IVHQ provides the world's most affordable and trusted volunteer abroad programs in 40+ destinations. Discover why we're the world's most trusted volunteer travel company...
IVHQ provides the world's most affordable and trusted volunteer abroad programs in 40+ destinations. Discover why we're the world's most trusted volunteer travel company...
Since 2007, IVHQ has supported over 90,000 people to volunteer abroad affordably in over 40 destinations across Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, Europe the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
As an IVHQ volunteer, you can choose to support a wide range of projects, including Teaching, Childcare, Medical, Turtle Conservation, Community Development, Construction and Renovation, and Wildlife Conservation.
IVHQ is the world's most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in destinations like Bali, Costa Rica, Kenya, Greece, Spain, India, Guatemala, South Africa and Fiji.
Whether you're planning a volunteer vacation, gap year, or taking a career break, IVHQ's volunteer programs are available year-round and you can choose a date and duration to fit your schedule.
Variety of start dates depending on the country you choose to volunteer in! Volunteer from one week to six months!
Program fees start for USD180!
I have done multiple trips with IVHQ (India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Morocco, and South Africa) and each of them have been different, crazy, exciting, eye opening, fun and leave me wanting more when it's time to go home.
I absolutely recommend this as a route for those looking for an affordable way to volunteer and see the world, especially if you want to travel solo but also not be alone all the time!
I've made amazing friends through these travels, and I have been able to see the world in a different way by being able to work with locals and learn more about their communities - and hopefully help too!
I have found that most of the time the programs offered are what you make of it, so be sure to come with some ideas and don't be afraid to jump in with the kids and locals.
Enjoy your trip!
I had no idea how much my life would change in such a short period of time with IVHQ.
My two week trip to South Africa, in summary, was the most amazing, eye opening, and fulfilling trip of my life.
I had never seen children so happy with so little, and the joy they brought to my life is priceless.
The most beautiful country, the BEST people, and the most amazing experiences were found in Cape Town, South Africa and I highly recommend to anyone looking to do a good deed.
I know I'll be back.
If you are considering volunteering abroad, you simply MUST choose IVHQ. Not only are they the most affordable by a long-shot (trust me, I've done the research and can never find a cheaper program), but they are a high-quality, supportive, and community-focused organization. They are truly invested in the communities where volunteers are placed and want to help better those communities. I've done three programs so far with IVHQ (Guatemala, Bali - Ubud, and Morocco) and each has been different but equally rewarding and beneficial to the community. I highly recommend IVHQ!
I recently spent a month in Ghana and loved it. I was apart of the childcare program and to anyone who is on the fence about it...do it! Everyone was so friendly and the food was amazing. We had the opportunity of actually living in the community, which made the experience more authentic. We took bokiti(bucket) showers with water we fetched from the well and carried on our heads, hand washed all our clothes, and had the opportunity to even teach some classes. You also get nights and weekends free so you can travel and meet people. The day after I got back I started fundraising for my next trip! Thank you IVHQ!
I spent 6 weeks in Ghana this summer and it was by far the most rewarding experience of my life. I was in the childcare programme, which involved loads of activities with the kids, playing, bathing, and teaching them sometimes.
The local stuff it is very loving and caring, and I truly left like was part of a family. The food was delicious and in abundance. There was always way more food than we could eat.
The accommodation was very nice and clean. We had flushing toilets and a shower, which was more than I expected.
I arrived in Ghana knowing no one, and after 6 weeks I can say that I have a family there.
I cannot wait to go back next summer and to see the children again.
I would recommend IVHQ to anyone who is ready to step out of their comfort zone.
I volunteered in Cusco Peru for 4 weeks doing construction. I wanted to do somthing physically challanging and thats exactly what I got. Volunteering with IVHQ was the best decision I ever made. My host family that I was placed with were amazing. I lived with 6 other volunteers all doing different projects in through IVHQ. Dinner times we great and my Spanish level went from knowing two words to a basic level that could get me by day to day. The people you meet through this program are great. You develope such a strong bond and friendship with them. It's been over a year since my volunteer program and still to this day we all keep in touch. If you are looking for a rewarding volunteer program filled with adventure, laughter and lifelong friendship IVHQ will give you all that and more.
I just graduated from high school and wanted to take a break before going to college. I found out about IVHQ volunteering program and fell in love with the Bali project. I've done 12 weeks already and I couldn't be more in love with Bali, the people here are so kind and happy. One of the most amazing and life changing experiences I've had.
I went to volunteer in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ and would 100% recommend to others to apply. How did I end up going to Tanzania? I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and I wanted to mix the experience with giving back so I started researching volunteer programs there.
IVHQ easily stood out when I was searching for teaching programs as all of their social media accounts have lots of photos, videos and reviews from previous volunteers. They have very reasonable priced program and the team in their office also very patiently answered lots of phone calls and emails where I bombarded them with loads of questions.
The fee I paid included accommodation, food, certain in-country transportation, 24-hour support, amazing local staff that's always happy to help, and an orientation to get to know all the other volunteers and learn more about the project/country. My trip to Tanzania with IVHQ is hands-down one of the most amazing trips I have ever done and the other volunteers are now some of my best friends.
If you are considering going to an IVHQ volunteering I would 100% recommend it. It over past all my expectations, clearly you have to have an open mind and willingness to help but seeing the smiles of the children will make it easy. When I was just about to decide which program to choose, I was very nervous because I really wanted to be a teacher but I had no experience at all so I was wondering how much help I could give the children. Thanks to IVHQ they helped me see the potential that each one has by putting effort. I have been in Zambia for four months now and with the help of donations I not only teach in the morning, but I am also building a school for the children I have been teaching.
I spent a month volunteering in Kenya this summer and I had the best time of my life. IVHQ is a great organization. It was my first time traveling solo and I loved the experience. I did the childcare program and I worked in orphanages. The people in Kenya are amazing and the kids are lovely. Everyone over there is really nice and they always want to help. Going there was definitely the best decision i’ve made in my life so far and I will always be grateful for everyone I met during this trip and every thing that happened. I highly recommend IVHQ as well as the volunteering programs in Kenya if you are looking for a life changing and amazing experience.
I was in Guatemala for 2 weeks as part of the animal program and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I did thorough research and spoke to many previous volunteers before I chose to volunteer with IVHQ and I do not regret it.
Not only are they the most affordable and organized but they have great local connections within the community that you are immediately connected with. This enriches your cultural experience making you feel safe and appreciated.
You will love volunteering with IVHQ!!
As it was my first time volunteering abroad I did a lot of research and decided to apply for two IVHQ programs in Nepal. The first was a construction & renovation project and the second a childcare and teaching placement. I spent 2 months in Nepal and IVHQ were fantastic. They are one of the most affordable volunteer organisations I came across especially when you see what you get for your money.
You can choose from so many different destinations IVHQ offer and they make the application process as easy as possible. They answered all my enquiries within 24 hours and helped me to get prepared before departing to Nepal. Included in the program was airport collection, homestay accommodation, an orientation at the start to introduce gently into the culture and lifestyle of Nepal (which included meals, drinks we had to pay for) in addition to a couple of language lessons which were brilliant. Once the orientation is over you will then go and stay with a host-family! I would not have been able to do all this alone so using IVHQ really did help settle my initial nerves.
I was able to meet similar like-minded people so is a great way to meet new friends from all over the world. DON’T FORGET – The first week is the orientation you get so remember that when selecting how many weeks you intend to volunteer, if you select 2 you will only essentially have 1! During my stay I had support and help whenever requested and I was also able to book lots of extra sightseeing activities like a safari in the Chitwan National Park and Paragliding. Not only do they help with this you can go on the on dates that suit you.
IVHQ made it easy for me to focus on volunteering as they arranged all the logistics and provided any additional help if I needed it. You get a quality service without the ridiculous price tag and is ideal for people starting off. You do see some negative reviews about IVHQ programs and having spoken to a few of the intake I was amongst I can see why, it is only down to how the program they were placed on in the country was run. I would ask IVHQ to reach out to these programs and send people there to get it back on track.
Next time I would volunteer by going directly to in-country organisations and organising parts of the trip myself. Though if like me it is your first-time volunteering in a country like Nepal I would recommend going with IVHQ. I felt lucky with both my programs and really did feel like I made a difference. IVHQ have made my first volunteering experience a great one and I would now feel comfortable going to a country and organising all this myself without having a company to do this for me.
Please check out my Instagram for pictures from Nepal: @welchml_ or my blog posts at: https://liamarkwelch.wixsite.com/wanderingwelch/single-post/2017/11/14/Chitwan-Padampokhari-Village-Construction-Project.
Don't hesitate to pick IVHQ as your organization of choice, I spent five weeks in Bali helping with Turtle Conservation and they treated me like family. Come with an open mind, there's so much to see and do on Nusa Penida, the Island where the centre is, and in Bali that you don't want to miss. The coordinators and staff members are very accomadating and with the beach a minute away it's hard to be unrelaxed. I'd volunteer again with them in the future and I highly recommend this organization to anyone looking into the subject.
It all started in 2015. I had one semester left before graduating in may 2016. My student life was about to end and I knew I had a great opportunity to travel. I had time, no responsabilities and nothing stopping me from leaving. And that's when I started looking around at different volunteer programs. Found IVHQ, liked all the choices they had and the prices we're better than other organizations. Then I narrowed down my search criterias. Wanted to go to Africa and do construction work. Both Ghana and Madagascar offered the program, and I signed up for both.
Spent 4 weeks in Ghana before flying directly to Madagascar. I won't detail my experience that much, but more than a year later, I still think about my trip. I met incredible people from all around the world, made friends, worked with locals, learned their customs and lived like they did. I wasn't there for the comfort or the good life, I was there to help and be sensitized.
When I came back, I was hoping the experience would've changed me a bit, made me a better person. At first, I couldn't see the change, but now, I do. It did changed me, I grew from my adventure and that alone makes it worth it.
Try it, be open-minded and appreciate every bit of your experience. Not everyone has this opportunity.
I had the opportunity to be part of the program in Chiang Rai, Thailand and the one in Ubud, Bali they where both unique and very different experiences in which I got the chance to fully immerse in their culture and way of living, meet incredible people and had the best time of my life!
I volunteered as a kindergarten teacher in Zambia for four months in 2017. The best part was how amazing and happy the kids are, they make every single moment amazing, they enjoy learning and they give you so much love. I met some great friends from all over the world, we are still in touch and I'm sure we will meet again sometime. You really make friends for life there.
The county is amazing, is really safe, the activities are fun and if you go there I promess you will never want to go back. It becomes your house.
Incredible experience, IVHQ looked after everything so little stress organising everything alone, well looked after and fed and tailored my volunteering to what I would like. Would return again in a heartbeat.
Like one of the previous reviews, i recommend ivhq for first-time volunteers.
Spent two weeks in Saigon and ivhq has been so helpful and informative even prior to our trip. The checklist for registrations is clear and reminders were sent to remind us of upcoming items to be prepared prior to our trip. And Sean, the coordinator is always there to answer our never ending problems and always giving useful advices whenever we needed them.
However, if i were to go back to the SAME place for future volunteer trips, i would go directly to in-country organizations as i could then save on expenditure and put the money into better use such as getting necessities for the beneficiaries.
Other than that, i think ivhq is a pretty well-organized and helpful platform to bridge interested volunteers to local NGOs in varies parts of the world. If i were to decide on going to OTHER places for future volunteer trips, ivhq will still be my first choice.
My experience with IVHQ was so helpful and informative. This has been my first trip overseas with IVHQ, volunteering in Uganda with a Women's Education and Empowerment program. I had lots of support getting ready and prepared from my assigned support contact, and found them very compliant with my requests. I chose IVHQ because of it's much cheaper rates compared to other abroad programs, and also because of the great reviews. After experiencing this time with them myself I have no hesitation to recommend them, especially for people new to overseas volunteering.
Get ready for an amazing adventure that will change who you are. I volunteered with the surf outreach that works with the children from townships in Muizenberg, South Africa. Playing in the water with the kids, pushing them into waves, being able to create that huge smile on their face, gives you the greatest feeling. They come from homes built from what they can find. Gangs, drugs HIV are huge in this area. So being able to show them a new light in their life really is important. I met amazing people along the way that became family, and we had countless adventures that I will talk about forever. Sign up, buy that plane ticket, and go for it. You will make a difference for the community and you will make a difference within yourself.
I volunteered with IVHQ in Tanzania for 5 weeks in August of 2016 and had the greatest time of my life! I volunteered under the teaching program at a school in Tanzania. I then decided to return to Africa the following year on July of 2017, and I volunteered at the children's home in Mombasa Kenya for 2 weeks, and I then went back to Tanzania to volunteer at a school for 6 weeks. In Kenya I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at the orphanage with the children, where I got to know each and every one of them very well. I woke up to their singing, learned a few Swahili words, helped fetch water, took them on a day trip to the beach, learned how to make some of the traditional Kenyan meals, played with them and helped them with homework. My Tanzanian experience was a little different since I stayed at the volunteer house with 40 other volunteers. It was also amazing because I had the opportunity to make some great friends from all over the world. I taught Math, Science, and English from Monday-Friday and I then had the weekends off to go on trips with the volunteers. I was able to go on safari, visit Kilimanjaro, and was able to visit Zanzibar and it's amazing beaches. I had the time of my life during my two trips to Africa. IVHQ is extremely organized, and they will take care of everything once you land in the country that you choose. I felt safe the entire time that I was in Africa, the meals were great and I would 100% recommend them!
I loved my experience in Kenya! Its not easy leaving your job for a month to experience life in a different country! It changed my life and my career path. It was scary going into a developing country alone but with the help of the amazing IVHQ team they made my entire experience smooth and made me feel at ease. My placement,roommate from England and my homestay were incredible. The people you meet and the lessons you learn about others and yourself is truly something you can not put a pricetag on. I am still in contact with my teachers, and all my friends at IVHQ that are from around the world! We even meet up when we can! Definitely recommend this program! I will constantly use IVHQ for any and all future volunteer work abroad!
The experiences and opportunities that I have been blessed with are life changing and I’m so grateful that I got the chance to be here!!!
Good luck to future volunteers.
I have done 3 Ivhq volunteer trips. They have all been for a month or longer. This was probably the best decision I have ever made. Each experience changed my life for the good and put me on the path I needed. Go for at least a month. You really get to know the locals and become part of the community, its really a once in a life time opportunity.
I volunteered for 2 weeks with IVHQ Spain this past summer and it was a great experience. I worked on the agriculture project because I wanted something outdoors and in nature, and it was a great experience and I met some amazing people. It was very organized from beginning to end, with great communication from the program manager in New Zealand to the local coordinator in Madrid. I am already planning my next IVHQ trip for 2018!
It all started with a spontaneous decision to do volunteering abroad this summer and International Volunteer HQ made it all possible. Their guidance, accessibility, interactive training and full support in my process made me feel prepared enough to take a flight to Cusco.
In an eye blink I was already in Peru. The city of Cusco is completely surprising every moment you spend at it; it’s such a vibrant, beautiful, magical little town from whom you fall in love with. Filled with so many polite and helpful people at every corner, delicious and exquisite cuisine, Incas history is so extraordinary and each day you experience something completely different from the one before.
I was the luckiest to be placed in orphanages with kids that are so sweet, bright, happy and grateful every minute of the day. We spend our time together playing, dancing, singing, laughing and letting me teach them English because they have the will to learn every moment. I gained so much sensitivity and closeness from this kids and they have the biggest affection for life that’s so inspiring.
Also, making new friends from all over the world everyday, spending my nights partying while getting to know the city at night and traveling the weekends to places like Machu Picchu, Sacred-Valley, Moray, Rainbow Mountain and Lake Humanity where pictures and words are not enough to explain what it's like to be there, will be memories that will last in my heart forever.
I can honestly say it was one of the best life changing experiences I have ever had. My time in Peru was full of all kind of emotions, amazing stories, close bonds with friends and unforgettable days and nights. This was my first IVHQ experience but I'm sure that after what I lived, it will not be the last one and I'm so excited to see what future volunteers abroad have for me.
I had such an amazing experience volunteering in South Africa. This is such a good company to volunteer with giving you safe accommodation, food, travel and above all else the opportunity to work with people where you can really make a difference. I fell in love with the kids I have worked with and can't wait to go back!
I volunteered with IVHQ for three weeks in India and couldn’t have had a better experience!! The students I met and worked with really enhanced my time there, and I am going to visit some of the friends I made there this spring! Definitely would recommend.
The process of volunteering abroad can be scary. There is so much you don't know and so many apprehensions. Working with IVHQ really calms that fear and makes the whole experience almost stress-free.
I've been on two volunteer trips with IVHQ and I hope to go on a third this summer. They provide 24/7 support and tons and resources and information. You never have to feel alone or confused about anything as they are with you every step of the way. Any questions? Just ask. When you leave you will feel prepared and excited.
I highly recommend IVHQ!
I chose to go to Uganda with IVHQ in July 2017. I would be lying if I said I at no point was sceptical about if the company was legit. However, they were quick to make me feel at ease during our communications before the trip commenced. I was naturally a little bit worried about my safety, money, living conditions etc. However, the IVHQ team were very reassuring. They were there to pick me up at the airport, they made sure we were all safe and comfortable before heading to the house. All most from the first moment they used some humour to make us feel at ease because all of a sudden we were in a foreign country surrounded by a whole lot of strangers from all over the globe. Little did i know that these strangers would very quickly become a huge part of my life. You will experience moments that will make you smile no matter how much time passes. Those strangers will quickly become your family for the trip, Everyday we would go through the morning struggle of waking up and laughing at each other because you will be tired, you will share the bus together on the way to placements which is always a time to have a laugh and a little sing or dance maybe even both if the song is right. Every day you will finish your placement enter the house and immediately be greeted by the amazing staff and also your new ivhq family where you will probably sit down eat, drink and laugh about your days. You will be able to experience the beauty of Africa via trips to the Safari, Rhino trekking and many other opportunities available. While you are there I would recommend everyone to go and visit the local towns and shops, you will get to meet the locals have a little dance in the street and eat their famous chipatti and rolex. Not everyday will be happy, somedays you may see something upsetting or hear something that saddens you, at these moments you will be very quickly reminded that Africa is unfortunately not at the same stage as some other countries with regards to their accessibility to health care or the very real damage that HIV/ Aids among other diseases are having on the community. I personally worked with the HIV placements, i would be exposed to some truly wonderful souls that had unfortunately experienced incredible tragedy. We would meet children with life-threatening diseases. while we were there we had the opportunity to meet some of the babies at a local orphanage. we were later hit by the tragic new that one of the babies that we had spent time with had passed away. This was tragic for us, we were instantly humbled by the harsh reality that we had entered. However, once we had had a very quiet moment of shock we later reminded ourselves that we were able to show that beautiful child love from all of our countries in her final days. Do not do this if you think you will change the world in one trip, do this if you want to make a difference. These trips offer you invaluable experience, I treasure every moment that I had on that trip. I realised that small differences make a huge difference in the long run. I personally sponsored one of the children, 'Little Isaac', he reminded me of my little cousins and I had to help him to afford his food and school whilst he was fighting HIV. I had the incredible opportunity to work alongside two truly amazing women, one from Canada and the other from the USA, we became friends instantly and were together 24/7 for that whole month we were there. While I was there we tried local foods, visited wild animals, partied with the locals, educated school children, had campfire nights under the stars with s'mores and chocolate, we laughed daily and became a part of each other's lives. It has been nearly five months since we were together at the house and we have already had one reunion including a Uganda night and we all still stay in contact just in case we are in each other's countries. Some of the girls have even been inspired to help with Ugandan charities and aid. Uganda was by far the best decision I ever made, I loved it. The staff are so welcoming and fun, your safety is their number one priority and you will not doubt that I assure you. If you are on the fence about it I hope this will give you the confidence to get involved, to have incredible fun, meet a group of people that inspire you and also to make a difference to someone else's life.
It was my first time volunteering aboard so I wanted to feel safe and supported while I was there and IVHQ gave me that. The staff was always ready to help. My 5 weeks in Bali were amazing. I stayed in a house with other volunteers and we had our meals in a canteen. The first week was orientation week where I visited beautiful places and learned about the local culture and projects. The project I chose was kindergarten and I loved working with such nice and fun kids. I recommend IVHQ!
I had the opportunity to volunteer in Bali this past August with IVHQ. It was the most amazing experience. I have never travelled that far alone before and I am so grateful that I had the chance. I did 3 weeks doing the healthcare education program and then 1 week at the turtle conservation. The volunteer team in Bali was amazing. They were always there if you needed help with anything and they were very accommodating. They were helpful when you wanted to organize visits around Bali while not volunteering. They also have recommendations for things to see and places to eat. The accommodations were much more than I expected while I stayed in Ubud. The healthcare education was difficult, it was hard as the children did not speak a lot of English however it gave me the chance to learn some Bahasa and really experience the culture.
At the turtle conservation the accommodations were not as nice as in Ubud however they were still more than I expected. There isn’t as much to do on Nusa Penida and I would recommend not spending your whole trip at the turtle conservation. The turtles themselves and the work there however was truly rewarding. You really felt that you were helping the turtles.
This was an amazing experience and I met so many new friends from all over the world. It so scary to travel alone but you realize once you are there that you aren’t really alone. I would recommend this organization to anyone looking to volunteer!
I absolutely loved my volunteering experience in Ubud-Bali through IVHQ. They were amazing helping me prepare before by placement and Green Lion Bali were excellent managing the entire process (accomodation (set amongst beautiful rice paddies!!), food and materials for teaching for the programme) when I got there.
I really enjoyed my experience teaching healthcare to primary school kids. It was their optional week during their holidays at school and they still attended all our classes. They are so eager and quick to learn, its amazing! I love how they take every little support given with gratitude.
I also met other volunteers and walked away with life-long friends in such a short time.
All I can say is that I wish I could have stayed longer!!
I highly recommend IVHQ/Green Lion - UBUD/Bali prgramme.
I’ve booked and been on quite a few volunteer trips to several countries. And only once did I not go with IVHQ and regret that decision from day one. I will never go through a company other than IVHQ. Best prices, locations, programs. Very easy to contact with problems. Helpful online process from the day you apply to the day you start your program. Sure every country is different but that’s because IVHQ has seperate incountry organisations and so every country is different. Even while i’m still away volunteering i’m already looking up my next country to volunteeer with, checking out the prices and the new locations that IVHQ are constantly adding. IVHQ will always be my go to and I’d recommend to anyone who is after a reliable volunteer company to book through!!
Exciting, nerve-wracking, eye opening and inspiring all at once! The volunteer programme in Morocco with IVHQ was absolutely brilliant!
My host family was welcoming and inclusive, the overall cultural experience was phenomenal and the work we did has left me with friendships I have never experienced before!
The people make the place and I would recommend this programme over and over - next on the list?!
My first volunteering experience couldn’t be better. In Laos I found a great organization (Green Lion) who provided us all the necessary and was supportive in all the possible way. Meeting the locals and the kids at the childcare and school was always a touching moment. This population has such a kind and warm heart that you feel it everywhere. Sharing this experience with other like minded volunteers from all over the worl just adds magic to this overall life time experience. Thank you to IVHQ and Green Lion for this opportunity.
When I decided on having a gap-year after I graduated I knew I wanted to travel, see Asia. So I started researching on different things you could do while traveling and soon came to the conclusion of volunteering. I went to Laos for 6 weeks, doing childcare and teaching and had the best time! It was so much fun and I learnt a lot. I decided to go with IVHQ beacuse 1) they had a lot of interesting countries to choose from, 2) they had good reviews and seemed to be trustable and 3) they were cheap. If you are even playing with the thought of going volunteering - GO! You will not regret it 😊
I’ve just completed 3weeks turtle conservation program in Bali (Nusa Penida) and I cannot put into words how much of an experience this was. To encounter and work with people, especially the locals, who have such vast love and compassion about these animals and the ocean!
I would definitely come back in a heart beat and encourage others to do one of these programs at least once in their life to make a little difference. IVHQ is an awesome organization and doing such great things world wide, keep it up guys!
I applied to volunteer in Peru with IVHQ but was placed with their local partner organization Maximo Nivel on arrival which was a bit confusing. I was also initially placed on a community based program instead of an animal related one but this was sorted out quickly. The project was incredible and I tried my best to help the animals but the shelter was in a pretty poor state which made me question where the money from program fees go. Overall I really enjoyed it but there are some improvements that can be made e.g. more support, improved communication and a bit more transparency.
No words enough to explain my awesome volunteer experience in south africa with dreams to reality...so happy to have taken one of the best decisions of my life..people are so nice here and the kids just want to give and get love!!!
I loved every minute of my 3-week volunteering trip to Bali, Ubud, through IVHQ, last summer - from the crazy, kind-hearted kids I got to teach English to, the local food I got to try out everyday, the dorm-like accommodation I got to stay in, the wonderful weekend adventures I got to experience, to the friends-for-life that I got to experience all this with. I’ll always have a piece of Bali in my heart - IVHQ and Green Lion, I cannot thank you enough.
If you are someone who has contemplated volunteering abroad or is nervous about traveling solo, this program is right for you! I volunteered with IVHQ in the Philippines and from the moment I got there I felt at home. The local team was very welcoming and accommodating and no matter where you choose to go, you will never feel alone. There will always be other likeminded volunteers who you will quickly develop strong friendships with. Weekend travel is easy with help from local staff and volunteering during the week is both rewarding and exciting. There is never a shortage of things to do from adventuring with other volunteers to hanging out with locals in the community. If you are thinking of traveling with IVHQ I highly recommend it! And I may be biased, but I really recommend the Philippines program!
You can check out my Instagram (@lexiecundiff) for pictures from my experience and if you have any questions feel free to DM me!
I also have a blog about my experience at:
I wanted to gain as much as possible from volunteering in Ghana with IVHQ so, tried to immerse myself in the local culture as much as possible.
IVHQ laid the perfect foundation to achieve this as it provided the opportunity to experience many of the other different courses outside of Sports, being the course that I originally volunteered for.
My experiences allowed me to grow as a person but, also as a parent. I FaceTimed my 6 year old twins whenever the signals was strong enough to show them how fortunate they are.
I have booked both Zimbabwe for 2018 and Rio in 2019 so, this alone provides the biggest compliment that I can give.
I’ve been participating with IVHq 3 times now and I would not pick any other program besides them. Their staff is extremely helpful. Any questions on the program itself or weekend travel planing ? They will help you! They check up on you and are easy to reach. So far, the locations (India& Ghana) I’ve been in have been very safe! Can’t wait to try one of the new destinations.
Honestly I was so nervous when I flew to Africa alone despite all the amazing helpful emails from ivhq. But the second I walked out the airport I felt loved and welcomed with their friendly staff.. Their service is top notch. They are there to support you 110% in your journey. The staff are loving and easy to communicate with. I felt the amount I paid was nothing compared to what we actually got! I ended up extending my volunteer trip with then and will be returning to volunteer again this summer.
I spent 3 weeks volunteering in Merida, Mexico. It was a truly wonderful experience for me which I enjoyed immensely. IVHQ is a very well run and organised company. I would definitely use them again for future volunteering experiences. I felt all questions were answered and I was well supported through the whole experience.
I spent two months volunteering in Peru with IVHQ and it was nothing short of amazing!
IVHQ was the most supportive and informative not only before you leave, but during your time abroad. They have exceeded all my expectations. If you’re looking for an opportunity to grow as a person and give back while experiencing a new culture, this is the organization to do it with!
I’ve gone on 2 trips to Africa with IVHQ, and both South Africa and Ghana were absolutely amazing! This company made the entire process easy and affordable. As a 19 year old about to take off from the US for the first time, I was apprehensive, but IVHQ made the process much more comfortable and was always available with tons of resources to help!
The South Africa surf outreach program was an extremely unique experience. Spending everyday with children on the beach and teaching them how to surf is a one of a kind opportunity. Because the program ends earlier in the day, you can spend the rest of your time volunteering in the school as well. This definitely makes you feel more connected to the kids and make more of an impact.
South Africa offers so many adventure opportunities. In my free time I was able to cage dive with sharks, swim with penguins, safari, bungee jump, and even go up to Zambia and explore Victoria Falls.
I would 100% recommend IVHQ. They are an honest company who offer the most rewarding life experiences. I’ve left my heart all over Africa and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I went to Merida Mexico through IVHQ with my spanish club for spring break in 2017. They were very accommodating and nice people who helped us arrive to the location and volunteer. We got placed to volunteer for CRIT and although they had limited resources, we were still able to have a good time and put smiles on the children’s faces. Definitely recommend this company if you’re looking to volunteer abroad for either a short or long time. The one downside to this company and their programs is that they’re a little bit pricy, in my opinion.
I have just come back from volunteering in Costa Rica for 2 weeks with IVHQ and it has been amazing. I joined a turtle conservation project and learned and understood so many things. I have to thank IVHQ and all the people working hard behind it because without their project I would never have considered leaving for Central America, not at the moment.
Before arriving I did not know what was behind an animal and environmental conservation project and how much work is needed to reduce the risk of extinction and how much passion there is from people who work constantly and take care of us volunteers step by step.
The guys from IVHQ have always been happy to answer all my questions before my departure and during my stay. I really appreciated the prompt replies to every email. I met so many lovely people with different stories and I found out that there is no age to help, so be the change you wish to see in the world. Thank you all for the great opportunity.
Over break, I went to Costa Rica with an organization from my university. It was the best way to spend my spring break. IVHQ made volunteering abroad a breeze.
I grew a lot over the trip and was able to see healthcare in action. It was great being able to interact with the locals and knowing that I am making a difference.
I miss Costa Rica and can’t wait to volunteer with IVHQ again!
I did an IVHQ in Lisbon, Portugal for one week working on a food rescue project. Other projects available in Lisbon were construction, teaching, and environmental scuba diving. I LOVED my experience- though I only volunteered for one week, I was able to meet an incredible cohort of young people from all over the world. In addition to the awesome and beneficial experience of helping out Lisbon’s community, we also had free time to explore the city and other parts of Portugal together.
I was traveling solo for a month around Europe, and knew that I wanted to volunteer while I was abroad. IVHQ has SO many volunteer options around the world, and within each location, there are multiple different types of volunteer projects. They are a safe organization, and I felt extremely secure and content with the volunteer projects, leaders and accommodation that we were set up with abroad. I would highly recommend IVHQ to a friend, and I myself plan on volunteering with them again!
I spent almost 3 weeks in Rio with IVHQ in January/Feb of 2018. The preparation online before my trip was excellent, with everything answered clearly. My airport transfer was smooth and the hostel was great: good breakfast, great staff and everything was clean/well run. The orientation was excellent. We had a small issue with our placement because we only had 2 hours of work per day: I was able to change placements easily and ended up with fulfilling work. My only complaint is that, after the 1st day of being shown our placement, there was little contact with the local IVHQ leaders (unless there was a medical need and then they were readily available). Overall, great organization, safety standards and preparation of volunteers
This is my 3rd trip with IVHQ I have volunteered with them in Vietnam 🇻🇳, Zambia 🇿🇲 and now Peru 🇵🇪. Each trip has been absolutely phenomenal. They are so well organised and you won’t find a cheaper holiday if you try, but most importantly I felt the projects really make a difference to the communities that they are in. You forge friendships for life with the other volunteers and weekends are filled with adventures to the local sites. If your thinking about it or even if your not I feel everyone should do this at least once in there lifetime. But I guarantee you once you try you will be addicted. Could not recommend this organisation highly enough ✅😃👌xo
Volunteering in Kenya was the best decision i made so far. Staying with the Maasai for two months was wonderful. I was doing the teaching program in the beginning but decided to make up my own project instead. I drew some pictures on the walls of the school trying to make it a more beautiful place for the kids. The experience i gained while living in this wonderful family and working in those schools is unlike everything else. I made so many memories and new friends along the way and i can't wait to come back to visit my Kenyan family.
IVHQ has made it possible for me to explore Indonesia and the Philippines in a way I could not have done by just being a tourist!
I made unforgettable friends and I did not just learn about the culture in the countries I’ve visited but I also got an insight of so many different volunteers homes and their culture!
I can definitely say IVHQ is like one big family!
I can’t wait to visit Ecuador with IVHQ this summer!
So many memories are made and nothing in this world can live up to the feeling of volunteering. You help change little humans lives without noticing how much it is changing yours!
What a great experience!
My first volunteering abroad and hopefully won’t be the last one!
I went to Bali with IVHQ, stayed at the Green Lion for the healthcare education project just for a week (unfortunately couldn’t stay more).
IVHQ is a organization very helpful and organized and they helped me with all before my trip. Always ready to help and very quickly replies!! Green lion, the local institution is full of happy people and a place full of joy!
The food is amazing, the area is quiet and not far from Ubud city. If you are looking for a place to volunteer and be in touch with the local culture, go ahead and go to Bali! I met such a great people and made a lot of things only in one week.
Had an amazing journey there!
I first volunteered with IVHQ five years ago in Guatemala. I worked on the construction program for 4 weeks. It was maybe first time traveling solo and my second trip abroad but from the moment I chose IVHQ everything felt right. The IVHQ program manager were helpful and all the staff at Maximo Nivel were wonderful. I LOVED my construction program, the volunteers were an awesome bunch, organising Spanish lessons with Maximo Nivel were easy and every weekend was a trip to somewhere new. I went in March and Holy Week is something I’ll never forget and I finished it off with a week surfing in El Salvador which I organised through Maximo Nivel.
It’s April now and I am currently in my second week volunteering in Madrid, Spain. I’m doing the argriculture program, my Spanish conversation skills are horrible but not really needed at the farm, it would definitely help but I get by and some of the guys know a bit of English. You do at least three hours in the morning but I have been staying at least four most days and could was told I could more (they work 7am to 3pm on the farm) if I wanted. The work is physical but easy and I enjoy the peacefulness of being further out of the city.
I have done 2 IVHQ trips this year and they both were amazing!
My first volunteer experience was with the Vic Falls program in Zimbabwe and it was incredible! I made so many great friends and saw so many beautiful animals. Everyday you do something different, from going on game drives to road maintainable to working in the garden at a local school. If you want to see what IVHQ is all about be sure to check out the Vic Falls program!
My second volunteer trip with IVHQ with in Rabat, Morocco where I did the childcare placement. I lived with a local family and one other volunteer. Every morning I would take a taxi to my placement and play with the children. The kids are so much fun and they love to learn songs and dances!
The IVHQ staff is there whenever you need anything and I look forward to booking my next volunteer trip with them!
If you want more info about the Vic Falls program head over to https://thebarefootdrifter.com/2018/04/02/volunteering-in-victoria-falls-with-ivhq/
My volunteer program was in Fort Cochin, Kerala, and it started on the 5th of March2018, finishing on the 13th of April. Since this was about to be my first time in India, I choseto go in the south instead of the north, mostly because it is known that Kerala is a morerelaxed area than, for example, New Delhi. However, once I got there, the heat hit me morethan I expected. I would encourage all future volunteers not to let this fact interfere too muchwith their daily activities – personally, I got used to that level of heat shortly after my arrival.
The project itself was a delight. In the morning class I worked with a group of around9 women whose English was basic, but they understood most of the things discussed in thereand questioned everything they didn’t. While the other volunteers focused on developingtheir English, I tried to come with some new stuff to talk about (which I thought would beuseful both for their personal and professional lives), such as “Human Rights”, “Powerfulwomen in India and in the world”, or “How to give directions”. The time that the women andI spent together is priceless and I am happy that I had the privilege to work with them. In theafternoon class, the other volunteer (who was also my roommate) and I decided to split thewomen in 2 groups, based on their English level. Therefore, I worked with 2 women whoseprogress was incredible. They didn’t speak any English at all when they first arrived. After 6weeks of classes, they were very good at introducing themselves, they knew the continentsand countries, the punctuation, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, synonyms, antonyms, andhow to ask simple questions. The connection created between us made me not want to leaveFort Cochin. The last day was heartbroken, mostly because all of us (the women in themorning class, the ones in the afternoon and myself) got so used to each other in a very goodway and wanted to keep spending quality time together.
To conclude, my time in India was extremely productive and memorable. If you areinterested in sharing your skills and time with a developing community, then I wouldrecommend you start volunteering. The most popular and well-organized projects in Fort Cochin are those in Women’s Empowerment and Teaching.
I really enjoyed dealing with IVHQ for my first volunteer experience in Merida, Mexico! All information was provided in a easy to understand manner, leading up to the trip we knew exactly what we needed to do and the volunteer experience itself was also amazing!! I would 100% reccomend to friends and family.
Great experince, but i got some problems because I don’t speak spanish.
Also about the childcare program, i couldn’t communicate with them because their English is not good, and my Spanish is ZERO.
As well as their ages, i thought that they will be younger, I got ages from 14 to 19 , which could be considerd as adults.
I will try again to another distination with other program such as teaching
I volunteered this March (2018) in Arusha-Tanzania in a Medical Project. IVQH really took good care of me from the start up until when I left. I never felt like I was in danger even though it was my first time in Africa. As for the placement I was in, I felt like I didn't make much of a difference as there was little you can do us a nurse. I think also the fact that I wasn't there that long made it very difficult to see any impact of what you do. The medical project is more suitable for students or those thinking of going into a career in healthcare. I think next time I'll aim to do volunteering with animal conservation or with HIV victims.
If you're considering volunteering then I'd 100% recommend going with IVHQ. I spent four weeks volunteering on a Slum Teaching Programme in Delhi, India and had the best experience. Both before I went and when I arrived the IVHQ staff were attentive to any queries that I had and I felt that my safety was paramount when I arrived. I spent a week doing orientation where I learnt about the local customs, learnt some of language, did some sightseeing and eased myself into the culture. I'd highly recommend adding the week of orientation on as it was nice to learn about the country and also was a good chance to make friends with other volunteers.
The volunteering itself was very, very rewarding. I spent my time in a school called Morning Star in the middle of a slum on the outskirts of Delhi and taught a class of around 10 children English and Mathematics. Without volunteers, the children wouldn't have much of an education as there was only one Indian teacher there full time for the whole of the school. The children were eager to learn and it was amazing to see their progress even though I was only there for a few weeks.
The accommodation and food that IVHQ supplied was more than adequate and after shopping around I can safely say that they are one of the most affordable companies to go and volunteer with. I fully recommend them and the slum teaching project in Delhi!
I had an amazing time in Costa Rica!! I met wonderful people and saw incredible places. I would reccomend volunteering with IVHQ to anyone!
I volunteered with IVHQ 3 years ago in a medical placement in Arusha, Tanzania. Overall, I had a very positive experience. Everything was so well organized, everything felt very safe and most people tried to go above and beyond to help us organize extra excursions and things. I would recommend the program to others!
I’ve always had a love of travelling to new places and immersing myself in different cultures, and being able to do all that whilst volunteering has led to the most life-changing and impactful experiences of my life.
I’ve travelled to Peru, South Africa and Uganda with IVHQ and have had a unique and special experience with each. I’ve made life-long friends and created so many memories I’ll cherish forever.
With IVHQ, you are given so many opportunities to help those less fortunate, whilst also having plenty of time to do touristy activities and explore the country.
IVHQ is incredible affordable and I’ve never felt so safe when travelling alone as they pick you up from the airport and are always there for your every need. I cannot wait to continue volunteering with them!
I went to volunteer over to India, Laos and Cambodia with IVHQ and it was the most incredible experience of my life! The program was absolutely amazing and everything is organised for you! The projects I did were all so rewarding and exactly what I’d hoped for. The staff were all so lovely and reliable too, they took us sightseeing and let us have our own freedom! I will definitely be choosing another IVHQ destination soon!
I spent 6 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa and the only thing I can say is that it was a completely different and amazing experience. I learned so much from the children even though I was the "teacher" since I was in the teaching program. I did so much while I was there, I felt like I was helping and at the same time I was traveling and getting to know some amazing people. Plus IVHQ was always there to help out with any problems and the organization was also great.
IVHQ provides the amazing opportunity for individuals to create meaning individually, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly: collectively. I had a opportunity to do this with their program in South Africa. It was absolutely amazing! I was able to help out with a school in regards with running and helping run physical education classes. IVHQ gives so much flexibility with your program, and it enables you to also explore the world on your free time. I have made so many life-long friends, I have gained so much world intellect, I have experienced so many amazing things, I have made so many gracious memories, and most importantly, I feel accomplished. If I were to do it exactly the same again, I would not change a single thing.
I went to South Africa with IVHQ and the trip was very well organized. From the information I received before the trip all the way through to the people we worked with in the country. They made sure that all of the volunteers were comfortable and having a great time. The service that we did was very meaningful and I got to meet many amazing people through it. It team in South Africa also helped us in exploring and planning outside activities which was amazing! 10/10 I would recommend!
Recently I completed 4 weeks in the IVHQ Bali Ubud program teaching Kindergarten and doing school renovation. The staff at the Green Lion NGO exceeded my expectations. They were kind, helpful, and always looking to make sure we had the best trip possible. The accommodations and food were excellent. In my opinion, the fees for this trip are a small price to pay in comparison to the quality of everything provided for you. My favorite thing about the IVHQ Bali program is that there is just enough structure and freedom offered to you that you feel both safe and taken care of as well as adventurous and on-your-own.
Had the most amazing time volunteering with IVHQ! I did two weeks on the turtle conservation in Ubud and it was incredible! The local coordinators and staff are so helpful and kind, they were great with whatever we needed!
I would recommended doing this to anyone who wants to learn about a culture, make great friends and experience the opportunity of a lifetime!
I spent 4 weeks volunteering through IVHQ in Bali, 3 of those weeks I was in Ubud doing the construction and renovation project, I really enjoyed construction as I could actually see the progress being made each day, I just wish I could follow the development of the kindergarten we were building as it would be nice to see the finished project, my final week I spent on Nusa Penida doing turtle conservation. I found this project to be way too busy as they were making new activities for us to do unrelated to turtles but still quite enjoyable, the staff at the house on Nusa Penida were particularly helpful and made a huge effort to make sure everyone was happy. Overall I really enjoyed volunteering, it was my first time travelling in this way but I’ll definitely be trying out more programs in different locations. We had every weekend free and time in the day either side of our projects to travel elsewhere so I actually got to see a great deal of Bali whilst I was on the project :)
I had the most fantastic time in Fiji thanks to ivhq! The local team at the green lion that ivhq sent us to were amazing and the whole experience was unforgettable!!
I went for one week in the kindergarten project and a week was no where near long enough I could have easily stayed longer. I had many opportunities to interact with kids from the local village and could see and feel the difference you made. The community feel with the Village, local staff and the volunteers was great I could not recommend the Fiji project through ivhq high enough!! Absolutely worth it and so rewarding!!
I did my first volunteering abroad experience last year on April 2017 for 3 weeks in Cambodia. If you think this is not going to change your life, you're totally wrong. These experiences are going to change you forever!!!
I was based in Phnom Penh where I volunteered at the Restaurant Des les Enfants which provide 2 daily meals, basic hygiene and medical care to the children who live on the street or the ones who come from very poor families. When I've applied for this I thought I was going to change someone's life but instead, these children changed mine and they will never know how much.
I decided to go with IVHQ because was my first time volunteering and after an exhausted research I went with them. I must say I loved the volunteering and the place where I was based but I was a bit disappointed with the volunteering house because it wasn't that clean and the last week they weren't prepared for so many volunteers and the food it wasn't enough for all of us. They did 3 fishes to share between 10 people and I had to buy my own food because I need to eat.
Overall was an unforgettable experience, but next time I will arrange everything by myself and contact directly the organization in the country.
Last fall I went to Fiji for 3 months and I can say without a doubt that it’s the best thing I have ever done. I was hesitant about traveling by myself but I made so many friends who I know will be my friends for life. The people of Fiji are incredible. They were all so kind and welcoming and the kids were adorable. Everything through IVHQ and Green Lion was amazing and the whole program was fun very smoothly. I went on tons of great trips on the weekend and built relationships that I will never forget. It’s been almost a year since I returned home and I’m still in touch with all the other volunteers as well as many of the kids from the villages I taught in. I have another trip planned through IVHQ so I’m off to Kenya in August. I would definitely recommend IVHQ to anyone and if you’re looking for a great place to go Fiji is the best you’ll find!
Amazing volunteer organization. Your program fee will be well utilized and you'll be shocked of how cheap it is. IVHQ is not an organization that thinks about profit making. It thinks about how you can travel meaningfully and live a fulfilling life. I am ready to represent and stand any day and any time for IVHQ, because wisdom teaches us to always identify ourselves with good. #ivhq# ivhqambassador #travelmeaningfully #travelnowwithivhq #bestexperiencesever
Getting off the boat and setting foot on Nosy Komba for the first time, I could definitely feel that I was so happy with the decision I made! The place was truly unbelievably beautiful! The volunteer camp is well run by a group of enthusiastic staff which is a combination of local and non local staff which helps tremendously in getting around and relations with the locals. I know this might sound cliche but the 2.5 months I spent in Nosy Komba have been the best 2.5months of my life!
I applied to do a week of volunteering with IVHQ but when I arrived in Peru I was a bit confused as I was placed with their partner local company Maximo Nivel. I volunteered in a clinic and the nurses did not seem too fond of us at first and were not very nice. They eventually warmed up and it was a good experience but the first day sort of sucked. Other than that, it was a great trip and Maximo were so helpful in showing me around, helping me book trips, and making sure I was taken care of. They even helped me figure out where to find a doctor when I got sick. I’d totally recommend and hope I can do it again some day!
Have loved organising volunteer trips with ivhq - was so impressed with my first experience in Cambodia that I did a second, longer trip to Bali with them too. Both experiences were so different as they work with local organisations but both amazing!
100% recommend if you're considerifg any type of volunteer travel.
I travelled to Kenya, Africa this summer (2018) and it was absolutely amazing. The people I met will be in my life forever as their impact on me was immeasurable. I volunteered for the women's education program where I worked at a women center about an hour south of Nairobi. I strongly recommend doing this program if you choose to volunteer in Kenya. The women are the most amazing, strong and brave people you will ever meet. I educated them on health, nutrition, finances, business 101 and ways to create a sustainable income.
My house mom was the absolute sweetest and I miss her terribly. My experience opened my eyes in regards to what career field I want to enter upon my graduate studies. It changed my perspective on what really matters in our world and reminded me to to be grateful for everything that is given to me.
If you are new to solo travel and are nervous about being on your own then volunteering is a great way to ease yourself into the travel lifestyle. IVHQ are great as they provide so many volunteering options!
I decided to go to Fiji and teach kindergarten for 12 weeks. The information manuals provided by IVHQ prior to going was very helpful. Wherever your destination is, I would say it is important to go with an open mind and be ready to get fully involved in the local cultures and traditions.
I would definitely do another IVHQ programme in the future and recommend it to everyone. I feel much more confident about travelling by myself.
Hello!! If you’re anything like me and are deciding where to go you love to read reviews about the companies and the places you want to go. I probably read 30 reviews or more on IVHQ because it seemed to good to be true. I’ll start by saying that IVHQ partners with local programs in each place that they offer volunteer. And with IVHQ you will get nothing but the outmost profesionalism, respect, and understanding. They will take your concerns sirously and always answer promptly to anything you have concerns with. Now, I have lives in Arusha Tanzania for 12 weeks at this point and have loved the school I volunteer, the local friends I’ve met, and the culture. It is a very welcoming place. The only aspect about it that I feel I must tell prospective volunteers about is in regards to the patrtnership that IVHQ has here called TVE (Tanzania Volunteer Experience), the vast majority of the staff is very friendly and nice. The only problem comes when you have concerns that it might take them a while to get back to you. Also, the accommodations are very simple. However, if the concerns or anything is not being handled properly by TVE contacting IVHQ will definitely get the problem resolved. Overall, I do recommend coming here. And coming here for as long as possible. It will change our outlook on life and Tanzania will hold a very special place in your heart!
I recently graduated highschool and I knew I wanted to get out and explore the world. I looked through a bunch of different volunteer organizations but IVHQ caught my eye. It seemed like a fun, easy, safe, and affordable way to help people and see new things. I volunteered in Morocco for a month, where I taught English to students between the ages of 8-25. It was a great experience and it was so rewarding to help the students.
Being out of your comfort zone and in a different area and culture than you’re used to is never a perfect experience, there will be ups and downs, but as long as you’re prepared for them you’ll have an amazing time. The challenges are what make it an experience. If you’re looking for a great way to travel and help people, IVHQ is the way to go.
My time in Madagascar was life changing, doing volunteer work on and around the exotic islands of Madagascar was Amazing. The island Outreach Program involves a tour of different exotic islands around Madagascar while assisting in volunteer tasks. It covers abit of teaching, some construction, marine conservation, forest conservation and community development. A key focus of the trip is scientific research through forest walks and snorkel surveys to identify changes in habitats and species populations. Its overall Awesome!!!
If you’re considering volunteering through IVHQ I 100% recommend it. I didn’t realize just 4 weeks in Bali would change my life so much. When they say you find yourself when you travel that cliche moment really happens. My Bali trip through IVHQ was such a fulfilling and eye opening experience. It was a great way to travel solo but also meet new people and not be completely alone. And honestly everyone was so NICE. Four weeks filled of excitement, joy, laughter, and unexpected, incredible moments.
I sat on the long flight from England to Bali, with all kinds of feelings and emotions flooding through my body, excitement, nervousness, independent....this was my first Saturday off in 5 months. I was so overworked and this was the experience I had been longing for. A holiday with a perpous, I was about to visit the country I had always wanted to visit, the beautiful Bali.
When I arrived the taxi man that IVHQ had organised was awaiting my arrival to take me to the volunteer house. This was the first person I had encountered for 36 hours, polite and friendly he took me to the volunteer house. As I arrived I slipped off my pumps as I had previously read on the IVHQ website and met one of the workers. He showed me aroundthe house and introduced me to my room mates. After chatting with them for a while, exchanging information on where we were from and which of the programmes we had enrolled onto, I was then invited to a local celebration where the workers dressed me in the traditional celebration clothing and made sure I was well informed of the experience I was about to encounter. We walked to the temple and we were greeted with a beautiful traditional Balinese dance performance and some rice snacks. We were blessed with holy water and rice was placed onto the centre of our foreheads. This was the experience I was craving. There was a beautiful array of food, flowers and offerings which were presented to the gods. What are they celebrating I asked, metal, they are thanking God for metal..... so simple and I soon learnt that I had not been thankful or greatful for the things that came so easy to me, something that I now regularly practice gratitude.
The introduction week was a enjoyable time in which I got to experience the culture from locals who work at the house. We embarked on language lessons, flower arranging classes, a water temple visit, monkey forest experience, cooking classes and traditional painting class. The friends I made and the lessons that I learnt will stay with me for life.
The programme that I had enrolled on was the turtle conservation on the beautiful island of Nusa Penida, the beautiful sea turtles in the conservation seemed very happy and healthy, as a vegan and a animal lover I was worried about the happiness and wellfair of the hawksbill sea turtles, but as soon as I started work I soon fell in love with the conservation and the work the workers do there. I even got to experience a turtle release as two of the turtles were big and strong enough to have more of a chance of survival in the ocean. The turtles were placed on the sand and they were both blessed as well as the ocean. This made me emotional as I realised while this is a volunteer experience for me, this is more than an experience for the workers these turtles are truly cared for and loved.
I volunteered at the Dreams to Reality childcare program in Muizenberg, South Africa. The experience was absolutely amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat! The other volunteers were so friendly, the kids at the daycare were full of so much love, and the staff did everything they could to make me feel right at home. IVHQ made it easy and affordable for me to find this amazing volunteer placement. The website was easy to navigate and the application process goes quickly. I’m so grateful and will definitely use IVHQ again!
Wow, where to start....
There really isn’t anything negative that I can say about my experience with ivhq. From the Pre-departure help from the team to the organisations they partner with in the country to deliver the programs, it was all brilliant.
I had a tonne of questions when I first started looking at volunteering and even after dozens of emails, the staff were still happy to answer all of my questions, even some of the more stupid ones! I volunteered in both Zambia and Madagascar, Africa, and the experience is one that I’ll never forget.
The main reason I initially chose to volunteer through ivhq was because of how transparent they are with where the fees are distributed that I, as a volunteer pay for. I think it’s great that they’ve chosen to work with a range of companies that are mostly established and run by locals in the country, also supporting the local economy as well as sending volunteers to help in other areas.
10/10 I would recommend ivhq for anyone looking to volunteer as I will definitely volunteer through them again in the near future!!
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