Call for volunteers

Overseas Performing Arts Practitioner

Applications have been reopened for Kenya 2019 Tour 

10 week tour: January to March 2019


email your interest with your name and we will get back to you.

We will be opening applications for the Jan 2020 tours from 1st April to 1st July 2019.


Job Description

We are looking for experienced, adventurous and self motivated volunteers who can perform and teach a range of skills whilst travelling to India, Nicaragua or Kenya on a PWB tour. Volunteers will be spending up to a month at a time with various groups of disadvantaged children in one of these countries, teaching the children and performing in the local area for various organisations.

We give volunteers from around the world the opportunity to come together and work with groups of deprived young people in developing countries. We give these young people the chance to learn performance skills and through this develop their own show to be performed at the end of the month visit. We aim to build long lasting relationships with the organisations we work with and their communities. We do this through regular visits and on-going work with these groups.

Our feedback from our previous volunteers is most often that this is an incredibly life changing positive experience. A challenge that teaches you important life skills and helps develop you as a human being. It’s great to put on your CV too.

To Apply

Tour applications will be open again from the 1st April to the 1st July each year for the tours the following January. This is so that candidates who are selected early can start fundraising as early as possible. We aim to have all teams selected by the 1st of September.

You will have to fill in the online application form linked below and provide a referee who we can contact and also provide links to a 5 minute video showcasing your performance skills. This application will take some time so please leave plenty of time to complete it. You will be able to skip sections but every field marked with a * will need to be completed before submission. You will be able to save your progress and return to cpmplete it at a later time. Applications won’t be accepted without a URL link to a supporting video. Here is the brief for the video.



The Tours

In general a PWB tour consists of:

  • a 1-2 week training camp in country to allow you to get to know your team and become acclimatised, put together a show, and finalise the curriculum you will be teaching.
  • 2 or 3 projects (depending on the tour) with one of our key partners.  These will last approximately 3-4 weeks for each project. These are organisations that work with vulnerable children and young people in the countries we work.
  • Regular out-reach projects. These are performances and workshops that last just one or two days.

The tours will be facilitated by experienced PWB volunteers who have toured previously with PWB in that country. They will form the Tour Leader Team and a Tour Coordinator will guide the tour from day-to-day in country.


More specifically the individual projects will be made up of the following elements:

India: 1x 2 week projects, 2-3 x one month long projects in Varanasi and Darjeeling and maybe Calcutta, broken up by at least 1 x 10 day/2 week break TOTAL= 3.5 to 4.5 months. Rough dates January to end April.

Nicaragua: 2 x month long projects in Leon and San Marcos, 1 x shorter project in Granada/Managua, 1 x 1 week break between the two longer projects. TOTAL= 3 months. Rough dates January to end March.

Kenya: 1-2 weeks working in Nairobi alongside national artists and teachers. 2 x projects each lasting 3 weeks with a small break in the middle. The 2019 Kenya tour is a shorter project, running for 10 weeks. This tour requires volunteers with a higher level of circus experience as we collaborate with the National Circus training school in Nairobi.  We also look for volunteers who have teaching experience with vulnerable young people as we collaborate with at risk young people throughout this project. Currently this is looking to start in January.

Strong volunteers from this year will also have the opportunity to become a Tour Coordinator, or become part of the Tour Leader team for subsequent tours.



You will be asked to raise your own funds to go on the tour which is all part of the experience. The approximate contribution you will required to make is listed below plus you will also have to pay for your own flights and travel insurance (see below):

India 2019: approx £750

Nicaragua 2019: approx £900

Kenya 2019: approx £1000

This contribution is non refundable and must be paid in full before 20th December 2018. A £100 non refundable deposit will be required within a week of accepting your place on tour. The money goes towards food, travel, workshop equipment and accommodation whilst on tour.

You will also need additional funds for your own flights, insurance and vaccinations. Please check flights to Goa (India), Managua (Nicaragua) and Nairobi (Kenya) for an idea of this cost. You will also need your own spending money for day-to-day extras and for time off during the tours (approx 2-3 weeks).

PWB projects run on a tight budget and we don’t ask you for any more than we need to be able to run the tours.  We fundraise ourselves to help cover the costs of the tour coordinator who has to work before, during and after the tour. We take minimal admin costs, everything else is run by volunteers.

Where the money goes:

PWB projects run on a tight budget and we don’t ask you for any more than we need to be able to run the tours.  We fundraise ourselves to help cover the costs of the tour coordinator who has to work before, during and after the tour. We take minimal admin costs, everything else is run by volunteers.  PWB look for the most cost effective, convenient and reasonable ways to run projects and try to keep everyone happy. The money you pay as a contribution to PWB covers the following things WHILST WORKING ON PROJECTS (you will need to fund your time off separately to this):

EQUIPMENT – A small portion of your contribution may be put towards to the amount of equipment we need to make the tour happen. This could include things such as equipment for the children’s workshops or bags to carry PWB kit in and running repairs on technical equipment for the tour.

FOOD – This will be a combination of meals out so you can try the local dishes and shared home cooking within the team. Where we have the option, this will be 2 out of 3 meals a day ‘at home’, cooking for yourselves as a team or individually, using what is available locally at markets etc. If you have specific dietary requirements, please note this on your application and talk to PWB about the local food and how you may be affected -it’s not ever been a problem so far, don’t worry – but do be prepared to be flexible, adaptable, and eat the same thing every day as the nationals do – such as rice and beans (Nicaragua), rice and dhal/curry (India), rice and meat ór beans/lentils (Kenya). Being vegetarian/vegan in India is pretty easy, in Nicaragua less so with veganism (limited diet), and Kenya is also ok, although eating out will more often than not involve meat – or rice and beans!

ACCOMMODATION –Whilst on tour with PWB we do our best to source and provide comfortable accommodation, with cooking/cleaning/bathing and sleeping facilities and a practice space available, although sometimes this last part may not be possible. Sometimes you may be in a hostel with other travelers and sometimes you may be in a house or guesthouse, with or without other travelers/locals sharing the space. Sometimes, the local group/area we are working in may only have the most basic facilities. You may be required to share a room/bathroom with some of your teammates, male or female – you may be required to share a room/bathroom with all of your team-mates! PWB volunteers have to be adaptable and ready to leave their home comforts behind.

TRAVEL – this includes travel to and from the project you are working with, which may be: walking, bicycles, trains, taxi’s, rickshaws – people powered and motorized, trucks, buses, minibuses (public or private) or a combination of the above, whatever is most cost effective and convenient. It also includes all travel between projects if you travel as part of the PWB team or are carrying PWB equipment. Travels can be long, tiring, dusty, hot, bumpy etc. but sometimes the views are awesome ?


About You:

PWB candidates should demonstrate the following;


  • A mid to high level of skill in one or more circus skill or performing art
  • Experience teaching to mixed groups of children and young people
  • Experience of devising and performing shows
  • Self motivated and highly committed
  • Mature and professional attitude to work and touring life/demands
  • We are very interested to hear from candidates applying to India or Kenya tours who have the following experience:

Highly Desirable – If applying for India or Kenya

  • Experience of travelling/living/working in the country to which you are applying. Especially the following areas: Kenya – Nairobi, India – Varanasi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Darjeeling.
  • Experience of facilitating/living/working in a group situation
  • Experience of working in social circus/community/charity sector
  • Experience of leading group process
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Confident in fostering a positive team experiences


  • Experience living/volunteering overseas
  • Experience of working in a team/touring
  • Experience of coordinating travel logistics
  • Experience of creating/editing short videos
  • Experience writing blogs/social media
  • Mid to high level skills in 3 or more circus / performing arts.
  • Experience in working with multiple partner organisations.

Applications will be open again from the 1st April to the 1st July 2019 for the Jan 2020 tours.

About The Organisation

Performers Without Borders (PWB) is a volunteer run charity that believes in the transforming power of learning and performing the arts. We have been running tours of India annually since 2007, and ran our first tour of Nicaragua in 2013 and our first in Kenya in 2016.

For more information see About us


More About The Opportunity

A single tour lasts months, but your commitment to PWB begins once you have been selected. We ask volunteers to be actively involved in fundraising and promoting PWB’s work before and after the tour. As a volunteer you will be responsible for fundraising the cost of your tour, putting together a show with the rest of the volunteers and planning a teaching curriculum around your unique skills.

As a group you will also have further responsibilities whilst on tour. These include:

  • Finding external groups and organising shows/workshops
  • Documenting and reporting back on the tour thorough newsletters and videos
  • Managing Budgets
  • Buying and cooking your own food
  • Managing transport logistics
  • Supporting the development of your team mates
  • Organising ‘rest’ days and activities
  • Ensuring the health and well-being of other team members
  • Reviewing your daily / monthly activities

All accommodation on your tour will be organised centrally by PWB. Costs for meals, accommodation and transport will be covered by your initial contribution to PWB, but it will be up to you as a team to manage these budgets whilst on-tour, following the PWB guidelines.

What to expect:

Whilst on tour each member of the team will be expected to take on roles and tasks within the team. You will have the opportunity to choose your role and change it for each project. These roles include tasks such as making a video about the project, writing blogs or doing regular social media updates, taking, collecting and posting photos, being ‘team mum’, or being in- charge of finances for the team. You will have weekly team meetings and time to share your experiences and review your work. Sometimes you may need to repair kit, help others with their role or take on extra tasks, like food shopping for the team, cooking dinner or finding bike tires to use to make kit. You will have time to practice, train and learn from each other too! You will be cooking, cleaning, living, travelling and working together. You will be sharing rooms, food, chores and even body odors – these tours are not for the faint hearted, they can be a life changing and unique experience!

PWB work with a variety of organisations. Some of the children we work with are orphans; some have been rescued from dangerous or vulnerable family situations or from the street; some live with their families in slum areas, others live within the organisation. PWB try to return to work with the same organisations every year -our longest running partnership is with Asha Deep in Varanasi, India, where we have completed 10 projects so far! So the children you teach will already have some skills – but others may be completely new to it all. Be prepared to teach a wide range of ages, skills and abilities and to adapt to a variety of situations and locations ? Likewise, you can expect to perform in a wide variety of locations, from small rooms, courtyards or halls in slum projects to dusty playing fields, busy bus stations, building sites, in the street – and often in full sun as shade can be hard to come by.

Please understand that by considering becoming a PWB team member you may sometimes be: frustrated, confused, upset, uncomfortable, hot (too hot!), tired, dusty, sick, stared at, lost, hungry, dirty and smelly.


You will most likely also be: ecstatic, enlightened, euphoric, joyful, exuberant, challenged and changed, work with some awesome and amazing kids and organisations, see fantastic things, feel great, experience things you have never experienced before and learn new things about life, yourself, what you can do and all sorts of other excitement!

The Selection Process

You must complete an application form which requires you to link to a supporting video.  You will need to order the tours in order of preference 1st, 2nd and 3rd or state whether you don’t want to be considered for one or two of the tours. If we think you might have what it takes to tour with PWB we will invite you to a video call interview and contact your personal reference.  We will then assess you against the other applicants and may invite you to join a tour. We aim to have the selection process completed by the 7th of September.

If we are able to select a team before the final deadline we will close applications.  You are therefore advised to apply early.

To Apply

You will have to fill in the online application form linked below and provide a referee who we can contact and also provide links to a 5 minute video showcasing your performance skills. Applications are open each year from the 1st April to the 1st July with interviews occurring a few weeks after you submit your application, to be arranged individually with the Tour Coordinator and the Tour Leader. You must be available for the tour dates to apply.

Applications will be open again from the 1st April to the 1st July 2019 for the Jan 2020 tours.