Vision with action
can change the world
More About Us
- Bottom-up: We understand that the local community knows best what is important for them. Our projects have been developed together with these communities and our partner organizations..
- Impact by sharing: We believe that sharing information, knowledge and ideas leads to progress for the communities you work for, but also to personal strengthening of you as a volunteer.
- For everyone: We believe in diversity and give everyone, regardless of gender, descent, the opportunity to volunteer in one of our projects. We believe that every drop helps to fill the bucket..
- Commitment: We believe that traveling and doing volunteer work abroad will give you a better picture of the complexity of mother earth and the problems that certain communities encounter.
- From person to person: People learn from each other through the direct exchange of information. Our projects are based on a way in which a human and personal approach is important.
- Quality: We take our projects seriously, which means that the conditions for starting a project may seem stricter than those of other organizations. In our alliance quality stands always above quantity.
The vision of a good volunteer
- Volunteers are not tourists. Volunteers expect to serve, tourists expect to be served. We expect you to be open, flexible and proactive – these are fundamental characteristics of a good international volunteer.
- Volunteers are not interns or employees. You will receive direction before, during and after your placement, but you will not receive the rigorous training an intern or employee would receive. We expect you to ask questions, offer help and engage in your project at all times.
- Being friendly and positive are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. During, before and after your placement you will come across many people. Good social skills are key – you must be likeable and get along with people to succeed. The most successful volunteers are those who seek to build strong personal relationships with the people they work with. Actively seek opportunities to build trust and rapport, even if there are language barriers.
- You will be living and volunteering in the developing world where life is probably very different than where you come from. Do not expect the efficiency, punctuality and structure of more developed places. Being open to change and able to adapt to new situations are fundamental qualities of a good international volunteer. Do not expect to follow a script; every day will be different and things you did not expect will come up – that is the challenge, but also the beauty of international volunteering.
- You probably took vacation to volunteer. However, there is no such thing as a “volunteer vacation”. International volunteers have fun at work and during their free time. But volunteering abroad is not easy. It can be challenging. Some days will look like an exercise in frustrations management. It is part of the experience, and that is why patience and a positive attitude are fundamental traits of a good international volunteer.
- You will not change the world. However, as long as you fulfill your responsibility of being a good international volunteer, you will be part of a very special chain of people collectively making a very positive impact on the world.
- You must be humble and open to learning. Just as you have tremendous ideas, perspectives and talents to share, the local people you will work alongside also have a lot to offer.
- You are travelling to a development country where even the smallest figments of daily life may be different than what you know. Seek to understand and do not judge – culture in your placement country is not better or worse than where you come from, it is just different. If you have an open mind, you will end up feeling comfortable outside of your comfort zone.
- Throughout your volunteering experience, and especially in advance, we will offer you lots of information about your project, living, daily life, etc. However, conditions change frequently and without notice. Local needs may require you to participate in an activity not included in your project description – for example, a volunteer that expected to be a nurse may find herself teaching. You must understand your activities as an international volunteer are driven by the local conditions and not you – it is your responsibility to fit in because you are volunteering to give, not to take.
A good volunteer does not behave like the person in the video below
We are proud that you enjoy personal freedom within this alliance. You choose personally to which destination you want to travel, for how long and in which period. At Volunteer Abroad Alliance you are not a consumer but a member of an alliance.
Lately there has been a lot going on, around “voluntourism”. Many critics have a lot to say about volunteering abroad and articles have been published in various media. It is our mission to provide an alternative to all “volunteer companies”.