Affordable Community Development Volunteer Projects with IVHQ

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos


As an IVHQ Community Development volunteer, you’ll be empowering local communities through a variety of initiatives. You'll have the choice of working across 14 program locations around the world, with volunteer placements in women’s education, immersion programs, food rescue, youth support, rural community development and HIV/AIDS support.

Book With Confidence: Added Flexibility & Free Changes

IVHQ makes it easy to change your travel plans should you need to – or if you simply change your mind. As long as you cancel or reschedule at least 15 days before your program start date this year, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination.

Questions & Answers


9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • Impact 8.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldn't have been better!

This was my first time volunteering and I loved it. I had originally signed up to do six weeks of temple renovation, however ended up doing something different every week! They are very flexible as to what projects you work on so long as you spend your time productively.
All the projects I worked on were overseen by friendly local coordinators, who are more than happy to help out and translate if needs be. The local people are also very friendly and are so happy to have you helping them.
Sri Lanka as a place is stunning- The views and scenery is unreal. There is loads of great day trips to do at the weekends in your spare time. I would highly recommend Adams Peak if you like to hike! Do keep in mind though, drinking is not huge in Sri Lankan culture, so if you're wanting to come for three weeks of hardcore partying every night- This is maybe not the place for you. That said, we did have a couple 'drinkey' nights on occasion.
The accommodation is by no way five star, however it was what I was expecting whilst volunteering. The other volunteers who were also there we so friendly and helpful which gives the who house a family feel to it. The food was great, staff were great- I really can't fault it!

What would you improve about this program?
One of the only things I would suggest is that they provide a little more in depth detail about the variation of programs before you arrive as to help you prepare more. I spent a week at the turtle project and wasn't told to bring rubber gloved to avoid the leaches!
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Green Lion Sri Lanka 5 Weeks

On September 7, I flew over 9,000 miles away from home to volunteer in Sri Lanka for 5 weeks. My program started through IVHQ who set me up with the local volunteer organization called the Green Lion. The Green Lion has been wonderful. They have multiple volunteer placements to choose from and are totally supportive of all your needs. The coordinators are wonderful and kind and the accommodation was lovely. I was lucky and during my 5 weeks here I was able to participate in multiple projects. I have done the turtle conservation project for 2 weeks, spent another week working at both a disabled and a girls' orphanage. And my last week teaching monks English. Every single program was headed by amazing people who really appreciate all the work you do and they really care about how you are doing. I could type for pages and not properly word what a wonderful and life changing experience I have had here. I could not recommend The Green Lion high enough.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could change one thing it would be just a little more variety in the food at our accommodation. The food was fine but the dishes can feel a bit repetitive after 5 weeks.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Alicia, thanks for the small insight into your 5 weeks in Sri Lanka. We are so happy that you had a wonderful & life changing experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer, we hope that you join up again on another program.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Rio 1-Week Experience

I joined the 1-week experience program in Rio. I thought it was great and would recommend it to anyone who's considering volunteering abroad but is not sure what to expect. My program was quite intense and the days were quite busy. It included visiting the different Rio projects - Vasco, Santa Marta, Sao Guero, etc. Seeing how those projects impacted the communities they serve was very moving. We had the chance to meet other volunteers and get to know the locals a bit. We also had a chance to sigh-see and find our way around Santa Teresa, Centro, the beaches and major attractions.

The community members were very welcoming, Sylvie held a picnic for one of the departing volunteers, and Ze Luiz took us to a Flamengo game at the Maracana. I can't express my gratitude for such welcoming and kind people. I thought Rio was a beautiful city with many exciting things happening, but it was the people that made it a place you want to go back to again and again.

The volunteers were a group of good-hearted and hard working people who cared for each other and for the projects they were part of.

My only regret is not doing a longer project and contributing more fully to a local community and helping them achieve something long-lasting.

Special thanks to the staff, they were amazing (Zac, Monique, Vivi), thank you for making this a memorable experience.

What would you improve about this program?
With the one week experience, I would dedicate two days to work on one project, seeing other volunteers who have been there for weeks working on something specific made me want to be part of something bigger than just visiting the projects or working on them for a couple of hours.

I did feel that the house we lived in could have been cleaner, but the staff was responsive and available at all times.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Marian, Thanks for sharing your thoughts from your experience on the One Week Volunteer Experience in Rio. You are right this project is perfect for those who want to volunteer abroad but don't know what to expect, it's the perfect mix, you get a true cultural immersion and gain an insight into the volunteer projects that are running across Rio. It's great that you felt welcomed and looked after by the local team. You can always come back and stay for longer next time :) Thanks for being and IVHQer!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Tanzania

IVHQ's partnership with Tanzania Volunteer Experience (TVE) combines an internationally successful volunteer program with a local agency that allows volunteers to immerse themselves in Tanzanian culture, impact local medical agencies, schools, or orphanages, and meet other volunteers in the process. I loved TVE's connections with local tourism agencies, making it easy to plan weekend excursions such as safaris, trips to Moshi (to visit the base of Kilimanjaro, a coffee plantation, a waterfall, and hot springs) or even a trip to Zanzibar! Lodging with TVE at Simba House (one of two volunteer houses) allowed me to interact with locals every day, including our house manager and program directors, to try local foods at each meal, and to make friends that will last a lifetime. Volunteering with TVE ensures that one can experience Tanzania without feeling like a tourist - volunteers have the opportunity to immerse themselves as much or as little as desired. Volunteers have the opportunity to take a lot of responsibility at placements, and during my time teaching English, these responsibilities including planning lessons, refurbishing the school by painting a mural, interacting with staff, and of course, teaching and playing with the students! I would highly recommend this program to anyone with a specific interest in Tanzania, or to someone who wants to visit Africa but doesn't know where to begin. Tanzania has SO much to offer, and volunteering with TVE allows you to experience as much of the wonders of this country as possible.

What would you improve about this program?
There are many different volunteer placements available through TVE, and I think it may be valuable to provide the option of a rotating placement, so that volunteers can experience many different agencies. For volunteers who are staying a few months (or longer), this may be very helpful in finding a long-term placement that is the right fit.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Julianne, thanks for the recommendation and for posting the photos! We are so glad that you loved the program in Tanzania and made life long friendships. Thanks for being an IVHQer!