Volunteering With VWB

Introduction

In an environment where the well-established non-profits are under increasing scrutiny for the exorbitant salaries, remuneration packages and expense entitlements of their directors and senior management, the flow of much needed funding and hands on help to those in need is under threat.

The Board of Directors for VWB, chaired by the MD of Track of the Tiger, draw no salaries, expenses or remuneration for their services. They reason that their partner companies benefit from providing the accommodation, meals and services for those undertaking VWB's CS/CSR projects, which in many cases are also used as platforms for delivery of their experiential learning programmes. (See: Evolution of VWB)

Volunteer placement agencies have sprung up to act as the middleman between volunteers and those offering volunteering opportunities. Unfortunately, as competition increases many of these agencies place less emphasis on the projects they match volunteers to, or the training they provide them with, and more on increasing their share of revenue by taking a commission from the funds contributed by volunteers for the projects they were assigned to assist on.

The real cost is the loss of opportunity, experience and understanding of "the other", to both volunteer and the local community members alike. 

The control of funding lies firmly in the hands of the donor/volunteer, who can and must choose their projects carefully, demanding transparency and accountability from the organisations work through and for. 

With the advent of the internet, and symbiotic operating models like the one VWB practices with its key partners, non-profits can now be locally operated and reduce the percentage of donor funding spent on overheads to an absolute minimum. We can provide potential donors/volunteers with an audited summary of annual accounts that state clearly where donor funding is spent, and an assessment of what long term their contribution to the projects will accomplish.

Who can volunteer?

We have no minimum or maximum age restrictions on VWB volunteer programmes, but generally speaking most volunteers fall between the ages of 16 and 75.

VWB sends all volunteers a survey to fill out in order understand health, safety and dietary restrictions prior to their arrival in the programme. Depending on the tasks the volunteer chooses to participate in, it may be important to make note of health conditions as certain activities require long hours and hard physical work. Please note that we never push volunteers to do anything they do not feel comfortable with.

Enthusiasm is important for the moral of the children you may teach or the village workers you may work alongside, a positive attitude from volunteers often encourages them to continue participating in these projects. Tolerance for large groups of enthusiastic children is necessary when teaching or working at the rural schools. If this bothers you, please do not elect those activities. 

Cultural sensitivity is important in all travel situations, however it’s especially necessary for the type of interactions you will have with local people when working on these projects. There are always language and cultural barriers so there are many way to communicate without words - body language and dressing appropriately are two important aspects to remember - especially when visiting religious sites villages or elderly people. Learning a bit of the language goes a lone way too. 

Preference is given to those who have special skills that will help us move forward – (scientific, ecology, botany, community development, tourism-related, photography, marketing etc.).

In some cases, meals and accommodation are provided free of charge, although we prefer to have interns find sponsors for their flights, meals, and accommodation..

Contact us providing a full resume, and stating your period of availability.

For enquires and programme quotations, please use our contact form.

   
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