Affordable Volunteer Programs in Cambodia from $360 for 2 weeks!

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About

Volunteers are needed in Cambodia to join a range of highly affordable projects for durations ranging from 2 weeks to 24 weeks. Based in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and surrounding provinces, volunteers are welcomed to assist on a range of community-driven projects. Volunteers are accommodated in volunteer houses and local homestays alongside other international volunteers.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects Available in Cambodia:

  • Teaching English
  • Childcare
  • NGO Support
  • Computer Support
  • Special Needs Care

Highlights

  • Programs available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of each month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $350 for 2 weeks
  • Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Between 30 and 50 IVHQ volunteers start in Cambodia each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Cambodia with fellow volunteers - visit the Royal Palace, Angkor Wat and more!

Questions & Answers

No not at all :) - the only language requirement for all of the IVHQ programs is being able to speak English. But in saying that, it is great to learn bits and pieces if you can, I really struggled but it didn't inhibit my trip and everyone was grateful if you tried and extremely helpful :)

Reviews

94%
based on 37 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 37
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Rhianan
10/10

CAMBODIA 2018

Amazing experience! Taught english in Phnom Penh for 2 months at Happy School and had the most amazing and life changing experience. The volunteer house was so cool, had a rooftop. Served yum food every day, amazing staff at the house who helped with everything - including visas to other countries. IVHQ and CVF are both awesome organisations and I will be volunteering again with IVHQ because of how reliable, affordable and easy the whole experience was with them - staff always reply to emails and you don't feel hesitant to approach your program manager and ask questions about your trip etc. Highly recommend IVHQ if you're wanting to volunteer abroad. Also numbers to call for free etc so you never feel shut out or scared about anything! My placement was perfect, couldn't have been happier. Surrounded by the most hardworking, kind and passionate kids every day and teaching them english was amazing. THANK YOU IVHQ!

How can this program be improved?
Honestly can't think of anything that needs to be improved - everything exceeded my expectations and I had such an amazing trip. Everything from the in cambodia support to the ivhq website is spot on, I am very pleased :)
Yes, I recommend
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Adelaide
10/10

Could not recommend more highly

I had the most wonderful experience with Bravehearts in Cambodia. The staff could not have been more welcoming or friendly. Everyone working at the orphanage was incredibly dedicated and it was obvious how much they loved the children. It was an incredibly experience.
The staff at Bravehearts took the safety of their volunteers seriously and were vigilant in that regard. I could not be more impressed with how incredibly organised, kind and caring they were.

The accomodation was nothing flash, but that is what you expect when volunteering, and adds to the charm of the experience.

In having this experience, I have fallen in love with Cambodia, its people, culture and my work there. I have every intention of coming back for a much longer stay.

How can this program be improved?
There are no ways in which this program could be improved.
Thank you for a wonderful experience!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Adelaide, thanks for your awesome review! It is wonderful to hear about your time in Cambodia and we loved having you on the program.
Sam - IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Shania
9/10

English Teaching in Cambodia

For my program I spent four weeks in Siem Reap, Cambodia teaching English at one of the local schools. It was a challenging but definitely worth-while experience. The information provided by the IVHQ staff prior to my arrival was excellent and allowed me to be well-prepared for Cambodian culture and climate. Knowing that somebody was meeting me at the airport gave me the confidence to travel alone. Whilst in Cambodia there was always a staff member available at the Volunteer House who was extremely helpful with both placement concerns and weekend plans. I was very happy with the quality of the accommodation, which was clean and comfortable, and the food was great. There was a wide variety of food available everyday and there was always more than enough for everyone. During my four week placement at the school I was able to watch the students learn and improve every single day. Transport was also very easy to organise and drivers were always on time for pick-ups. I used the same driver everyday and was comfortable enough to make several trips by myself. Being only 18, my parents and I are very happy with how smoothly the experience went and I will definitely be recommending IVHQ.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shania, It has been a pleasure to have you volunteer with us! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your placement, the food, the accommodation, and felt well supported and secure while on your program in Cambodia! Thanks for recommending IVHQ and for being a great volunteer!
Sam - IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Amelia
10/10

Teaching English in Cambodia

I volunteered in Cambodia for two weeks teaching English at a school in Siem Reap. I hadn't had any practice as a teacher so I was slightly nervous but the IVHQ team provided information on the orientation day to help with any questions and concerns we might of had. When we arrived at our school we were given our timetable and some reading material to help us with ideas for teaching the children and what was expected of us. I was given three classes a day, I had to write lesson plans for two of them and the third I just acted as an assistant. The classes original teachers are usually in the room to assist with translation but you can be left solely on your own so I would definitely recommend having some basic learning games and activities before you start so you're not caught off guard. I was thrown into the deep end as two out of three of the classes teachers handed me the textbook on the first day and then went and sat down, although daunting at first I realised this was the best way to get the most out of my two weeks as I now had full responsibility to teach the kids. Having a textbook as a guideline was very helpful but once you get to know the children you become more aware of their abilities. I then tailored my lessons so I was helping them build on what they already knew.

Two weeks didn't really seem long another to make a massive difference however I did see the children improve in my classes and this made all the slightly stressful times worth it. I wish I had planned to stay for another couple of weeks as although exhausted I wasn't ready to leave after two weeks. It was such a rewarding experience and I would highly recommend it to everyone I really stepped out of my comfort zone and was able to give back to an amazing school.

How can this program be improved?
More information about your individual school beforeyou turn up to the orientation day would have been very useful.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Amelia, Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you did an incredible job at your teaching placement and we are so glad to hear that you were able to have a rewarding experience by stepping out of your comfort zone. We would love to have you join us again in the future.
Sam - IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Soohie
10/10

An incredible experience

I was teaching English in Siem Reap in Cambodia for two weeks this summer. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I really saw huge improvements in all three of my classes and they were so eager to learn. My placement was a huge learning curve for me as I was put out of my comfort and learnt a lot about myself. I felt like I was making a big and positive impact on the school I was placed in and was definitely a hugely worthwhile experience. I really felt like I became part of the community during my stay in Siem reap, at the school and the volunteer house, and I wish I could have stayed longer. Definitely apply for this programme, it's so worthwhile!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Soohie, Thanks for your great review! We are thrilled to hear that you had a worthwhile experience through teaching and stepping outside of your comfort zone in Cambodia. It would have been wonderful to have had you stay longer and hopefully you will join us again one day! We wish you all the best.
Sam - IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Tianna
9/10

Self Orienting in the Orient: Cambodia

As part of a school program I set off for 6 weeks in Cambodia to volunteer with local NGOs over my summer break. IVHQ enabled me to do this by providing knowledgeable resources and prioritizing safety at an affordable price. I stayed in Phnom Penh, a fast growing city in the heart of Cambodia with an authentic feel and modern Western luxuries like a movie theatre and mall. The National Museum and Royal Palace are a must see while in town! I lived in a home-stay with a fantastic family and plenty of other volunteers from all over the world- kind of like a homestay/hostel mix with plenty of people but a homey feel. My NGO placement allowed me to help employees with their English skills through daily conversation and create several presentations for local volunteer training on project development and application. Outside of these immediate impacts, I was also able to help develop applications for three external grants including one for encouraging indigenous political involvement and governmental accountability and one for USAID water sanitation and safe hygiene practices. While I thoroughly enjoyed the work I had, it could be sporadic and I only wish I had more of it to do, but I understand I was placed at a new and growing NGO. My director and the other NGOs employees were a joy to work with, and encouraged me to leave early on Fridays for any weekend excursions I had planned. Having weekends off made for ample travel time with other volunteers (and solo trips) to incredible places like the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, an Irrawaddy river dolphin seeing trip in the Kratie province, incredible ice cream in rainy French-colonial Kampot, and even a weekend in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. However, my favorite weekend by far was a solo excursion I took out to Koh Rong Samloem, a magical small island off the coast where the seas light up with bioluminescent phytoplankton at night. I had the opportunity to travel in ways (tuk-tuks) and places I had never experienced before, I got to meet people from all different places and walks of life and make some friends I have continued to keep in touch with. Thanks to IVHQ even my broke student lifestyle was able to take me far beyond my own city, growing, challenging, and rewarding me in ways I could never have imagined.

How can this program be improved?
Having more work to do would have improved my specific NGO, but I feel this is not a problem every NGO volunteer had.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tianna, Thanks for sharing this awesome review from your time in Cambodia. We are so glad to hear that you lived with a fantastic family, explored Cambodia comprehensively in your spare time, and enjoyed working at your NGO placement. Thank you for your feedback and for being an excellent volunteer, we would love to have you join us again in the future!
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Shuqi
9/10

Do it!

Pretty solid program. Great kids, great volunteers, great place. You'll have a lotta fun just like volunteering anywhere else.
I did two weeks of volunteering, which is a time period that has its advantage and disadvantage. I started feeling sick and couldn't eat by the beginning of the second week, but also new people come after 2 weeks, you start going away for the weekend and really settle in at the school.

How can this program be improved?
I was teaching on my own for the young kids' classes, which I think should be taught by the local teachers and assisted by volunteers for pronunciation, etc. As a non-native speaker, I know the pain when you don't understand a word the foreign teacher's saying. I was basically sitting around in the higher level class, but I think volunteers could teach that class since they are more advanced and could understand you(the teacher for higher level classes treats the job seriously though so I guess letting the volunteers take away her job isn't right either). I don't have a solution to the problem, simply pointing it out. However, I guess every little bit of the correct pronunciations and exposure to English(learning by immersing in an English speaking environment works great for little kids) helps.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shuqi, It is excellent to hear that you had a lot of fun on the program in Cambodia! We are sorry to hear that you started feeling sick during your second week on the program, it is never easy to be sick while in a foreign country. Thanks for your feedback and for being a great IVHQer!
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
The boss monkey on my head. He almost broke my neck and I got a scratch on my face but he got his banana... It was amazing!
LAURA
10/10

HOME OF JOY

I can't describe with words how much joy my placement gave to my life in just a few weeks. I just want to say thank you to the sisters for their amazing special labour, to my wonderful colleagues Maria and Marita and all the volunteers for being part of this beautiful experience. To the staff at the volunteer house for taking care of us and being aware of all we needed, to IVHQ members and every single person who made this possible. But, I really need to thank the most to my nineteen beautiful angels for showing me how true love looks like and how simple happiness can be. I have in my heart those little faces and I will never forget them.
I totally recommend volunteering to anyone who has the opportunity, even if it doesn't give you the power to change the world, to put a smile on the kid's faces that's something of an achievement and it will be the most precious gift you will ever receive. I am definitely not the same person I was on my first day at the home of joy, because the funny part of all of this is that you go there to teach, but you are the one who learns.

How can this program be improved?
I would say is important to give a better orientation at the placement, because, in my case I felt a bit lost the first couple days. They don't really speak english so, It would be good to have IVHQ staff giving a summary.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Laura, Thanks for sharing this beautiful review from your time in Cambodia. We are so glad to hear that you met wonderful people and had a joyous time at your placement. Thank you for your feedback and for being a fabulous volunteer, we would love to have you join us again in the future!
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Diana
10/10

Best experience ever!

Volunteering in Cambodia was one of the best things i've ever one. I highly recommend IVHQ as i had a very pleasant experience with them. Everything leading up to leaving for Cambodia was smooth and organized, any questions were answered in a timely manner. I felt like IVHQ as a company worked with integrity and genuinely want to help those in need. To those who are thinking of volunteering, go for it, you won't regret a second. My only advice is to go with a very open mind, especially if you are going to a country that has very different customs or culture. Cambodia is definitely still a developing country and some may experience some culture shock, but just take it all in and enjoy the ride! The country is a beautiful place filled with even more beautiful people (be prepared to shed a few tears if you volunteer in the orphanages, the children are the most beautiful souls and i never wanted to leave them!)
Thankyou IVHQ for providing me with this experience, i'm already booking my next trip with you guys to volunteer in spain!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Diana, Thanks for sharing! We are so happy to hear that your time volunteering in Cambodia was one of the best things you have ever done – it has certainly been our pleasure to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an amazing volunteer and for your great advice for future volunteers. We can’t wait to have you join us in Spain!
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Reegan
10/10

Volunteering with IVHQ in Cambodia

Overall, spending 2 weeks volunteering in Cambodias capital city (Phnom Penh), was fantastic! Leading up to the volunteering adventure we had great support from the staff. They were always ready to answer any questions I had via email. Once arriving at the volunteer house in Phnom Penh, we were warmly welcomed by the other volunteers as well as the staff on site. I volunteered in with child care in an orphanage for special needs children. I would highly recommend this placement option as I have learned many life lessons and felt as though I left a positive impact. On the weekends there is lots to do in the city, as well as the close surrounding cities. If you're travelling alone, don't worry! All the volunteers are welcoming and often travel together on the weekends!

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved based on location and food. Traveling 40 minutes to an hour by tuk tuk was not enjoyable after a long day volunteering. In addition, we were given the same lunch everyday and had suggested more of a variety.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Reegan, It is awesome to hear that you had a fantastic time volunteering in Phnom Penh. We are so happy to have helped facilitate this trip for you and it certainly sounds like you made the most of your time on the program by having a positive experience at your placement, and exploring Cambodia with other volunteers in your spare time. Thanks for your feedback and for being a great volunteer!
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Aldo
7/10

Experience was great, but...

The program was amazing. Cambodians are one of the nicest people you'll ever encounter. With that, though, comes a level of consertatism, which is not over bearing if you're not used to that culture. You just have to understand that it is the way of life over ther . Needless to say, the kids are amazing, as always and the staff is very supportive. If you like experiencing ruins, buddhist culture, and a dialect that is nothing like English - in essence, a place and people that are not the "norm" to Westerners - Cambodia is your place.

How can this program be improved?
Especially in May, it is HOT in Cambodia. That's obviously expected. But the coordinator needs to inform volunteers BEFOREHAND of the accommodations. The volunteer house we stayed in was great, but it was extremely hot in our room (about 90-100 degrees nightly), and we only had a fan blowing hot air on us. Such made it extremely uncomfortable and difficult to sleep, which, in turn, affected our performance at our volunteer placement. For people that are not used to the extreme heat, they need to be informed beforehand so to make arrangements or otherwise specify that they need air conditioning. I know "aircon" (air conditioning) is not the norm in Cambodia and non-revealing clothing goes with the custom, but diving into that custom can be unhealthy if one is not prepared or otherwise informed of it until the day of orientation.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Aldo, thanks for sharing your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your time volunteering in Cambodia and I appreciate you sharing your feedback regarding the accommodation, as it's important to us that we are providing clear information to ensure that volunteers have realistic expectations. In response to your feedback, we have made updates to our accommodation and are ensuring volunteers are well informed of the weather conditions before traveling.
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Chandupa
10/10

Six Months in Cambodia

I went to Cambodia for a six month university co-op program to work for a local NGO. I went in with little expectations, and I came out with one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to help out with the NGO in a deep and meaningful way. In turn, I gained numerous skills that will help me be better at what I do in my future public health career. I was able to come across so many volunteers from so many different parts of the world and I have forged lasting friendships with them. Together we created memories that I still look back on, and that will last my lifetime. I was able to explore a country that does not get enough attention and is not understood by many. Talking with the local people, visiting the country's wonders and historic sites, and living their daily life have taught me life lessons that I carry with me to this day. I would encourage any future volunteers to volunteer for as long as you can (it needn't be for 6 months like I did), because many short term volunteers wished they could've stayed longer and several even lengthened their volunteer trip because they didn't want to leave. Also, come in with little expectations. It's hard to enjoy your experience when you have expectations of how things should be. Also try to explore as much of the country as you can. Doing this helps to understand the country as a whole.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Chandupa, Thanks for sharing. We are so fortunate to have had you join us for 6 months in Cambodia! It is awesome that you took this opportunity to really engage the NGO you were working with in a deep and meaningful way and gained numerous skills for your own future career. We love your advice to come in with little expectations as “it's hard to enjoy your experience when you have expectations of how things should be” and to explore as much of the country as you can. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
10/10

I left my heart in Cambodia.

Day one: I was laying inside my bug net, in the 90 degree heat, with no AC and had just taken a shower from a bucket of water we filled ourselves, only after realizing that rice is the only food we will have for our entire time here. I couldn’t help but think ‘what am I doing here.’

It’s a bitter sweet thing knowing two cultures.

Living in the orphanage for the past month changed my life. These children believe in magic, they play pretend, there is fairy dust in their IV bags. They hope and pray and cross their fingers. They are the happiest, cuddliest, most amazing people on this planet.

If you asked me my first day, I never would have thought I would have missed living in the conditions mentioned above, now I can’t imagine not living like this. I just took my first hot shower in a month and all I can think about is wanting to pour a bucket over my head while the kiddies are calling my name to come play. Leaving here is the hardest thing I’ve had to do and I’ll forever be grateful for the time I got to spend at the Child Rescue Center.

One of the main things I learned here was they aren’t the poor ones on this planet. They may not have much money, if any at all, but they have more happiness with what little they have and that’s something a lot of western people need to learn from.

These children brought light to my world. A day didn’t go by the last four weeks where they didn’t have the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen.

We actually lived in the orphanage with the children, so we got to spend every second with them. Every morning at 5am the music would start playing and we would go stretch and then pray. Breakfast at 7am, lunch at 11, dinner 5 and prayer again at 7. We got into a routine. The kids became family.

Every day I couldn’t help but think to myself “I wonder if this is what it’s like to have kids”. Endless amounts of kisses, cuddles, hugs and love. I miss them so much.

This past month changed my life forever and I wish I could do it again.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, Im not sure. I had the best experience with IVHQ. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nicole, Thanks for sharing such a beautiful review from your time in Cambodia. It sounds like you learnt some incredible lessons from the amazing children at your placement, and from the stark difference in living conditions. We are grateful to have had you volunteer with IVHQ and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
Sarah – IVHQ Cambodia Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Natalie
10/10

Overwhelmed with Experiences

I honestly don't know where to begin, my entire experience volunteering in Cambodia was breath-taking in many ways. I set off on my first solo trip overseas as I thought it was time to begin what I always had the ambition to do which was volunteer as an English teacher. I came across this program and was NOT disappointed! I left my (overprotective) family, extremely excited (and hiding my anxiety) and headed for Phnom Penh, where I stayed with several other volunteers in a local family's home. Not only did I build lasting relationships with my fellow volunteers but also with the Lim's (Familiy I stayed with). In addition to this and possibly the most impressionable were the children whom I taught. As an aspiring teacher in Australia, I have never encountered nor expected such an experience to leave with. I have remained in contact with some of my students and director of the school and will most definitely return in the coming years. It was truly a beautiful and valuable experience which has left a lasting impression on me.
My experience did NOT end there, thanks to this program I spent my weekends travelling the unique sights of Cambodia with the new friends I made volunteering. From bathing rescued elephants in the Mondulkiri Providence to relaxing on a secluded beach in Koh Rong and visiting the temples in Siem Reap, I owe all of these experiences to IVHQ and their incredible volunteer program!!

Could not recommend this more, planning my next trip perhaps to Zambia to teach again?

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Natalie, It is absolutely our pleasure! We are so happy to hear that you had a breath-taking experience in Cambodia and are still in touch with many of the people you met while on your program. Zambia is an amazing country too, and we would be thrilled to have you join our program there in the future.

Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
2/10

Unorganised, unsafe and massively underwhelmed

Signed up for 3 months working with NGO's in Cambodia, I was super excited until my first day of placement when I was asked to do IT Support and the language barrier was so big that it became clear I would not get any experience or knowledge because we were unable to communicate with each other. On my first day they also told me they didn't need a volunteer and I shouldn't return until they called me. Well a week passed and nothing. The program coordinator was unsupportive, hard to talk to and difficult to get hold of. When I eventually spoke to him he suggested I wait until they had work or do another placement such as childcare. I then went to head office expressing how difficult communication has been and that email was forwarded onto the program coordinator with no personal response, this was obviously highly unprofessional and made being in the house even more difficult. I was told I could move city and go to another placement but would have to wait 3/4 weeks. After all this I was not refunded for the program, very little apology, they refused to see what they had done wrong and after I left I was basically forgotten about. Many volunteers that arrived when I did were also so unhappy with their placement and had to end up doing an alternative program to the one they selected, or experienced massively unsupportive and unprofessional situations with staff. A guy was placed in the same placement after I left and he was also told they had no work and had to end up doing an alternative program. They really don't care once you've paid and will not try to rectify any issues or recognise that they are lying to people when they register with them. There was common knowledge as soon as you arrived that if you had a problem it would probably not be sorted. I've heard many stories of success with IVHQ but I would definitely recommend staying away from their Cambodia program, there are plenty of other well priced companies who will not take your money and then forget about you.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nicole, thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your experience on the NGO Support project in Cambodia. This certainly does not meet the quality standards that volunteers expect from IVHQ projects. We recognize that there have been recent issues with some of the NGO Support placements and we are working closely with the local team in Cambodia to make improvements, so that our volunteers can be effective in the work they do. We understand that in your case there was a lack of support in finding an appropriate solution and the local team provided you with a partial refund of your program fee when you left the program. The local team are checking in with each of our NGO Support volunteers on a regular basis to ensure that they are happy in their placements and they are working with each NGO to support them in providing better structure and communications. Please contact your IVHQ Program Manager if you have any concerns that you wish to discuss further.

No, I don't recommend

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