Overview of 2023 Volunteer Programme

All placement types explained with details of the recruitment process.

We are now recruiting volunteers for our 2023 Volunteer Programme. We’re back after a 3-year break with a few changes.

Volunteers will be involved in an 8-month Global Citizenship Programme with the option to do a local volunteering placement, or a 4-week overseas placement from early July to early August.  

For the 2023 Volunteer Programme we are offering overseas placement in:  

  • Bangalore, India 
  • Lusaka & Mazabuka, Zambia 
  • Beira & Dondo, Mozambique 

Volunteer with SERVE to be the change you want to see in the world.

  • – Benefit from a comprehensive GCE workshops, hearing from speakers and guest facilitators from the Global South.  
  • – Volunteer on sustainable development projects, locally and globally. 
  • – Support the work of our local partners. 
  • – Those travelling overseas will also gain: 
  • – Those choosing the overseas option will also gain pre-departure training, in-country support, and debriefing. The overseas programme features:
    • – 4 week placement from early July to early August 
    • – Live and work in teams of 8-12 volunteers, led by 2 experienced leaders. 


Most frequent questions and answers

Age 18+ and you must be finished secondary school. All backgrounds and disciplines are welcome. You must be willing to get stuck-in, open to learning about new cultures and perspectives, and able to live and work with a diverse group of people.

Local volunteering: The volunteering placement is chosen by the participan twith help from an experience SERVE Mentor. (Note – there may be an opportunity to do some online volunteering with our overseas partners, this is TBC) 

Overseas volunteering: Volunteers take on a variety of roles and each placement is different. Placements are always planned in response to the needs of the local partners and can change on a yearly basis. Click here to find out more. 

Those participating in the local volunteering option are asked to contribute a programme fee of €25 and raise a minimum of €600 in 2023. This covers training and supports SERVE work with its overseas partners.


Participants in the SERVE overseas volunteer programme are required to raise a minimum of €3,495. This covers flights, insurance, training, and in-country project costs. SERVE also uses these funds to make grants towards furthering the work of our overseas partners.

Fundraising support is provided at the training days. This fundraising target has been increased from 2019 in response to rising costs of insurance and flights.  

 All volunteers will attend three in-person training sessions at our office in Blackrock, Cork on the following dates: 

  • – Sat, 25th February 2023
  • – Sat, 15th April 2023 and
  • – Sat, 20th May 2023

Volunteers traveling overseas will be required to attend a full-day training on these dates, while those participating in the local programme will be required to attend a half-day training.

Volunteers will attend online sessions as well, with guest speakers from the Global South. This is an opportunity to learn more about the work SERVE does with our overseas partners.

All volunteers must also attend a debriefing session which takes place in October.

Read up on all the placements then sign up here.

Once you have submitted your application, a member of Team SERVE will be in contact with you at the end of October to organise an informal phone-interview to find out more about you and why you want to volunteer with us and be part of our 2023 Volunteer Programme.

If you are successful, your place will be confirmed shortly afterwards. 

You will be required to consult  your doctor for expert medical advice. Vaccinations are at the expense of the individual volunteer and should not be fundraised for.

All volunteers who participate fully in the entire programme of Global Citizenship Education and/or  orientation training, in-country placement/local volunteering placement, and debriefing will be awarded a certificate in recognition of  your participation. 

You can use this volunteer experience to boost your skill set and include it in your CV. SERVE will provide a letter of reference should you need it for job applications.

Students can often use the volunteer experience to meet the placement requirements of certain courses. This is at discretion of the college and it is the responsibility of the individual volunteer to check if the volunteer placement meets college requirements. 

Overseas Programme Fees & Costs

The total cost of the 2022 Overseas Volunteer Programme is €3,495 / £3,070. 

This fee covers the costs relating to 

  • – Flights
  • – Travel insurance 
  • – Pre-departure training and support costs 
  • – Main meals, accommodation and transport overseas 
  • – SERVE Next Step Weekend (food and accommodation in Ireland) 
  • – Funding grant to the partners 

 Please note that the above price does not include the following and you are not entitled to fund-raise for:

  • – the cost of your vaccinations,
  • – any day-to-day personal spending money,
  • – any activities undertaken on time off at the end of the project,
  • – all visas to be obtained will be at each individual’s expense i.e: You may be required to obtain a visa before departure or in some circumstances can be obtained on arrival in the destination airport. 



FAQ on Fees for Overseas Volunteering Programme

This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

You have to raise a minimum of €3,495 / £3,070 (inclusive of your non-refundable deposit of €200/£200). 

This covers the costs relating to:

  • – your flight and travel insurance,
  • – pre-departure training costs,
  • – in-country support,
  • – your main meals, accommodation, transport while on your overseas placement
  • – a grant to the overseas partner with whom you will be placed and
  • – your attendance at the SERVE “Next Step” Weekend following your return to Ireland. 

You will receive fundraising support and workshops extensively during the pre-departure training days and on request at any stage throughout the process. 

This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

Many of our Volunteers raise sums over and above their 3,495 / £3,070.  All of the funds raised above the target amount go directly to our Project Country fund; this provides financial support to our partners, enabling them to deliver on projects which the volunteers will work on. 



This is relevant to those who are applying to volunteer overseas with SERVE.

The 3,495 / £3,070 participation fee primarily covers the running costs of your placement. If you do not raise this amount, you will have to forfeit your place. However, if you are having trouble with fundraising, you will have the support of both SERVE and our volunteer network to help you to reach your target. 



Volunteer Registration Form