Working closely with a well-established partner in Ukraine, Love Volunteers offers very rewarding placements in local orphanages in this fascinating country. Your presence will be hugely appreciated.
Whatever your background, age or education, there is a place for you as a volunteer. Many make the decision to volunteer during their vacations; some use volunteering to give their gap year a definite purpose before they commence their university education. For others, volunteering occupies a career break, giving the volunteer a new perspective on life. By choosing to make that contribution in Ukraine, you can experience a very different culture, developing bonds with children and colleagues, knowing that you are giving truly necessary help and support.
Volunteering in Ukraine is all about the mix of challenges and rewards. Economically disadvantaged, the orphanages depend hugely on the fund-raising efforts which help to provide much-needed supplies but they also rely on the vital contribution which volunteers make by playing, teaching and helping with every aspect of the children’s lives.
Lying in Eastern Europe, to the south west of Russia, this vast country’s southernmost edge borders the Black Sea. It also has borders with Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus and Moldova. Ukraine has had independence since the collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union. The worldwide recession has badly affected its economy, a fact which is clearly evident as you travel around the country.
For more information about Ukraine and the region check out Lonely Planet's Eastern Europe Guide.
Live As A Volunteer In Ukraine
When volunteering in Ukraine, you engage with people eager to introduce you to their world. Your own reserves of initiative and judgment will be drawn on. The volunteer in Ukraine is likely to be moved by the plight of the people they meet, while knowing that they need to remain focused on the job in hand. All of this helps you to develop as a person.
Start and Duration
Volunteer placements in Ukraine can be for as little as one week, or up to twelve weeks. The arrival point for Ukraine volunteer programs is usually Kiev.
Volunteers are required to be at least 18 years of age. A basic understanding of Russian or Ukrainian is strongly recommended and a good grasp of English is essential.
Initiative and self-motivation are qualities that are greatly welcomed. Similarly, some experience of working with children is ideal. Apply Now!
Project Descriptions for Ukraine
The program fees that Love Volunteers charges are on behalf of our local partners. These fees are used in the developing country to accommodate, feed and support volunteers, while running projects that directly benefit local communities.
Fees for volunteer programs in Ukraine start at US$250 for one week, which includes accommodation, two meals per day, an airport pick-up, orientation and 24/7 in-country support.
|Volunteer period [weeks]||1||2||3||4||6|
|Teaching and childcare in orphanages||US$270||US$520||US$765||US$1000||US$1435|
|Volunteer period [weeks]||8||12||16||20||24|
|Teaching and childcare in orphanages||US$1825||US$2485||-||-||-|
Other volunteers periods available. Please, contact LoveVolunteers for pricing of other periods.
A Love Volunteers registration fee of US$235 is charged in addition to the program fees and covers any placements you undertake for twelve months from the start of your first placement. The fee is refundable if you choose not to volunteer more than three months prior to the start of your initial placement. This fee ensures 24/7 pre- and post-placement support from Love Volunteers, checking and vetting of local organisations, a comprehensive information pack, as well as administration and marketing costs.
All transaction costs pertaining to online, bank or wire transfers are additional to the program fee and must be covered by the volunteer.
Food and Accomodation
Volunteers enjoy the benefit of staying with local host families. The advantages of this home stay system allows the volunteer to integrate into the local culture, experiencing the famed generosity and hospitality of Ukrainian people.
The host family will provide breakfast and dinner. Lunch can be taken while at the orphanage or at a local café or similar establishment.
Ukrainian cuisine is varied and steeped in traditions that go back many centuries. Amongst the signature dishes are Borscht, the famous beetroot-based soup. Solianka is a tasty meat soup. There are Vareniks – dumplings – sometimes stuffed with mushrooms. Ukraine is noted too for roast meat, such as venison, and also for sausages, fritters and ryazhenka, this last item translating as ‘baked milk’. Also popular is Salade Olivier, which contains potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, ham and peas, all coated in mayonnaise.
Various roast meats, cutlets involving meat or fish, crepes (known as blyntsi) with fillings such as cottage cheese, meat or cabbage, and assorted pork-based dishes and potato pancakes are just some of the main courses that you might encounter.
Very sweet desserts, such as torte, and inventive dishes that include pears, jelly or milk, provide the final course. Drinks in Ukraine are not restricted to beer and vodka. Mead, a type of wine made from honey, and non-alcoholic beverages such as compote and milk-based kefir, are just a few of the highlights.
A representative of our partner organisation will meet the volunteer at the airport. This is followed by an orientation program which includes basic information about the volunteer placement and about customs and daily life in Ukraine, as well as visits to some historically and culturally important buildings.
A Typical Week
Specific details of the volunteer placement schedule will be agreed upon during orientation. The volunteer’s working day will last between 5 and 6 hours. Evenings and weekends are free. The structure of the week may vary, but a typical pattern is likely to be:
Weekdays: Rise at 7.30am and have breakfast provided by the homestay family. Commence work at 8am by planning with the teacher what the schedule comprises. A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in and by mid-afternoon you are free to socialise or perhaps take a trip to the shops or a café. Alternatively, there is always extra jobs that you can help out with.
Weekends: Volunteers are free to spend time in Cherkasy, to travel to Kyiv, for example, or to some of the fascinating historic cities in the region. The Black Sea is a popular destination in the summer months.
About the Country
Ukraine is a scenic and largely rural country with a landscape best-known for its richly fertile steppes, the various plateaux, rivers and Carpathian Mountains. Flanking Romania, on its south-western border, Ukraine shares with that country the delta of the River Danube. Also in the west are the Carpathian Mountains reaching nearly 7,000 feet in height.
The coastline on the Black Sea to the south is distinguished by its backdrop of the Crimean Mountains and also by spectacular cliffs and unspoilt beaches. The country’s many rivers are known for their dramatic waterfalls, and overall there is endless natural terrain to explore.
Most volunteers will spend their stay in the city of Cherkasy, lying on the bank of the Dnieper River. Cherkasy is a few hours by bus from the capital Kyiv. The capital is visually stunning. Must-sees include the stall-lined street Andriyivsky uzviz, the cathedral of St Sophia. Other stops on a Kiev trip might include the Chernobyl Museum and the spectacle of mummified monks in the Kievo-Pecherska Lavra. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs abound, making Kiev an ever-growing tourist draw.
Odessa on the coast boasts the set of stairs known as the Potemkin Steps, distinguished by the optical illusion that distorts the view of the climber. With beaches, cheerful squares, and leafy lanes, and the “7-kilometre Bazaar”, dolphin shows at the Oeanarium in Shevchenko Park and a lively night scene, it is unsurprising that Odessa is Ukraine’s favourite resort.
Crimea, also in the southern part of the country is connected to mainland Ukraine only by a thin strip of land. This area’s heritage combines Venetian, Greek and Genoese and, among its various coastal cities, Yalta, home to Russian Czars’ palaces, is the most striking.
Lviv in the far west, close to the border with Poland is another city worth a visit, if time permits. Considered to be Ukraine’s least Soviet –like town, it is a Unesco World Heritage site and boasts a mélange of architectural styles, from neoclassical to Gothic.
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Name: Cal & Kristin
Age: 30 & 28
Nationality: NZ & Oz
Visiting an occupied territory was a life-changing experience. Our mo