A group of Projects Abroad volunteers on one of our best volunteer abroad programmes.

Best Volunteer Activities in 2024

Give back on the best international volunteer projects

By Jen Southern & Vicci Parry | 18th February, 2019
Updated on 23rd January, 2024

As we enter 2024, why not have a fresh start and plan some goals to make this the best year yet?

Now is the perfect time to start thinking of ways to improve yourself. It’s also a chance to think about how you can help others and work towards a better world.

Take this opportunity to step out of your comfort zone on one of our top-rated volunteer abroad programmes. Make 2024 the year you expand your horizons.

You can do anything from a one-week volunteer trip to a full gap year adventure. Whatever you do, you won't regret it!

In 2024, it’s more important than ever to:

  • Reduce plastic pollution
  • Empower women
  • Improve literacy
  • Fight wildlife poaching
  • Expand reforestation
  • Provide free healthcare
  • Build up communities

That’s why our best volunteer abroad programmes in 2024 focus on these issues.

1) Reduce plastic pollution

Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution. It’s up to us to stop it.

Every year, we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic. Of that, 8 million tonnes end up in our oceans.

Plastic waste is catastrophic for the thousands of species that encounter it. It can choke marine life or get stuck in their stomach. This causes a ripple effect, disrupting fishing, food supply, tourism, and the entire marine ecosystem. 

On our Marine Conservation Projects, we’re working together to tackle this urgent problem. As a volunteer, you’ll help with beach clean-ups and salvage dives. You’ll also run awareness campaigns to reduce single-use plastic consumption and encourage recycling.

Here are some of our best Conservation volunteer abroad programs:

Projects Abroad Conservation volunteers pick up litter on one of our best volunteer abroad programmes

2) Empower women

In the last few years, we've seen an increase in women across the globe speaking out for their rights. From #MeToo to huge marches across the world, women are determined to have their voices heard. 

There’s still a lot of work to be done. If you’re passionate about women’s rights, you can help us promote them in countries and communities that need it most.

The best volunteer programs overseas to support women in 2024 are:

We believe that women are strong. They have always endured, and they are powerful. We want them to thrive, whether standing up for their rights or taking a step towards owning a business and becoming financially independent.

With your help on a volunteer program abroad, we can create communities supported by strong, independent women.

Local women at a women’s empowerment workshop as part of one of our best volunteering programmes overseas

3) Improve literacy

Literacy is a fundamental skill that forms the foundation of a good education. Despite rising literacy rates, many children around the world get left behind.

You can make a difference by providing vital classroom support. By working with local teachers, you’ll help identify students who are falling behind. You’ll be able to give them extra attention to ensure they succeed.

If you want to provide a brighter future to children, read more about working as a teaching assistant in Jamaica.

 A teenager helps a child with a literacy exercise as part of her volunteer work abroad

4) Fight wildlife poaching

Over the last few years, we have seen some devastating hits to wildlife populations because of poaching.

But this only pushes us to work even harder in the fight against poaching. The good news is, you can make a real difference through practical volunteer work.

Here are some of the best international Conservation volunteer programs:

In Kenya and Botswana, you’ll work in a protected reserve, helping qualified, passionate staff with poaching patrols. You’ll remove wire snares, the silent killers in the poacher’s arsenal.

In Mexico, you’ll join night patrols to spot newly laid sea turtle nests. You'll collect the eggs before poachers get to them. Back at the camp, you’ll bury the eggs in protected nests and help with releasing the turtles once they hatch.

Join one of these volunteer programs around the world and take a stand against poaching in 2024.

A Conservation volunteer removes a poaching snare while volunteering abroad in 2019

5) Expand reforestation

Trees are the lungs of our planet. They help reduce climate change by absorbing carbon emissions. According to a UN climate change report, we need to take a more active role in mitigating its effects. Planting trees is the perfect way to do this.

If you want to get involved, we recommend one of our best overseas volunteer programs:

On this project, you’ll live and work in the heart of the lush rainforest. You’ll also help conserve this precious ecosystem. As part of your work, you’ll plant and study mahogany trees. These trees absorb plenty of carbon dioxide and they act as a vital habitat for many species.

A Projects Abroad Conservation volunteer planting a tree on one of our best volunteer abroad programmes

6) Provide free healthcare

Access to quality healthcare is one of our basic human rights. However, many people around the world still struggle to get the medical care they need.

A lack of funds and transport poses a problem. This is especially true in remote areas that are far from health centers.

This is where you can help. Join one of the best volunteer medical programs in the Philippines. You’ll help local professionals provide free healthcare to people in need.

In the Philippines, we offer projects focusing on:

As part of these projects, we started the first physiotherapy and rehabilitation center in the north of Cebu. As a volunteer, you’ll play an important role in keeping the center running.

On our medical projects in the Philippines, you might also go on house-to-house visits. You'll work particularly with people with disabilities. 

A Medicine volunteer measures a child’s heart rate as part of one of our best volunteering programmes in 2019

7) Build up communities

Do you want to use your own hands to make a difference? Building schools, community centres, toilet blocks, and houses is a tangible way to help support communities. 

If you find changing a light bulb daunting and you can’t name half the tools in a toolbox, don’t worry! Local builders and artisans will teach you everything you need to know to contribute. They’ll oversee all your work, and our local staff will always be there to support you.

We recommend the following volunteer building programmes:

Two Projects Abroad volunteers building a house on one of our best volunteer abroad programmes

Join at any age

In case you were wondering, age doesn’t matter when it comes to joining one of our top-rated volunteer abroad programs. We believe that everyone can make a difference.

Our Flexi Trips accommodate all volunteers over 16. We also have specialized projects if you’d like to volunteer with people your own age.

Take a look at our:

Read more about our best high school volunteer abroad programs in 2024 and our best volunteer programs for older adults.

We have projects for everyone that cover a range of interests, no matter your skills or experience level

Join us on a reliable volunteer abroad program in 2024. Let it be the year that you help make our world a better place.

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