Volunteer in Amsterdam

Voluntary work presents an endless list of opportunities, especially if you pick a field where your interest lies. If you like sports, you could volunteer at a sports association, if you're interested in culture, you could work for cultural events, if you're an outdoorsy person, you could try working with nature and animals and so forth. Working with the youth, assisting the disabled or helping newcomers to Amsterdam find their feet in the city also belong to the many options.

Amsterdam’s VCA volunteer centre

The VCA or Vrijwilligerscentrale Amsterdam is the main hub for volunteer work in the city, providing administration, advice and support for non-Dutch speakers and voluntary organisations. The service is currently offered at four locations: in the Centre, Noord, Zuidoost and Nieuw-West Districts of Amsterdam.

Volunteers can access over a 1000 different volunteering opportunities via the online vrijwilligersbank (vacancy bank) and by typing Anderstaligen, or at a branch. If you pop in store, you can ask to speak to an English-speaking advisor who will assist you with any questions regarding placements, regulations and rights. You will be matched with an interesting vacancy based on your skills and interests.

For more information, visit VCA.

The Rainbow Group

The Rainbow Group organises orientation meetings for expats who are interested in doing voluntary work with vulnerable people in Amsterdam (homeless, poor, drug addicts, those with a psychiatric background, or even victims of human trafficking). The organisation is one of the biggest in Amsterdam for voluntary work and is still searching for new expat volunteers. For further information and sign-up form, visit the website of the Vrijwilligers Academie.

Paid and unpaid voluntary work

Opportunities to use your English-language skills are as diverse as the placements themselves. Charity organisations, religious institutions, social institutions and non-profit organisations are always searching for volunteers. Here’s a few websites that offer both paid and non-paid vacancies:

  • ACCESS - a non-profit organisation that lists English-speaking services for the international community including news of events, courses and a counselling referral service

  • Amnesty International - focuses on humanity and human rights

  • Amsterdam Cares - an Amsterdam-based organisation specialising in flexible voluntary work

  • Burennetwerk Amsterdam - a communication network offering volunteers suitable positions and helping others in their neighbourhoods

  • Friends of the Earth - a global organisation dedicated to environmental issues

  • Greenpeace Nederland - the largest environmental organisation in the world

  • Laluz - a volunteer organisation aimed specifically at helping young professionals aged 25 to 40 share their expertise on a voluntary basis

  • Nowhere - a cultural organisation for young people in Amsterdam

  • Stichting Present - an organisation bringing volunteers into contact with people who require assistance

  • World Wide Volunteering - a database covering 1000 voluntary organisations in 214 countries around the world