Good and bad orphanage volunteer programs are in existence all over the world. Today, many crafty business owners have mastered their market. They have intricate knowledge to allow them answer any concern you may have, use the right buzzwords and capitalize with the right pictures. However, you can easily avoid such businesses by implementing the recommendations below to find orphanages that are doing good work.
It is vital that you learn where your money goes. When a program simply posts “donate to the project,” stop and investigate further. A single sentence is not a good enough answer to your queries that means that you should give them your money. Find out from the principle managers how much of your money is going where and what it is used for.
Use the internet and look for volunteer reviews. Become familiar with several review databases, but be aware that the business owner can pose as a client and give a glowing review. On the other hand, a competitor might take the opportunity to post unflattering comments about a genuine Cambodia volunteering opportunity. After some time, you will eventually learn how to spot the real from the fake reviews and in particular if you find the same review in several sources. Carrying out research does eventually pay off.
Talk to Individuals Involved
Make sure that you have an honest chat with the volunteer program’s management. Find out more about what the volunteers are expected to do. Again, a simple one-sentence reply like “helping children” is not sufficient. Some of the questions you need to ask include:
- Do you teach the children?
- What lessons do you teach the children and how are the lesson plans structured and reviewed?
- Do you have full-time teachers as part of your staff?
“Helping children” can also cover anything from offering volunteer medical services to sports activities. At the end of your conversation, you should have a precise picture of what is expected of you as a volunteer.
If possible, get in touch with a few locals. If your Cambodia volunteering program involves living with a host family, find out who they are. Some programs put up their volunteers in hotels, speak with the manager and understand more about the area you will be working in.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities
If you love caring or teaching children, find volunteer opportunities that offer long-term programs in known orphanages. However, if you cannot commit yourself to several months of volunteer services, consider providing professional services like pediatric care for physicians. Another option is working in day-to-day projects that involve light construction or gardening, for example.
Involvement Volunteer Association Inc. (IVI) was started in 1989 in the UK and offers several programs in over 40 countries around the world including Cambodia. As a non-profit organization, IVI partners with aid agencies, host families, and local organizations to offer much-needed services to orphanages around the globe. In the 26 years it has been in the industry, IVI offers volunteer opportunities to corporate professionals, retirees, groups, disaster relief parties, travellers and gap year students. The programs are designed to cater to all types of experiences, budgets, and needs.