Family Volunteering Abroad


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

Family volunteering abroad is becoming more and more popular as parents and children are eager to explore the world together and do something new and different for their holidays!

Which projects can you join?

We have a great range of volunteering projects for families so we think you'll be able to find something that will suit the whole family, knowing that you are choosing an ethical and carefully vetted project with 24/7 support while you are away. Please see the list of projects below for our family options, categorised by type of project with the minimum age of children displayed after each project name.

Families receive a £100 discount per child for each project - or in some cases we have special family pricing which is shown on the project pages.

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

What do I do next?

If you know which project(s) you are interested in, all we need is for the lead adult to book online and then we can help you arrange your placement. Alternatively if you would like discuss your options please contact us and we can advise you further.

Family volunteering options - by type of project and age of children

Animal Care and Rescue projects

Conservation and Marine Conservation projects

Community and Education projects

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.

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  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.

Natalie and Rachel - Family volunteering at our Elephant Care project in Thailand

"My daughter and I had an amazing time at the Elephant Care centre in Thailand. The mahoots were very supportive and I completely trusted them to keep us safe when we were in the enclosures with the elephants. You will never forget your time walking an elephant - they are amazingly intelligent and strong creatures. And once you have seen how the elephant trade trains baby elephants you will never let anyone you know ride one again.

The co-ordinators at the centre were also very friendly, helpful and supportive. They clearly care a lot for all the animals. They also organised day trips for us on our days off." 

Mary and Brianna – Family volunteering at our Wildlife Rescue project in Costa Rica

“My 12-year-old daughter and I went on this trip together. It was an unbelievable week for us. Our cottage was really nice and had lots of room and everything we needed. The grounds were gorgeous with a beautiful view of the mountains and a really nice swimming pool to hang out in the afternoons after work. 

We loved the staff at the Wildlife Rescue project - they are so dedicated to helping the wildlife and the rain forests. We learned so much about feeding the animals and enriching their environments for the ones who can't be released and are staying at the sanctuary. It was a great bonding time for mother-daughter and a wonderful learning experience.”

Linda and Luca - Family Desert Elephant Conservation in Namibia

"The support of POD and consequent support of local staff, in particular Christine and Hendrick was superb. It was professional, informative and fun! A truly phenomenal experience! The work we did in the school and the children’s faces and seeing the good work the project do was the most rewarding." 

David, Ellie, Sam and Christine - Family diving trip to our Reef Conservation project in Belize

“Our family had an amazing experience with Reef Conservation project in Belize. Spending 5 days on a remote island with a fun and engaging group of international travellers who were all committed to the conservation of the coral reef and the sport of scuba diving was unforgettable. The island was beautiful; the facilities sparse, but that's exactly as it should be.

The experience took me out of my day-to-day life and "off the grid," allowing me to really appreciate the beauty of the water and the reef."

Sofia and Shireen's volunteering - Family volunteering at our Horse Rehabilitation project 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!”