Volunteering in Jamaica with Projects Abroad
Volunteering in Jamaica is a unique way to experience the real Jamaica, a world away from the tourist hype. Projects are available for anyone interested in volunteering in the developing world, whether you are a volunteer on a gap year, a summer placement, or a career break.
As a volunteer with Projects Abroad in Jamaica you will have the chance to make a real difference on various exciting projects including Teaching, Care, Sports, Music, Medicine & Healthcare and Community projects. You will live with a Jamaican host family who will provide you the very best Jamaican hospitality and you will find you rapidly integrate into the local community.
Projects Abroad Jamaica is based in the university town of Mandeville. We also have projects in St. Elizabeth (Accompong, Black River and Santa Cruz). Mandeville is situated inland at a cooler altitude of about 2000ft, 100km west of Kingston it is removed from the main tourist trail. The town is the capital of the Parish of Manchester and retains an English ‘village’ feel with its grassy town square and local parish church. However, there are areas in and around Mandeville which are home to poorer communities, where there is a real need for help.
St. Elizabeth is the neighbouring parish to Manchester, approximately forty five minutes from Mandeville. It offers a different feel; a very natural, rustic and pristine atmosphere. Projects are located in Black River, Accompong and Santa Cruz where much help is needed in these poorer communities.
Volunteering on a Placement Overseas in Jamaica
The Caribbean island of Jamaica is well known for its idyllic beaches, turquoise seas and romantic sunsets, however beyond the tourist brochure façade is a country of laid-back welcoming people, smiling children and a lush mountainous interior well worth exploring.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and was described by Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century as the ‘fairest land my eyes have ever seen’. Plenty of visitors today would still agree and tourism is a vital source of income for the island. However, many visitors who find time to venture off the cruise ships do not make it beyond one or two coastal towns and often miss out on one of Jamaica’s biggest assets - its incredible mix of people.
Jamaica’s rich history and cultural heritage is an intriguing mix of Arawak Indians, infamous pirates, Spanish settlers, British naval explorers and slaves yearning for freedom. Today, people of African descent make up just over 75% of the 2.8 million population.
Volunteer Travel and Tourism in Jamaica
At the weekends, volunteers in Jamaica are spoilt for choice in terms of travel opportunities. The Blue Mountains, YS Falls, Dunn’s River Falls, the Bob Marley Museum, Outameni Experience and Treasure Beach are popular weekend or day trips from Mandeville.
There are many paradise beaches awaiting you in places like Ocho Rios, Negril and Port Antonio. Water sports and activities like diving, snorkelling, river tubing and rafting are popular around the entire coast. You can also choose to ‘chill’ in a hammock and sample a classic Jamaican rum cocktail.
No experience of Jamaica is complete without experiencing the vibrant music scene. Strains of Jamaica’s most famous citizen, Bob Marley will undoubtedly follow you everywhere on the island and spectacular music festivals take place throughout the year.
Projects available in Jamaica
Volunteer on a Community Farming Project in Jamaica and work with a cooperative farming association, promoting protected agriculture by farming in greenhouses.
As a volunteer in Jamaica, you will help build and repair the homes of people generally in need of assistance and those who have been affected by hurricanes. Work will include tasks like minor repairs, mixing mortar and laying blocks.
Work with children in a care centre or special-needs school, or volunteer in a home for the elderly. As a volunteer in Jamaica, you provide extra friendship and support to staff, children, and the elderly.
Work on a project that directly addresses the social needs of children in Jamaica and utilises the skills of volunteers in related fields.
Volunteer with Jamaica's largest HIV/AIDS NGO, helping to support people living with HIV or AIDS and running vital awareness programmes about the disease.
Help to address mental health issues in Mandeville by volunteering in mental health clinics or taking part in community-based work. Use your knowledge of psychology to make a tangible difference to local people.
Live with a traditional Maroon community in Jamaica. As a volunteer, you will help with a variety of tasks from teaching to gardening and cultural preservation projects.
Volunteer on this project and teach music appreciation and musical instruments including the keyboard, guitar, violin, flute and drums to children and teenagers, all while learning more about Jamaican culture.
This project designs programmes that address individual and community resilience to disasters, especially amongst the most vulnerable sectors of society.
Volunteer alongside the Human Rights Programme Officer by helping to plan, coordinate and deliver Child Rights and Human Rights presentations in communities in Jamaica.
On this Medical Elective placement in Jamaica you may see cases you would not normally see in your home country, giving you a broader medical knowledge. You can spend time in both in-patient and out-patient departments.
Volunteer alongside local staff in the dentistry unit of the Mandeville Comprehensive Health Department. You will shadow qualified dentists and learn more about the treatment of many dental problems.
Volunteer on a medical placement in Jamaica and work in a variety of departments in a local hospital or work at a health centre focusing on adolescent health, child health and family planning.
Volunteer at a school in Mandeville, Jamaica, and help teach children sports such as football, cricket, basketball and athletics. Work on their skills and promote teamwork.
Volunteer as an English teacher in the university town of Mandeville. You can work in a primary school or on an adult literacy programme. The students have a real desire to learn English.
Volunteer as an IT Teacher and teach computer skills and the basics of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to students in primary and junior high schools in and around Mandeville.
Take part in an intensive stand-alone Patois language course or sign up for language tuition alongside your regular volunteer placement. Learning a language is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.
High School Specials for 15 to 18 year olds available in Jamaica
Get involved with a summer camp for disadvantaged children and help foster social development and cultural exchange. Volunteers can help with activities such as arts and crafts, quizzes, photography, drama, dance, and more.
Volunteers in Jamaica working on our Building High School Special project are involved in important construction work to benefit the local community, like building toilet blocks and classrooms.
In hospitals and clinics in Jamaica, you will learn about various health conditions and treatments by observing healthcare professionals during your internship. You will spend time in a variety of departments, such as paediatrics and x-ray.
Projects for professionals available in Jamaica
Qualified social workers can volunteer either at the Child Development Agency (CDA) or the Social Intervention project (SIGHT-C) in Jamaica. Both of these projects work with local families and children who are faced with social problems.
A lack of financial and human resources means Jamaican doctors struggle to meet patient demand. As a qualified volunteer doctor, you will provide much-needed assistance to staff at a hospital in Mandeville.
Volunteers on the dentistry project in Jamaica work in rural communities where dental clinics are set up in school rooms, church halls or community centres. You will provide important assistance during outreaches.
Jamaican hospitals often lack specialist staff in key areas such as midwifery. As a Projects Abroad professional volunteer, you can help by assisting local staff with caring for mothers and babies.
This volunteer nursing project focuses on treating patients in a hospital in Mandeville. Professional volunteers provide much-needed support and assistance to local medical staff.
As a professional volunteer on this project, you will help treat patients in a hospital in Mandeville. Many local staff are overworked in Jamaica, which is why professional volunteer help is needed.