Currently not running in Vanuatu but hoping to open back up in 2023. Check back soon or join another exciting project!
WHY we need you in Vanuatu
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: CONSTRUCTION & CYLONE REBUILDING
LOCATION: PORT VILLA
START DATES: WEEKLY ARRIVALS (SAT/SUN)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE
MIN DURATION: 1 WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
As with many South Pacific regions, Vanuatu receives significant storm activity from Jan-Apr each year and the damage caused by a large cyclone in 2015 is an on-going problem in these underprivileged areas, as well as now the recent cyclone Harold in April 2020. This was a category 5 cyclone – the highest level on the scale and has caused huge damaged to homes, schools and community buildings. We are looking for people to help in any way they can.
With construction volunteering and disaster relief in Vanuatu, you’ll be working mainly on community structures such as schools, community centers and public areas. In many of the schools, economic challenges mean that classrooms are often makeshift and poorly constructed, resulting in un-safe and/or sub-optimal for educational purposes. Much of our work exists in the villages of Piliura and Launamoa which were badly affected by the cyclone Winston in 2015, as well as areas affected by the most recent cylone in 2020.
Volunteering in construction is very satisfying as you can see first hand the result of your efforts. You’ll join in the efforts of the locals in helping to build classrooms, preschools, and other important infrastructure such as gutters, drainage, and facilities. The locals truly need your help! With the recent cyclone destroying homes, there will be even more need for volunteers to help distribute vital supplies and to clear debris and help to rebuild buildings that have been severely damaged.
Port Vila, the capital and main hub of Vanuatu is situated on Efate island. The architecture has mainly french with the population quite multicultural including ni-Vanuatu, Chinese, Vietnamese, British and French. Port Vila has all the standard facilities you’d expect from a commercial hub such as hospitals, shopping districts (note Vanuatu is a tax haven so duty free!), sports stadium, hotels, casino, museums and cultural centers. The town is a great base for divers who come for the trips to Mele Cascades, a large rain forest water fall with rock pools and incredible scenery. As the commercial hub tourism plays an important role, however it does not feel ‘touristy’ especially in the areas where IVI services. Here you can get to know the locals and truly experience the authentic lifestyle from outside of the tourist resorts.
- Assist skilled local workers on rebuilding damaged structures
- Get hands on and stuck into renovation of schools, community halls and homes
- Make the buildings look nicer and more welcoming by painting and brightening them up
Food & Accommodation
Accommodation is in a dedicated house very close to the beach! Volunteers will share a bedroom with up to 2-4 persons per room (single gender rooms). There is WiFi included in public areas, laundry facilities (at small additional fee), lockable rooms, cold/warm showers, bed linen, mosquito protection and fans included. Volunteers are requested to bring their own towel. Living with other volunteers in a dormitory-style house is heaps of fun and a great way to meet like minded travelers. The volunteer house is in close proximity to a basic supermarkets, ATM, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, petrol stations and bus stop.
*You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and tidy.
3 meals a day on weekdays and 2 meals a day on weekends will be provided for the duration of your placement. Food will be mainly authentic to the local culture which includes plenty of chicken dishes, coconut based curries, dhal (lentils), fresh fish, saffron rice and tropical fruits. Meals are served at your home stay each day or at the project site. There is also filtered water available at the volunteer center. Bottled water is also readily available in Vanuatu.
*If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
1 Week - $445
2 Weeks - $555
3 Weeks - $765
1 Month - $975
2 Months - $1895
3 Months - $2775
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
Anyone who likes being physical (and sweaty!) No construction experience is necessary, however skilled tradesmen are especially welcome as you can provide a significant contribution and teach the locals which will ensure a wider positive impact.
- Accommodation (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
- 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- Arrival Airport transfer to Canggu
- Return transfers from from Canggu to Seraya
- In-country qualified healthcare practitioner coordinator
- ‘Love our earth’ Bali survival kit (what’s in it? It’s a surprise!)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea daily
- Full day orientation & training + cultural sightseeing
- In country 24/7 coordination & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bauerfield International Airport (VLI). You must arrive between 08:00 to 20:00 on either the Saturday or Sunday. If arriving during the pickup times on the Saturday, we charge US$50 for the extra night’s accommodation.
If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.
If arriving during the week, or outside the pickup times on Saturday, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before or after your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
From Bauerfield International Airport to your accommodation it takes around 1 hour by road.
On the Monday of the first week of your program, you will receive a full day orientation. This includes advice on safety, cultural do’s and don’ts, house rules, introduction to projects and a tour of the local area. It is also time to settle in and meet the other volunteers.
For a much more in depth orientation and to explore some more of the local sites, you can also add on the culture week before your project. The one week orientation is a great way to prepare yourself better for the coming weeks where you will be more engaged with the local communities. Learn more about the culture of Vanuatu including a city tour and visits to interesting locations. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the local language, take Melanesian cooking classes, visit the blue lagoon and spend time being a tourist before your volunteer experience begins.
Your day will depend on the needs of the communtiy at the time. You will moslty be renovating and rebuilding local structures.
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our team on the ground will help you organize additional trips at local rates! There’s heaps of things to see and do in Vanuatu, from museums and cultural centers to island hopping, hiking, water sports like snorkeling, diving, boating and fishing etc.
No construction experience is necessary, however skilled tradesmen are especially welcome as you can provide a significant contribution and teach the locals which will ensure a wider positive impact.
Covered in tropical rain forests, mountains and volcanoes, Vanuatu is a stunning group of 88 islands in the South Pacific. With the vast majority of islands uninhabited, the total population stands at approx 250,000. With the Solomon islands to the north, Fiji in the east and New Caledonia to the south, Vanuatu is known for it’s mostly volcanic archipelago, incredible diving, stunning scenery, warm and friendly hospitality and laid back rural lifestyle with calm atmosphere.
For most in Vanuatu, farming is the main source of income, hence significant economic issues exist in most parts of the country. With the main export crops consisting of beef, timber, copra, squash and cocao, many crops are highly influenced by local weather and cyclone damage and flooding are common. Tourism is becoming a major component of the local economy however there is not the strong tourism undertone that you would find in Fiji for example. It’s much more low key.
Very few employment activities exist outside the towns and regional government centers. Most villages outside Port Vila (the capital) have no electricity, and access to piped water is a luxury in many parts. Local traditions are strong and have been heavily influenced by colonization by the British and French. Christianity is the main religion practiced.
Vanuatu is warm year round and has a tropical/ sub tropical climate.
Novemeber to March is summer, which has an average temperature of 28 degrees. This brings hot, humid and rainy weather, as well as cyclones. Most of the resorts are in the South of the island, due to it’s cooler climate, less rainfall and less chance of extreme waether.
Winter is from April to October, with much cooler temperatures of around 23 degrees. The sea is warm all year round- perfect for swimming!
Vanuatu is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Dances, ceremonies, artistic styles, authority status, and cultural traditions can vary from island to island and district to district. The locals are so friendly and welcoming to tourists. Within villages, tribal alliances are still intact and money does not play a significant role in their daily lives. The pace and lifestyle is also very laid back. Do not worry too much about this, enjoy the island time!
33 Years Non Profit Experience
IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
Affordable Volunteer Travel
We’re not motivated by shareholder profits. Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed.
Safe & Responsible Projects
All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact. All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.
Work Experience & University Credits
We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points. Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options
Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising