Caribbean Children’s Home

Belize

Liberty Children’s Home provides care, support and education to children aged from babies through to late teens.

You will assist the local caregivers with the day to day running of the home and help to provide care for 20-45 children who have been physically/sexually abused and/or abandoned. Volunteers are involved in a range of activities including cooking and gardening. You will also spend time with the children, playing games, helping with homework and running fun activities. Your help ensures that the children receive the optimum level of care and each get one-to-one attention.

Live on site, enjoying full cultural immersion and explore the rainforest, Maya history, coral reefs and beautiful beaches in your free time.

Support this flagship home and help to provide a safe and fun environment for the children.

Apply

Key Info

key info
  • Location: Ladyville village, near Belize City
  • Start dates: Every Wednesday
  • Duration: 2 – 12 weeks +
  • Age requirement: 21+ (18+ can apply if previous experience and groups also welcome)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £675 / €790 / $865 - see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Liberty Children’s Home provides a safe environment for the children to learn and grow in a supported and caring atmosphere. The Children’s Home houses up to 45 children, all of whom have been physically/sexually abused and/or abandoned and placed with them through Belize Human Services. Some of the children also have disabilities, special needs and/or HIV/AIDS. Normally there are 25-40 children at the home at any one time and children can be aged from babies through to late teens.

There is always a lot going on to get involved with! Most volunteers work on a number of different activities, wherever help is needed most at the time in order to support the work of the caregivers.

Each day will differ and activities could include:

  • Spending time with the children
  • Gardening/landscaping
  • Manual labour on the site
  • Cooking and cleaning duties
  • Assisting staff in the preschool
  • Assisting with admin
  • Assisting with local fundraising events e.g. making posters, helping organise an event

Activities with the children:

  • Reading books
  • Art and crafts
  • Playing games outside
  • Communicating with the children, listening to them and encouraging them to speak with you
  • Helping with homework

If you have a specific skill or background e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, please let us know as these skills are much appreciated and needed.

Working days and hours

The children follow a daily routine during school term-time with breakfast around 7.30am, then off to school and return around 4pm. Volunteers generally get up early to help prepare breakfast and eat with the children. Volunteers can then walk the children to the bus stop at around 7.45am and help with the running of the home during the day before spending time with the children when they return from school.

During school holidays the children are around during the day as well so there is additional time to spend with them. School holidays are usually 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 8 weeks in the summer.

Volunteers work 5 days per week and the days off to enjoy free time activities are agreed with the staff on a rotational basis. During school term time, we would recommend opting to work weekends and take 2 weekdays off, giving you more time to spend with the children when they are not at school.

Other volunteers

There are normally 1-8 volunteers at the project at any one time with a maximum of 20, but this varies considerably throughout the year.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.

Child protection

Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy.

All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.

Volunteer reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Belize Children’s Home reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

With up to 45 children there at any one time, the Children’s Home is always grateful for extra pairs of hands to help out. Volunteers are able to spend time with the children and supporting the day to day running of the home. By providing extra support to the existing staff the volunteers enable the home to provide a higher quality service to the children.

By volunteering at the Children’s Home you will help children who have had an incredibly tough start in life. Your support helps them to be reintegrated into society and gain an education which can mean the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity and freedom.

“The children benefit from additional one on one attention from the volunteers which helps build their confidence and communication skills. It also gives the children an opportunity to meet a variety of different people of varied ages from a number of countries.”
Gemma, COO

Location, free time and accommodation

Belize

Belize is a small country on the Caribbean coast nestled between Mexico and Guatemala. It is a relaxed country and a great place to volunteer and explore the beautiful scenery and diverse nature.

With over 60% natural forest cover, and 40% of its land area under protection, Belize is one of the most pristine countries in the world. Popular activities in Belize include:

  • Diving at the Blue Hole
  • Visiting the Maya ruins
  • Exploring the cayes (offshore islands)

To find out more, see the Lonely Planet Belize.

Local area and free time

The project is based in the village of Ladyville, on the outskirts of Belize City. It’s about 20 minutes by bus to Belize City so very easy to visit (and to travel to other areas of Belize from the city). The village is quite small and most people tend to know each other.

As the children go to bed quite early, the evenings are quiet at the home and so it is recommended that you bring lots of reading material, cards, games, music and similar items to entertain yourself.

You will have two days off per week, during this time you are free to relax and explore Belize which has a lot to offer on the sea and mainland. There are 190 miles of barrier reef and three atolls for excellent diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, kayaking or relaxing with a good book on a hammock. Caye Caulker is a forty five minute water taxi from the Marine Terminal in Belize City. Ambergris Caye is 1.5 hours by water taxi and twenty minutes by plane.

There are many great half day trips available, including cave tubing, zip lines and Altun Ha Maya site. The Museum of Belize and House of Culture in Belize City are both popular too. Lamanai site is a full day trip by road and boat and combines Maya archeology, a jungle river trip, great birding, howler monkeys, crocs and manatees.

The Cayo district has much to offer and is 1.5 hours from Belize City. It has many impressive Maya sites, caves with artifacts, waterfalls, jungle, river and horse trips, butterfly farms, botanic gardens, iguana hatcheries and interesting cultures.

If you have more time, Stann Creek district offers both beach and jungle trips and includes Dangriga, Hopkins and Placencia beaches, as well as the Jaguar Preserve with great hiking trails. The Toledo district furthest south is the least visited and most lush district with many interesting cultures.

These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Accommodation

The volunteer house is located on site; there are 4 volunteer bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The rooms sleep up to three people, so depending on how many volunteers are there, you will normally share with another (same gender) volunteer. There is a dining area where volunteers eat with the children. WIFI internet is available on site.

Read volunteer reviews from the Caribbean Children's Home project

Sirkka

“Liberty Children’s Home is an unforgettable experience. It’s one of the happiest places you’ll ever visit. Despite all they’ve been through, the kids have the biggest smiles on their faces and volunteers are surrounded by laughter day and night! The whole experience was very rewarding, it definitely puts things into perspective. Spending time with the children was rewarding, not to mention all the memories you create together. You’ll return home with endless stories!

Another rewarding aspect, is feeling like part of the family, the children’s home is run as one big family unit and the volunteers are included in that. There’s a real friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It’s also rewarding to see how volunteers are welcomed into the larger community. The neighbours are very chatty and go out of their way to look out for ‘the Liberty volunteers’.”

Nikkie

“This has far surpassed anything I could have ever believed it to be. I am in love with Liberty. ALL of it! This is everything I’ve ever looked forward to. It’s the one thing that sparked to jump start into something greater. I’m not done here. I’ll never be done here. Thank you for introducing life and most of all love. The kind people search their whole lives for. It’s here at Liberty. In the streets of Ladyville. It’s just here.

This experience was of course “life changing.” I saw children who made each other family. And they were so inviting for you to become part of it. Full of life. Full of laugher. Compassion. Vibrancy. Those children have so much to offer the world.”

Alyssa

“I cannot even put into words my experience at Liberty Children’s Home. Belize is a beautiful country with so much to explore. I fell in love with everything and everyone on this project. The staff are super accommodating and willing to help you feel comfortable in any way possible. The children are amazing. It is so great to be able to spend time with the kids.

The most rewarding part for me was when the kids’ faces would light up upon seeing me. I learned how to do a lot of new things that I never would have learned had I not been at Liberty. I have been greatly impacted by time at Liberty and it has changed me into a better person. I will treasure my time in Belize for the rest of my life, and I cannot wait to be able to go back to Liberty.”

Tom

“The children’s home in Belize is a fantastic place. It really made me realise how the smallest of jobs together make the biggest of differences. I went expecting to make the biggest difference by providing amazing over the top activities, however I learnt that it is their home and they decide what they want to do, and it made me really respect their home and that it was my job help with the smallest of tasks, as they go a long way.

The staff at the home are amazing people, I’ve made a lot of friends there, both through other volunteers and the staff that work there and will be keeping in touch with them. They really know what the children need and really appreciate the help you give, even with the smallest of tasks. They make you feel very welcome and part of the team. I really hope I have the opportunity to go back to the home and visit everyone again!”

Read more reviews

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Ellie is your dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • In-depth volunteering and planning your trip guides
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Help arranging criminal record checks
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Child care volunteering placement
  • Airport pick up (Belize) and return transfers
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Food - all main meals
  • Induction
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), criminal records check. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
2 weeks £675 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £75 GB Pounds
Apply

Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

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children provided with care and support

"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian

Ellie

Pod UK Specialist

Apply and you'll hear from Ellie soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

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VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Belize Children’s Home volunteer – Nikki

    “A fantastic experience, something that has changed me forever. The children and so beautiful and amazing characters. Despite all the challenges the children and the home face, the place is filled with love and happiness.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Belize Children’s Home volunteer – Brigitte

    “Working with children is very rewarding and you can make a difference in their lives. Giving time to any child the world will confirm how important they are. Volunteering at Liberty makes you feel part of their family.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Belize Children’s Home volunteer – Bonnie

    “It was a privilege, what an amazing opportunity to share both skills and love with those who have had a difficult start in life. Happiness is: volunteering at Liberty Children's Home.”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal