The requirements for volunteers to have at least a couple of years’ work experience and relevant qualifications means it is unusual to send anyone under the age of 25.
Students aged 30 and under who are in their final year studying Development Studies, Geography, Marketing, Communications or related disciplines at Otago, Victoria, and Massey universities or are from the School of Social Sciences at University of Auckland may be eligible to apply for VSA’s UniVol programme.
Impact of COVID-19
The safety, health and wellbeing of our volunteers is of absolute importance to us. We have a duty of care to all our volunteers and to the communities in which we work.
It is critical that we do not place any extra burdens on partner organisations, communities and the health infrastructure in the countries where we operate.
The medical advice over COVID-19’s risk factors, based on international, science-based evidence, is that certain groups of people are much more susceptible to more serious symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
Those at higher risk include people with certain existing medical conditions and the risk of severe illness, hospitalisation and death also increases with age. These risks can be significantly mitigated through vaccination. It is therefore a requirement that all volunteers and accompanying partners be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 consistent with public health recommendations. Additional precautions and treatment measures have been implemented throughout our in-country operations, to allow for a safe resumption.
At this stage, an age limit exists of 70 years for assignments in Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu. For assignments in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands, an age limit of 65 years applies. These current age limits are informed by medical advice and risk assessment of all Programme countries, including relating to medical treatment and retrieval factors. Volunteer Service Abroad reserves the right to alter these requirements. The situation continues to be reviewed, including at an individualised level through the health preparation and medical clearance process.
E-volunteers who are working remotely from New Zealand and whose assignment does not require overseas travel are not affected.