Volunteer to build a home or a school

Are you looking to make a difference and have a vacation that’s life changing?


What is it?

Provide a family with security and stability by volunteering to build a home. The home will be outfitted with proper water and sanitation facilities thereby improving the family’s health. Access to a safe home allows a family to raise their children in a safe environment and to focus on their livelihood and education.

What will you do?

You’ll be able to hammer, build windows and install doors and paint the house. No experience necessary.

Where & when will you build?

Volunteers build homes in Jamaica.

If you’re planning a vacation to Jamaica and want to spend a day of your trip building a home we can work with your schedule to arrange the build.

What will it cost?

If you’re travelling with friends and family everyone can fundraise to contribute to the total cost of building a home of $7,200 USD.  This will build a two bedroom home with living room, kitchen and bathroom.



What is it?

Volunteer to build a school and you will be part of a movement to improve early childhood education in Jamaica. When children are educated, they develop the skills and confidence to help lift their families out of poverty and build strong communities for generations to come. In the last five years, Food For The Poor has built 100 schools across Jamaica.

What will you do?

Our local team will install the foundation, so that when you arrive you’ll be able to assist with framing and painting. No experience necessary!

Where & when will you build?

Volunteers will build in Jamaica.

Typically there is one open volunteer school build each year in the spring. Alternatively, you can assemble your own team and we can arrange your own school build.

What will it cost?

Through the generosity of our donors Food For The Poor has been able to build 100 schools. We ask each individual to fundraise $3,000 to contribute towards the cost of the school.  This funds a three classroom school, bathrooms, sick bay, an office and kitchen along with the fence and playground.

What is the itinerary?

Volunteers fly down to Jamaica on the weekend and take Monday to relax and meet the team. The team will build on the mornings of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with an opening dedication on the final day. Teams build in the morning (4 hours), as it’s often too hot in the afternoon. There will be a final thank you and farewell team dinner Thursday evening. Friday is departure day or volunteers may choose to stay a few extra days.

 What about accommodation, transportation and meals?

Partnering with a travel agent we work to find an affordable option while ensuring everyone’s safety. Teams usually book an all-inclusive package which means flight, hotel and meals are all covered. These costs are separate from the donation and are paid directly to the travel agent.

We hire a bus to transport the team to and from the build site each day.

How old do you have to be to volunteer?

While youth participation is encouraged, Food For The Poor Canada asks that volunteers be at least 10 years old, with adult supervision.


Volunteer Resources:

Registration and Liability Waiver
Registration and Liability Waiver for Minors
General Itinerary
Volunteers Next Steps
Useful Volunteer Information


For more information about volunteering please email:

Terri Venkataramaiah
Director of Programming


Take a look!
Watch our video celebrating our 10th anniversary that will give you a better sense of our builds: