What is volunteering?
Volunteering can be defined as any unpaid, voluntary activity which benefits the community, such as helping children with learning difficulties, supporting the elderly, taking care of homeless animals or helping to protect the environment.
Can I become a volunteer in Poland?
Yes, anyone who wants to help others can become a volunteer. You do not need to be a Polish national to engage in volunteering activities.
Can I move to Poland for the purpose of doing volunteer work?
If you are planning to stay in Poland for more than 3 months as part of the European Voluntary Service scheme, you can apply for a temporary residence permit for a volunteer. Note that you are not required to have a work permit to do volunteer work. For more information on residence permits, please visit the website of the Polish Office for Foreigners: Temporary residence permit for a volunteer.
Where can I find volunteer opportunities?
There are plenty of non-profit or charity organisations, community centres or support groups that are always looking for new volunteers. The best way to find out about various volunteer opportunities in your area is to search online for local NGOs or organisations which support causes that matter to you. You can also visit websites listing all types of volunteer programmes and positions in Poland, e.g. ngo.pl.
Are you looking for more tips? Below you will find a selection of Polish websites posting volunteer opportunities:
Ochotnicy Warszawscy - a website dedicated to anyone who is looking for volunteers or volunteer activities in Warsaw (available in Polish only)
Uniwersyteckie Centrum Wolontariatu - the Volunteer Centre of the University of Warsaw - welcomes all students, employees or graduates of the university who want to give back to the community (English version)
Serve the City Polska - Started in Brussels in 2005, Serve the City is a global movement of volunteers helping communities across the world, including Poland.
Wolontariat Gdańsk - a website run by the Regional Volunteer Centre in Gdańsk (Regionalne Centrum Wolontariatu w Gdańsku), where you can browse volunteer opportunities in Gdańsk, Sopot and nearby areas (in Polish only)
Centrum Wolontariatu Politechniki Gdańskiej - The Volunteer Center of the Gdańsk University of Technology
Wolontariat Wrocław - a volunteer website run by the the Wrocław Center for Social Development - Wrocławskie Centrum Rozwoju Społecznego (in Polish only)
Katowice/ Śląskie Voivodeship
Regionalne Centrum Wolontariatu w Katowicach - the Regional Volunteer Centre in Katowice listing volunteer opportunities and organisations that offer volunteer positions/placements in the Śląskie Voivodeship (in Polish only)
ngo.pl - volunteer opportunities listed on the website of Polish NGOs (in Polish only)
Ogolnopolska Sieć Centrów Wolontariatu - Polish nationwide network of volunteer centres (in Polish only)