Volunteering abroad for a longer period?
Through KVT you can volunteer abroad from one month up to a year. KVT’s volunteers work with our sister or partner organizations on non-profit grassroots projects. The volunteers will be able to get to know the work they do thoroughly as well as immerse themselves in the culture of the local community. The volunteer is often (but not always) the only foreigner in the project. Normally the volunteering tasks do not require any special professional skills. The most important qualities for a volunteer are independence, responsibility, and a realistic attitude. Long-term volunteering projects are located all around the world.
Who can go?
We require that the people applying for volunteering projects are motivated to work in the project in question, independent, responsible and have a realistic and respectful attitude to the ways and culture of the receiving community. Volunteering is not a holiday, and working in a foreign culture may be very challenging. For this reason, it is good if volunteers heading outside Europe have prior international experience as well as experience of independent life.
There is no upper age limit on long-term volunteering.
If you first want to try volunteering for a shorter time in an international workcamp, see information about voluntary workcamps.
In a nutshell
|where?||around the world|
|coordination fee||coordination fee 290€ + KVT membership fee 20€/10€|
|project fee||Europe, USA, Japan: no. Everywhere else, yes: normally 150–350€/month.|
|project database||Long-term project database|
Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Indonesia: projects are not (up to date) in the database, contact
|insurance||No, volunteers must get their own travel insurance.|
|application period||throughout the year|
|previous experience||Previous volunteering experience recommended.|
|criminal record extract||possibly|
Project duration and practicalities
Long-term volunteering projects take from one month up to a year, depending on the project. Most commonly the projects last from three to six months. In Europe, the United States, Japan and Taiwan the volunteers need to pay for their own travelling, but the project host will provide them with accommodation, orientation and support plus sometimes also food. In addition to this, in these projects, the volunteer often gets a small allowance.
The volunteer projects in the Global South often have an additional project fee specific to the project. The amount ranges normally from 150 to 350€ per month, and covers the cost of accommodation, orientation and support plus sometimes also food. The amount of the the fee and what it covers is always included in the project description in the long-term volunteering database.
All applications must always be sent to KVT!
A working group for long-term volunteering is in charge of answering questions, applications, interviews and trainings so don’t hesitate to contact if you have any questions. We will respond to any queries within 3 working days.
Insurance and visas
Volunteers need to have comprehensive travel insurance. If the volunteering project is within the EU, the volunteer can use the European Health Insurance Card. The volunteers need to get their visas themselves.
We organise training for volunteers going to long-term volunteering projects three to four times a year (normally December–January, April–May, August–September). This training is mandatory and it usually takes place in Helsinki and lasts one full day. In the training we discuss ethical and sustainable volunteering, practical matters relating to the volunteering period, adapting to a foreign culture and hear from former volunteers. The trainers are KVT’s experienced volunteers.
Criminal record extract
In some cases, the volunteer needs to send a criminal record extract to KVT office after being accepted. This is generally when the volunteer will be working with children, youth or people with special needs. The extract costs 6 or 12 euros. After the acceptance, KVT will send the volunteer further instructions on how to order the extract.
After returning home, KVT expects the volunteer to send them a report. The form will be sent to the volunteer after the end of the project. Feedback is used to develop and maintaing the quality of the projects in the SCI network as well as to develop the training and the materials.
All returning volunteers are most welcome to participate in KVT’s activities. This can be sharing experiences with other volunteers, or participating in local groups, for example. In October, we organize Volunteer Weekend for all returning volunteers where the volunteers can meet each other and share their experiences. Other meetings for volunteers are also organized throughout the year.
Volunteering in Finland?
Currently we don’t offer any long-term volunteering positions in Finland.
See here the detailed instructions on how to apply.