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Volunteering abroad

1. How to volunteer abroad.
2. Insurance
3. European voluntary service


A volunteer is a person who helps others on voluntary basis and with no remuneration. In recent years volunteering, especially in its international version enjoys growing popularity in Poland. More and more people want to live interesting and useful life, and believe that can be achieved. They want to work in Africa, Asia or Europe within the framework of humanitarian actions and, at the same time, learn about diverse cultures, acquire new skills and learn languages. Non-governmental organizations try to respond to these needs through their offer of various foreign volunteer programs.


Volunteer programs abroad generally address people with certain experience, though it is not a necessary condition. Only a candidate of age, who speaks a language of the country of destination, or English, may engage in such programs. Sometimes certain immunizations are required.

ORGANISERS GUARANTEE accommodation (sometimes in camps and tents), meals or per diems, as well as reimbursement of business travel costs.

COSTS THAT MIGHT BE COVERED BY VOLUNTEERS include (some organizations cover also these expenses): visa, travel to the given country, insurance.

DURATION: usually 2-3 months in the holiday season. There are also shorter projects (10 day) or longer (1 year). Each organization has its own requirements, e.g. a person is volunteering 5 days a week, 6 hours per day.


In order to volunteer abroad the candidate should:

  1. Select an interesting project from the data base; 
  2. Fill in the application form and submit to appropriate organization, attach a motivation letter and a CV with a photo, recommendations, information on the experience in social work, return address;
  3. Take part in the preparatory course (only in some organizations), including a language course; 

During the project the volunteer may be obliged to attend seminars (self-evaluation, exchanging experiences).


Some organizations continue cooperation with volunteer after completing the program, e.g. in the Youth Program a person who had volunteered abroad may apply for financial support for implementation of his/her own voluntary project. 


Volunteers are needed in various areas; everyone may find something interesting, e.g.:

helping seniors, homeless or unemployed people; 
helping people with disabilities;
health care;
preventing drugs and alcohol addictions;
helping immigrants and fighting racism; 
helping victims of natural disasters and wars; 
integration and preventing social exclusion; 
actions targeting equal opportunities;
education addressing children and youth;
protection of cultural heritage;
protection of natural environment;
media and social communication.

Volunteers provide services for the benefit of children’s homes, kindergartens, social care centers, senior centers, religious missions, refugee shelters, centers for people with disabilities, education centers for children and adults. Volunteers involve into educational, environmental projects, they build churches, refugee camps, health care facilities. It should be remembered, that voluntary work can not supplement somebody’s paid work. 


Each organization regulates insurance issues individually.

It’s up to the candidate to learn (e.g. with the use of internet website) what is guaranteed by the organizations and what costs he/she shall be obliged to cover himself/herself. 

United Nations Volunteers as part of the UNDP offers a comprehensive system of insurances for volunteers involved into UN projects and actions. Accident insurance and per diems are guaranteed to the volunteer (and the accompanying members of his/her family). In case of the operation, the person is transported to the nearest European hospital. After the operation one month rehabilitation is guaranteed and reimbursed. Per diems depend on the situation in the region of destination. Additionally, the volunteer receives certain amount of money for each accompanying family member.


AVSO-the Association of Voluntary Service Organisations is an international non-governmental organisation, forming a European platform of national and international non-profit organisations active in the field of longer term Voluntary Service www.avso.org

AVSO members:

YOUTH programme

European Voluntary Service is a second action of the YOUTH programme. Voluntary service is financing projects created by organisations and institutions of the participating countries for young adult people. In practice it means that Polish volunteers are going abroad and European volunteers are coming to Polish organisations to work for several months.

Voluntary service is a chance for:

  • young adult people (Poles) for going abroad in order to gain experience,
  • polish institutions and non-profit organisations to acquire forein volunteers that are willing to share the skills with others.

Detailed information on European Voluntary Service rules can be found on page www.mlodziez.org.pl The page also contains information how to become a volunteer, what to do to set up an organisation of voluntary service.Other information can be also found in Regional offices of the YOUTH programme.

The United Nations Volunteers Programme

The UNV Programme was created by the UN General Assembly in 1970 and is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) via its national offices. UNV operates in 140 countries and its strength lies in the 4780 professionals who annually bring sustainable human development all over the world. The technical co-operation involves many sectors, namely, agriculture, health, education, social work, vocational training, industry, transport, humanitarian relief and rehabilitation, and the support of electoral practices. Volunteers come from 157 countries, with two-thirds originating from the developing world. With an average age of 39, they boast strong academic and work credentials. The main form of UNV Programme involvement is carrying out development at the grassroots and in government, but also with the private sector, and non-governmental organisations.

Volunteers are mainly involved in: supporting local projects, humanitarian aid, supporting peace initiatives, monitoring human rights.
More information about UNV can be found on world-wide-web page http://www.undp.org.pl

Here you will find  more information on organizations offering volunteer projects abroad: 

Data utworzenia: 2011-06-23 01:24:49



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