International Volunteer HQ
International Volunteer HQ Programs
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different...
Volunteers are needed NOW through International Volunteer HQ's partner organization in Ghana! A wide range of volunteering placements are available in order for participants...
International Volunteer HQ has a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in working with children placements, sports programs, environmental placements, Carnaval...
Volunteers on the Marine Conservation project have the opportunity to join a variety of conservation efforts focused on the protection of the marine ecosystem in Madagascar...
International Volunteer HQ Reviews
La Carpio: an area of need
Submitted by gmiller - William Jewell College | June 21, 2017
With IHVQ, I was prepared to travel, but not totally prepared for what my heart would find just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. I did the Teaching English course for 2 weeks through IVHQ and I was placed at a family home in La Carpio, a very poor and impoverished area right outside the country's Capitol. Every day, I would ride two buses and partake in a 15 minute walk (usually in the rain) to make it to a tiny house hidden back in a dangerous neighborhood. The first day, the trek was intimidating. But when I met the little boys I would be teaching, my heart knew it was worth it. Every day we went over simple ESL activities, like how to describe oneself and how to spell and say the names of fruits and other foods in English. While many times the boys would want to leave to go to la cancha and play fútbol, for the most part they got involved and listened to me, even though they knew I would soon be leaving, too--just like many other teachers. These boys need stability and love; even though multiple weeks isn't too long, I think IVHQ volunteers are a source of stability and affection for them. As for other parts of the trip, it was a step up from what I imagined. My host mother was great--she never cooked us the same meal twice. My roommates became good friends and the locals I met were friendly and excited to know that I was trying to learn Spanish. If you're looking for a chance to grow, buckle up..but you will sure find it here.
2 Week Medical Project
Submitted by Angela Caron - Sentara College of Health Sciences | June 21, 2017
I traveled to Ghana in June 2017 as part of a group of 8 nursing students and an instructor. We visited three programs (silver, amber, and gold) with the main focus of malaria screenings. We would set up testing clinics in the schools or in various townships. By the end of our two week stay, we were able to complete 1,296 malaria tests and treat every person that tested positive with medication. We also checked vital signs, measured heights and weights, performed wound care, and gave general health advice. On one Wednesday, some of the group was able to follow a local midwife in her clinic. We performed routine prenatal care such as measuring the fundal height and auscultating the fetal heartbeat.
The success that we had with our clinics would not have been possible without the help of a local nurse, Eric, and IVHQ staff member Evans! We ran out of testing kits and medications several times due to the high volume of people coming to our clinics and Evans would always go out of his way to find more for us, which sometimes meant traveling for hours. We were all so appreciative of his hard work! He also organized our weekend trips for when we were not working the clinics. We had such a great time exploring Cape Coast, Kakum National Park, and Kokrobite!
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to volunteer in Ghana. It was truly an eye-opening experience and I met so many wonderful people in the community as well as other volunteers at our placements. The staff were all amazing, the accommodations were comfortable, and we always felt safe! I only wish I could have stayed for a longer amount of time. I would suggest IVHQ Ghana to anyone considering volunteering abroad.
Program: Volunteer in Medicine in Ghana
IVHQ Volunteering Round 2!
Submitted by avgonzalez - New York | June 20, 2017
Earlier this year I volunteered with IVHQ in their construction program for 3 weeks in Cusco, Peru. That was one of the best experiences I have ever had and felt that no future volunteer trip would be able to top it. Then, I signed up for my second opportunity with IVHQ in their Costa Rica Construction program for 4 weeks. I was taken back with both my project and the people I worked with and how amazing of an experience it was.
From my very first day on my construction project, I began to actually see the difference I was making, not just physically with the office we were building, but also with our interactions with the local people. It was clear how excited and thankful they were to have us there, improving their community. I ended up staying on the construction program a total of 3 weeks until the project was finished and was so proud of everyone who dedicated their time and efforts.
I was so thrilled with my time so far in Costa Rica that I made the decision to extend my trip by an extra week and participate in the Turtle Conservation program. I could not be happier with my decision to extend my trip and have made so many fantastic memories on the turtle project.
IVHQ, as always, was there every step of the way and gave me the support and help I needed throughout my entire volunteer process. I want to thank Clover and Lachlan especially for all their hard work and kindness while helping me before, during and even after my adventure when I arrived safely home.
My time in Costa Rica has been phenomenal, from the food to the people to the actual projects, my experience couldn't have been better. Thank you so much IVHQ and I cannot wait to start many other adventures with this organization in the future!
Service-learning in Ghana
Submitted by Shannon Anderson - Salem | June 16, 2017
This May I co-led a course of 10 students in Ghana. We worked with IVHQ to make all of the arrangements ahead of time, and I must say that teaming up with Kirsty was the best choice we've made! From the start she told us that IVHQ would take on all of the logistics, and that is exactly what happened. She listened carefully to the kind of experience we wished to create, and that is just what she designed--from the accommodation to the excursions to our host (the amazing Evans!).
We arrived in Accra and spent two nights in the volunteer house in Madina. This allowed us to spend a full day touring the city, with Evans as our guide, and to have our orientation before heading to the Gold program in Asempanye. Accra is crowded and hot, but also includes wonderful historical and cultural sites, including the beautiful University of Ghana, Legon. Spending time there is also an important reminder of Ghana as a modern, growing country.
Then we headed to Asempanye--our home for three weeks. The compound is fairly primitive and remote, a couple miles down a dirt road from the nearest junction town, and we loved that. It forced everyone to focus and adapt and stretch--we all learned to walk the 1/4 mile to the well and bring back our bucket of water for our showers, to do laundry, and to help others. We put down all of our regular access to the world. The village is small, but we regularly walked to other small villages for our service projects. We loved the staff at our compound, and worked especially closely with Tina and Giles. Tina led whichever students selected childcare, while Giles led both construction and teaching. My students all had the opportunity to try any of the three projects, which was something I really liked about this placement (thanks, Kirsty!).
Our excursions to Cape Coast and Volta were also fantastic, but I will let the students write about those! From my perspective as a professor, the great thing about those was getting to see and learn more about the diversity of Ghana's environment, languages, and cultures.
Evans was our touchstone throughout our time in Ghana. He was our trusted host from arriving at the airport to making sure we were settled in Asempanye to our amazing weekend excursions. Evans was quick to jump in to help around with any tasks in Accra, in Asempanye, on our excursions, and in-between. The transition from host to host+friend deepened the connections we all made during our stay. He anticipated our needs and always made sure we had whatever we wnated/needed, he answered our many, many questions, and his warm smile assured us that we also had a lifelong friend and trusted partner.
Without a doubt I would work with IVHQ again to arrange the plans for a service-learning course. In fact, I plan to keep in touch with both Kirsty and Evans, and head back to Ghana in the future.
A New World
Submitted by Anas - Marist College | June 15, 2017
Volunteering in Costa Rica was one of the most influential experiences of my life thus far. Everything from being forced to adapt to a new culture and language on the fly to being afforded the chance to make a difference in the lives of others was unforgettable. Everyone in Costa Rica was welcoming and appreciative of the effort made on the part of the volunteers to learn about their culture. Meeting other volunteers from around the world was also very enriching.