More Information about Working at an Orphanage
In developing countries there are a lot of orphaned children who live in shelters or orphanages with little or no care. As a volunteer, your role will be to work with them and bring some joy to their lives. Some children may have been neglected or come from disadvantaged backgrounds and they need help and people who they can trust to work with them. Some orphanages are in rural areas and you might be working around 20-30 hours per week Monday - Friday. Accommodation is usually provided in a shared building with communial facilities with other participants or you could stay with a host family.
You will need to have a positive attitude and be able to create a fun environment for the children to live in. You could be just generally assisting with daily tasks, or even coming up with ideas like English lessons, music or leading sports activities. You will be required to be fun, very patience and be able to be creative planning a weekly schedule for the children keeping them busy and occupied. Each orphanage has its own routine but this is a summary of daily tasks:
Help with breakfast and prepare the children for school
Assist with lessons and teach English 3-4 hours a day in the local school
Lead sports, art, games, picture books, music activities
Organize fun activities when the children return from school
Prepare food for dinner
Volunteer at an Orphanage in Asia
You could volunteer at an orphanage in countries like India, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Laos. Are you looking up trips to Asia? Think about doing something really special and volunteer at an orphanage in this continent to help some of the poorest children in the continent. In countries like India lots of disadvantaged children are provided refuge in orphanages and care centers which provide assistance and education to help them lead a normal life away from the streets. You will be able to arrange a placement to help NGO's who have years of experience placing internationals on rewarding programs.
Volunteer at an Orphanage in Africa
Africa is one of the poorest regions in the whole world and you can apply to help in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Malawi. These are just a few of the locations but there are also lots of placements with young people in need throughout the continent with hundreds of NGO's and charities offering assistance on the ground. Street children and orphans usually get no education in Africa and you will be able to help with lessons possibly teaching English, music or leading sports activities which can be a lot of fun. India is an incredible country to visit and on these programs you can create lasting memories and have more than just a normal beach holiday. Not many placements compare to helping at orphanages and with disadvantaged children in this continent.
Volunteer at an Orphanage in Latin America
Working in conjunction with local NGO's you will help local staff to improve the lives of children who come from difficult backgrounds in countries like Chile, Bolivia and Mexico. Some have been living on the streets for years and you will be able to create a warm and positive atmosphere for the children to live and learn. You will need to pay a joining fee to participate and this goes towards keeping programs operating when they receive little or no government funding in this continent.
Volunteer at an Orphanage in Eastern Europe
There are orphanages in Europe? Yes. Not all countries in this continent are as developed as say the UK, France and Germany and you can work alongside local teachers / community helpers by helping children lead a normal life in places like Moldova and Romania. If you really want to help some of the poorest children in this region these programs will be ideal for you, you might want to teach new ideas and games, listen to their stories and pick up some of the local language.
Gap Year Orphanage Work
Find gap year volunteer programs at orphanages, by joining a volunteer program you will help children, you don't need experience you just need a smile and willingness to help, also without the help of gap year volunteers a lot of orphanages would struggle to survive. On our orphanage gap year volunteering directory you can get more information about this experience, what to expect and see if these programs are right for you before applying. Spending a gap year volunteering at an orphanage in Africa is popular, a lot of gap year sending organisations help place thousands of people every year on these types of trips. A gap year volunteer role at an orphanage varys from program to program, expect no one day to be the same. Expect fresh challenges everyday and rustic living conditions. When volunteering at orphanages you can make a huge difference to the lives of children. Orphanage gap year destinations include Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Romania, China and Cambodia. You might need to pay an agency fee or donation to volunteer at an orphanage, this is because projects rely on money generated to keep in operation. Also some companies offer a package which includes accommodation, training, meals and in-country support.
What to Think About Before Applying - Is This Right / Ethical?
Orphanage volunteering is a controversial area of voluntourism, there are widespread reports that some orphanages in countries like Cambodia are just being run to many money and to expolit children which actually have families. There are a lot of articles and reviews you might want to read before applying, please research all organisations and check feedback on websites like facebook and twitter. Some organisations offer short term projects but if you are looking to join you have to ask yourself how much of a positive impact you can have in a short period. Also apply with an organisaton which offers training and a structured placement, ask lots of questions before signing up.
You might want to read more about if these programs are see whether they are right for you, out of all the volunteer placements working at an orphanage is the most controversial due to some people argueing it can do more harm than good. We think children should not be used for tourism purposes but there are some really inspiring projects being run by charities and NGO's - they rely on the help and money from international participants to keep their operations running.
We will leave this decision up to your personal choice but there are also lots of alternative programs available too. Joining orphanage volunteer programs is not an easy experience, and its certainly no holiday, living conditions also might be what you are used to. Please be aware that orphanage and childcare volunteer programmes can be very emotional, its not nice to see children who have had traumatic lives or who are suffering from illness like HIV / Aids.
Cost & How to Apply
You might be asked to pay a fee to participate, the cost usually goes to running the project or orphanage. This also should include training, placements, meals and accommodation which can be in the form of a homestay or with other volunteers.
If you need any specific advice about volunteering at orphanges please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org we will help with any enquiries and hopefully place you on rewarding placements. View our website and find a orphanage volunteer or go to our volunteer abroad directory today.