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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Volunteering by robnights on 11 June 2005 7:10pm
Are there any organisations that offer 'cheap' volunteering services abroad. I've seen some for around £1500, but for this price, I could go on a full adventure holiday, so not much of that money must be going to the country involved. I found somewhere a company where after paying for your own flight, and a £50 fee, each week is around £40, which seems a fair deal, and something I could afford, but I can't seem to find anything like this anymore :-( and I can't afford these excessively expensive organisations.

Does anyone have any links or contacts where volunteering is basically paying for your living expenses, and a flight and not much else? maybe a smaller organisation or charity?

Re: Volunteering by keys on 11 June 2005 11:27pm
hi robnights,

that sounds like a pretty good deal you've found there!

depending on the level of experience you've got, another option (tho not always recommended) is always working for a charity which requires contacting the charity yourself and thus, skips out on any fees imposed by a middle-man organization. BUT this isn't always the 'safest' in case of medical emergencies or whatnot, larger organizations tend to have in-field contacts. perhaps choosing a larger charity (i.e. Red Cross) will help the odds.

nonetheless, it took me many many months just to find the right program and organization! Global Crossroad is pretty good with costs tho of course ,this is all relative.
Re: Volunteering by julwis on 12 June 2005 2:29pm
Have you considered teaching english? This is a reasonable way to travel, as you can usually get your flight paid for, as long as you work a minimum contract. While more places abroad require you to have a TEFL certificate, some places will still give you training before the job starts. There are also intesive TEFL courses (20 hours over a weekend) run around the UK (try www.tefl.co.uk) which give you a basic grounding in the teaching methods. The intensive courses are about £200 but once you get out to a foreign country then you get a reasonable salary, certainly enough to live on locally.
Re: Volunteering by Tusker on 13 June 2005 10:50am
In the UK there's VSO: http://www.vso.org.uk/

safari njema
Re: Volunteering by Ageless Backpacker! on 23 June 2005 12:47am
One of my friends is in Cambodia at the mo and she just went along to an HIV orphanage and asked if they needed any help. She is now fully involved in the project and is not having to pay for anything more than living expenses. If you were in a developing country - I am sure there are plenty of establishments who would love to have you. Just get good insuarance - doing it this way you will have no 'organisation' safety net. Good luck!
Re: Volunteering by ma bee on 1 July 2005 6:00am
my experience was the same as ageless backpacker. i've just returned from east africa recently and came across many opportunities to work in orphanages, hospitals, schools or local charities all through my trip. they're delighted with any help at all as they've barely the resources to meet the basic needs of their clients.
Re: Volunteering by robnights on 4 July 2005 9:54pm
How do you go about finding these orphanages/schools etc?
Re: Volunteering by pashley on 15 July 2005 4:12am
I'm living in China teaching English -- good money and a good life, best qualfication is Cambridge CELTA http://www.cambridgeesol.org/teaching/celta.htm
but many places want a degree too.

There are a fair number of volunteers about.

Many are from an outfit that organises "gap year" travel for British kids that just finished A levels http://www.gap.org.uk/

I think those kids are exploited and underpaid, 700 RMB a month in an area where most foreign teachers make 4000 or more and part time work (forbidden by their contracts) is usually 150 an hour

That said, the ones I've met seemed to be having a fine time, greatly enjoying the experience.

There are lots of other volunteer groups too. I've met VSO people, working in the poorer West of China. No doubt Peace Corps, CUSO, etc. are there as well. Ask your home gov't.

There are also assorted missonary-ish groups, often requiring that you be a fairly committed Christian. If you are,
then ask around your church.

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