Reasons to Volunteer Abroad with IVHQ
IVHQ has developed a reputation as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, with thousands of volunteers travelling with us every year. By working directly with local organisations in the countries where our programs are based, we are able to keep our fees low and ensure these go towards meaningful community projects and local employment.
Having placed over 80,000 volunteers abroad since 2007, IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and experienced volunteer travel provider. Our Directors and staff have traveled to our program destinations to experience our programs first-hand. We have lived in the accommodation and we have experienced the hospitality that our volunteers are offered. We have visited the placements and inspected the projects that our volunteers contribute to. We have helped thousands of IVHQ volunteers to prepare for their trips and we understand what it is like to travel to a new country for the first time. Our in-depth knowledge and experience means we can provide outstanding service, support and advice to thousands of volunteers every year.
IVHQ is renowned for providing the world’s leading range of affordable volunteer programs, and we pride ourselves on the superior programs and support services we provide to our volunteers. IVHQ and our local teams are passionate about facilitating rewarding travel experiences and as a result, we are consistently rated as one of the top volunteer travel providers on independent review sites, and we are joined by thousands of returning volunteers every year.
Quality and responsibility go hand in hand. At IVHQ we are dedicated to ensuring our volunteer programs are responsibly run and have a positive impact that is sustainable over time. We set tough standards for Responsible Volunteer Travel and we work closely with our partners in each country to ensure our programs meet all of our expectations. IVHQ volunteers are also briefed about our standards for responsible volunteering before they begin a program, and they are required to adhere to these standards at all times, particularly in relation to interacting with children. We measure the long-term impact of our programs and we work with community stakeholders to understand how specific projects support local needs. Our Head of Sustainability and Risk oversees this work.
From your first point of contact with IVHQ until the time you finish your volunteer program, you will receive dedicated support and service from us. Once you become a registered IVHQ volunteer, you will gain instant access to a number of value-add features within your My IVHQ account to help you prepare for your trip. These features include interactive volunteer training, information booklets and checklists that help you to remember key things you need to do before you leave home. Your IVHQ Program Manager is directly responsible for making your program arrangements and helping you to prepare for your experience. Once you reach your program destination, our local team will become your main point of contact until the day you depart your program. While your IVHQ Program Manager becomes a secondary layer of support at this stage, we will remain in touch with you via email and will be accessible should you require any assistance. Once you’ve completed your volunteer program, we’ll get back in touch to hear how you got on, and to say a big “thank you”!
Volunteer safety is a top priority of IVHQ which is reflected in our outstanding safety record. We have clear standards for risk management which we enforce on each program and our volunteers are placed with trustworthy institutions, organisations and families that have all been screened by our local teams. IVHQ staff members conduct regular audits of every program to ensure risks are appropriately mitigated and to confirm that we are meeting our duty of care for volunteer safety and security. We also have a big focus on supporting volunteers to keep themselves safe while abroad, and we provide this support and advice through pioneering volunteer training tools and through face-to-face briefings delivered by our local teams.
In addition to forming life-long friendships with host families and the people they assist while volunteering, our volunteers also form strong bonds with their fellow volunteers. Although they come from vastly different cultures and backgrounds, the experiences that volunteers share forge strong ties that can last a lifetime. As one of the world’s largest volunteer organisations, placing thousands of volunteers abroad annually, IVHQ volunteers are always in the company of like-minded international people.
IVHQ actively seeks local teams that offer quality projects in genuine need of volunteer assistance. Whether your stay is a short or a long one, our partner organisations will ensure that you make a valuable contribution to support the long-term development goals of your host community.
Loyalty is one of the foundations that IVHQ has been built on. We show strong loyalty to the communities in which we work through setting up long-term partnerships with local organisations and institutions. This allows us to make a long-term contribution to the social needs and economic prosperity of the communities where our volunteers are placed. We also reward our returning volunteers with 10% registration fee refunds.
At IVHQ we recognise that there is more to an awesome volunteer travel experience than simply volunteering. While we maintain a strong focus on providing top quality programs, we also understand that many IVHQ volunteers are first-time travellers and want to make time for sightseeing and exploring. To ensure that you get the most our of your IVHQ experience, our local teams have established partnerships with local travel companies to provide our volunteers with access to trustworthy travel and tour activities.