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...
International Volunteer HQ has a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in working with children placements, sports programs, environmental placements, Carnaval...
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...
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
Senya Beraku - Medical volunteering Jan 2017
Submitted by Callum Wingate - University Of Surrey | February 27, 2017
I had the most amazing two weeks in Ghana with IVHQ.
I chose to do the medical volunteering programme as I am a U.K. Student nurse (final year).
Unfortunately I had to return early due to being sick, but I was given amazing in country support by the local staff (Evans, Seth and Francis). They made sure I got medical attention very quickly and assisted me to the airport to return home.
I was based in the Senya Beraku Health Centre. The staff their were amazing and cope so well with the limited supplies in the centre. They were very welcoming and loved having the volunteers there with them!
I worked Mon-Fri 8am -11:45am. Had lunch at the volunteer house, then went back to the clinic until about 3pm.
The tasks I assisted with were:
- wound dressings
To be honest, you could help to your own ability.
I had the most amazing, life changing experience and wouldn't have changed it for the world. I met some awesome people who have impacted my life and really given me a different outlook to life in the modern world.
I would reccomend this placement to anyone. Very affordable and fantastic in country support.
The only one criticism is lack of things to do in the evening, few bars are scattered around the town but we were advised not to go out in the evenings. But we made our own entertainment, cards, jenga, cleaning!!
Program: Volunteer in Medicine in Ghana
Traveling is an eye opening, mind opening experience. Volunteering reaches into your heart and soul
Submitted by Emily Barney - Ocean City, Maryland United States | February 27, 2017
They say home is where the heart is (it's cliché but it gets said), well with Nakavango it was love at first sight. My heart was there from the start, and was nothing less than broken when the time came to leave this beautiful place. Beautiful inside and out, from the actual scenery to the souls of the people who volunteer and work there. My 10/10 ratings of all things in this IVHQ Victoria Falls program is no exaggeration, in fact it isn't sufficient.
Why do you want to volunteer? To help the environment, or people, or enrich your own life? You will do that here. Do you want to be close to and see countless wild animals? You will do that here. Do you want to meet new people from all over the world? You will do that here. Do you simply want a cheaper way to travel? This is the way. Do you want countless activities to fill your off days? You can so easily do that here. Do you want a mind and soul altering experience? If you allow it, you will get that here.
I chose this program for the environment and animal aspect, then I found out we also volunteered at a primary school once a week, okay. That didn't excite me, but I'm always down for a new experience and trying to help the lives of others.. children just weren't my forte (that might sound bad- but it's true). Wednesdays (school days) would become one of the most rewarding parts of this trip. The first thing you notice upon arriving to the school is the excitement on the children's faces, their huge eyes and smiles. They loved playing with our sunglasses, taking videos and Snapchats on our phones, braiding our hair, getting piggy back rides, dancing, singing, playing soccer, and were very curious about tattoos- they kept trying to rub them off! It's chaotic no doubt, but their joy is as overwhelming as their energy. It's only when you look a little closer you notice the torn clothing, the broken windows of the school, the fact that most of them were without shoes. These were some of the poorest children in the world, but also the happiest I'd ever seen. The fact that I was able to encourage or maybe even impart some of that happiness is something extraordinary and will stay with me forever.
Don't get me wrong- the animals are a plenty. Whether you are working or on game drives (or at school, or in town) the wildlife surrounds you. Zebra, and tortoise, and antelope (impala, kudu, water buck), and hippo, and dung beetles, and warthog, and millipede, and cheetah, and mongoose, and baboons, and giraffe, and hyena, and buffalo, and rhino, and elephant, and crocodiles, and lions, and countless different kinds of beautiful birds! Oh my!
In my month in Zimbabwe I met people from all over the world- the US (from California, to Chicago, to Florida), Canada, Colombia, Norway, Denmark, France, Germany, China, England, and Australia. Meeting people from different parts of the globe is one of my favorite things about traveling- you get to learn what lives are like so far away from where you are. It makes the world seem infinite and closer at the same time. I still Snapchat some of them multiple times a day, and others I know I'll keep in touch with and see (or even volunteer with) again in the future. Whether you're together for a week or a month, you bond very quickly.
In addition to the fellow volunteers you'll inevitably love- the staff will amaze you. Justine, Dean, Damien, Ian- they are incredible people and dedicate their lives to conservation and mentoring volunteers. Justine is a blast, she's mom, and goes out of her way to make sure you enjoy your experience (even on her days off), Dean is the coolest guy ever and will toughen you up. You will be covered in dirt and sweat but he will make you laugh the entire time. Damien is sweet, easy to talk to and can answer any question you might have. Most of his life has been on that conservation. Ian gave us optional lectures (which we begged for after attending the first one) that will turn everything you think you know upside down and it becomes apparent how much he truly cares about everything and everyone.
If you still need more convincing- your weekends off can be filled to the max with activities, or you can lounge by the pool out back and relax. Home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world- the Victoria Falls, you can catch the spray from the waterfalls and countless views of rainbows on foot, by zip line, or helicopter. Markets in town, watching vulture feedings, shopping, going out to eat (the Boma- a buffet of local cuisine), white water rafting, bungee jumping in between Zambia and Zimbabwe, swinging off cliffs into a gorge in Victoria Falls National Park, day trips to Botswana or Zambia, cruises on the Zambezi (the fourth largest river in Africa), and so much more.
Whether you've never left home or are an experienced traveler (I like to think of myself on the latter side), you will learn so much from this place. Africa is not for the faint of heart, and the work is hard. As brutal as the work could be under the African sun, as hot and sweaty and disgusting as we were, we cheered each other on and screamed for victory with every repaired bridge or dead lantana bush. On our way home after a hard days work I'd be covered in dirt and sweat, feeling like the strongest Queen to ever wield a pickaxe in the middle of the Zimbabwean jungle. I've never been so dirty, sweaty, exhausted, pushed, alive, accomplished, and happy all at the same time. Best job I've ever had.
Excellent program, would do it 100x over
Submitted by Taylor Pullenf - University Of Maine | February 25, 2017
Such an incredible program, met some of my now best friends through it. You will meet incredible people and there is so much to see and do around the accommodation. I am actually booking my second IVHQ trip now because I had such an amazing experience. You will be left with memories that last a lifetime and some tough goodbyes. You will never want to leave.
One of the most memorable trips of my life
Submitted by Niat - London United Kingdom | February 24, 2017
I definitely recommend anyone thinking of giving this programme a shot, to just go for it! I met wonderful people during my mere 2 weeks, got to experience a whole new culture and get a taste of the educational system in the beautiful Ghana. If I could have, I would have extended my stay but for anyone who does not have that opportunity; It is still worth going for a shorter period of time.
During my stay, the students had already completed their exams for the year so there was not too much to do as there were no actual classes which made things a bit unorganised. Just remember to be flexible and help out wherever necessary. The school was accommodating for any ideas I had and organising an afternoon class.
International Volunteer HQ were also very accommodating with extending stays, helping out in any way that they can. During my first weekend, Evans from the organisation planned a trip for us new volunteers to see the coastline and visit many interesting and beautiful places. He was extremely helpful, always available on his mobile to answer any questions that you might have!
Overall my experience was amazing. As long as you arrive with an open mind and ready to help, I am sure your experience will be just as wonderful.
Program: Volunteer and Teach in Ghana
My experience in Quito
Submitted by Sofia Velasco - Universidad de los Andes | February 23, 2017
When I first arrived to Quito I was nervous but excited at the same time. The taxi ride was a little bit long but after 45 minutes we arrived to my homestay, Anita's house. She came downstairs and then we went up stairs to meet her 2 boys (Joe and Andre) and my roommate Quinn. After a while we went to the mall and when we came back we watched a movie with the kids, and later two other volunteers came and we had dinner. On Monday we went to the office and met other volunteers and then we took a tour around the center of the city. The next day we went to a market called "Chinogallo" . When we arrived we started to take everything out of the bags, set up the tent and then we just waited for the children to arrive. There were so many kids, all of them wanted to play and they started to fight over the books and toys. At this market I met a very special and I felt in love with him, his name was Jonathan (everyone was called Jonathan), he was 4 and the sweetest thing ever, he sat in my lap, asked me to read him a book and looked for me when we arrived at the market. After playing we picked up everything and went to sing my favorite song, la taza and others. Then we went to have lunch near the market, and in the afternoon we did the same activities but with different kids. Sometimes, I helped the older kids with their homework, although it was a different experience it was also fun because I could talk to them and learn a little bit about their lives. Every day was almost the same but the market changed everyday and the kids too. One thing that really surprised me was how everyone in the market took care of each other, you could see how a 7 year old kid took care of a baby and called her "mi bebe" (my baby) or how the ice cream guy gave ice cream to all the children of the market. Seeing how this kids lived made me realize how lucky I have been and how I need to be more thankful for the simple things in life. The Ubeci staff was also amazing, you could see all the hard work and the love they put in their work everyday, and they make you feel at home.
My host family was also the best! I felt like I had another mom in Quito. Anita always asked us about our day and where we were going, how we were getting there and when we were getting back. Her kids were also the best, since we didn't had wifi or anything to do we played with them in the roof to throw water to the people walking and hide and seek. We truly felt like we had another home and a family in Quito, I really hope I can go back soon and stay with them.
The other volunteers I met were also the best part of the experience. Everyone was really sweet and fun. Since we were only five in Anita's house we became really close and I hope we can go traveling together and I am definitely visiting them. Meeting people from different places in the world was amazing and thanks to technology it's great we can still keep in touch with each other even if we live really far away. Traveling with them around Quito was really fun, since we didn't had to go to work on Monday we could have a long weekend to explore.And in Quito there are so many things to do! You can hike any of the many volcanoes Ecuador has, or go to baños, or Galapagos or the Amazon! There are so much stuff to do that you would have a hard time trying to decide what to do.
I meet so many amazing people and friends, I'm sure it's an experience I'll never forget. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I am definitely going back. I would recommend volunteering abroad, it is an experience that would change your life and how you see the world. It does not matter if you travel alone, I know its scary at the beginning but I assure you you'll never feel lonely and you'll meet friends for life.