Ukraine is one of Europe’s last “undiscovered” countries. It is a country rarely visited by foreigners, but when they do visit, they fall in love with its charm. It is a colorful nation with friendly people and a unique culture. Often overlooked for its more famous neighbor Russia, it is a country that should definitely be visited. Unfortunately, Ukraine is a poor country with over a third of its citizens in poverty, and thus needs volunteers.
Note that as the U.S. Department of State has posted a travel advisory, last updated June 11, 2019, in which it "warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to eastern Ukraine due to ongoing violence and political instability."
Orphanage Work: Due to various reasons, most poor nations have a number of children that are orphaned or who have no stable home to turn to. Ukraine has a number of orphanages and unfortunately they are severely understaffed. As a volunteer, you will work on helping the children with their daily routine, teach them, and plan/organize activities for them. You will also help with administrative tasks.
Teach English: Ukraine faces poverty and many disadvantaged individuals do not have access to a proper education. There is a tremendous need for native English speakers to teach English in the nation. As a teacher you will be teaching both kids and adults conversational and written English.
Planning Your Trip
Best Places To Volunteer:
- Kiev: capital and largest city in Ukraine; important industrial, scientific, and educational center in Eastern Europe.
- Kharkiv: second largest city in Ukraine; important cultural and transport center in the nation.
Ukraine is home to a number of nonprofit organizations that work in diverse areas. They work in diverse areas such as human rights, education, and healthcare.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Ukraine:
As a volunteer in Ukraine, it is recommended that you get vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. If you visit between November and April, make sure you get vaccinated for influenza as well. For more information visit MD Travel Health.
Ukraine is a safe nation for volunteers. You should be vigilant when you are in crowded areas in large cities, such as Kiev, as you are most likely to encounter crime there in the form of pickpockets.
InterExchange Foundation Christianson Fellowship
The InterExchange Foundation Christianson Fellowship awards up to $10,000 to young Americans who are passionate about helping communities abroad thrive and are eager to learn about the local culture. Fellows identify a project or an organization working on an issue they care about, and with the support of the Christianson Fellowship, contribute their skills and passion to that endeavor for at least six months on-location abroad. This intercultural experience is a meaningful way to help others, improve skills, and gain insight about another culture.
High Mountain Institute Award
If you’re looking at one of the four High Mountain Institute programs to Patagonia, consider applying for financial aid. Your application must include tax forms from the last two years and will be awarded based on SSS (school and student services calculator) used by National Association of Independent Schools, which HMI is apart of. In addition to tuition and other travel costs, High Mountain Institute also provides discounted gear rentals to financial aid recipients.
GoEco Volunteer Scholarships
To assist prospective volunteers in taking part in one of their programs, GoEco, an eco-tourism company, awards one flight voucher of $1,000 and waived fees for a two-week program, plus travel insurance to successful beneficiaries of their scholarships. To apply, you must be currently enrolled at an educational institution to be eligible for the award.