Posts Tagged Volunteer
Volunteer Abroad Scams
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers who are abroad like other travelers are bound to fall victim of scams. There are people who are out there looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. They come up with lies and scams to steal money from volunteers who are abroad. As an international volunteer it is wise to be aware of the scams are out there and to avoid them. This article is to help current and potential volunteers to avoid being scammed or taken advantage of while they are abroad. Here are common scams and how to avoid them when the volunteers are going abroad:
Volunteer service organizations
Volunteer service organizations; companies; ethical travel companies; travel agents are all great organizations that help individuals to go to volunteer abroad. They take care of everything for the volunteers, from accommodation, meals to the project they will be working in. For the volunteers who agree to use these organizations should be cautious as there are organizations out there that run scams. These organizations come up with volunteer programs or projects that have no value to the volunteers. They charge volunteers high fees and they leave the volunteer to take care of themselves. The volunteers find themselves in a host country without any support, poor services and dealing with unprofessionalism. To avoid such scams, the volunteers should vet each organization that they choose to use carefully, talk to past volunteers and listen to other peoples recommendations.
Every traveler has fallen victim to this scam. This scam is common because many of the volunteers are new to the country and they are not aware of the fares. This normally happens when they board a taxi and they are overcharged by the driver. The common lies the taxi driver tells volunteers are the meter is broken; doesnt take the volunteer to his destination claiming that they have forgotten where the place is; and they inflate the taxi fare. To avoid these scams: use a reputable company; use taxi stands; go by the meter; ask a tourist or a hotel, hostel for fares and recommendations; get the price upfront before boarding; and carry small bills. Apart from taxi scams, volunteers might have problems paying for fares in public or private buses. The conductors and the drivers conspire to overcharge the volunteers. To avoid this before the volunteers boards the bus they should find out how much it costs and carry small bills only.
Credit card scams
This happens everywhere but it is more common in Europe. These scams occur when the volunteer swipes his credit card on a tiny machine which records information from the cards magnetic strip. These machines are cheap and easy to buy. With the volunteers information fraudsters or scammers wait for a couple of months and they start swindling money from the volunteers or in some cases they start swindling money as soon as possible. The people who are behind the scams are waiters and shopkeepers. Other ways of credit card scams are through: stolen credit cards, ATMs which swallow credit cards; and fraudulent people who stand by ATMs claiming to be bank officials. To avoid being scammed this way, the volunteers should use credit cards as opposed to debit cards because it is easier to recover the money that has been lost. In addition, the volunteers should immediately report any stolen cards and suspicious activity of their bank accounts.
When the volunteer is about to buy an item they should realize that the seller will try to take advantage for them because they are foreigners. The shopkeepers normally inflate the price up to four times because they know the volunteers do not know the actual price. As a result the volunteers should always haggle or negotiate to get the best price. As a principle the volunteers should ask for a quarter of the asking price this way the seller will know they are not new to that place. Also the volunteer should say they have been to that country a number of times and that they are new to the area.
Volunteer Abroad Organizations
There are a number of organizations that provide volunteer travel services. These volunteer service organizations could be for profit and not for profit. There is no big difference between the two, unless you live in the USA where your trip could be tax deductable. Most of the organizations provide you with somewhere to work, a school, hospital, or orphanage; and somewhere to stay: a group home, hostel, hotel and a home stay. They arrange everything for you and offer you full support during your stay in the host country. Other organizations offer transport to and from the project location, while some just offer you a place to work while you organize where you will stay. Depending on where you want to go and how much money you have there is a huge list of volunteer travel organizations to choose from. As the industry is fairy new there are no rules or guidelines that govern these organizations in their new industry. There is also no umbrella body in which these organizations fall under whereby you can check an organizations credibility or also to complain to. When you are planning your volunteer abroad trip here are a list of volunteer abroad organizations to use:
Volunteer Capital Centre
Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC) is an organization that is based in the UK. They provide quality and affordable volunteer abroad work programs in third world countries. The volunteers will be placed in nonprofit organizations, community based organizations, faith based organizations, and government agencies. They make the process of making volunteering in third world countries a safe and comfortable as possible procedure. They provide their volunteer programs in Africa.
Cross Cultural Solutions
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is an international not-for-profit volunteer organization offering short term programs in 12 different countries and 20 different sites ranging from 1 to 12 weeks. CCS is a recognized leader in the field of international volunteering and work with sustainable community initiatives abroad. It is based in USA.
Amizade Places individuals and groups with community projects in ten countries, from Australia and Brazil to Tanzania and the United States. Most service trips are short (about three weeks) but both alternative breaks for college students and long-term projects can be arranged. Volunteers pay for all of their expenses and a percentage of the cost of the project on which they will volunteer. The organization is based in Australia.
A Broader View Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) based non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania. With a love for humankind, and a motivated spirit to help others, A Broader View was created on the belief that one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Our US office is operated by an enthusiastic staff with almost 20 years combined travel and hospitality experience.
BUNAC offers a range of exciting summer camp, work abroad and volunteer abroad programmes. Established in 1962, BUNAC is a non-profit work and travel expert and has been helping young people work and volunteer abroad for 48 years. Popular BUNAC destinations include: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana, Australia, Britain, China, South Africa and many more.
Students Partnership Worldwide
This British organization runs four- to nine-month volunteer programs in India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. All volunteers receive intensive training (up to six weeks) before working together in teams in rural communities, raising awareness of important health and environmental issues. Participants must be aged 18 to 28 years, and pay fees for each program; SPW offers fundraising advice. The basic cost of a placement ranges from 2900 to 3300, including air fare.
Volunteer in Singapore with Volunteering Solutions
There are a variety of opportunities available to volunteers who would like to provide their services in Asia. Volunteering Solutions recently added Singapore as new volunteer program destination in Asia. There are many different reasons why volunteers want to help abroad today. Some people simply provide their assistance abroad in order to get a productive vacation in. If this is the type of work you are interested in, you should certainly do your best to select your program carefully. Singapore has many environmental issues, most of which stem from lack of natural water resources, and extensive pollution. At Volunteering Solutions we offer our volunteers opportunities to make contributions to address these problems along with our local partner organizations in Singapore.
Many charities and NGOs work day in day out to fight issues such as poverty, disease and illiteracy and many of them rely on the support of international volunteers.
While your efforts alone aren’t going to change the world but they can certainly make a tangible difference, making volunteer work abroad an incredibly rewarding experience.
Volunteering Solutions provides special discount for families working together. Many families choose to volunteer while going abroad as a part of the vacations around the world. By including volunteer work in your vacation, you can be productive as you witness new cultures and learn about new ideas and people. Another benefit of volunteering as a family is the fact that minors can volunteer in new and diverse countries when they are accompanied by an adult. By bringing your children along for the adventure of volunteering in countries that desperately need your help, you can build the character of your children while also helping them obtain the experience and skills they will need to become successful later in life.
Though physically small, Singapore is an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia’s most modern city for over a century. The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. The most exciting aspect of volunteer work abroad in Singapore is the opportunity to travel the famous country and immerse yourself in unfamiliar and exotic cultures. Volunteering Solutions places you at the heart of communities, giving you the chance to live and work alongside local residents and learn their customs and culture.
Volunteering Solutions provides opportunity in 2 different volunteering program options in Singapore, namely: -
1. Volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center
2. Volunteer with Disabled People
Volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center: – This project involves working with the largest wild animal center in Singapore. Volunteers work 5 days per week for around 8 hours per day. The center is short of manpower and is in regular need of volunteers to provide assistance. Volunteers help in following activities: -
I. Foster respect and compassion for all animals.
II. Improve the living conditions and welfare of animals in captivity.
III. Educate people on lifestyle choices which do not involve the abuse of animals and which are environment-friendly.
Volunteer with Disabled People: – Volunteers will work in Cheshire Home which was founded in 1957. The Home aims to provide a “home” in the truest practicable sense for the care, rehabilitation, encouragement, stimulation and happiness of its residents and clients, all of whom are seriously disabled adults of both sexes and various races and creeds, and to give them the chance to live as normal lives as possible. Volunteers will work from 10am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. You will be supervised by the volunteer coordinator in the Home.