So the conversation goes…….
“I heard about your travels and volunteering abroad project? That’s amazing. It sounds so rewarding and life changing. I would love to do this one day. I have always wanted to go to India and Africa!”
“How much is it costing you?” So you tell them how much the flights are, the visa, injections, insurance and the volunteer programme fees…
“You pay to volunteer? But you’re helping them out and not getting paid anything, yet you pay?”
Think about it like this: when you travel anywhere you have to pay for flights, accommodation, food, transportation, insurance and activities / excursions. The volunteer fee; if you are choosing a trusted organisation like Volunteer Invest goes towards the project you are supporting and volunteering with. It is well known in the industry that many organisations use the fee as a profit making initiative, but not Volunteer Invest.
Invest is in our name because we donate a huge percentage of the fee directly to the organisation you volunteer with, we invest the fees directly to help them build a sustainable income, a regular and reliable revenue stream to help them become less reliant on international donations and help them develop business management skills.
Melissa told Volunteer Invest, ‘both times I volunteered abroad the fee for the organisation covered the cost of my accommodation, food, in-country transport, 24-hour support, a local team member that’s always happy to help, and orientation to get to know the staff and learn more about the country. Plus, they set you up with a volunteer programme based on your interests, education and passions. If you have any problems at all there is always a team of professionals and locals to turn to.’
Here’s the thing; you pay a programme fee but it covers all of these things that you would have to pay for, even if you just traveled independently and you have a team dedicated to supporting your ambitions. Get what we’re saying? Except there is an added bonus to travelling with meaning and purpose, you get to give back to the communities you volunteer in and invest in their future sustainable lives.
Dan says, ‘don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that there are some volunteer-abroad organisations out there that are highly overpriced or use this as an opportunity to make profit. You have to be cautious when choosing who to trust. What I recommend is doing some research before submitting any money. Carefully check what is actually included in the amount you are going to pay the organisation and take into consideration that you will also have to cover the cost of other things like flights and insurance. Personal contact with the team is great with Volunteer Invest and they are always happy to answer all your questions, how ever many, how ever often.’
Always take a look at the organisation’s social media accounts (FaceBook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest) It’s very easy for fraudulent companies to make a website that looks professional and seems to havep legitimate information. If you go to Facebook or Instagram and find that top posts have a handful of likes, don’t use that organisation. You want an organisation that is credible and well established.
Sian explains more in her interview with Volunteer Invest after she completed the India Childcare Programme
Why did I end up choosing Volunteer Invest
for my trip to India?
Another bonus about using an organisation to volunteer abroad is that going to a foreign country could easily be overwhelming. It’s very comforting to have an organisation that is well-known around the world helping you out when you’re looking to make a difference abroad.
Volunteer Invest works with partner organisations in Ghana, India and South Africa. They all have on-the-ground 24 hour volunteer support and have been receiving volunteers for over a decade.
If you are on the fence about volunteering abroad please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our lovely team members who can share their experiences with you and advise you on the next steps.