Many of us know that volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to the community, make new friends, acquire new skills and boost your CV. However, finding volunteering opportunities can be difficult. Luckily, we have created a shortlist of interesting volunteering opportunities in and around Groningen.
Volunteering with people
Humanitas is a national volunteering association that seeks to provide free help to better the community. There are six focus areas for Humanitas:
1. Educate and grow up: This focus area aims to help parents navigate through the difficulties of parenthood. This area also aims to help children through programs such as read aloud, which helps children better develop their reading and language skills. Additionally, programs such as child at home allow children who are refugees or are growing up in families facing poverty, addiction, divorce, illness, etc the opportunity to spend a few hours with a host family.
2. Contact and support: This focus area aims to help connect people who either need practical help, companions or want to talk to someone who has been in the same situation before.
3. Dealing with loss: This area aims to help those who are grieving or preparing to grieve by providing palliative care for the terminally ill or nearing death, and supporting the family after the loss.
4. Money matters and administration: The purpose of this focus area is to provide help for those who are struggling with financial or administrative issues.
5. Informal care support: This focus area aims to help carers by providing support, whether it be via listening or actively helping.
6. Guidance for refugees: The purpose of this focus area is to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the Netherlands by helping them attempt to Dutch society through language classes and social counseling.
Note: Although Humanitas occasionally has vacancies for English speakers, most volunteers need to speak Dutch.
This organization aims to make refugees and asylum seekers feel welcome in Groningen, and create strong and long-lasting relationships between refugees and Groningers through multiple initiatives and events, such as Meet and Eats, in which Gronigers and refugees share a meal and socialize. As a volunteer, you can help plan the previously mentioned initiatives and events.
This organization aims to help support women in Groningen who want to leave prostitution. There are currently no crisis shelters for those wanting to take a break from prostitution, therefore this organization helps by providing them with a temporary safe space to stay and connecting them to other organizations that can help. The task of the volunteers is to carry out household chores and help create and foster a friendly and understanding environment in the house.
The Vrowencentrum Jasmijn is another incredible organization. The purpose of the organization is to bring women from different backgrounds and cultures together through different activities and workshops.
The Free cafe is an initiative in which food that would otherwise be wasted is collected and turned into a vegetarian meal by volunteers. The free meal is then shared with people from Groningen.
Volunteering with Animals
Dierenambulance (animal ambulance) is an organisation that seeks to help sick and injured animals in Groningen, Haren, Noordenveld, Tynaarlo, Ten Boer, Het Hogeland and Loppersum. Please note that volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
The Zeehondencentrum (Seal center) in Pieterburen is an organization that works as a rescue center and hospital for seals. Due to the size of the center, volunteers can work at various departments such as the seal care department, veterinary and science departments, or as a part of the education team. Please note that to become a volunteer at the Zeehondencentrum you must be at least 18 years old and speak English.