Guide to Helping Humanitarian Programs Around the World

Humanitarian Volunteering

Are you looking travel and make a difference? Have you ever watched the news and seen war and disaster situations and thought you would like to get involved? On our website we list a wide range of volunteering and work abroad programs where you can help on humanitarian programs in developing countries around the world.

As well as famine relief and crisis management, NGO's participate in community infrastructure projects aimed at encouraging sustainable development covering a wide range of activities including school building, promotion of renewable energy use, agriculture programes and digging wells. Volunteering on a humanitarian project can be extremely rewarding but requires commitment, hard work and a strong motivation to alleviate suffering and improve the lives of others.


Types of Positions

You could be helping in the humanitarian sector working on building / construction projects, helping care projects, and working on aid relief programs. Joining international development teams who bring care and relief in a medical capacitiy which help people and victims of humanitarian problems are very popular. Engineers, drivers and logistics / shipping coordinators are needed worldwide to enable NGO programmes. Doctors, Nurses and those with healthcare or medical skills can work for NGO's in hospitals / clinics and assist with community health initiatives. Similarly, qualified teachers can find volunteer opportunities teaching languages, literacy and promoting community health initiatives such as HIV prevention programs. Professional skills and corporate experience are also in demand as many projects require participants who can bring business management, volunteer coordination and micro-finance skills.

There are lots of organisations who are helping communities in places like Africa - political stability is always an issue in some countries in this continent and you can contact volunteer organisations to apply to help local people in this region. If you have previous healthcare experience you could volunteer on medical volunteering placements by joining international teams who provide medical outreach projects to communities and people in need. On these types of programs you might be delivering medical assistance or generally helping doctors and nurses working to improve health standards and work with ill / injured people. Sometimes you might be working with children and others at community drop in centres which help people who are sick, have infections, cuts, wounds or just need medical attention. These placements can be hard work but really rewarding as you will visably see the difference you make to peoples lives.

You could join education programs and help in local schools and centres which have been set up to educate local children and youngsters. In humanitarian situations schooling is usually not available but international volunteer aid organisations provide educations programs to help, you could be leading English lessons or just helping out with daily activities. These educational care programs are offered to any children to attend and provide much needed help and an escape for children who can play sports and learn in a fun environment.



In Africa and the Middle East there are lots of humanitarian programs with victims of war and displaced people. There are also lots of educational programs where you can teach English for example or educate youngsters in places like Israel and Palestine and aim to provide a better future for this troubled region. There are so many rewarding, challenging and worthwhile humanitarian programs you could work on, choosing a destination is important or you can get advice by contacting sending organisations. Whatever your motivation is to work on humanitarian programs you can make a difference.

Related Pages


Recommended Places to Find Paid Humanitarian Work Abroad

  • Daleel-Madani
  • Devnet Jobs
  • Relief Web
  • Trust


How to Apply

Placements can be arranged through sending agencies or directly via larger NGO's and charities and there are opportunities worldwide for skilled and unskilled volunteers. Given the long placement durations, level of commitment required and difficulties of working in the field, new volunteers are recommended to gain experience by arranging a short term placement. Which ever country you choose to volunteer in there are individuals and communities which need help and will appreciate your presence. Volunteering for the aid of others is an amazing thing to do and on our website you can find a role and job suitable for you. Browse our humanitarian projects abroad to set up a placement today.


Reviews & Testimonials

Humanitarian Disaster Volunteering Work

Have you ever been to help a disaster or relief program? Would you like to share your experience? Contact us today.

"I moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands during August 2017. I moved to the island to become a graduate student at the University of the Virgin Islands. However, three weeks into my new life on September 6, 2017 Hurricane Irma struck the island, followed by Hurricane Maria two weeks later on September 20, 2017. What followed was some of the toughest months of my life. I had no city power, graduate school was put on hold for over one month, and I had to struggle to get diesel fuel for my generator and food to eat. 

However, there was a part of this whole time that I enjoyed and even embraced. Shortly after Hurricane Maria, I came into contact with All Hands and Hearts. This organization organizes volunteers from all over the world to help people recover after disasters. I ran into a staff member a week after Maria and two weeks later I was working in homes helping remove mold, damaged furniture, yard debris, and in general just cleaning out homes of damages. This opportunity gave me a completely different perspective of my island and gave me a chance to give back to my new home.

My time at All Hands has brought invaluable experiences. I worked with them for over two months during which time I was able to help over a hundred people with there homes and get their houses ready for rebuild. I have met people from all over the world all of whom have a desire to help people. As someone who went through the storms and volunteered with All Hands and Hearts I can say that one of the most helpful things people can do after a disaster is volunteer with this organization.

Before I volunteered I had limited experience with any type of tool. After two months of working I am confident in the use of a wide variety of standard and mechanical tools. I had little experience in working with teams outside school group projects, however while working with All Hands I have not only worked with large teams of 10-15 but have actually led teams and directed work at sites that needed help. This experience has resulted in me growing as a person. Not only did I gain experience as a laborer but due to interactions with the community and with fellow volunteers Saint Thomas became my home in a way that without volunteering I would never have achieved." - Owen Clower from the United States.


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