Why Volunteer Abroad as a Family?

Volunteering abroad is not just a solo endeavour or something reserved for gap year students. It’s an enriching experience that families can embark on together, creating lasting memories while making a positive impact on communities around the world. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and considerations of volunteering abroad as a family, with a focus on the unique experience of volunteering with your children.

Volunteering abroad as a family offers a unique opportunity for bonding, learning, and personal growth. Here are some great reasons why families should consider volunteering abroad together…

Shared Experiences Strengthen Bonds

Embarking on a volunteering journey together fosters deeper connections between family members. Sharing new experiences, challenges, and triumphs while working towards a common goal strengthens familial bonds and creates lifelong memories.

Learn and Grow Together

Volunteering abroad exposes families to diverse cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives, providing valuable opportunities for learning and personal growth. Children, in particular, benefit from hands-on experiences that expand their worldview, develop empathy, and foster a greater appreciation for global issues.

Make a Real Difference

By volunteering abroad, families have the chance to make a concrete impact on communities in need. Whether it’s teaching English, building homes, or supporting conservation efforts, families can contribute their time and skills to projects that align with their values and interests, leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

family volunteering

Choosing the Right Volunteer Program

When selecting a volunteer program for your family, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure a rewarding and safe experience:

Research and Due Diligence

Research volunteer organisations carefully, considering factors such as their reputation, project sustainability, safety protocols, and ethical practices. Look for programs that offer support and guidance for families, including pre-departure orientation and in-country assistance.

At IVI we have been offering volunteering abroad opportunities since 1989, so you know we are trusted and provide a wealth of experiences.

Age-Appropriate Opportunities

Consider the ages and interests of your family members when choosing a volunteer program. Some projects may have age restrictions or require specific skills or qualifications. Look for opportunities that offer activities suitable for children and adults alike, ensuring that everyone can actively participate and contribute.

Our kindergarten programs are particularly great to volunteer abroad as a family as the little ones can get involved too! Our kindergarten program in Fiji is very popular for family volunteers!

Safety and Security

Prioritise safety when volunteering abroad as a family. Choose destinations and programs with a stable political climate and low health risks. Ensure that accommodations and transportation arrangements are secure and reliable.

mother and child in Fiji

Volunteering with Children: Tips for a Successful Experience

Volunteering abroad with children presents unique opportunities and challenges. Here are some tips for ensuring a successful and rewarding experience:

Involve Children in the Decision-Making Process

Engage children in discussions about volunteering abroad, explaining the purpose and potential impact of the experience. Allow them to express their interests, concerns, and preferences, and involve them in choosing a volunteer program that aligns with their age, abilities, and passions.

Focus on Age-Appropriate Activities

Select volunteer projects and activities that are suitable for children’s ages and abilities. Younger children may enjoy interactive learning experiences, creative projects, and cultural exchanges, while older children can participate in more hands-on tasks and community service projects.

Emphasise Education and Cultural Exchange

Use volunteering abroad as an opportunity to educate children about global issues, cultural diversity, and the importance of compassion and empathy. Encourage children to ask questions, engage with local community members, and immerse themselves in the host culture through language, food, and customs.

Prioritise Safety and Well-Being

Ensure that volunteering activities are safe and appropriate for children, providing necessary supervision and support as needed. Stay vigilant about health and hygiene practices, and address any concerns or emergencies promptly. Prioritise the well-being of children and take breaks as needed to rest and recharge.

Foster Reflection and Gratitude

Encourage children to reflect on their volunteering experiences and express gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference. Help them recognize the impact of their actions and the value of service and kindness, instilling lifelong values of empathy, generosity, and social responsibility.


Volunteering abroad as a family offers a transformative experience that creates meaningful memories and strengthens familial bonds. By choosing the right volunteer program, involving children in the decision-making process, and teaching them about the benefits of giving back, families can embark on a rewarding journey of learning, growth, and service together. Through education, cultural exchange, and hands-on experiences, children gain valuable insights and skills that shape their perspective and character for years to come. By fostering a spirit of compassion, empathy, and global citizenship, family volunteering leaves a lasting legacy of positive change and shared humanity.

More about family volunteering.


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