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Sample Volunteer Abroad Projects — Chile

VIP Chile has relationships with NGO's, government and private institutions devoted to the improvement of human living conditions for those in need. All of our projects demand the solving of daily unexpected challenges. A positive, flexible, loving and devoted attitude is always appreciated by those involved in service projects - especially by the host communities.


Social and Welfare projects include a wide range of opportunities to develop and provide tools for those in need. Social gap and discrimination in Chile have resulted in a number of problems that require an immediate effort and commitment to build up dignified lives for those who suffer or live in extreme poverty. Daily care, assistance, school support, project management, fund raising initiatives and others proposals to work and help directly with target groups and institutions that include people from orphanages, children, the elderly, homeless people among others.

Sample Project 1:


”Law of Love and Communion”, this is our motivation to introduce you, as a volunteer, into an institution located very close to Santiago city where 80 children and adolescents, from 1 to 18 years old, are given a chance to understand and experience life in a different way from their previous exposition to high social risk due to abuse (such as neglect, physical abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse) or abandonment.

The main idea is to create a familiar atmosphere and to restore family values that all children should acquire and share. Every child lives in a ‘home’ with seven more kids who are supervised and cared for by a ‘host mom’. The homes are run like those of any ‘normal family’. They also attend school outside the institution so they can interact with other kids. All children have their own private world, along with a caring family and a whole new set of opportunities to build up a new life.

The institution main goal is to be able to restore an adequate standard of living, health care and education for these children so they could realize that there are other options and it is to them to change things. In spite of its limited resources, a group of very creative and committed professionals, substitute host mothers and volunteers has managed well to group a united, caring and understanding team that works hand by hand for the children’s rights, dignity and welfare.

As a volunteer you will have to develop the children’s consciousness of their rights and responsibilities. At the same time, you will be a motivator/facilitator for the development of their abilities through a wide variety of activities such as: school support, maintenance, recreational activities, sports, acting workshop, gardening, singing, computers, etc. To insert the children back to the community and society.

Personal project: we encourage volunteers to develop their own small side project according to their own interest, needs analysis and skills considering the needs of the organization. (EIL Chile will advise and help to coordinate during application process).
Volunteers have room and full board at the project site located in a semi rural/urban area only 50 mins away from Santiago city with easy access to transportation.

Sample project 2:


This project involves Chile's most important organization that works for the integration and care of teenage mothers and pregnant teenagers with their children. Most of these young women come from poor families.

This organization has different branches throughout Chile- most of them are located around Temuco in the South of Chile and in different regions around Santiago.

The project supports different activities such as:

-help young mothers with their emotional, material and spiritual needs

-give orientation and reinforce their roles as mothers

-support all the activities that involve the mothers and their children related to their daily lives: go to school, make and serve meals, participate in educational workshops, psychology therapy and other support as necessary

Volunteers should adapt to work in the project and different situations that can appear during the process. Volunteers should be responsible and proactive people and the most important thing is the motivation for working.

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Sample Project:


This is an NGO with headquarters in Santiago, Chile that claims college and high school students and professionals to enroll in its lines and help them to built wooden-made basic houses ('mediagua', in Spanish) in order to give the most needed families in the continent a small but effective house to improve their standards of life.

They work in the poorest and most needed settlements where most of the people live in trash-made houses with newspapers or carton walls, without either electricity power nor tap water and often surrounded by high levels of unemployment, drug addiction, alcoholism. 

Since 1997, TECHO has built more than 30,000 basic houses, thanks to the efforts and excitement of more than 18,000 volunteers every year that make possible the constructions of them, as well as social habilitation programs such as community development, micro credits for the small and medium companies, basic offices instruction, health programs, scholastic leveling for kids and adults and legal advising.

It starts with building transitional houses, continues with social inclusion programs (such as education, micro credits, libraries, and vocational training), and finally builds permanent neighborhoods.  Its goal for 2010 is to eradicate slums in Chile.

The transitional houses are made of wood and are designed to be low-cost, easy to construct, and mobile. A typical house is 18 m2 (6x3) in size and costs approximately US $1,500, of which the beneficiary family contributes 10 percent ; it is built in two days by a team of eight to ten volunteers working alongside the beneficiary family.

This job begins with the emergency house, a concrete solution that gives a chance to have an intimate, deserving and protected place, develop a space for the family, create the sense of property and motivate saving. The emergency house acts as an initial connection between the population and the rest of society, because for its construction, the settler family gets together with the volunteer, who lives a strong experience which allows him/her to get to know in a direct way the poverty and the urgency of doing something to overcome it.

Subsequently, within the Social Intervention Area, they work permanently in different settlements along the country. The experience has shown that giving tools like education is vital to overcome poverty. This is why, once they have achieved to create an atmosphere of trust between settlers and the institution, they insert concrete social plans directed to the families interested in forming themselves and obtaining tools which allow them to develop their capacities, so they can make it through, starting from their own situation.

Minimum stay for volunteers who wants to apply : 6 months

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Working with the Mentally Disabled

Sample Project 1:


Chile's most important institution that works for the integration and care of children with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities with a special focus on those coming from poor families. This organization has different branches throughout Chile. Most of them are located around Santiago de Chile in different areas.

Coanil Servicios works for the integration to society and work.

This project offers a unique opportunity to open up to an uncommon but highly rewarding life experience as volunteer. Become an important agent of change to build a more understanding, conscious and solid society towards people with mental or psychiatric health problems who come from extremely poor conditions.
Volunteers are welcomed by a model institution in Chile that deals with extreme cases of discrimination, abandonment or social exclusion in people who suffer from mental or psychiatric problems. Hard work with lots of love enables volunteers and professionals to detect and develop these people’s potentials, strengths and capacities to help them live in dignity. Volunteers work hand by hand with a supportive professional team to establish and open more spaces with a community focus that allows people to participate and integrate themselves into the social and work scenarios once they have developed their potentials.
Volunteers will live in Santiago city with local families close to the project site.
Volunteers need to have emotional stability and maturity to face a reality which is usually unknown or misunderstood by society due to preconceived ideas about mentally disabled people.


VIP Chile is interested in developing custom projects related to your special interest and abilities, for example, volunteers for the National Museum of Natural History, teachers or assistant teachers at rural schools. Please talk to your local VIP representative if you are interested in pursuing a special volunteer project.

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