We’re looking for motivated individuals with a heart for leadership and a desire to make a difference to lead our volunteering teams overseas.
If you’re 21 years old or over, this could be an incredible opportunity for you!
All team leaders will receive a discounted cost for their placement:
The cost mentioned above includes pre-departure training, insurance, debrief, a medical package, administrative costs and in-country travel, accommodation and food.
Please note, flights, visas and vaccinations are not included.
For more information about additional costs, check out our FAQs section.
What would it involve?
You'll lead a team of up to 12 volunteers who have been handpicked to be part of one of Tearfund’s overseas placements. This is a unique opportunity to work closely with Tearfund’s International Volunteering Team and partner staff in-country.
You will help to develop placements that make a significant difference to the community you visit, whilst providing pastoral support to your team.
What are we looking for?
What would I gain?
Where and how long can I go for?
We need team leaders for our 2 week, 3 month and 6 month placements.
Placements are on offer in a variety of countries including Cambodia, Colombia, Malawi, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
How can I apply?
Head over to our Apply Now page and select your preferred trip. When you log in to your application, select 'I am interested in being a Team Leader'.
Still unsure? Give us a call today to chat through whether you could be a team leader on 020 3906 3111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why did you apply to volunteer with Tearfund?
I wanted to do something useful with my gap year. I already knew a bit about the amazing work Tearfund does through my church, but actually, it was the work CHO was doing that really attracted me. Prayer was also a major part of my decision process.
What work did your team do?
What didn’t we do! Some of us taught English for six months, but other people were involved with setting up the Umoja project, and another was working in Destiny Cafe. We were also able to be involved in the writing of a five year plan for CHO and various newsletters, we were even twinning the city of Poipet at one point! Alongside this we also had the opportunity to serve some of the village churches, through talks, children’s outreach and providing worship music for church services.
What were some of your responsibilities as a team leader?
Apart from the admin, it was being a central point of contact for both CHO and Tearfund. I also had a pastoral role towards the rest of my team.
What were some of the challenges of being a team leader?
Honestly, deciding when and what to address. Sometimes it is difficult to judge whether it is worth addressing an issue, or if it will blow over without me doing anything. Thankfully though I was blessed to be in a team with 5 lovely other girls who I now consider my sisters, and we were relatively conflict free, which made my job a lot easier!
What did you enjoy most about leading your team?
The ability to serve my teammates in a different way. It also gave me the opportunity to develop my interpersonal and organisational skills.
What things did you learn while leading?
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to be a team leader?
Pray about it. It is a great way to serve your teammates, but without God at the centre of the decision it will be a ridiculously difficult task.
What three qualities are helpful in a Team Leader?
Decisiveness, organisational capabilities, empathy.
I’d heard about Tearfund’s work through my church and at Christian events, and when I was planning my gap year I knew that I really wanted to get involved. I almost didn’t apply, as the prospect of volunteering abroad for 3 months seemed way too far out of my comfort zone, and the fundraising seemed impossible, but as I prayed about it, it became clear that God wouldn’t let me drop the idea and walk away. The work in Tanzania seemed so interesting and diverse, so I made the leap; and what a fantastic decision that was!
We taught English once a week at an after school programme; led girls’ and boys’ youth groups and local Sunday schools; took part in teaching on menstrual health and sanitation; got involved with health programmes in schools and health centres; helped lead a menstrual health project with local women; helped in a children’s home; worked in a café and workshop, which was an income-generating scheme for women from disadvantaged backgrounds; ran special events at a blind and albino school and a leprosy community; helped roll out a horticultural project with two farmers’ cooperatives; and we built a house, several water tanks, pit latrines, and goat sheds. Writing it all down it sounds completely crazy- it was, but it was amazing!
I worked with three other team leaders, along with in-country leaders, overseeing the dynamics and wellbeing of our team and continually evaluating our work and objectives. On a practical basis, I was especially involved in leading the planning of the week’s work, sorting out food for the team, leading devotions/worship times and helping others to do likewise.
I was always inclined to take on way too much and end up exhausted! My team were fantastic, and learning to delegate meant that not only could I enjoy all the work more, but the team as a whole functioned so much better when everyone was using their gifts to build one another up and complete projects to the best of our ability.
I love pastoral care, so having a role that meant looking out particularly carefully for the needs of my team was such a privilege. The whole thing was a huge challenge, but learning from my team and co-leaders made it a real joy, and a massively formative experience.
Pray, and talk to friends and family about it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, and at times one of the most difficult, so if you do go for it, be kind to yourself: you’re not a superhero, and you don’t need to be to do a great job as a leader. And remember at every stage, God is infinitely gracious: he will guide you, equip you and empower you- but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to rest and be wise with your time and energy!
Resilience, patience and gentleness.
Have you got what it takes to lead?
Placement fundraising amount: Varied
What’s not included?
Although your placement fundraising amount does not include flights, visas or injections, you will receive good advice and support about organising these aspects. As you will need to pay for these yourself, it is important to keep any fundraising for flights, visas and injections separate from the donations you send to Tearfund to pay for the placement (ie this must be done personally and not through JustGiving or an equivalent site, as the fundraising for these elements is not considered to be a charitable donation).
Please note that all costs are subject to change; this is due to the variable nature of overseas travel expenses.
When do you have to pay?
We don’t ask you to pay the whole fundraising amount all at once.
When you apply you are required to send in a non-refundable deposit. The deposit covers the administrative costs of processing your application, your selection event and pre-departure training event.
After we have confirmed your place and selected you, we will ask you to send in a further deposit. This is for remaining UK administrative costs, such as your medical and criminal record checks, in-country and other necessary preparatory costs that have to be paid in advance, and again, this is non-refundable.
You will need to pay the final balance a month before you travel.
As soon as you have completed your application form we will contact you about fundraising and setting up your JustGiving page. If you would like more inspiration, check out Tearfund's fundraising webzone and Nia’s blog, giving eight great tips.
You’ll receive all the information you need to know to prepare you for your placement, including: in-depth medical and travel advice, travel insurance information, cultural guidelines, fundraising ideas and advice about involving your local church.
Pre-departure training: You must attend our pre-departure training. This will be the first time you met your team. The event will prepare you to visit a new culture, and help you and your team get to know each other. There will be other sessions on culture, staying healthy, safety and security, information about where you are going, as well as plenty of time to focus on God. We take health and safety very seriously and comply with the Global Connections Code of Best Practise in providing you with adequate insurance cover, 24-hour support whilst overseas and appropriate medical equipment and training.
Debrief: On your return to the UK you will be offered a debrief for your team. This is an excellent opportunity to renew friendships, to review what you've experience, and to thank God for all that He has done and to ensure that it continues to impact your life.
Promotion: If you'd like to promote your placement with the media, contact our communications manager: email@example.com
When we first meet you at an interview day or at pre-departure training, we will give you some ideas about fundraising. If you would like more inspiration, check out Tearfund's fundraising webzone and Nia’s blog with eight fundraising tips.
We don’t ask you to pay the whole cost all at once!
When you apply you are required to send in a non-refundable deposit. The deposit covers the administrative costs of processing your application, interviewing and/or assigning you to a team.
After we have confirmed your place and selected you, we will ask you to send in a further deposit. This is for administrative, preparatory, in-country and other costs that have to be paid in advance, and again, this is non-refundable.
All sorts! It totally depends on which country you choose and which partner you volunteer alongside. But we are normally correct when we say...
Here are some recent examples:
In Cambodia: Tearfund's partner CHO works closely with children, providing education. Volunteers have brought their personal education experience to help teach English, run sports, and lead Bible studies. CHO also has an incredible Social Enterprise called Destiny Cafe where the volunteers get an opportunity to work alongside locals and develop new innovative ways to expand business in the area.
In India: Tearfund's partners have invited prayer teams to join them for two weeks. Volunteers bring their fresh enthusiasm and commitment to prayer, coming alongside partners and beneficiaries, often resulting in a fresh awakening of God's power at work.
This totally varies from team to team, but we can guarantee that you will have a mattress under you and a roof over you! You may be sleeping in a church, house, school, or simple guesthouse. Two-week teams tend to live in a guesthouse with running water. Food will usually be a mixture of local food and English food. It's hard to predict what you will encounter so you need to expect the unexpected. Our most common complaint from teams is that they are treated too well!
Sometimes it's hard to navigate your way around new sites, so we'd love to chat to you over the phone or email.