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Volunteers' Stories

From IVS, the International Voluntary Service

Founded in 1931, IVS is a non-profit organisation that promotes peace and social justice through volunteering.

This article series will bring you stories from their volunteers about their inspirational experiences helping local communities in the UK and around the world.

Top Projects in February

Filip Jackov Croatia

With new projects being added to our database everyday, we have put together a list of our top projects in February to make it easier for you! Volunteering with IVS is affordable, diverse and gives you the opportunity to meet new friends from all over the world. Keep reading to find the perfect project for you this February...



Spend two weeks in Semarang City, Indonesia, working with children and the youth. Your main tasks will be to organise and promote a music camp for the children. This will include you teaching the children about art, music and teamwork, as well as planning the performances and decorating the stage for the music camp. You will live with a host family and will cook their own meals. This is an SCI North South project which specifies volunteers should be 20 years old, and have had previous volunteering experience.

Click here more info on this project!




Join the photo marathon in Iceland on its 10th year and come together with volunteers from all around the world. This project involves you developing your own unique photographic voice through workshops and feedback sessions. At the end of the week, a selection of the best photographs will be chosen and displayed at a local group exhibition. This project will give you the chance to explore Iceland and its culture. You will stay in a shared house in Reykjavik with the other volunteers from the camp. English is the spoken language of this project.

Click here for more info on this project!


South Africa

South Africa

Situated in Mabopane, South Africa, the Thabang Mental Home are seeking volunteers to help in their community. Tasks will include the cleaning and painting of the home, but also spending time with the members who live there. You will live in a shared house in Mabopane and will be required to bring a sleeping bag. If you are open-minded, keen to learn about different cultures, and have a positive attitude, this project is for you! This is an SCI North South project which specifies volunteers should be 20 years old, and have had previous volunteering experience.

Click here for more info on this project!




This project is all about environmental protection in an area previously largely damaged by a tsunami. Yunodake, located just outside of Iwaki City in Japan, is surrounded by beautiful scenery and forest. Your main tasks will be to maintain the abandoned chestnut forest, maintain footpaths and cut overgrown grassy areas, and overall to revive the damaged pine forest. You will stay in a Yunodake-Sanso (translated as a Yunodake mountain cottage) with other volunteers from the project and will take it in turns to cook the meals for each other.

Click here for more info on this project!




If you want to experience the nature and rural environment of Australia then this project is for you. Based in Taralga, with the help of volunteers from around the world, the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative aims to restore a small area of woodland. You will be involved in weeding, planting, and listing native flora and fauna, but also in displaying the information recently collected into a display for the public. This project gives great insight into the Australian environment and the importance of caring for natural habitats and species. You will stay in a historic farm house, in shared rooms, and will split the cooking and housekeeping.

Click here for more info on this project!


To apply for any of the above projects, contact the team at IVS to begin your exciting journey.


Visit the Laterlife Interest Index for more Volunteer Stories

If you are over 50 and want to volunteer with IVS please contact
Our projects in 60 countries worldwide are open to volunteers of all ages and can be accessed here.


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Recent Articles:

A chance conversation led Karen to volunteering in India

At school

Karen Laister from Oxfordshire visited Fort Kochi in Kerala, India in November 2016. She had visited India previously on a work trip, fallen in love with the country and was keen to return.

A field report from Russia

Hello! My name is Emily a volunteer for Interra.

I arrived in Krasnoyarsk on Sunday and I will live, work and study here for the next six months.

This is my first time in Siberia! While I’m here, I will run English and German language clubs, events and presentations relating to British culture, as well as generally helping with the everyday work of Interra and the various projects it runs.
Apart from that, I’m looking forward to meeting lots of local people, improving my Russian, visiting other Russian cities and going hiking in the Stolby nature reserve!


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