How to volunteer for free abroad ?

After spending hours surfing the Internet, you wonder how you can find volunteer for free abroad ?!

It is true that a large majority of organizations allowing volunteers abroad charge high fees. 

However, don’t give up hope because I will give you some ideas to volunteer abroad for free.

Volunteer for free abroad with French organizations

Volunteer abroad

You have the possibility to volunteer for free abroad with a French organization. However, few of them offer free volunteering projects abroad.

Indeed, there are two main ones that allow you to volunteer for free abroad :

  • Civic service: civic service is a French system for encouraging citizenship and public support. Civic service is open to young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Note that the duration of civic service generally varies between 6 months and 1 year. Civic service is a way to volunteer for free. In addition, you are paid up to €580/month.
  • France volunteers: this is the French platform of International Exchange and Solidarity Volunteers. This association offers the possibility of volunteering for free abroad. However, you should be aware that there are not many offers. Also, depending on the missions, the selected volunteer will have to meet certain training criteria or previous experience in a particular field. Finally, the volunteering projects that can be found through this association are for a period of one to two years as a general rule.

Volunteering for free with your company

You can also ask your company for information about volunteering abroad for free.

Indeed, more and more companies are setting up partnerships with associations to provide their employees with volunteering projects abroad during holidays. These are called solidarity leaves. This solidarity leave is generally possible over a period of 15 days.

Sometimes these leaves are financed by the company and in this case, it is a free humanitarian trip for the employee participating in the humanitarian project. 

Obviously, not all companies practice this. It is therefore advisable to contact your company’s competent department to investigate this possibility.

Go on a free volunteering project with local associations

Volunteering in Zanzibar

Another possibility for a free volunteering project is to go directly with a local association. For this you have two possibilities:

  • Find local associations that agree to receive you free of charge: Indeed, if you have chosen a particular destination, it is possible to find out on the Internet to find a list of local associations in the country. Once this list has been found, I recommend that you contact each of the associations you are interested in. Indeed, this will allow you to discuss the possibility for you to join a project of the association for free for a few weeks. I can’t guarantee you anything with this method, but nothing tries anything has nothing! 
  • Engaging directly with the local population: this is totally possible. I have several friends who left (especially in Asia) alone on their trip and during their trip they met local people and associations to whom they gave a hand. It is possible to reach construction sites for example, or help in hospitals etc.. This method requires no organization or preparation because everything will be done on site. 

Find funding to volunteer for free abroad

Volunteering abroad can be expensive, so you will find some tips to help you finance your volunteering project abroad so that this volunteering project becomes free for you:

  • Request financing from your company
  • Create a fundraising / crowdfunding
  • Organize a raffle or event to raise funds
  • Set up a funding application file with a public body: for example, you can contact Amnesty International, the National Centre for Development Cooperation or the European Commission
  • Be sponsored by a company that wants to help you in your mission: be optimistic because many companies could have an interest in helping you participate in a humanitarian mission
  • Ask your family/friends for fundings

The alternative to free volunteering project: cheap volunteering project 

However, if none of these tips is right for you, you should know that it is still possible to find a volunteering project at a low cost. Indeed, a number of non-profit associations offer cheap volunteering project.

For a budget varying between 300€ and 800€ it is quite possible to find a volunteering project with food and accommodation. 

For my part, I volunteered in Africa for few months, which didn’t cost me much. This experience has been extraordinary so I can only recommend that you do the same!

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