Volunteer to build a school in 7 days

Next Building Blitz: November 2022 (Dates TBC)

Volunteering for Building Blitz 2022

A Mellon Educate ‘Building Blitz’ will change your life. More importantly, it will change the lives of thousands of impoverished children who desperately need your help. It is a one-week opportunity of a lifetime to meet people just like you – people from all walks of life who want to make a difference. Nelson Mandela once described the work of Mellon Educate as “inspirational”. It is the volunteers who make it so.

To go on a Building Blitz you have to fundraise. It sounds daunting but remember, thousands of people have hit this target before. Since 2003 we have had thousands of volunteers from Ireland, South Africa, the UK and the US. Many have done so repeatedly after being bitten by the blitz bug! And we’re here to help you make it, with fundraising tips and advice, mentoring and an incredible support network provided by the thousands of like-minded individuals who already walked in your shoes.

During blitz week itself, construction experience is not necessary – a willingness to muck in is. You’ll work hard but the jokes, team spirit and general camaraderie carry you through. It’s not just schools we construct, we also build friendships that last a lifetime. The rewards for your success are spectacular – both for you and the children whose lives you are changing. The joy and excitement on the faces of the children, the tears in their parents’ eyes, the look of hope and pride in the faces of their teachers; these are the people you will meet in Africa as part of a group of like-minded individuals helping to build a better future for those most in need.

* Fundraising Targets 2022 (TBC) *

Ireland & European (Euro)

  • New Volunteer €4,500

    1st time volunteer

  • Veteran Volunteer €4,000

    Veteran discount of €4,000 is only available to volunteers with 2 or more blitz weeks completed.

Northern Ireland & UK (Sterling)*

*Preliminary Northern Ireland and UK fundraising targets only – subject to Board approval.

  • New Volunteer (flights at volunteers own expense) £3,200

    1st time volunteer

  • Veteran Volunteer (flights at volunteers own expense) £2,750

    Veteran discount of £2,750 is only available to volunteers who have 2 or more blitz weeks completed.


  • New Volunteer $5,200

    1st time volunteers

  • Veteran Volunteer $4,700

    Veteran discount of $4,700 is only available to volunteers who have 2 or more blitz weeks completed.

Click Here To Complete Full Application Form Online


We would like to encourage our donors and volunteers who are UK basic rate taxpayers to make use of the Gift Aid facility by making payments to Mellon Educate (UK) in respect of the “donation element*” of volunteers’ targets. This means that the charity will be able to claim from HMRC 25 pence in every pound donated. This extra income will make a considerable difference to the overall programme of work we deliver.

*Please note:
The cost of volunteers’ flights and accommodation (currently £1,400) is considered to be a benefit to volunteers. The Gift Aid rules prevent volunteers (and persons connected to volunteers – e.g. family members and related companies) using Gift Aid to make payments/donations towards the cost element of their target.

In practice this means that volunteers (and their family members etc) cannot use Gift Aid towards meeting the first £1,400 of their target (which will include their deposit): but once this part of the target has been met, all further payments will be considered to be donations and can be made via Gift Aid. This payment arrangement though Gift Aid does not assist the volunteers meet their targets but greatly assists the charity by raising additional funds to carry out its objectives.

If you have any queries regarding Gift Aid eligibility, please contact HMRC direct. For further information please contact us on 353-1-494 8200 to speak to a member of our team.

What You Need To Know

  • Fill in the volunteer application form to register your intention to volunteer for the 2021 building blitz. We’ll follow up in person to confirm registration.
  • A deposit of €250 / £200 / $300 is required to book your place on the building blitz
  • Volunteers must fundraise in advance of travel.
  • Mellon Educate may, at their sole discretion, refuse applications to volunteer. Spaces are limited so pay your deposit to secure your place next year.
  • All volunteers will receive a health check form which must be completed by your GP within 3 months of your departure date.
  • All volunteers will be police checked/DBS checked.
  • Volunteers aged 18-65 are eligible to travel on the building blitz. Persons under-age must travel with a parent/guardian.