The Cook Islands offer a wide variety of programmes to interested international volunteers. Community-focused programmes revolve around education, such as reading to children or volunteering as a teacher, or development projects, including social services and construction programmes. There are also quite a few programmes that focus on working with the elderly: volunteers can provide care or simply offer them companionship. Working with the disabled or volunteering in libraries and museums are also popular options.
Given its location on the Pacific Rim, there are quite a few volunteering programmes revolving around helping the environment. Protecting the wildlife, cleaning up the coastline, or volunteering in whale sanctuaries are just some of the options available to international volunteers.
Requirements for volunteering may vary from one agency to another, but proficiency in the English language and being over 18 years of age are usually a must. For longer term projects, it might also be a good idea to enrol in a local Cook Islands Maori language programme, as this can help you get a better grasp of the local culture. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of volunteering programmes in the Cook Islands have a length of several weeks.
Regardless of the volunteering agency you ultimately decide to work with, you will be required to pay a programme fee. The fee covers accommodation and meals and sometimes certain excursions or training classes, but you will be required to take care of flight fares, insurances, and any visa you may need on your own.