35+ Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers For Peace welcomes volunteers of all ages!
Elaina Johnson, Volunteer to Haiti 2011
While the history of international voluntary service and many projects in Europe have been focused on opportunities for younger volunteers, there has been a recent shift towards multi-generational projects, available to people of all ages. There is a desire among older volunteers to travel with purpose, serving and engaging with communities around the world. Older volunteers add important diversity to projects, bringing with them years of professional and personal life experience, and greatly enriching the experiences of other volunteers and the communities they serve.
If you are interested in interacting with people of varying ages, we recommend directing your project search toward a community-based project. This will provide the volunteer group with the opportunity to, not only interact with one another, but to also engage within the community and create connections with people of all ages. Interaction with an older age demographic is more likely in a community-based project than in a more isolated project where the person-to-person interaction will be concentrated within the group of volunteers.
We can assist you in finding the right project and guide you toward locations that tend to attract an older age demographic of volunteers if this is of interest to you. However, there is a lot to be gained through a volunteer group that encompasses a variety of ages. Regardless of the project you choose to embark on, the most important thing is flexibility!
"Having had the two weeks at Friendship Village was clearly a drop in the bucket, yet the ripples will affect me possibly for the rest of my life. I am a better person for this experience and I'd like to think that occasionally someone at the Village or Peace House remembers the older woman with lots of curls who laughed and cried passionately from the lovely intensity of life that for a moment we all shared."
"I would recommend volunteer workcamps to Americans of all ages and backgrounds. The chance to meet foreigners as well as locals along with the chance to give back while traveling has left a lasting impression on me."
Ann Vinciguerra, Serbia 2013
"You don't have to be in your twenties to volunteer in the Galapagos! In October 2011, I took a three-week break from my job as a senior attorney in the Vermont Attorney General's Office and arranged, through Volunteers for Peace, to do giant land tortoise habitat restoration on San Cristobal Island. With five other volunteers from around the world--all wonderful young people. I wielded a machete and hoe during the week, and snorkeled with sea turtles and sea lions on the weekends. The experience was fantastic."
Elliot Burg, San Cristobal Island 2011
“I'm not sure one can really prepare for the culture shock of living in the USA (Colorado), and suddenly being immersed in a small village in Kenya, Africa. It becomes a reality very quickly when you have no electricity, no running water, no toilets, no bed, only a hard floor to sleep on and your new family consists of about 21 strangers representing 9 different countries and you are the only American. You also realize that this is your new family and you will come to depend, trust, and care about them very quickly and we truly are our brothers keepers. Did I mention that I was 52 and most everyone else was 18-25 years old, which in the end turned out to be great. I was able to interact with everyone and learned so much about each individual and their culture, especially the education system in each person's country. That in itself was such a wonderful and valuable experience for me."
Barbara Fox, Kenya 2011
“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. Petersburg. I had wanted to be an ambassador for America, hoping they would be receptive. They were the ambassadors, helping whomever needed help, offering friendship and asking nothing in return. I will remember this trip forever; it is one of the highlights of my life."
Patricia Thomas, Russia 2011