HelpStay connects small projects needing for a hand with independent travellers looking to save money on accommodation costs. For travellers there is also the opportunity to add purpose to their wanderings, get a local’s insight into the area, and learn new skills as well as passing on their own. Membership for helpers is €19.99 for 1 year (or €26.99 for joint membership).
We’ve selected 14 of our favourite current projects around the globe, offering a mix of helping in schools, hostels, eco projects, animal rescue centres and NGOs:
Yoga Studio Volunteering, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ahimsa Academy, a grassroots yoga studio, offer accommodation to trained yoga teachers that can provide classes to local women free of charge. Minimum stay is two weeks but there’s a small stipend provided to those staying more than three months.
Learn Chocolate Making, Quito, Ecuador
Learn about growing, harvesting, processing, and marketing coffee and chocolate at this organic farm and historical cafe in Ecuador. Volunteers enjoy three vegetarian meals a day and stay for free on the farm, two hours from Quito, where they grow and make their own coffee and chocolate.
Be an Animal Centre Volunteer, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
The animals in question here are six anoa, a type of miniature water buffalo. Tasks include caring for the anoa, feeding, prepare for breeding, behaviour recording, building new enclosures, DNA sample collecting, and some field working in the in situ habitat of anoa. Volunteers should be 19 to 35 years old, able to commit for a month and willing to work with wild animals.
Cricket Coach in Lima, Peru
A long term volunteer is needed to help spread organised loafing in a country where most people have not even heard of silly mid on, Brian Lara, or English tail order collapses. Experience of coaching would be great, as would some Spanish – though neither is essential. Monthly accommodation and a travel allowance is provided. Additional benefits include the possibility of some paid coaching, an ICC level one coaching course, full work reference and certificate, training kit and other cricket-related benefits.
Bar Work Volunteer, Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia
Profits from Kuching’s Monkeebar go towards animal welfare and conservation work on Borneo. Paid local staff are supplemented by western volunteers who receive free accommodation in a four bedroom house and a small food budget.
Instructor Training Scheme, Northampton, England
UK or EU nationals, aged 18 to 24 year and able to commit for12 months can get on this 12 month training scheme to become an outdoor activity instructor that includes accommodation, food and £200 per month. You’ll earn nationally recognised qualifications with a second year option for a full salaried position and extra training.
Youth Volunteer Assistant, Solomon Islands
From English teaching or carpentry to computing or theatre, passionate volunteers who can help educate students in technical skills are needed here.
House Building Help, Arusha, Tanzania, Australia
This social enterprise works with ex-prisoners to build self-sustainable houses made of waste materials. They already have their first contract – designing an office for the Tanzania Girl Guides – but the help of your skills.
Ramallah Hostel Volunteering, Ramallah, Palestine
Free accommodation, free meals, plus a free night each week in different hostels in the region are offered here. In return volunteers do various tasks around the hostel, from painting and gardening to preparing breakfast and working on reception.
Volunteer Help with Education, La Romana, Dominican Republic
Set up to assist children and families escape poverty, this non profit seeks help in several areas such as teaching arts, languages, sport and also helping to raise awareness about health, security and the environment.
Organic Farming & Gardening Helping, Lower Saxony, Northern Germany
Trying to create a place where life, friendship, knowledge and nature mingle in the most beautiful way possible, this community of over 100 people welcomes volunteers to join in their work for a minimum of one month.
Help Making an Eco Home, Bordeaux, France
Meals and accommodation in a yurt tent is offered by this polyglot family living off grid on the French Atlantic coast. In exchange they ask for help with everyday tasks such as taking care of the garden, picking and cooking food, or building a new hut and making art and craft.
Animal Shelter Volunteering, Flanders, Belgium
This not for profit organisation can’t afford to pay somebody to help them provide a cosy home for their over 200 cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs, chickens and pigeons, but can offer a room, food and an unforgettable experience abroad.
Upcycling & Eco Project Helping, Québec, Canada
André and Daniel have spent the past seven years renovating an old lakeside resort reception hall into their home. Used to the idea of company as couchsurfing hosts, they invite HelpStay volunteers to help with general building projects, exterior woodwork, painting, landscaping and general maintenance. Downtime activities include kayaking and swimming in the lake in the summer and snowshoeing in the summer.
All pictures belong to projects listed in this post and are reproduced courtesy of HelpStay