Why Should You Pay to Volunteer Abroad?

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During a recent meet-up with some old friends, one of my friends told us how he’d recently spent 3 months volunteering in Ghana, and how he’d had to pay over £3000 to do so.

“You paid to volunteer!?” The group unanimously exclaimed. “Surely they should be paying you!”

This is a fairly common reaction amongst people who have never volunteered abroad, or who don’t understand why it is often necessary.

Although it is possible to volunteer overseas for free, a lot of the time you’re better off paying (especially if it’s your first time) as there are many benefits to doing so.

The fact is, when you pay to volunteer you’re really paying for an organization to provide a structured and organized programme for you to assist in.

Volunteer buildingWithout an organization behind you, dealing with the finances and the administration, you’d just be a bunch of volunteers trying to help but without any direction – much like an orchestra without a conductor.

The fee you pay to volunteer will often include accommodation, daily meals, transfers to and from the airport, insurance, regular programme inspections (for health and safety) among other things. Volunteer organizations will also ensure you necessary protection against local illnesses, natural disasters and political instability.

If you decide to volunteer independently (or for free), you’ll be very much on your own, and you’ll be responsible for organizing and planning every little detail. This is a lot harder than you might think, especially when you consider most volunteer projects take place in non-English speaking countries.

For more information on volunteering overseas, check out this article.

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