Volunteer with HOPE

Have you thought about doing volunteer work overseas?

You can make a difference as a HOPE volunteer and have a truly rewarding experience working with street and slum children in India.

HOPE welcomes a large number of volunteers and visitors to our projects every year.

Join the HOPE Volunteer Programme and you will be working to change the lives of the poorest street and slum children in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta).

Volunteers use their skills and experience to support HOPE’s Kolkata staff in delivering services to our projects in a variety of areas including: education, healthcare, vocational training and recreational activities.

For an Application Form and further information on the HOPE Volunteer Placement Programme: Please submit the Query Form at the bottom of this page. We would ask all prospective volunteers to please read through all the information on this page before you submit your query to ensure that you are eligible for this Programme.
Please note: You must be over 18 years and have completed school before you will be eligible to apply for a volunteer placement with HOPE. We can also only accept applications within a 12-18 month period prior to your proposed time of placement. Please do not apply if you do not meet this criteria.

To apply for a placement please complete the Query Form below. Due to the current high number of queries about volunteering you may not receive a response from us immediately. Please bear with us and we will respond to you as quickly as we can. Please submit your query by filling out and submitting the Query Form below – we are unable to take phone queries at the present time. Thank you.


HOPE Volunteer Profile – Gap Year student, Johanna from The Hope Foundation on Vimeo.

HOPE Volunteer Stories

“I had always imagined college life to be an incredible journey. However, little did I think two years into that journey, as part of my third year placement in Early Childhood Studies at UCC, I would travel to Kolkata…

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The HOPE Volunteer Placement Programme

Placements may be offered to volunteers who meet the following requirements:

Relevant Skills

Ideally you would have a qualification, skills and/or experience relevant to The Hope Foundation’s work, for example:

– Teaching – Primary School or Montessori / English language teaching
– Nursing: general & paediatric
– Sports Coaching
– Art
– Drama
– Music, particularly violin
– Dance
– Cookery
– Special Needs assistance
– Computers
– Administration
– Clothes design, crafts
If you do not have skills in any of these areas but would still like to work as a volunteer, we do welcome all kinds of flexible volunteers who are willing to land a hand. On your Application (if you submit the Query Form below you will receive an Application Form) you can tell us about your experience and explain how you think your skills could benefit HOPE’s work with street children.


A commitment to fundraise for The Hope Foundation’s projects. Fundraising targets depend on your proposed length of stay. Targets begin at €2,000 for a placement of up to 6 weeks. Full details are given on the HOPE Volunteer Programme Application Form which you will receive along with further information when you submit the Query Form at the bottom of this page.


Commitment to organise and fund your own travel arrangements (in addition to the fundraising above), including:

– Flight
– Travel Insurance
– Vaccinations
– Visa (with assistance from HOPE)

Self-motivated & Flexible

You need to be organised and have an ability to work on your own initiative. You also need to be flexible and prepared to turn your hand to different tasks as required. Applicants must be prepared to fill roles subject to current requirements on HOPE’s projects.

Positive Outlook

You need to get along well with people and have a positive, relaxed outlook. Volunteers work with lots of different HOPE staff and are involved in a range of work structures and environments.

Realistic Expectations

You need to be realistic about what to expect in a culture that may be very different to your own and what you can expect to achieve during your placement.

Volunteers are asked to commit for a minimum of 3 months if possible. However, we will consider a shorter stay if places are available. The minimum commitment requested is 3 weeks.

Prospective volunteers are interviewed in either our Cork or Dublin office. We will assist you with your fundraising, placement preparation and provide orientation training.

*All HOPE volunteers are accommodated in Kolkata and there is a small living allowance for longer-term volunteers (3 months or more).

The HOPE Volunteer Programme Requirements are:

  • Over 18 years of age and finished school at the time of application;
  • Applying for a placement within the next 12-18 months;
  • Fluent speaker of English and/or Bengali; 
  • Resident in Ireland, the UK or India;*
  • Able to commit to a minimum period of 3 weeks;
  • If volunteering for up to 6 months, please apply at least 3 months in advance if possible;
  • Volunteering for longer than 6 months, apply at least 4 months in advance of your proposed departure.

*Unfortunately we are unable to recruit volunteers who are resident in countries other than Ireland, the UK and India. Ireland, UK and India residents: please apply to the HOPE office in your country of residence (as per below).

Visitors to HOPE’s Projects in Kolkata

If you are not in a position to volunteer, we also welcome visitors who are travelling in India. You may like to call to the HOPE Branch Office in Kolkata, and organise a visit to see some of HOPE’s projects.

To Request an Info Sheet & Application Form:

If you are an Irish-based prospective volunteer please complete the Query Form below. For further information please email: Hope Volunteer Programme

If you are UK-based: please apply via the HOPE UK website

If you are India-based: please apply via the HOPE Kolkata branch office website

Query / Request for Application Form for Ireland residents: 

Full Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Phone number (required)

Address in Ireland (required)

Length of time you wish to volunteer for - Minimum 3 weeks (required)

Approximate dates you wish to volunteer for (required)

My main area of interest is (required)
 Education Recreational eg. Music, Drama, Art, Sport Childcare Healthcare Vocational Training Special Needs Other

Are you applying for a Work Placement for your college course? If so please give name of college and course (required)

Relevant experience (can have been gained through work or volunteering)

I confirm (required)
 I am over 18 years old and have completed my Second Level education > I am resident in Ireland > I am applying at least 3 months before my proposed placement > I am aware of the need to fundraise for a volunteering placement > I can commit to a period of at least 3 weeks in Kolkata > I would be available for an interview in Cork or Dublin

How did you hear about the Hope Foundation? (required)