• Chile
    • Santiago

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round


Price Details
VE Global charges no fee to volunteer, but you will be responsible for your travel costs and living expenses in Santiago.
Feb 08, 2019
Jan 30, 2018
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

VE Global (VE) recruits, trains and organizes international volunteers to achieve our mission of fostering the positive development of children at social risk in Chile. VE has successfully integrated over 450 full-time volunteers from more than 35 countries into our network of 6 local children's homes, community centers, schools and preschools in some of the most vulnerable areas of Santiago. Because of the delicate nature of working with children who have been abused or neglected, we require that our volunteers join our team for a minimum of four months, with a full-time commitment.

VE charges NO fee to volunteer.

For more information, check the Volunteer Program Details and Requirements on our website.

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Program Highlights

  • Put your belief in social change into action by volunteering with VE Global.
  • Use your skills and talents to help our organization as well as our partner social service organizations.
  • Create positive social change through educational programs aimed at children at social risk.
  • Grow professionally and personally through an enriching volunteering experience in Chile.

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Program Reviews

4.82 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.82%
  • 4 rating 18.18%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.55
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time In Chile

I have been volunteering with VE Global for the past 5 months, as a volunteer in a residencia, and will be continuing my work with VE in the office for the next month and a half. My work over these past few months have been so fulfilling for me through my work in the residencia. My first reasoning for travelling to Chile was to gain independence and to gain experience in a foreign country. However, within my first few weeks of working in the residencia I realised that to make sure that the girls get something out of our time together is the most important thing and if I do too then that is just a bonus.
My experience in Chile and working with VE has been one of the best in my life to this point. My work in the residencia, whilst during my time I couldn’t see the differences I made, it all accumulated to a fantastic moment at the end of my time working with the girls. The last day in the residencia made it all worthwhile. The cards and gifts showed me how much they appreciated what I had being doing with them over the past few months and made me feel like I had achieved something very special during my time with them. The connection between myself and the girls there had been growing throughout my time with them, I felt like I had become the older, funny, and a little bit crazy brother to all of them.
It has been great for me as a volunteer to have some responsibilities in the residencia and as I start my new work in the office it will be great to see the other side of VE. However, what I appreciate the most about VE is the support that they have provided me over these 5 months or so, you can talk to any at the organisation about any problems you may be having, whether that be as part of your work or just about life in general. Someone will have experienced the same or similar things and will help you work through whatever problem you may encounter.

What would you improve about this program?
Changes in programs delivered to children and more effective communication and collaboration with residencias and other organisations
73 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

I came to volunteer abroad with VE Global in 2010 for 6 months. The best way to describe my experience would be life changing. I chose VE Global because I would be working with children and not just teaching English which was the case with many other programs. VE work with various institutions including orphanages, homes and schools. I came to Chile to make a difference to a child's life and I felt like I did that but it was also a life changing experience for me too.

All children no matter what language they speak just want to be loved. I worked in a school, a squatters camp and a girls home. All these experiences were different. The school had structure and I knew what I had to do. I helped children with their school work and I supervised them during their break and lunch time. I was also able to do an English class once a week and the children loved it. Teaching was hard work, and only now do I truly understand how much preparation goes into making one 45 min class. The reward you get when a child understands and remembers the words they had learnt are amazing. I used to stay up late the night before to make sure I completed my lesson plan and it was worth it esp when I had a good class. And when it was a bad class, it taught me things which were not done well, activities which may have been too complex or long.

At the squatters camp and the girls home it was a lot harder, children didn't have any real routine and I had to think of ways to entertain them. Whether it was playing with them, reading with them, drawing etc...it was not easy to engage the children and sometimes I was just sitting with them whilst they watched TV. I found it was not so much making them do things but just being there with them that was important. So I found I had days when I was in the girls home and the children didn't want to go out, it was too hot, or they didn't want to play/read it was school holidays and they just wanted to watch TV. But for the children it was just about you being there. Every day they came to expect you. I turned up and went with the flow, I would take various bits from VE; books, pens and colours, jigsaw puzzles etc. and depending on what took their interest, we adapted the day accordingly. With the elder girls I did some jewellery making workshops, we made earrings and bracelets and it was a great way to engage the teenage girls.

Being a volunteer is rewarding but hard work aswell, I felt like I was working harder than I did in my 9-5 job back in the UK. I found my time was filled with volunteering and preparation for the next day, VE meetings and work and then there was also a great social network amongst the volunteers.

Living in another country was also something I had to adjust to. Where to buy groceries and the best place for this. We had older volunteers assigned to help us with this and they were invaluable in helping to get us settled into Chile. Before I went a friend who did a lot of missionary work had said to me it would take 3-4 months to really feel settled in and she was spot on. Once you are past that point everything is so much easier. buying medicine, getting around in the city and feeling like the children trust you and respond to you.

What I found was its not about making a difference on a big level, but its the tiny things and it can just be to one child. Spending one-to-one time is so important to that one child. When a child in the girls home who was 3-4 said she couldn't write her name and I said yes she could and dotted it for her and she followed the lines. When she completed it she jumped up and down. The smile and joy on her face was priceless.

There are so many experiences I got from volunteering; sad as well as joyful when you hear some of the questions the children asked. But what it made me realise is that any child any country could use a role model and for me that's what you are to a child. After volunteering I have never seen life in quite the same way again. I see many opportunities to help others and look at what I can do. I started working with some charities when I got home to the UK. Just going to another country where you don't know the language very well or the customs and adjusting to these and the friends you make along the way change your perspective and outlook.

looking back the things I miss are the mountains, my flatmates and most of all the smile on a child's face and the big hug you get from them for just being there. I recommend volunteering to anyone, it will change your life in the most unexpected way and only once you go through it will you truly understand how.

80 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing volunteer community in Chile

I have been volunteering with VE for almost 8 months now, both in a children's home and as Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator in the office.
It has been an all-round amazing experience. I have formed such strong bonds with the children I work with, and it's great to be able to plan and carry out my own activities with them. Working in the office has also given me a lot of great experience and allowed me to help more on the organisational side of VE.
What impresses me most about VE though is the support provided to each volunteer, VE is all about community and whenever I've had a problem it's been easy to talk to the right person about it and sort it out. There are lots of community events throughout the year which really bring everyone together and help us focus on what we are achieving here in Chile and the difference we are making.

78 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my world

I volunteered in Chile for 6 months with VE Global, it was the best 6 months of my life, from the work with the children, the support from the staff and the organization and commitment from the fellow volunteers, I couldn't have asked for more. I stayed one more year working for VE Global in a volunteer stipend role as director of programs, and then one year later I am still involved in the lives on the kids I worked with and over 20 other ex-volunteers. It is a experience I will carry with me forever and has changed me.

75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Making a real difference every day

VE Global attracts some of the most unique and caring volunteers to work in one of the toughest situations in Santiago - in homes with abused, neglected, or abandoned children. The crop of volunteers is exceptionally well-rounded, international, and just all around fun. The work opens doors for children who otherwise have very narrow access to the world. I have already since the work of VE volunteers break into some of the cycle of abuse and poverty, an incredible impact for such a small organization!

PS - It also happens to have a great staff that runs the org. thoughtfully and is constantly making improvements on itself. Bravo!

74 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Learn, Experience, and Grow!

VE Global is an excellent organization for those who are looking to use Spanish, work with at-risk children, and be provided opportunities to get deeply involved in a small, international non-profit. The staff is very passionate about their work, and there is a lot of room to get as involved (or not) as you want, although they always appreciate a self-starter. I was planning to volunteer for a year, but instead ended up running some of the educational programs, and as a 22 year old it was an incredible and challenging experience that I know stood out, both to my grad school and my employer. I highly recommend VE, and continue to be involved in supporting the organization two and a half years after leaving due to my faith in their mission and the positive change they strive to affect on the lives of the children they work with.

82 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Maybe the most special work I´ve ever done

I volunteered full-time for four months with VE Global, at a preschool in an informal settlement. I spent my days playing with children, feeding them, teaching art and other educational activities and getting to know the children and their families. We spent a lot of time laughing and having fun and I realize how special it was to be a part of teaching these children how to create strong healthy relationships with adults, how to learn and be confident and happy young people.

At the same time, the work was sometimes challenging and luckily VE does an incredible job at supporting their volunteers, and I always felt so lucky to come home at the end of the day and talk about our work with my fellow volunteers and/or VE staff members. And in this way, I see how we were able to make a strong positive impact, being supported volunteers who support the children.

I would love to return to Chile at some point and spend more time volunteering with VE and I highly reccomend this opportunity to others.

84 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Real Opportunity

I have been the Programs Intern for VE Global for three months now. I work directly with the Executive Director, Director of Operations and Assistant Director of Operations in the Santiago based office. My job is to work closely with the Assistant Director of Operations in executing, implementing and further developing the programs we operate in various partner institutions.

During my time here I have been astonished with the effectiveness of such a small, grass roots organization. The success of VE Global, which is hard quantify but I believe is great, can be directly attributed to the kind of people that work for this organization. The selection of volunteers is done with great care which produces and amazing group of conscious, talented, aware and capable volunteers.

I have great admiration for the long term staff who 'make it all happen'. The amount of time and heart that goes into running this non-profit is inspiring.

Through my experience I have seen the whole picture of how VE Global functions. VE Global is true to their values and mission statement and provides a wonderful opportunity to make a real impact.

79 people found this review helpful.

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