Here are some questions we think you should ask before heading overseas to volunteer.
Establishing your expectations is the likely the most important preparation you can undertake before volunteering abroad. Are you expecting to change yourself, or change the world? Can you accept that no matter how much time and effort you put in, the job may never get done? Taking that a step further, can you find solace in knowing that your time and effort are ALWAYS valuable?
Here are a few questions to ask operators to make sure you’ve found a genuinely sustainable project that’s right for you:
Yes, you too can cuddle a lion! Photo courtesy of AfricanImpact
We asked voluntourism operator AfricanImpact.com's Sarah Graham her thoughts on the most important question to ask.
"The number one question prospective volunteers should ask is ‘where does the money go?’ Whilst volunteering is about your participation and your input, it is important to know where how much of your project fee is actually benefiting the community too. And it varies widely. The company that you book with should be transparent and will be able to give you a breakdown. Do bear in mind that not all the money goes in country as there are costs involved in marketing online, producing brochures, staff salaries and having an office. However, the local communities should be benefiting in a sustainable way..."