Volunteering enthusiasts often ask us ‘Why do I have to pay to volunteer? Should I not get supported by the project to which I am going to help?’
It’s a very valid question and here are some of the facts about the projects that need volunteer support.
1. Most worthwhile projects in general, lack resources and they need whatever support they can get.
2. It is therefore not possible for projects to provide support to international volunteers. They can only provide an opportunity to volunteers for learning and making a contribution
3. If the projects had the funds, they would be benefited more by taking in local staff who would know the culture and the work to be done. Local staff also sticks around a lot longer than most volunteers do.
4. And finally, the volunteers at Idex programs get a whole range of support and services that make their trips and volunteer experiences thoroughly enjoyable.
- Airport pick-up and transfers
- Weekend trips
- Translation support during volunteer work
- Pre-departure information support etc.
5. And finally, in reality what you are paying for is:
- well organised and safe trip.
- Having lots of cultural experiences with the local community and with other international people during your programs, without having to worry about food, accommodation and other such basics.
- Making sure that there is a good project for you that have well organised, worthwhile work.
- Your visit to an exotic country offers you various opportunities.
6. Sometimes people also ask us “Can I do volunteering without paying?”
- To that our answer is: Yes. You certainly can. There are a large number of social organisations that would be happy to get enthusiastic support from you and it’s likely to be quite an experience for you. And because what they primarily do is social work, in most likelihood, you will need to make your own arrangements of food, accommodation etc.
- The challenge however with this option is to be sure on the following:
- To find the right project or organisation.
- Ensuring that they are well organised and that they are able to use your presence there and you don’t have to sit around doing nothing or doing some aimless activity.
- If they are providing you meals and accommodation etc, then make sure it’s hygienic enough.
- That you have someone to contact in case of emergency.
- That there are some other volunteers around so that you are not bored during your free time or at least they are located at a place where there are things to do.
7. And then we are asked “It’s awesome. But I don’t know how to find the money”.
- Your volunteering experience is perhaps going to be the most life altering trip that you would have ever taken (or will take). And that means that you are making an investment in your own personal growth and development.
- So one of the best ways to find the money is to look for those people or sources that are interested in your development.
- These could be your family, school/university, the Corporate Social Responsibility Cell of a large organisation, a local community group sponsoring young people from their community in developing themselves. The list can be long if you really start looking.
- . And then of course are you yourself – you need to answer for yourself “How important is it for me to develop myself? Will I spend my time and money in some frivolous merry making or will I do something with it that leaves me and the world a better place? ” Only you can answer that question. And the answer will guide your way.