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Almost a quarter of Americans volunteer according to a recent survey.
Many volunteer in their local area in the US, but what if you want to help others a little further from home?
The volunteer abroad industry has exploded in the last decade and it is easier than ever to find opportunities. However, what should you consider when trying to volunteer overseas and how can you find affordable opportunities?
That’s where we step in to help guide you to your perfect project.
How Can You Find Opportunities to Volunteer Abroad?
We spoke to Involvement Volunteers International to find out their best advice for you to consider when looking to volunteer overseas. With so many options out there, how do you find a project that truly adds value to the community they are based in?
What to Consider
Did you know that volunteers donate to charity at twice the rate of non-volunteers? Money is, of course, an important part of volunteering and some programs have a price that can make your eyes water.
However, there are plenty of affordable or “free” options for volunteering. By free, we mean that there is no participation fee but there will be other costs to consider.
You just need to bear in mind that these more affordable options might require a little more work to find them and may end up being slightly less organized than the more costly volunteering projects.
- Make sure you add up all total costs when considering your options including accommodation, travel, and food as well as any participation fees
- Be prepared to take the initiative when working on free projects which might be less organized
Where to Look
You need to make sure you are looking for reliable and legitimate opportunities with reputable companies. This will ensure your money is safely accounted for and provides you a sense of security that you will be safe whilst volunteering.
How to find opportunities:
- Online volunteer project companies and listings such as Involvement Volunteers International
- Travel guides such as Lonely Planet often include reputable projects
- Travel forums
- Ask friends and family on social media
There are many projects out there looking fr volunteers, so once you find them, how do you know which to choose?
Assess your Options
Once you find the opportunities you are interested in, check reviews and online resources to see what previous volunteers have said.
- Ask yourself if that role is taking a job away from someone in the community – if so, maybe find a role that helps without taking the role of a local
- Ask the company how your funds will be used if there is a fee
It all comes down to finding projects that allow you to volunteer abroad in a responsible way. Do your research, find a way to help a local community in a valuable way and consider how your money and time will impact the community that you are visiting.
Check out In News Week for more news on global travel and even money tips to help offset the cost of your volunteering project.