What is Free Volunteering?
We no longer offer Free Volunteering – You pay for your food etc
There is a little bit of misunderstanding with free volunteering. We hope this explanation will clear it up.
Free volunteering in Africa (or any other continent) can still be expensive to you. Our Free Volunteering service makes it easier. It doesn’t wipe off all the personal costs. It just means you pay us nothing. You likely need to raise funds. You need to buy a plane ticket that can be about $1500 (US), plus visa fees, vaccinations, and your local taxi money. Regardless of what organization you go with, you will still need to spend money on these things. Yet, many volunteer matching organizations will charge you thousands of dollars of fees just for you to volunteer for two weeks. We don’t charge you anything! We instead provide you Free food and Free accommodation.
Please take a look at the price comparison between us and some leading volunteer organizations. You can check their sites to confirm the prices below. The ones listed are as of 08/21/2012.
These fees that these organizations will charge you don’t include your air-ticket, vaccinations, visa-fees etc which will cost you at least $2,000 if you are going to an African country. Their fees are just what you will pay for them to coordinate your volunteer trip. We coordinate your trip for zero dollars. That’s why we call our volunteer program, FREE. Free there doesn’t mean that it won’t cost you money.
We don’t dislike these organizations. They provide a valuable service. What we are out to do is to provide an alternative: The same level of experience for much less. We want to serve people who don’t have the thousands of dollars to pay but who still want to have a great volunteer experience.
Extra help that our Free Volunteering plan may offer people.
If you live at our orphanage in Cameroon, then your food and accommodation are FREE.
A Difficult Truth About Volunteering Abroad
Realize that except you are going to volunteer with the U.S Peace Corps or an organization such as the Peace Corps that pays you a stipend and possibly covers your airfare and moving costs, it will cost you at least $2,000 to go and volunteer.
We don’t know any organizations that would pay for the volunteer’s flights, visa fees, vaccinations etc.
Here is the truth that many people may not know. In many African countries, most managers of orphanages will earn about $100/month and much less. This is the salary for staff that work at least 40 hours per day and have the responsibility of running the entire orphanage. Most work more hours. It is virtually impossible for a volunteer who works for less than a year in an area to get there, learn the culture and become more effective at serving the orphans than managers hired from that culture. It is rare to find that except for physicians who may offer a special skill like specialized surgery or something of that nature that local physicians may not be able to do. Having said that, the reason that these orphanages and organizations still need a lot of help is because they don’t even have the $100 to hire an additional managerial hand. Why would an organization that really wants to help these poor communities spend $2,000 dollars to pay flight and visa for someone who will be there for two weeks and do what the local manager can do for less than $50?
That is the hard truth. But we still think the volunteer experience is crucial not only because it benefits the orphans but mostly because it will benefit the volunteer by transforming their lives. If you honestly was to do research and interview the orphans all over Africa and also interview volunteers who volunteer there for less 8 weeks. You will most probably find out that the volunteer’s life is transformed more than the help that the poor community gets. Don’t take our word for it, investigate. After you are convinced, realize that volunteering abroad is still worth it! You will still make an impact on a child or community, and on yourself too. If you pick up the costs, that will be a great help to the community and to you!