Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Paying to Volunteer Abroad

Many volunteers grapple with paying to volunteer abroad. They find it hard to understand “if am giving up my time and my energy they should be able to volunteer for free.” The feeling is more aggravated when some volunteer give up their time to make money at work while at the same time they have to folk out more money. Volunteering in essence should be free on such a basis, as the skills the volunteer provide are a great asset to the organization in which they are working in. This should be true more so for people who are volunteering locally. This is mainly because most of the costs involved in international volunteering are covered in advertently by the volunteers themselves e.g. accommodation, food, and support. When one wants to volunteer overseas the dynamics change as there are some costs that volunteer didn’t think of that have to be covered. Unfortunately the organizations in which the volunteers should be working are not able to cover these costs because they don’t have the resources to do so. If they had the resources, they would use the resources to hire local staff to do the work. In order to get volunteers many small organizations partner with multinationals organizations to provide them with volunteers. These multinational volunteer abroad organisations normally charge fees not as commission but to ensure the volunteers are well taken care of during the duration of their stay. As a volunteer who is going abroad these are the things one would be paying for when they leave:
Accommodation and food comes on the list first as this is the most important. A good place to stay puts the volunteers mind at peace as they would they know they will be a foreigner and they would be safe. Many of the volunteer homes are situated in a safe and secure home where there are no threats to the safety of the volunteers. In most cases the money paid goes to covering meals as well although one would not get a five star meal but the volunteer would get food that is suitable for him or her. Most volunteer programs provide 2 or 3 meals for the day and they consider the volunteers dietary concerns.
The biggest chunk of the fees paid is hardly ever seen by the volunteer. This is great because the money goes to emergency procedures. Most volunteers want to have a stress free program while they are working. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen all the time and there are some rare cases where they might be some issues. Issues like the volunteer falling sick, or violence might erupt due to political violence or a natural disaster leading to the volunteer to be evacuated from the host country immediately. The main reason to pay for volunteering is to make sure the volunteer’s wellbeing is taken care of during the program.
One other thing that many volunteers who are reluctant to pay is the amount of research that goes into volunteering. There are many organizations that run programs in the world but many of them are ill equipped and are not efficient, the volunteer might go to a country and find that there is no need for the work that she or he is doing. They might find that they are wasting their time there and being involved in programs that have little impact on the society they are working in.

For more information visit http://www.volunteercapitalcentre.org 

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