Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Albania

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Free or Cheap Volunteer Work in Albania

 

Albania isn’t the first place people think about when considering where to volunteer. Well off Europe’s beaten track this mountainous country sees few visitors compared to its Greek and Italian neighbours but enjoys a similar climate, an openly curious people and some fascinating cities well worth exploring.

With its tourist infrastructure still developing getting around the country can be a little hit and miss at times but there is nearly always a friendly local around to help out as we found out when the driver of our early morning bus did a quick calculation of the empty seats to waiting passengers ratio and thought better of stopping. Our unsuccessful go at hitching caught the attention of plenty of drivers that were happy to stop, chat and be a bit nosy but none were going where we wanted to be. Next day we tried again for the bus, broke down half way up a mountain and cadged a lift for the now shorter journey to town.

 

Grassroots Volunteering in Albania

The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:

Balkan Peace Park Project

www.balkanspeacepark.org

Since 2008 the Balkan Peace Park Project has run a summer programme each year in Thethi to educate local youngsters in environmental studies and English. The aim is to create a transnational park in the adjoining mountain areas of Kosovo, Montenegro and northern Albania. Teacher volunteers should be over 21, ideally with experience of teaching English as a foreign language, though this is not essential. Other useful skills include music, photography, drama or trekking but the main requirement is enthusiasm. The volunteer programme runs for two weeks in July and August. Two to three month internships are also offered to graduate students.

Where: Northern Albania.
Accommodation & Costs: No fees are requested but volunteers need to be able to fund the costs for room and board and other expenses.

Volunteering in Albania

 

Hostel Work Exchanges

Many hostels use help exchange networks (see below) to find volunteer staff but the following either advertise on their websites or are particularly noted for taking on volunteers:

Hairy Lemon Hostel

www.hairylemonhostel.com

Just across from Corfu in the seaside town of Saranda, the Hairy Lemon Hostel advertises for workers on its website.

 

Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Albania

Love Volunteers is a volunteer placement organisation run by volunteers who thought they could do a better job keeping administration costs to a minimum. They have a reasonably affordable project helping Romani children in Albania. Joining the programmes costs from $350 for two weeks and includes accommodation and breakfast. Weekly fees decrease if you stay longer but there is also an additional registration fee of a couple of hundred dollars or so to consider.

 

Help Exchange Networks in Albania

Workaway - https://www.workaway.info/hostlist-AL.html
HelpX - http://www.helpx.net/hostlist.asp?host_region=351&network=3
WWOOF - http://www.wwoofindependents.org/host-list/albania/

 

Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Albania

Stay for free in return for caring for local residents' homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). I wouldn't expect Albania has a great many house sits available so, if not, you can get a free $25 Airbnb credit from us here.

 

Volunteer Experiences*

Yes, I am in Albania - Peace Corps volunteer, Meredith, spent a year in Albania.
Volunteer in Albania – A  Nightmare Story - Boob groping children and the ever present mafia make Melissa Schultz’s efforts to do some good  seem pointless.

 

* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations

Image courtesy International Peace Park Expeditions