Lattitude has fostered relationships with a large number of non-governmental and community organisations internationally. These non-profit groups are devoted to helping others, and we are proud to offer our volunteers the opportunity to work alongside these highly trained specialists in their field. As a Community Volunteer, you will have many opportunities to provide help and assistance to others.
Community Volunteer placements are very diverse, and there are many options worldwide depending on your interests. You could work alongside professionals helping people with special needs to enjoy life and live with greater dignity. Work may take place in a residential home or centre, and can range from joining in activity sessions, shopping excursions, reading stories, and generally offering companionship. These caring placements are hugely rewarding and you will be sure to gain a strong sense of achievement.
Under the Community Volunteer category, we have limited opportunities to work as a Medical Assistant in Ghana and Japan. In this role, you will gain insight into the medical profession, supporting staff with basic tasks and patient care in hospitals and community clinics. These placements are fantastic for volunteers interested in a career in the field of medicine or nursing.
In Ghana specifically, Lattitude works in partnership with organisations such as the Football For Hope movement, which uses football to re-engage young people, harnessing this enormously popular sport to address education and health challenges in under-resourced communities.
Still other Community options include roles with an environmental focus. The need to take better care of our planet is an issue that unites people from around the globe. We have partnered with a variety of dedicated organisations already carrying out valuable work. Volunteers get hands-on experience working alongside locals, carrying out tasks that include building, cutting and maintaining trails, replanting and cataloguing species and educating people about the environment. These projects offer volunteers the chance to get closer to nature and develop their understanding of, and passion for, their environment.
The various Community Volunteer options can all be challenging but are truly rewarding, and will give you a unique insight into life in your new community. You will learn an enormous amount on the job, as you work side-by-side with trained professionals in their unique fields, as well as an enormous amount about yourself and what you are capable of! Often these roles serve as an irreplaceable springboard into your future studies and potentially open up further career options.
Community Volunteer placements within Argentina centre around homes for children who have either lost or been taken away from their families. The age ranges at these placements vary from very young children to young adults up to the age of 25 and who are still very vulnerable.
These placements offer volunteers the chance to get really stuck in with the running of these fantastic institutions.
Duties are very varied and give enthusiastic volunteers the chance to get really stuck in and bring their own interests to the children. Particularly in free time where volunteers will play and entertain the residents. Other duties will include helping with maintenance, school work and other small jobs.
Very little if any English is spoken in these placements so it is a great opportunity for those looking to practice and improve upon Spanish language skills (if you are concerned about speaking Spanish, please call or email us and we can advise you accordingly)
Some outdoor camps Lattitude works with cater specifically for disadvantaged youths, or for young people with mental or physical disabilities. The environment and activities are the same at these camps to all other camps throughout Canada, but volunteer duties within these camps include an additional caring component.
Many Lattitude Community Volunteer placements involve working with children in care, street children and children with disabilities. Volunteers will help with teaching, caring, gym, dance, art and anything else the children want them to do! If volunteers are working with street children, they will be involved with teaching, helping with homework, art and writing a newsletter.
There is also the opportunity to volunteer at a social NGO providing rehabilitation therapies and special education for children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy and other associated disabilities (intellectual, visual, auditory, multi-challenges).
We also offer unique experiences working in Ecuador’s Andean cloud forest. These limited placements offer volunteers a varied role working with a community of 64 families that have formed an association to preserve their environment, promote ecotourism and produce local products. Broadly-speaking, as a volunteer you will have two roles.
As English language skills are key to the economic survival of the community, one of your main responsibilities will be to teach English to adults and children in the village school. The second side to your role will be conservation-focused. Volunteers help with orchid and bromeliad identification and preservation, sowing, reforestation, clearing pre-Inca trails, harvesting and anything else related to the maintenance of the community’s organic garden. These are excellent placements for independent and outdoorsy volunteers interested in learning to live in harmony with the environment.
Our Community Volunteer placements in Ghana are embedded in local communities, designed to deliver sustainable outcomes that make a positive impact on members of the local community. Working in support of the UN’s Millennium Goals, our Community Development projects in Ghana focus on local intervention programmes that support national priorities. We support programmes for economic growth, which build resilience and support the long term benefit of overseas communities.
Lattitude volunteers have worked on programmes that support women’s empowerment, HIV and AIDS education programmes, engaging local youths in education and sustainable food production. Volunteers will work closely with local staff and in addition to involvement with project activities Community Development Workers can also be involved in the planning and management of the project, monitoring and reporting. Some projects give the opportunity to work alongside in-country volunteers.
This role is a unique opportunity for enthusiastic and committed individuals to gain essential professional experience in community-level international development on their gap year, while also developing transferable employability skills in leadership, communication, team work, confidence, cross cultural understanding and problem solving.
Lattitude works in partnership with organisations such as the Football for Hope (FFH) movement which uses sport to re-engage young people. FFH builds on the historic hosting of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and harnesses this enormously popular sport to address education and health challenges in underserved communities across Africa. One of the first FFH centres was built in Cape Coast in Ghana and Play Soccer Ghana (PSG) was selected to be the Centre Host.
Volunteers on this placement will be helping to educate the users through a range of different sports. Volunteers on this placement should have an interest in sports and will be focusing on raising awareness, training, peer education, resources development and teaching.
Health worker placements are some of our most challenging but rewarding volunteering placements. Based in local health centres, volunteers help the local staff, who are usually overworked and responsible for almost everything medically-based in their community. The role of a local health centre is vital within a rural community and is greatly respected; it’s rare to find doctors or nurses at rural health centres, so the demands on local staff are great and your support and flexibility will be much appreciated.
The role does not require any technical or medical experience and you will volunteer under the supervision of local staff (although if you do have experience, that would certainly be welcomed). Typical activities of a Volunteer Health Worker will include: assisting with some of the running of a health centre, looking after a basic pharmacy and providing general administration for patient care, helping to maintain patient records, assisting with activities with babies and under-fives and monthly baby monitoring (weighing) and feeding, assisting with outreach programmes and involvement with health education campaigns.
Community Volunteer placements in Japan involve working in one of the following: Leonard Cheshire Care Homes, the Cocoromi-Gakuen home for the elderly and disabled or Kobokan, which is both a home for the elderly as well as a centre for young children. The work is demanding and challenging but also extremely rewarding. Volunteers form strong relationships with the people they help to care for and their help is greatly valued by both the staff and patients.
Volunteers who work in old peoples’ homes or homes for people with disabilities find it more interesting than those in the UK. This is because the Japanese emphasise the benefits of a stimulating, interesting environment and there are always activities to motivate the residents, including: day trips, cookery, gardening, farming, arts and crafts and drama. Our volunteers are always warmly welcomed and valued. There is also the option of working in a community care centre where volunteers will play with young children, talk to the elderly and make friends with adolescents at the centre.
These Community Volunteer placements are either in residential homes for adults with a variety of disabilities or in community centres for adults. Volunteer duties may involve assisting with the day-to-day care of residents, leading activities such as art, sport, and music, or taking outings to places of interests such as the theatre, seaside or local pub! In the community centres, volunteers assist paid staff to help and support homeless people who seek respite in the centre. These placements enable the volunteers to make a significant difference to people’s lives, often through the simple gift of sharing their time and friendship. Placements vary in the level of challenge and responsibilities, but are extremely rewarding, as volunteers are able to make a significant difference to people’s lives.