Every day around the world, children and families struggle. Malnutrition, illness, under-education, unemployment and other symptoms of poverty limit their futures.  But, it doesn’t have to continue. What’s more meaningful than a family volunteering vacation to help improve the lives of other families? Lend a hand and support for a week or two, and learn how much you can change the world. Reach out as a family, and your lives will change in unimaginable ways.

Your family’s health and safety is always our top priority. Your children must volunteer with a parent or adult guardian. We provide a full-time team leader, secure accommodations, safe food and water, age-appropriate work projects, and a partner community that cares about your welfare and welcomes you like family.

Remember when someone opened your eyes with a wise word, an affirmation, or an important new skill? We all influence each other’s lives in profoundly meaningful ways. Whether age 6 or 96, family volunteering focuses your effort on a higher goal. We encourage families of all compositions – LGBT and PFLAG included – to work side-by-side with local families. At the same time, you experience the cultures, challenges and charms of life outside your comfort zone.

Family Volunteering: An Experience of a Lifetime

We know that family volunteering is life-changing. As Global Volunteers, you benefit from our 30 years of development expertise and can expect genuine service-learning. We’re serious about service.  You’re led by staff and alumni who are trained in volunteer engagement, health and safety, host relations, and most important – delivering the 12 Essential Services to children and families worldwide.

We Support and Prepare You

  • Professional in-country staff and partners

  • On-site orientation and team-building sessions

  • 24-hour emergency phone contact

  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance

  • Language and cultural introductions

  • Professional skills and work project interest questionnaire

  • Program summary materials and reading lists

  • Conversational English Teaching Guide

  • Global Volunteering Manual

  • Essential Services Prospectus

  • Volunteer fundraising assistance

  • Hotel lodging in most partner communities

Minimum Ages for Family Volunteering

Parents and legal guardians of minors – under age 18 – must complete a Minor Registration and travel with their children. Children 15 and under must work closely with their parent or legal guardian during the service program. LGBT and non-traditional families are welcome on our family volunteering programs.


Show All Minimum Ages

Children 12 and Under: One child (ages 6-12), traveling with one adult, pays 60% of the standard international program fee for all family volunteering programs except Poland summer camps and USA programs. This discount cannot be combined with any other discounts. Children must meet the selected program’s minimum age requirement, and one parent/guardian must accompany each child.

“I feel I gave my children the gift of a lifetime with Global Volunteers; enhancing their personal growth as they developed a broader and deeper worldview.  They recognized they have gifts to share, and discovered a desire to learn from and serve others.”  

Colleen ShannonMother

“Although most young people don’t have the time or money or have never volunteered before, more people my age should consider joining Global Volunteers, because it is such a good experience. You get a chance to see how other people live in different parts of the world. The feeling you get after helping people do something is indescribable.”

Anil BhagavathCosta Rica Volunteer

“Global Volunteers has a plethora of programs for families, and a “Safety Trumps Everything” policy that is especially appropriate when young people are involved. The organization is one of the largest and most respected VSOs in the United States. Global Volunteers offers family programs all around the world including China, Vietnam, Poland, Mexico, Peru and Tanzania.”

Zahara HechscherTransitions Abroad Volunteer Travel Editor

“It was all we had hoped for and more. From the very start, the Global Volunteer staff was attentive to our needs and made a conscious effort to assure that we understood the intricacies of volunteering as a family.”

Lisa KaijaCosta Rica Volunteer

“My experiences with Vanessa, Ben, and Alex in Costa Rica, Poland, Greece, China, Brazil, and Africa have been life-defining. I have been taught first-hand the power and selflessness of human compassion, and that the political, cultural, or religious variants in life are secondary to human solidarity and well-being.”

Graham BessellieuStudent and Six-time Volunteer