Got an hour or a day to spare? Get stuck in with helping out at a charity or organisation in the Grand Duchy.
Oscar Wilde once said that "the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." Giving your time to help others is one of the best ways of making a positive difference in the world.
But volunteering can also be a great way to develop your skills, make friends, stay physically active, and maintain a positive outlook on life.
Before you pitch in, though, you'll want to think about what skills you already have and how much time you have to offer. It's also worth considering what issues you care about, as helping out a cause that matters to you is likely to be far more motivating.
We'll start off with some suggestions of places looking for help, then set out some structured volunteering options for young people.
There's myriad opportunities to volunteer in the Grand Duchy, so if the below don't suit, here are a few tips to find the right volunteer opportunity for you:
- Look at the website of charities or organisations you know about or are involved with. They'll often be advertising for volunteers. We've listed some of the main ones here.
- Even if they're not, message them with an offer to help, listing your skills and availability.
- Look at noticeboards in schools, community centres, shops and workplaces.
- Or try the digital equivalent. You can check out Facebook groups like Luxembourg Expats, and if nothing is obvious, try posting asking if any organisation is looking for help.
Five places looking for volunteers
1. Serve the City - founded in Brussels in 2005, this organisation relies entirely on its roster of hundreds of volunteers to help Luxembourg's homeless, asylum seekers, disabled, elderly and more.
They work with partner organisations to help provide vital services, like the twice-monthly Street Team which meets homeless and people in need on the streets, talks with them and brings them food and drink.
They combine that with a community-building mission, organising events that bring volunteers and people ion need together, such as movie nights and beauty events.
2. Scouts and guides - the scouting movement aims to develop young people physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Scout and guide leaders and helpers run activities for children and young people that provide opportunities for them to learn new skills and contribute to the community.
Telstar International Scouts is an English-language group for bots and girls aged 6 and up, you can contact them here if you'd like to help.
FNEL Scouts & Guides have groups across the country for 6 to 26 year olds. You can sign up to help here.
Girlguiding Luxembourg has six units in the Grand Duchy and actively encourages parental involvement. More information here.
3. natur & ëmwelt - if you are passionate about nature, this organisation offers exciting volunteering options, from working on nature reserves across the Grand Duchy, to teaching children about biodiversity, or helping to care for vulnerable wild animals. You can express interest for volunteering here (website in French and German).
4. Sportunity is all about using sport to improve young people's lives. They organise classes, community events and mentoring to encourage young people to be active, bring people together, and support those in need.
You can sign up to be a Local Buddy, a project run in collaboration with the National Youth Service (SNJ), which helps refugees to integrate through sport.
5. RYSE volunteers support 150 youth refugees from 15 different countries, providing mentoring and local work experience by placing refugees as volunteers within other organisations.
There are three ways of getting involved. You can either volunteer as a mentor, working one-on-one to assist and advise a refugee. Or you can donate some time to share your skills, such as conversation practice or help with maths or IT. Finally, if you represent a cooperative or social enterprise, you can partner with RYSE to provide volunteer opportunities for refugees.
Go here to find out more.
Voluntary service for young people
If you're aged between 16 and 30 and have completed your voluntary schooling, you can register on a supported full-time volunteering programme for up to 12 months.
To be eligible, you must: be legally resident in Luxembourg; speak Luxembourgish, French, or German and be registered as a volunteer worker with the SNJ.
The volunteer programme will help you develop personal and professional skills, and may help towards a formal qualification. You'll also get financial support from the government (assuming you're aged 18 or over), as well as pocket money, discounts at places like cinemas, and Social Security registration.
There are three programmes available:
1. The National Volunteer Service (SVN), which will place you in a host organisation in Luxembourg. You'll be placed through a local youth branch of the SNJ.
2. The European Solidarity Corps (CES), an EU initiative that can place you in Luxembourg or abroad. Projects include areas such as the arts, environment, and sport.
3. The Development Volunteer Service (SVC), which will place you with an NGO in a developing country.