I’m so happy that so many travelers want to volunteer in Goa! You guys asked, so I did a little more research because even I wasn’t sure outside of the animal rescue centers. Doing charity work abroad can be tricky because sometimes “voluntourism” is a scam (read more here).
If you want volunteer jobs and work in Goa, these are places that I’ve either checked out personally or good friends recommend and have volunteered at. Keep in mind Goa is actually one of the most well-off states in India and may not be the type of work you’re looking for in comparison to something like Mother Teresa’s in Calcutta, but these volunteer programs are rewarding in their own way and help the local community. If you have some more to add, PLEASE DO in the comments :)
If you google where to volunteer in Goa you will see many websites who make you pay for assignments. I don’t recommend this. You can do directly to the source and volunteer and put any money you want to donate directly into the hands of the people who will use it properly. There are some that charge over $1000 USD to place you at an orphanage to help. This is the wrong side of “voluntourism”.
Where you can volunteer in Goa
Welfare for Animals in Goa (WAGS), Siolim
WAGS is a godsend in Goa. They rescue dogs, cats, CAMELS, cows, goats, donkeys… you name it, they can do it! Atul is a very nice guy who runs the place and we have taken our animals there when we need help. They need people to walk the dogs, feed the animals, clean up, feed dogs on the beach in the monsoon, help catching the dogs who need neutered, helping with the cows, with fundraising, and help at reception. They are always out patrolling and picking up animals to neuter and give shots to. You must be vaccinated against rabies to volunteer. Check out the volunteer page for more information.
International Animal Rescue, Assagao
Similar needs as WAGS: walking, feeding, playing with dogs, de-ticking, cleaning, etc. You’ll most likely see this van driving around. Whenever there is an injured animal you can call them and they will send someone. If you do call, please give them some money at least and cover the cost of the animal (although they will help even if you don’t) or better yet take the animal to them. They are so full of animals and can use the help. You must be vaccinated against rabies to volunteer. They do welcome drop-in volunteers. Check out their volunteer information page.
Panjim Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Panjim
I haven’t been in touch with PAWS about what they need from volunteers. Our Huckleberry was taken here as they specialize in preventing rabies and noticing signs of rabies. Huck as you might know passed away from rabies even though he was vaccinated by a local vet which was really traumatic. I will always be thankful to the help the women at PAWS gave us during the roughest week of my life. They neuter thousands of animals to help prevent so many strays and to get to the goal of eradicating rabies in Goa. You must be vaccinated against rabies to volunteer. Contact them through their Facebook page.
The Primate Trust, Camurlim
Baby monkeys whose mothers die are either rescued by humans, or usually killed by other monkeys. Once rescued they cannot go back to the wild. Read more about my experience at the primate trust after Ben and I saw they needed babysitters in monsoon. You will spend a lot of time cleaning the monkeys cages. If you want a unique volunteer overseas job, this is it. You must stay a minimum of 1 month and to stay on site at the “tree house” it’s 4,000 Rs per week. You must be vaccinated against rabies to volunteer. Check out the details volunteering here entails, as they are very unique. You’ll work 6 days a week from 8 AM.
Mango Tree Trust, Mapusa
If you want to work in education with children this may be for you. Children in the Mango House are 3-6 years old but you may also need to do outreach programs in the slums. They talk about having teaching certifications but say it’s not necessary. They really want people who can stay a 3 month minimum. It’s 50 pounds donation to volunteer, but they do pick you up from the train station or airport and help you get settled. Read the volunteer FAQ here.
Inspire Trust, all over Goa
This is an NGO which works with arts, music, theatre, and crafts to help inspire the community. They work to help with recycling, education, pollution prevention, and general awareness. To see some examples of their work check their Facebook page. I love what they are doing and it seems like they are truly making a difference with people who need it!
Jamboree Creek, Goa
This is for you yogis, gardeners, chefs, or anyone who offers a unique talent. The owner of Jamboree Creek, Priyanka, offers free stays in exchange for work (like the workaway program). Recently she has had a yoga teacher stay and give free yoga classes to the public every afternoon. There’s also been a capoeira teacher which again meant free classes for anyone! This could be a good way to save money on your trip and share your skills with people who don’t have the budget to pay for things like yoga classes.
I’m sure there are more options in Goa that I haven’t heard of and I’d love for you to leave information in the comments. This is for volunteer programs that help the community or some cause, not volunteers to help at your company or for profit business unless it’s an internship or they get room and board in return. Thanks!
If you are coming to Goa, check out my ebook, Insider’s Guide to Goa. It’s 170 pages filled with the most up to date, comprehensive information about Goa plus it has all my secret places to go that I’ve found after living here almost five years.This book has 50x more information about Goa than my blog and is organized to make things easy for you to find. Click here to buy it now.
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