Can I volunteer abroad in 2021?

With Covid restrictions making it difficult to travel, and concerns about spreading the infection further in vulnerable locations, responsible travelers are asking questions about when they should return to their travels?​

The good news is that there are now responsible ways that you can participate in volunteering abroad, and those projects are ready to receive you right away. Right now, Kaya has a number of valuable projects that you can join today and travel to before the end of the year.

So if you have had enough of zoom meetings, online learning and being stuck at home, and want to do something worthwhile with this winter, at the end of a tough year, then read on!

Should I volunteer abroad in 2021?

As a responsible traveler, you should be asking these questions as you consider any travel abroad during Covid. The most important considerations should be;

Am I fit to travel?

For those who have pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable to the impacts of Covid, sheltering at home a little longer, until you receive your vaccine might make the most sense. Likewise, to ensure Covid does not continue its spread, it is important to make sure you are Covid-free, and a responsible program will request that you provide a negative Coviod test before traveling.

How do I ensure I don’t carry Covid to my hosts?

Many countries have government-imposed restrictions that include testing and quarantine on arrival. Others do not. Either way, responsible programs have a plan in place to restrict movement and exposure of visitors in the first 14 days, to ensure that they are Covid-free before mixing with locals. Kaya locations have quarantine camps where arrivals and staff stay together on the camp for the 14-day duration. During this time, we have plenty planned to keep everyone busy. Cultural workshops, exercise sessions, language classes, some virtual volunteer work, and more! In Jamaica, we even have an on-site pool for you to enjoy! At the end of camp, we are ready to go and can begin our projects in full.

If I get Covid abroad, is there a plan to manage that?

Even if the chances are low of catching Covid at your location, it is still very important that there is a plan in place if you do get sick or get exposed to someone who tests positive. It is important to work with an organized group that has procedures and protocols in place to monitor participants and knows exactly what they need to do if something happens. Kaya teams work with health centers and hospitals that are accessible and can provide high-level care (even during this crisis) and have plan in place to help isolate and support anyone who may get sick or exposed to the virus.

Do I have someone looking out for me at my location?

During this time it is even more important to have an experienced team committed to supporting volunteers during these unusual times. Whether that is to navigate the local culture or the local government regulations, ensure mental health support (at a time that everyone is a little more on edge than normal!) or just to make sure you have everything you need while movement is restricted. Knowing you are being looked after at all times, you can relax and enjoy your new surroundings.

Do I accept that I have to be flexible?

As we all know, the rules keep changing at home, and it is the same abroad. As we chose to travel in these times, we all accept that we have to be flexible and adapt to these changes as they come along. Kaya teams have prepared for best-case and worst-case scenarios – so whatever happens we have a plan that enables all our participants to make the most of the time abroad. Importantly, this means that Kaya programs in 2021 can guarantee a great cultural education and the ability for you to contribute to some impactful development work. You won’t regret the decision to get away and make something positive of 2021!

Where can I go to volunteer abroad in 2021?

We have a number programs that have been set up in locations where it is now possible to travel to (depending on your home location). Locations that are available have borders that are open to international visitors, and international flights are running from North American and European destinations. You can click to check out the up-to-date list of countries and projects available in 2021

Featured Destination: JAMAICA

In Jamaica we have a community development program that enables you to support early childhood education initiatives, work with local entrepreneurs in developing their businesses and apply your skills on a selection of customized placements.

Starting our quarantine camp in Ochos Rios we will enjoy reggae yoga, Jamaican cooking classes, and outdoor activities around the pool before moving to a beautiful mansion-house in the suburbs of Kingston to work on a range of projects alongside the local schools and community groups.

This project has monthly starts.  Read more about, and sign up for volunteering in Jamaica in 2021.

Gap Year and Solo Volunteer Community Project in Jamaica 2020-21
Gap Year and Solo Volunteer Community Project in Jamaica 2020-21

Featured Destination: ECUADOR

In Ecuador, our Amazon wildlife-rescue project is desperate for help to feed and care for the hundreds of animals that have been flooding into the center over the last few months. Quarantine has led to a lot more people discovering that monkeys, parrots, sloths, and other wildlife do not make great pets and, alongside other animals rescued from trafficking, end up at our Amazon center. Our quarantine camp in Quito will see us learn all about the Ecuadorian culture and the wildlife we will be caring for before we move down to live in our rainforest site.

This project has monthly starts.  Read more about, and sign up for volunteering in Ecuador in 2021.


Want to speak with one of our Kaya advisors about your options to travel? Request a callback, speak with us on live chat now, or drop us an email.


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