Why volunteer abroad?
Volunteering abroad is a great way to spend your summer. You will have the opportunity to help others in need while at the same time learning and exploring international settings.
Volunteering abroad not only gives you a feeling of personal satisfaction and well-being, but also provides you with the opportunity to gain exposure to real world problems and issues found beyond classes and textbooks. By volunteering abroad, you have a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, experience local day-to-day life and improve your language skills while making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Why volunteer with HANDS?
HANDS offers affordable, high-quality, personal volunteer placement abroad. The success of our service programs is based on the following:
- We match your skills with volunteer opportunities available, offering volunteer placement in line with your field of studies.
- We ensure that all volunteer work is timely, effective and relevant to the surrounding community.
- We have local in-country staff that supervises project sites, ensuring a safe environment.
- We provide service programs that help meet the development goals of each organization.
- We offer a wide variety of service programs.
- We provide valuable orientation prior to departure to project site.
- We allocate our resources into Grants of Service to support volunteers with program costs.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
Volunteering abroad has expenses attached as we partner with local organizations who are attempting to help their communities. Given that lack of resources, all of our partner organizations rely heavily on volunteers and cannot afford to provide financial support to volunteers. Thus, it is imperative to establish fees to avoid being a financial burden for the organizations.
Our fees go directly to pay for expenses associated with your stay such as foods, accommodation, transportation, orientation and staff salaries to ensure that your volunteer experience goes as smoothly as possible. HANDS programs are on average less expensive than volunteer programs offered by other institutions.
Does HANDS provide financial support?
Yes. Our donations are channeled into Grants of Service to subsidize your volunteer placement costs. However, the amount provided will depend on the volunteer’s financial need and the funding available. If you wish to receive financial support, please state that clearly in your application.
What have other volunteers done in HANDS´ programs?
HANDS provides programs in different service areas and has supported volunteers in placements including:
- Collaborating in a medical clinic
- Providing business consulting to agricultural entrepreneurs
- Teaching English in local schools
- Mentoring young children living in garbage dumps
- Carrying out research projects in an abandoned community to assess needs
- Volunteering in medical journeys
- Teaching community members about health and safety issues
What skills will I need/can I develop?
That depends on the volunteer program. While some don’t require any particular skills, for other programs it may be important. Every volunteer opportunity sponsored by HANDS provides volunteers with the chance to use or develop a wide range of skills. These skills are listed in the volunteer program details for you to check before you apply.
Do I need to be able to speak the local language (Spanish)?
Most of our programs require beginner Spanish; however, it depends on the volunteer program and the extent of interaction you will have with the locals. Please refer to the volunteer program details to find out the level of Spanish required for each opportunity.
Besides providing an extensive vocabulary package prior departure, HANDS can also help you find a basic language course in the country to assist you in your daily activities.
Will I get training prior to my departure?
HANDS provides each volunteer with a pre-departure package that contains all the information about the country, organization, service project, contact information, etc. In addition, each organization provides an orientation during the first week of the service program.
How can I apply to HANDS volunteer programs?
Click here to see the application process.
Can I volunteer as a group?
Yes. HANDS accepts groups into volunteer programs and can even organize special projects and discount rates. Please email us to find out about this program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I volunteer with friends and/or a partner?
It depends on the availability of our programs. HANDS can help ensure you are placed in the same accommodation and project as a friend or partner. In your application form, please specify the name of your friend or partner stating that you wish to be placed together.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes – travel insurance is compulsory for HANDS volunteers.
Is travel insurance included in the program costs
In order to keep costs as low was possible for the volunteer we do not include travel insurance in our fees as we have found that volunteers can usually find it cheaper on their own. However, you can contact us if you need help finding a good insurance package.
Who can I talk to if I have further questions?
If you have any further questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com