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1. Posted by Mina_x (Budding Member 5 posts) 4y

I want to volunteer but i have looked at alot of sites and the price ranges are very exspensive,
Does anyone know any decent but cheap organisations?

Pleaaase help (:

Thanks

2. Posted by Oreo (Budding Member 13 posts) 4y

Hi:)
Im not sure where u wanna do volunteer work...but Im going to south america in sept and are gonna do some voluteer work for a couple of months while im travelling...i have checked out this site with a long list of grassrot organications http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/ Its all pretty cheap and looks like good projects:) Check it out...if its in S.A your going to though:)
oreo:)

3. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 4y

[quote=Mina_x]I want to volunteer but i have looked at alot of sites and the price ranges are very exspensive

Where do you want to volunteer? Many organisations/charities work in different regions across all continents.

4. Posted by dream.girl (Full Member 48 posts) 4y

I'm doing volunteering in West Africa early next year and I booked with the organization Kids Worldwide. Their prices were very reasonable, however I haven't actually gone yet so I can't give you a proper review. I do know they have programs all over the world, but check it out to see if it matches anything you are interested in.

-Cass

5. Posted by ...kitty (Budding Member 35 posts) 4y

VSO are the best. You need a high level of skill and experience in the field you want to work in, but they don't expect you to pay. In fact, you have to prove your level of skills to the extent you'd expect for them to pay all your accomodation / travel and give you a food allowance as you're doing serious work generally in healthcare/ IT/ teaching. Minimum placement is 6 months I think, but most placements are 1-2 years. It tends to be slightly older (wiser!) professionals who do this kind of thing I think.

I'm 25 and applied. I don't have enough experience in the field I wanted to work in (drama therapy) and I was rejected. However, my mum has been a health care professional all her life and she couldn't praise them highly enough when she started her placement in Cambodia setting up midwifery training programmes.

I'm off to South Africa in September and just started typing things into google like "monkey sanctury volunteering south africa" - if your search is a little more specific you'd be surprised what comes up! I found a great place - even checked it out with a couple of south african mates and they'd heard of it - it's all above board. I would say you need to totally have your wits about you when not doing it through an agency though. What would you do if you got there and they turned you away? Or if it was a total con? Just be very very careful!

Also, look into wwoofing - that might appeal?

6. Posted by talismanic (Budding Member 15 posts) 4y

I am currently a volunteer English teacher working in Thailand where I have been for the last nine months. I have had, and am still having, a fantastic time here. I have taught in five schools and I am now teaching 21 classes a week at Muangbaengwittayakom school, Wang Saphung, Loei which is a 750-student secondary school.

A year ago I too faced the problem of which volunteer organisation to go with. I looked online and, after visiting numerous sites over a few days, shortlisted three possibles. I decided to go with Thai Dragonfly (www.thai-dragonfly.com) because it offered exactly what I was looking for: no fuss and no religious fervour. I cannot recommend Dragonfly highly enough. I am an unusual volunteer as I wanted to teach for one year whereas most volunteers only do so for a few weeks. But, no problem with Dragonfly, they even found placements for me in the parts of Thailand I really wanted to work in.

I would be happy to answer any questions. I also have a blog and photo gallery on this site under my username of talismanic.

Alistair

7. Posted by harissa (Budding Member 38 posts) 4y

I would say you need to totally have your wits about you when not doing it through an agency though.

You need to keep your wits about you when using agencies too. Many agencies do not have their own staff in location for some or any of the project placements they sell, instead using local volunteer organisations as project partners. They will then be the people that sort out your placement and look after you during your stay.

There is of course no basic problem with this. However, some (and I'm certainly not suggesting all) agencies do very little to check out the organisations they work with in location. They sometimes don't meet them, or speak to them - conducting all correspondence by email - and rely on a handful of references provided by the organisation, without doing sufficient independent checks. Given the amount of information volunteers have to provide, including criminal records checks for some projects, it seems to me reasonable that they could expect the project partner to have been thoroughly vetted.

Most of the time this won't lead to problems, but even where it doesn't, volunteers will often pay significantly more than if they had booked with the project partner directly.

So don't assume that you'll get a better service by going through an agency. Ask them a lot of questions, find out how much of your fee actually goes to the local organisation and, where relevant, research the local organisation yourself.

8. Posted by Philymop (Full Member 110 posts) 4y

Hey, I went with POD (Personal Oversees Development) to Nepal 2 years ago and they were great. Totally sorted out logistics so I didn't need to worry about anything when I got there, but I wasn't mollycoddled either so had the freedom to do as I liked. THey arranged a pickup from the airport, overnight accommodation in Kathmandu and then transport to Pokhara. When I arrived there I was met at the bus and taken to my accommodation. This is a kind of half hotel / half homestay in a family run guesthouse who would invite us for dinner with them, but we were free to come and go as we pleased. There was also a common room and cooking facilities for volunteers to use ourselves. The next day I was taken around a couple of different placements to find which one I was most suited to and then started volunteering. I loved that the projects available were locally run and POD just sent volunteers to support the community rather than breezing in and building their own project. POD staff were in the same time and kept in contact but didn't come into the projects on a daily basis, just dropped by every now and then. We also had their phone numbers and knew where to find them if we needed them. It was the perfect balance between independence and being supported. I loved every second - in fact I've been back twice since then. I can't remember the exact cost, but I do remember thinking it was very good value and cheaper than most others. I think it works out alot more value if you stay longer, like the first few weeks were pricy and then just £50 a week or something after that? I don't know exactly. Anyway, POD was fab and I believe they run projects in a few other countries too. I'm sure whoever you go with you will have a great time, volunteering is really where it's at!

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