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 36 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 16 - 30 of 36
Estefy
10/10

I'm going back next year!

I always wanted to volunteer in Cambodia, and I'm so happy I did it with IVHQ. Everything was really well organized, the food was very good, the staff was friendly and helpful, and my placement was exactly what I wanted to do. I volunteered with disabled orphans in Phnom Penh, and it completely changed my life. I think back to it all the time and can't wait to go back. March 2016 I'll be going to India for another 4 weeks with IVHQ :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Estefy, You’re awesome! We are so glad that you loved your time in Cambodia and were supported by IVHQ and our local team – we are more than happy to help! We are excited to have you join the IVHQ program in India next year.

Yes, I recommend
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Robert
9/10

Volunteering - Not What You Would Expect

Volunteering in Cambodia was certainly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am totally satisfied with the end result of this placement after three months, even if it is not in ways I could have foreseen. Seeing the accumulative effect of my time effort spent on helping the organisation, but also those people who the organisation aims to help, was a feeling that didn't really manifest until the last few weeks. I started noticing that all the small ways in which I had previously helped had all helped the organisation in some way or another, albeit very small contributions. Then I began noticing how, over the previous two and half months, I had provided help, taken responsibilities on and produced work for my placement coordinators that left them open to tackle the larger goals and focus their attention. It then dawned on me, one volunteer doesn't save the world or impact in a gigantic way....but volunteers do. The work hours contributed, efforts expended and ideas shared and tested whilst I have been at my placement might seem to only provide a small effect in the short term but when considered in the larger tapestry of the volunteers who have worked at my placement, then consider the total volunteers in all of Cambodia, it actually makes an incredible difference. Volunteering is crucial to supporting those projects which matter the most, those aimed at improving the lives of others by any means possible.

Yes, I recommend
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Analeigh
10/10

Fantastic experience with IVHQ - I couldn't fault a thing. Thank you for a life changing experience at Phnom Penh's Happy School

I was fortunate to be placed at “Happy School” in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The name says it all! The kids were always so happy, Friendly, enthusiastic, and eager to learn! They had a lot of respect for their teachers and volunteers – They were so grateful for each day. It was easy to fit in as everyone (Students and staff) made me feel to welcome. I encourage anyone, to take on the challenge and complete a stint volunteering – It is very overwhelming, confronting and challenging but so worth it. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone 

The IVHQ staff in Cambodia were warm and friendly, it was easy to fit in. The accommodation was good – clean and tidy, the food was healthy and nutritious. We were told about the cultural differences/ scams/ the do’s and dont’s – we had several different ‘tuk tuk’ drivers to transport us around. I felt well looked after and sage. In no way did I ever feel uncomfortable, unsure about my decision.

I was privileged to take part in the Rice Ceremony, which was held on Christmas morning (2015). This is held at the School quarterly and is an incentive for the parents to send their children to happy school – If the student attends 80%+ of their classes in that ¼, the family receives a 25Kg bag of rice. Parents and caregivers were invited for the ceremony – The children sung Christmas carols and put on a show. The principal assured me that the funds I had raised in my home country will pay for the Rice ceremony in March 2016. This was really rewarding, as I know a lot of my family and friends in my home country want to help different charities, but are sometimes hesitant about where the money goes. Every little part helps. Cambodia still faces a number of development challenges, which sadly encourages children to work on the streets and get money for the family instead of attending school and getting a education.

The little ones have so much love to give and it’s heart-breaking that they don’t have the same opportunities as we do in New Zealand. If you are thinking about volunteering – Just do it. Do it now, as you may never get the opportunity to do it again.

A huge thanks to IVHQ (Head office + Local staff) for giving me the experience, it defiantly opened up my eyes and made me appreciate all the little things. It was an experience I will never forget.

Thank you
Analeigh

How can this program be improved?
It was pretty close to perfect. All i could say is that it would be handy to have a weekly timetable - so we can see exactly what we are teaching each day (and because I like to be super organised) ha.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

"If you are thinking about volunteering - Just do it." Well said! We couldn't agree with you more Analeigh! Thanks for sharing a little about your time in Cambodia. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend
Sophie
10/10

An experience of a life time!

I had the privilege to work at National Borey for Infants and Children for a week in January 2016.

It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.

The children were all beautiful and unique in their own way.

My day commenced with twelve other volunteers from IVHQ. We all left our volunteer house at 830am and finished around 4pm.

The activities the children loved was face painting (mainly the volunteers!), bubbles, playdoh, drawings and dancing.

One of the most challenging experience for me was feeding the children. After a few days though you got used to the routine.

This program taught the importance of teamwork and communication with other volunteers, staff and the children.

A lot of the children did not verballing speak, so the communication I used was body language to get a message and conversation across.

It as at times very emotional and moving seeing the children with their disabilities. The most important aim for myself towards the children was to show them patients, empathy, respect their dignity and show them love.

The mama's and staff at the centre are incredible people. They had so much patience, love and respect towards the children.

I highly recommend National Borey for Infants and Children to people who have a kind nature and patients. These children just need to be loved and cared for individually as a unique individual.

Thank you IVHQ and Cambodian Volunteer Foundation for my incredible time in Cambodia.

How can this program be improved?
Inform the volunteers which children have illnesses such as HIV so that everyone is aware and safe in the environmental settings.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sophie, Thanks for your review. It's great to hear that you had an incredible time volunteering and it seems like you were able to have a really positive impact on these children's lives in the time you were in Cambodia. Thanks for being an IVHQ and we hope to see you on another program again in the future.

Yes, I recommend
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Gena
10/10

Amazing!!! Already Rebooked!

I volunteered in Cambodia - spending my first placement in Pursat, with an amazing host family! I will never forget how kid they were and helpful even with a language barrier we had at times, my second placement was Siem Reap at the volunteer house. Both placements I chose to be a part of the child care program. My volunteer experience in Cambodia was unforgettable, eye opening and so inspiring. It was my first trip overseas on my own but not at one point did I feel unsafe, the staff prior to departure and when I was in Cambodia were so friendly and helpful. I felt supported and excited every step of the way. The placements IVHQ selects in the host country have been carefully picked and you can see the full impact they have on the community once you are there, and it is privilege to be a part of that. Not only is the volunteering experience absolutely wondrous, the entire time, with other volunteers, in country support team! and of course the people of Cambodia made the entire trip unforgettable, adventurous and addictive. I have already booked my next lot of volunteer experiences and hope to be able to give as much as I know I will get out of them.

How can this program be improved?
Taking everything into consideration and the realisation that you are emerged in another culture, it is hard to note any relevant/serious improvements - as this would simply be trying to change the program to make yourself more comfortable - as it is nerving being out of your own environment - but the point is to immerse yourself and enjoy it.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gena, It's great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts from your experience in Cambodia. It sounds like you had a great time both volunteering and exploring the country with your fellow volunteers which we love hearing. We are looking forward to having you back on our programs later in the the year. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend
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Jenn
10/10

My Experience was unforgettable!

I was placed in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia for six weeks, and just as my title says, it was unforgettable!

The city is full of life and loads of things to do. It is a place to really experience true Cambodian life. You are away from most tourists (with the opportunity to partake in touristy things), but you are mostly amongst the locals and sharing in their day to day lives. Another positive of being placed here is that PP is close to many places such as Kampot, Kep, and Sihnoukville, which are fantastic weekend getaway places. But, aside from that, the people, the food, and the atmosphere that is in this city, can't be experienced anywhere else.

There are three housing option in PP, and I was placed in the homestay. This was fantastic, and I couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. The family treated us really well, and made delicious food each day. There was anywhere from 8-15 ish volunteers staying here. Full house which made for great conversations, and loads of people to go do things with.

I taught at a home for children who came from rough homes and such. I was the only volunteer from IVHQ at this placement. At first I was worried about that, but it was really a blessing. I had the opportunity to really take control of the education that these students were receiving while I was there. This was fantastic as I am in my final year of teaching. I only taught half a day as they went to Khmer school during the other half. I wish I could have spent so much more time in PP teaching. The longer you spend, the better connections, and the bigger the impact you have on these children.

Teaching in Cambodia with IVHQ was by far the best experience I have ever had. I keep in contact with my volunteer placement, and I am planning to go back again in the near future.

If you are considering Cambodia, do not hesitate. Sure there will be challenges, it is hot, schooling is different, the culture is different, but isn't that why we travel in the first place? To experience these differences, and to grow and learn from them.

I think of Cambodia everyday. I will never forget the people and things I experienced on this journey.

Don't hesitate, sign up and stay for as long as you can. Two weeks is just not enough to experience it all.

How can this program be improved?
I think IVHQ needs to emphasize the importance of why we are there. Many volunteers skipped out on work, and that is taking away from the integrity of the programs.
Not in my placement, but some placements had an over abundance of volunteers, and those extra bodies could have been very useful in other organizations.
Lastly, IVHQ needs to make volunteers aware of transportation costs once in country. ie. to and from work each day. We were told to budget for water, but honestly in PP no one can drink the water so everyone has bottled filtered water which is super cheap and always available. The money that they suggest should be budgeted for water, should actually be budgeted for daily transportation. So just keep that in mind when planning your trip. Mine was about $4/day USD. I had other transportation methods available to me (pedal bike), however I had a great Tuk Tuk driver, and I felt good about supporting him and his family while I was there.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jenn, Thanks for sharing your thoughts, advice and photos from your volunteer experience in Cambodia. It was great to have you volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to welcome you on another program again soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Gemma
10/10

Absolutely amazing!!

This was my first solo trip and it was way out of my comfort zone, I wasn't sure what to expect but it topped any expectations I had!
I loved every minute of my time at the Home of Joy orphanage in Siem Reap, it was absolutely amazing and it is actually pretty hard to put into words but it was a life changing experience!
I would recommend this program to everyone, the support post departure and on arrival is great. As I went by myself I was pretty nervous but the accommodation was great and I met so many great like minded people there from all over the world.

I can't recommend this high enough, I have encouraged a few friends to use the program and travel to Nepal next year, I am also super excited to be heading on my second trip with IVHQ to Vietnam in January with 2 of my best friends!! Love love love it, there are so many options and very reasonably price!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gemma, It's great to hear from you and thanks for taking the time out to share your thoughts on your IVHQ volunteer experience in Cambodia. We have similar feedback from so many of our volunteers who travel abroad to one of our programs solo and we are glad that you too benefitted from being able to connect to other volunteers from all over the world. We look forward to having you on our Hanoi program in January. See you soon!

Yes, I recommend
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Tahlia
10/10

My volunteer experience

Prior to completing my program I had visited Cambodia twice with my family. We all completely fell in love with the culture and people there however were saddened by the horrific past and the number of people living in poverty. I vowed I would come back and try and help in any way possible. After talking to a few friends I decided to try volunteering, I travelled to Cambodia as part of a 6 week Southeast Asia trip but two weeks was no where near enough time for me! It is hard being a uni student and finding enough time but I still enjoyed every minute of it.

I was placed in the Missionary of Charity orphanage in Siem Reap which was a beautiful little orphanage for babies to 5/6 year olds. Our job mainly consisted of playing with and entertaining the children while making sure they were fed, bathed and looked after. This proved difficult at some times due to the adventurous and brave spirit of the children! The children are all so affectionate and love the attention and the carers and nuns who work there are very caring. There was limited teaching facilities which I was surprised by and I would have loved to try and run some classes however it was near to impossible with none of the children speaking any english.

Siem Reap is an amazing place and the volunteer house and staff there were so great. The house is a short walk from 'Pub Street' which is a street full of bars, clubs and great restaurants. Safe to say we enjoyed the social aspect of the whole thing! Overall I had the most incredible time and seeing the smiling excited faces of the children when we arrived in the morning made it all worth it. I loved it so much that I am returning in a few months! Would highly recommend to everyone interested.

How can this program be improved?
Discussions among other volunteer companies, there were a few days where there was 6 or 7 volunteer staff to about 20 kids. Even though the kids loved it I thought this was not necessary and that if it was better organised. Some of the volunteers could have gone somewhere else in need.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tahlia, Thanks for sharing a little about your time volunteering with IVHQ in Cambodia. We often hear that our volunteers’ duration is not enough, but the good news is IVHQ offers volunteer programs throughout the year in over 30 different locations so there will always be a chance to do more at another time. Your experience in Cambodia sounds very rewarding and we are glad that we were able to facilitate this opportunity. We hope to see you on another IVHQ program again soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Zita
9/10

Amazing experience at Joy Day Care

I was placed a Joy Day Care in Cambodia where my responsibilities included showering, feeding, teaching, playing with and cleaning up after children aged 2 to 6 years. The day started at about 9am, when the students were picked up and brought to the centre and ended at about 4pm when they were taken home. The students were divided into 3 'classes' and I worked mostly with the younger students.

How can this program be improved?
Knowing details of my placement prior to arrival in Cambodia would have been helpful and made me feel more prepared. It would have been helpful to know what work I was going to be doing, the age groups of the children, the needs of the placement and other such information would have been beneficial beforehand.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Zita, it's great to read a little about what your childcare placement was like. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ in Cambodia.

Yes, I recommend
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Mary
9/10

IVHQ Cambodia Loved Every Minute

For as long as I've known I have always wanted to volunteer overseas and I'm so glad I chose IVHQ and Cambodia as my first trip. It was amazing! So amazing that I wish I was still there! Best time ever!

How can this program be improved?
It would have been great if I knew the age group of kids I was looking after and given more direction as to exactly what they expect from the volunteers. Also the resources needed prior to leaving for you trip so we can buy from home as well as the country you are volunteering in. More variety in the food provided as well as vegetarian options.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mary, It’s great to read that you enjoyed your volunteer experience in Cambodia and we appreciate your feedback. Thanks for choosing IVHQ.

Yes, I recommend
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Bella
10/10

Missionaries of Charity Memories

Hi all,
I just recently volunteered at the Missionaries of Charity Orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I applied for a two week programme however that is my biggest regret as two weeks was not enough. It was a massive step out of my comfort zone as I had never travelled in a foreign country solo however I would recommend it to anyone. It really gives you perspective on daily life as the experience encourages you to compare the life of the Cambodian locals and the life you live back at home. I learn to appreciate the basic necessities and become less materialistic. It was eye-opening to witness the happiness of the locals and sense of community despite living a very basic life.

I had an absolute blast at the orphanage and woke up very eager to return each day. The nuns were very accommodating and the children were super affectionate. Our role was to assist the workers with the children's daily routines, including bathing, feeding and entertaining. It was really rewarding to see the children smiling and loving the attention. The most difficult part was the language barrier as it was very hard to communicate with 0-5 year olds that obviously could not speak english. Nonetheless, I would definitely return.

The IVHQ programme provided quality accommodation and delicious food which added to smoothness of my experience.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, it would be more communication between the CVF workers in terms of administrative matters.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Bella, Thanks for the feedback! It’s great reading about your experience and that you enjoyed everything from your placement to the volunteer accommodation. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
10/10

My Cambodian Adventure

My 4 weeks of volunteering at a disability day care centre in Phnom Penh was a real adventure as it was so different to anything I have ever done before. But it was the best adventure!
Hand of Hope Community looks after 25 children with varying disabilities (including autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities) and ages ranging from 5 to 22 years old. Each child's different and therefore the more individual attention that they receive the better. That is why alongside the 6 staff members at the centre, myself and another volunteer were never without something to do. From helping kids with cerebral palsy practise fine motor movements through educational toys, to drawing picture outlines for kids to colour in, to learning the numbers 1 to 10 with kids with intellectual disabilities, the list goes on. A definite highlight was the first dance party. Seeing the kids faces light up when the music started playing and dancing around the room like it was the only thing that mattered is a memory I will never forget. I want to share my experiences with everyone I meet, but I know the only way anyone would truly understand is if they went on their own adventure.
The support of IVHQ (and CVF in Cambodia) was exceptional and I am already looking at their programs in other countries for my next overseas volunteer adventure.

How can this program be improved?
The orientation session held by CVF didn't answer all my questions as I thought it would. I understand that with such a large number of volunteers it had to be quite generalised, but it would have been good to find out a little more about our own placement that day so that we were more prepared going to work the next day. In the end it turned out okay and my questions were answered over my first few days at placement.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Anna, It’s great to read a little bit about life as a volunteer in Cambodia - thanks for sharing! It sounds like you had a very memorable experience and we are glad to have been able to facilitate this. We look forward to welcoming you onto another IVHQ program again in the future.

Yes, I recommend
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Shanaz
10/10

Most Amazing Experience!!

I just spent 2 weeks volunteering at Missionaries of Charities orphanage in Siem Reap and I can easily say it was one of the best experiences of my life! Where we were placed the kids were very young between 0-5 years old so our main role was to play, feed and bath them. They were so beautiful and always had smiles on their faces despite the unfortunate circumstances they have been placed in! I went with a friend and IVHQ did a great job at placing the both of us and we could not have asked for a better experience. We stayed at the volunteer house which personally I really enjoyed as it was really social and a great way to meet all the other volunteers. My only regret is not staying longer as I think Siem Reap is one of the best places I have ever visited so if you can try to be placed here. I would 100% recommend IVHQ and I can't wait for my next adventure!!!

Yes, I recommend
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Jo
10/10

Inspiring and Rewarding - Loved it! Planning my next trip

I have now volunteered through IVHQ twice, in 2011 and 2013. In 2011, I was placed with Maryknoll organisation in Phnom Penh for 4 weeks teaching English along with computer skills to children aged between 8 to 16 years. This organisation provided free education and accommodation to these children who were all affected by AIDS. My placement was within walking distance with my day starting at 8am to midday and then back at 2pm- 4pm. On this occasion I stayed with a host family which was fantastic. The meals were great and really enjoyed the experience as I got to experience their family life and got to go visit their home province. I don't think this would of been possible if I stayed in the volunteer guest house.

In 2013, I went to Siem Reap and was accommodated in a volunteer house for approx. 4-5 weeks. I was placed with MOC which is an organisation that takes in children at risk because of family situations for a period of time until the family is in a situation to care for the child. I attended MOC in the morning for approx 3-4 hours. I helped with the washing, folding the clothes, cleaning, feeding the children and playing with them. MOC also supports these families with rice etc. In the afternoon I taught English at AOO, an organisation providing free English and computer lessons to underprivileged children. The children ranged from 3-16 years.

Some of my favourite moments would have to be the eagerness of the children to learn and they are absolutely inspiring. They were always so appreciative, friendly and welcoming. Arriving at MOC each morning and seeing those smiling faces was something I looked forward to each day. I great way to start the day!

Make sure you experience the culture, the people, respect their traditions and religion. You definitely leave a different person.

The IVHQ staff and the local volunteer organisation staff are just fantastic, nothing is a problem. It may not happen like you are used to in your own country but this is Cambodia and things are done differently. Relax and enjoy the experience.

How can this program be improved?
In Siem Reap, I would recommend a policy of acceptable behaviour in the volunteer house be implemented more strictly, in particular going out partying to all hours and returning late / early hours of the morning.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jo, Thanks for the feedback, it’s great to hear about both of your volunteer experiences in Cambodia. We are looking forward to having you back for a third time.

Yes, I recommend
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Dianne
10/10

A most amazing experience

My partner and I, both in our sixties, volunteered for the Cambodian program in September 2013.
Having never done this sort of thing we left Perth with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and a sense of nerviousness. We should never have worried as the whole experience was both sobering, exciting and gratifying.
We stayed in the Volunteer House with about 20 young people who, I have got to say, were some of the most amazing young adults I met in a long time. They embraced their volunteer jobs with enthusiasm and joy and it was fabulous at night, around the dinner table, to all be able to talk about our wonderful (and sometimes sad) daily experiences.
I was lucky enough to be placed in a PIO school near the old dump in Phnom Penh and my partner was the "handyman" for the school and the shelter. These children had very very little but the joy from attending school and also knowing they would be fed daily was a joy to behold.
Even with no teaching experience, this was a wonderful 2 weeks spent with about 32 truely beautiful 8-12yolds who, did not have very much, except their beautiful bright smiles and their thirst for knowledge.
Brian made a huge difference with the things that could be fixed and mended.....a huge list...and the children were so grateful for running water and to be able to watch a newly fixed, very old TV. Things that we, in Australia, just take for granted.
We were sad when our time finished but consider ourselves so lucky to have done what we did, meet the amazing people we met, along with the staff, and I honestly can say I came away learning a lot more than I actually taught.
With all the excitement of our experiences and stories now being told at home I have had at least 3 people...one my 22 year old son, wanting details of the IVHQ program.

How can this program be improved?
The safety issues at the Volunteer House, but these have been reported and I have been assured are being looked into.
Yes, I recommend

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Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...