Community Development Programs Abroad

Community development programs abroad offer incredibly challenging and rewarding work for creative, energetic, and flexible volunteers. A drive through many Jamaican communities will show poor roads, dilapidated buildings, and peeling walls in need of re-painting. There are many opportunities to help such communities as these problems offer great opportunities for the volunteer looking for international community development work.


When you volunteer,  you’ll be working as part of the short, mid and long term goals that we have developed in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

On the first day of your project, you will learn about the UN SDGs objectives and mission and how our project is aligning with these goals. You’ll also get information on how for 17 years, we have been working towards these short, mid, and long-term goals. We aim to educate you on local/global issues, and how you can contribute to the organization’s mission to empower the lives of the people in the community.

Long Term Objectives:

  • To improve the educational outcomes of the students, community members  or to improve the health and safety standards of the facilities
  • To provide equal, quality education to children of all backgrounds.
  • Provide community members with access to interest-free loans or grant funding to encourage the development of their own businesses.

Building & Renovation Projects

This is your chance to impact poor and marginalized communities. So, lend your unique passion to work with local NGOs and other organizations serving the same areas. Even further, work alongside building professionals to help renovate local schools, churches, and clinics. 

One of the projects that can make the most impact is helping to raise funds for building renovations. That is to say, lending physical labor is good, but initiating the raising of funds through your creativity is invaluable.

Youth development programs

Having the opportunity and flexibility to design youth development programs is one of the fastest ways to gain valuable work experience. More so, it’s a great way to learn more about the Jamaican culture.

You’ll have the chance to develop sports programs in basketball, netball, football/soccer, cricket, and of course track & field. And, the youth in these communities are eager to learn new sports so don’t forget to teach your favorite game.

The schools in these underprivileged communities offer the opportunity for you to create campaigns for youth development programs. Climate change and the abuse of the environment with plastic litter are two exciting areas where help is needed.

Jamaican young people are mostly warm, friendly, welcoming, and eager to learn. So, working with them will help you to re-invent yourself through unique and life-changing experiences.

As you work to change the lives and living conditions of the people in the community, the exposure will hopefully change the way you see the world.

You may combine this project with any of the following programs: 

  • Education & Children
  • Environmental Conservation

Our community development program is based in several villages in the hills of St. Andrew. Placements are within 5 to 10 minutes from Volunteer Home. The programs are also within close proximity to village shops, schools, and churches.

Placements are within close proximity to shops and restaurants as well as your volunteer home.

Volunteers will arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport and our representative will meet you on arrival.

A Jamaica Volunteer Programs coordinator will conduct orientation on the morning of the day the project starts. During this first meeting, you will be introduced to local staff who will take care of you and go over the details of your project placement. Your orientation will include popular Jamaican customs & culture, safety, weekend and free time travel options, and guidelines and expectations.

During your orientation, you will also be briefed on information about all the Covid-19 protocols, options for local transportation, currency, and other support services you will require during your stay.

Our accommodations are dormitory-style volunteer houses. Rooms are equipped with fans, but there is an option to pay an additional charge for air conditioning. Dorms have bunk beds and volunteers will share rooms with others of the same sex.

All accommodations have electricity, running water, western-style bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi. You are required to bring your reusable water bottle to refill each day, which will help to reduce your cost for clean drinking water. You are also required to bring toiletries.

Solar panels heat up the water in our accommodation, so on days when it’s not sunny or raining, there may be a chill to your shower.

At JVP, breakfast and dinner from Monday – Friday is included in your package.

The breakfast menu includes toast, eggs, fruits, tea/coffee, and juice. Two days per week, you’ll have a full Jamaican breakfast. We have a communal kitchen at the volunteer house that consists of all the essentials, including an electric kettle, refrigerator, utensils, and microwave. There is also space in our cupboards to pack your snacks.

For breakfast and dinner on the weekends, you may use our communal kitchen at the volunteer accommodation with access to amenities like a gas stove, oven, kettles, microwave, and fridge. Alternatively, you can access nearby restaurants offering meals between $5-8.

We cater to all diets, including vegetarians and vegans. To request meals for your special diet, discuss with your project coordinator.

While all projects run from Monday to Friday, your volunteer work schedule is completely dependent on your location and project. However, all projects have a basic structure. On the first day of your placement for some projects, a JVP representative will accompany you for introductions and to help you get settled.

For community development projects your program coordinator will direct and supervise.

A typical day’s schedule is attached below. However, this may vary depending on your program of choice:



7:30 AM

Enjoy a lovely breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.

8:00 AM

Journey to your placement where you will begin working on your project.

12:00 PM

Lunch break

1:00 PM

Work on your project continues.

3:00 PM

Travel back to the volunteer accommodation, go shopping, or explore nearby communities.


For the best experience, our volunteers who must be 18 and older, are encouraged to be flexible and open-minded. Creativity, initiative, and a sense of humor are also invaluable assets. Volunteers also need to submit important documentation such as travel health insurance, trip cancellation, a resume/CV, a copy of your passport front page, and a criminal background check not older than six months.

Your resume need not be more than one page long with a summary of your skills or gifts so we can best know how to use your service.

You can spend your afternoons and weekends however you’d like, whether it be hanging out with other volunteers, working online, or exploring Jamaica through adventure. At JVP, our representatives are always looking out for eye-opening cultural activities we know you’ll enjoy. Some afternoons you’ll even have the option to attend a local event. It’s your choice!

Here are some options:

Key Features

  • All year round
  • 1-12 weeks
  • Language: English
  • 5-day work week

Featured Programs

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