Team Leader

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:

  • 6 month placements: £3,800.00
  • 3 month placements: £2,750.00
  • 4 week placements: £1,900.00
  • 2 week placements: £1,150.00

*Please note…

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 ‘All you need to know’ section.

Apply today!

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?

  • A commitment to the vision, values and aims of Tearfund and the International Volunteering Team
  • A passion for social justice and international development
  • A heart for leadership, discipleship and investing in the personal and spiritual development of others
  • Ability to organise, plan and manage the team's participation in projects in-country
  • Flexible and ability to respond to and adapt to change
  • Experience of working with and supporting diverse groups of people
  • Ability to handle conflict and sensitive situations
  • Ability to support team members who may be experiencing challenges
  • The ability to maintain your own spiritual development and support the spiritual development of others
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Good listener
  • A desire to learn, embrace challenges and develop personally
  • Previous experience of volunteering overseas may be beneficial but is not essential

What would I gain?

  • Cross-cultural skills, experience of life in diverse communities and cultures in some of the world’s poorest countries
  • An opportunity to understand more about the diverse realities of our world and God’s heart for His people
  • Bespoke leadership training from Tearfund
  • Experience of leadership and providing pastoral support
  • The opportunity to develop your communication, interpersonal, teamwork, negotiation and organisational skills
  • Subsidised trip costs

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. In the first choice select the 'Team Leader' option. In the second and third choices, please select your trip options.

Still unsure? Give us a call today to chat through whether you could be a team leader on 020 8943 7777 or email us at

'I learnt that communication is key! Do not let things stew.'

Team Leader
Country: Cambodia

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?

  • That communication is key! Do not let things stew, rather talk things through before they become an issue.
  • Also that my feelings and mistakes were okay too, sometimes it is easy to fall into the mindset that because you are a leader you have to be perfect; if you are living with people for six months this is impossible to keep up.

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.

'God is infinitely gracious: he will guide you, equip you and empower you'

Team Leader
Country: Tanzania

Why did you apply to volunteer with Tearfund?

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!

What work did your team do?

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!

What were some of your responsibilities as a team leader?

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.

What were some of the challenges of being a team leader?

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.

What did you enjoy most about leading your team?

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.

What things did you learn while leading?

  • I learnt a lot about how to delegate and when to take a step back.
  • I also realised that I can be assertive when necessary to resolve issues or get things done!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to be a team leader?

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!

What three qualities are helpful in a Team Leader?

Resilience, patience and gentleness.

Have you got what it takes to lead?

Apply today!


I really loved spending time with CHO and meeting all the staff there. It was really humbling to see their faith in action and how welcoming they were. You could see how much they loved their community.

Hannah Falgate

Such an incredible experience! It’s only having visited Christians abroad that the idea of us as a global church family has hit home - they’re our family!! Great to be able to support and partner with them in all the fantastic projects that they do.

Tom Carter

Life changing! It was so amazing to see a community being changed by such an inspiring and God centred group of people. They are changing so many lives and have such a passion to see God’s kingdom come to Cambodia.

Emily Price
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