International Volunteer HQ Participant Reviews
IVHQ Childcare Program Review
Submitted by Sharon - Sydney | March 30, 2017
Having just returned from my IVHQ experience in Brazil, I can honestly say that it was one of the most exciting times of my life! The program provided me with the opportunity to work and interact with amazing Brazilian children in a way that was both fun and educational. I felt that I also learnt a lot from the children about life which I will keep with me forever. Unfortunately, I did not learn Portuguese before coming to Brazil. This didn't hinder my experience as much as I thought it would when interacting with the locals as I was still able to form friendships with people, but learning the language will assist your experience immensely!
Program: Working with Children in Brazil
A Fantastic Experience
Submitted by Ben Norvell - College of Charleston | March 30, 2017
I loved volunteering with IVHQ far more than I expected to before I signed up. It was an amazing experience all around. The volunteer house was well-equipped and spacious, the staff members were incredibly helpful and friendly, and I made plenty of friends.
Submitted by l0g1c - Cornell University | March 30, 2017
The trip was incredible. The local staff was polite and helpful and the community we were placed in was wonderful and welcoming. The other volunteers were nice and all happy to help and make an impact.
3 Weeks Teaching English in Siem Reap, Cambodia Through IVHQ
Submitted by Karly - Athabasca University | March 30, 2017
I recently completed a 3 week placement in Siem Reap, teaching English at the Khmer for Khmer Organization (KKO). IVHQ was a beneficial organization as not only was I provided with extremely safe and clean housing in a local volunteer house, the staff at our house and placement also were friendly and extremely helpful. In the middle of my trip I experienced an allergic reaction to mosquito bites, and the staff at the house were able to get me to a doctor ASAP and even translated for me to make sure I had sufficient care. The children and staff at my placement were wonderful, as everyone willingly accepted me and encouraged my teaching skills.
Over all, I would definitely sign up once again with IVHQ as they provided safe, highly organized and structured opportunities to volunteer around the world.
Construction in Ubud
Submitted by David Johnston - Aberdour | March 29, 2017
During my month in Bali I worked on the construction & renovation project. The project involved working with locals in building a perimeter wall around a school, working in a more traditional way in searing heat it was hugely enjoyable.
Accommodation was fantastic, our building housed 15-20 volunteers living in a local compound set in a small village, this allowed for great interaction with locals and helped the feeling of immersion.
Submitted by Jihad Peoples - New Jersey Institute of Technology | March 29, 2017
Working with the IVHQ in Ghana gave me a new perspective on life. I had the privilege of working face to face with the natives. Additionally, we had the best time touring the different cities and experiencing everything Ghana has to offer
Submitted by Autumn Seeber - Colorado State University | March 29, 2017
After landing in Guatemala City, I remember asking myself 'what are you thinking?' A young woman traveling alone to a foreign country, not knowing anyone else, or even where I would be sleeping was scary. However, it was the best decision I have ever made in my life. On this trip, I have met some of the most amazing people, seen some of the most beautiful things, and felt the strongest sense of self I ever have. From hiking Pakaya, touring the macadamia farm, shopping at the open market, walking around Antigua, visiting the cross, and going to my project, there was never a moment where I was bored. This project had influenced my life so heavily, and knowing that I have had an influence on this community will be with me for the rest of my life. If I could, I would volunteer and work with IVHQ for the rest of my life.
Who Would Have Known
Submitted by Karenjeet Gill - Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing | March 28, 2017
As I embarked on this trip I had no clue just what I was getting myself into. I always wanted to travel alone, so my first thought was to travel alone with a volunteer agency. After researching this topic for days, I finally saw that VolunteerHQ was not only the cheapest, but the most reliable in responding to questions I had, which was why I chose this organization. As the day came closer I was terrified. I had never traveled alone and I barely spoke Spanish. After watching all the videos, joining the facebook page, and preparing every document I needed, I knew that even though I did not feel ready I was ready for this. Once I arrived at the airport I met two wonderful girls. They told me how they were also volunteering and met up in Guatamala. We all went to out placements were I met four other girls and traveled Guatemala for our first day there. We were given wonderful maps and told were we should go and how we should travel to make sure we stay safe. As the two weeks went on, I was lucky enough to get at a wonderful placement with another girl who spoke Spanish. Even though I did not understand the nurses as well as I wanted to, they still made me feel comfortable and I helped take the vitals of the babies that came to this placement along with giving the babies their vaccinations. Everyday, the placement saw over 50 patients and it was interesting to be able to speed the processes up while also seeing how these placement substituted different things for the equipment they did not have. My placement was one life changing experience in the way I dealt with healthcare, but I also found another life changing experience in traveling. I got to see a coffee farm and I got to roast a marshmallow on a volcano while a thunderstorm took place. Never in a million years did I think I would climb a volcano, let alone in the rain. Not only did I get to experience I whole new country, but I made life- long friends with life-long experiences that I would never want to take back and I can't be more thankful for such a wonderful opportunity and experience.
Long commute worth it!
Submitted by SKG - Brookline,MA United States | March 23, 2017
Read about my experience teaching and volunteering my 7th time with IVHQ! http://skgtravels2017.blogspot.com. Flexibility of program to try other projects added enormous value to my experience. I'll be back:)
International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2017 at 5:31 PM
Hi Susan, We have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience in Colombia – Thanks for sharing! This is a great resource for anyone considering volunteering on the program in Bogota. Thanks for continuing to be an amazing volunteer and we can’t wait to see where you will volunteer next.
Clover – IVHQ Colombia Program Manager
Submitted by Andrew Gilyead - London England | March 21, 2017
Let me tell you about my second home, Kenya. This incredible place is abundant with joy, love, magical wildlife and a friendly-natured people. The opportunities I've had on this two-month trip stretched way beyond what I was expecting and it's left me with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction that feels seemingly endless. The placements themselves were phenomenal - having spent two summers working in the US with fairly wealthy children it was a huge change to be with kids who had so little. However what surprised me is that the Kenyan kids who had so little were so thankful for what they had and were so joyful despite everything. I was given so much affection just for being there and interacting with the kids, it was a kind of celebrity status I feel I didn't deserve. The teachers in the schools I worked at were amazing too, everything they do for the school is completely child-centred and they were also very appreciative of the work that IVHQ does for them. As well as the placements we also had optional weekend expeditions, my favourite of the trip was one where we visited a countryside town called Naivasha and an organisation called KCC. KCC is a school as well as a slum, set up by an IVHQ volunteer in 2009. Visiting this place was my first glimpse of the real harsh poverty that engulfs a lot of Africa and it was the first time where I realised what I needed to do while I was out here. I bonded with the other volunteers over how upset and helpless we felt visiting this place but we supported each other and grew closer through this tough experience. My second month volunteering was in Kibera slum, the second biggest slum in the whole of Africa. There was a lot of need at this school, which was to be expected, but I found these needs to be much more evident than in my last school. It was after I started work here that I chose to set up a gofundme page so that I could use contributions from my friends and family back home to give aid to this school. As a side note, I would thoroughly recommend setting one of these up, once you're out here it is likely you'll feel desperate to help these people out and with a little extra planning you can set this up - another benefit of doing this is that the people who donate can directly see what their money and it eliminates the skepticism of money direction that can be associated with large charities. With the money I raised I managed to buy for the school: pens, pencils, coloured pencils, desks, tape (for fixing books), erasers, sharpeners, text books, medicine and first aid. That was with about 3 weeks of having a page, if you had a few months of fundraising you could do so much more! I have to give a word to the other volunteers I was with on my journey, they have become like family to me and I have so many memories to look back on with them as we went through this journey together and we will definitely be seeing each other in the future. This experience has been more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined and there's no doubt I'll be doing this again in the near future.