Global Volunteers


Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984. Volunteering under the direction of local leaders, team members form groundwork for international peace via common, global understanding. Our goal is to sustain authentic development projects with the host community and give volunteers wide opportunities to help.

Since 1984, over 30,000 people have volunteered with Global Volunteers in 34 different countries. Visit our website to learn more about how to join this movement and become a Global Volunteer!

Programs from Global Volunteers

Program Reviews

  • Venessa Humphrey
    Age: 25-30
    Melbourne, Australia
    A rewarding experience!

    I volunteered in Romania with Global volunteers in March/April of 2015 and it was honestly one of the richest and most rewarding experiences of my life. I highly recommend Global Volunteers if you are considering volunteering. I was supported every step of the way by Global Volunteers staff and our hosts Mihaela and Dan. I felt safe and taken care of every step of the way.

    Seeing the children respond so quickly was very encouraging. We saw children try to stand and sit on their own, engage more in sharing behaviour, become more vocal and we even had a lovely woman on our team who knew infant massage and was able to help ease the tight muscles of the less mobile children. Even just making the children laugh and smile made the whole experience worthwhile.

    I will say, however, that it can be exhausting; physically, mentally and emotionally. It will test you at times. Be prepared for the fact that there are things that you cannot change; situations that you can only approach with love and support. Just always do the best that you can and forgive yourself when you feel like you may be falling short (I assure you, you won't be!)

    Me feeding Ilinca on my first day
    Delia showing off her amazing colouring skills
    Our team engaging with the children
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  • Lee Previant
    Age: 31-50
    Los Angeles, CA
    University of Arizona

    My experience in Tanzania was completely unforgettable. I went without expectations and only a desire to help. I was rewarded daily with a new challenge and a new learning experience. I was able to teach Civics, teach English, work in rural clinics, work in an AIDS clinic, plant trees, weigh babies, and more.

    The community was extremely friendly and welcoming. My only regret is that I didn't spend more time there. The program is well-integrated into the community and is well-respected. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will stay with you forever.

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  • Dorothy S. Mason
    Age: 51 or older
    Greensboro, NC
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    Cuba - Still a Colorful Country

    The visit to Cuba was instructional - it went far beyond what I was able to teach in years of university teaching of geography.
    The first thing that struck me were the taxis lined up in from of our hotel -- mostly late 'fifties cars from the U.S. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air seemed to be the most popular. Our ride in a convoy of them -- all convertibles -- on our last evening in Havana was a real treat. We were told that Cuban mechanics and metal fabricators have to be really creative to keep them running. They definitely keep them painted in bright colors. Cuba is a colorful country, and the music and art were impressive. The food we were served was great, but learning about the lack of availability of a variety of foods that the average Cuban can afford to buy made our food taste a little less good.. Cubans whom we met seemed friendly and open in conversations; and really wanted us to know them. A big treat was the visit to the neighborhood of Muraleando, where a grass-roots arts center has been developed and is operated entirely by volunteers. They had us dancing to their music in spite of our old knees.

    How could this program be improved?

    I think it would have been valuable to see some of the farms -- both urban and in the countryside -- and the fruit/vegetable market in the city of Havana. This would probably require a few more days, which would be good.

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  • Heidi Moon
    Age: 51 or older
    Rhode Island
    Mount Holyoke College
    Global Volunteers comes through again!

    Just as Global Volunteers did in Vietnam 15 years ago, they provided a meaningful, intellectually stimulating, and enjoyable experience. Learning about Cuba directly from the Cubans is the right way to do it. Being in a congenial small group with a team leader and a Cuban guide who understand what GV is all about made the trip a life-changing experience for both my grandson and me. I give the experience an A+

    How could this program be improved?

    I felt perfectly safe while in Cuba, but I have suggestions that relate to travel anywhere in the world: Passengers should stay seated using seat belts while the coach is in motion; the leaders should be aware of the danger of the sun so should always offer the option of shade; bottles of water should be readily available at all times, including when the group boards the bus after arriving at the airport.

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  • Connie Palagi
    Age: 51 or older
    East Greenwich, RI
    Worcester State University
    Cuba Lover for Life

    This was the trip of a see Cuba with all of its beauty, culture and rustic appeal still intact before tourism really takes over.
    The scenery in Ciego de Avila, Santa Clara and Moron was fabulously untouched, like stepping back in time.

    Havana gets into your blood and I could have spend weeks there!
    We did not visit tourist areas or beaches, it was the real bird's eye view of Cuba among the streets, cars, people and scenery of real life.

    How could this program be improved?

    The People to People program has completed its' last run and I was glad to be a part of it. Global Volunteers will now run the program, so people will still be able to participate.

    I would, in future programs, give a bit more time to travelers to set out and see something on their own time.

    Also, during musical presentations, if people do not want to get up and dance, I would not make them!

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