Volunteering in English

Many choose to take advantage of summer holiday to work as a volunteer abroad in non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This is an excellent opportunity to travel, gain valuable experience and skills, perfect your adaptive skills, and use your time in a worthwhile way. There are many NGOs with a wide range of activities and services ranging from educational initiatives and assistance in hospitals to construction projects, both in Europe and other continents as well.

Making a list of all NGOs is almost impossible. How can you choose the most appropriate one? It is certainly essential to take stock of your attitude, desires, and motivations to find the organization that is closest to your idea of voluntary service. Once you find the NGOs that offer the services that you desire, it is advisable to study their ethical principles and mission statements. It is also important to consider if you have the right characteristics to perform a service that involves sacrifice and a considerable spirit of adaptation. Another aspect to consider is the qualifications and skills required. While it is true that these services are generally not remunerated, it is also true that these organizations sometimes assess candidates based on a series of specific requirements, such as their educational qualifications and abilities that could be important for carrying out specific activities. Once all of these aspects have been considered and you have chosen the right organization, it is sometimes best to send in an application.

Cover Letter

To write a good cover letter it is important to thoroughly understand the required profile for which the application is being made, the work ethic of the organization and its principles.You should aim to write a letter that responds to the chosen profile. In general, it is good to give concrete examples that show how you embody the mission, the values, and the fundamental principles of the NGO. The letter should also be professional and formal as if it were a cover letter for a job post.

Below, we present an example of a cover letter to apply for work as a teacher in Africa. Take it into account when writing your own cover letter, adapting it to your personal profile and situation.


Dear Mr / Ms XXX,

                I am writing to you about the opportunity that may be available to volunteer at XXX. As an experienced primary school teacher, I have developed a passion for the welfare of children as well as for the educational sector. I would love to use my time this summer to work with children on a volunteer basis.

                Even as a full-time teacher, I participate in many volunteer projects to help less advantaged children reach their educational goals and to involve them in different activities such as theatre, art, and museum visits. I participate in a program in my town to support foster children one afternoon per week. I am also used to working with children of different backgrounds and cultures. I am sure the experience in Africa will help me refine both my personality and my educational skills.

                I have heard of your efforts to help children in the Congo receive a good education and new opportunities. If you need a teacher with my experience, I would be thrilled to have the privilege to work with you. I have two months holiday this summer and I would like to use this time to support your mission.

                Eager to learn more about your mission, I would appreciate the opportunity to have an interview with you at any convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.

Thank you for your consideration.



Are You Ready for Your Volunteer Experience?

An experience as a volunteer can really change your life, giving you the opportunity to invest your time to support others, helping you to develop new skills and positive qualities, even increasing your will to live. If you have decided to go ahead with this experience, it is important to know English. Have you ever considered the possibility of taking a language course online? ABA English offers 144 free video classes, short films, and qualified teachers to help you perfect your English. What are you waiting for? Start preparing for your special summer now!

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