Good without borders: volunteering is gaining new popularity in Ukraine and in the world

Volunteering in the world recaptures the new position: more and more people are considering the international “doing good” as a way to fill life with new meaning and an amazing experience. In Ukraine the volunteer movement in recent years has exploded as anywhere else — though for quite different reasons. But the trend is evident and even became the object of serious study: as analysts say, the charity of the citizens does not depend on the international status nor the level of development of the country — people invest their time and effort in kindness, sometimes just hoping that they will thank the universe.


The world giving index (World Giving Index —WGI) is a research showing how development of philanthropy in different countries of the world (includes 140-150 countries). The report, compiled annually since 2010, and last appeared at the end of 2016 and testified that during the year, the world has become more generous, and more and more people are willing to share their time, money, and assistance (compared to seven the previous years). “Dimension” CAF holds on three criteria: how often the citizens of a country are donating money, helping strangers and work for free. Fresh report covers 140 countries, and all three won a small Asian country Myanmar.

Overall, six countries from last year’s top-10 re-appear in the latest ranking: Myanmar, Sri Lanka, USA, New Zealand, Philippines and Kenya. Less need volunteers in China, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Egypt (less than 4% of the population), and Ukraine takes “pride” in 92nd place out of 140: we have volunteers 16% (though according to the UN, about 20%), and this figure in recent years for obvious reasons ROS. In Germany, Austria and Spain the figure, on the contrary, decreased, and in Russia fell by 7% and now she is on the 113th place (12% of the population in the volunteers). In Myanmar the number of volunteers growing faster than the population (citizens per year solely 1.5% volunteers 11%)!


It is best to look for a job or occupation on a proven international sites where the projects are laid out, as dishes on the menu to choose from. Many such resources, but the most popular,,,
Typically, these international organizations, in contrast to the Ukrainian and Russian intermediaries do not charge Commission as such, but simply charge an annual membership fee that works best for you. For example, you need to register on the website to pay on average 15-20 euros and for a whole year, you will have access to all the offers that appear on the resource.

The cost of the projects on such platforms is relatively low: if a middleman company will have to pay (depending on the project and the distance of the country) to several thousand hryvnia, then international platforms immediately publish the cost of your food content, voiced by the host, and it can be only $4-10/day plus flights to the place.
Even you can monitor several specialized volunteer groups on the website travelers Sometimes there’s even free offers — to live, say, a week or two in Croatia in the season of harvesting lavender, or to help the hoteliers in the Maldives to handle the flow of guests. But in this case, you do so at your own risk, and the trustworthiness of the host will decide for themselves, in the process of communication.

In Asia. Volunteers are often called to teach languages to students. Photo from archive of T. Negoda


The Ukrainians are far from purely ideological international volunteering: if they go in the first place, to gather benefit for themselves, because the opportunity to see the world costs money. For example, the system Au-Pair — a well-known Agency implements multiple youth programs abroad, volunteer not quite, but close in spirit. Also our students go on summer project Work and Travel in USA program provides work in one of the American companies 3-4 months on a pre-selected position. There are program Au-Pair, work contract and accommodation in the European family (light housework, child care) which is paid pocket money (300 euros) and the ability to travel around the country to practice speaking German or English.

“Today, the Work and Travel USA program in Ukraine is much more popular than the Au-Pair”, — say the specialists of the Agency: obviously, training for the profile in the States Ukrainians find it more promising than babysittersthe in Europe.

THE LANGUAGE PRACTICE. They are particularly interested young people to learn foreign languages in language environment, say in the Kharkiv school of foreign languages Lingua. “Programs are often designed for guys 18-26 years of age, — explains the representative of this school Elena. Very popular Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Poland. Most people want an interesting project without heavy physical labor, for example, to save the forest and nature from ecocatastrophe or restore cultural monuments”.

The main condition — the work in the international group, which is fun, because the youth perceives it as an inexpensive by yourself.

“Before, I think wishing there was more. The reason, apparently, in a difficult economic situation. The interest of a lot of guys, but to go on the project can be one” — sums up Elena.


  • “We thought, the flow of people was endless”: the work of the volunteers of the centre

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Alexander Migal four years ago, way visited in Spain — cleaned local river from harmful algae. “I wanted to the sea, but to use. We approached the project from the field of ecology (selected as a normal tour) — so my friend and I were in the area of Alicante, he says. — Paid for the ticket, visa opened, as volunteers, for free. The Agency took 1000 UAH for services in the camp paid 50 euros a fee”. In September, work was already a bit, had a lot of time.

“We had coordinated an international team, the time spent for the glory. At the end offered to go to the other camp, the camp leaders (managers), and some have agreed, — Alexander remembers. — For once in my life in such a project should participate.”

On the “resort”. Near the sea, but first you need to clean up the river. Photo: archive of A. Migala


Wanting populararity in Ukraine little choice: ekofarma, to help orphans and teaching English. “Ukraine is one of the unexplored countries in Europe, it’s rarely visited by foreigners. But enough to see it once to fall in love. The people are friendly, the culture is unique. Unfortunately, it is a poor country, a third of its citizens live in poverty, so she needs the help of volunteers” — as described Ukraine sites offering volunteer projects.

And warned: “the Country may plunge you into a culture shock. But still you will find normal things like TV, Internet and shopping centers.”

ORPHANS. Often invite somehow, in Cherkassy. Knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian optional: ask volunteers to play with children, to learn all that they can do: chess, ikebana, football, dancing. Ask to practice English and help the staff in daily works. Especially to speak with children about the necessity of environmental protection, the need to preserve “the fertile Ukrainian plains, forests and national parks.” Take for a period of from one week to three months, are accommodated in families. It will cost the volunteer $250 / week (price in the world low).

EKOFARMA. Mostly needed assistance to the farms in the Western regions, but there is a proposal, for example, from the village of Bobryk Brovary district: Hacienda invites you in the spring for planting and sowing, summer for caring for the animals. Need to mow the lawns and fields, make hay, repair and rebuild of the master construction. And in the village starosillia on Cherkasy owners lured to a pine forest, a river full of fish, fields and organic gardens.

“Need help in caring for the vegetables, in construction of guest houses in Ukrainian style, floral art estate” — write in the ad.

The Carpathians are invited to enjoy the Alpine meadows and mountain landscapes, wild forests and meadows. Work for volunteers is to care for the livestock, harvesting firewood, and repairing sheds and fences, cooking, gathering herbs and fruits for drying for future use. Instead, they acquire the skills of milking, cheese making and horse riding. And in his spare time volunteers promise a nature walk on “the last virgin forests in Europe” and mountain hikes.

ENGLISH. It needs to be taught in summer camps and courses. Native speakers call immediately for 3-6 months (part costs $2520) to regional centers of Ukraine. As compensation for the hard work the organizers promise immersion in a new culture and the opportunity to travel not only in Ukraine, to the Black sea, but also across the EU. Thus, the previous group, according to the organizers, successfully went to Poland (see Auschwitz), Hungary and even Greece. Using the same resources English lure and paid work: the demand for them is great. Salaries, write, are very dependent on a future employer, but what would save money, compensate for lodging and meals.

Subsistence farming. Our feature — sheep and cheese-making. Photo: A. Yaremchuk


In Kenya the witch doctors “practicing” only in the province, and in Haiti, replaced by hospitals and paramedics

Paul, like you, an anesthesiologist from Exactly, was in a charitable program?

In 2009 I visited the training in the USA and learned from the American colleagues that they regularly travel to treat patients in poor countries. This is an informal Association of physicians who establish relationships with local colleagues and with their help organize the arrival. I was not averse to participate, but the mission is not funded, and the pay couldn’t. The misfortune has helped: in 2010 in Haiti strong earthquake occurred, hands were not enough. I turned to immigrants from Ukraine in the USA, Christian missions Ministry SFG (Slavic Full Gospel Ministry) to Finance the trip.

— Who pays for all the expenses?

— The receiver can negotiate the rent, and we pay ourselves. I’m not out of pocket, and the Americans live at their own expense and donate personal vacation. For them it’s a penny: if the doctor earns in a year $300 thousand, to go to Kenya for two weeks — nothing, even for nurses. They are very fond of charity, it’s part of the mentality. Is the doctor mentioned among his colleagues where he was going — and those writing checks for hundreds of dollars. So covered part of the expenses. Work not in terms of “luxury”. Often move the field hospital, a live in field housing, sometimes in local hotels and housing to name difficult: ragged little room with a bed, bugs and lizards. Once worked in Kenya under tents for the day in the queue is written 250-300 people. In such situations, be many-handed and forget about specialization, I even visited a dentist.

— Is it all bad with there medicine?

— Worse, especially in Haiti. In Kenya, urban residents can afford medical care and in the provinces, if troubled, from their own ignorance. The Maasai, for example, you know weed, know how even treat diabetes. Others do not use even this primitive herbal medicine: do not follow health and access to physicians when it all started. But in Kenya, at least there is a system of clinics within walking distance and good expensive clinic, which in extreme cases can be treated on credit, children vaccinations. And in Haiti, the health system is not as such, for any money. Most diseases incurable for the Haitians. If Ukraine diabetes mellitus is a problem, but solvable, and in Europe — just a way of life, Haiti is the verdict: to buy medicines regularly, no one can. Appendicitis is also deadly — the fact that the district has a hospital, his surgeon and the patient will be delivered on time. I saw: the patient is placed in an ordinary bed, hire people, and they bear it on mountain roads, sometimes three days. During this time, developed peritonitis, and save nobody. In these travels, I get the “shot” of whining: after constant risk of malaria and of becoming infected from an HIV-infected return to Ukraine and I thank God that we have medical help relatively on the level.

— On your page in the social network a photo essay: the terrible wounds, the terrible mutilations… What struck you the most?

— The people they pay no attention at all! In Africa I saw one with a broken arm — a month and passed, I adapted. Shamanism is not a tale but a bitter reality. But if Kenya’s treatment of the body parts of albinos is widespread, we can say, in the Outback, in Haiti savagery often. Infants four months old can carry to the voodoo shaman, the one sketched in the cauldron of some potion, dung of animals and “fly”. The kid, of course, dies, but the responsibility for this no. Amazing how people defenseless. And touching at the same time: many trying to repay than you can. Are mangoes, coconuts, cut from some large seeds figurines, bracelets and beads. To deny uncomfortable.

— And yet you again and again go back…

I love to learn new things. To Haiti have become accustomed, and in Africa it was interesting — we took on Safari, he would, I’ve never visited. As a believer, I am convinced that a good deed comes back to haunt them, even if it is not yet paid. Learned a lot: if you do not know how scary the first time a living person to try. And when next to experienced colleagues and the patient can die if you don’t give him a chance, the eyes are afraid, and hands do. In these countries, the doctor revered as a deity, and it’s nice. In Ukraine you write the complaint, go to the authorities, are justified, not stupid. And then held manipulation — the patient stands up, folds his hands as in prayer, and begins to bow. Again, I want to grow and improve. And I have a lot of friends with whom you can consult about patients. If you want to move to the US (and I’m thinking about it), they will give recommendations. Not all amounts of money: what now seems useless may in the future beneficial to materialize.