AFSAI accepts applicants from 18 to 35 years old, but exceptions for older applicants are possible. The volunteers usually have community placement and social work activities.
Placements in Italy are possible in alternative living situation (community). Placements in host families are very rare and possible only in very exceptional cases.  In Italy volunteers could be placed both in Northern, Central and Southern Italy as well as in the two main islands: Sardinia and Sicily.
Most of our placements are based in small villages, surrounded by nature and nice fileds. 


  • Collection at airport or at the train station. The arrival airport change according to the placement;   
  • Placement in a local project;
  • Accommodation at the project and food 7 days per week;
  • Volunteers Orientation via skype with AFSAI staff.
  • Project orientation upon arrival and ongoing support from project mentor;
  • Ongoing support from AFSAI office;
  • Emergency support from AFSAI office (24/7);
  • Certificates (if required);
  • Visa support information (if necessary);
  • Invitation to any training organized by AFSAI with International Volunteers (usually 3 a year)


Volunteers will work 35 hours per week for all projects FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY. The volunteering shifts might vary according to hosting project needs. Week-ends (Saturdays and Sundays) are usually free. If the participant is asked to volunteer on Saturdays and Sundays s/he can have 2 free days the following week. Only Farms ask the volunteers to volunteer also on Saturdays mornings, but volunteering hours are always 35 per week. 


Aurora Caruso
+39 06 5370332 

FIELD: elderly people

The ‘Santa Maria’ public service corporation is a non-profit body offering welfare services, whose Mission is to provide both residential (Nursing Home, Care Home) and semi – residential services (Elderly Day Care Centre, podiatrist, counselling service) to elderly people. These are especially intended for elderly or disabled people, for internal as well as external users.

At the moment, the facility hosts 143 users. The guest must be at the centre of our philosophy, therefore we do our best to:

  1. Provide outstanding person-centered care through a high quality tailored service in a neat and tidy environment.
  2. Create an organizational climate, promote the team’s well-being, ensure continuing professional and organizational development aimed at achieving innovation;
  3. Be an organization that learns and encourages the lifelong learning of its members;
  4. Be open and receptive to the territory’s needs.

Description of the tasks of the volunteer: 

After a first period necessary to know the structure of Santa Maria, the volunteer will be gradually involved in the activities of the services regarding the Centres socio-educational, the Residential Community and summer and winter holidays. 

The volunteer will share part of his/her daily life with the guests and will collaborate with the staff in order to achieve a warm and welcoming environment.

Therefore, under the supervision of the staff and with the aim of supporting its work, the volunteer will carry out some of the following activities within the Nursing Home and the Day Centre: 

  • Serve meals to non self-sufficient guests, tidying up the rooms, bring the guests to recreational activities or to receive treatments, and so on;
  • Educational/recreational activities together with the guests: e.g. singing, painting, horticulture, wicker, sewing, cooking; trips during the summer; exhibitions with reading and photos about the volunteer’s home town.
  • Support during the physiotherapy treatments, low-impact exercise, walking. 

Within this service the volunteers will always  be a support of thesocial workers and will be a resource within the activity groups. The volunteers will live the day in strict contact with elederly people. 

Promotion: the volunteers could be involved with social issues within the territory where they give the service, they could have the possibility to take part in meetings in the community helping to create a familiar atmosphere. 

Animation of the community: Volunteers will have the chance to participate and support the organization of the activities promoted by Santa Maria in the local community, like special events or parties. 

It is important to underline that the volunteers within the structure will not substitute any professional staff but they have role of integration and collaboration. These people are: the responsible of the service, the educators, the socio-assistance operators and other volunteers. 

The responsible of the service: gives indication and information about what should be done, controls what is done, indicates and takes part to evaluation moments about the volunteers.

The educator: gives operational indication about the way to deal with the disabled people.

The socio-assistance operators: has the task to help the volunteers with the relation with the people of the community

Other volunteers: the cooperation and confrontation with them will be important for the exchange of experience.

Departures - Projects