Is building volunteer work in Jamaica for a group right for me?
If you are looking to take a meaningful holiday coupled with physical work that benefits those in need, then this project is perfect for you!
On our Building Team Trip in Jamaica, you’ll join a group of volunteers who are looking to work hard and support local communities. You’ll work toward a goal together, and join in one social and cultural activities after your work is done for the day.
You’ll learn a great deal about building, and will also get to hone your personal skills. These include teamwork, planning, and communication. Your experience in Jamaica will stand out in your CV and will give you interesting points to talk about in interviews and applications.
You don’t need any previous experience to take part. Our staff and building supervisor will guide you through all your project work. You do need to be prepared to do physical labour outdoors in the warm Caribbean weather.
This project runs on fixed dates and has a set itinerary, which helps you make the most of your short time in Jamaica.
What group volunteer building work will I do in Jamaica?
You’ll work at our Building Project, which runs throughout the year. What you is determined by where you’re needed or how far our building projects have progressed. Your work can include:
- Learn basic building techniques like mixing mortar
- Build a playground to encourage children to learn through play
- Renovate and paint homes during building outreaches
- Build toilets at underprivileged schools for improved hygiene
- Learn more about Jamaica during fun cultural workshops and sightseeing
Depending on what ongoing building project you join, your activities could include the following:
Learn building techniques from your local supervisor
All of your work is supervised by our professional Building Coordinator. Before you start, they’ll teach you everything you need to know. We’ll focus on teaching you to:
- Build and install playground equipment
- Excavate and clear land
- Mix cement
- Lay bricks
- Render walls
- Do easy carpentry
- Repair roofs and ceilings
- Replace doors
Build a playground to encourage children to learn through play
Many public schools in Jamaica don’t have the funds to build their own playgrounds. A new playground gives children a safer place to play and learn, and the work you do here will help put smiles on children’s faces for years to come.
You’ll get involved in various physical activities. If you arrive at the start of construction, you’ll dig and level the area. When we’re further along with work, you’ll set up equipment like beams and give them a fresh coat of paint.
Renovate and paint homes during building outreaches
Projects Abroad organises regular building outreaches. We spend a day building at someone’s home to improve their living conditions. You’ll do things like:
- Repair ceilings
- Fix doors
- General maintenance
Many of the homes we visit are those of the elderly or disabled, or those who’ve been affected by natural disasters.
Build toilets at underprivileged schools for improved hygiene
Many schools and communities don’t have modern toilets, and rely on unhygienic pit toilets. This is a huge health and safety risk. We’ll give you the spade, and you’ll help us build toilets. This will help improve the overall health of the children attending the school. It also prevents the spread of disease and infections.
Learn more about Jamaica during fun cultural workshops and sightseeing
Our staff have plenty exciting activities planned for your group during your week abroad. They’ll accompany you every step of the way, including your social activities. You’ll learn how to dance to the rhythms of reggae during dance classes, and learn local phrases during Patois lessons. You’ll also take a day trip to view the incredible YS Falls.
You’ll spend your evenings with a local host family. This is a great way to enjoy local foods and get a direct insight into Jamaican culture.
Where in Jamaica will I work?
You’ll live and work in Mandeville, a town in the parish of Manchester. Your project work can take place in a variety of surrounding communities in the parishes of Manchester and St Elizabeth. St Elizabeth is about 30-40 minutes’ drive from Mandeville.
Mandeville is the largest town in the Manchester parish. Many communities in and around Mandeville are disadvantaged. There’s a lot of need for better infrastructure, like modern toilets and safe playgrounds.
You need to be prepared to spend a lot of time outside in warm, tropical conditions. We’ll help make sure you stay hydrated during the hot days.
Aims and impact of building volunteering in Jamaica
The goal of this project is to provide communities with the infrastructure they need to improve quality of life.
The schools we work with are disadvantaged. Although preschools and kindergartens are required to have playgrounds by the Ministry of Education, many don’t have the funds to build them. As a volunteer, you’ll be part of our efforts to give schools this infrastructure. Through building playgrounds, you’ll support early childhood development, and encourage kids to learn through play.
In addition, we work with schools to replace pit toilets with safer, cleaner modern toilets. These help prevent the spread of diseases and infections.
In Jamaica, we also help renovate homes belonging to the disabled. Many of these homes are in a poor condition and desperately need repairs. We collaborate with the Poor Relief Department of the Manchester Parish Council, and they let us know which households need help. You’ll help out with this and work to make people’s homes safer.
Join us in Jamaica and work with a group to help give communities the support they need.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food And Accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in Mandeville. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Jamaica and have a truly unique experience.
We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Safety And Staff Support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Jamaica
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