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Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

About

A Non Profit org & charity established in 1989, IVI is a pioneer of overseas volunteering. Back when there was no internet and phones were a luxury in many parts of the world, we traveled to developing countries in search of those in need of manpower and global volunteer resources.

SOCIAL EXPERIENCES
- All of IVI’s projects have a strong social element at the core.

AFFORDABLE VOLUNTEER TRAVEL
- As a non profit org, we are not motivated by shareholder profits.

SAFE & RESPONSIBLE PROGRAMS
- Volunteer safety is of the utmost importance.

SUPPORT
-24/7 in-country support

FUN!
-Meet heaps of like minded travelers...

CHILD PROTECTION
-Provisions to ensure responsible volunteering

WORK EXPERIENCE FOR VOLUNTEERS
-Build credibility on your CV

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT & ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
When you volunteer with IVI you are supporting local jobs

EDUCATION & CULTURAL EXCHANGE
The vast majority of projects are centered around community schools.

Coronavirus Update

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, anyone who has booked with IVI can change or delay their project until August 2021.
Founded
1989
Headquarters

PO Box 1391
Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
Australia

Reviews

Default avatar
Melanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fiji was such an amazing experience working in the villages with such humble, happy and beautiful people who truly valued our input an experience I’ll never forget. I would just like to also say a big thank you to Danielle, her approach to the project with such a positive and can do attitude was definitely notable, she went above and beyond to make sure we were all happy at all times. She did a great job of looking after us and her training/knowledge was highly commendable. Also Masi and Mere are absolutely fantastic hosts so very kind, nothing was ever a problem they are such beautiful people – safe to say Mere is a FANTASTIC cook too haha.
Vanuatu was also amazing! I had so much fun there and learnt a lot about marine conservation, even got a few surfs in ? Pele really was a little treasure such an incredibly beautiful place. Lynne and Willie both looked after me so well while I was there nothing was ever to much to ask. Being on my own I spent a lot of time with Lynne and the other people in the village outside of work it really became like a second home for me. Lynne looked after me so well always making sure I was taken care of and happy, very lovely lady.
So thank you again for the experience and all your help with getting me there!! Memories I’ll cherish for many years to come ?

What would you improve about this program?
There was a bit of miss-communications happening when I first arrived but once I settled in, it wasn't a problem anymore. It was such a wonderful experience, not much can be changed.
Default avatar
Tiara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlights: Being able to see the Galungan and Kuningan celebrations up close and be given the chance to actively participate in it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Comments: The team made us feel right at home and we’re all very quick to help us with anything we needed. They helped us organize trips to the Gilis and Nusa Penida. The food was great for me, considering I have no eating restrictions, but wasn’t for my friend who has several food allergies and lactose and gluten intolerance. On the last few days, they ran out of her almond milk and didn’t get more because she was leaving soon, so she had only a hard boiled egg and water to eat for breakfast.

What would you improve about this program?
Improvements: My only suggestion would be concerning the food options. It would be great if there was a variety of options for individuals with previously mentioned eating restrictions.
Default avatar
Christopher
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlights of the trip:
Although we worked hard on repairing and painting the school’s rooftops, the highlight for me was being able to play soccer and volleyball with the students after the school day has concluded. Master Pate had asked if I could work with the children’s english on our off time. So as we played volleyball, I asked the children to count in english every time we hit the ball back up. We got it up to 23. They all loved it as every time the count had passed 15, their voices would start screaming 16, 17, 18, and so forth. That was so much fun!
Comments on the team:
The team was awesome! Very organized. Food at the end celebration at Masi’s house was excellent!!! Iri was an awesome host on the island as well!

What would you improve about this program?
Hard to say. For me being a carpenter, the next time I decide to volunteer, I’m bringing my tools with me.
Default avatar
Dhammike
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka:
Highlights:
The highlight of Sri Lanka was definitely the team; the drivers, coordinators, managers, chef, cleaners – everyone was so helpful and lovely. Everything felt very well organised and I felt very comfortable to talk about anything with them. The people of Sri Lanka in general were all so beautiful and friendly.

Team, food and accommodation:
Again the team was amazing. The food was really good both at the accommodation and at the projects! I love spice, rice and curry so I was always happy. There was plenty of vegetables and plenty of food so always had enough to eat. The accommodation was clean, a nice temperature, hot and cold showers, lockers for valuables, good location.

What would you improve about this program?
Again I had originally put down to volunteer at a baby center, however on arrival I was told that that option was no longer available which was a real shame. I found other volunteer options which I ended up really enjoying but I was initially disappointed.
Default avatar
Sean
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highlights of the trip:
One of the highlights of this trip was that I got to immerse myself in a cultural-rich environment, Tacloban City. During the time, I have been given opportunities to interact and connect with the local families and children, which in turn, brought me immeasurable amount of love and joy. I was assigned to a community-feeing project at Cangumbang; and this experience was incredible from the beginning till the end — from planning, forecasting ingredients, buying extra things out of my own expense, cooking to serving there weren’t moments I didn’t enjoy. I really looked forward to each day visiting the community there and feeding the sponsored children of up to 35. After feeding, I have enjoyed the playing and chilling times with the children because they are all welcoming, amiable and simple! In addition, this trip has made me cherish all that I have, such as access to clean drinkable water and advanced public health facilities such as paced pedestrian roads.
Comments on the team, food and accommodation:
The team was welcoming and warm-hearted. I could definitely tell that my vision with the organisation, is alike. Because that the Philippines is predominantly a Christian (Roman Catholic) country, I felt much more spiritually connected to the land and the people. The food provided by my homestay was simple yet delicious! I had no issue with the local food there at all because the filipino cuisine is very much like my home dishes, which I have found soul-comforting. Except that I had experience epsiodes of diarrhoea at the same time with my accompanying brother when we had our first contact with the restaurant foods in an adjacent mall.
My homestay was neat and simple; just needed to overcome the fears of insects (cockroaches, lizards, mice etc.) and bear with the challenge of bucket shower and no flush toilet. My homestay nanay was nice and friendly and has always treated me like a family. I just needed to report an incident of break-in into my homestay house. My homestay was alert of this thereafter and has changed the lock of the back door and the team was aware of this issue. So I believe this security issue would be improved in a later term.

What would you improve about this program?
With the nutrition project, I think the future volunteers could accomplish more aside from feeding the community children. Outreach activities related to optimal nutrition could be planned out and developed, so that more and more young children and families will have a fair chance to learn from qualified health professionals and tackle the issue of malnutrition city-wide. Outside of placement times (mine was between 1pm to 5pm), I think we could have some site visits so we can understand what other sites are currently doing but again understand that the staff were busy with their own workloads.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 21
Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Help, Connect, Grow & Be Inspired in Fiji. Non-Profit Org & Charity 30 Years
Fiji
9.42 •19 reviews

As a tourist, there is a side to Fiji you've probably never seen...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Travel with Purpose in Sri Lanka, from $295 - Non Profit Org
Sri Lanka
9 •5 reviews

Travel with a purpose & help support local communities with IVI, a...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Volunteer in Vanuatu - Non Profit Org & Charity (30+ Years)
Vanuatu
9.6 •5 reviews

Over 12% of Vanuatu’s population live below the poverty line, with 1/3...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Affordable Volunteer Projects Bali - Charity & Non Profit Org
Indonesia
9.2 •5 reviews

When you volunteer in Bali, you are helping transform developing...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Non Profit & Charity 30+ Years - Volunteer Projects Philippines
Philippines
10 •2 reviews

The Philippines consists of more than 7000 stunning islands but it is...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Meaningful Volunteer Projects in Nepal - Non Profit Org
Nepal
9.5 •2 reviews

Nepal is one of the most stunningly beautiful and culturally rich...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Exciting Volunteer Projects in Thailand - IVI Charity & Non Profit
Thailand
9 •1 review

Thailand is a beautiful country to explore, from jungles and white...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
21 Day Fiji Road Trip - Travel & Volunteer with IVI
Fiji
10 •1 review

Combine travel and volunteering into one amazing adventure. You will...

Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)
Volunteer in Rural India - Incredible & Life Changing Experience with IVI
India
9 •1 review

Life Changing Experience! This project is centered around a rural...

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Sam Topping

Job Title
Website/Media Coordinator
Sam has traveled the world solo and explored many parts of the globe. She was born in the UK but for the past year has been living in Australia to live with her Aussie partner. Sam has worked for IVI since Sept 2019 and is enjoying being part of a small but dedicated team.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Too many to count! Sometimes it's just the small things that stick in your mind, like gazing out the window of a slow boat down the Mekong River in Laos, or sometimes it's seeing the big tourist attractions such as the Taj Mahal in India!

I always have fond memories of my first volunteering and travel experience, when I was 18. I was with around 14 other volunteers, living and working on an animal sanctuary in South Africa. I felt so free, living on my own for the first time, amongst friends, being around some incredible animals and exploring the country on our days off. This time will always feel special to me.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I am still quite new to the company and so I am looking forward to any future opportunities and where they will lead me. Right now I am enjoying my work and it helps to be part of such a friendly team of people. This is the first time I am working from home and I love the flexibility it can bring.

I have volunteered in the past and I know how it can really change people’s lives for the better- both for the people you help and for yourself also. I enjoy being part of something that brings about positive change and would encourage all those thinking about volunteering to give it a go.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I think for me, I love hearing about how the volunteers grow whilst on their projects. We had a girl named Marina who helped with our nutrition project in Fiji. She was studying dietetics and, although she was taught how to take blood pressure on her course, she had never actually learnt how to take blood pressure manually. This is something she got to do in Fiji, and she took back her new skills which could really help her in her future career. As well as that, she got to practice talking with people from all over the world, and another culture. Learning these life skills can be excellent for young people to really push their learning and to help them grow in confidence.

I am also very pleased to see so many people raising funds for our projects, before or after their placement. We've had many volunteers who have raised money to buy vital supplies to our worldwide projects and we can't thank them enough!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Wow, another tough question! I would go on any project really, but probably somewhere where I haven't been before, as I love exploring new places! Nepal is very appealing to me and we have some exciting projects there, such as teaching Buddhist monks up in the Everest region. Costa Rica also sounds so exciting as it has some incredible biodiversity there. It's one of our newest countries, along with other destinations in South America.

IVI has impactful projects all over the world that really give back to the local communities, so I know I could find a meaningful project in any of our destinations.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I love that we are a non-profit organization that’s passionate about giving back to developing communities around the globe. We are a small team that works hard to sustain our mission to fight poverty and help underprivileged communities all over the world.

I am proud of our team who are all so passionate and generally care about the people on our projects. Our health projects in Fiji and Vanuatu are a testament to the dedication and commitment the health & nutrition team shows, to really make a change over there - and we are seeing great results from it.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think teamwork, respecting each other and getting along well are key components to any company thriving. All the people on the team being fully aware of the main purpose and mission of the company is also very important, so we can communicate our values to our customers in a consistent manner. I think if a team is passionate about its work, this can only be a recipe for success.