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NGOs that offer free volunteering opportunities abroad

Free volunteering could be the perfect choice for both you and your pocketbook. Here, you can find incredible opportunities to make the world a better place!



Volunteer locations around the world tend to provide their volunteers with a bed, breakfast, and dinner.  Many restaurants end up serving adaptations or dishes that aren’t actually very common in the local community itself. So free meals, in addition to making financial sense, give you a real taste of the local culinary culture.

Other amenities that you can find on volunteer abroad programs include:

Transport from the airport to your destination;

  • Bicycles available to you;
  • Parties and dance classes;
  • Local language lessons;
  • Free walking and sightseeing tours;
  • Holistic therapies, meditation, and Yoga groups.

In spite of all that, I thought that volunteering abroad wasn’t for me. After all, we do have to pay for the flights. But I changed my mind after finding a cheap flight to Argentina and realizing that I could begin my dream of visiting different countries and doing voluntourism while traveling.

Check this guide to learn more about How to find volunteering opportunities around the world using Worldpackers.

NGOs that offer free volunteer opportunities abroad

Volunteer with NGOs

The opportunities offered by the NGOs on Worldpackers request 4-5 hours of your time per day and give you at least one free day per week to explore the area. And with the majority of social impact projects, volunteers can have their free day on weekends. This makes it possible to plan short trips by bus or hitchhiking to other cities and towns, which you can do at places such as these:

Volunteer by teaching

Mastering a foreign language could be your ticket to volunteering abroad. Maybe you could be the English teacher needed by the Mil Mil community, founded by three indigenous women in Ecuador? 

You can—and should—travel with even a basic command of a foreign language. It takes a lot of courage, but the reward is great: learning to speak another language well.

Prefer to stick with English? There are plenty of international opportunities for you too!

Volunteer with animals

Aside from your activities as a volunteer, the most important thing is your desire to help and be proactive and motivated. So look for an NGO with a mission that inspires you. None is “better” than the others.

Are you passionate about animal rights?

Volunteer with women

  • Manage social media for the NGO Sambhali and help give a voice to female victims of domestic violence in Jodhpur, India.
  • Visit Maasai villages in Tanzania, bringing food and teaching job skills to young people going through difficult times. You could help orphans, victims of sexual abuse, pregnant women, and victims of early marriages and female genital mutilation.

Read more: 7 simple ways to become a mindful traveler

Volunteer in a Buddhist monastery

Specific tasks required by an organization can also be the reason for your trip.

Regardless of your full-time job or your current area of study, you can take advantage of a trip to develop other hobbies and passions.

There are opportunities for people who know how to get in touch with their artistic side by helping to decorate an ancient Zen Buddhist Monastery that’s more than 1400 years old in China. 

Jho, an Ecuadorian volunteer who was there in March of 2018, told us that he was invited to participate in a special meditation event that took place during his stay.

Volunteer with children

Children are the future. Helping them to develop could make a difference in what kind of adults they become. You can take teach in a English course and share traveling experienches with Jakarta students, or give extra classes to students with learning difficulties in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Preserving the traditional cultures of specific places is also a fight for the rights of the people who live there. Dance, music, folklore, and other artistic manifestations can help people who have experienced extreme situations in their lives. 

The Ghobet Lagee Organization in Bethlehem was created by Palestinian refugees. You could stay there for a while, teaching and organizing artistic presentations that help to value and give more visibility to their culture.

Why try social volunteering with an NGO?

Your motivation for traveling and exchanging your time for accommodation, food, and other benefits that cover some of your expenses is very personal. I travel to rethink my ideas of the world through different experiences. Now, I listen more to my heart and ask people for help more often.

When I write about the people I’ve met, I try to include a little of what I’ve learned by watching and listening. 

Volunteer work turns the dichotomy of boss and employee into an equal relationship of exchange. When one person needs the other, they help each other and magical things start to happen.

Also, these volunteer opportunities will lead you away from typical touristic places to ones you’ve probably never even considered visiting before

By supporting social projects, I’ve ended up meeting indigenous people, fishermen, teachers, dancers, and refugees, and I’ve gotten to dive in rivers and oceans of the most amazing, mesmerizing colors.

Keep doing responsible travel, read: 6 simple steps to make your next vacation transformational and Why slow travel? The case for leisurely-paced adventures.

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