Global Volunteers mobilizes and engages short-term volunteers to help developing communities deliver all the essential services every child needs to reach their full potential. We’ve organized 12 Essential Services into three broad categories to better visualize and leverage their impact:

Eradicating Hunger – providing school and household gardens, child nutrition, micronutrient supplementation and improved stoves.

Improving Health – providing nutrition, hygiene and physical and mental wellness education, infectious disease prevention, de-worming and hands-on care.

Enhancing Cognition – providing general education, girl’s education, potable water and sanitation facilities, psycho-social support.

These 12 Essential Services are applied comprehensively within community development projects where local leaders request them.  They are the foundation of the Tanzania Reaching Children’s Potential Program (RCP); a child-focused, parent-driven, family-centered, and community-led effort. It begins with pregnancy, and continues through children’s 18th birthday, with a focus on the first 1,000 days of life. In Tanzania, parents participating in RCP have successfully reduced childhood stunting by 57% through volunteers’ efforts by:

  • Teaching nutrition, hygiene, food preparation to children and adults in schools and in worshops
  • Helping establish household gardens using EarthBox® technology for pregnant women, infants and toddlers
  • Distributing fortified meals, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer and other needed supplies to participating RCP families
  • Demonstrating proper handwashing with soap and water
  • Building handwashing stations, chicken coops, smokeless stoves and rainwater catchment systems
  • Supporting women’s co-ops and entreprenurial ventures
  • Promoting mental and physical wellness and providing professional health care assistance at Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC)
  • Training teachers in pedagogy, English and creating supportive classroom environments

⇐ ⇐ WATCH HERE: Short video clips of volunteers helping to deliver essential services on service programs including:

  • How to install, use and maintain handwashing stations with clean water and soap.
  • The distribution and preparation of fortified meals for pregnant women, new mothers and babies.
  • The value of economic empowerment programs for village women.


Cook Islands

Help repair and improve classrooms, libraries and other learning spaces.


Provide psycho-social support to children living in an orphanage and domestic abuse shelter.


Empower teachers and parents in fostering an inclusive and supportive environment where individuals with special needs can thrive.


Help repair a children’s home and provide psycho-social support to resident children.


Help build and repair classrooms and dormitories, teach nutrition and hygiene and nurture children.

St. Lucia

Help plant Earthboxes, improve classrooms, and provide psycho-social support to pre-school students.


Serve 740 families in the RCP Program by improving health, eliminating hunger and elevating cognition.


Parents and caregivers are responsible for ensuring their children’s futures, but volunteers provide the necessary information, appropriate technology and ongoing support. Volunteers from all backgrounds, professions and experiences provide catalytic assistance and material resources to help families access the 12 Essential Services – so children have sufficient food and nutrition, are protected from infectious disease, and can exercise their full intellectual capability through education. In this way, volunteers help children become fully functioning local leaders and global citizens. By helping to provide integrated essential services, short-term volunteers are a vital component in the broad framework of community development.

Simple concepts and readily available technologies can launch innovations that engage parents, teachers, children and volunteers alike.  Volunteers “build a bridge” to resources for local people in developing communities, and help ensure their children have a chance to reach their full potential.

Meanwhile, as “agents of progress,” children themselves often are energetic adopters of new ideas and behaviors; exerting significant influence on their families. Working with children, volunteers’ positive influence ripples through the community – paving an avenue to lasting change. You can have a dramatic impact on what may otherwise seem to be intractable socio-economic global problems.

Faunista Manista, Ukwega, Tanzania

Mother of two, enrolled in Global Volunteer’s Reaching Children’s Potential Program (RCP), Faunista said the hand-washing station her family received changed their health. “I was very happy when I learned about proper handwashing and the hand-washing stations at the RCP Center because I discovered that I was not doing things right. Before the workshop, we took washing our hands as a minor issue. We used to suffer from stomach fever almost every month and we couldn’t discover the reason for it. After attending the hand-washing workshop, I shared the knowledge with my husband at home, and I started to teach my son Ebenezer as well. Ever since we started using the hand-washing station, we stopped experiencing diarrhea. I also use the hand-washing station to clean my little one when she gets dirty so that she can be aware that she has to be washing her hands many times. This is a very good practice for everyone in the community to adopt.”

“Ever since we started using the hand-washing station, we stopped experiencing diarrhea.”


“Human connections, the face-to-face interaction between volunteers and villagers as they work alongside each other on projects is particularly beneficial because it allows for the exchange of best practices, cultures and perspectives which fosters personal growth and improvement in the way we do things.”

“What I saw those two weeks were children who are happy, playful, receptive to instruction and learning important skills from both us and those who run the orphanage. Their lives may be very different from ours, but I am confident they will do well in life with the continued support of Sagrada de Familia and those who participate with Global Volunteers.”

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