Family volunteering


For families who want to volunteer with children under 18 years old

Family volunteering is becoming more popular as parents and children are eager to explore the world together and do something new and different, a change from the standard holiday.

Click here to download our family volunteering guide which explains how families volunteer and details the application process, challenges and requirements.

Which projects can you join?

Families can volunteer on community teaching projects, in children’s homes, animal rescue centres and on conservation projects around the world. Most of our projects normally have a minimum age requirement of 18, but for a number of our projects we are able to accept children under 18 when accompanied by a parent.

For a full list of the projects that your family could join, please see the bottom of this page.

Children travelling with one parent / guardian will need to be at least 13 years of age.

Please also bear in mind you can combine several different projects into one incredible volunteering trip!

Why should you consider volunteering as a family?

Volunteering as a family offers benefits to the parents, children and the project itself. Your family can have a unique experience, immersing you in the culture whilst contributing to an on-going volunteer project in need of support. Many families find that volunteering brings them closer together as the trip creates amazing memories, stories and experiences that you will never forget.

Family groups provide drive and motivation to the project, creating great team dynamics and being of huge benefit to the project. In addition to this children will often provide insight into the volunteer work from a fresh angle, this is something that staff and other volunteers truly appreciate.

Pod believes in responsibly matching families to the right placement and we are honest about the challenges that come with volunteering. We provide all volunteers with a detailed Volunteering Guide about the project and support from a dedicated placement manager prior to departure, we can help you to choose a volunteer project that is suited to your family.

How do we select projects for families?

We feel that it is very important that we only offer family volunteering placements where the opportunity is suitable for both the family and the project in country.

Pod liaises with each of our volunteer projects to identify where families are best suited and able to make a valuable contribution to their on-going work. We consider the nature of the work, risk levels, volunteer role and support we can provide onsite and these factors combine to determine the minimum age requirement for each project.

If your child is 16-17 they can also consider travelling as part of a team with a Pod Team leader on one of our under 18 volunteering trips. Alternatively if your children are over 18 they can also consider travelling solo on our Pod volunteer projects.

How much will volunteering as a family cost?

Children under 18 who are volunteering with their family will receive a £75 discount per child for each volunteer project they do.

Jayne and Elliott's volunteering - Childrens Home in Thailand

"Volunteering at the orphanage was an amazing experience for myself and my 14 year old son. Everyone was very welcoming, we were given clear jobs to do and we both felt part of the orphanage family for our two weeks there. It was certainly hard to leave such a well run home with resilient and lovely children who always seem to have a big smile.  We were well looked after with clean yet simple accommodation, ample food and a chance to get involved in all aspects of supporting in the orphanage. From cleaning, laundry duties, teaching English, mural painting, enjoying a cool off swim in the river and interacting and playing with the delightful children and young people.

The experience was life changing for my son I would fully recommend taking your child with you as it gave him a whole new perspective on life. As a teacher in the UK this was the best use of my holiday time ever as the personal satisfaction it gave me was tremendous! It is an amazing place run by very special people."

Monique and Josh’s volunteering - Child Care in Nepal

“We chose the placement in Pokhara, Nepal after researching into the area and then talking to Pod staff who explained that it was a beautiful and safe environment for our family to spend a few weeks volunteering. We wanted a challenge, but when travelling as a family we also needed to ensure safety was a priority, while still being able to immerse ourselves in the daily Nepali lifestyle.

We will always remember what we learned in our Nepali language lesson in the first week – that Nepal really is the land of Never Ending Peace And Love! It was a priceless experience that we recommend to any family (or any individual) wanting to have an unforgettable experience.”

You can read more about their time in their blog here.

Sofia and Shireen's volunteering - Horse Rehabilitation in South Africa

“From the very word ‘go’, the horses, the farm, the family, the rest of the animals…. I had come home! The only downside for me is that I wish I had found this project earlier!

This was to be a quality ‘vacation’ with my daughter who turned thirteen this May. A ‘holiday’ meant to go down in the archives of her special birthdays! And it sure did, though I suspect more so for me than my daughter. Like myself, my daughter adores animals, most especially horses. Unlike her, I had never ridden or come anywhere close to these majestic beings. And so at the age of fifty-two, this was truly one of the few most rewarding experiences I have had thus far…. There is never a dull moment at the Farm! Evenings are spent as any fun loving family does, sharing laughs and a whole load of good memories!

Thank you to all those who contributed in making this one of the most memorable experiences for Shiree (my daughter) and myself!”

Family Volunteering Project Options - by age of children

8 years +

Costa Rica - Turtle Conservation

Thailand - Children's Home

10 years +

Belize - Reef Conservation

12 years +

Belize - Caribbean Conservation

Costa Rica - Wildlife Rescue

South Africa - Horse Rehabilitation

Thailand - Marine Conservation

13 years +

Cambodia - Elephant Conservation

Cambodia - Bear Rescue

Ghana - Building

Ghana - Child Care

Ghana - Film and Photography

Ghana - Sports Coaching

Ghana - Teaching and Community Work

India - Animal Rescue

India - Building

India - Child Care

India - Community Education

Nepal - Child Care

Nepal - Sports Coaching

Peru - Children's Day Care

South Africa - Monkey Rescue

Thailand - Wildlife Rescue (17 if accompanying adult is under 25)

14 years +

Nepal - Teaching

Thailand - Elephant Care (17 if accompanying adult is under 25)

15 years +

Namibia - Elephant Conservation

Thailand - Dog and Cat Rescue

16 years +

South Africa - Marine Conservation



  • 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