How our history started in Laos
and our operations moved to the rest of the world.

History

How it started

When Ward Reekmans in 2018 decided to found this alliance, he was already was already active as Chairman & Volunteer Coordinator for Let Laos Learn for over 10 years

The foundation of this alliance was not an impulsive idea but came after Ward was asked by other organizations how to organize volunteer work abroad. Volunteers from Let Laos Learn also wondered if they could work elsewhere outside Laos. All these questions and conversations with volunteers made it clear that the landscape was extremely fragmented and far from transparent. On one side you have the “voluntourism”  companies where the volunteer is more likely to be seen as a consumer and on the other side a variety non-profit organizations & NGO’s  looking for volunteers to help them in their mission, a better future for the communities that they help.

A win-win situation

With an alliance of non-profit organizations & NGO’s Ward wanted to offer the large group of potential volunteers an opportunity to a transparent volunteer placement with a win-win situation for all parties and in the first instance the community the volunteer is going to help.

With this alliance Ward also wanted to respond to “voluntourism”. An industry where it is not exactly clear where the funds go, or even how they create a positive impact for the local population.

By working together in an alliance across national and organizational boundaries, volunteers are sure that they will end up in fair projects instead of profit-based initiatives.

Volunteer Abroad Alliance - History - Ward in Laos
Ward in 2008 during his volunteering period in Laos. 10 years later he founded Volunteer Abroad Alliance.