Volunteering with Children
As a Member of Open Arms, you will be offered the opportunity to volunteer in our programs, according to your availability and preferences. Volunteers on our programs should be resident in or near Seoul* and available to help out on a regular basis for 2-3 hours a week for at least 6 months, depending on the program - the children need to build reliable and consistent relationships with a team of committed volunteers. Our hope is that some of these relationships will continue much further, through the various programs as the children grow up!
The process for becoming a Member and a volunteer is exactly the same. If you are prepared to meet the criteria for Membership you will be invited to attend a meeting with other enquirers and members of the leadership team (our Information Sessions) to learn more about us with no obligation. If you decide to commit, we will send you our Registration form to fill in online, and ask you to sign our Code of Conduct (digitally or on paper). We will contact you to confirm your application has been accepted. This process is explained during our Information Sessions. If you are interested in becoming a Member, please fill in our Initial Interest form linked below, and we will be in touch!
*Unfortunately at this time we cannot sponsor volunteers to come from abroad, or offer letters of introduction for the purposes of a visa.
Our Volunteer Criteria for working with Children
The Volunteer-Child Relationship involves:
A caring attitude to give time and effort to building relationships with the children in our programs. These will not be exclusive relationships with one child, unless you are mentoring or tutoring an individual.
Enthusiasm for working with children, listening to them, being patient and kind, understanding their challenges and strengths, encouraging them and being there for them, having fun together;
Dedication and dependability: showing up to sessions on time and prepared, committing to regular attendance over time, being consistent and trustworthy;
Availability to develop skills: attend training courses, develop and share knowledge about the challenges orphans face, advocate for orphans
The Volunteer-Open Arms Relationship involves:
Cooperation as part of a team, responsiveness to emails and Signal messages, communicating effectively to support one another and overcome challenges, resolving concerns with teamwork;
Conscientiousness: supporting the team by turning up to programs and sessions as expected, undergoing training courses as required, attending meetings, communicating unavoidable absences, filing necessary paperwork;
Openness and discretion: open-mindedness around cultural differences, being discreet about confidential matters, especially related to child protection.
We currently work with 3 Children's Welfare Centers in Seoul. Our programs run as below:
Covid update on Programs: Currently there are NO Toddler programs running.
If you are you interested in the work of Open Arms, keen to use your skills to further our work with children, live in or near Seoul and have one or two hours a week to give for 6 months or more, it seems like volunteering for Open Arms would be a good fit for you. But did you know that there are many benefits to volunteering, and serving an amazing cause is only one of them? Read on to learn more,
giving a child a
better start in life
”The difference between success and failure is one person. Programs, supplies, etc. are great. But without one person, it is so hard for them to make it.” Director Park, Shinmangwon
At Open Arms this is our primary focus. So whether you are a parent, a teacher, or just someone with a heart for the needs of children, we think Open Arms will be a great opportunity for you to make a difference to the lives of orphans here in Korea!
"I love volunteering with the Open Arms team to share encouragement with the precious children in local welfare homes in Seoul - with hopes of helping them build a brighter future.” Dee Dee (volunteer)
At Open Arms we work as a team to create and run our programs, build up our organisation and set our strategy. So if you enjoy meeting new people, working together to achieve a goal, and putting your skills to good use, we here at Open Arms are looking forward to getting to know you!
involving your friends, family and community
“I think the most valuable thing about our project was that we were able to make a change to the kids. We measured the impact by seeing the kids do the things that we sent them successfully.” Grace (school student)
At Open Arms, there are plenty of opportunities for families, friends and communities to get involved, whether it be creating resources for our programs, raising funds, or organizing treats. Let's work together!
giving back to
“Serving the needs of the less fortunate, I want to provide love and hope for the orphaned children of Korea and be able to grow the Open Arms program so we can reach more children in need.” Eric (volunteer)
At Open Arms, we value Korean and international members and have a variety of roles available whether you speak English or Korean. Perhaps you have reached a point in your life when you feel it’s time to “pay it forward” for those who may struggle to achieve what you have. We want to work with you!
developing personal skills and a sense of purpose
“I have been a part of Open Arms since its inception. Working with kids here in Seoul has been a rewarding part of our stay. I have learned so much Korean from my precious students while teaching them English. It's a great symbiotic relationship!” MiYong (volunteer)
At Open Arms, you will use skills and qualities that perhaps you didn’t know you had. We hope you will gain a sense of pride and achievement as you help us grow with the orphans we work with.
Let's Make A Change Together
Here are some ways you can reach out to us:
Support Education for Korean Orphans