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In many countries, health, rescue and construction resources exist to cope with the immediate consequences of a disaster, as a result foreign volunteers may not be needed. In fact, well-intentioned foreigners lacking familiarity with the local language and customs may complicate the process of recovery. Highly skilled specialists whose help has been specifically requested by the affected government or by aid and development agencies are exceptions.

To find out what specific skills Australian non-government organisations are seeking in volunteers for overseas work, contact the volunteer sending organisations directly. Many agencies are seeking volunteers to work in non-emergency situations to help communities in the developing world. While assignments are referred to as 'volunteer', in most cases travel expenses and a basic living allowance are paid. In most instances, to apply for these volunteer programs, you are required to be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency status.

Most aid and development agencies also welcome volunteers to undertake fundraising, education and advocacy work in Australia.

ACFID member agencies specialising in recruiting volunteers:

Australian Business Volunteers

Australian Doctors International

Australian Volunteers International

International Nepal Fellowship

RedR Australia

Engineers Without Borders

VOICE - Volunteers in Community Engagement

Other useful links:

ACFID - Internships in the aid and development sector
Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID)
Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD)
Oxfam Australia Volunteer Database
Palms Australia
World Youth International Australia (WYI)
Youth Challenge Australia (YCA)

Volunteer matching organisations


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