What should I look for in an organization?
| The organization should have non-profit status and should be registered with the appropriate government body |
to be legitiament. Verbal confirmation is not enough, they should have the registration number listed on the
website. Some will have the tax ID number listed as well. Other signs of a good organization are ones that
will provide you with health and evacuation insurance, room and board, and pick up at the airport included in
your registration fee. Some smaller scale NGOs will require you to arrange some of the above on your own
due to low overhead. A good organization will also be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you
may have. If they are reluctant to give you answers to your questions or they don't answer your questions
adequately consider another organization. Individuals are encouraged to request all information directly
from the program provider. Definitely ask questions, gather information, and research before you leave home.
Why should I have to pay money to volunteer?
| Remember that most international volunteer agencies are non-profit, so you should expect to pay for your round |
trip flight as well as a lump sum for the program costs that can vary in amount. Other things you should bargain
for are travel and health insurance abroad and the costs of travel vaccines and malaria prophylaxis if you
choose. The program cost that you pay will usually go to your room and board while in the country,
administration costs, as well as to the program itself to keep it running. Without this, many organizations would
not be able to function. So think of it like you are volunteering and donating money at the same time, a double
Are there any risks to volunteering?
| There are of course inherent risks to international travel. All travelers should consider safety, current affairs, |
and personal health before deciding to go on an international trip. Potential risks related to international
travel including but are not limited to international law, local custom, transportation risk, employment risk,
sexual, racial and ethnic preference and/or discrimination of international providers, or listing agents
and organizations. Having stated this, most reputable organizations take into consideration all of the risks
involved and do there best to limit exposure to unsafe conditions. They are always up to date on local conditions
and if there was a potential threat to safety they may cancel the trip or send an individual back home to avoid
being in a dangerous situation. For the most part, volunteer trips are safe if the volunteer is aware and uses
common sense by listening to the local hosts.
What can I do to prepare for my trip?
| Preparation for a trip will depend on where you're going and for how long. Learning about the country and |
culture you will be visiting may lessen the culture shock experienced when traveling abroad. Learning a few
basic words in the local language never hurts and will make your experience more fulfilling once you get to
your destination. Journaling can be a nice way to get your thoughts down about what your expectations are,
and how you think you will deal with the things you will face when working abroad. There are no guarantees
with what will happen so keeping an open mind about what your will experience will be like and going with the
flow will be the best way to get the most out of your trip.
There are so many organizations...where do I start ?
| It can be overwhelming to try and pick an organization to work with. To make things easier it may be beneficial |
to think about what you really want to do and experience. Ask yourself the following questions: How much
money do I have to spare? Do I want to live and work in a city or a village in the middle of nowhere? Do I
only want to do medical work, or do I want to have the opportunity to do something else? Do I also want to work
in a conventional medical setting? Do I speak any other languages that may be helpful? Is there a country I've
always been interested in? Would I rather stay in a place with running water and electricity than one without?
Do I have any health concerns that requires me to be close to a hospital?
What should I be aware of when volunteering?
|This section is under construction. Will be up soon!|
Did you know...
|"The Chinese herbal remedy Artemisia annua, used for almost 2000 years, has recently been found to be effective against resistant malaria and could give hope of preventing many of the 800 000 deaths among children from severe malaria each year.""|
World Health Organization
For Interest Sake..."About 25% of modern medicines are descended from plants first used traditionally"
World Health Organization