Teen Volunteering

What is a Teenage Project?

Teenage Projects are specially designed projects for young people aged 16 – 17 years old. They are a brilliant opportunity for young people to come together to live and volunteer on an international volunteer project. The projects that we offer are based only in Europe: primarily in France, Germany and Estonia. Have a look at all of our current opportunities for 2014 here


How does a Teenage Project differ from an adult workcamp?

The obvious difference on a Teenage Project is that volunteers will be aged between 15-17, although UNA Exchange only sends volunteers who are aged 16-17. The projects also differ in a few key aspects too:

Leaders: As the projects are for teenagers, they have extra supervision.  There are normally 3-4 camp leaders on a project, and these leads are legally responsible for the volunteers during the project. Depending on the country that you are going to, the requirements of leaders will differ slightly. Please read our Teenage Handbook for more information. However, all the projects ensure that there is a high level of supervision and will act within the law of their own country regarding minors. Due to the level of care being increased when working with young people aged 16 – 17 much thought has gone into the organisation of the work and logistics of the projects.

Work: Teenage volunteers will still be expected to come motivated to work on a project,  but the amount of hours that they will work will be slightly less than an adult camp. In some projects, physically challenging work will not be allowed. All volunteers will be given instruction on how to do their volunteering work and it is the responsibility of the organisation hosting the project to provide this. Volunteers should feel confident to ask questions if they are not sure about the work they are doing or if they feel they do not understand the instructions.

Accommodation: The accommodation for volunteers varies from project to project, but the project description will give provide an idea of what to expect. Generally, accommodation is quite basic. In Teenage Projects, accommodation is often split into single sex rooms/ tents, although please note that in some projects volunteers may stay in mixed sex, fully shared accommodation ie a community hall. Food will either be provided or volunteers will work together to prepare meals using food that is bought out of the camp budget.

Alcohol/Smoking: As the laws in other countries differ from the UK, drinking alcohol and smoking may be allowed in the country in which Teenage Projects take place. However, alcohol is prohibited on all Teenage Projects (even if you are legally allowed to drink in that country). Smoking may be allowed on some camps in designated areas, but for the majority of camps smoking will be prohibited. The use of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden on projects. Each project will have ‘Camp Rules’ that volunteers will be asked to follow and if these rules are broken, especially regarding alcohol, violent behaviour and anything which is seen as a crime, then the volunteer will be sent home.


 Things to think about before you join a teen project.

  • How will you get to the country that you want to volunteer in? What are the transport links and are your parents/guardians happy for you to travel to that particular country, possibly unaccompanied?
  • Do the dates of the projects fit into your holiday time?
  • Volunteers will be expected to stay for the duration of the camp, please ensure that you are able to commit to the whole project.
  • Volunteers will be with a group of other international people from all over the world. You might be the only British person on the project so you need to think about how you would feel if this was the case.
  • Generally the language of the camp is English, but you should be aware that levels of English may vary and you will have to be patient with volunteers who don’t have English as their first language.
  • Do we need to know any extra information about you such as medical or food requirements?
  • If your parents are going away on holiday at the same time as your volunteering project, please remember to give us up to date details on how they can be contacted.
  • Are you aware of all the costs involved in a Teenage Project? How are you going to pay for your project?


If you think that a teenage project may be for you or someone you know and you'd like to know more information about our teen projects, please take a look at our Teenage Handbook (see above).   It's got lots more information about our projects, how to apply, things to think about (both for volunteers and parents) and information about the way in which our projects work. If you have any other questions please contact our Exchanges Coordinator, Laura on [email protected]