International Volunteer Work with Children in Mongolia
- Placement locations: Ulaanbaatar
- Types of care projects: Centres for children with learning disabilities, kindergartens, care centres
- Age of children: 0 - 15
- Number of people cared for: 15 - 120
- Role: Work towards promoting early childhood development by focusing on social, emotional, cognitive, and physical dimensions
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
As a Projects Abroad Care volunteer in Mongolia, you can provide disadvantaged children with the emotional support they need. To volunteer, you do not need any qualifications or experience and we welcome all volunteers, as long as you have energy, enthusiasm, and compassion. Whether you are a gap year student, a professional on a career break, or retired, you can make a difference in Mongolia.
Much of the Mongolian population lives below the poverty line and many families struggle just to get by. It is quite common, especially in the capital Ulaanbaatar, to see children who have been abandoned. The children in Mongolian care centres might be regarded as the lucky ones but these centres are often desperately overstretched. Basic resources are limited and staff may not have the time to provide the individual attention that all children require. This is where your help as a volunteer is greatly needed.
As a volunteer in Mongolia, you will work to relieve the workload of the local staff and support them while you care for the children. You will also be adding to the children's quality of life in many different ways.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Mongolia Care Management Plan.
Projects Abroad Mongolia has recently been presented with an award for our work with underprivileged children in Ulaanbaatar, winning the Best NGO category.
Volunteer in Care Centres and Kindergartens in Mongolia
Projects Abroad works with a variety of care placements throughout Ulaanbaatar, normally within walking distance or a short bus journey from your accommodation.
Volunteers work in both state and private care centres, which could house from 20 to 200 children. Some of the children look after specific age groups, from babies through to teenagers. If you have any preferences regarding the age of children you'd like to work with, please let us know..
Overcoming language barriers by using only body movements to teach English was initially tough, but my efforts combined with those of the children proved very rewarding. Little things, like the smile of a five-year-old girl after the first time she counted to ten in English on her own and the hug I received after one of the older children managed to name every color on my Rubik's cube, are what I found so encouraging and especially rewarding. Read more...
If you are placed in a kindergarten, you will work with children aged 3-5 years old, alongside a local teacher in classes of up to 40 children.
The actual work you will be doing depends on the ages of the children that you are working with. While working with younger children you'll play educational games but you might also be asked to help at meal times and ensure that they are washed and dressed for the day. The older children often require help with homework or support with personal and social issues. It would also be helpful if you can provide them with some informal English lessons, as this is increasingly useful.
Working at the kindergarten was immensely rewarding and fun. I would recommend such a placement to anyone who needs a career or education break and would like to stretch their people skills in a new direction. Taking care of two-year-olds is also fantastic for developing multi-tasking abilities... Read more...
Volunteer with Children with Special Needs in Mongolia
Volunteers also have the option of working at a centre for children with learning and physical disabilities. At this centre, you may have the option of becoming involved with outreach work, visiting the children's family home to provide additional support and advice to their families. This placement is only available between September and May, as the centre closes during the summer months.
Volunteering Abroad with Children in Mongolia with Projects Abroad
Wherever you work, it will be alongside committed local staff to provide practical help and friendship to the many children who are in need of support. The difference our volunteers make is inspiring and greatly appreciated by the Mongolian staff who are eager to learn English from you and teach you some Mongolian at the same time.
As a volunteer you will also receive regular workshops to assist you at your placement and to provide a greater understanding of the care system in Mongolia. Projects Abroad also organizes regular community based outreaches for you to be involved with.
If you are a high school student and first-time traveller you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Mongolia.
Did you know? European chess is an extremely popular game among Mongolian children, but instead of knights & bishops, the pieces are often representations of horses, camels, & other animals that are common in Mongolia.
Volunteering in Orphanages in Mongolia
Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Mongolia. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.
This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Mongolia, volunteers will work in placements like day care centres, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.
You can join a Care project in Mongolia for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.
If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills. Read more about the opportunities for skilled volunteers in Mongolia.
While you’re in Mongolia, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. For more information, please visit our Nomad Project in Mongolia page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.
Social workers are welcome on this project. If you are a student and require a supervisor for your university requirements, we can organize this for you.
Although it is not required for you to speak Mongolian to volunteer in Mongolia, learning a few basics is always helpful. You can also choose to do the Mongolian Language Course before or during your placement.