Work and Travel in Congo
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN CONGO FOR TRAVELLERS
The Republic of Congo, not to be confused with the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. Known for its poverty, internal conflict, and seemingly endless suffering, few tourists visit this part of the world.
But for all its problems, work and travel in the Republic of Congo can accomplish a lot of good. You just have to be willing to get off the beaten track and see what this country has to offer.
Our travel guide to the Republic of Congo (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/congo) is going to introduce you to this country and what you can do there.
1. Work in a Children’s Home in the Republic of Congo
One of the most common volunteer opportunities in the Republic of Congo is to work in a children’s home. Many children have been left without their parents, as a result of internal conflict. Volunteers are always welcome to help in these homes.
It can be as something simple as providing them with company. Qualified professionals may even be able to find detailed care roles.
But even if you just want to work in the Republic of Congo for a few months, your help will be welcomed.
2. Become a Teacher in the Republic of Congo
Whilst you travel in the Republic of Congo, you’ll quickly see that the level of education is low. Literacy rates are also poor. A lack of qualified teachers is a real problem here.
Volunteer teachers from abroad commonly work with charities to provide an education to people in both rural and urban areas.
Whether you want to teach English in the Republic of Congo or just help children/adults learn to read, you can do it. Existing qualifications will stand you in good stead, but they’re far from necessary.
3. Join a Medical Missionary on a Mercy Ship
Work and travel in the Republic of Congo can be heart breaking because these people don’t have access to the services we take for granted elsewhere in the world.
Old ships have been turned into mercy ships to help the poorest people who don’t have the money to pay for conventional medical care. You don’t need to be a qualified care professional to join this noble cause.
These organisations want anyone who’s willing to help and support the healthcare staff there, even if it’s just keeping the rooms and beds clean.
This is one of the volunteer opportunities in the Republic of Congo that make a real difference.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR CONGO
Travel in the Republic of Congo isn’t easy because of the visa requirements. There are provisions for entering without a visa or getting a visa-on-arrival (https://www.aeroport-brazzaville.com/visa_on_arrival_congo.php). However, these provisions are only available for certain African countries in the centre and west of the continent.
Everyone else must apply for a visa from an embassy in their home countries.
To apply for a Republic of Congo visa (http://www.ambacongo-us.org/en-us/embassyservices/consular/visa.aspx), you’ll be required to have an invitation letter from the country and evidence of your volunteer role, along with your onward tickets. There are organisations that can help you with this.
We recommend securing a backpacking job in the Republic of Congo first. They will provide you with full visa assistance and help you get through the process (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/RepublicoftheCongo.html). Evidence of your role will also support your application.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN CONGO
The spring sees a short rainy season from March until April, but for the remainder of spring you’ll experience the long dry season. This is why it’s a great time to leave the cities and move into the rural areas.
Accessing remote villages will be easy, where you can participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities in the Republic of Congo, such as working in schools, helping with construction projects, and raising health awareness.
The summer season is a continuation of the drier period in the country. Take into account that towards the end of summer the northern region of the country begins to experience rainfall sooner than the southern region of the country.
However, you’ll still be able to take advantage of the same work opportunities as ‘Spring’ at this time of year. This is why spring and summer are the best times of year to work and travel in the Republic of Congo.
From September onwards the rainy season begins. Apart from a short rainy season between September and the beginning of October, where the rain is sporadic, expect heavy rains. This is an extremely humid country.
We recommend you look for jobs in the urban areas. For example, autumn is an excellent time to begin working in urban schools. There’s always a requirement for teachers who can come in at short notice and fill in the gaps.
Another option for autumn is to work in a children’s home. This is technically available throughout the whole year, but if you want to avoid the rain this is the right season work in the Republic of Congo for you.
For the winter period, the rainy season continues. We recommend referring back to the previous section for an idea of some of the seasonal backpacker skills required in the country during winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN CONGO
Work and travel in the Republic of Congo is going to challenge you. This is not for the faint of heart as it’s one of the poorest countries in the world and there’s always the risk of conflict breaking out sporadically, especially as a result of the capital being next to the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is why you should secure a volunteering position prior to your arrival. They will be able to protect you and ensure that you have a life changing experience here.
But as long as you tread carefully and use common sense you’re not going to have any problems volunteering or working in the Republic of Congo.
So do you have what it takes to work and travel in the Republic of Congo?