Volunteering abroad is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, with tens of thousands of volunteers packing their bags annually to partake in a volunteer program abroad. While many volunteers depart with great intentions, there are some companies running volunteer programs that are hugely expensive and yet largely ineffective. How is PHIVolunteering different?
An important aspect of effective volunteer abroad programs is community involvement, and for that reason, it is imperative to have local stakeholders. This begins with volunteer programs being run by local people. At PHIVolunteering, we have developed a bottom up approach to our volunteer programs, whereby we work with independent local organizations to receive PHIVolunteering volunteers, place them on projects, and take care of them throughout the duration of their program. Local organizations are in the best position to place volunteers within that country – local organizations know the people, they speak the language, they can identify where volunteers are required, and most importantly, they are part of the community. These local organizations know what is important for the community and the people with whom PHIVolunteering volunteers will be working.
AFFORDABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
A common question fielded at PHIVolunteering on a daily basis is “How are your fees so affordable?”
To ensure affordable fees, PHIVolunteering works directly with local organizations throughout the world, many of which are based in developing countries, where the cost of living is relatively low. The low cost of living in these countries is directly reflected in the volunteer program fees – 100% of which are sent to the local organization in country. These are always the most affordable fees that the local organization can provide, which ensures PHIVolunteering volunteers have access to the best volunteer programs at the lowest prices. To ensure our affordable fees are also transparent, we developed the PHIVolunteering Pricing Model.
The PHIVolunteering Pricing Model was established so PHIVolunteering volunteers know where their fees are going. This very simple pricing structure consists of two fees – the Registration Fee and the Program Fee.
The Registration Fee for every volunteer program is US$299 and is paid to the head PHIVolunteering office. This fee confirms a volunteer’s place on the chosen program and provides the income which allows PHIVolunteering to operate. The Registration Fee paid by each volunteer is used to pay for PHIVolunteering staff salaries, program marketing costs, travel costs to inspect and maintain high quality programs, website maintenance and development, administration costs within the head PHIVolunteering office, and a contribution is also made towards the PHI Fund.
The Program Fee varies depending on the volunteer’s chosen program and the duration of the program. This fee is due no later than 4 weeks before an PHIVolunteering volunteer is due to start their program and covers all of the costs of the PHIVolunteering volunteer program in country. These costs can include airport pickups, local staff salaries, accommodation, meals, project donations, in country administration costs and transportation costs. The Program Fee is also paid to PHIVolunteering but passed onto our local teams prior to your arrival in country.
From the moment of registering on an PHIVolunteering program, volunteers have access to huge levels of support and information to ensure they are confident in their roles as PHIVolunteering volunteers. Our friendly team at PHIVolunteering help prepare our volunteers for their trips abroad through on-going email and telephone correspondence and all registered volunteers gain access to a series of volunteer training modules, developed exclusively for PHIVolunteering volunteers. These training modules provide guidance in areas such as how to stay safe while volunteering abroad and how to ensure you make a valuable contribution to your host community. Our PHIVolunteering Program Managers provide volunteers with a comprehensive information booklet and guidance regarding what they need to do next to prepare for their trip, in addition to facilitating communication with local staff in country. Once in country, our local partner staff take over, meeting and greeting volunteers at the airport, running orientation and training sessions, and providing 24/7 in-country support while volunteers are volunteering with PHIVolunteering.
PHIVolunteering BEST PRACTICE AND TRAINING
PHIVolunteering partners with organizations throughout the world, to receive and place our volunteers on local projects. We have developed a framework of best practice for hosting and managing volunteers to ensure our local partner organizations can create an effective fit between the volunteer and assigned placement to create maximum benefit for the project during the volunteer’s stay.
PHIVolunteering TRAVELER EXPERIENCE
While it is important for our volunteers to spend their weekdays working hard and making valuable contributions to their placements, we also believe it is important to get away on weekends to experience more of their host country and refresh for the upcoming week. All the local organizations we work with supplement their income from volunteer program fees with travel and tourism (another reason we are able to keep our volunteer fees so low). This in turn provides PHIVolunteering volunteers with access to incredible travel opportunities at affordable prices. We encourage all PHIVolunteering volunteers to work hard, but also to experience the country they are volunteering in
PHIVolunteering RESPONSIBLE VOLUNTEER TRAVEL POLICY
PHIVolunteering was established to provide affordable and high quality volunteer programs. The implementation of responsible volunteer travel practices is paramount to running any high quality international volunteer program. See our Responsible Volunteer Travel Policy.