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Sep 03, 2015
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No, I don't recommend this program

Ask a LOT of questions

This description is from the email I received from Love Volunteer (LV): "We work with schools and orphanages in and around Ulaanbaatar. They're generally lacking resources and so support from volunteers is greatly appreciated. The work is varied but volunteers who are assisting in a school will work with local staff and one-on-one with students. As they settle in they can take their own lessons."

The program was marketed incorrectly and NOT as described through our communications with Love Volunteer nor the coordinator.

First of all, when I showed up in Mongolia, I was picked up by the director's daughter, which is fine, because he had told us that he was out of the country. However, when we were dropped off at our apartment, there was not further instruction and we had to figure it out on our own. The next day, a local high school kid, who apparently volunteers with this program, came to give us a city tour, and told us that school was not in session, because it was their spring break, something we were unaware of. So basically, the first week of my 4 weeks, was wasted.

The 2nd week, I arrive at the school assigned with another volunteer to discover that we were volunteer at a private school, NOT an orphanage as expected. These were rich city kids and some of them even owned brand bags and iPhones.

We got in touch with the LV coordinator and told her the situation. She immediately contacted the coordinator to understand what was going on. Apparently, she was also unaware of the situation. She was good about keeping in touch with us and ended up returning a portion of the cost back to us.

We also met with the coordinator to understand why a non-profit was working with private schools and where is the orphanage as advertised? Basically, the orphanage camp is only ran during summer. Though he didn't explicitly say why, it seemed like he puts volunteers in private schools as a way to make some more money from volunteers. Also, only about 20% of the total cost goes to anything to help orphans. The rest is marketing, housing, and salary. NOT ok.

I was really upset with how the whole thing turned out. I received a portion of the money back and left the program to find my own volunteer opportunity. I DO NOT recommend this program, though I do appreciate Love Volunteer's efforts in resolving the issue.

64 people found this review helpful.
Response from Love Volunteers

Dear Joy,

Firstly thank-you for taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback; we're pleased that we were able to work with you during your volunteer placement to provide some form of resolution.

As a result of our investigations, following on from our email correspondence with you, we have discontinued our partnership with the organisation in question.

Ensuring that our volunteers have an enjoyable, safe and rewarding experience abroad is extremely important to us and we take this responsibility very seriously. Also of utmost importance to us is the quality of the partners we work with in each country. The registration fee that volunteers pay to us at Love Volunteers covers the cost of us continually vetting these partners and making sure they adhere to our standards.

It's great to hear that, in spite of the issues, you stayed on to volunteer in Mongolia and that you found us at Love Volunteers to be "sincere and fair in this matter".

The Team @ Love Volunteers

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