Volunteer service contributes to the well-being of an individual and the community and is usually coordinated by a non-governmental or public sector organization. Usually no salary or wage is offered, but the positions may sometimes offer benefits such as accommodation.
Volunteering is an option if you want to stay in Romania for a longer period and you are not able to obtain paid employment. There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities in several locations in Romania, especially if you are interested in working with children or low income communities. Some of these opportunities offer board and lodging.
The application process differs from organization to organization, ranging from informal inquiries by e-mail or personally to formal applications requiring a CV and a motivation statement, as well as a fixed time commitment.
In order to perform voluntary work on the Romanian territory, you would need a long-stay visa for Other Purposes (type D/AS), which should be obtained by your host organization.
There are a lot of organizations that offer volunteering opportunities in Romania. They are mostly in the areas of working with orphanages, disabled children or teaching in marginalized communities. Some of the volunteering opportunities can be found on the following websites:
The Bucharest Volunteering Centre
The Bucharest Volunteering Centre is a useful resource for volunteering opportunities in Bucharest. You can contact them in order to find out about the volunteering opportunities. Their fanpage is in Romanian, but they will be happy to answer any queries in English.
WorldVision is one of the most active organizations in Romania in helping disabled children and children from disadvantaged communities. You can contact them to find out about their volunteering opportunities on their website.
Habitat for Humanity Romania
Habitat for Humanity has branches in various towns across the country. It enables volunteers to be involved in home building projects benefitting for local communities.
Volunteering with a bear sanctuary in Romania
As one of the few countries in Europe where bears can still be found in their natural habitat, Romania is also home to the biggest bear sanctuary in Europe, in the town of Zărnești. Volunteering opportunities exist with the sanctuary, in which you would help feed and take care of the animals.
WWOOF is a well-known organization that volunteers the opportunity to work on organic farms in various regions of the world. WWOOF volunteers work for free, often being provided with room and board. Descriptions of available opportunities are available on the WWOOF Romania's website. EasyExpat's "How To WWOOF around the World" can help you understand the program.
For even more volunteer opportunities, you might also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.
The European Voluntary Service is a European Union program that offers young people (between 18 and 30) the opportunity to work as a volunteer for six to twelve months in a non-profit project abroad. The program operates on the basis of partnerships between sending organizations and host organizations. The travel costs and local insurance (health, accident, public liability) are covered by the programme. Volunteers also receive a small monthly allowance for the duration of their work.
How to proceed: First, find a sending organization that will assist you with the application (you can find sending organizations through your National Agency, your National Coordinator or international volunteer organizations). After having found a sending organization, start searching for a potential host. Note that it takes time to find a suitable project that runs on the dates convenient to you.
You can find more information and a list of host and sending organizations on the European Youth Portal.
A lot of volunteer programs include visa assistance and local insurance as part of the program fees or as a benefit. If not covered, you have to apply for the visa by yourself, and search for a suitable travel insurance policy that covers 24 hour emergency care and other risks that may be required by the visa conditions.
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