Volunteer with HOPE

Have you thought about doing volunteer work overseas?

You can make a difference as a HOPE volunteer and experience a truly rewarding time working with street 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 (Calcutta)

Volunteers use their skills and experience in a variety of areas: education, child protection, nutrition, healthcare, drug rehabilitation, advocacy, counselling and training.
To request an Application Form for the HOPE Volunteer Placement Programme please complete and submit the online form at the bottom of this page. Please read through the information on this page before you apply.

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
– Nursing: general & paediatric
– Sports Coaching
– Art
– Drama
– Music, particularly violin
– Dance, particularly Irish dancing
– Cookery, particularly bread baking
– Special Needs assistance
– Photoshop
– 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 Form (if you are going ahead please see below to request this 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 Programme Application Form which you can request by submitting the Query Form at the bottom of the page.


Commitment to organise and fund your own travel arrangements, 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.

Would you like to apply for a Volunteer Placement with HOPE in Kolkata?

Over 18 years of age  (and finished school)? Fluent speaker of English or Bengali? Resident in Ireland (min. 2 yrs), the UK or India? Able to commit to a minimum period of 3 weeks? If so, you are welcome to apply under the conditions below.

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. Irish residents must be resident in Ireland for a minimum of 2 years. 

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 for street and slum children.

To Request a Volunteer Placement Info Sheet & Application Form:

If you are an Irish-based prospective volunteer please complete the form below.

For further information, or if you have any questions regarding volunteering with The Hope Foundation, please email: Hope Volunteer Programme

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

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

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)

Query / Request for Application Form for Ireland residents: