ON THIS PAGE YOU CAN FIND INFORMATION ON HOW TO BE A RESPONSIBLE VOLUNTEER
THE IMPACT YOU AS A VOLUNTEER WILL HAVE BY VOLUNTEERING THROUGH US
The essence of volunteer work should be to support the local communities. We build up stronger communities by working with projects that do this through; education, preventing damage caused by pollution or providing alternatives and opportunities for locals to be able to do ethical animal welfare and at the same time receiving financial benefits.
It is our policy that the projects we work with have local involvement either by hiring locals as staff matching their growth speed and/or by providing financials to the community.
This means that whatever project you will be matched with, you as a volunteer will add to the support for the local communities.
THOUGHTS TO DO BEFORE CHOOSING TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD
When you choose to volunteer, it is important to do some thoughts about:
Why you would like to volunteer
What your interest is
What your skills are
How long you can stay
These thoughts will get you far and on the right track for your volunteer journey to create change. Moreover, it is also the first step to work for your passion.
VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN
If you would like to volunteer for less than 3 months and would like to volunteer with children, we recommend you to reconsider your thoughts. Children need a lot of care and might associate/connect with you. It will damage the children more than benefit them if the volunteer turnover is too high. Meaning if volunteers leave after 2 weeks, 6 weeks or 8 weeks this creates distress and distrust for the children and will not actually benefit them the way you wish. An important thought to think is; “am I really doing this for me, or for the children?” and if you find that you would rather spend your time exploring the beautiful continents, party at hostels and be able to leave whenever then that is completely fine but then it will make more sense to backpack. This conclusion is very relevant to consider and you can always provide a donation to show your support. Sometimes a donation can reach further than the short term volunteering.
VOLUNTEERING WITH ANIMALS
If you would like to volunteer with animals then do not blindly trust the various websites - have in mind how much in touch you are with the animals since the animals should live as much as possible in their natural habitat. It is also important to see where your donation/fee is going. Is it actually ending up to better the lives of the animals? Is the project currently working on creating better livelihood for the animals they work with?
THE MATCHING PROCESS WE DO & THE VALIDATION OF THE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT
To ensure that you as a responsible volunteer spend your time and effort in the best way possible we thoroughly screen both you and the volunteer placement. We do this by assigning a matchmaker to you who will carefully help you find the best place for you looking at your; skills, period of time you can volunteer in and expectations. After you and your matchmaker find the best place you will be in contact with a recruiter who have visited and volunteered at the volunteer place! You can ask all the questions you have thought of since your conversation with the matchmaker, and we prepare you for the culture of the country and at the volunteer place! Then you are ready to go!
Our screening of the volunteer placements is done by and off-site and on-site validation.
TIPS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ENHANCE SUSTAINABILITY ON YOUR TRAVELS
Support the locals
Travel by bus or other local transports instead of flying
Say no to plastic and try to find an alternative like a tote bag, bamboo toothbrush, reusable cotton swab etc.
Get sunscreen produced from natural resources and put it on at least an hour before going into the water
Do not disturb marine life by touching
Volunteering abroad is a very attractive endeavour - but not only for the volunteers themselves but also for many for-profit organisations. Since more and more (young) people seek the ultimate travel experience in a globalized world and feel a need not only to consume but also to contribute, international volunteering seems to be the perfect solution. But unfortunately many volunteers underestimate the challenges related to this kind of service and arrive with stereotypes creating unrealistic expectations on what to expect and on how much they could contribute. Since the global volunteer market is completely unregulated and unsupervised, some agencies sell products and experiences that are potentially harmful to both - volunteers and local communities.
But at responsible-volunteering.com we are convinced of the enormous potential of international volunteering for global learning and mutual understanding - if it is done in the right way. That's why every volunteer should do an intensive screening and verification of the agencies and programs they want to join to make their experience not only responsible but also sustainable.