I took part in a one week volunteer program in Laos teaching English to primary aged students. IVHQ was so helpful every step of the way! They were by far the cheapest volunteer program I found, their website was clear, helpful and easy to navigate and signing up to the program was such a simple process. Once signed up, IVHQ clearly set out steps to help you understand everything you needed to do to prepare for your volunteering and customs of the Lao culture. Any question I had I was able to ask Sean Markham, the IVHQ program manager, and they were answered promptly. I was also able to ask about weekend travel and getting around Laos. Upon signing up for the program, I was given login details to IVHQ's website and was given all the information I needed including what do about visas, travel insurance, flights, what to pack and how to prepare.
Once in Laos I was contacted by Sean again to ensure that my placement was going well and there were no issues. There was constant support every step of the way and any issues or questions were quickly answered and resolved. The program itself was amazing and worth every single cent. Being able to help out in a small community even for just one week was an amazing experience. Getting to know locals in a different way and really immersing yourself in the local culture was a great way to visit Laos and get an experience that not many other tourists have the chance of having. There was an option to do a culture week which was three days of language lessons, cooking, vegetable planting, making offerings for monks and several other activities. I personally chose not to partake in the culture week as I only had one week on the program and wanted to make the most of spending my time in a local school. The fact that this was offered as an option was amazing and really made my time there even more worthwhile.
IVHQ is an excellent organisation and I will 100% be booking through them the next time I wish to volunteer overseas!!!!!