Volunteer in the Cook Islands

As a volunteer in the Cook Islands, you’ll help youth on education, health and social services projects.  This is an idyllic setting for volunteering. Rarotonga is a small island – just 26 miles around – so you’re quickly acquainted with the local people in one of the most beautiful places on Earth!  Review a standard volunteer work schedule here. 

FAQs: How to Volunteer in the Cook Islands

  • Literacy and Math Testing

    Do you have experience in education? Help with baseline testing of high school students in late January and progress testing at the end of the term in early December.

  • Repair and Maintenance

    Do you like to work with your hands? Help protect and maintain school facilities by painting, repairing, and reconstructing buildings, and providing plumbing, carpentry and electrical assistance.

  • Administration and Finance

    If you have experience in organizational management, grant writing, accounting or bookkeeping, you can help draft bylaws and funding proposals, or help establish and teach sustainable accounting systems.

  • English Teaching

    Because Cook Islanders honor their strong oral Maori tradition, some students do not formally learn English until the 4th grade. As a volunteer in the Cook Islands, you work one-on-one with children, primarily through reading and other engaging activities to advance their English proficiency.

  • Early Childhood Education

    Stimulate children 1 to 5 years old through arts and crafts, reading storybooks, playing with toys, teaching hand washing with soap and water, and more.  As a volunteer in the Cook Islands, you invest in the future through the youngest of citizens.

  • Tutoring Numeracy

    Are your math skills sharp? Work one-on-one and in small groups on numeracy and math comprehension with Cook Island students of all ages.

  • Computer Literacy

    Volunteer to help Cook Islands high school students learn computer basics and improve their proficiency, so they can successfully compete in college and in job-seeking.

Be The Change.

Through important, full-day volunteer assignments, cultural activities and time for personal adventures, you’ll learn about the Cook Islands and remain forever invested. Read about POP (People of the Pacific) culture. Our time-tested and proven philosophy of service ensures your efforts help advance the host community’s vision and goals. When you work in partnership on long-term community projects you become a critical link in a chain of volunteer support spanning three decades.

Food and Lodging

Your health and safety are our highest priorities when you volunteer in the Cook Islands. Your secure, private hotel outside Avarua, Rarotonga features a spacious seaside room with a kitchenette, private bathroom, comfortable chairs, ceiling or upright fans, and solar-heated shower. Fall asleep to the rhythm of waves crashing the shore outside your door. Steps away, the hotel pool is surrounded by a lovely garden area, and fruit-bearing trees.

  • Refrigerator, toaster and stove
  • Single room available for an extra fee
  • Laundry services
  • Landscaped campus with pool

You can expect meals of spectacular seafood, meat, tropical fruits, vegetables, and rice at local restaurants and prepared by a local cook. Breakfast is self-serve in the private kitchen/meeting room, where you can also pack your lunch and enjoy snacks.  Bottled water is provided daily.

“Each day, we count our blessings that we have been very lucky to have Global Volunteers come to us. They are all very interesting, very willing to do anything we place in front of them. But, most importantly, their presence is the inspiration needed to unite peoples of different cultures. We thank you deeply and warmly.”

Johnny FrisbieCook Islands Library and Museum

“Not only did I have a purpose – serving and helping to make a difference – but I was also surrounded by the breath-taking beaches, lagoon, and lush mountains of Rarotonga. I was doing what I love so much – working with children and meeting new people. It was an amazing, rewarding, and unforgettable journey as I learned that volunteering IS good for the soul.”

Debbie O’ConnorCook Islands Volunteer

“I’d be in town or at the weekly market and someone would greet me by name. The niece of the therapist I was working with invited me to her school dance competition. Then it clicked – I was no longer a tourist. I was part of the community. So, did I leave the program with as much a feeling of fulfillment as I anticipated? No – it was way more than I could have ever anticipated.”

Sharolyn FredricksonCook Islands Volunteer

“You don’t need any special training to do this…just a willingness to jump in and help out. The impact over years is most rewarding, and one of the reasons I keep returning. Being a guy in the midst of many lady teachers is a plus — you’ll be especially impactful. As you share “high fives” and get to know YOUR students, you’re sure that you connect in a special and important way.”

Dennis Killeen16-time Volunteer, OH

“My one-time curiosity has turned into 9 years of annual volunteer trips to Rarotonga. I return because I have a connection with the teachers at St Joseph’s Primary, to the shopkeepers, to the Global Volunteers who serve every year, but mostly I cherish my connection with the students, whom I taught in Grade 1 and now  are vibrant Grade 6 students.  It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of their lives if only for three weeks a year.”

Ellen Holzschuh9-time Cook Islands volunteer

Request a Cook Islands Program Fact Sheet







Single Room Fees and Availability