Given that my posts about working in France are some of my most popular posts, I thought I’d do another post featuring volunteering opportunities in France.
Although there are plenty of companies that offer the chance to volunteer abroad for a sizeable fee, I personally wouldn’t be interested. After all, volunteering abroad may always incur small costs. However, I think that paying an agency a large fee for the privilege is quite insulting given that the whole intention of volunteering is to work for free .
Note that I have ideas for working in paid jobs here.
Here are a few ideas:
Volunteers are needed to help to work on the site of a castle in the south of France. You are expected to work for five hours a day. Accommodation and meals are included. Lots of information here.
Working holidays and courses here to work on restoring a castle. They do note that mostly French is spoken, so it is therefore important to speak French. No specific skills are required. More information here.
This is a useful website to find volunteering opportunities of all sorts. There is a membership fee required. All meals are included with the majority of opportunities.
This organisation has a variety of short term volunteering opportunities, with some for 1-3 weeks. A list of 2018 options are here. The projects are quite varied. You must pay for your own travel. Your accommodation and meals are provided.
- La Giraudiere
There are various volunteer opportunities here. The main one is to rebuild a traditional house, but there are other ones on offer including office work and marketing. While it costs €22 a day, you do receive accommodation, meals and French lessons. Read about it here
- Plum Village
Plum Village is located near Bordeaux and provides mindfulness retreats organised by monks and nuns. It sounds amazing- I hope to go someday. They recruit volunteers to help on the retreat- here’s some information from last year’s volunteer search! Information here.
This website enables you to find people searching for volunteers for their own self build projects. In exchange for your volunteer work, hosts are encouraged to provide accommodation and food. Register and find out more here.
This project focuses on the building of a straw house in the north of France. There are various opportunities available- building and maintaining the house, cooking and child minding. In return you will receive meals and a lovely camping spot! Find out more here Find out more here!
Elueusis is a spiritual area located in the French countryside (near Cher). The volunteering experience costs €80 a week (which entitles you to food and accommodation) but the organisers do state that this is flexible. The volunteer work is mainly physical. Read about it here.
APARE is an organisation that requires volunteers to protect various regions. With projects located in Provence, the projects consist of 32 hours work per week. Accommodation and food are included.
Lourdes is a religious pilgrimage site extremely popular with Catholics. You can volunteer at Lourdes and there are a variety of jobs available- see here. As far as I can gather, accommodation and three meals daily are given to volunteers free of charge.
You can also volunteer in Calais. Volunteer work here mostly seems to entail distributing aid deliveries to migrants. The website encourages you to budget €25 per day for volunteer work. You will be housed in a hostel. Read more here.
- La Sabranenque
This site is located in the beautiful Provence and requires volunteers to protect the village against potential fires and invasive vegetation. While this project (including food and accommodation) is relatively pricey at €300 per week, I must admit that it does look particularly cool! Read more here.
While not strictly a volunteering effort, the Aliore website offers fun and varied programs in France including teaching English to families, sculpture workshops and cooking classes. While the courses are quite pricey they do look enjoyable- find more information on the website.
- Chateau St-Ferriol
This castle is located in the South of France and requires volunteers to maintain the upkeep of the castle. There is a variety of skills required- gardening, excavations and fund raising. Volunteers will work five hours a day for five days a week and are “well fed.” Find out more here.
Rempart is a French organisation with over 200 different volunteer programs on offer. Each program lasts for 2-3 weeks and while accommodation is provided, food is not. Find out more here
- Stein Study
While not strictly a French organisation, the Stein Study company organise French study holidays for Leaving and Junior Cert exam students in France. Group leaders are required for the trips in Easter and Summer. Accommodation and board is provided. Locations are Nice, Biarritz and Montpellier. Find out more here.
This organisation requires volunteers to work on heritage projects in France. There are various locations in France- find out more on the website here. Be warned- accommodation will be in a tent although food is included.
- Eco Chateau
This eco village requires volunteers to do cleaning and DIY. Accommodation is provided in the owner’s cottage.
- Les Chapelains
Les Chapelains is a building in the middle of a restorative phase. Volunteers are required for a variety of jobs- see more here. Meals and accommodation are included.
The website Helpstay also has plenty of volunteering ideas.