Have you been thinking about volunteering? Picking the right organisation to partner with is extremely important. There are hundreds of companies to choose from, but not all are created equal.
Understand their target market. Is it for young adults, seniors, short or long-term volunteers? Some companies specialize in large travel groups and others only work in countries where they have the most experience. If you are planning on volunteering, it is important to partner with an organization that fits your personality and personal values.
Choose an organisation based on reputation and ask around. Who do you know that has volunteered with this organisation? If you don’t have anyone in your personal network, ask for at least 2 references. If they are not willing to share past client experiences with you, then keep looking.
Volunteering overseas is about making a difference. Does the organisation offer relief or rehabilitation work? When you are considering short-term volunteering, you want to carefully consider how this organisation is impacting the lives of the people in need. A lot of damage can be done in high risk communities, if the organisation doesn’t understand the difference between relief and rehabilitation work.
Other questions you want to ask are:
- Security: Find out exactly what is expected of you and your family to keep you safe.
- What is their communication plan in case of an emergency?
- What cities are you travelling to?
- How much physical labor is involved?
- How far are you from local hospitals?
- What is the total cost? Are there any hidden surprises?
- What is your fundraising commitment (if any)?
These questions should be easy to answer and should come with supporting documentation or a checklist, so you can make informed decisions.
Volunteering is ideal for anyone who is looking for a lifelong passion or for someone wanting to expand their horizons. Our volunteers have returned home with a new lease on life along with a greater appreciation for their own families and lives— it truly is a life changing experience.