Volunteer with Children

Knowledge is power

Whether it’s helping a child solve a maths problem, score a goal or finish reading their first book, when you volunteer with children you have a direct impact on their education, well-being and future employability.

Your volunteer work with children can make a real, measurable difference in the development, empowerment and education of children and young people, while giving you the opportunity to develop and hone your professional skills.

Overview

What to expect from volunteering with children

GVI has partnered with schools and community organisations across various locations, where you can volunteer with children in a way that is ethical, safe and responsible. All our projects are run in partnership with local educational and child-focused organisations and are guided by the development objectives of the community and robust ethical standards.

When you volunteer with children – also sometimes called childcare volunteering – you provide care and support to children in various stages of their childhood development. You might volunteer with children in schools, daycare centres or community centres. Volunteers working with children engage in a variety of activities that promote children’s physical, emotional and cognitive development, while also ensuring their safety and well-being. This includes:

  • general teaching and tutoring
  • creating curriculums
  • assisting with homework
  • facilitating reading classes
  • providing English language skills
  • organising recreational activities
  • running physical exercise lessons
  • coaching sport teams
  • raising awareness about sustainability topics
  • facilitating health and wellness workshops 

 

GVI operates childhood volunteer programs on four continents:

 

When you join one of GVI’s volunteer programs, you will work alongside local teachers, carers and childhood development experts from within the community you are serving. Our programs and projects are community-led and community-owned initiatives, developed around local objectives and contexts. Projects are operated, on-the-ground and year round, permanently staffed to ensure continuity and minimal disruption to children’s learning experiences. 

Why does volunteer work with children matter? 

It is still an unfortunate reality that children in communities across the world do not always have the full-time access to resources, education or care that they need. Children face challenges such as poverty, social isolation, access to healthcare, and educational inequality. Volunteers working as teachers, tutors, coaches, or development assistants, help provide the additional access and resources children might need, ultimately promoting greater equity and social justice, and helping to build stronger, healthier communities. 

GVI’s volunteering with children programs also directly contributes towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, situating our volunteer work with children within a broader global network of experts that help guide and frame our project work.

Will I receive training to volunteer with children? 

Yes! As a volunteer working with children, you don’t need to have a specific qualification or have previous experience working with children. Every project provides orientation and comprehensive training that’s led by experts, and will get you up to speed on everything you need to know before you start volunteering with children.

As you will be interacting with children daily and be partly responsible for their emotional and physical wellbeing, it is vital that all our volunteers and staff understand how to keep children safe. All our volunteers and staff receive comprehensive and continuous on-site child protection training. 

Depending on the type of volunteer work you do, you will also receive specialised practical training in teaching, tutoring or early childhood development. 

You will also get first-hand project implementation experience working in the sustainable development sector. 

Volunteering with children also offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. Here are some employability skills volunteering with children will teach you:

  • communication 
  • active listening
  • problem-solving
  • leadership
  • teamwork and collaboration 
  • empathy and compassion
  • social consciousness

 

Responsible volunteering to safeguard children

Child safety is our top priority:

  • All our staff and volunteers are required to complete a police background check before arrival on their chosen program. 
  • GVI does not support orphanage volunteering in any of our locations. For more information please read our stance on orphanage volunteering

 

We regularly review and update our comprehensive Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy based on international best practices.

Our programs

Volunteering
Madagascar Volunteer English Teaching
Volunteering
Teaching with Early Childhood Development in Ghana
Volunteering
Teaching English and Community Development Projects in Costa Rica
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Thailand
Volunteering
Early Childhood Development in Fiji
Volunteering
Teach English to Cambodian Buddhist Monks
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Cambodia
Internship
Teaching Internship in Costa Rica
Volunteering
Volunteer Teaching in Nepal
Volunteering
Everest Base Camp Trek and Volunteering Program in Nepal
Under 18
Himalaya Trek and Community Development Teen Volunteering in Nepal
Internship
Community Development Internship in Costa Rica
Research Fellowship
Global Health Research Fellowship in Thailand
Internship
Teaching Internship in Ghana
Internship
Teaching Internship in Thailand
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Thailand and Fiji
Research Fellowship
Early Childhood Development Research Fellowship in Fiji
Internship
Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Internship in Ghana
Volunteering
Sports in South Africa
Research Fellowship
Education Research Fellowship in Cambodia
Internship
English Teaching Internship in Madagascar
Volunteering
Climate & Environmental Education in Ghana
Internship
Teaching Internship in Cambodia
Internship
International Development Internship in Nepal
Volunteering
Early Childhood Development in South Africa
Professional Apprenticeship
Community Development Professional Apprenticeship in Cambodia
Professional Apprenticeship
Teaching and Community Development Apprenticeship in Nepal
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Nepal
Professional Apprenticeship
Community Development Professional Apprenticeship in Costa Rica
Internship
Teaching Internship in Fiji
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Fiji
Volunteering
Early Childhood Development in Nepal
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in South Africa
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Costa Rica
Volunteering
Teaching and Early-years Education in Cambodia
Professional Apprenticeship
TEFL and English Teaching Apprenticeship in Thailand
Professional Apprenticeship
Teaching and Community Development Apprenticeship in South Africa
Internship
Teaching Internship in South Africa
Internship
Community Development Internship in South Africa
Volunteering
Volunteer Teaching in South Africa

New and Exclusive: GVI Experiences

A locally curated selection of extra activities are now included across our programs.
Learn to cook Malagasy cuisine
Handcraft your own canoes
Forage for local medicinal plants
Visit the island of the lemurs
Snorkel in a marine wonderland
Gaze and wonder at the southern constellations
Watch the sunset at Banyan tree
Sleepover on a remote volcanic archipelago
Programs

GVI’s volunteer with children programs

Teaching and educational programs

If you want to focus specifically on empowering children through teaching and educational support, we offer programs where you can contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education.

All of our volunteering with children programs in education offer fantastic opportunities to add to global goals, no matter where you are in the world. And at every location, you’ll get to work with local teachers to develop relevant, effective and engaging lesson plans that aim to make it easier for local students to achieve their academic potential.

You’ll also get the opportunity to deliver lesson plans to your class, and gain first-hand experience in what makes volunteer work with children successful. Some of our programs focus on early childhood development initiatives where you’ll work with pre-school children, whilst other programs focus on school-going children.

Volunteering with children abroad could also involve teaching English language classes. This is important because being able to speak English can improve the access that children have to future employment opportunities.

Sports programs

If you’re keen on joining volunteer opportunities with children that add to their physical education and overall well-being, we also offer sports-focused volunteer programs.

Community development and sustainability awareness

Many of our community development and conservation programs include volunteering opportunities with children. This is because we always include the community in our local initiatives to ensure that the projects are sustainable – and early education is often a key component of this.

Join local organisations to educate children on critical local issues – like the climate crisis – to help nurture a generation of change-makers who are knowledgeable and equipped to be part of the solution.

By volunteering with children in this way, you’ll plan lessons on recycling, sanitation, water conservation, health, environmental awareness and any other topics that are relevant to the community you’re working in.

These projects are a great way to also broaden your own understanding of sustainable development, and witness the power of education and its impact on other aspects of sustainable development.

Locations

Where can I volunteer with children?

We know that picking the right location for you is an important decision. You want to be sure that you’re not only volunteering on a program that’s the right fit for your skills development and areas of interest, but that you can travel to a location that excites you and exposes you to new cultures, perspectives, and adventures. At GVI, we are determined to match you with a program that is enriching and rewarding. 

With GVI’s incredible variety of locations across so many different countries you can be certain that you’ll find the perfect location. We operate volunteer with children programs in the following places: 

GVI hubs where you can volunteer with children

 

GVI hubs where you can volunteer with children through teaching

 

GVI hubs where you can volunteer with children through sports

 

Not sure where to go? Let our program experts talk you through your options and answer all your questions. Get in touch – we’d love to help you find the perfect program for you.

FAQs

Any other questions before you volunteer with children? 

Do I need any specific qualifications?

No qualifications are required to volunteer with children on a GVI program. All necessary training will be provided by our qualified staff members and field experts. This ensures that the safety of the children we work with, as well as our volunteers, is prioritised every step of the way.

How old do I have to be to volunteer with children?

We welcome participants of all ages, whether you’re taking a gap year, embarking on a career-break, or over 50 and looking to shake things up. 

How long can I volunteer with children?

You can choose to volunteer for anywhere between one week to six months, depending on the program you have chosen.

Is volunteering with children safe? 

Yes. You are in safe hands. 

GVI has a comprehensive and regularly updated health and safety policy that forms the foundation of all our project management and operations. You’ll be taken through this policy during orientation. 

Additionally, our staff undergo regular health and safety training, to ensure that they are well versed on health and safety best practices, emergency planning, and emergency care. 

Will I get paid to volunteer with children?

No, you will have to pay the volunteering program fees with GVI. 

So why pay to volunteer? By contributing to a project as a paying volunteer, you are assisting in supporting communities abroad, and ensuring that programs are efficient and beneficial to children in the long run. You are also investing in your own training and development, so you can continue making an impact in the world long after you’ve finished your volunteer with children program.

Who will I be volunteering with?

Volunteers with GVI come from all over the world. You’ll interact with people from various different backgrounds and cultural contexts, and more likely than not find yourself leaving your volunteer experience with new life-long friendships.

Can I teach sports when I volunteer with children? 

At GVI we understand the importance of sports for childhood development, and the importance of managing both physical and mental health. Sport also allows learners who are not academically inclined the chance to excel in another area. This can often boost the confidence of these learners. 

So, while sports don’t always form a part of the curriculum of the schools we partner with – due to a lack of resources and funding – GVI tries to incorporate sports and time outdoors into our volunteering with children programs.

You can learn more about the topic of sports and early childhood development by reading this article: Four reasons why sport is important in early childhood development.

What if I’m unsure about what program or location to choose?

You can either get in touch with one of our program experts by completing our enquiry form or getting in touch with us via email or phone

Another way to put your mind at ease or ask any questions you have is to chat to one of our ambassadors – someone who has been where you are now and can give you first-hand information.