Every day is an opportunity to change and to be changed

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Tel: 020 7361 4752

Important FAQs

What are we looking for from volunteers?

children's facesWe send both qualified professionals and recent graduates (although it is not necessary to have a degree to volunteer). Some projects require professional qualifications. All volunteers must show enthusiasm, initiative, openness and commitment and be able to adapt easily to different cultures and ways of living.

Skills needed

Most of the placements we offer involve teaching (primary, secondary, language classes etc), youth work, community work or nursing. However, through our sister organisations, we are often able to find projects that match other skills and talents that volunteers have to offer.

You will have one or more of these to offer:

  • professional qualifications, especially teaching
  • youth work skills¬†
  • creative arts
  • IT skills
  • language skills, especially language of the host country

and all of these:

  • an ability to work alone and in a team
  • an ability to adapt and integrate into new cultures and ways of living
  • an ability to live simply
  • lots of enthusiasm and energy
  • an openness to do whatever may be needed to help empower the disadvantaged.

How long is a placement?

We ask that volunteers commit to volunteer for one full year (academic or calendar) and this can be renewed for a second year if all parties agree.

Where would I go?

The volunteer coordinator will meet with each volunteer to discuss placements. When choosing placements, we look at the preferences of each volunteer, their skills, talents & experience as well as the demands & needs of the receiving communities.

Will I receive any training?

sister Aurelia with village childrenWe organise a training programme before departure which will help the volunteer adjust to the culture, economic situation and living conditions and give them tools to cope.

Volunteers are expected to find information for themselves about the history, politics, religious background and current events of the specific country they will go to from books or internet sites, as this is not given in training, though they will be able to talk with someone who has been to their country of service. For more information go to Preparation and Training.

Where would I live?

In most circumstances volunteers will live together in volunteer houses which are often international. In some cases you may live with or alongside an Assumption Community.

Do I have to speak any other languages?

Some placements do require previous knowledge of the local language (for example French in Rwanda and Portuguese in Brazil). Lithuania can be learned during the volunteer year. English is widely spoken and understood in Tanzania, India and the Philippines.

What about religion?

The Assumption Sisters are a Catholic congregration of Sisters present in 34 countries. You will be working closely with them in their projects. We are looking for people - Catholics, other Christians and those who are searching - who are open to the faith dimension and show respect for the religious faith of those they live and work with willing to grow in their own faith. This may mean attending prayer and Mass overseas and joining in as far as you can.

What about money?

The programme will finance most of your costs to enable people from poorer backgrounds to volunteer. You will be asked to contribute only £750 if going overseas. This will go towards the cost of your training courses, return flights, travel and health insurance, board and lodging, personal allowance and a small resettlement grant. We can help you with ideas for fundraising. For UK projects we don't ask for a contribution; we provide training, travel to the project, board and lodging and a personal allowance but there is no resettlement grant.