Teams of PBI volunteers provide life-saving support to human rights defenders and organisations whose lives and work are threatened by violence. Volunteers are a powerful symbol of international human rights concern, protecting those working for nonviolent social change and the pursuit of justice around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering for PBI

Read the experiences of some current and former field volunteers

Current Field Volunteer Recruitment:

Field projects carry out recruitment of volunteers 1-2 times a year. If the application processes are not currently open keep an eye on the linked pages below for updates.

PBI Guatemala - Deadline 1st August 2021.

PBI Colombia - Not currently open for applications.

PBI Honduras -  Deadline 3rd May 2021.

PBI Mexico - Not currently open for applications.

Please note that PBI projects in Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal and Nicaragua are run by in-country staff and do not have field volunteers. If you are considering submitting an application but would like to speak to someone first, please contact or call us on the number below.

Preparation process

Each volunteer goes through a training period to fully prepare them for the challenges of working with a PBI field project. If you are interested in volunteering, you must meet the language requirements of the project you're interested in. If you are living in the UK, the UK office should be your first point of contact for information and support throughout the application process. Please note that, due to security considerations, it is a PBI policy that no nationals are eligible to apply for in-country positions in their own countries. Successful candidates are expected to serve a minimum of twelve months as a field volunteer.

Orientation weekend

A PBI UK orientation weekend provides a useful general introduction to the principles, aims and policies of Peace Brigades International. It is designed to be an informative and enjoyable weekend for anyone wanting to learn more about the work of PBI and international accompaniment. The weekends are led by returned field volunteers and take the form of an intensive residential training over 2-3 days. The sessions deal with the principles of non-violence and non-partisanship, and the trainers explain their practical application to the specific countries where they have served with PBI.

Register for a place on an upcoming orientation weekend

Read about one person's experience on an orientation weekend

There are two to three orientation weekends held each year, usually in spring, late summer and autumn. Contact the office at the address below if you are interested.

Application and Training

Each field project runs its own recruitment and training processes. Please see the links at the top of this page to apply directly to the projects. Once your application has been accepted and you have had an interview with the training team, the next stage for joining a project as a field volunteer is participating in a regional training. Each project holds between one and three trainings each year in Europe, America and the Asia/Pacific region. In the 7-10 day training, potential volunteers will look at the history and current political situation in the project country, the causes of the conflict and PBI's role in that situation. Participants will explore concrete situations that a field volunteer may encounter. At the end of the training, a decision is made on whether candidates are ready to join the project.

Criteria for field volunteers

Specific requirements vary between projects, but this is a general guide:

  • A thorough understanding of and commitment to PBI's principles.
  • Language skills - fluent Spanish is essential for working in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia. The Kenya team use English.
  • Cultural sensitivity - experience of working with people of different cultures.
  • Discretion and diplomacy.
  • Maturity - there is no age limit for volunteering on a PBI project but most volunteers are aged 25 or over.
  • The ability to analyse political situations.
  • Resilience - the ability to work effectively under pressure and stress.
  • Experience of living and working in groups - familiarity with consensus decision-making and teamwork.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the history, politics and culture of the country where you are working.
  • The ability to deal confidently with a range of people including representatives of NGOs, government bodies and embassies.
  • The ability to learn quickly, analyse situations and rapidly assess their significance.
  • Flexbility - the ability to change tactics, work and opinions.
  • A willingness to carry out basic administrative and housekeeping tasks.
  • Practical skills - IT, bookkeeping, writing, photography, cooking, and many other skills are useful