Live a new experience, work helping other people and improve your English without worrying about paying for your accommodation and meals, volunteering in Ireland could be a good option.
In recent years we heard that more and more people are volunteering abroad in different countries. The programs can range from short term, for a few weeks, or long term, several months stays. Many organizations offer volunteer abroad programs that provide individuals with the opportunity to live and work in a foreign country, often including housing, meals, and in-country support.
Ireland has a strong tradition of volunteering, with many organizations and charities relying on the work of volunteers to carry out their mission. Volunteer opportunities in Ireland can include working in areas such as education, healthcare, construction, environmental conservation, and more.
This experience in Ireland can be beneficial in a job interview as it demonstrates your commitment to community service and this is considered as a social act and is taken into account by companies. It can help individuals gain valuable skills and experiences that can be beneficial for their future careers. On the other hand, volunteering will help you to learn and improve languages because you can share moments with people from different parts of the world.
Why would we choose volunteering in Ireland?
There are reasons why someone might choose to volunteer abroad:
- New knowledge: it can be a great way to gain experiences and learn about different cultures, which can help individuals grow personally and develop new skills.
- Expand your mind: volunteers are often open-minded and willing to learn about different cultures and perspectives.
- Good deeds: many people choose to volunteer as a way to give back and make a positive impact on the world.
- Making a difference: provides the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others and contribute to the betterment of a community or organization.
Other benefit of volunteering in Ireland is the accommodation
There are several volunteer organizations in Ireland that provide accommodation for volunteers as part of their program. For example, organizations that support migrants and refugees provide accommodation for some of its volunteers.
Another option is organizations that operate a network of youth hostels or for those who are interested in organic farming and gardening, volunteers work in exchange for food, transport and accommodation. It’s worth noting that the availability of accommodation may depend on the specific project and location, and may not be provided for all volunteer roles.
Agencies for volunteer work
There are also many local community groups and charities that rely on volunteers to provide services and support to their community and some popular organizations:
- Worldpackers, Go Overseas, Work Away and HelpX: are platforms that connect travelers with hosts who are looking for help with a variety of tasks, such as gardening, cleaning, childcare, teaching, and more. Hosts offer food, accommodation and other benefits in exchange for the volunteer’s help.
- Crosscare: A Catholic charity that provides a wide range of services to vulnerable people in Ireland, including accommodation for some of its volunteers.
- WWOOF Ireland: An organization that helps connect volunteers with organic farms in Ireland, where they can work in exchange for food and accommodation.
- An Óige: A youth hostel association that operates a network of hostels across Ireland and provides accommodation for volunteers who work at the hostels.
There are volunteers throughout the Emerald Isle but in the small cities or towns near to big cities you can find a variety of activities in small Irish family businesses, like a hostel, or in organic farms or as agricultural volunteers.
Pedro Mendez is from Argentina and he volunteered in “My Lovely Horse”, which is a farm in County Meath. In that place he completed different tasks, planting and harvesting crops, caring for livestock, processing and preserving food, helping with farm-related events or farmers markets. He feels very happy with this experience because he met amazing people from all over Europe and in exchange for his work the host provided accommodation and meals every day.
Farm “My lovely horse”, close to Clonard, County Meath.
Another similar experience is that of Aldana La Bianca, she is from Argentina and volunteers abroad at a Hostel in Newport Mayo, close to Westport. Hostel volunteers typically work in youth or backpacker hostels and other types of budget accommodation. Their tasks can vary depending on the specific hostel and the needs of the staff, but some common tasks include receptionist, housekeeping, maintenance of the place, preparing and serving breakfast as a catering assistant, event planning, tour guiding or marketing and social media.
Aldana says, “the work in this hostel is hard but the working environment is very good and the town is small but cozy”, however she expresses that she would do this volunteering again because she was very happy there. She does all kinds of jobs depending on the needs of the hostel, sometimes as a waitress or kitchen assistant but other times as housekeeping or maintenance.
Also, Pedro says, “doing this type of work as a volunteering in Ireland and meeting people from all over the world is an incredible experience, added to the fact that it allows you travel without spending too much money and is possible you might do tasks you never imagined doing, in my case, caring for animals on a farm and I loved it”.
Pedro Mendez doing harvesting tasks on the farm.
Tips for choosing a volunteer job
The first step is to check if your country of origin is among the countries that are in the volunteer program in Ireland to which you have decided to apply. Further, research the country you will be visiting before you go and the organization that you decide to volunteer with aligns with your values and expectations.
It’s important to note that different organizations may have different requirements, so it is best to check with the specific organization you’re interested in volunteering with.