Public Health Volunteering Overseas

Help communities connect to the care they deserve

Public health resources and programs are urgent, and public health volunteering is one of the most vital volunteering programs there is. You could run workshops on nutrition, hygiene, fitness, reproductive health, disease prevention or first aid. You don’t need any prior experience to work in public health abroad, and your work will directly benefit the people who need it most.

Overview

Become a public health volunteer

In many lower-income communities, such as the ones our projects are active in, people are exposed to greater environmental health risks and thus face a higher risk of illness.

GVI’s volunteers play a vital part in the success and sustainability of our public health programs. Without volunteer support, we wouldn’t be able to continue making an impact in these communities. Through setting up clinics, providing access to clean water and sanitation, educating local communities, and providing capacity, we can make long-term positive impacts on the health of underserved people.

Are GVI’s public health volunteer opportunities for you?

The short answer? Yes, of course!

Many organisations define public health as “the science of helping people”, and volunteering in public health is one way you can enter the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines without previous experience being required.

Public health practice is not the same as medical practice. Medical healthcare providers, on the one hand, offer diagnoses, treatment and advice so their patients can get well. Public health practice, on the other hand, involves education and prevention. Public health programs are not necessarily delivered in clinical settings, but they must be specific, data-based and accessible – simple enough for all people in a community to benefit from them. 

Those who choose to work in the public health sector come from tons of different backgrounds – there is no mandatory educational level expected – which means more diverse, progressive solutions to public health challenges being found. It also means you’ll get to interact with a range of interesting people at all stages of life while volunteering.  

Our public health programs do often attract skilled volunteers, but rest assured, although previous experience is advantageous, it’s not necessary. 

GVI’s public health programs are open to all people, from career breakers to students on gap years. An added bonus for students: we offer academic credits to students. Ask your country expert if you qualify for this. 

Our programs

Volunteering
Women’s Empowerment Project in Nepal
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Public Health Education in Ghana
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Volunteer Public Health Project in Fiji
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Global Public Health in Thailand
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Gender Equality and Health Education in Ghana
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Gender Equality Volunteering in Nepal
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Volunteer Public Health Project in Nepal
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Volunteer Public Health Project in South Africa
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Community Development Expedition in Fiji
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Women’s Empowerment Project in Cape Town
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Rainwater Harvesting and Water Security in Fiji
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to cook traditional Cambodian dishes
Learn to cook traditional Cambodian dishes
Visit the Lotus Textile Farm by tuk-tuk
Visit the Lotus Textile Farm by tuk-tuk
Join a blessing ceremony with monks
Join a blessing ceremony with monks
Watch Phare, Cambodia's internationally renowned circus
Watch Phare, Cambodia's internationally renowned circus
Visit one of Siem Reap's floating villages
Visit one of Siem Reap's floating villages
Attend a pottery class
Attend a pottery class
Learn how HeroRATs detect landmines
Learn how HeroRATs detect landmines
Experience a traditional massage treatment
Experience a traditional massage treatment
Locations

Public health volunteer programs around the world

Join a public health volunteering program in one of our eight incredible locations. You’ll find your people, connect with local cultures and customs, and enjoy an unforgettable travel experience.

Begin your story as a public health volunteer in:

 

Location and program spotlight

You’ll find something unique in every one of our public health volunteering overseas locations, but take these snapshots from a few of our locations as inspiration for your journey.

Thailand

Here, you’ll teach basic hygiene activities like brushing teeth to kindergarteners. Though they may seem small, these lessons support children in establishing healthy routines that evolve into much bigger preventative behaviours later on in life.

Your volunteering extends to running workshops on a range of healthcare related topics in the community.

You’ll also run sports or health workshops alongside educators at a local school.

Fiji

Our public health volunteer program in Fiji runs in partnership with local community health workers. Volunteers utilise official government health materials and resources to create interactive workshops in collaboration with recognised local authorities. 

Our volunteers also assist by creating supporting resources and conducting supplementary research to assist the district nurses to collate information about individual villages.

South Africa

Get moving on our public health short-term internship and you run sports lessons and facilitate workshops about health-related topics such as hygiene and healthy foods.

Our public health program in South Africa also emphasises teaching topics around reproductive health and rights, and emotional wellbeing.

Ethics

Ethical public health volunteering: child protection policies

Please note that GVI has a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy that is implemented on each program. As part of the policy, participants will be required to complete a DPS check, Police Clearance or a National Background Check where necessary, and to comply with the policy. 

This policy guides our participants on ethical engagement with children abroad. For more on this policy, and how you can ensure you’re joining a public health volunteer program that is aligned with international standards, navigate here.

Orphanage programs

GVI programs don’t operate in any orphanages or residential care institutions. Rather, we’re aligned to international frameworks supporting family reunification and foster care models. We only work with community organisations who take the same approach, so the public health projects you would join are typically run in kindergartens, schools and community centres. To see the research that led us to our stance against orphanage programs, head over here.

Connect

Hear from others like you

Head over to our testimonials page, where you can hear from loads of people, like you, who’ve joined our public health volunteer programs. Better yet, we’ll connect you to one of our program alumni who can talk you through the experience on a more personal level.

Our program experts are also set to answer any questions you might have about your journey into public health volunteering. Give us a shout!