Overview of 2023 Volunteer Programme

All placement types explained with details of the recruitment process.

The 2023 Volunteer Programme is now full.

Volunteers will be involved in an 8-month Global Citizenship Programme (GCE – otherwise known as Development Education) 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 placements in:  

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

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

  1. Benefit from comprehensive Global Citizenship Education workshops, hearing from speakers and guest facilitators from the Global South. Topics include: Advocacy & Human Rights; Social Justice & Inequality; Responsible Consumption – focus on Fast Fashion; Attitudes and Languages towards Ethnic Minorities; Our Food System and Climate Change; Partnership and Locally Led Sustainable Development; Disability Stigma in India; Effects of Climate Change in the Global South – focus on Mozambique; The Education System in Zambia and so much more!
  2. Volunteer on sustainable development projects, locally and globally. 
  3. Support the work of our local partners. 
  4. Those travelling overseas will also gain pre-departure training, in-country support, and debriefing. The overseas programme features:
    • – 4 week placement with one of our overseas partners from early July to early August 
    • – Live and work in teams of 8-12 volunteers, led by 2 experienced leaders.  

Applications are now closed.


Most frequent questions and answers

Age 18+ and must no longer be in full time second level education. 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 participant with help from an experienced 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.

Click here to find out more about all the placements. 

Those participating in the local volunteering option are asked to contribute a programme fee of €150 and raise a minimum of €500. This covers training and facilitation costs, and supports SERVE’s 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 fundraising to be completed before end of May 2023.

All volunteers will attend 3 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.

All volunteers will attend online GCE 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 will take place in October 2023.

Read up on all the placements then apply here.

Once you have submitted your application, a member of Team SERVE will be in contact with you to organise an interview (in-person or Zoom).

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 pre-departure 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. 

FAQ on Fees

Participants in the SERVE overseas volunteer programme are required to raise a minimum of €3,495 / £3,100 (inclusive of your non-refundable deposit of €200/£180). 

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
  • – your attendance at the SERVE Next Step Weekend following your return to Ireland. 

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

  • – the cost of your vaccinations,
  • – any day-to-day personal spending money,
  • – any activities undertaken on time off during 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. 

Those participating in the local volunteering option are asked to contribute a programme fee of €150 / £130 and raise a minimum of €500 / £450.

This covers the costs relating to:

  • – pre-placement training costs
  • – local volunteering support
  • – online volunteering facilitation
  • – continuous mentoring by experienced SERVE mentors
  • – a grant to our overseas partners, who you will be learning about during pre-placement training
  • – your attendance at the SERVE “Next Step” Weekend in October, following the completion of your online and local volunteering

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

All of the funds raised above the target amount go directly to our Project Country fund; this provides seed funding for grants and financial support to our partners, enabling them to deliver on projects which the volunteers will work on, as well as longer term programmes. 

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 Programme 2023 Registration Form