Did you volunteer abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Nick: I started VPO after volunteering overseas in Bolivia with Mads, my 'better half.' Our initial plan was to volunteer in the Amazon, but having broken my wrist on the world's most dangerous road, our plans changed. We ended up volunteering in Cochabamba with children with burns - it's an experience I'll never forget. It inspired us to start the charity. We raised over $100,000 for our work in Bolivia and our first daughter is named after a little girl 'Rosita' who was a real inspiration.
How does your organization differ from other ones in the industry?
Nick: We work with locally run charities and have no paid staff ourselves. I see our job as giving locally run projects the opportunity to find great people who'd love to help out and support people in need. As a charity we operate a 100% not for profit approach and we work by day to keep the charity going.
What is one thing you would tell any future volunteer?
Nick: Ask where is the money you are paying actually going - if you can't get a straight answer don't commit. There are tons of great organisations out there.
How does your program support sustainable projects within the community?
Nick: That's 100% our mission. Every project we work with should be looking to develop into a sustainable locally run and funded organisation which is not dependent upon volunteers, but until that happens its our job to connect great people who want to help out with great locally run organisations.