Have you been thinking about volunteering in 2018? Picking the right organisation to partner with is extremely important. There are hundreds of companies to choose from, but not all are created equal.
Understand their target market. Is it for young adults, seniors, short or long-term volunteers? Some companies specialize in large travel groups and others only work in countries where they have the most experience. If you are planning on volunteering, it is important to partner with a firm that fits your personality and personal values.
Choose an organisation based on reputation. Ask around…. Who do you know that has volunteered with this organisation? If you don’t have anyone in your network, ask for at least 2 references. If they are not willing to share past client experiences with you, then keep looking.
Volunteering overseas is about making a difference. Is the organisation involved in relief or rehabilitation work? When you are considering short term volunteering you want to carefully consider how this organisation is impacting the lives of the people in need. A lot of damage can be done in high risk communities, if the organisation does not understand the difference between relief and rehabilitation work.
Is it safe? Find out exactly what is expected of you and where you will be travelling. What is their communication plan in case of an emergency? What cities are you travelling to? How much physical labor is involved? How far are you from local hospitals? Make your decision based on their responses. These questions should be easily answered.
Get an idea of cost? Are their any hidden surprises? How clearly is the cost structure broken out? Your volunteering experience shouldn’t cost the earth particularly if you are staying in modest accommodations.
Volunteering is ideal for anyone who feels like life is overwhelming, or for someone searching for something meaningful. It is an ideal way of finding perspective. Our volunteers have returned home with a new lease on life along with a greater appreciation for their own – it truly is a life changing experience!