Albania is not the first place one looks at when considering volunteer work. However, a closer look shows it has a climate similar to its more popular neighbours Greece and Italy, offers mountainous regions as well as coastal regions, and is yet unspoiled by excessive tourism. All these qualities make Albania a great place to volunteer.
Due to high unemployment and widespread poverty, Albania can use the help of volunteers. There are a large variety of cost effective projects that allow you to explore Albania on a budget.
An environmental summer program looking to create a park in the mountain regions of Kosovo, Montenegro and northern Albania requires volunteer teachers to tutor local children in Environmental Studies and English. Being experienced in teaching English as a Foreign Language is an added benefit but not a requirement. Additional volunteers are needed to help the teachers.
The old town of Gjirokastra is a beautiful sight of cobbled streets and buildings with slated roofs. Many of the homes here are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, but are in a dilapidated condition due to lack of funds for investment. Projects to restore and preserve these homes require volunteers.
If working in isolated communities is not your thing, then working with Albanian children in the country’s capital of Tirana is another option. Volunteers are needed to impart social skills, help local teachers develop creative games, teach handicrafts, and accompany children on excursions. Volunteers are also needed to help with administrative duties like proof-reading funding applications, updating websites, and translating documents. Volunteers can make significant contributions to Albanian society.