“HELPS” is a new Glenn Family Foundation programme that identifies and fills rural community needs by sending post graduate students, or “GFF Representatives” to work alongside these communities for 6 months at a time. Our projects focus on health, education, livelihoods, personal development and skill building.


The Glenn Family Foundation, founded by Sir Owen Glenn, began its work in the 1980’s in Macau and India, focusing primarily on infrastructure for healthcare, education and sanitation. Today it still functions in a grant making capacity –  supporting cancer research, ophthalmic surgery and education.Today GFF also operates in the Philippines, Vietnam, and most recently Nepal and China through our HELPS programme.

While this is still a new programme, we have already learned a lot and have seen some inspiring responses to our Representatives and to our work. Our Representatives are also forever changed by the experience and humbled by the resilience they witness in these communities despite their relative lack of resources.


Our Programme

This programme recruits primarily from Sydney or New Zealand as we need Representatives to attend briefings and debriefings. We also recruit from the locations we work in. Recruitment is ongoing and dependent on the needs of each programme.

The placement term is 6 months and Representatives work in a team of two and often in collaboration with a local NGO. We conduct our own research or learn from NGOs and local experts what the unique needs and strengths are within the community and we develop a series of projects that will help to address those needs. By being immersed in the local community for 6 months, our Representatives are able to build good relationships and design thoughtful projects that speak to the need and can be sustained. Each new Representative we send builds on the work of the previous and helps us to learn and strengthen our projects.

GFF covers all basic costs and offers an honorarium at the end of a successful placement. Representatives receive a contract before their placement that describes the Terms and Conditions and our expectations.

Our Representatives

This is not your typical volunteer program. Our Representatives play a key role in the development of their own projects with our support and have to show a certain level of initiative, maturity, sensitivity and courage. We have been very impressed with the calibre of Representatives we have had so far. Each has brought their unique skills into the mix and have been able to form good relationships with local stakeholders and execute their projects despite challenging contexts.

As a GFF Representative, you will be expected to:

  • Show initiative by meeting with local NGOs, identifying needs, and researching new project ideas
  • Take ownership of your projects: this means designing them, or being responsible for continuing existing projects, putting together budgets and making all the necessary arrangements. You will execute them as planned and report back to GFF
  • You will work in a team of two, however you will have regular contact with NGOs and local beneficiaries and you will have supervision call from GFF staff each week to discuss your progress and any concerns.

To be eligible for the programme, you should:

  • Be between the ages of 20 and 35
  • Reside in Sydney or New Zealand (or be recommended by one of our Representatives and reside in one of our programme locations)
  • Have a current passport with 6 months validity
  • Relevant education or experience relating to our projects (being able to speak the local language is an advantage)
  • Experience volunteering for non-profit organisations or travelling
  • Availability to commit to a 6 month programme
  • Comfortable working in a small team of two
  • Good communication skills and cultural sensitivity
  • Mature and able to take own initiative without detailed instructions
  • Comfortable being out of your comfort zone and dealing with challenging situations
  • Comfortable living and working in basic environments without modern comforts
  • Healthy and fit enough to undertake some physical work if required
  • A good sense of humour

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