Volunteering Journeys
87% Rating
(13 Reviews)

Volunteering Journeys

Volunteering Journeys is a social enterprise that provides quality, affordable and tailored volunteer programs in Asia and Africa. Whether you are looking for educational growth, personal fulfillment, or skill building, our programs will give you a immersive and rewarding experience with real locals. Our projects are all community led. You can come and teach english, help women's empowerment, engage with medical and healthcare work, or be a part of animal conservation efforts. You could be from any walk of life - a student, a family, a career breaker or even over 50.

Our volunteering opportunities are supported by a team of passionate, knowledgable and experienced local teams. Our focus is to connect people to enable learning. We give quality programs at affordable rates and customise your experience to your needs, skills and interests ensuring that you get the most our of your time abroad. So check us out and start a journey of a lifetime!

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Dr Jay
Male
London
Other

A commercial profit-making organisation that is reluctant to criticism or negative reviews

3/10

From when I first arrived to the homestay in Kerala my induction programme and medical placement was extremely disorganised. In fact, there was no medical placement to speak of; I found it extremely unprofessional that the coordinator had to take me to three hospital placements to decide which one I wanted to take. The first two hospitals were clearly unsuitable, with the doctors hardly speaking any English. I do not understand why I was even taken to these in the first instance as they were not appropriate and I wasted 3 days of placement in administrative delays. I also have a clear trail of e-mails in which I asked you several times for the location of the hospital and you refused to provide me with this, I had doubts then but these are now confirmed by the experience I have had with volunteering journeys. Nothing at all was prepared, the company lied that the hospital has a 2 week minimum commitment fee. This was not the case, the hospital was paid days after I arrived; this has been independently verified by the HR team at the hospital. Although my supervising doctor at the hospital was great, there was a complete lack of structure to the placement. I had specifically asked for 1 week of Ayurvedic medicine and 1 week of A+E (please see the e-mails); this was not provided as the coordination between the hospital and the coordinator was poor. The hospital placement and departments I was to be posted in should have been done before I even landed in India; there was plenty of time to arrange this and I was shocked that this was not arranged.
Furthermore, I have some serious concerns regarding the health and safety of the placements, with particular regard to homestay accommodation. The homestay was of a very poor standard of cleanliness for an accommodation that is supposed to cater to the needs of international volunteers. Myself and several volunteers fell ill on the trip; although identifying a link between this and the conditions at the homestay is difficult to prove, I have no doubt that the living conditions were certainly contributory. Even worse, there were unsheathed electrical wires in my bathroom which were NOT decommissioned in accordance with basic health and safety standards.
However, what I found most concerning was that myself and the other volunteers were NOT asked to provide CRB/DBS checks. Although it states in the handbook it is to be provided, as an activity provider it is their responsibility to ensure that all volunteers are safe to work with children in a resource poor environment. I was shocked to learn that alongside myself, other volunteers did also not have to submit their DBS.
On a separate issue, it says on their website that they are a social enterprise; the company was very clear that they refuse to provide a breakdown of exactly where the £921 pounds they received has been spent, including how much of this has actually gone into donations to the projects (many projects reported they received no money at all)
Overall, although I enjoyed my experience in India as a place to visit I have been disappointed by the service provided by Volunteering journeys. At a cost in excess of £900, the trip has been poor value for money. Several days of hospital placement were missed due to the coordinator rushing me around to take passport photos and finding my placement, I was not provided with the departments I requested and basic standards of health and safety were not met.

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Bob
Male
51 years old
Charlotte, Vermont
University of Vermont

A wonderful experience

10/10

We had an absolutely remarkable time with Rainbow Voluntours. We were looking for a family volunteering opportunity and came across them in a web search. The director, Ridhi, was invariably thoughtful and responsive in our correspondence, listening to what we were looking for and matching us with a perfect situation. Our family of 6 (four kids, ages 5-13) would be teaching in a school and an after-school program, and I was worried that it would either be too much (i.e., "Here's your class for the week, best of luck!") or too little (i.e., "Sit over in the corner and watch.").

It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Rainbow Voluntours staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn't feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff's perspective's was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.

The whole staff in Kerala -- Ridhi, Geeta, Midhu -- were wonderful, and it was a transformative experience for our family.

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Anne-Marie
Female
42 years old
Dublin, Ireland
Dublin City University

Good for first timers to India

7/10

This is a great option for short term volunteers. Fort Kochi city is gorgeous, safe and really welcoming. There are loads of lovely restaurants, shops and markets so it is a nice place to explore when you are not with the school. Rainbow will organise great tours for you on your weekends off.

My homestay was really great, the family made me really welcome and they added to the fun and authenticity of the whole experience.

My volunteering experience was mostly with children in the school, and also with teacher some of the mum's English. They were wonderful people, I really enjoyed it. I had no previous experience of volunteering or teaching, I think if you have experience it is better for the children of course - but the most important think is to be enthusiastic, flexible and caring towards your young charges!

I would recommend Rainbow Volunteers to people who want to add on some volunteer experience to their trip to India. Or if you haven't been to India, it is a very good place to start.

How can this program be improved?

The programme is a great - the children, the accommodation, Fort Kochi is a great town for those new to India. It's really safe, interesting, a great place for culture and people - full of great restaurants and shops. Rainbow Volunteers will also organise lifts to and from the airport and great day trips from Fort Kochi. The programme could be improved by having more of a set curriculum for the volunteers to follow rather than having each volunteer create their own as it would improve consistency for the children. Maybe, Rainbow could also give the volunteers some pre-work to prepare before they reach India. I am sure that most volunteers would be happy to do this and it would be easier than trying to prepare in India when Internet, printing etc are not as easily found. Overall, a great programme.

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Liz
Female
42 years old
Australia

Great experience

7/10

The volunteer teaching program was a great experience. Having never taught children before the first couple of days were a bit daunting but by day three I was very comfortable. The kids were adorable and loved interacting with us. Just seeing their faces light up each day when we arrived was amazing. I will never forget them.

How can this program be improved?

It would be great if we could have more time with the teachers before class to help plan for lessons.

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Alison
Female
42 years old
Scotland
Other

Wonderful volunteering experience in Calcutta

10/10

I was a bit scared to begin with, it was my first time traveling on my own and the furthest East I had been. When I arrived in Calcutta, I saw no other Westerner, but..........I felt India. I felt part of the scene, part of the culture and part of the community. The charity I volunteered for added another dimension to my experience.
The experience I had with Rainbow Voluntours has enthused my desire to travel and hopefully have other wonderful experiences. Thank you!

How can this program be improved?

The program was fine for me.

Program Listings

India

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Thailand

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Cambodia

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Sri Lanka

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South Africa

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South Africa is a nation that will take your breath away with its people, culture and natural habitat. It has a lot of potent...

Nepal

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Nepal is one of most mesmerizing and culturally rich countries you will visit. Whilst the world has changed, Nepal is still c...

Thailand

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Thailand is a warm and friendly country and no doubt you’ll fall in love with the place and the people as soon as you arrive....