Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Jamaica

Video and Photos

Last Work Day in the Health Clinic
Last Work Day in the Health Clinic
Infirmary Work Service Day (Skin and Hair Care)
Infirmary Work Service Day (Skin and Hair Care)
December 2016 Mandeville Volunteers
December 2016 Mandeville Volunteers
Volunteer with children in Jamaica with Projects Abroad
Volunteer with children in Jamaica with Projects Abroad
Check out volunteer opportunities in Jamaica at Go Overseas
Check out volunteer opportunities in Jamaica at Go Overseas

About

Join a Projects Abroad volunteer program in Jamaica! This is a unique opportunity to experience a side of Jamaica rarely seen on the tourist trail and provide sustainable help to communities in need.

We offer a wide selection of volunteer opportunities, including Childcare, Teaching, Coaching, Music, Building, Farming and Culture with the Maroon Community. We also offer internships in Medicine and Dentistry, as well as Law & Human Rights, International Development, Veterinary Medicine and Journalism.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering Jamaica with Projects Abroad!

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Popular Programs

Support disadvantaged children and focus on improving early childhood development and literacy.

Use your hands to make a difference and build important infrastructure in disadvantaged communities.

Coach sports in disadvantaged schools and help children develop their fitness and sporting ability.

Gain practical teaching experience and help raise literacy levels in local schools and through community programs.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 16 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 8.6
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 16
Default avatar
Marco
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Jamaica Journalism Experience

Heyho my name is Marco.

I've spend close to 3 months in Mandeville (Capital of Manchester Parish) and worked for the NCU FM radio station. Mandeville itself is very clearly arranged so you can easily overview the city after a few days walking through. Also it offers everything you need. From a post station to many different restaurants, bars, market places etc.

Even though I worked at a readio station, most time of my work was about taking and editing pictures and videos for the social media content of the radio station. There is also the possibility to work more radio related, but due to the fact I already had experience in editing I choose to be in this division, which was a lot of fun. Besides that my contact person from Projects Abroad always made sure I work in a good environment and have stuff to do (big up for that!)

At last I want to talk about Jamaica itself. On the weekends you have the time to experience the other parts of this beautiful island and culture, which was amazing. The island itself is full of history and beautiful places to visit. Me for myself never experienced an act of violence for the whole time I was there. I'm still in contact with a good friend who lives a few blocks away from our host families house.

If you're planning to go there I would be happy to share more of my experience and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask :)

Until that
Big up yourself!

Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Marco,
It sounds like you had an amazing time (I can’t say we're surprised!). Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience with our global community. We’re so happy that you enjoyed Journalism project in Jamaica. We look forward to seeing you again on one of our projects or Internships!

Kay Hendricks, Country Director for Jamaica

Default avatar
Charlotte
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Psychology Projects Abroad Jamaica

This project was incredibly well organized from my pickup right to my drop off at the airport one month later. Not only did I gain experience in psychology but I also was fully immersed in Jamaican culture and had the opportunity to learn about other Jamaican projects and how they work together during community days. I felt very at home during this project and also had the freedom in weekends to travel throughout Jamaica and go on many adventures. I was also fortunate to have made lifelong friends with other volunteers from around the world with whom I now stay in touch daily. This project also taught me the importance of culturally appropriate treatment approaches in my field which i now use daily. So grateful to have had this experience and hope to return again.

Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Charlotte,
It sounds like you had an amazing time (I can’t say we're surprised!). Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience with our global community. We’re so happy that you enjoyed Psychology project in Jamaica. We look forward to seeing you again on one of our projects or Internships!

Kay Hendricks, Country Director for Jamaica

Default avatar
Laura
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Psychology intern

I volunteered at Ebenezer Home now Ebenezer Rehabilitation center. The center is amazing the staff care about the clients, the men have as much independence as possible and for a non profit they are doing their best.
I recommend the project but I feel split because the money I paid doesn't go to the project itself. Which is a shame as they needed this. Projects abroad did but Ebenezer some items when I was there but I feel for the amount I paid more could have been done to help. When I return I will be doing so independently so I can help the project more.
Socially- you get to go around with other volunteers at weekends to different parts of the island. I would say plan where you want to go beforehand as some volunteers get to other parishes and don't know what's there. Research first.

What would you improve about this program?
More funds directly into the project itself. I feel that for the amount I paid to find out nothing went to Ebenezer was a huge shock and had I known this before I would have volunteered somewhere else. Somewhere where my money went into the projects. The project wasn't cheap so I would expect some of that cost to go into where I volunteered.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Laura.

First of all, thanks for volunteering with our organisation - your time, effort and funds were contributed to an ongoing sustainable project.

I understand your concern about money and where it goes. 56% of your volunteering fee goes directly into the volunteer experience which includes ongoing donations to placements in destination.

I have raised your specific concern with the country director of Jamaica. They will review the ongoing support that’s currently in place to the Ebenezer Rehabilitation Centre and take appropriate action.

If you would like to discuss this further, you can reach me on my email georgegreen@projectsabroad.org – I’d be happy to send you a more detailed financial breakdown.

It was nice to hear that the staff at the centre were amazing and that you travelled around with other volunteers in Jamaica.

Kind Regards,
George Green

Default avatar
Eva-Marie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience working in an orphanage

I always wanted to visit another country after school and do some volunteer work there, even if it was only for a few weeks. So I did a research and found that child care program in jamaica by Projects Abroad.
I didn't think it would be such a culture shock when I arrived. It was so colourful and warm (summery temparatures and so many palms and other plants; I went there in winter). And I loved to see a country that was so completely different from what I knew. Life seemed more simple, but at the same time more carefree than in Germany. That experience is something I would recommend to everyone, to visit a culture that is totally new to you. Not only to visit, but also to work there for a little while.
The first three weeks, I worked in a day care center with a school and assisted the teacher. Sadly, it wasn't perfect for me. So I told the team leaders I wanted to work somewhere else, and the last week, I went to work in an orphanage which I liked much better. I had already worked in a kindergarten, so I felt confident doing that and found a good rapport to the children and the staff.
My host family was also very nice. The mother always made my food for me. I shared a room with another volunteer for two weeks, the rest of the time I had it for myself.
Sometimes there where special events for the volunteers like lessons in patois or visiting the places where the other volunteers worked. There was a house where we could always go to and would always meet one or another team leader. That was also our meeting point for activities and weekend trips. On the weekends, the volunteers could independently go where they wanted in Jamaica. I was almost everywhere across the country. We had beach trips as well as trips to the mountains and always stayed in hostels.
Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend for anyone who wants some adventure, to help others and to really get to know other cultures.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Sadly, the time wasn't perfectly chosen for me. I did have some issues and uncertainities at home at the time, like my dad had died only recently. I went at the planned time anyway and thought maybe I could leave that all behind, but I couldn't. I brought the bad feelings with me and sadly, couln't enjoy it the way I maybe could have if I went there another time.
Also I had bad luck with my group, there were some people I didn't get on too well with. But of course, you can't know that before and either you're lucky or not.
But you should better plan to go at a time when you're happy in your life. Also, if you go in summer, there are usually more volunteers, maybe even someone who speaks your language, and you have a better chance to meet someone you get on well with and don't depend on people you don't like (like for weekend trip destinations).
Response from Projects Abroad

Hey Eva-Marie,

Thank you for your great review. 2017 must seem a long time ago now!

It was warming to hear about your experience, working with the children must have been so rewarding.

Not to mention travelling around the tropical paradise of Jamaica!

Just so you know, at the end of 2017 we took the decision to stop placing volunteers in orphanages.

On our childcare projects we now only work with community daycare centres, pre-schools and kindergartens.

If you would like to discuss the above, please do get in touch on georgegreen@projects-abroad.org.

Thank you!

George Green.

Default avatar
Laura
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent project

I loved my psychology project and can't wait to come back! The team were supportive and other volunteers. The facility I worked at has tried so hard to get to where it is now. The clients were all very accommodating, as were staff. I spent my time being treated as a senior member of staff, I attended all MDT meetings and out things in place for the reorganisation. This place has my heart! I can not wait until I am able to return and continue my work with this facility but I will be doing so as an independent so that I can put money into the organisation myself.

I think the project could be improved by the money we pay going into the actual projects we do as while I was there I found the projects don't receive any money at all which seems such a shame considering the price I paid for my project. It would have made such a different for some of that money to go towards my project.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay longer!! I stayed for 4 weeks on my placements and an extra 2 weeks to see family. 4 weeks was not enough! I intend to come back for three months to spend on placement independently.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Laura,
It sounds like you had an amazing time (I can’t say we're surprised!). Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience with our global community. We’re so happy that you enjoyed Psychology project in Jamaica. We look forward to seeing you again on one of our projects or Internships!

Kay Hendricks, Country Director for Jamaica

Default avatar
jacqueline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Care Program- Volunteer Work in Jamaica

In January this year, I was blessed to be able to spend two short weeks of my time in Mandeville, Jamaica. This opportunity was very rewarding and if I could I would of stayed longer! I spent my time volunteering in a local orphanage and seeing the smiles on the children's faces every morning made me realize how truly fortunate I am here in Canada. Projects Abroad was very helpful throughout my whole trip and they were always a call or text away! I would do it all again in a heartbeat and hopefully I will have the opportunity again some day!

What would you improve about this program?
Cost was very high.
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Jacqueline
It's great to hear you had such a wonderful experience in Jamaica. Hopefully you can stay longer next time you join us!
Thanks for your feedback!

Default avatar
emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

a life changing experience

My name is Emma. I recently spent time in Jamaica volunteering through projects abroad, doing their care project. I was placed in a vey loving host family, where i had 3 other volunteers staying with me. They were all very supportive and caring. I then was placed in my placement, an orphanage. There i got to meet and help amazing children who accepted me with open arms. I got to make a difference not only in their lives but in my own. I made lifelong friendships with other volunteers as well as being so deeply submerged into the wildly different culture. It made me grow so much as a person and i would greatly recommend doing it to anyone who has a passion to help others.

Default avatar
Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in the Medical Program-Mandeville, Jamaica

This volunteer experience was unique because it was my first international experience. Projects Abroad made my travels and stay to/in Jamaica flawlessly smooth. I was impressed and grateful for the Projects Abroad staff that helped welcome and guide me through my stay in Mandeville. My volunteer term was from December 10-30th, so I had the privilege to experience the Jamaican Christmas holiday season.

I volunteered at the Mandeville Comprehensive Health Centre where I rotated between the curative, maternal and child health, and family planning units. I helped record heights, weights, blood pressures, blood sugars, patient interviews, and six week postpartum check ups including vaccinations. Because it was the Christmas holiday season, we had a Christmas week special where each day of the week, we went into the community and passed out gifts or spent time with the community members through other events. We went to the infirmary one day for a skin and hair care day where we gave manicures and pedicures and passed out health products like deodorant, combs, body wash, ect. Another day we passed out food baskets in a poverty suburb outside Mandeville to the elderly members who did not have much of their own. Another day we hosted a Christmas party at a local church and played games with the kids and did a gift grab. It was nice to help impact the community and spread cheer during this season.

This was my first international trip so Jamaica really prepared me for future travels as well as introducing me to a new culture. Jamaica was a good choice for first international travel because it was mostly Americanized while it still had its own cultural differences. I felt safe and comfortable in the city as I walked through the whole town each day to my work placement and the project office. Being proactive is definitely a good quality to have if you are interested in pursuing a project through this organization. I would highly recommend Projects Abroad for a seasoned or new international traveller!

What would you improve about this program?
I was in Mandeville at a time where the big group of volunteers at the time were all at the end of their volunteer term. Right before I got there, there was close to ten volunteers in the city. On Monday when I started my project, there was three other volunteers left. By the time my term was over, there was only one volunteer left. Many left for the holidays and I arrived and stayed through the holidays. About four other volunteers left due to family conflicts back home so they left their programs early. This impacted my social aspect of the trip. I did travel one of my three weekends and it was fun. But I think I definitely missed the big group social feeling on my trip.

Hands on work in the clinic is limited but also depends on the placement. As the medical staff sees confidence and responsibility in you, the more hands on activities you will be able to participate in. Being proactive and asking questions will definitely help them open up to you more. Talking to your trip advisor before departure can also help make sure that you are receiving the proper amount of direct patient care experience that you are prepared for. Different placements have different amounts of work that can be done by volunteers. I also was there during the Christmas holiday season, so the Jamaican people came less and less each day to the clinic as they were getting more and more excited for the holidays. This also impacted the amount of activities that I was able to participate in. Overall, the experience was positive and most definitely worthwhile!