Volunteering internationally is an activity that takes careful consideration, research, and an analysis of the what and hows of your potential volunteer organization. Volunteering isn’t the right choice in every circumstance; sometimes, you next trip might be better suited for other related activities. Consider fundraising for a cause close to your heart, then donate to organizations in your travel destination. Or spend your money wisely by infusing cash into the economy by using local businesses and supporting social enterprises. And on some trips, you could invest time in learning about the culture and assessing the current organizations working in that area.
But other trips contain the magical combination of circumstances that give you enough time to volunteer, a good-fit organization working local, as well as the skills to truly help them. In this case, if your heart set serving through volunteering, it’s your responsibility as the volunteer to ensure that your company, voluntour operator, or independent volunteer organization is operating ethically and in line with your values as well as the best practices of the development sector.
The list of questions below is a starting point for your research. You may need to adjust for your specific needs. I suggest you use the company’s website (about page and frequently asked questions) as a starting point. Anything unanswered can be emailed and asked directly.
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Depending on the answers here, higher fees may be justified if you have a high level of support and facilitation.
If you’re ready to research volunteer opportunities, start with GV’s database of pre-vetted opportunities. If you’re wondering about the entire process, read the Primer Guide to Volunteering. And if you’re heading out on a trip, check out the 8 Behaviors of Responsible Travelers and then head over to our Responsible Travel Guides.
This post was last modified on December 15, 2018 9:39 pm