2021 Summer 2 Week Volunteer Vacation

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14 Nights/15 Days
Availability : June 1 – Aug 30, 2020
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 25


Following a successful volunteer vacation in August of 2019 at the Jamaica National Children Home, team Sunshine & Stars will return to continue their volunteer efforts. During their volunteer trip, there was a devastating fire that destroyed the children home, which is currently being rebuilt with donations from companies and individuals from around the world.

Once the Jamaica National Children Home has been rebuilt, the children, who are currently housed in a temporary home, will be relocated to the home. This is where your efforts will come in handy, as you will help make the rebuilt property the home that the children remember by redoing the artwork for both the girl’s and boy’s dorms. In addition to brightening up the premises, team Sunshine & Stars will also arrange games and activities with the children during the summer.

For the vacation aspects, you will join some amazing excursions in Jamaica and get to explore the island’s beauty to the fullest. You will also spend a week at a hotel on the Montego Bay Hip Strip to get a taste of the ‘tourist’ lifestyle.

Goals and Outcomes

By joining this 2-week program you will undertake several goals that need to be completed within the time frame. Some tasks to be completed towards accomplishing your goals are:

  • Add murals and stickers to the boys’ and girls’ dorms to help customize each child’s living quarters
  • Work with disabled children at the Tegwyn unit
  • Join structured activities with the children to keep them engaged
  • Complete over 40 volunteer hours during this program
  • Undertake several team building activities to get to know our local team, as well as your international team members
  • Complete arranged cultural immersion classes to learn about the Jamaican culture
  • Develop your critical thinking skills to solve issues as they arise at your project

Project Highlights

Here are some of the highlights of this project:

  • Brightening up the boys’ and girls’ dorms
  • Joining fun activities at the children home with the children
  • Exploring the Blue Mountains to see how Coffee is farmed and produced, go hiking and more
  • Horseback riding on and in the beach in Negril, and watch the sunset at Rick’s café
  • Going to Sommerset Falls and the Blue Lagoon to swim, and have jerk lunch at Boston Jerk Centre
  • Stopping at the Appleton Estate to see how rum and sugar are made, go swimming at Pelican Bar and go on a boat tour on Black River Crocodile Safari
  • Visiting Irie Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, then stop at Green Grotto Caves to explore the Caves. Afterward, head to Luminous Lagoon to swim in bioluminescent water
  • Receiving volunteer and cultural immersion certificates at the end of the program

Ideal Volunteers For this Project

This project is ideal for volunteers who work well with others, are willing and eager to give back, and who are excited about becoming a part of a new volunteer movement. These volunteers may include:

  • Mature volunteers and career breakers
  • Volunteers aged 16 and over who like working with children
  • Teenagers and parents looking for a structured summer volunteer program (teens under 16 must be accompanied by a guardian)
  • Volunteers who are good with their hands or painters, carpenters or masons (building skills are not mandatory)
  • University students seeking a fun yet impactful alternative summer vacation trip
  • High school teachers planning volunteer trips abroad for their students (senior classes)
  • Vacationers seeking a vacation with a difference
  • Companies looking for a meaningful trip for their members to join
  • Travel influencers and bloggers seeking new experiences
  • Families seeking a fun-filled yet structured volunteer trip

Project Details

Jamaica National Children home has been one of our volunteer partners since 2015. Having been opened in 1973 as a branch of Britain’s National Children’s Home, they have since become one of the top homes of safety for disabled, abandoned and abused children, or wards of the state in the island. As a result, their primary objective is to provide a safe haven for all of the children enrolled there, as well as to aid in their development.

The children home operate 3 programs on their premises, all of which provide vital services to the children there. These include the Residential Dorm, Carberry Court Special Project and the Tegwyn Facility.

The Residential Dorm:  This is the home where most of the children reside. It houses over 50 children between the ages of 6 and 18.

Carberry Court Special School: This is a school for the intellectually disabled children with about 100 students enrolled. These students are taught life skills, basic academics, as well as gain work experience that prepares them for working in the world and allowing them to lead more fruitful lives. In addition, it serves children from the surrounding communities.

The Tegwyn Facility: Special round the clock care is provided to severely mentally and physically challenged children and young adults who live in this facility. Moreover, exercises are performed for the children, including stimulation programs, water therapy and more.

The Devastating Fire

On Friday, August 9, 2019, just 15 minutes after Team Sunshine & Stars departed the property, a huge fire broke out at the children home, destroying the girls’ dorm and causing over $150 million JMD worth of damage, while also rendering the property uninhabitable. While many volunteers and donors have already pledged assistance, there is always much to do. Thus, the work set out for Team Sunshine & Stars in 2020 is more crucial than ever.

The JNCH on fire mere moments after we departed in 2019


This project will run for 2 weeks (14 nights/15 days).


The dates for this project are Saturday, August 1, 2020, to Saturday, August 15, 2020. You may book your flight for either the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ) or Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (KIN) and should be booked for the above dates for arrival and departure.

Application Deadline

The deadline for booking and finalizing all payments for this trip is Tuesday June 30, 2020. If you plan on booking after this date, then you will be required to make a full payment during booking (if there is availability).


Immediately after booking this project, you will begin receiving our support services, which include the following:

  • A signed fundraising letter that you can use in your home country to raise funds and collect donations for your project
  • Access to your group’s exclusive mailing list, where we will post all news, updates, important documentation and exclusive content
  • Online group meetings and info sessions will be conducted at set dates before the beginning of this project. During these group discussions we will get an introduction to all other group members, meet key members of the team, discuss volunteer activities, receive project updates and much more
  • University and high school students may be able to utilize the volunteer hours completed during this project at school. We will gladly sign any documentation that verifies volunteer hours completed, and all volunteers will receive a volunteer certificate
  • We provide full pre-arrival support to all volunteers, so we can always set up a 1 on 1 Skype session to discuss this project or any questions you may have, as well as to give you a better understanding about us and this project

Culture Class

As a part of your package, we provide you with a complimentary class on the Jamaican culture, which you will receive a certificate for upon the completion of your project.

During the cultural class we will touch on the following topics:

  • Traditions/Norms
  • Religion
  • Food
  • Language
  • Art and Recreation
  • Our history
  • Values
  • Government
  • National Monuments

The date of the class will be listed on your itinerary.

Patois Classes

We will also give you a lesson on Patois (pronounced Pat-Wah) which is our local dialect. It is a second language you will hear many locals speaking around you.

As soon as you begin your Patois lessons you will learn the following:

  • Greetings and salutations
  • Gender-specific words and terms
  • Popular words and phrases
  • The history of Patois
  • The social standing of Patois
  • Group exercise to use Patois


Day 1Arrival

Arrive in Jamaica at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (KIN) or Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ)

Firstly, we will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the Grand Port Royal Hotel where you will be checked in.

Secondly, meet with Jomo Barnett and the other members of your team and grab refreshments

Thirdly, have a quick introductory session to be formally introduced to the different members of the group, and do a quick icebreaker

Finally, enjoy your Jamaican welcome dinner

Day 2Blue Mountain Highlights

Firstly, enjoy breakfast

Secondly, travel from the hotel to the Blue Mountain for 6 hours to explore Craighton estate coffee farm, Strawberry Hills, New Castle Hollywell Park to hike and enjoy the scene

Next, travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Lastly, enjoy group dinner

Day 3Children's Home

Prior to commencing your volunteer duties, receive an official welcome and orientation on your volunteer/vacation in Jamaica, receive your printed itinerary and orientation guide and tour the property

Enjoy breakfast

Do a team-building exercise to strengthen your bond and get to know each other better

Receive your first Patois class

Travel from the hotel to the Jamaica National Children home to begin your volunteer work, meet the children, tour the property and get to know the staff

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Day 4Children's Home

Enjoy breakfast

Receive your second Patois class

Travel from the hotel to the Jamaica National Children home to resume your volunteer work

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Receive your second Jamaican Culture Class

Enjoy group dinner

Games Night!

Day 5Children's Home

Enjoy breakfast

Receive your third and final Patois class

Travel from the hotel to the Jamaica National Children home to resume your volunteer work

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Games Night!

Day 6Children's Home

Enjoy breakfast

Travel from the hotel to the Jamaica National Children home to resume your volunteer work

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Scavenger hunt

Day 7Children's Home

Enjoy breakfast

Travel from the hotel to the Jamaica National Children home to wrap up your volunteer work, give the children your donations and say your goodbyes to everyone at the home

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Karaoke night

Day 8Sommerset Falls & Blue Lagoon Adventure

Firstly, enjoy breakfast

Secondly, travel from the hotel to the Blue Lagoon in Portland for a boat ride to Monkey Island and to swim.

Thirdly, have lunch at Boston Jerk Centre

After lunch head to Sommerset Falls for a thrilling day of enjoying the falls

Next, travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Finally, enjoy a group dinner

Day 9 Travel To Wexford Hotel & Free Day

Check out of hotel at Port Royal and transfer to Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay

Check in to hotel and settle in

Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the Montego Bay Hip Strip

Enjoy group dinner

Day 10Free Morning Session & Cultural Presentation

Enjoy Breakfast

Enjoy a free morning session at the hotel or exploring Montego Bay


Purchase additional tours as add-on packages

In the afternoon join a Jamaican cultural presentation to learn all you can about our culture

Enjoy an authentic Jamaican meal

Day 11Negril Day

Enjoy breakfast

Travel from the hotel to the beach in Negril for horseback riding. Afterwards, catch the sunset at Rick’s Café

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Day 12Ocho Rios Day

Explore the Green Grotto Caves
Go swimming and tubing at Irie Blue Hole

Just as night falls go on a bioluminescent tour of the Luminous Lagoon

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Day 13Appleton Estate adventure, Pelican Bar & Black River Safari

Enjoy breakfast

Travel from the hotel to Appleton Estate to learn how rum and sugar are made.

Afterwards head to Pelican Bar out in the sea to swim and hang out

Visit Black River Safari for a boat tour of the crocodile reserve

Travel back to the accommodation to enjoy the pool, rest, visit the bar or unwind

Enjoy group dinner

Day 14Free Day & Sendoff Party

Enjoy breakfast

Spend the day enjoying the hotel and exploring Montego Bay on your own


Purchase optional tours and excursions as add-ons

Enjoy a sendoff party with snacks and refreshments

Enjoy a farewell group dinner and a ceremony to receive your certificates

Day 15Departure

Enjoy breakfast

Say your goodbyes to the members of your group

Travel from the hotel to the airport and depart Jamaica with a heart full of fondness for your new-found friends and the memories of an amazing adventur

Teams and Housing

Group Leaders

Jomo Barnett

Program Director

As the Program Director for this project, I organize the activities included in this trip, as well as arranging the local logistics. My duties include:

  • Planning the itinerary
  • Creating a budget for the project
  • Liaising with the children home and our local partners
  • Arranging all local adventures and reserving tickets
  • Recruiting new volunteers to join this project
  • Providing pre-arrival support to all volunteers who inquire or register for this project
  • Assigning and supervising all local staff who will support the team in Jamaica
  • Overseeing arrangements for food, transportation, and accommodation
  • Organizing pre-arrival information sessions
  • Marketing and promotion of the trip



Barnett’s Homestay


  • Tv with cable
  • Hot Water
  • Rooms cleaned daily
  • Air Conditioning
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Free Wifi


Full breakfast and dinner are included in your package each day. We cater for volunteers with special dietary requirements such as gluten allergies, diabetes, vegans and more.

Health and Safety

The health, safety, and security of all our volunteers always remain our top priority. Here are some of the steps we take to ensure you remain safe during this project:

  • A Program Advisor who is certified in first aid will be with you at your project, accommodation and during all excursions
  • We provide all transportation to and from all activities, so you will be kept safe at all times
  • The hotel where you will be staying in is fully walled and has 24-hour security guards
  • All volunteers are required to be covered by travel health insurance. We can provide you with coverage if you do not have a plan




1 Week Dorm Room Package (Bunk Twin Size) — $1,130 USD Per Person

2 Weeks Dorm Room Package (Bunk Twin Size) — $1,710 USD Per Person

1 Week Double Room Package (1 Queen Bed) — $1,340 USD Per Person

2 Weeks Double Room Package (1 Queen Bed) — $1,920 USD Per Person


Price Includes

  • Barnett's Homestay accommodation
  • Full breakfast and dinner
  • Rooms and bathrooms cleaned daily
  • Cable television
  • Refrigerator Access
  • Transfer to and from JNCH on scheduled days
  • Swimming pool/beaches nearby
  • 24 hour security
  • Staff trained in first aid available 24 hours
  • In-house entertainment on select nights
  • Orientation and support document on the day of arrival
  • Cultural training sessions (certification awarded at the end)
  • Patois classes (certificates awarded at the end)
  • Volunteer certificate upon successful completion of your program
  • Successfully completing your program grants pre-approval for alumni discounts and perks
  • Pre arrival support and assistance
  • Entrance fee to all planned excursions
  • Blue Mountain adventure, Negril adventure, Sommerset Falls & Blue Lagoon adventure, Appleton Estate, Black River Safari & Pelican Bar adventure, Irie Blue Hole, Green Grotto Cave & Luminous Lagoon Adventure, Lime Cay Adventure
  • Purchase additional tours as add ons for free days
  • Airport pickup and return

Price Excludes

  • Flight
  • Lunch
  • Insurance (can be added as an add-on)
  • Visa
  • Gratuities
  • Additional meals
  • Additional adventures
  • Personal shopping funds


To secure your space in this project you will need to make a payment as soon as possible, as space is limited and will go quickly. After you book this program you can either pay in full or pay a $300 USD deposit and a 6-month payment plan to settle the balance. Immediately after all the spaces in this project are booked the booking option will be disabled, so act fast to secure your space!

You may pay using either a credit card or bank wire transfer. All credit card payments will incur a 4% processing fee, and for wire transfers, you will be responsible for covering any wire transfer fees.


We encourage all of our volunteers to do some fundraising back home before you arrive in Jamaica. This can help you cover the cost of your trip, as well as allow you to collect donations in cash or kind that you could take along to give to the children at the children home.

We can also provide you with a sponsorship letter that you could take to businesses, schools, churches, family members and friends back home to help collect items or cash to purchase items for you to donate to the children’s home. When you board your flight, you can take along donation items in an extra suitcase.


You can sponsor this trip by providing funds to help offset some of the expenses incurred by the volunteers, as well as to help provide some needed resources to help the volunteers better perform their duties.

Some areas your sponsorship will cover include:

  • Providing daily lunch for the volunteers
  • Adding some funds to cover the cost of paint, brushes, mirrors, brooms etc.
  • Hiring professionals to repair swings, bathroom fixtures and more
  • Arranging a send-off party for the volunteers on their final day at the children home
  • Providing pre-arrival support to all volunteers who inquire or register for this project

By being a sponsor, you will receive the following perks:

  • We will provide daily updates on our website and social media profiles about this trip, where we will feature your brand/name prominently as a sponsor
  • Press releases will be prepared for this project, which we will always provide credit to yourself as a sponsor
  • We will create a blog post for the trip, and in that blog post you will receive a shout out as well
  • You will receive project updates, photos and videos of the volunteers at the project, and a personalized thank you message for the entire team
  • Each volunteer will be provided with T-shirts, water bottles and custom pins to commemorate this trip, all of which will contain your logo and name as a sponsor

To become the official sponsor of this project, please visit our sponsorship application form and submit your inquiry. We will review it and get back to you within 24 hours.



  • This has been a fabulous trip, 18 months planning resulted in our having as near as perfect experience as possible. Spending time in the children’s home was life-changing and bonds made with the home will last a long time. The Grand Port Royal hotel was a great place to stay and was more than we expected. The caterers provided us with great food and were so accommodating when we were late. The excursions were amazing and all of it was made possible by the fantastic attention to detail by the wonderful Jomo.

    Joanne Lamber
    Joanne Lambert
    Girlguiding Leader
  • Incredible authentic experience. A fantastic first experience of Jamaica! The volunteer aspect was well organized and incredibly worthwhile. The experience and bonds made will last forever. The excursions were well thought out and gave a real authentic experience of the country. One of the best trips I’ve ever done and I am so impressed with every aspect of the project and especially loved the Jamaican food every night.

    Holly Emmerson
    Holly Emmerson
    Girlguiding Leader
  • We volunteered by painting the girl’s dorms at Jamaica National Children’s Home. It was the most wonderful experience as we really got to know the girls and their personalities. I really enjoyed spending time with the children and playing with them. It truly was an amazing experience. The excursions really immersed us in the culture of Jamaica. The food and accommodation were lovely and gave us an authentic experience of Jamaica.

    Saffy Trueman
    Girlguiding Leader
  • A fantastic experience with memories that I will share back home and that will stay with me forever. We have had an amazing two weeks in Jamaica. It has been a full programme and a good mix of volunteering at the children’s home, plus visiting different attractions around the island. At the children’s home, I spent most of my time decorating which was hot and sweaty work, but it was very satisfying to see and hear the difference we had made. Our sightseeing days were long and busy days, but there was so much to see and do – from climbing waterfalls to swimming in the sea to visiting a plantation. Food and hotel have been good and everyone has been friendly and welcoming. Thanks for the great experience.

    Jo Ross
    Jo Ross
    Girlguiding Leader
  • My whole experience in Jamaica has been amazing. Working in the home and seeing the bedrooms, bathrooms, and corridor of the girl’s part being made to look more decorative and seeing the girls smiles when asked if they liked it. The hotel was perfect, it is by the sea. Lovely friendly, helpful staff and the caterers who came in were wonderful. They catered for all of us. We tried a lot of different Jamaican dishes and they were wonderful and took requests.

    Tricia Collen
    Girlguiding Leader
  • During my time in Jamaica with Jamaica International Projects, I have had a very enjoyable time. The volunteering gave me a fantastic experience that I will never forget. The excursions we were able to do gave us an authentic vision and experience in Jamaica. The food was amazing and nobody ever went away hungry, and whenever we needed to buy lunch we were always given plenty of options for food. The accommodation was very good and the staff at the hotel very useful. Jomo Barnett was an amazing guide and support during our time in Jamaica.

    Emily Solloway
    Emily Solloway
    Girlguiding Leader
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