Overview

In this program volunteers will be immersed in an authentic farming and forest experience, surrounded by nature and farm animals with horses.

Volunteers are placed in an NGO focused on supporting the local community through environmental education and conservation projects, supporting hippotherapy classes  for disabled people and their social inclusion.

Volunteers work along with the organization’s staff as well as with the local youth community and will support the hippotherapy classes, give a hand on the vegetable garden, patrol the forest on a horse to prevent fires, supervise kids on their educational summer camps, reforest the wild areas with trees, collect seeds, and even herd a small flock of goats or sheeps.

The project is highly recommended for horse lovers. At the project, for the majority of the activities, horses will be your companion for the environmental protection and social inclusion activities and your transportation mode, so you can be able to help on the maintenance of the wild area, as well as support the horse school. This is also the best opportunity to learn how to ride a horse, if you haven’t yet. Extra horse riding classes are available at an affordable fee.

If you are keen to volunteer for a project which combines environment education activities as well working with disabled people then this project is highly recommended for you.

 

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Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants in the program should have a keen interest and love for animal conservation work. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report. 

Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities

Volunteer duties in the project generally include the following :-

  • Assist with Hippotherapy classes
  • Patrol the forest on a horse to prevent fires
  • Reforestation activities
  • Assist in the vegetable garden
  • Supervise kids on their educational summer camps
  • Collect seeds

Volunteer Work Schedule

After the orientation day, volunteers will be assigned a morning, afternoon or evening shift at the project and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day depending on the schedule of the project.

A typical daily schedule for an evening shift will look as follows:

  • 09:00 Travel to your project by public transportation and join the local staff to volunteer at the center
  • 13:00 Have lunch at the project site
  • 14:00 Explore the city and the surroundings and learn Portuguese during your free time
  • 18:00 - 19:00  Pickup dinner at the non-profit. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax. Weekends are mostly free to set out for short trips & exploring the amazing landscapes of Portugal.

Please note that the actual schedule can change according to the season.

Living

Airport Transfer

You will be picked up on arrival at Porto airport and transferred to the volunteer accommodation. For those participants who will already in Porto beforehand just let us know and we will arrange your pick up from any location in Porto.

Orientation

On the first day of the program, all participants are given an introductory presentation with the group giving further details of the program along with a walking tour of Porto city center for approximately two hours.

Accommodation

Volunteers in Porto are accommodated at a centrally located hostel.Located right at the city center, the hostel, provides a wide range of rooms, from dormitories to private rooms, a spacious and friendly lounge area where you can hang out, chill, listen to music, enjoy the atmosphere, play some games, and get to know  other fellow travellers while enjoying a nice cold beer, a tasty cocktail or a glass of the famous Porto wine! The welcoming staff will always be there to make the guests experience to the fullest! All the guests can count on the best tips about the city, an endless energy and a welcoming smile!! 

Situated in the heart of the city, right beside Porto’s most prestigious avenue (Avenida dos Aliados), the hostel has the perfect location. You can find the best restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, the Douro river and the most notorious monuments at a very short walking distance. 

Meals

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.The meals are prepared daily by a local non profit that promotes social integration of vulnerable people by assisting them with professional training. Volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yogurt and fruit.The non-profit will prepare lunch and dinner for you ! It is a 4 min walk from the hostel, where you can heat it, store it or eat it straight away. Besides, the hostel has a shared kitchen where you can store your food, cook or prepare your meals anytime you need.

During your Free Time

The weekends are free for you to get to know Portugal in a better way. We can help you to book the trips that you want to go to any point in the country. Besides that, we have one or two day programs, where you will have unique experiences on your own or in a group.

Some of the tours and experiences that you can enjoy during the freetime include :-

Douro, Port and Moscatel Tour –  You will visit these wines Estates, taste them and have a typical lunch with amazing views.

Minho and Vinho Verde Alvarinho Tour – You will visit the beautiful Viana do Castelo, Melgaço, and Monção, taste the Vinho Verde and some of the best Portuguese cuisine

Aveiro and Bairrada Sparkling Wine Tour –  Visit the beautiful city of Aveiro and get to know its wonders and traditions. The Lunch is going to be Roasted Suckling Pig accompanied by wine from the region of Mealhada.  

Dão and Coimbra Tour - Visit Coimbra, a magic place with the most ancient University of Portugal and full of history. Taste the Dão region wines and the typical food and bakery.

Program Cost

Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)

What are you Paying for?

  • Airport Pickup and Transfer to accommodation
  • Introduction session and Placement Orientation
  • Guided Porto City Center Walking Tour
  • Accommodation at a dormitory at a centrally located hostel in Porto
  • Three meals a day
  • Shared use of common spaces and free wifi
  • Volunteer placement coordination 
  • Suggestion of weekly activities with the other volunteers
  • In-country staff support 24/7 (and the best local tips to discover the city)
  • Pre Departure Info Booklet
  • Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
    • Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)

What's NOT included?

  • Round-Trip Flights to Portugal
  • Return Airport Drop
  • Visa Fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Any personal expenses

Program Dates

Months 2023
January 0115
February 0519
March 0519
April 0216
May 0721
June 0418
July 0216
August 20
September 0317
October 0115
November 0519
December 0317

Available Filling Fast Not Available Past Date

 

 

FAQ's

FAQ's Application and Program Details

As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is strongly recommended to apply for the program and reserve your spot in the program well in advance. You can book your spot in the program by filling an online form and pay the application fee. 
Once you complete your application, your individual 'My Account' will be active in which you will receive your placement confirmation after which you can pay the program fees. You can pay the program fees later as well in installments, but 45 days before the program starts.

After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be active. You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.

  • Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program. The minimum age requirement for Food Waste Management program is 17 years. Participants under 18 need to provide signed parental consent prior to joining the program.Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. The participant must be in good health.

Yes, you are welcome to take part in the Programs in Portugal as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together.

Yes, most definitely you can as we believe every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.

Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.

The volunteering programs in Portugal are primarily located in and around Porto, the second largest city in Portugal. You can choose to be a part of the Food Waste Management Program in Porto, Youth Support Program in Porto, Hedgehog Conservation Program or Horse Patrolling and Environment Protection Project in Porto.

Your program coordinator or a member of the local coordinating team will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program, its surroundings and other facilities around the location.

Health and Safety

All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Portugal.To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Portugal, click here.

Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.

If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.

According to a study made by the Institute for Economics and Peace, The Global Peace Index 2018 says that Portugal is the 4th safest country in the world. That, we believe, solves all your doubts. For more information about safety, do take a look at the Pre-departure Guidebook.

Flights and Visa

Lufthansa, Tap Portugal, Emirates, British Airways and Iberia are the top airlines flying to Portugal. You would need a Schengen Visa to travel to Portugal, which should be applied at the respective embassy. No visa is necessary if you are a US Citizen and will be traveling to Portugal for up to 90 days. However, you will need a valid u.s. Passport for at least 3 months from the date of planned return or other travel document recognized by member states of the Schengen agreement. For more details regarding the Visa requirements, it'll be good if you can get in touch with our Program Advisor while applying.

Once you arrive at the airport, our in-country coordinator will be there to be in touch with you. You'll be taken to your accommodation where you can rest before kickstarting your amazing journey.

Connect with Past Volunteers

We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.

To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer page on our website

Accommodation and Living

Accommodation in Porto:
Volunteers in Porto are accommodated at a centrally located hostel.Located right at the city center, the hostel, provides a wide range of rooms, from dormitories to private rooms, a spacious and friendly lounge area where you can hang out, chill, listen to music, enjoy the atmosphere, play some games, and get to know  other fellow travellers while enjoying a nice cold beer, a tasty cocktail or a glass of the famous Porto wine! The welcoming staff will always be there to make the guests experience to the fullest! All the guests can count on the best tips about the city, an endless energy and a welcoming smile!! 

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.The meals are prepared daily by a local non profit that promotes social integration of vulnerable people by assisting them with professional training. Volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yogurt and fruit.The non-profit will prepare lunch and dinner for you ! It is a 4 min walk from the hostel, where you can heat it, store it or eat it straight away. Besides, the hostel has a shared kitchen where you can store your food, cook or prepare your meals anytime you need.

Other Programs in Portugal

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