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How To Make A Big Impact With A Small Budget While Volunteering Abroad

How To Make A Big Impact With A Small Budget While Volunteering Abroad

Here at IVHQ, we know that sometimes the simplest of ideas can have the most profound impact. So when it comes time to nut out what you can bring to the community you are about to volunteer in, try to think outside the box. While working with the local team to fundraise and buy goods in country is a great option, you don’t have to rely on money to make an impact. After all, volunteering is a work of heart more than anything. So whether it’s a hobby that inspires you, a skill you have, or a mindset you live by - it might just be the thing that connects a community, inspires a student, or simply brings a smile to someone’s face.

You’ll 100 per cent know what we are talking about after you check out this story from IVHQers Ed Armitage and Katie Smith. These two proved that a little action can go a long way when they started a running club while volunteering in Zambia. We’ll let Ed tell you the rest, after all, he’s the expert on the Livingston Runners.


I love to run - it is that simple. It’s done a whole lot of good for me so I thought if it can be so beneficial for me, then why not try and get the rest of the community where I was volunteering involved. Luckily for me, a fellow IVHQ volunteer had the same love for running. Together we set up a running club and called it Livingstone Runners. It’s completely free to participate (that is the best part about running) and then at the end everyone who participates gets water and a snack.

How To Have A Big Impact On A Small Budget While Volunteering Abroad

Pic: Livingston Runners via @robin2.8 Instagram

We first started the club in October 2015 and continued this for the six weeks we had remaining at our placement and received a good participation rate. We had a range of ages and abilities. From children who ran without shoes to adults who set a good pace. The volunteers accommodate the different ages and abilities, so no one is left on their own.

How To Have A Big Impact On A Small Budget Why Volunteering Abroad

Pic: Livingston Runners via @robin2.8 Instagram


While Ed and Katie did leave, their idea has kept going strong. For months IVHQ volunteers have pounded the dirt with the community and turned the Livingston Runners into a common sight. Around 40 to 50 kids participating each week. It gives all those involved a sense of connection, empowerment and happiness.

Not to mention good ideas often bounce off each other and after seeing the success of running club, a soccer club has also started and takes place every Wednesday.

How To Have A Big Impact On A Small Budget While Volunteering Abroad

Pic: Volunteers and youngsters alike enjoy meeting at Soccor Club @liseylionheart Instagram

So what humble idea are you going to use to have a profound and meaningful impact on a community abroad? You also find a few ideas around how to fundraise to support your trip.

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