Projects for Volunteers Under 18During the summer months we offer placement in over 150 projects for volunteers under 18. There are 2 types of projects available:
Under 18 Projects
"Under 18" projects are regular volunteer projects that are open to younger participants. This is a great opportunity for teens who are interested in interacting with older volunteers and experiencing a typical workcamp project. This type of project would be indicated by the age range and will have a type of work listed as "short-term workcamp". To see an example of an Under 18 project, please see below.
Teen Cultural Exchange Projects
In "Teen" cultural exchange projects, volunteers will be part of a group of international teens from at least 4 other countries and will be supervised by project leaders from our partner organizations in each country. This type of project is limited to teens within a certain age range and is more focused on cultural exchange than on volunteer work. Most "teen" projects have some additional fees payable on arrival (usually between $200-$300) as there is more supervision, less work time and often additional excursions are included. To see an example of a "Teen" project, please see below.
"We were all incredibly different, but we all had one thing in common: we all had within us the human spirit to jump over geographical hurdles, cross cultural boundaries, and break down language barriers to come together as one entity who shared a sense of world community..... I fell in love with the challenges that came with overcoming fears and the opportunities of learning that came from being in the unfamiliar." Alisa Trinh ~ Estonia 2008
The VFP placement fee for "Under 18" and "Teen" cultural exchange projects is $650. Food, accommodation and work materials are usually included. Most "Teen" cultural exchange projects have some additional fees payable on arrival (usually between $200-$300) as there is more supervision, less work time and often additional excursions are included.
Types of work
There are many types of work available as projects are built to meet a specific local need. Typical work might be renovating an old building into a community center, building a hiking trail, providing activities for orphans or refugees, or working in a community garden. Most projects welcome all types of motivated volunteers and do not require specific experience or skills to participate. Volunteers work approximately 5 hours a day.
Teen projects are typically 2-3 weeks long.
The accommodation is usually very rustic, and requires that the volunteer bring a sleeping bag and mat.
The volunteer's family must arrange and pay for air and ground travel. Note that these are not group travel placements- volunteers will be traveling alone for all or part of the way to the project location. Most teen projects take place in Europe, and many require travel to a specific train station for pickup. RailEurope offers an easily navigable site, with fares and schedules comparable to the national sites.
We require that parents / guardians are in contact with VFP prior to making any placement for teen volunteers and that they co-sign the registration form.
These types of project are very popular and there is limited space. Please register early, provide your top project choices in order of preference, and expect to hear back from us within 3-5 business days regarding your placement.
Under 18 Project Example
Credit: G Sehringer ~ France 2010
GERMANY PRO-25_11 HOMMERTSHAUSEN 25-Jun-11 - 09-Jul-11 Short_term/ workcamp ENVI 12 vols AGES 16-26
PARTNER: Host Organisation is the Ecological Organisation "Nature Park Lahn-Dill-Highlands" ("Lahn" and "Dill" are the two rivers in that region).
WORK: The group will help with the maintenance of hiking trails. It means cutting free the trails, cleaning of signs, painting of benches and tables.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD: Accommodation will be in wooden houses with several-bed-rooms. Kitchen, showers and toilets are available as well. Cooking, cleaning, shopping etc. will be done by the group itself.
LOCATION & LEISURE ACTIVITY: Hommertshausen is a small village and located 27 km near to Marburg. Marburg is a historical and picturesque old university town, 100 km north of Frankfurt/Main. It has 80.000 inhabitants, including 20.000 students (from actual 120 different countries). There is a bus-connection to Marburg.
Teen Project Example
ESTONIA EST T2 KOPU 04-Jul 17-Jul-11 TEEN (teenage_camp) MANU 6 vols AGES 15-17 EXTRA FEE: 120 Euros
PARTNER: Project Kopu village is a centre of Community of Kopu, one of the smallest in Estonia with total population of around one thousand people. International workcamps have been taken place there since 2001. During past summers volunteers helped to build sport facilities for local school, cleaned up the school park, and did some renovation jobs at the old graveyard. Besides practical help, the volunteers made a significant impact on community life bringing new dynamics, intercultural exchange and international contacts to local youth. Being inspired by the years of international volunteering experience Kopu Community authorities continue hosting international camps and invite international volunteers this summer again. This year international camp will be combined with the national teenage work- and leisure camp taking place in Kopu at the same time.
WORK: Kopu School occupies old German manor house and it is surrounded by the large park. There will be various jobs in the school park and around the school building. The work is mainly clearing and tidying up of the park as well as other objects of local importance of the community. One of possible jobs is preparing woods for the school heating in winter period. Work will be mostly outdoors. Volunteers will be working along side with local youngsters of the national camp. The work will last only 4 hours a day from 9 to till lunch. After lunch there will be various activities together with local youngsters and free time for the group own activities. The main age of local young people is 13-18.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD: In the Kopu school sport facilities. Vounteers will sleep on the mattresses. Mattresses are provided, but please bring your sleeping bags. Pillows, linnens, towels will be provided. Toilets and showers are available. Meals will be prepared by kitchen staff and served in the school cantine 3 times a day
LOCATION & LEISURE ACTIVITY: Kopu village lies about 20 km to the west from Viljandi, an administrative centre of the county with population of 22 000 people. Distance from Tallinn is 180 km. The area is very beautiful - hilly with many small lakes and rivers and a lot of forest with wild nature. Here begins Soomaa National Park - a very popular place for hikes and canoe trips. More information on www.visitestonia.com, www.viljandi.ee, www.soomaa.ee . Leisure time Sport activities at accommodation site, competitions, swimming, barbeque, hiking and canoeing in Soomaa National Park, biking in the area, visits to the places of interest in the area. In addition to the official programme, trip to Viljandi, the capital of County, visit to Tartu - second largest city in Estonia and the University centre, or to Parnu, lively spa town on the sea side can be done by volunteers in their free time.
REQUIREMENTS: No special skills are needed. Tools for the work will be provided. Please bring sleeping bag, working clothes and gloves. English and Estonian are the camp languages. It is important that the volunteers follow the rules and schedules of the national camp (e.g. they have to be back at accommodation by 21:00, from 23:00 is a repose, etc). The age of participants is 15-17. Participation fee Due to difficult economic situation this year and the lack of financial support for the project from local community the participation fee of 120 Euro is requested from volunteers to cover the costs of board, leisure time activities as well as administrative and pedagogical costs. This fee is different from sending organisation fee paid at home, and it has to be paid by volunteers on arrival to the camp.