At a glance
Have an island adventure this summer and team up with other teenagers to volunteer with children in Jamaica. You’ll help local teachers and caregivers run a summer camp for young kids from underprivileged communities. You will also help with renovation and gardening in these communities.
At the summer camp, you’ll work with other teenagers to arrange fun educational activities. These include art, crafts, dance, sports, drama, or debates. These summer camps tend to be understaffed, and you and your fellow volunteers will provide a much-needed helping hand.
Our staff designed this project specially for teenagers, and it’s a great way to get childcare experience while exploring and making new friends. You will be based in the town of Mandeville and live with a local host family.
Fixed dates during school holidaysSee Dates
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
Is volunteering with children in Jamaica for teenagers right for me?
If you’re a teenager looking for a chance to do something different and help others this summer, this project is for you.
It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Jamaican culture and help local children learn through play. You will also gain childcare experience, which will boost your CV. The experience will also give you interesting points to talk about in interviews and applications.
If you have loads of energy, take a playful approach to life, and enjoy the antics of little ones, you’ll have an amazing time working at this project.
We have a set two or four week itinerary. All activities will take place in a group and under supervision of local Projects Abroad staff members. They’ll be there to help and guide you at all times.
What will I do as a volunteer with children at a summer camp in Jamaica?
This project is all about making the summer break a fun and enriching experience for disadvantaged children. We hope this will be the same for you! Here are a few of the activities you may get up to as a volunteer in Jamaica:
- Run arts and crafts activities
- Help children read, write, and do maths
- Present basic hygiene workshops in a fun manner
- Help out with renovation projects in the community
- Expand your horizons and make new friends
Arts, crafts and creativity
A large part of our summer camp programme focuses on encouraging children to be creative and to learn through play. You could help us with any or all of the following workshops:
- Dance and performance
- Arts and crafts
At the end of the two weeks there will be a mini concert and an arts and crafts exhibition where the children will get to showcase their talents and their art pieces. You can also perform your own talent alongside the children!
Basic educational activities like reading and writing
While the summer camp is supposed to be fun for the children, it’s also meant to be educational.
You can help children improve their reading, writing, and maths skills through fun activities. These can be songs, games, or outdoor activities.
You can help encourage better personal hygiene by using fun ways to teach children:
- Proper handwashing techniques and why they are important
- How to brush their teeth effectively twice a day
When you aren’t working directly with the children, you will help us improve their surroundings. You’ll do things like painting, creating colourful murals, and planting a vegetable garden.
By painting and creating murals, you will be improving their learning environment. And planting a vegetable garden is a great way to ensure that children regularly get to eat fresh and healthy food.
Expand your horizons and make new friends
By living and working with locals and other teenagers on a daily basis, you will enjoy an immensely enriching cultural experience.
Added to this, your evenings and weekends will be filled with fun group activities, like:
- Reggae dance classes
- Patois (the local language) lessons
- Cooking demonstrations
Over weekends, we’ll arrange activities for you and your fellow volunteers. Our local Projects Abroad staff members will take you on a trip to one of the island's famous sites. This might include the picturesque YS Falls, Treasure Beach, or Portland.
Where interns work
You will be based in Mandeville, a large inland town in the south-east of Jamaica.
Mandeville is surrounded by rolling hills and lush vegetation, making it one of the most naturally beautiful places on the island. It’s also located close to many other parts of the island, making it easy to explore. It’s also home to some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet, who’ll make you feel at home from the start.
The summer camp is run at a school or community centre.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to help local caregivers and teachers keep children meaningfully occupied during their summer holiday.
With the help of our teenage volunteers, we run a programme where children can learn through art, drama, dance, and sports. The summer camps make sure that kids have a safe space to learn and play during the time away from school. This also gives their parents peace of mind. Due to tough economic circumstances, parents and guardians often have to work long hours. During school holidays, they aren’t able to be with their children during the day.
One parent from the Greenvale Community in Mandeville said that it’s great what Projects Abroad are doing for the community. “Many of the children would be on the road, walking around with nothing to do. I am grateful my children took part in the camp, and that I didn’t have to find things for them to do at home,” she said. She added that the lunch provided at the camp for the students helped relieve strain on herself and the other parents.
Join us in Jamaica and work with other teenagers to make a difference in local children’s lives during the summer holiday.
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
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, 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 all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. 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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