Diversity of IVHQ Volunteers
Meet incredible people from all over the world when you volunteer with IVHQ
One of the best things about volunteering abroad with IVHQ is the opportunity to build awesome friendships with like-minded people from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and more!
Thanks to the affordability and accessibility of IVHQ programs, our global community of volunteers is extremely diverse and made up of people from all walks of life, including a wide range of ages, backgrounds and nationalities. You’ll have the chance to learn not just about your host country, but also about the cultures, languages and lifestyles of the people you’re volunteering alongside.
While no two volunteers are the same (and that’s the beauty of it!) there are some common traits that bring this wonderfully diverse group of people together:
- Caring about the world we live in and wanting to make it a better place
- An appetite for adventure, exploring new places and experiencing new things
- Wanting to be part of a community, learn about other cultures and form meaningful friendships
- A desire to grow as a person, build self-awareness and get out of your comfort-zone
- A willingness to challenge your own assumptions and be open to new ideas with a learning mindset
Does this sound like you? You’d fit right in! Explore our full range of programs or learn more about how our programs are so accessible and diverse below…
What is IVHQ’s approach to diversity?
Volunteering abroad with IVHQ is as much about nurturing meaningful friendships, deepening cultural understanding and embracing diversity as it is about giving back. Everyone is welcome on IVHQ’s volunteer programs and our reviews frequently reference how friendly and inclusive they are.
Santi Ake ClaprothFrom Indonesia | Volunteered in Sri Lanka with IVHQ
Volunteering in Sri Lanka was such an incredible journey. It was my first time volunteering, traveling solo and teaching special needs children. It opened my eyes to the world and the children taught me to be grateful for what I have. I met volunteers from many other countries - they are really amazing people and friends. We explored and traveled the country during the weekends. This was the best experience and memories that I've ever had.Read about Santi Ake Claproth's experience
Simone CarvalhoFrom Brazil | Volunteered in Thailand with IVHQ
My days volunteering in Thailand were full of learning and smiles. The most important thing was that I was welcomed and accepted into the community. I'm passionate about working with children and every day we went in a group to give our best to those kids, who were always so excited waiting for us. Those moments brought more joy to my life than I could ever imagine. It gave me the opportunity to try something new, gain experience, develop skills, build confidence and meet new people. I'm so grateful to be part of the IVHQ family and I'll never forget those days.Read about Simone Carvalho's experience
IVHQ’s non-discrimination policy:
IVHQ strictly adheres to a non-discrimination policy of not denying any person access to, or participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, physical condition or developmental disability.
Volunteers will only be advised against participating on a volunteer program if it poses a risk to their safety as a result of local cultural attitudes or if the physical environment and/or program activities are not suitable for the volunteer based on the information they have provided to us.
IVHQ volunteers must agree to abide by this non-discrimination policy and accept that any evidence of discrimination in any form will result in instant dismissal from the program with no refund.
This multiculturalism creates an inclusive environment and encourages volunteers to nurture a deep cultural intelligence, curiosity and respect.
Diversity is also present in the way our volunteers communicate with one another, because for 22% of IVHQ volunteers, English is not their first language. This provides a unique opportunity to learn about other languages and practice cross-cultural communication.
Volunteering abroad as an immigrant or expat
Many IVHQ volunteers live somewhere different to where they originate from. Around 8% of our volunteers are immigrants or expats, with their current country of residence being different to their nationality.
Often these volunteers embark on an IVHQ trip as a meaningful way to reconnect with their cultural roots. Volunteering abroad provides an opportunity to rediscover your family’s heritage authentically, enabling you to truly connect with the local community as more than just a tourist.
Watch Andreanna’s story about exploring her family roots in Vietnam by volunteering on IVHQ’s medical program in Ho Chi Minh City:
How old are IVHQ volunteers?
IVHQ programs host a wide range of age groups, including teenagers, college students, families, couples, older adults and seniors. There is no age limit to our programs! Many volunteers describe this as an enriching opportunity to learn from people with different life experiences and backgrounds. Among our volunteers over the last 12 months:
- 4% were under the age of 18
- 13% were aged 19-20
- 34% were aged 21-25
- 17% were aged 26-30
- 20% were aged 31-50
- 12% were aged 51+
- 23% traveled with their family, partner or friend(s)
With homestay and private room accommodation upgrades available on a huge range of IVHQ programs, we have hosting options to suit volunteers at all stages of life.
Are IVHQ programs LGBTQ+ friendly?
All IVHQ staff, local teams and placement staff are welcoming and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community, and 48 out of our 52 volunteer programs are LGBTQ+ friendly.
Unfortunately, some of the countries where we run volunteer programs still hold cultural views, religious influences or laws that are not tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community. The only IVHQ programs that we would not recommend for LGBTQ+ volunteers due to local cultural attitudes are Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya and Morocco.
Volunteering with a disability
While all IVHQ staff welcome those with disabilities, we have a range of programs that are specifically adapted to host volunteers with mobility disabilities.
How are IVHQ’s volunteer programs so accessible?
Our programs facilitate human connection on levels that you wouldn’t get from your average vacation and we believe that everyone should get a chance to experience this.
We’re often asked why our prices are so much lower than other volunteer abroad providers. Here’s how IVHQ is able to offer high quality, fully-hosted programs at such affordable prices:
1. Our programs are run by local people, keeping costs down
We believe locals are in the best position to see where volunteers can make the greatest impact. This reduces the cost of hosting volunteers and supports long-term employment for local people.
2. Accessibility to volunteering has always been our mission
From the start, we’ve been committed to minimizing costs and maximizing value. In fact, the lack of affordable, accessible international volunteer options is why IVHQ was founded in 2007.
3. Our affordable accommodation options support cultural immersion
Accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and most IVHQers choose to stay in volunteer houses or homestays with local families. This keeps costs down and offers a more authentic cultural experience.
4. Our scale keeps our program fees low
As the largest global volunteer abroad organization, IVHQ supports thousands of volunteers a year. This allows us to spread the cost of running programs across more volunteers, keeping our fees low.
5. We’re the only B Corporation certified volunteer organization
As a certified B Corp, we are independently audited to ensure that our programs are accessible to people from all backgrounds. We achieve this by keeping the cost of volunteering low and the value high.