22+ Volunteering Opportunities Abroad For Indian Travellers Who Want To Give Back To The World

17th Oct 2016

'Voluntourism' is the cool new trend amongst travellers these days. It means that instead of just touring a destination, you offer your services to work there and make a difference.

It's a brilliant concept, because it goes far ahead of just exploring a country. It makes the place a part of yourself. And when you leave, you have made an effort to have changed the place for the better! I have put together a collection of 22 exotic, offbeat and rugged countries where you should be volunteering!

Volunteer at Flecha Extrema.

From the Atacama desert to the strait of Magellan, Chile is full of natural wonders such as the Andes mountain range and archaeological sites that are waiting to be explored! Volunteer in Chile at Torres Del Paine or the awe-inspiring Patagonia and work in the environmental and wildlife conservation departments. If adventure is not your thing, try your hand at community development and agriculture. You must be fluent in either English, Spanish or Portuguese and open to learning new things.

Minimum duration of stay: 2-4 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $500-$2000 (depending on the duration)

One-way airfare: Rs. 82,879

Credits: Douglas Scortegagna

Photo of Chile by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Amigos International.

We all know how absolutely surreal Prague really is, but what most tourists forget to explore while travelling through this exotic land is the experience of the local lifestyle. Volunteering in Prague's local rural villages will give you the opportunity to get to know the people of Prague even better. The jobs usually require community development, environment and spreading sanitation awareness amongst locals. You might also have to help in construction and restoration, and contribute to real development. This program requires a minimum of 2 years learning of the Spanish language. Participate in this noble cause and travel all the time while you're volunteering here in Prague!

Minimum duration of stay: 1-3 months

Cost of volunteering: $5,995

One-way airfare: Included in the program

Credits: Miguel Virkkunen

Photo of Prague, Czech Republic by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Para La Tierra.

Another exciting opportunity for explorers is to work in the Atlantic forests of Para La Tierra, Paraguay. The program gives its volunteers the freedom to create their own projects. You can volunteer towards rural and environmental conservation and development and wildlife conservation. The program requires volunteers to be physically fit, and teaches them about ways to save the forests! Exciting and super adventurous, all you have to do is be a fluent in English to apply for this opportunity.

Minimum duration of stay: 2-4 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $800

One-way airfare: Rs. 22,642

Credits: Marissa Strniste

Photo of Para la Tierra, San Pedro Department, Paraguay by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at International Volunteer HQ.

Go and explore Bogota, the capital of Columbia! The organisation will send you to take care of children and the elderly, and spread positivity and good knowledge about sustainable living. Homestays are going to be the best part about this volunteering program, because the Colombians are superb hosts! All meals are provided by the host as well. Explore the Caribbean islands or the Andes when you're free on the weekends! What more do you want Amigo?

Minimum duration of stay: 2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $270 (for one week)

One-way airfare: Rs. 54,523

Credits: Pedro Szekely

Photo of Colombia by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at United Planet.

The Wild Animal Care Quest is a fantastic program to start your volunteering spree with. You have to take care of animals who have been through some trauma. These animals can be wide-ranged too, like turtles and llamas. More small animals will be introduced to you on this trip. If you're an animal lover, you won't have any problem in volunteering for this program. If you are not comfortable with animals, there is also a 'tourism and hospitality' program that you can be a part of. If you are keen on learning Spanish language, then this will be absolutely perfect because the program offers lessons as well! The best part is that all your trips around Peru will be paid for! Now, you can travel without a wallet!

Minimum duration of stay: 2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $2268 (from 1-12 weeks)

One-way airfare: Rs. 85,768

Credits: YoTuT

Photo of Peru by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at the Alaska Whale Foundation.

Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and untouched glaciers, a forest dense with rich flora and fauna, Alaska is one of the most raw and beautiful places on the earth. It is home to the Denali National Park, and whales that swim freely in its waters and eagles that fly high in the sky! Take a chance on this amazing place and volunteer at the Alaska Whale Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation. They are always on the look out for more volunteers. As crazy as it sounds, you don't need any prior experience in this program and all you need to be is enthusiastic to help! But if you do have some technical knowledge, that will also be more than welcome. Don't waste any time and apply soon to get to Alaska!

Minimum duration of stay: Check website for more details

Cost of volunteering Check website for more details

One-way airfare Rs. 67,761

Credits: Robyn Aldridge

Photo of Alaska, United States by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Conservation Connections.

Nothing sounds better than listening to the waves crash on clean sandy beaches, sitting under the shade of a palm tree on a hammock and relaxing! This can happen, without much effort too. Volunteering in Hawaii is a dream come true for beach lovers! Work at the Hawaiian Zoo and stay in Honolulu for 3 months. No prior experience is required and training is provided. You will be helping around the zoo as a guide and getting to know more about the local bio-diversity of the region, and be what the zoo calls 'The Zoo Talker'. The work is to be done in shifts so you need not worry about a 9-5 program! Use the rest of your day to lounge on the beach or to go out and explore the volcanic formations.

Minimum duration of stay: 3 months

Cost of volunteering: check website for more details.

One-way airfare: Rs 67,614

Credits: Jeff Kubina

Photo of Hawaii, United States by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at the International Volunteer HQ.

Madagascar is unlike any place that you have ever been to. It's literally got everything! From small deserts to rain forests and clear beaches, they say 'the sea is never far'. Madagascar has mountains and flat lands covered with greenery. You can pick a trek or run on the beach. Endless opportunities await you while you volunteer here. Pick your own program from the very many offered, such as reef surveying, turtle monitoring or community building. Each program varying from the land to the sea! Test your own limits while you work here to increase awareness about the fragile marine life and the bio-diversity in the jungles. You can also clean beaches by removing synthetic waste from the sands. Take your pick!

Minimum duration of stay: 2-4 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $500

One-way airfare: Rs. 25,263

Credits: Frank Vasssein

Photo of Madagascar by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at the International Volunteer HQ.

Living in Morocco is very different from travelling in Morocco. You will get to learn a lot about their culture, which has been drastically influenced by both the west and the east. Your work in this volunteering program is to get involved in the daily routine, engage in women empowerment programs, child care and development in health and education. NGOs that support these causes will provide you with adequate background knowledge about the local regions where you will be working. Stay is provided for; you will be staying with local families, and all your meals will be taken care of.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $540 (for 2 weeks)

One-way airfare: Rs. 41,568

Credits: Caroline Granycome

Photo of Morocco by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Work Abroad.

The Turkish land is full of adventure and natural beauty waiting to be experienced. Turkey is a mix of city-life hustle bustle and a relaxed vacationing vibe. This is one, famous spot where teenagers start their new life beginning from a backpacking trip during their gap years! The culture is welcoming and homely, and you will notice that Taksim Square never really sleeps! Explore this country with an array of road trips to begin your volunteering career, as you go on hopping from one country to another in this big wide world. You can work as a teacher, or a nurse, or simply help in building infrastructure for the locals. The volunteering program is available for groups too, so you have an excuse now to travel with your friends!

Minimum duration of stay: 2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: Varies according to program

One-way airfare: Rs.20,250

Credits: Moyan Brenn

Photo of Turkey by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Go Abroad.

When you think of Italy, all that comes to your mind is spaghetti, wine, and pretty monuments surrounded by tourists with gelato in their hands. Now you too could spend your travelling months roaming around the streets of Rome, and meeting new people. Make friends from all over the world! Volunteer as a dolphin conservationist and sail around Italy! Study dolphin behaviour and learn to surf while you volunteer, no experience is required and volunteers are trained in whatever responsibility they are given. Volunteers are also expected to be physically fit as the work involves outdoor activities.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $750

One-way airfare: Rs. 20,447

Credits: Moyan Brenn

Photo of Italy by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Rustic Pathways.

Mongolia is an exotic and not so explored region, that attracts travellers who love to backpack. Past meets the present here, and the culture is unique with old-age practices and rituals still being followed among the people. It's the land of Genghis Khan and we bet it will turn you into a warrior at the end of your trip too! Volunteering in Mongolia will be an experience like no other, because just like this country, every moment in this country will be different than what your expectations are. Rustic Pathways, a volunteering organization has created programs that help in the development of this third world country, so gently nurtured by god in its lap. You will become a true nomad! Help in teaching English to children in the village, or help in developing the community. There is a wide variety of things you could volunteer for in Mongolia, you can pick whatever program suits you best.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $270-$650 (according to the program you choose)

One-way airfare: Rs. 66,873

Credits: Bernd Thaller

Photo of Mongolia by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at International Volunteer HQ.

Laos is a backpacker's paradise that every traveller would want to explore solo, or with friends at least once in their lifetime. The Honkau village, on the outskirts of the capital of Laos, is abundant in natural beauty, and thus the perfect place to volunteer and do some good for the country. At the volunteering program, you get to stay amongst many other travellers from around the world, in a dormitory-fashioned accommodation. You can choose to volunteer in the field of teaching, health care, development, community building, childcare or construction and renovation. Take the chance to explore Buddhism, hang out with monks and party with the locals!

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $270 (1 week)

One-way airfare: Rs.36,012

Credits: Ahron De Leeow

Photo of Laos by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at International Volunteer HQ.

Explore south-east Asia, and start first with Cambodia! This country is sophisticated and exotic, and every year a bunch of nomadic travellers come here and fall in love with the Cambodian spirit all over again. Volunteering in this country is an adventure in itself, as you face real-world problems in a developing country. Help the people by educating them, providing them with necessary health care facilities, child care and computer support as well.

Minimum duration of stay: 2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $350

One-way airfare: Rs.20,867

Credits: Balint Fordesi

Photo of Cambodia by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Go Overseas.

Coming to a country made of miniature islands is the most amazing thing that could happen to a backpacker! Imagine travelling from one island to another and not having to get a visa or a travel pass! Philippines is the next to-go spot for every travel junkie. Volunteering in Philippines also is awesomeness! That is because you get to work with the local marine life, on beaches. Explore your creative side and help teach locals how to draw, and to speak English. In your free time, learn how to surf and taste local food or go white-water rafting. The volunteering program requires you to work with turtles as well! If you are not very fond of turtles, you can also teach kindergarten children various forms of art and craft.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $270 (1 week)

One-way airfare: Rs.26,230

Credits: Bernard Spragg,NZ

Photo of Philippines by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Volunteer In Bali.

A palate-full of vibrant colours is what Bali is all about! It is crazy and full of fun. You can get comfortably lost in this paradise and not worry about returning. The lifestyle is relaxed and easy, often slow paced to the level of a luxurious vacation. Bali has a lot of volunteering programs to choose from. But the best would be to directly engage with the locals so that over a period of time, you just feel like one of them! Explore the town around in your free time. Lounge lazily in some beach shack with a piña colada in your hand, and the sea breeze caressing your hair! Help the organisers in teaching little local kids English, art and craft. Simple and easy.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $300 (2 weeks)

One-way airfare: Rs.23,920

Credits: Jelle Oostorm

Photo of Bali, Indonesia by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at African Impact.

A cute little island off the African coastline, Seychelles is a very upcoming island country attracting a lot of tourists lately, but travellers are not like tourists. This is where we come into action and contribute to the destination we travel to. Seychelles has a very diverse marine life, which faces a threat from global warming. An organisation called African Impact encourages volunteers to come and work towards a better environment. The program includes studying shark behaviour and diving schedules! There will also be marine debris removal and environment educational sessions organised. You can also snorkel with sea turtles, and watch how huge the sea looks under water. The volunteering program is big and can accommodate a good amount of people, so encourage your friends to come and volunteer in a new country with you!

Minimum duration of stay: 4 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $2,736

One-way airfare: Rs.23,930

Credits: Didier Baertschiger

Photo of Seychelles by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Working Abroad.

Sri Lanka, with its lavish tea farms and untouched beaches, across the island nation will mesmerise you in one go. With Kandy and Galle being the most touristy towns in Lanka, there are many organisations here that have a lot of exciting things to be done. Bathing elephants and feeding them is a popular tourist activity here. Travellers from all over the world come and stay at these elephant sanctuaries and take care of elephants by feeding and bathing them and increasing awareness about elephant conservation. Food for these elephants is grown locally at the farms and a lot of volunteering work is about collecting food for the elephants. Volunteers will also be required to brief the visitors who come on a daily basis to the sanctuary. You will have to help in the maintenance of the sanctuary as a whole. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and in your free time, you can take a road trip to the nearest beach town to relax!

Minimum duration of stay: 1 week

Cost of volunteering: $828

One-way airfare: Rs.9662o

Credits: Kosala Bandara

Photo of Sri Lanka by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Go Overseas.

Travelling in the land of stupas is mystifying and gives you a superior experience which will leave a very lasting impression on you. Myanmar is purely exotic. You will understand their culture, their daily life workings and get deeper into the soul of the erstwhile Burma. Volunteering here will make you understand how to deal with complex social problems. The best part about working in this amazing country is that, it is free! You only need to pay for your flight tickets and everything else is free! Not only this, this volunteering program might just send you to other countries to travel as well, all you have to do is devote a year to them! Volunteer work involves a lot of options, and you have the freedom to make your choice. Gap years are always awesome!

Minimum duration of stay: 1 year

Cost of volunteering: Free

One-way airfare: Rs.30,275

Credits: KX Studio

Photo of Myanmar (Burma) by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at WWOOF.

Welcome yourself to the country of Zen. You can bathe in the hot springs with locals and wear a Kimono to dinner. While volunteering in Japan is going to be exquisite, it will also be quite a lot of community work. Volunteers are expected to help in their hosts' house and help with the household work. It is exactly what you call living in somebody else's house, but as a family member nonetheless. Your responsibility will range from agricultural chores to making the children of the house study. You will also be taught how to make local handicrafts, so that is something new you will learn. While you're free, you can go around to the local areas and see the other side of one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

Minimum duration of stay: 1-2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $0-$500

One-way airfare: Rs.33,002

Credits: Moyan Brenn

Photo of Japan by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Palms.

Travelers love to go to offbeat, unexplored places and meet new people, learn about new cultures and traditions. East Timor is an island off the southeast Asian coast that not many people know about. East Timor has a lot of scope to grow, and this is why volunteers are encouraged to come and help in the community building. The main task of a volunteer working here is to empower women, spread education and increase awareness of technical issues amongst locals. This is an opportunity for a volunteer, who not just believes in 'volun-tourism' but also in making a difference!

Minimum duration of stay: Varies according to program

Cost of volunteering: Varies according to program

One-way airfare: Rs.55,077

Credits: Kate Dixon

Photo of East Timor by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Clowns Without Borders, Light House Relief.

Would you like to work in Greece's third largest island, which is absolutely beautiful? More than the beauty of Lesbos, the island is facing a lot of problems with refugees. The world at large today is effected by the Syrian refugee crisis, and it will only be the kindest thing to do when you can make little children laugh out loud. Clowns Without Borders is an organization where volunteers are invited to perform in refugee camps, and they hold interactive workshops. They lighten up the otherwise serious mood in the refugee camps. You can also volunteer with Light House Relief, which helps refugees by providing them with any aid needed.

Minimum duration of stay: 3 weeks

Cost of volunteering: Varies according to program

One-way airfare: Rs.26,797

Credits: Ronald Saunders

Photo of Lesbos, Lesbos Prefecture, Greece by Pritha Puri

Volunteer at Go Abroad.

Your dream of living on a beach is about to become your reality if you want to volunteer in Costa Rica. Turtles will become your new buddies when you work for their welfare and conservation! Turtle conservation is a very popular volunteering program in Costa Rica. You will also be assisting biologists and patrolling the beach at times. The organisation prepares you before hand to work hard. Explore San Jose in your free time, surf in the day and party at one of the beach shacks in the night. Take a tan home as a souvenir!

Minimum duration of stay: 2 weeks

Cost of volunteering: $300

One-way airfare: Rs.61,309

Credits: KansasPhoto

Photo of Costa Rica by Pritha Puri

An estimated cost for volunteering has been mentioned under each country. The countries that do not have cost mentioned, we suggest that you contact the website and check the rates for yourself. Cost of volunteering and flights also keep changing, it is better to cross-check the current airfare before booking your volunteering seat!

Happy Volunteering!

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