Volunteering With Cagliero

Take up the Challenge!

Application Process

The following is a summary of the Cagliero Project application process. 

Please note that applications will be accepted until October 31st, 2023 for a late January 2024 departure

  1. Read through our program requirements and philosophies to discern if the Cagliero Project fits well with the skills you have to offer.
  2. Make an official enquiry through our website. Upon receiving your enquiry, we will send you an application form
  3. After your application has been reviewed you will be contacted for an interview
  4. Acceptance letters will be sent within two weeks of your interview
  5. Once accepted into the program, the Cagliero Project Director will work with you to determine the best possible placement. The host community is then contacted and responds to the Cagliero Project Office to confirm the placement.
  6. All necessary travel, visa and insurance arrangements will be organized for you by the Cagliero Project. The volunteer will ensure they obtain the appropriate vaccinations and will prepare for any other aspects of their placement.
  7. All volunteers are required to attend a formation and training program prior to departure. All travel and expenses are covered for the volunteer to attend the program.
  8. Volunteers will depart in the week following the preparation program.

Choosing the right volunteer program is one of the most important decisions you will make. 

We encourage prospective volunteers to investigate multiple programs and find the one that best ‘fits’ their philosophies and skillset.

Below are some of the key philosophies and core requirements that are necessary for Cagliero volunteers, read through to see if they resonate with you and align with your own way of thinking.

Cagliero Volunteers: 

  • Approach life in a joyful way 
  • Have a deep sense of happiness in everything they do
  • Aim to be open to new cultures and experiences
  • Value each and every person they meet with equality and respect 
  • Preference working with and empowering disadvantaged young people 
  • Focus on living and working in solidarity with the local host community 
  • Approach volunteering as an experience in mutual learning with the local host community 
  • Strive to be actively present with young people in a way that prioritises their welfare and best interests 
  • Reflect and contemplate on the volunteer experience and spirituality
  • Value education as a core component of development
  • Approach the volunteer placement and life in a flexible and open minded manner

Requirements of a Volunteer:

  • People aged at least 20 years old
  • Australian or New Zealand citizen or resident
  • A current working with children’s check
  • Attendance at two formation training programs 
  • Good mental and physical health,  emotional and psychological maturity
  • Suitable skills and interest in field of service
  • Experience and desire to work with young people
  • University study or comparable work experience (do not need to have finished degree)
  • Openness to embrace living in a spiritual community and a willingness to live and work within a Catholic environment
  • Willingness to learn the local language spoken in the host country
  • Sound understanding of development principles
  • Sense of humour, flexibility and a spirit of sacrifice are essential

Volunteers in the Cagliero Project are constantly undergoing formation.

We consider formation to be the most important part of undertaking and ensuring a successful experience as a Cagliero volunteer. Volunteers attend a pre-departure formation and training program and are provided with formation throughout their placement and a debrief program upon their return.

The purpose of our pre-departure formation and training is to prepare our volunteers for their experience. Upon acceptance, our volunteers attend two separate formation retreats prior to departure. 

These two programs covers three major areas. The first is to learn and understand what Salesianity is and what it means to volunteer in a Salesian context. The second area considers the emotional and psychological preparation necessary to undertake a volunteer experience. The final area is cultural preparation for the specific destination country and general discussion on culture. 

Throughout the course of the program a number of returned volunteers come and share their stories about their volunteer experience. This is often the most valuable part of the program for new volunteers. At the end of the second retreat there is a commissioning ceremony.

The program runs at Don Bosco Camp in Safety Beach, one hour outside of Melbourne. All transport, meals and accommodation are provided during the program. The following is a list of topics that are covered during the pre-departure formation and training program:

  • Cagliero philosophies
  • Getting to know Don Bosco
  • Living in community
  • Salesian leadership in action
  • Practical Salesianity
  • Don Bosco Camp Engagement
  • Cross cultural issues/Entering into a new culture
  • Country specific information
  • Language preparation
  • Teaching in an ESL classroom
  • Development principles
  • Myers Briggs personality
  • Developing a care plan
  • Emotional intelligence
  • DASS stress scale
  • Developing a support group

After our volunteers have left for their placements they are required to keep in touch with the Cagliero Project office via email and phone.


The Cagliero Project staff support the volunteers while overseas and continue with their formation. Volunteers undertaking a twelve month placement will be visited by a member of the Cagliero Project office. Further formation and training opportunities are also provided by the host community – these include faith formation, language training and Salesian training.


Upon arriving home to Australia the volunteers attend a series of debriefing sessions with the Cagliero Project staff to help settle back into life.

Returned volunteers are able to choose to undertake counselling with the support of the Cagliero Project and are also invited to help prepare new volunteers at pre-departure formation and training retreats.

Enquiry Form

First Name *
Surname *
E-mail *
Phone number *
    How did you hear about the Cagliero Project?
    Why are you interested in volunteering with the Cagliero Project? *
    Where are you interested in volunteering?

    Your details will only be used for contacting you, the Cagliero Project will not share your information with anyone for any other purpose.