We want to give you some basic information that will help you get a better idea of what the volunteer projects overseas entail. This is broken down into what kind of work you can do on a project, the types of people that will be with you on a project, the basic requirements needed in order to apply and finally we give you an idea of what the benefits are from this experience and how you can contribution to this.
Types of Projects
You might join a local co-operative for the harvesting season or be involved in the life of a farm, this doesn’t usually involve direct contact with animals on the farms, although tasks might include helping with the general maintenance of the farm. Often projects involving agriculture have also a wider social aspect, such as working with people with disabilities, raising awareness of sustainable farming, education and so on.
Volunteers could be invited to work on a collective art project or to organise workshops on different art disciplines, from music to painting, drama, photography, filming and so on. The level of skills required varies greatly, from very basic to highly skilled, depending on the purpose of the project: sometimes volunteers are asked to teach children basic art skills; other times they contribute to the organisation of an art related event with the aim of involving people in the life of the community or raising awareness on specific issues.
Many projects are available where volunteers help in archaeological sites, digging, filing and researching findings.
Some projects are specifically focused on activities to deepen the intercultural exchange among the participants and between participants and local communities. Most activities consist of group discussions, organising workshops, events and leisure activities on a topic of intercultural importance.
Education and Teaching
This area involves all projects where there is an education aspect such as teaching art skills, raising awareness on specific issues, teaching (mostly languages) or discussing a specific topic or subject.
There is a huge selection of projects available every year relating to the environment. The range of projects goes from general conservation management in national parks and reserves, creating new walking paths, cleaning vegetation from riverbanks and beaches, creating habitats for wildlife as well as raising awareness on environmental issues, recycling, sustainable development among youngsters, local communities and schools.
Every year we have a small selection of projects open to volunteers and their children (usually aged 5-13). The project is intended to make adults and children work as well as spending quality time together. Work is designed for children not to be physically hard.
These types of projects are linked with local festival or arts projects, although you can find placements specifically focused on researching or discussing historical issues related to the life of a community or area.
Over the summer many local communities, especially in Europe, tend to organise small festival to celebrate events, anniversaries and local traditions. Volunteers are often of great importance in the setting up of the festival, welcoming the visitors and dismantling the festival afterwards. Most of the times it can be hard work and with long hours during the running of the festivals; however volunteers get also the opportunity to participate in the activities, workshops and events involved.
Manual Work, Renovation/Restoration and Construction
Many projects in our programme involve renovating or constructing buildings and infrastructures important for the life of a community or with a particular importance for the local heritage. Tasks might involve renovating an old school, helping convert old buildings into social centres, restoring old castles or historical buildings.
Volunteers might help looking after people with learning or physical disabilities, elderly people, or organising leisure activities for children and teenager on a summer camp; some projects are also organised in orphanages, drop in centres or schools. Most times volunteers are required to be very motivated and with a special interest in working with people.
Projects where the age range is 50+.
Concordia sends 16 – 17 year olds on to specially designed ‘teenager’ projects. Some times these projects might have older people on them too but the focus will be suitable for teenagers. Teenager project are only available on our main volunteering programme – The Standard Programme.