The opportunity to listen to, and learn from, local leaders and average folks who are making real change in their communities.
Our Mission: To Help Every Child Reach Their Potential
Your volunteer service program can be an experience of a lifetime. Please choose wisely. Global Volunteers is an internationally recognized and respected human and economic development organization engaging short-term volunteers in community-based service projects. We work in close partnership with local people helping deliver essential services and teaching conversational English so children can realize their full potential. By assisting with comprehensive heath, nutrition and education projects, each volunteer contributes uniquely and personally to the community’s vision.
Can one or two weeks truly make a difference? Yes! With more than three decades of experience engaging short-term volunteers on long-term development projects, we can guarantee you that short-term volunteers are an infinitely renewable resource that – when properly managed – offer extremely valuable assistance to communities requesting support. The key to our successful community partnerships is a steady stream of committed volunteers who are channeled into service projects which employ their skills, interests and compassion. The long-term benefits are cumulative and measurable.
For over three decades, we’ve listened to local people’s needs, dreams and plans. We’ve mobilized short-term volunteers to work hand-in-hand with, and under the direction of, local leaders on their community’s vision. You’re part of that vision.
Global Volunteers, the United Nations and UNICEF
Global Volunteers was granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 1999, and formalized a relationship with UNICEF in 2008. In this way, we represent local leaders in an international arena, and share international resources with community partners. These associations guide our care and protection of children as we address hunger, poverty and educational needs around the world.
Our volunteers have taught English to entire villages, built schools and water systems where there were none, cared for children who had nowhere else to turn, supplied pregnant women and new mothers with earth box gardens and offered guidance for feeding their families, and so much more. Most important, we’ve proven that these people-to-people initiatives can be successful where simply writing a check too often fails.
In 1984, Global Volunteers laid the groundwork for what became known a decade later as “Volunteer Vacations.” Since then, volunteer teams have served in more than 200 communities in 34 countries on six continents. USA Today calls Global Volunteers the “granddaddy of the volunteer vacation movement.” And, we continue to reach out to new communities and volunteers every year.
“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.”
“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!
“Thank you for starting such an organization which has enabled me — and so many others — to become a network of people who change lives.”
“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!”
Our Vision: Waging Peace and Promoting Justice Through Service
We’re a worldwide network of local people, community leaders, volunteers, staff and board members committed to creating, nurturing and sustaining the well-being of the world’s children. Our co-founders followed their vision of citizen service after a decidedly unconventional “volunteer honeymoon” in 1980 to establish Global Volunteers four years later. Our community partners are local leaders devoted to delivering essential services so children can realize their full human potential. Most of our 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 experienced in service abroad, and our staff has deep international and development expertise. Together – Global Volunteers partners, board, staff and volunteers – we work to wage peace and catalyze life-altering international volunteer service. Learn about our responsibility and accountability.
Health and Safety in the Host Community
At Global Volunteers, “safety trumps everything” in all we do. 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 well-maintained commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses, and vans, or in Global Volunteers vehicles. Most important, we always 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.
- Registering team members with the attending U.S. Embassy where it is advisable.
- 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. If family and friends ask, “You want to go where?” know that news reports can overstate or exaggerate conditions abroad. And tell them you are serving with one of the most reputable and safety conscience organizations in the world. Please contact us with any questions you have about safety in our host communities.
Hallmarks of our International Volunteer Service Programs
Team service experiences consistently rated above 4.6 on a 5-point scale.
Full-time team leaders who guide your service, help ensure your health and security, and manage team dynamics.