The Women's Program
This program works with vulnerable local girls and young people, helping them to gain an education, learn life skills and improve their confidence. For volunteers who wish to help women in need this program delivers a great opportunity to do just that. This program’s aim is to prevent prostitution and sex tourism among young vulnerable girls who are disadvantaged and at risk of being targeted. This group is run by local nuns, mothers and volunteers and consists of a dynamic, smart and fun group of 35 girls ranging in age from 9-16 years. The program focuses on health education, dance and exercise, art, help with homework and values-based learning. The group is a catalyst for positive change in their community and also organize many events and social activities. Participants on this wonderful program will find huge satisfaction in helping young women to lead safer, happier and more economically stable lives.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide essential teaching and support to vulnerable girls and women
- Improve the future prospects of at-risk young women and girls
- Give impoverished women and girls a quality education, compassion and a sense of hope
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
How You Can Help
This wonderful program offers international volunteers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower vulnerable young girls and support them into creating a better life. Volunteers are greatly needed to help with this program and their assistance will be appreciated. No prior experience working in this field is required, however a compassionate nature and a ‘can do’ attitude is essential. This program promises to be a huge learning experience and an extremely rewarding one, with participants working directly with the girls to build their confidence and show them hope in their future. Volunteers provide support to the girls in their education through tutoring and assisting them with their homework, while also supporting them in building skills in extracurricular activities such as dancing, singing, music or arts and craft. Volunteers will also assist with the administration of the program and with event organization for community marches, presentations and gatherings. Volunteers will see first-hand how their support helps to improve the girl’s confidence and independence. This is a hugely rewarding program, and input from volunteers can make a true difference to the outcome of these girl’s lives.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help teachers with classes and help the girls with homework
- Participate in arts and crafts projects, dancing, singing, music etc
- Help to organize community events such as speakers, presentations, marches, etc.
- Go on door-to-door family visits
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 20 years and over who wish to help us provide support to some of Colombia's most marginalized and vulnerable women. While this challenging project does not require participants to have a background in the fields of social work, counselling and/or Women’s studies, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need at least an intermediate understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with local people. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Cartagena is a stunningly beautiful port city on Colombia’s wonderful Caribbean coast. Closest to the ocean is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with elaborate central squares, cobblestoned streets and colorful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular beach destination. Reachable by boat are Isla de Barú, with white-sand beaches and palm trees, and the Islas del Rosario, known for their coral reefs. Cartagena is such a perfect place to volunteer and give back to local communities!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Cartagena, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also provide you with your Welcome Pack, which contains a local cell phone (returnable at the end of your placement) with local number and credit, maps of the local area, supplies, contact information, and a volunteer manual to help you to be more aware and fully prepared. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAYS
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAYS
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Rafael Núñez International Airport, Cartagena, Colombia (Code: CTG)
Accommodation & Meals
Despite Cartagena being the most expensive city in Colombia, we offer the highest quality services to volunteers on this program. You will be accommodated with one of our friendly local host families, who are trustworthy and are truly interested in having volunteers be a part of their family. All home-stay families in Cartagena have been fully vetted by our local team and are located within the historic city centre in the neighbourhoods of Bocagrande, Laguito, Manga, and Cabrero. These are some of the best areas of the city, so you can be assured of safety and comfort during your stay.
Our volunteer accommodation in Colombia is second to none, especially in comparison to other volunteer programs! All Love Volunteers in Cartagena will have a private room with air conditioning and WiFi, as well as access to a washing machine and common areas to relax. All host houses have employed staff who are at the house all or a majority of the week to take care of the household, clean and cook.
Host families will provide you with 2 wonderful meals per day (usually breakfast and lunch). The food provided is not made in bulk and not bought from any restaurant, instead it is made within the host family and really takes into account your food preferences and/or dietary restrictions. You will then have the opportunity to use other meal times to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Cartagena has to offer. Simply get a few of your fellow volunteers together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes – which are just a short walk away - and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy!
For our volunteers, staying in central Cartagena means they gain something that mere travelers miss out on: a ‘live’ authentic glimpse into family life and the character of the local people. By having the opportunity to stay with a host family and by working right alongside the local population volunteers can really experience all that Colombia has to offer!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer both full time and part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!