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Overseas Volunteering

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Right

I am looking into some volunteering abroad either in July/August 07 or 08 depending. Most likely 08. I want to do some kind of orphanage/teaching/care role to do with children in deprived areas. I have found quite a few project which interest me but need to decide weither to take the plunge. I realise it would cost me a bomb but it is once in a lifetime eh?

The reason for this thread being has anyone done anything similar? If so through who, price, what you did etc would be great thanks. Also any links would be well appreciated. I have googled but was wanting some real life advice.

Thanks x x

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    www.unaexchange.org
    doesn't have to cost a bomb unless you want it to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    PussyKatty wrote:
    www.unaexchange.org
    doesn't have to cost a bomb unless you want it to.


    Is this how you have volunteered overseas?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah I have a few years ago...I would never pay thousands of pounds, think about where your money is going. You are giving your time to go and hopefully help.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    PussyKatty wrote:
    yeah I have a few years ago...I would never pay thousands of pounds, think about where your money is going. You are giving your time to go and hopefully help.

    What did you do?

    How much did yours cost ya?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I paid for travel myself, then I paid £100 for the placement.
    I went to Bosnia, but they do placements all over the world.

    btw I think there is a dot UK at the end of the above address
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The address worked fine but can't seem to find any like details of any projects or anything
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    think you have to search or download a programme
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I went to India and taught in a school run by Terre des Hommes which is a dutch charity, I paid my transport and a contribution towards my keep (which cost me less than my coca cola habit did, so wasn't much).

    It may be worth finding an organisation you are interested in working with and trying to do it through them rather than something commercial like Raliegh which is usually a rip off. Churches are often good places to look.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ^ That looks great, but as you say, it's going to cost a bomb. 5 weeks, £699 plus flights (over £1100). It is a once in a lifetime experience, but that is a serious amount of money for just a month.

    I agree with PussyKatty, as far as project costs are concerned I think they should be as low as possible because if you think about it, you're giving your time to help people, why should you pay hundreds of pounds for the privilege? It would be one thing if the money actually went into the project but with big gap year companies the majority of it goes to them.

    Still, if this is the project you've decided to do then by all means go for it. I'm sure it will be a fantastic experience!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tell me about it. The flights seem to rolling in at a pretty figure of £800ish :shocking: :crazyeyes :nervous:

    But living costs over there should be next to nothing, £100 - 150 for the month.

    I really have fallen in love with it, just up my street and what I have always wanted to do. I realise that it probably is ripping me off, but reading testamonials on the website you get a person who you ask your questions to, discuss at queries and worries and they help you raise the money. I think knowing that it is such a well known company with such fantastic feedback, it puts my mind at rest, never mind my parents!! But hey, I am still trying to talk my mate into coming with me, she is "thinking it over". Would be like a holiday and experience combined. Phoaw, I so so so want to go!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's the cushy way of doing it, room in an appartment, although it doesn't sound like you get a lot more than that for your money, especially if no food is included.

    I assume you speak Spanish?

    It depends what you want to do, personally I have issues with the commercial gap year companies that aim to make money for themselves out of their customers enthusiasm to help others.

    BUT on the other hand, it's all on a plate, they may well sort out visas, transfers, insurance and all the hassle of that kind of stuff for you.

    When you're budgetting for it, don't forget to account for everything, then add at least 15% on top of that as a contingency. Vaccinations etc can be expensive too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I need to put some serious serious thought into it and sit down and work it out practically. A mate of mine is also interested but is overwhelmed by the cost which is understandable. If I can figure out how we can get the money together then all go ahead, we are both well up for it. I have sent for a brochure and going to contact the company in the new year and see if it is possible to arrange things.

    As part of the costs scary - they teach you spanish for a week beforehand so it's all fresh in your mind and you can communicate. Thats the impression I get from the website anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you realise by volunteering you may be taking away a job and a wage away from a local person and their family? Do you have any amazing skills you can offer a local community that don't already exist there?
    If not then the greatest difference you could make to a project overseas is by volunteering some of your time here in the UK fundraising, so that the project can train and employ local people to carry out the role you would have been doing, that way the project is more sustainable in the long term and gives something back to the local community by providing employment (and much needed income)and skils.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wyetry wrote:
    Do you realise by volunteering you may be taking away a job and a wage away from a local person and their family? Do you have any amazing skills you can offer a local community that don't already exist there?
    If not then the greatest difference you could make to a project overseas is by volunteering some of your time here in the UK fundraising, so that the project can train and employ local people to carry out the role you would have been doing, that way the project is more sustainable in the long term and gives something back to the local community by providing employment (and much needed income)and skils.

    I more than understand what you are saying. I do volunteer in my community already and the gap month is an experience for me, as well as helping these other people. In my opinion I will be priviledged to do work with these children and I accept having to pay money in order to do so. And yes, no doubt I will be touched by the work there and come home to fundraise and make lots of money to send over. It would be an added bonus to be able to see where the money is going to, but as I say it is also about the experience for me as I have very little experience of underpriviledged communities.

    You only live once eh, so why not?
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