Volunteer abroad with IVHQ

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

About

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 10 years, making IVHQ the world’s most experienced volunteer organization with the best safety record.

Whether you're taking a volunteer vacation, gap year, or on a career break, IVHQ has a wide variety of programs ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks to fit anyone's schedule.

Programs are available in these destinations: Bali, Costa Rica, South Africa, Greece, Fiji, Nepal, Peru, Jamaica, Madagascar, Spain, Belize, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Italy, Tanzania, Cambodia, Victoria Falls, India, Vietnam, Portugal, Laos, New Zealand, Belgium, Morocco, Brazil, China, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Indonesia, Cambodia, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand.

Explore the programs below and visit the IVHQ website for more information.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

99 Devon Street
West New Plymouth 4310
New Zealand

Reviews

Jade
9/10

I couldn't have had a better experience with the Sustainable Coastlines organisation. Every member of staff were so welcoming and appreciative of our time dedicated to their cause. Our work place were breath taking. We had a chance to do a beach clean up and it was incredible. The New Zealand scenery did not disappoint. I've met so many wonderful people and I would'nt change this experience for the world. I highly recommend to those who are adventurous and those who aren't afraid to get a little dirty !

How can this program be improved?
More offsite opportunities.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Zahra
9/10

Being a fifteen-year-old from India, where volunteer travel is sparse, I knew several curious friends and relatives would soon flood me with questions about my trip. I deliberated hard to think of just one word to describe my trip. The word that immediately came to my mind? Surreal. It seemed truly fantastical that I was half-way around the world, with a chicken living under my bed, waking up to rainbows and private beaches next to strangers that I felt like I had known for months. Naturally just like any other holiday, I had a moment of hesitation before making my decision to go. Would I fit in being the youngest and from a diverse country? Was it safe? Was it worth it? Dear volunteer friends, if there is one thing I hope you would take back from this review, it would be to let nothing hold you back from this other-worldly adventure. 'Madagascar'-the name itself has a magical tinge to it. Not a place that is commonly visited, but take it from me, now that I'm back, a part of me will always belong there. Trust me, I did not feel homesick for a second.
Contributing to the forest conservation program, many exciting activities awaited me. Working all day at an agro-forest was one of my first tasks there. Hard at work, it was so fulfilling to learn that the work all us volunteers had accomplished in a matter of four hours, the farmer would take around a month to complete by himself. Hiking to the local village everyday and having numerous local children running around me in circles, so full of life, enthusiastically trying to interact and use the english taught to them brought back this child-like joy that I thought the city had robbed me of. Their lives are so basic, but they are so, so happy, and that is one big take away from this program. We also performed transects and quadrats to record the herpetofauna in the Sambirano forests, in addition to lemur behavioural surveys. Without giving away too much, I was actually stunned to see before my own eyes, lemurs becoming more and more domesticated and the consequences on their health. I was also honoured to be a part of a new program, encouraging the distrobution of bamboo straws to bars in order to reduce plastic straw waste in the oceans.
Also, Malagasy lessons after dinner had us all in fits of laughter, while weekend travel with my newly-found friends was something I find hard to even describe. Nosy Iranja is considered the second most beautiful place in the world. However, when I was there under the sky studded with a million stars in the clear sky, all I could think was that my newly-acquired friends there were the only factors that could make the island any more beautiful.

My favourite memory? It was the last day, and I sat by myself on a rock on the private beach. It was almost sunset, and the clouds in the distance had this divine parting to make way for the sun. The big golden ball of fire lit an entire pathway on the ocean that appeared to come straight to me where I was sitting. And in that moment, the island was mine. The people there were my family, I found friends, I found love, and I had made up my mind as to what made me happy. I now knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had never felt more blessed.
All my life I've been an introvert behind a computer screen. I've had a fondness for conservation ever since I was little, but I never felt like it was a valid interest. At Madagascar, more than the sizzling Instagram beach snaps I got, I learnt to believe in myself all over again. With each volunteer I befriended and each intellectual discussion with the staff about conservation, I learnt to be confident again and believe in my passion because it was significant, even if no one I knew believed it was.

If my application works out, who knows, maybe I'll be the youngest ambassador there's ever been for IVHQ. All I'm saying is Madagascar gave me a new purpose. So so much more than just a volunteer trip, it's allowed me to be a part of something so much bigger, so much better, in our own small way, we made the world a better place. And that, in my opinion, is the epitome of bliss :)

Yes, I recommend
Gaëlle
8/10

When I met Bao, I almost cried. It’s hard not to give in to tears when you see him. He is born blind with cerebral palsy. Both his mental and physical disabilities prevent him from doing everything you can basically think of, including talking. He cannot walk, eat, drink or move independently. But what his disabilities don’t stop him from doing is being happy. Happy despite the obscure and lonely world he lives in. Happy despite being deprived sight and normal cerebral activity. He smiles when you help him walk. He smiles when you feed him. He smiles when you play the tambourine. But when you hold him, caress his head and sing to him, he smiles back at you with his eyes half closed. He smiles and the world stops. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t move but you know he feels secure and at peace in your arms, as if he could stay there forever, as if he can almost see you -

I am thankful for this amazing experience. For the one of a kind people I met, the unique food I tasted (even if it made me almost throw up at times) and the heat that makes you appreciate you have a water bottle and air. I went to Vietnam wanting to give something back but I left with my arms full. Thank you @ivhq

Yes, I recommend
Erika
10/10

My IVQH experience really left me with my eyes wide open, my mind more clear and my heart more open. At first I was kind of scared and didn‘t know what to expect, but since the first day that I arrived I had nothing but good experiences. From the accommodation, where I met wonderful people volunteering in all kind of projects and tried new and delicious food, to my volunteer placement where I not only helped and learned a lot of new things, but received so much love and gratitude from the people I was helping that made me want to stay there forever. And not to mention the free time I had after my placement where I got to know a wonderful city and an amazing culture and lived there like a local. It‘s just a wonderful experience it almost felt like a dream that I didn‘t want it to end.
Although I was satisfied and comfortable at all times, the IVHQ team were always there supporting us and available at anytime in case we needed something. I couldn‘t ask for more, IVHQ was really one of the best and most rewarding experiences I had in my life. I would totally recommend it to everyone and I would totally repeat it myself.

How can this program be improved?
-
Yes, I recommend
Erika
10/10

My IVQH experience really left me with my eyes wide open, my mind more clear and my heart more open. At first I was kind of scared and didn‘t know what to expect, but since the first day that I arrived I had nothing but good experiences. From the accommodation, where I met wonderful people volunteering in all kind of projects and tried new and delicious food, to my volunteer placement where I not only helped and learned a lot of new things, but received so much love and gratitude from the people I was helping that made me want to stay there forever. And not to mention the free time I had after my placement where I got to know a wonderful city and an amazing culture and lived there like a local. It‘s just a wonderful experience it almost felt like a dream that I didn‘t want it to end.
Although I was satisfied and comfortable at all times, the IVHQ team were always there supporting us and available at anytime in case we needed something. I couldn‘t ask for more, IVHQ was really one of the best and most rewarding experiences I had in my life. I would totally recommend it to everyone and I would totally repeat it myself.

How can this program be improved?
As I said in my review, I couldn‘t ask for more.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Erika, thanks for your wonderful review. It's great to hear just how much you enjoyed your experience in Madrid. I look forward to having you volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Mekia - IVHQ Spain Program Manager

Yes, I recommend

Programs

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