Why should you have to pay to volunteer?
When you first skim the web for volunteer abroad opportunities, the cost of international programs may seem steep and unfair. After all, you are the one looking to give up your time to do volunteer work in a foreign country.
What it means to be a volunteer?
While we understand volunteer work to be a service we contribute to others, we also need to understand that the purpose of volunteer work is to help and not burden others. When you volunteer with local organizations, you do not require them to transport you to and from your house or provide you with your lunch. Your time is your contribution, and since you are a volunteer there should be no compensation other than a sense that you are making the world a better place.
The costs of being a volunteer abroad
The same concept applies when you volunteer abroad. As a volunteer, you do not want to be a burden to the community you are trying to help. Volunteer abroad programs have fees to help limit the burden of your presence on the community by covering your room and board costs, as well as other necessities. Often times you will also be personally responsible for your own transportation. This way your work will mean something to the community, instead of costing them money.
Program fees will vary
As you research volunteer abroad programs there are a variety of different programs with a range in program costs. The cost of the programs often indicates the amount of support and in-country services you will have with that organization. If you are a first time traveler, you should look more at the programs that give you a lot of in-country support so you feel comfortable while volunteering abroad. On the other hand, if you are a well-seasoned traveler who is fluent in the native language you may want to consider a program that gives you more freedom. Whatever your situation, you can also try to lower the cost of volunteer abroad program fees though fundraising.