Voluntouring FAQ

volunteering opportunities around the world

Frequently asked questions - Voluntouring.org

-What is Voluntouring.org?

Voluntouring is a free HOST LIST and an online magazine about alternative and meaningful ways of traveling. 
Its name is composed by the terms volunteer + tour and it means exactly what it sounds: to tour and volunteer around the world where is needed.

Our interpretation of "Voluntouring" can be represented by this sentence:

voluntouring

You travel, you help the locals and you get food and accommodation in exchange!
However, Voluntouring is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for all-age travelers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience.
 In the typical arrangement, the voluntourist helps an average of 4/5 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.
This is not the case in many developing countries:

Definition of volunteering

According to the European Youth Forum, an activity can be defined as voluntary only if:

    it is undertaken on its own initiative and involves a commitment of time and energy to carry out actions in favor of others and of society as a whole.
    it is not paid (although reimbursement of expenses directly related to the activity is foreseen)
    it is for a non-profit-making cause and is mainly carried out within a non-governmental organization and is therefore not motivated by the material or financial benefits
    it is not used to replace a paid job.
how to become a volunteer

-How can I become a volunteer?

You don't have to do anything. 
You don't have to subscribe, nor pay. 

You just have to scroll down the host list and use the contact details section to contact the hosts. Each volunteer announcement has a contact details section that you can find at the end of the post.

-What is a HOST LIST?

A host list is basically a list of volunteering opportunities or volunteer requests. 

-Where is the host list?

In this temporary website the host list is basically the home page. You can browse it or use the Search Bar for advanced research.

-Where is the search bar? 

There is two search bar. One is on the left side of the screen.

The other one will simply show up once you scroll down the page, using the mouse.

-Do I get paid?

No, usually you don't get paid. It's a volunteering thing. However,
  • some hosts offer a pocket money;
  • some hosts offer a regular employment contract;
  • most hosts can provide food and accommodation for free;
  • in poor areas of the world, volunteers may be asked to contribute with a small fee.
Each volunteering opportunity is different and specific information has to be asked to the author of the volunteering announcement/volunteer request.

- I need a Visa, can I get it?

No. Hosts are usually not able to provide a Visa.  A few hosts, however, might be able to provide it.

-Is it really free?

Yes, this HOST LIST service is free.

Always keep in mind that:

-hosts don't pay volunteers
-some hosts may offer, however, a pocket money;
-some hosts may even offer a regular employment contract;
-most hosts provide food and accommodation for free;
-in poor areas of the world, volunteers may be asked to contribute for food and accommodation by paying a small fee.

The list of volunteering opportunities around the world is FREE, and always will be.
If you appreciate this service consider the possibility to offer us a coffee or tea through a small donation with PayPal. It is much appreciated.

-Insurance - Is it included in the experience? 

Usually, it is NOT included in the experience. Only few organizations are able to provide insurance.
If you are an independent traveler, we recommend you this insurance deal, which is the cheapest one around the world and covers all aspects of volunteering and traveling.

-Is the insurance obligatory?

No, except in a few cases. For this specific information, it is better to ask the host/organization/family.

-How do you ethically filter abusive business owners? 

For each host we do make an investigation
If an organization wants to appear on the website, they have to provide valid documentation and other proofs of legitimacy.
If it is a host family or a farm, we ask for as many references as possible (Facebook, website, LinkedIn, Instagram, youtube videos, and others).

For more info read the DISCLAIMER

-Why there's no reference system?

We are working to develop a new website with a reference system. However, we don't fully believe in the reference system as it sometimes abused and generates conflict instead of mutual improvement.

Our values and our ways to prevent abuse and bad experiences are:
  • full disclosure of information as preventive measure
  • open communication, transparency, clear agreement.
  • pre-investigation
  • filtered and choosy selection of hosts
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Please, let us know if you find any host proposal suspicious or abusive. Your cooperation will help us improve the service.

For more info read the DISCLAIMER

- How many hours of help and how many days per week?

We think a good deal is 25 hours of volunteering help per week. That is about 4-5 hourse per day.
Hours can be organized according to volunteers and hosts need. 

The hours request can vary from host to host and it can depend on the type of work, the type of geographic environment and the season. If a host asks for more than 25 hours we will make further investigations; exploitation of volunteers is not tolerated, misbehaving hosts will be deleted from our list.

-What about misbehaving volunteers? 

Hosts are responsible for the people they receive at home. We recommend host families and host organizations to have a Skype call with the volunteers they are going to accommodate and we advise them to accumulate as much info as possible about the volunteers' philosophy, skills, lifestyles and expectations.

-What kind of volunteering opportunities can I find?

voluntourismThe spectrum of volunteering activities you can be involved with around the world is really HUGE.

It goes from farming to teaching English, from housesitting to eco-building, from gardening to event managing, from website design to fundraising, from fundraising to animal rescue and pet sitting. 

Voluntouring is an online listing of 
  • organic farms, 
  • non-organic farms, 
  • farm stays, 
  • homestays, 
  • ranches, 
  • castles
  • lodges, 
  • camping
  • B&Bs, 
  • backpackers hostels 
  • eco-villages, intentional communities, 
  • and even sailing boats 
who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short or long-term in exchange for food and accommodation.

- I don't like these listings. Do I have other options?

Of course, there are several valid alternatives to Voluntouring.org

Our favorite is the independent WWOOF organization (wwoof.org) a network of worldwide opportunities on organic farms.

Another awesome website for general volunteering abroad is Workaway.info

They have an implemented reference system, but they also cannot provide any insurance. Also, a paid annual subscription is required.

-How to contact the volunteer Organization or Family (host) through this list?

It's very simple. At the end of each announcement look for the "contact details" section. Use those contacts to write the hosts.

-I have read that some organizations charge volunteers a fee. How come?

Our host list includes "developing" countries. Some of the hosts in such poor countries cannot necessarily afford to keep you even with your help and therefore sometimes request a small donation towards food and accommodation.

If this is not acceptable to you, search for other volunteering opportunities in developed countries.

host - volunteering

 -How can I become a HOST?

You are a host and you would like to publish a volunteering announcement, right?
You can send us an e-mail with a text description (more than 300 words) and some nice pictures.
This is the e-mail you can use: voluntouring.freelist@gmail.com

In the description please provide all of this information:

  • Information about the farm/family/ecovillage/b&b/hostel/eco-lodge.
  • Information about the place (environment, curiosity, geography, folklore). How to get there?
  • Information about the volunteering activities (what kind of activities will the volunteers do)?
  • How many volunteers can you host/do you need?
  • How many hours are the volunteers expected to help?
  • How many days of help per week?
  • Can you confirm to be able to provide accommodation and food included?
  • What are the volunteers' benefits? (example: cultural exchange, free tours, use of the car, pocket money, etc.)
  • What type of accommodation? (home, apartment, tent, tipi, dormitory, treehouse, castle etc. etc.)
  • Extra activities during the free time?
  • Which language will be spoken?
  • Is there internet access?
  • Others...
If you have already published an announcement and want to update/edit it regularly, you can let us know by e-mail.

voluntouring organization

-How can I register my organization? 

You can send us an e-mail with a text description (more than 300 words) and some nice pictures.

This is the e-mail you can use: voluntouring.freelist@gmail.com

In the description please provide all of this information:

  • Information about the organization/ecovillage/association. What is its mission?
  • Information about the volunteering activities (what kind of activities will the volunteers do)?
  • How many volunteers needed?
  • How many hours are the volunteers expected to help?
  • How many days of help per week?
  • Are accommodation and food included?
  • What are the volunteers' benefits? (example: certification, cultural exchange, free tours, pocket money, courses, workshop etc..)
  • What type of accommodation? (home, apartment, tent, tipi, hotel, hostel, dormitory, treehouse, castle etc. etc.)
  • Extra activities during the free time?
  • What are the volunteers costs? (Do you charges a daily or weekly fee?)
  • Which language will be spoken?
  • Information about the place (environment, curiosity, geography, folklore). How to get there?
  • Is there internet access?
  • Contact Details - website, e-mail, phone number etc.
If you have already published an announcement and want to update/edit it regularly, you can let us know by e-mail.

-Do I have to pay to publish an Announcement or Volunteer request?

Absolutely not. It's free.
However, you could consider a donation to our service. It is much appreciated..

-I don't see my posts in the Voluntouring facebook group / My volunteer request in the volunteering Forum has not been accepted - why?

If your posts have not been accepted or deleted, maybe it is because it didn't satisfy the basic requirements. For more information go to this page to read the Facebook Group Rules or feel free to write to the admins. Remember that this facebook group is about volunteering opportunities that are free of charge for the volunteers (with some exception). If you charge a fee, consider contacting our staff first.

-Can my Non-profit organization apply for your fundraising programs?

Fundraising service is still not active. However, NGO, and other organizations from developing countries are starting to send us info about their status and needs. We will select the organizations that are in need of it the most.

-What is a partnership and how can my organization apply to become a partner?

For information about partnership please read this page.

QUESTIONS ASKED BY PARTNERS VIA E-MAIL:

-Can I know the average numbers of volunteers per year you’re providing to other countries where you have deals?

We don't provide volunteers. 
We display volunteering opportunities around the world, then the volunteers choose from the list. 
The number of application requests largely depends on the volunteering opportunity, its online presentation/description, and its costs, which don't depend on us. 
Many volunteering opportunities in this website are free of charge for the volunteers; many voluntourists are not very wealthy and are more likely to choose organizations that offer free or cheap cultural exchange. 

-Which age, and category of volunteer, are more likely to come and help my community/organization.


First of all, you are the one choosing which profile is more suitable for your volunteering position.

Volun-travellers come from all countries of the world, they are all age (the average is 18 - 30 but there are many over 60 as well. 

Female gender is more into volunteering than male or other orientation genders.  

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