International Volunteer Projects
European Voluntary Service
Medium Term Volunteering
leading projects

leading projects

'Learning by Doing': Participants on the April 2003 Leaders Training get to grips with Group Dynamics

Lead an International Volunteer Project

Do you want to do something more? Do you want to push yourself further and challenge yourself in new ways? Do you have good people and organisational skills? Do you cope well under pressure? Can you make a fool of yourself when the situation demands it? Could you get 15 tired and hungover international volunteers out of bed on a rainy morning and convince them that they really do want to go out and dig that pond or entertain those kids? Do you know lots of inventive ways to cook pasta for less than 1 pound per day? If the answer to all of the above is yes, then project leading could be for you. It is at once a struggle and a buzz, a serious and a fun job, a responsible and a silly role, and knowing how to behave, or which 'hat' to wear in which situation is all part of the learning experience that leading involves.  

The project leader is there to co-ordinate the volunteers in all aspects of their project life; from co-ordinating domestic arrangements, finances and the work, to cultural visits, group life and the trek back from the village pub in the dark. The leader acts as the contact between the group, the host, UNA Exchange and the local community. He or she is the first one people to turn to for help or ideas, and the one who can make the most difference to the success of a project.

Leading can be demanding, but it also gives you one of your most rewarding experiences of your life. It gives you the chance to offer something of yourself to other volunteers from all over the world, but also to a community in your own country, where your knowledge of society and the language, and your personal and culturally-specific strengths can often yield the best results and provide you with the greatest insights.

Project Leaders are not paid for their time, but there is no participation fee and you will get your travel costs (within the UK) paid. You will also receive food and accommodation on the project as do the other volunteers. 

"I had a fantastic time and learnt a lot about myself and others...I met some really lovely people and felt fulfilled and not half as tired as I had expected to on the last day, despite only getting one hour of sleep on the kitchen floor! It was such a shame it was only for two weeks, and I can't wait to do it again.....that's if you will have me!!!"

Gemma Bartlett, Project Leader, Caerffili and Caerffili Mountain 1 Project,

How do I become a Leader?

Every Easter we run a leaders training weekend to prepare you for the challenge. All leaders should preferably have already taken part in an international volunteer project as a volunteer before joining the Leaders Programme, but we are willing to make exceptions in some cases where you have a history of voluntary work. You need to be over 18 and know that you will be free for at least two weeks in summer.

For more information, and for an application pack click on the leader's Training 2007 link below


  • The Riverside Warehouse
  • Leading in Wales at Amelia Trust Farm

  • Events

  • Wider Options Careers Fair
  • Post Camp Event 2004
  • Leaders Training
  • Global Awareness Training for project leaders
  • Post Camp Event in Armenia
  • Leader's Training 2007