Volunteer in Jamaica
“Going local” is something we covet in leisure travel nowadays, but what does it really mean? Eating local cuisine, exploring the local culture, using the local currency…but how about getting a glimpse inside the real Jamaica by volunteering to help improve the condition of a local community in two key areas: education and health?
Volunteering in Jamaica provides visitors an opportunity to truly integrate into the local neighborhoods and develop relationships with residents. Whether supporting a reading program or helping farmers for a day to plant and harvest crops, there are a host of flexible activities for travelers to choose from. For visitors traveling for leisure, most hotels and resorts are aligned with community programs through which visitors can conveniently schedule a volunteer activity during their vacation. Feel free to browse our projects and contact the respective organizations to volunteer for a month, a week, a day or even a few hours on-island.
As a visitor to Jamaica there are many ways you can give back and make a difference. Before arriving, check out the programs available through your hotel of choice, such as book drives, community visits and any ongoing projects. Some hotels and foundations also participate in Pack for a Purpose which helps travellers make a meaningful contribution to the destinations they visit. Be sure to also stop by our website for information on volunteering opportunities in Jamaica. See our blog feature for more details.
While our Jamaican people will surely benefit from your assistance, we hope that you take home with you an experience of a lifetime, and share the celebrated Jamaican spirit and warmth with your friends and family.
We thank you for your kind outreach.
Reasons To Volunteer In Jamaica
Here are our top reasons to volunteer in Jamaica
- Who can resist an exotic vacation in the tropics?
- No vacation trip is complete without a little sunshine, cool breeze and fresh air.
- Do good and feel good in paradise.
- This fascinating and scenic island is all the inspiration you’ll need to want to make this world a better place.
- Jamaicans are known to be warm and hospitable people.
- Experience one love on our island. Discover our world famous Jamaican culture and food.
- Be a part of inspirational projects that will change your life and that of others.
- Make an impact. Nothing is more fulfilling than contributing to a positive cause.
- Interact with like-minded persons from around the world.
- You’ll not only leave with a tan but an unforgettable vacation experience you’ll cherish forever.
Things you need to Know
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that can help you to better prepare for your volunteer vacation.
- Are there any visa requirements or need to apply for a work permit?
You will not need a work permit to participate in voluntary work on the island however, depending on your nationality or country of residence you may need a visa. Some Common wealth countries as well as citizens of the United States of America, Canada and The United Kingdom do not require visas for entry into Jamaica. All other passport holders however are required to either obtain a Jamaican visa prior to or upon entry into the island. For more details visit: http://www.jhcottawa.ca/visa.htm and for information specific to your country visit:
2. Is there an age limit for volunteering?
While the average volunteer falls between 14 – 50 years of age, there is no specific age limit set for volunteering.
To be certain you will have to get this information from the project manager however there are volunteering programs for families
that are generally inclusive of both young and old.
3. Will you need any special vaccinations or immunizations?
No matter the destination it is recommended that all travelers are up to date on routine vaccinations before departing from their country. Vaccinations especially recommended for travel to Jamaica are: Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) and Tetanus-diphtheria. Always consult with your doctor before your trip for the latest immunization recommendations. http://mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/mamerica_carib/jamaica.php
4. Will you need insurance?
Volunteers can secure some form of insurance policy before traveling to Jamaica. If you can chose to have insurance, suggested coverage should include: Major medical cover and loss of personal effects. Visit http://www.volunteercard.com/ and http://www.worldnomads.com/ for more information.
5. What should you pack?
Jamaica’s tropical climate means sunshine all year round with instances of rainfall. We suggest you pack modest shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, sneakers (trainers), flip-slops or sandals and other garments made from light materials. Depending on what time of the year you visit and where you stay you will need a sweater/jacket and long pants as it may get a little chilly during the evening time. Sunglasses, sunblock, reusable water bottle and swimwear may also come in very handy during your stay. Of course, don’t forget your toiletries, documents, ID, money and camera. You may take your cellular phone if it is unlocked and purchase a sim card from a local mobile carrier; otherwise in some places you may have access to WIFI. Reasonably priced mobile phones are available for purchase on the island.
Consult with your project manager for more details on what to pack.
Organizations and Charities
We advise that you seek out those organizations or charities that are registered or credible to ensure local communities will benefit from your service. Here are a few recommended ones:
Angels of Love
Health and Voluntary Services for critically ill underprivileged children of Jamaica
Address: 28 Main Street, May Pen, Clarendon
Phone: (876) 808-8888 or (876) 880-8888
Fax: (876) 902-8915
Web Site: http://www.angelsofloveja.org
Committee For The Upliftment Of The Mentally Ill Rehab Center
CUMI seeks to provide community-based outreach to and advocacy for the homeless mentally ill of Montego Bay and St. James Parish.
Address: CUMI Rehab Centre, 1 Rectory Drive, Brandon Hill, P.O. Box 1751 Montego Bay # 2 PO, St. James
Phone: (876) 952-8737
Fax: (876) 971- 4943
Web Site: http://www.cumimobay.org
Food For The Poor
Food for the Poor raises funds and provides direct relief assistance to the poor, usually by purchasing specifically requested materials and distributing them through the churches and charity organizations already operating in areas of need.
Address: Ellerslie Pen, Spanish Town Mailing, P.O. Box 557, Spanish Town
Phone: (876) 984-5005
Fax: (876) 984-5006
Web Site: http://www.foodforthepoorja.org
Heart Foundation Jamaica
HFJ seeks to minimize the incidence of death from heart disease in Jamaica through education and raising funds for assisting the intensive care unit and cardiac surgery.
Address: 28 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5
Phone: (876) 926-6492; 929-3195; 926- 4378
Fax: (876) 754-6441
Web Site: http://www.heartfoundation.org.jm
Issa Trust Fund
A non-profit organization aimed at providing a system of prevention, health promotion and education, community health improvement and other services to promote well-being and development for the people of Jamaica.
Address: 11902 Miramar Parkway, Miramar, FL 33025
Web Site: http://www.issatrustfoundation.com
Jamaica Cancer Society
A non-profit organization with the mandate to “fight and defeat cancer in all its forms”
Address: 16 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 5
Phone: 876) 927-4265
Fax: (876) 978-1918
Web Site: http://www.jamaicacancersociety.org/
Projects Abroad is one of the largest volunteer abroad organizations in the world with worthwhile voluntary projects in education, healthcare, journalism, international development, and business.
80 Broad Street New York, NY 10004 United States
The Boys' Brigade care for and challenge young people through a program of informal education underpinned by the Christian faith.
Address: 2E Camp Road, Kingston 5
Phone: 876) 929-0089
Bread Basket Ministries
(BBM) is a non-profit, charitable Christian organization ministering to the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of poverty stricken men, women and children in Ocho Rios Jamaica and it's surrounding environs.
Address: PO Box 6189, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica WI
Phone: (876) 994-1367
GB empowers girls and young men with skills, Christian qualities and values, to succeed in tomorrow's world.
Address: 2 E Camp Road, Kingston 5
Phone: (876) 926-6427
Operation Restoration provides Christian education and counseling for children and adults, particularly those engaged in or falling into criminal activity.
Address: 12c Collie Smith Drive, Kingston 12
Phone: (876) 967-4245
Web Site: http://www.operation-restoration.org
The Salvation Army’s objects are ‘the advancement of the Christian religion and of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.
Address: 3 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10
Phone: (876) 929-6190-2
Fax: (876) 929-7560
Web Site: http://www.salvationarmycarib.org/
Boys Town Vocational Training Centre
Youth development in education and training, sports and recreation, counseling and humanitarian assistance
Address: 6 Collie Smith Drive, Kingston 12 or P.O Box 243, Kingston 10
Phone: (876) 948-1598-9; 948-1600
Fax: (876) 948-1601
BREDS seeks to foster community empowerment through programs designed to enhance the education, vocational training, recreation and livelihoods of Treasure Beach community members and to ensure the sustainability of the environment that nurtures the community.
Address: Calabash Bay P.A, Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, WI
Phone: 876.965.0748 or 876.965.3435
A non-governmental agency that caters to the needs of children through the provision of education
Address: 9 Monk Street, Spanish Town, St. Catherine
Phone: (876) 984-0367
Fax: (876) 984-2839
Web Site: http://www.childrenfirst.org.jm/html/
Open: Monday - Friday - 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
A registered voluntary organization committed to providing quality vocational education to persons with disabilities
Address: 191 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8
Phone: (876) 969-5720; 969-5721
Fax: (876) 969-5719
Intellectual Foundation of Jamaica
An independent, educational charitable organization who’s primary purpose is to empower students and influence the growth of high quality education in the most underserved sections of Jamaica’s secondary education system.
Address: IFOJ, P.O. Box 1104, Attleboro, MA 02703
Phone: (304) 449-IFOJ (4365)
Web Site: http://www.intellectualfoundationofjamaica.org
The Sandals Foundation engages in programs under three key areas, Education, Environment and Community in order to enhance the lives of those less fortunate and protect our environment.
Address: 35 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10
Phone: (876) 929-5956
Fax: (876) 968-6210
Web Site: http://www.sandalsfoundation.org
Save The Children Jamaica
STCJ is a voluntary organization which provides early childhood education through the operation of basic schools in the corporate area.
Address: 2B Camp Road, Kingston 5
Phone: (876) 929-3723
Fax: (876) 906-3580
Usain Bolt Foundation
The Usain Bolt Foundation is dedicated to enhance the character of children through educational and cultural development
Web Site: http://usainbolt.com/foundation/
United Way of Jamaica
The United Way of Jamaica brings together contributors, providers and users of social services, and social planners, in an effort to assist in meeting the social and material needs of less fortunate and disadvantaged Jamaicans. Projects are funded to support programmes in the areas such as Health and Education
Address: Coronation Building, 122-126 Tower Street, Kingston
Phone: (876) 922-9424-7
Fax: (876) 922-1033
Web Site: http://govolunteer.com.jm
International Volunteer Organizations
V2- Volunteer & Vacation
V2 develop placement programmes for volunteers, specialising in two-week immersion placements for projects such as Teaching, Community Development and Children and Youth projects.
Address: Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
Phone: +44 (0) 203 289 4611
Web Site: http://www.v2volunteers.com
World Endeavors Deaf Education volunteers in Jamaica dedicate their time and enthusiasm and partner with a Deaf education organization in Kingston.
Address:3015 E Franklin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55406 USA
Phone: (866) 802-9678
Web Site: http://worldendeavors.com/programs/volunteer/volunteer-in-jamaica
- Volunteer in Jamaica
- Reasons to Volunteer
- Things You Need To Know
- Organizations and Charities
- International Volunteer Organizations