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Overseas Volunteering

Overseas Volunteering

Assignments are created to closely match your preferred travel dates, locations, assignment length, passions and most importantly your skills. These will form part of a long-term support strategy for community based organisations. AfID supports over 350 partners and so only a small sample of opportunities are listed.

Mindfulness charity improving mental health [101]

Pro bono

Our partner runs a mindfulness based stress reduction programme, supporting women’s and at risk groups to give individuals a higher capacity to cope with stress and strong emotions, increasing their well-being and positive relationships.

You will be the second AfID volunteer to visit this partner, and your role will be firstly to review how they have been getting on since the last placement. The organisation has changed considerably since Covid, moving many courses online, so their spreadsheets and accounting tools need to be reviewed to ensure they are still relevant and fit for purpose.

This assignment will provide all round support, helping their Director think through their requirements and needs. They currently use Odoo, however, only to record sales, and it might be worth extending its use to cover accounting too. They do have project and organisational budgets, and these will need to be reviewed. They would also be keen on receiving support in developing an annual report, donor reports, and any other similar materials.

The placement will take you back to basics, however, there is plenty of things to be done to support them as as they consider how the organisation grows and rebuilds its social programmes.


NGO enabling youth to achieve their full potential [110]

Pro bono

Our partner is a youth-founded and youth-led organisation, providing health and leadership education to increase school attendance, decrease early pregnancy and improve health outcomes.

Your role, as the third AfID volunteer, will be to focus on strengthening the Executive Director’s financial oversight and analysis as they grow as an organisation. She has self-taught and has advanced her management skills but would benefit from the support of an experienced financial professional to guide her and mentor her in the following areas:

  • Financial oversight skills and understanding of internal control mechanisms. You will understand the Executive Director’s current challenges with financial oversight and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • You will identify with the Executive Director the type of financial metrics and information that she needs to have for different stakeholders (board members, donors, partners) and brainstorm different ways that this information could be presented.
  • Finance & accounting terminology, methods, and systems; for example in the questions asked by donors/partners in grant applications & reports. 
  • Develop metrics to track efficiency in the context of making a case on the “value for money” of its comprehensive sexuality education program.


NGO protecting the human rights and well-being of children [108]

Pro bono

Our partner supports the education of underprivileged children, as well as addressing the lack of family income to support their education, domestic and gender-based violence and psychosocial problems arising from the civil war.

Past AfID volunteers have undertaken an assessment of their accounting systems, processes and controls, helped them move from a manual accounting system to QuickBooks, and coached the accountant on day-to-day accounting as well as financial management.

They have been through a lot of changes in the finance function over the last year. The Finance Coordinator that AfID volunteers worked with left over a year ago and since then they have had 2 Finance Coordinators who also left. They now have a new Finance Coordinator and a new Finance Officer that need training and mentoring. 

Your role will be threefold and include: 

  • Reviewing the financial policy and procedures to identify any gaps in practice and in knowledge and provide training on these areas in particular (but not exclusive): 
    • Ensuring their monthly budget vs expenditure is done properly and, if not, identify why and provide support.
    • Reviewing the financial reporting mechanism. The Board required financial reporting every 3 months while some donors require it every quarter or every 6 months. You will review what is in place, the requirements and provide support to the FC and FO to improve reporting and strengthen their capabilities.


NGO protecting the human rights and well-being of children [109]

Pro bono

Our partner educate and empower women and girls to manage their own reproductive health, producing and selling sanitary products, providing key health education, and leading on advocacy and research efforts to enact change.

The organisation conducted a comprehensive research trial on the individual and combined impact of sanitary pads and health education across 140 schools in Kilifi County. The results highlighted many shortcomings. They now run interventions in 5 schools, reaching 3600 students with a health education curriculum and they offer tailored menstrual, sexual and reproductive health and rights education to enhance the voice and agency of adolescent girls. 
They want to also enact social change through commercial markets, providing high quality but low cost sanitary products which promote and signpost to clear educational messages, phone-based counselling and text-based health information. They sell in urban market and partner with NGOs to reach beneficiaries in rural locations.

There are two volunteer roles, one centred around revalidating their standard operating procedures and upskilling senior leadership in financial oversight and the second one focused on audit preparation.


Charity improving healthcare services [107]

Pro bono

Our partner is a UK charity working to improve healthcare in Zanzibar by delivering locally-owned and long-lasting improvements across services, staff training and infrastructure while also developing policies and national medical standards.

We had a volunteer confirmed to support them in implementing Xero in 2020. Unfortunately, with that placement unable to proceed due to COVID-19, we provided them with remote volunteer support, helping them make the most out of Excel whilst their migration to Xero was on hold.

They have now successfully implemented Xero, and have proper systems in place. However, their Finance Manager in Zanzibar requires further support and training in it's use. They have spent time and resources to offer her remote coaching; but have realised that her challenges are not easily conveyed over Zoom sessions, and therefore some in person coaching for her is required.

Additionally, the Xero system was designed with the needs of the UK office in mind, whereas 80% of the transactions are undertaken in Zanzibar. As such, they require support in addressing the amount of time spent extracting data and then creating reports on Excel. Separately, payroll and taxes in Zanzibar are extremely complicated, and manipulating Xero to account for these, is something they require support with.


VIP Bikes, Vietnam

Social enterprise distributing socially impactful products [106]

Pro bono

Our partner distributes life-improving products ranging from solar lights and fuel-efficient cookstoves to reusable water filters and agricultural tools. They then work with small rural retailers to sell the products and grow their businesses.

You will be the third AfID volunteer working with this partner and the focus of this placement will be around supporting them in ironing out some specific issues as they look to expand.

They are now selling more products on credit and are also in a position to borrow money. They want to understand what their internal working capital requirements are, and how best these might be met.

As part of this, they want to improve their controls in managing working capital to shop owners. At present, for example, to encourage businesses to use their app and to pay cash on delivery, they are offering incentives (better pricing on the products). However, they do not feel they have enough internal controls to enforce these.

This role requires a volunteer that is comfortable working in a busy environment and more than 50% of the time independently, as the team members are frequently travelling inside India.


NGO improving learning outcomes [105]

Pro bono

Our partner envisions an educational system where students learn by doing instead of memorising, achieving its vision through teacher training workshops and establishing a micro-franchise model to spread its 'learning by doing' approach.

You will be the third AfID volunteer on placement with this partner. Given that it will have been just under three years since the last placement, and in light of their growth, the first task would be to review their controls and processes; this is especially pertinent in light of their planned further expansion.

They have been putting together a 5-year budget in place for their strategic plan, but require support in finalising this. They also have a new Finance Manager in post, and as such it would be useful to see how comfortable she has been using the existing budgeting and cashflow forecasting templates, and to see if these are relevant in light of their plans to expand.

This has the potential to be a hugely rewarding assignment, giving you the opportunity to make your mark on the organisation as it embarks on an exciting future.


NGO Empowering Women [104]

Pro bono

Our partner empowers women and girls to gain equal access to education, respect and the ability to make decisions about their own lives. They run a drop-in centre providing free information, support and signposting to further services.

Women can access one to one counselling and attend workshops on topics such as reproductive and sexual health, maternal care, hygiene and nutrition, financial and business management, parenting skills and challenging gender stereotypes.

They have recently received a large new grant representing quite a significant increase, both in terms of their budget as well as the workload of the Finance Manager.

The key scope of this role will be around grants management. This will include reviewing and reconfiguring their chart of accounts, to help streamline the workload for the finance team in light of their growth and increased budget. You will help establish a proper process for core costs across the different grants, and support in reviewing and improving their donor reporting.


Charity Educating Children in Poverty [103]

Pro bono

Our partner provides educational support to children and their families who live below the poverty line. They offer homework support, teach English, Maths and reading, and run a leadership program for high school students.

They have appointed one of their students, who has graduated from school but not gone to university, with an interest in accounting to work with them. She is learning how to input expenses and, more recently, donations into their Quickbooks system. It is hoped that the accountant who has been undertaking these tasks over the last 4 years, will be able to take over responsibilities from the Director in reviewing the accounts, and doing the banking. Both would benefit from coaching.

During this period of transition, there have been many errors made, and they are often not sure what the errors are, and when they do find them, they are not always sure how to correct them. Therefore, they require someone to review their accounts on QuickBooks, identifying errors and helping correct these.

In light of increased transactions, they also require a review of their chart of accounts, to ensure everything is coded properly, as well as an update to their QuickBooks manual.


Non-profit with Football-based Programmes [102]

Pro bono

Our partner uses football-based programmes to inspire, encourage and educate disadvantaged young people in Ghana, teaching life skills and and empowering young girls by teaching personal, professional and practical skills.

You will be the second AfID volunteer to visit this partner, and you will primarily be working with the accountant who received training from our previous volunteer. He is using Quickbooks confidently, albeit only as a bookkeeping tool, and your first task will be to review its use and progress since the previous placement.

They would also like to receive support in a number of additional areas:

• Creating a simple bookkeeping process for the restaurant; they do not have the funds to install an electronic till, and therefore all transactions in the restaurant and bar are recorded by hand. They would like to review how this is being done, and suggest how it might be improved to reduce errors.

• Assistance with putting together an annual budget. They currently do not have an organisational budget, and putting one together either on Excel or QuickBooks (depending on the skill set) will help them get better visibility on how much it costs to run the organisation.

• Assistance in creating monthly income & expenditure reports for individual projects, the bar, restaurant & conference centre, and the organisation overall. As part of this, they would benefit from a review of any grants compliance and reporting requirements, to see that they are meeting this.


Children at Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica

+44 (0) 208 741 7000