Karate Instructor for Kids

founded in 2015
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Coordinator | Sara
Coordinator | Sara
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.
Support a world Karate Champion and her gym in one of the most unprivileged area of Naples! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Martial arts became popular in Europe and Italy starting from the 70s after the success of movies depicting famous fighters such as Bruce Lee.

A rising number of young people were fascinated by the way in which the sport was portrayed in these films and since then a number of martial arts have attracted their attention.

Karate is one of the martial arts which has experienced a boost in participation but it has become apparent that there is a severe shortage of coaches and funding available to maintain this momentum, particularly in a country such as Italy where soccer attracts almost all people interest. This is clear in Naples, the place where one of the most famous soccer player, Diego Armando Maradona, was the star of the local team for seven seasons and leading the local team to win its first Italian Championship among the other trophies. Further in Naples, where there's one of the highest unemployment rate in Europe (about 25%), families don't have enough resources to pay sports classes or equipment for their kids, so basically means that for most of the kids playing soccer in the streets is the only way they have to practice a sport.

In this scenario in 2012, Karen a Karate Champion and an English Teacher in one of the School in Naples area, was called by a priest of the Spanish Quarters, one of the most unprivileged area of the city, who was trying to involve the kids of the area in sporting and edcuational activties.

“Quartieri Spagnoli” (Spanish Quarters) is not only a much talked-about district in Naples. It is a world of its own, a complex and fascinating ecosystem where the outside rules do not apply. Local people accustomed to their peculiar lifestyle developed original, unwritten conventions. On every day Quartieri Spagnoli are packed with pedestrians, cars and whirring Vespas. Neapolitans do their living in the streets, especially in the Quartieri Spagnoli where you can find friendly shopkeepers, hear loud conversations in dialect between pizzeria busboys, and where you are most likely to accidentally interrupt a two-on-two soccer game. Shopkeepers and house inhabitants pour water down their basement floors and the street is slick. Bunches of people slip and nearly fall. This is not a sport club like others in a place typically associated with mafia gangs and lawlessness.

Karen started with just 8 kids which had just the money to pay 15 USD for the membership and mandatory insurance to the Federation... after a few weeks the kids started to trainee more frequently and got brilliant results in the first competions. In 2014 they have to quit from their gym and they found a new location, the only affordable with the fees paid by the young athletes, an old dismissed small church that they started to set for the increasing number of children who want to learn karate.

In 2016 Karen decided to bring her students to the World Championship in Japan, where she competed herself too and becoming World Champion in the style Tate Kodachi: one of them became World Champion too and another one became vice champion. Even if the athletes got an high number of success in Italian, European and World tournaments, the sporting team has too face a lack of resources for everyday activities and in particular for expenses due to tournaments participation.

Karen is a Karate 4th level (Dan) instructor and a Sports Chanbara International Instructor 3rd level (Dan) and she teaches Karate (Shotokan Style) and Chanbara (Japanese Sword fighting from Tanabe School) involving about 40-50 kidz of different ages and ability. Volunteers could support Karen and the other instructor in giving to the younger kids psychomotor education and exercise and if volunteers have enough karate ability you could help instructors during their classes.

Given the above mentioned lack of resources volunteers could help this sporting NGO in fundraising activities, promoting some crowdfunding campaigns, helping in some grant making activities or help in small renovations and in settings activties for the gym.

Typical day

After the initial orientation, volunteers will have an afternoon shift at your placement and will work for approximately 4  hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays if you're coaching. 

Training are on M/T/W/F from 4.30 - 8.30 pm. The other days volunteers could support fund raising and communication activties.  

You may therefore plan daily activities which could include sightseeing, shopping or taking Italian language lessons. 

Please notice that according to the partner's need (i.e. matches or training camps) your shift might be requested offer support also on weekends.

Free-time activities

Volunteers have the weekends free. Italy is universally recognised for its history, art, culture, cuisine and natural beauty, so there is absolutely no shortage of things to see and do while in Naples or further afield in Italy! Naples has many UNESCO World Heritage sites and volunteers can fill their free time visiting the many historical sites and attractions, tasting the amazing cuisine, sipping espresso in the many café bars or simply exploring parts of Naples by wandering through the beautiful alleys. Rome, home to the Colosseum, Vatican and Sistine Chapel, is just an hour from Naples by train, and the ancient ruins of Pompeii or the gorgeous island of Capri are also just 45 minutes away. Nature lovers can hike the nearby Mt. Vesuvius and visit the beautiful Almalfi Coast to complete the “Walk of the Gods”. Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Italy including; Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Milan, Pisa and so much more! Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Naples, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
Cv and Cover Letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers who wish to join the program must have relevant experience: Black Belt 1st Dan Karate Shotokan Style or Chanbara Style of Sword Fighting.This can be either linked to your sporting experience, volunteering or work with kids, fundraising, communication and grantmaking activties. This project is well suited to volunteers who are highly motivated and self-driven. Essential Skills include an open-minded attitude. Knowledge of Italian is very useful but not necessary!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 16:30 - 20:30

What's Included

Services by International Napoli Network
Accommodation, basic breakfast, support and supervision by local team are included in the fee. Also a work insurance is provided by the organisation. 
On-Demand Services: if you would prefer to arrange your own accomodation or not having meals and aiport commutes, we provide extra discount and a customized estimate.
Airport Pickup at Naples International Airport

Airport Pickup and Drop off for Naples Capodichino Airport.

The accommodation is located in the central area of the historical centre of Naples, close to all facilities, metro stations, restaurants, cafés and shops. It consists in dormitory style rooms for maximum 8 volunteers, a gendered bathroom, common kitchen or kitchenette and a terrace with a gorgeous view of the city. There are also double or single rooms with their own private bathroom that can be booked at an extra cost.
Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages
Basic Breakfast (coffee, tea, milk, jam, honey, corn flakes, biscuit bread, cookies). Meals are available on demand at an extra cost. 

 Lunch: a first dish option (pasta, rice, lasagna), dinner (a main and a side). 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Naples International Airport (NAP) in Naples. We assist you to find cheap flights to Italy.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Italy provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Italy you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Italy.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

This program is not available during August and during Christmas Holidays (about December 20th - January 7th). Please note that during Julys you'll be engaged particularly in renovations and manteinance of the gym.

You could select the start date you prefer, but we encorage to opt for mondays.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
4 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$186 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. International Napoli Network will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with International Napoli Network during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if International Napoli Network cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by International Napoli Network.

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Karate Instructor for Kids

Support a world Karate Champion and her gym in one of the most unprivileged area of Naples!


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