Laying firm foundations

Volunteer Building Projects

Offer practical help to empower local community projects

When you volunteer in our construction programs, you’ll assist a local team to build or update key infrastructure and facilities in underserved communities. 

By creating better resources, you’ll help our local partners to give their communities improved access to public health, education, nutrition, sanitation and other important development initiatives.

So, if you love getting your hands dirty, doing DIY projects and helping with physical work – GVI’s volunteer building projects are a great way to make a tangible difference, and leave a lasting impact.

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

Our programs are partnered with locally-led projects that are at the forefront of inclusive, actionable community engagement and development.
Ethical

Ethical

We pledge to do good only through meaningful, considered action that can make a proven difference in the world.
Sustainable

Sustainable

Using the UN’s SDGs as a framework, we’re committed to community development solutions that are built to have a lasting, positive impact.

What’s construction volunteering all about?

Overview
Types
Locations

Why do I need to volunteer in a building project?

Imagine being a nurse in a community clinic without a private room to see newborn babies and mothers? Or, teaching at a school without having decent equipment to help kids play and develop their gross motor skills?

Construction volunteering is a practical way of supporting social impact initiatives in communities around the world.

At GVI, we always partner with local organisations, schools and governments in the various communities where we run our programs. By doing this, we know that the projects can be sustainable and will be able to continue long after you’ve laid down your paint brush and left the base.

As we collaborate with our partners on their community initiatives, many of them have identified a great need for basic infrastructure and facilities to help them run their initiatives more effectively.

Our construction volunteering programs serve as a support function to our partners, empowering them to focus on what they do best – improving the lives of people in underserved areas.

These are some of the benefits of volunteering on a construction program:

  • Support local organisations to effectively implement sustainable social impact in their communities.
  • See the tangible results of your hard work through physical improvements.
  • Lay foundations that will support community initiatives for years to come.
  • Receive academic credits when you volunteer on one of our construction programs.
  • Contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 4: Quality Education and Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
  • Connect with passionate people and organisations to build your network of like-minded change-makers.
  • Gain intercultural international experience in community development to boost your career.
  • Experience a new country with interesting cultures, beautiful landscapes and delicious traditional food.
  • Get to know the local families that you are assisting through your building project.

What will I do as a volunteer on a building program?

Would you say you’re a handyperson? Maybe you’re a passionate gardener or you find painting therapeutic? Wondering how to make a social impact by using your handiwork skills?

During your construction volunteering program, you’ll assist local masons and builders to empower community-based initiatives by helping out with practical handiwork.

The projects you will be joining will be specific to the needs of the community, with a focus on improvements to schools, creating access to water supplies and constructing resources such as shelving and furniture.

You can expect to help out with the following building tasks:

  • Help with basic repairs and renovation jobs at community projects.
  • Make eco-bricks from recycled material to use in building structures.
  • Help builders construct and renovate classrooms and create school libraries.
  • Set up play areas and jungle gyms for children.
  • Enhance facilities by building shelving and furniture.
  • Help to install waste management and rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Give old buildings, classrooms, furniture or climbing frames a fresh coat of paint.

 

Do I need building experience or qualifications?

You don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to join one of our building programs. That’s because the type of work you’ll be doing is basic support functions that you’ll receive training for by our team on base and local construction workers. 

You’ll also be working with a local construction coordinator who will lead the projects, and guide you along every step of the way.

Who will enjoy volunteering on a building program?

While no previous experience is required to help out on a building project, physical fitness and any DIY or construction experience will definitely help. 

If you have any specific construction-related experience and talents that could benefit our partners, we would love to hear about it. Please let us know when you sign-up, so we can assign you to a project where you would enjoy putting your skills into practice.

Construction volunteering is also a great option for groups because you’ll work together towards a common, tangible goal. Whether you’re a school group, university group or corporate team, contributing to a building project creates great team spirit. You’ll return to your daily lives with a shared sense of unity and purpose, knowing that you’ve made a lasting impact through your volunteering.

Many of our general community development programs give you the opportunity to help out on a variety of projects – including construction projects in locations like Peru, South Africa, Costa Rica and Thailand.

But if you’re keen to get your hands dirty by focusing only on construction volunteering, our dedicated building programs in Nepal and Fiji will be the best fit for you.

Nepal

Stay in the beautiful Himalayan town of Pokhara with a group of change-makers from all over the world, all sharing the same mission – to make an ethical impact.

Get up early, enjoy a cup of black Nepali tea and head off with the building team to the local school to improve their educational facilities. 

Depending on the partners and teachers’ needs at the time, you’ll be building and renovating their infrastructure and equipment, to have a direct impact on the educational outcomes of the students and to improve the health and safety standards of their buildings.

The area is an outdoor-lover’s dream, so in your free time you can hit the mountain trails and get the chance to take epic photos of the beautiful vantage points overlooking lakes, snow-capped peaks and forests. If you’re interested in getting immersed in the local culture, you have an abundance of opportunities – from attending Nepali festivals and celebrations, visiting Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries, and learning how to cook local dishes.

Fiji

Our hub in the Dawasamu region offers a variety of community development initiatives to support the local government organisations and ministries. The area often has water scarcity problems which can lead to health and nutrition challenges, so our construction projects are mostly focused on water, sanitation and hygiene to support the community’s needs.

The building volunteer programs in Fiji could include a range of practical activities – from installing rainwater harvesting equipment, creating waste management systems and erecting hand washing stations.

At the end of a long hard day of working, you can return to our base set in a serene tropical fishing village and take long walks on outstretched white beaches, or listen to the waves crashing as you lie in your hammock.

Find your fit

If you’re not entirely sure whether you’d like to do a construction volunteering program in Nepal or Fiii yet, there’s no need to rush.

Get in touch with our team of program experts, who’ll be keen to answer any questions you might have or just talk you through the different options. If you’re wondering about how you’re going to fund your program, they’d be able to help you with that too.

It’s always great to hear from someone who’s actually been on a volunteer building program, to get first-hand information. Request a chat with one of our alumni to get a sense of what it’s really like.

 

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