partners, board, staff and volunteers work to wage peace, promote justice and catalyze life-altering international volunteer service.   Learn about our responsibility and accountability.

Our Promise: Health and Safety for International Service Volunteers

“Safety trumps everything” in international volunteer service. We provide secure, comfortable and clean lodging in all host communities. Meals are prepared by qualified cooks – either in restaurants or community housing. In-country transportation is provided by qualified drivers in commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses, and vans, or in Global Volunteers vehicles.  Most important, we monitor and comply with travel warnings issued by the U.S. State Department, even if it means canceling a service program. Further safety measures are:

  • CPR and first-aid certified team leaders who are trained in personal and national emergency protocols.
  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance for volunteers serving outside the U.S.
  • Emergency contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Health and safety guidelines in our Volunteer Manual.

Be a world-wise traveler. International volunteer service has its risks. When you choose Global Volunteers, you serve with one of the most reputable and safety conscience organizations in the world.  Please contact us with any questions you have about safety in international volunteer service.

Hallmarks of our International Volunteer Programs

Guided by Local Leaders
We only serve where we are invited; we only do what we’re asked to do; and we always work under the direction of local leaders. Work with and learn from and about local people who are making real change in their communities to help children grow and thrive.

Meaningful Work Projects
A direct channel to apply your skills, energy and compassion to genuine community-based development projects on international volunteer programs.

Volunteer Satisfaction
Teamwork that integrates each volunteer’s skills, ensuring all USA and international volunteer programs are consistently rated above 4.5 on a 5-point scale.

Broad Cultural Experiences
Tax-deductible itineraries balancing full-day international volunteer programs and educational free time to deliver true service-learning.

Exceptional Program Management
Full-time team leaders guide your service, helping protect your health and security, and managing team dynamics on all USA and international volunteer programs.

Commitment to Development
A philosophy of comprehensive, sustainable development ensures lasting benefits to children and families on all international volunteer programs, and to USA partners.

Request more information on international volunteer programs with Global Volunteers:

Request a program catalog here or by calling 800-487-1074.