Volunteering with children overseas

At InterVol we believe that international volunteers without relevant experience and skills should not be placed in roles with children. That is why we have an application and selection process to ensure that any teams of volunteers have existing training and experience that can be used in the context of their project and benefit their partner organisation and beneficiaries. These needs and skills gaps are reviewed annually in consultation with our partners and written into clear role descriptions.

We have safeguarding processes in place and most volunteers who will be working directly with children will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a Criminal Record Bureau, CRB, check). All volunteers working overseas through InterVol must also complete our compulsory training day which includes a significant section on international child protection.

We do not support orphanage-based tourism or volunteering: our volunteers are not placed in residential care settings. Our projects that work with children are explicitly designed alongside local partners to support the processes of deinstitutionalisation (in Bulgaria) and addressing educational access for the poorest in society (in India and Nepal). In Bulgaria particularly our volunteers are placed at small government-supported day centres which are part of the national strategy to replace orphanages with community-based care. We also provide annual grant-funding for year-round mentoring of vulnerable children by Bulgarian university students which improves long-term outcomes for children leaving centres and breaks the cycle of poverty. In Nepal our grant funding has allowed the construction of tens of school classrooms and boarding houses to improve educational access for children that struggle to access and remain in the education system.

For any queries on our work with children overseas we can be contacted at: info@intervol.org.uk