What is the Community Volunteering Project in Jamaica all about?
Travel during COVID times
Given the special global circumstances and to ensure the safety of participants and local community members, this program has been developed with great consideration.
The program is offered for a minimum of 3 weeks, and a maximum of 12 weeks. On arrival, you will spend 2 weeks at our quarantine camp in Ocho Rios, where a structured itinerary will enable you to participate in meaningful project work and cultural immersion activities. After quarantine is completed, an official government release form will be delivered enabling you to transfer to our Kingston location to volunteer within the local community. Once in Kingston, you will also be free to explore the surrounding areas during your downtime and take part in optional tours on the weekends organized by our local team.
This program will begin with a 2-week quarantine camp in Ochos Rios, where we will be sure to keep you busy during this quarantine period. In this time we will engage in a daily morning exercise class to the beat of reggae music, workshops to be developed and presented by our volunteers to selected local business enterprises based on the group’s skills and interests, online volunteering with Kingston disadvantaged children and cultural activities to get the most out of your Jamaican experience. During this time we will remain on-site for a full two weeks while we quarantine. Cultural activities include:
- Jamaican Dance Class – Learn cultural dance moves and popular dances like “Lebeh Lebeh”, “Genna Bounce”, “Lowi mi nuh” and “Good things Dem”
- Jamaican Cooking Class – Uncover local cooking secrets and learn the secret spices used for generations by a local Jamaican chef.
- Jamaican Culture and History Class – Learn everything there is to be known about Jamaica, its history, its traditions, and its people.
- Jamaican Night – Put into practice the moves you learn, dance like a Jamaican, talk like a Jamaican, and eat authentic Jamaican foods with your new peers.
You will also have access to the swimming pool onsite and can spend your afternoons relaxing around the pool, swimming, getting to know your cohort, reading a book, and enjoying the Jamaican sun!
On Day 15 you will get clearance to leave Ocho Rios to head to Kingston after having received your government release form. In Kingston, you will settle in a new volunteer house and begin your work volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at a kindergarten school with kids aged between 3-5 years for your third week of the program. Popular subjects to teach include basic Maths, English, Drama, Sports Coaching and Arts & Crafts. You will work with the class teacher helping the students with basic subjects or give the children personalized help for those in need.
After week 3, you will be able to continue as a teacher’s assistant or engage in other volunteering activities within the Kingston community. Some of the volunteering activities available include sports coaching, women empowerment or local environmental conservation.
Role of the Volunteer
During the first 2 weeks in Ocho Rios, you will be helping to develop and run a total of 6 workshops for local entrepreneurs based on your knowledge, skills, and interests (This may include topics such as social media, computer skills, and content development). Workshops will be held outdoors with volunteers remaining behind a plexiguard screen to ensure no contact or contamination during quarantine. You will also begin your work as a teaching assistant by taking part in volunteer work online during your quarantine with children aged 3-5.
On the third week, you will meet the children in person within their community and you will volunteer as a teacher’s assistant, supporting the local teacher in their work. Beyond 3 weeks, your role may vary depending on which volunteering activities you decide to pursue. Please speak to your Kaya advisor for more details.
Why choose this project?
- Get away at this stressful time to do something different and make a positive contribution to local community projects who need help
- Travel responsibly – Be assured that your safety and the safety of the community are central to this program.
- Make new friends and learn all about Jamaica and its culture.
What skills do I need to be a Volunteer?
No specific skills are required. Participants should be enthusiastic, flexible and patient to be working with the children. Any skills you can bring with you will be appreciated for the entrepreneurs’ workshops.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To get away at this stressful time while do something different and making a positive contribution to local community projects who need help
To make new connections abroad and participate in a cultural immersive program
To responsibly travel abroad while being safe as you take part in a quarantine camp with others before going out in the community
Where will I work in Jamaica?
About the Location
While in Ocho Rios, you will be staying in a beautiful volunteer home nestled on the picturesque north coast of Jamaica. This ‘home away from home’ is only a 7-minute drive from the heart of Ocho Rios, making it an easy location to quarantine. This location has been approved by Jamaican authorities as a safe quarantine location.
In the Jamaican capital of Kingston, your beautiful volunteer mansion house on the hillside of the peaceful Kingston suburb of Smoky Hills will give you breathtaking views of the famous Blue Mountains and city of Kingston. The neighborhood is spacious and quiet, with local walking trails and plenty of outdoor space.
In both location, you will be placed in volunteer house with a maximum of 3 other roommates. Both location offer enough communal areas to catch up with your peers or find some solitude to call home.
In Ocho Rios, we will remain on-site throughout our 2-week quarantine camp duration, with live-in staff and plenty of time to enjoy the swimming pool. Breakfasts and dinners will be cooked at the volunteer house during your stay. For lunches, staff will take orders from participants to purchase either take-out orders or groceries for participants to make their own lunch. Lunch will be at the participant’s own cost or we can add a stipend to cover a weekly lunch allowance.
In Kingston, The beautiful and spacious mansion-house has plenty of outdoor space, including a basketball court, a comfortable living room and a dining area where we will be served our meals. Breakfasts and dinners will be cooked at the volunteer house during your stay. For lunches in Kingston, these are not included and are at the participant’s own expense. You may choose to visit the local supermarket to buy groceries or enjoy eating at one of the many delicious local cafes and restaurants close to your volunteer project site. Here we can also add a stipend to cover a weekly lunch allowance if desired.
What to do in your spare time
During quarantine camp, we will not be permitted to leave the site of our accommodation. Once we move to Kingston, after receiving clearance from the government to travel, there are many options for your spare time. Jamaica offers many great locations to visit on the weekend. Our local team will be able to advise you and arrange weekend trips for you as a group including a visit to the world-famous Portland Blue Lagoon, the Bob Marley museum, or a swim in the crystal clear waters Kingston’s premier beach of Fort Clarence.
Note that there may be some restrictions on travel during your placement as we will be remaining in areas designated for locals and visitors who have completed Covid quarantine only.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 3+ weeks
- Cost: £1872 / $2923 for 3 weeks
£494 / $771 for each additional weeks
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Ocho Rios and Kingston, Jamaica
- Working hours: 3-4 hours a day for the first 2 weeks, and more for the remainder of the program
- Project availability: starting September 21st and available 1st Monday and 3rd Monday of the month after that.
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared air-conditioned room of maximum 3 other volunteers in volunteer house.
- Meals: Daily Breakfast and Dinner
- WiFi: Free WIFI provided
- Airport: scheduled pickup and dropoff from Norman Manley International Airport – Kingston Airport
- On the Ground Transportation: Airport transfers, connection from Ocho Rios to Kingston and to/from projects included
- Access to personal online Kaya Community account including:
– Pre-departure information pack
– Fundraising Guide
– How to Manage your Money Abroad
– Learning Reflection Guide
- On the ground training: cultural and safety orientation, project induction and cultural immersion activities including: Jamaican Dance Class, Jamaican Cooking Class and Jamaican Celebration Night.
- Support: 24-hour local support
- Excursion Planning assistance from local staff (activity prices may be extra)
What is not included
- Travel Insurance
- Covid-19 PCR test
- Visas and travel authorizations (for most nationalities there is currently no charge for this)
- Meals: Lunch
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens may be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check
- Routine or country-specific vaccination if applicable
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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