Volunteer Abroad > Workcamps (2 to 4 weeks) > How does it work?

Workcamps typically bring together a temporary community of 10-30 international volunteers from different backgrounds to provide services to local community projects. The volunteers carry out unskilled tasks that would not otherwise be possible. The practical work is only part of the main objective. The work is a tool and method to promote intercultural understanding and friendship between the volunteers and with the local community.

Workcamps typically bring together a temporary community of 10-30 international volunteers from different backgrounds to provide services to local community projects. The volunteers carry out unskilled tasks that would not otherwise be possible. The work tasks vary widely from construction projects, agricultural development, nature conservation, renovation of historical monuments, festival preparation, archaeological work or social projects involving children, families, the elderly, refugees and people with special needs... The practical work is only part of the main objective. The work is a tool and method to promote intercultural understanding and friendship between the volunteers and with the local community.

Participants on voluntary workcamps, are not tourists, nor are they development workers. They can expect to give around 30-35 hours unskilled work a week, and become closely involved with the local community who will provide the expertise. Naturally, volunteers only need to work as hard as they are able. However, they must remember that many people have contributed a great deal of time and effort to make the project possible. Each workcamp is managed by the local community organisation but the volunteers are in charge of their own domestic arrangements.

There are usually some cultural activities outside the work programme such as visits to local sites of interest, to other projects, homestays with local families, discussions on particular topics, etc. The volunteers themselves sometimes choose the activities.

On most projects, some of the volunteers are nationals of the host country. On almost all projects there will be one or more responsible people acting as co-ordinators and technical leaders for the work. They live and work with the volunteers and normally are volunteers themselves. These co-ordinators are chosen and trained by the hosting organisations. They depend on the full participation of each volunteer, so it is the responsibility of the whole group to ensure the project’s success.

member of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Volunteer International Network Exchange UK
with the support of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the European «Youth in Action» Programme

Quote of the day

« I think our work has really opened the eyes of the youth there. I think that, because of our presence, some local youths got the chance to learn about other cultures which they wouldn't have otherwise. »

Monique T. from London

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