MADRID, SPAIN. Aside from the usual sightseeing at the Museo del Prado or the nightlife exploring in the always-lively Sol, foreigners living in Madrid also have the opportunity to get involved with the numerous volunteer organizations available.

The city thrives on NGO’s (non-governmental organizations), specifically volunteer groups that focus on various sectors ranging from education development to children’s shelters. Below is a list of some volunteer organizations that I was able to get information on, through other foreigners like myself who are currently volunteering. These organizations are open to taking anyone who is passionate about lending a hand to the community.


This organization specializes in the social integration of children and young people living in shelters or broken families. Volunteers get together to collaborate on various programs and projects aimed at fostering this cause.


  1. Educate Smiles is a tutoring program aimed at helping children to improve their academic and emotional situation. Tutoring sessions are once a week.
  2. Friends Forever coordinates weekly social activities such as sports and cultural integration activities to prevent social exclusion
  3. Training and Job Placement provides training workshops for those over 16 years old to facilitate a smooth transition to the workforce

If you’re a foreigner who has just moved to Madrid, it is a great idea to join the expat social network, InterNations.

Sonar Despierto recently teamed up with InterNations in hopes to seek potential volunteers to join them in their mission. At their first meeting, they discussed organizing a treasure hunt in Retiro Park, where the organization would contact their residential institutions and invite children to come out for the event. InterNations volunteers would then help organize the event and come up with activities or contribute food for a picnic.

You can visit for more information on how to become a volunteer.


This organization welcomes individual volunteers and even companies who want to leave a mark. Individuals can be involved in a specific project, help with educational support for school-aged children, or teach an important skill or hobby.

The main focus of this organization is to aid children and adolescents who are at a disadvantage in their educational process as well as foster training for young and unemployed people. Volunteer opportunities are centered around the development of the individual.

There are many events that the organization coordinates catered towards the students and adults they serve throughout the year. For example, the foundation recently had their 30th anniversary, in which public officials, donors, volunteers, and those they serve all attended.

Additionally, there are always regular events such as leisure and recreation activities with students and adults or interactive learning groups for teenagers.

The foundation relies heavily on volunteers, almost all employees in the office are volunteers themselves. Thus, it is very easy to join their team. The foundation keeps all of their current and potential volunteers up-to-date via their Facebook and Twitter page.

For information on how to join their team, visit


If you are interested in how visa processes work, this organization may be the one for you to volunteer at. Hombre y Tierra assists with the various types of visa statuses that people would need.

Originally starting out as only providing assistance to people from Iberian countries, the organization has expanded ever since and now assists with any type of immigration status.

Small to medium legal matters are also what this organization assists with. Locals and immigrants can come to Hombre y Tierra with any impending legal matter as long as they are misdemeanor cases or are family-related.

Hombre y Tierra receives most of its volunteers and interns through service providers, for example, the main one being a company called EUSA. However, you could also directly apply for a volunteer position. As this NGO is more specialized than others, having a skill and interest for immigrant relations is essential.

The main way to find out about this NGO is through word-of-mouth. Moreover, the founder has a good reputation amongst the immigrant community in Madrid. She has dealt with many clients and their struggles with immigration business and legal matters.

For more information on how to join their team, visit


This organization’s main goal is to understand citizens-turned-homeless in Madrid so that they can assist them in the best way possible and mitigate their social exclusion. After all, those homeless were just like us at one point.

Volunteer members reach out to the homeless and assess their situation. Bokatas works with several other professional organizations with the same mission, in order to better bridge the gap between the homeless and the rest of the city’s citizens.

Essentially, volunteers get together to prepare food and beverages, then make their routes to find the homeless and provide them with food and conversation. Additionally, there are volunteers who do more behind-the-scenes work—organizing events, managing finances, and contacting other NGO’s to create partnerships. Most volunteers donate one afternoon of their week.

Bokatas welcomes all volunteers with a simple sign-up process—sending an email to the organization’s info email address. Volunteers are then put in contact with coordinators according to their chosen location. Most volunteers, if not all, are in fact bilingual. Thus, this provides a great opportunity for foreigners in Madrid to meet many other international people like themselves.

There are also plenty of yearly events such as Christmas parties, dinners, day trips, soccer matches, and live music in which all volunteers and the homeless are invited. Moreover, because all members of the organization are volunteers, none are paid. Many volunteers are college students while some are volunteers alongside their current paid jobs.

For more information on how to join their team, visit