• Russia
Project Types
Education Teaching ESL

Program Details

Host Family Hostel


Price Details
VFP's placement fee is always $500 ($650 if you are under 18 years old) and must be paid at the time of registration. (If we can’t place you we refund the full fee!) Your registration covers placement, food, accommodation and work materials for your program. Volunteers arrange and pay for their own transportation to and from the project. Projects taking place in the developing world often require an additional fee in the range of $50-$500 payable to our partners upon arrival.
Nov 22, 2019
Oct 26, 2011
26 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982, that offers placement in over 3000 voluntary service projects in more than 100 countries. Each year we provide almost 1,000 volunteers with invaluable opportunities to strengthen their ability to communicate in diverse groups, explore grassroots leadership opportunities, and build cultural understanding and connections around the world.

VFP offers service projects that arise from a grassroots, community based need for adults, teens, seniors, families and groups. Volunteers can choose between Short-Term Projects (Also known as Workcamps) where volunteers from 4 or more countries come together for a 2-3 week service project, or Individual Service Adventures & Gap Year Projects (Also known as Medium Term or Permanent Projects) involve working with VFP to create a personalized 2-week to 1-year experience.

Program Reviews

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Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering on Sacred Island - Valaam, Russia

In addition to the international volunteers, there were a lot of Russian volunteers. There were a women’s and a men’s Russian dorm, as well as our 11-bed women’s room and the 10-bed men’s room. So we had Russian as well as international volunteers. For showers, we had a 10:30 pm reservation for Monday and Thursday, as well as a 2-hour slot on Saturday after work for either a shower or the banya. When we arrived at the island, the women wore a skirt long enough to be below our knees and a scarf for the entire three weeks.
Our schedule was to work Monday through Saturday noon, then free time Saturday afternoon and Sunday, for three weeks. The men had the hardest work, baling hay, stacking hay bales, chopping wood, splitting wood, cleaning out forestations, demolishing shacks, stacking firewood. The women picked berries, whitewashed the cow stalls at the farm, pulled weeds from the gardens and walkways at different sketes, sliced apples, cleaned the chicken coop, and helped clean up the overgrown garden outside the monastery. One day I was sitting on one of the benches in front of the monastery, separating tulip bulbs from dirt (you have to lift bulbs in climates of snow and freezes), when some of the tourists walking by took my picture (long skirt, bandana), thinking they were getting a real Russian babushka. When I told the Russians, they thought that was terrifically funny! Most of the Russians were astounded that an American would travel so far to volunteer to help them. It also was a fact that I was more than twice as old as all but two women and one man. On one of our days off, we were invited to go by boat to visit two sketes. On the archipelago, there are ten sketes, housing from 2 to 15 monks. During one workday, it rained, so we took refuge in the newest skete--Vladimersky Skete. Inside, it’s highly decorated with icons,and I got some beautiful pictures.
I truly didn’t know what kind of people would be around me when I registered to volunteer. I didn’t know what they would think of me—an American female who was 64. But I’ve never been around so many kind, helpful, generous people, both on site and in transit from St. Petersberg.

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Questions & Answers

Hi Dan! So long as you are willing and able there aren't age restrictions. But volunteers under 18 years old are required to submit a signed Parent/Guardian Authorization Form prior to participation.

Volunteer should be at least 18 years old.

I took a look at the website and it appears that English is the language spoken for a majority of the projects so no Russian is required. Here's the link if you have any more questions: https://vfp.org/2016/01/27/faqs/