If you are a social worker, volunteer, interested in non-profit work, or just an overall do-gooder and you haven't heard of Idealist.org you MUST check it out. It's a great hub for jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and networking.
It's not necessarily for international placements, but it does have links to international non-profits and domestic organizations that do work abroad. They also travel around the country to host volunteer fairs at university campuses like UCLA.
One of many many volunteer programs out there- this one interestingly offers specifically "Social Welfare" programs (as well as law, child care, language immersion, and more) - however the SW programs are concentrated in Central and South America (and 1 in Africa).
If you are interested in doing some social work in
Here is a big organization that arranges volunteer opportunities aboard -they have programs in
They also have various areas of focus for your placements- from health to economic empowerment to women. Their placements can last from 1 week to 12 weeks.
"Cross-Cultural Solutions is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995. Today, 25,000 people have participated in our volunteer programs in Africa,Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. CCS has a worldwide staff of over 300 people in 12 countries, with administrative offices also located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In the UK, CCS is a Registered Charity (No. 1106741) and a Registered Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 4991010). In Canada, CCS is a registered non-profit corporation (Federal Corporation No. 445810-9). Steven Rosenthal founded CCS in 1995 and serves as its Executive Director.
CCS has been profiled in more than 500 news outlets, including: CNN, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Time, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune,The Toronto Star, The Today Show, USA Today, National Geographic Traveler, and the ABC Nightly News."
It's great that people have big enough hearts as to say they want to drop whatever they are doing and get over to a disaster zone to volunteer...but it's definitely not as simple as just joining a volunteer program. Disaster relief aid is a completely different environment -ask yourself are you mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially prepared?
Can I afford to pay my way there?
Do I need an organization to help sponsor me? Can I do fundraising to contribute to my ticket and airfare costs?
Do I have a U.S. passport?
Am I current on my vaccinations?
How about lodging once in there?
Would it be better that I support a reputable organization or sponsor somebody who is better qualified than me to go on such a trip?
This is in no way to discourage people from giving with their hearts, but there have been some controversy that has come up, especially from "professional relief aid workers" on the topic of regular citizens volunteering aboard in the mist of a natural disaster. Their message is that while most people have the best intentions, they are ill-prepared and have high expectations, and are naive. So consider carefully and be honest with yourself.