Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions

About

Since 2007, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) has been working with the aim of providing support to the underprivileged societies of the world in order to make a difference. Over the last 15 years, VolSol has placed more than 16000 volunteers across 26 countries in different parts of the world. Meant essentially for high school, college and university students as well as gap year travelers and backpackers, the projects have been reasonably priced, starting at a cost as low as $200 only!

Volunteering Solutions aims to promote affordable volunteer work in countries that need it the most by connecting the right people with the best projects abroad. With such a wide variety of projects around the world, there is surely something available for everyone. It'll be an incredible opportunity for you! At the end of the program, volunteers and interns are awarded a Certificate of Project Completion.

Reviews

Default avatar
Fabienne
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 weeks Cusco - que hermosa

I really enjoyed staying two weeks with a local family. I had everything that I needed, the food was delicious and they r ally cared about me and helped me, if necessary.
For sure the two weeks were running and I only got a little inside, however it was great. The kids in the kindergarten were very curious and handsome. The activities at the weekends were amazing and well organised. If I had questions, I could contact the organisators at any time. If you want to have a short inside, what volunteering means, this programm is perfect.

Pros
  • Feeling culture
  • Train my spanish
  • Live with a local family
Cons
  • did not always like the pedagogy of the teacher
Default avatar
Alec
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chiang Mai - Elephant Camp

I volunteered at this project in Chiang Mai for one week. This was a short trip which was preceded by a much longer one in Cambodia. The Friends for Asia staff located in Chiang Mai are very well-organized and keep the volunteer house in Chiang Mai very tidy for us. The house itself is well-located in the city. The staff at Changland (the official name of the camp) are very kind to all visitors and are intent on giving the volunteers a variety of tasks that will enhance the experience while also contributing to the operations. The food provided at the camp is truly exemplary also. The experience was slightly marred by COVID-19, considering that the number of volunteers is still low - but I would expect that to change in the coming months. Every visitor and volunteer is a contribution to these communities, so I strongly encourage all travelers to participate in this program.

Pros
  • Thai food is heaven
  • Farm-like work, very familiar to those who were raised rurally
  • Opportunities to meet many foreigners
Default avatar
Alec
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant Camp - Chiang Mai

I volunteered at the Elephant Camp (Changland) program in Chiang Mai for one week. The staff are very polite and they are very careful to give you work that they believe might enhance the experience while also arranging fun activities outside of work. The chance to work with the elephants and interact with the many foreign visitors is unforgettable.
Since I was the only volunteer staying there at the time, the volunteer house itself was a bit empty - although I would expect that to change soon as Thailand continues to reopen to foreign travelers. This program is very good for anyone seeking an introduction to Thailand as a whole.

Pros
  • Thai food is magnificent
  • Effective communication and support from program and on-site staff
  • Breathtaking views
Default avatar
Alec
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant Camp - Chiang Mai, Thailand

I volunteered at this project in Chiang Mai for one week. This was a short trip which was preceded by a much longer one in Cambodia. The Friends for Asia staff located in Chiang Mai are very well-organized and keep the volunteer house in Chiang Mai very tidy for us. The house itself is well-located in the city. The staff at Changland (the official name of the camp) are very kind to all visitors and are intent on giving the volunteers a variety of tasks that will enhance the experience while also contributing to the operations. The food provided at the camp is truly exemplary also. The experience was slightly marred by COVID-19, considering that the number of volunteers is still low - but I would expect that to change in the coming months. Every visitor and volunteer is a contribution to these communities, so I strongly encourage all travelers to participate in this program.

Pros
  • Thai food is heaven
  • Farm-like work, very familiar to those who were raised rurally
  • Opportunities to meet many foreigners
Default avatar
Alec
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Phnom Penh - Childcare

Truly magnificent. VolSol takes great care and devotion in providing all that you could ask for in Cambodia, provided also that you enter with the proper mindset and reasonable expectations.
I strongly encourage all young intrepids out there to venture into the unknown most primarily with a sense of appreciation before anything else. Do not consider what there is that you might want - only that which you might learn.
I have built so many long-lasting connections in Cambodia that I am simply compelled to return again in the future.

Pros
  • Strong connections with very kind staff
  • Opportunities for growth and exploration
  • Lots of good food being shared

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I love all kinds of animals and I wanted to help them in away. Picking up trash is an easy task and everyone can do it. With this program, I was able to do something useful for the environment while I met new people and cultures from all over the world. I could also get the open water certification.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

They arranged the pick-up and they helped me find my ID when I lost it. If I had any questions, I always knew who to ask.

The train ride to Lisbon was organized by myself. They stayed in contact with me if anything didn't go as planned.

They did the pick-ups, but they didn't bring me back to the train station when I left.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I wish I stayed longer. I was there for 2 weeks, but it was really short. You just get to know everyone and then you already leave. Most of the other volunteers there stayed at least 3 weeks. You can't really pick up that much trash in 2 weeks because you have to get certified first. Also, you will be very tired coming back from scuba diving and you just want to relax a little bit so for really seeing Lisbon you have just the weekends.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The ones from the marine conservation program had to leave the hostel at first. We got up at like 07:30, put our swimsuits on under the clothes and quickly ate something. We left at like 08:10 and walked down the hill to the train station. There we took the train to Cascais and walked to the dive center.

First, we always put the scuba equipment together and tested if it worked. Then we put our wetsuits and shoes on and went on the boat. If the conditions were good, we did a dive. Then we headed back, had a shower and went back to Lisbon. We were back at the hostel at like 3 pm.

They always saved us something from lunch.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was to not find any friends there. I wasn't afraid of taking a 35h train ride through 3 countries on my own, just of not finding any new friends. Now I can say that my fear was completely "needless" because I was welcomed since the first minute I arrived and I found a lot of new friends. I was always included in every action and was always asked if I wanted to join them on a trip.

This experience changed my view on how people could see me. I'm not stressed about such an issue anymore because if so many people from different cultures liked me since the first day, then there will be some more all around the world.

What is your favorite story from this trip?

My 3 favourite stories:

  1. We went out with the dive center and I really had too much. I fell asleep on the pier for 10 minutes. I'm glad it happened in such a safe country. We arrived back in the hostel around midday the next day. There, I realised that I lost my ID... I went to the Swiss embassy on Monday (we didn't dive on Mondays) and got some documents for getting back. On Tuesday at the dive center, they had a surprise for me: Someone has found my ID! I know you might think that this sounds like pure horror, but I got everything back and had a lot of fun. I wouldn't change anything.
  2. We went dolphin watching! I would highly recommend that - it was amazing. They had dolphin babies!
  3. This adventure was on my trip back to Switzerland. If you're from Europe, I would recommend traveling by train with a global pass from Interrail. You will meet so many people and it's a huge adventure. So a day, before I took the train in Hendaye to Paris, the SNCF company went on protest. Everyone who was affected the day before was now getting on the train I was and we had some huge delay. I missed my second train to Geneva, and because there were so many people in the train station and the staff was so busy, I couldn't get a ticket for the next day. Luckily, I met another girl from Switzerland, so we were able to split the hotel bill. The next day we went again to a train station, but every train was fully booked. We could book one the next day at like 5 pm. So again, we had to take a cheap hotel together. But it was cool: I saw the Eiffel Tower! And I arrived home safely the next night. I know that not everyone will think that this is amazing, but if you're looking for an adventure like I did, that's how you can get one.

Staff Interviews

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

Riyanka Roy

Job Title
Content Marketing
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What is your favorite travel memory?

Being a mountain lover, all my favorite memories have been weaved around the Himalayas. If I have to pick one from a bundle of memories, then that would be the day I climbed the Dzongri Summit (4725 mt or 15,500 ft), on my way to Goechala.

Never before in life did I feel that the world can seem so gorgeous, that the warmth of the first rays of the sun feels exactly like mother's touch and every breath I took made me feel how alive I am.

I was standing with my feet tucked in the snow, my nose turned red and the snowclad mountains around me were all draped in gold. I felt strange goosebumps, not because of the cold but because of the happiness of climbing a height I never imagined I could.

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

The success is the result of the hard work of an entire team, and the coordinator among the members is perhaps the biggest strength. If all the people working for the company can think and put in their best, then nothing can stop the company from achieving success.

For Volunteering Solutions, whether it’s the people sitting inside the office space or those who are coordinating with the volunteers in different parts of the world -- the efforts of all are counted equally.

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

Being here for the last 10 months, I believe my skills of writing and communication have improved manifold. I've learned how to come up with quick innovative ideas, how to convince people on the other side of the screen to accept my articles, and how to use social media as a tool for growth and enhanced outreach.

I'm a more confident at my work now, and I look forward to continue polishing my skills under the guidance of the seniors.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Every company has certain unique qualities that make it different from others. I believe that the work VolSol does is in itself a great work for humanity. There's transparency, honesty, strength and a combination of soulful ideas that make it special.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

On one occasion, I got a chance to visit a dozen Dutch volunteers who were working at a slum school in New Delhi, India.

After interacting with them, I got to know that not only had they traveled all the way from the Netherlands to India for volunteering, but they had also raised enough funds to provide water purifier, air cooler, mats and paints to that slum school, which was in dire need of those things.

Not only did I feel proud to be a part of the team that day, but I also started believing in the fact that there are still nice people in the world.

How would you perceive the safety concerns being a solo woman traveler in India?

I guess it's the media that has made this entire fuss about India being unsafe for women travelers, but the reality isn't anything close to that.

I won't disagree with the fact that late night outings and too much interaction with a stranger can at times turn a bit messy, but personally, I've never experienced anything of that sort. I've always come across warm people, smiling cab drivers, helpful autowallahs, humorous co-passengers and above all, truck drivers who shared their life tales with me.

And I don't think that I'm the only lucky one -- there are hundreds of other women who are traveling solo in different parts of the country and they do get a safe sleep at night. You just have to be a little cautious about your steps, and everything will fall into place.

Uma

Professional Associations

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