Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220
96% Rating
(16 Reviews)

Affordable Volunteer Programs in The Philippines $220

IVHQ’s Philippines program is based in the Aborlan District, on the island of Palawan. There is a project to suit every volunteer, including Kindergarten, Teaching, Construction and Renovation and Environmental. Programs start on every Monday and volunteers can choose to volunteer for 1 week to 6 months. Volunteers can choose to join the program for anywhere from 1 to 24 weeks with program fees starting at US$220 for 1 week.

Current IVHQ Volunteer Programs in the Philippines:

  • Kindergarten
  • Teaching
  • Construction and Renovation
  • Environmental

Highlights

  • Programs are available year-round at extremely affordable prices starting at US$270 for 1 week
  • The IVHQ Philippines program starts every Monday and volunteers can join for 1 week up to 24 weeks
  • Projects are based in and around the Aborlan District on the island of Palawan
  • Philippines program fees includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
  • A special one week program is available for those after an introduction to the Philippines and volunteering Volunteer weekends can include relaxing beachside, white water rafting and exploring local markets.
  • Read the great reviews IVHQ alumni have left about their experiences in the Philippines, and visit the IVHQ website to start planning your trip!
Locations
Asia » Philippines
Language
English
Housing
Apartment
Hostel
Starting Price
$220.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Philippines Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

Questions & Answers

Hi Jose, Volunteers are required to pay for their own flights. We know that flights can be one of your biggest costs when preparing for a volunteer trip abroad, so to help overcome this we have partnered with STA Travel to create flight itineraries and special offers, especially for IVHQ volunteers. Jordan McFadyen IVHQ Community Manager
It's very safe, the staff take good care of you. Also, what you do on the weekend is completely up to you. There's so many options.
The area is really safe. The northern part of Palawan is actually a known place of peace in the Philippines and the crime rates are really low. The village that this program takes place in is very small and wonderful but traveling around the island is also safe.
I want on the medical program but my roommate was and she went to the hospital every morning at 8:30 and came back to the camp between 3:30 and 4:00pm Monday to Friday. She did take time off as she was there for 12 weeks and they were fringe with it. She loved the program and was using it as her practical for her nursing degree.

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    84%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    91%
  • Value
    92%
  • Safety
    94%
Show 1 - 15 of 16
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Kevin
10/10

IVHQ - Green Lions

I wish someone had told me about this opportunity years ago because it’s an excellent program. You get to people from all parts of the world and go on some crazy adventures, but most importantly you can see how the work you do, directly impacts the residents of Tigman Village.

I just spent 3 weeks in the Philippines (it was supppsed to be 2 but I stayed for longer because I didn’t want to go) working on the Construction & Renovation project.

The first week is orientation, so the coordinators will take you around the village, teach you some of the basic words and phrases and take you to Narra market and the butterfly gardens so you get to see some of what the Philippines have to offer you also get to go to the Sandbar and try making some banana fritters which are delicious.

The weekends are great because it’s your own free time, so we took a group to El Nido, which was absolutely awesome, if you go make sure to do one of the island tours, it’s so much fun! (Just don’t but drinks with ice out there because you will get sick, that’s the only thing you’ll need to worry about).

The second and third week for me was helping to build a new communal area for the school teachers. I also needed to break down one of the walls in the school and rebuild a smaller one so bikes and tricycles could get through to deliver building materials. It was challenging work because it can get very hot during the day, but it’s so rewarding because you can see what it’s going to be used for and you know that you helped contribute to something useful for the community.

Personally I would say if your looking for an adventure, something different from your day to day, you will absolutely love the amazing work Green Lion do and the Philippines. The coordinators are excellent, it’s very safe in the village and outside and the school kids will come and ask how you’re doing.

There’s no WIFI and that might sound terrifying but it’s really nice to disconnect from the world. As there are lots of other volunteers there’s an opportunity to meet some great people with really interesting stories to tell.

The only issue I had with this program is that I didn’t want to leave. It really does feel like home after a couple of days and it’s nice be part of the Tigman family.

If there’s some advice I would pass on to future volunteers, I would say to remember that your not going to be able to change the world overnight, but it’ll be your help that directly impacts the overall success of the developing community as it continues to grow and develop.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kevin, thanks for providing this awesome review and I can't believe you have only just heard about IVHQ recently, where have you been?! :) I am so stoked to hear that you had such an amazing experience, made friends from all over the world while also getting the satisfaction of helping those in need. It's also excellent that you were in a position to increase your duration while in-country and next time you'll need to stay longer! Great advice for future volunteers and now that you know about the world of IVHQ you'll have to return sometime soon. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Caline
9/10

When in Tigman

My name is Caline Al Haddad, I come from Lebanon and I was a volunteer in Tigman Village for 3 weeks in January. Being part of the Tigman Family was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever gone through. Before reaching the village, I didn’t know what to expect. I was of course really excited and ready for a new adventure, however, I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Once I arrived, I was really surprised. Everything was already set in the accomodations, people were really nice, we got a big welcome from everybody, and The Green Lions made sure that we were comfrotable and well set.

We started by the orientation week, in which we had the opportunity to visit the Butterfly Garden, the Waterfalls and the Sandbar. Also, our host Miko gave us a Tagalog class as well as a cooking class and an introduction/safety class.

We started volunteering the next week. I was in construction. The project we were working on was building a teacher’s office in Tigman’s school. Since the schedule is flexible, I was also able to try teaching for a day. My friend Nour and I went to one of the schools and gave lessons for grades 1 and 2.

I can say that the best part of this experience was sharing it with all these amazing people that come from all parts of the world. 3 weeks are not enough to feel like you’ve made a big difference in the village. However, living like the locals, taking part in their festivities, in their traditions, in their everyday life and making friends from all around the world make of this experience an unforgettable one. Breakfast with all the volunteers, the chicken fight, the basketball games, the village’s fest, chocolate time with my roomates, the famous karaoke nights every thursday and the firefly river are what I am going to remember the most.

The worst part was actually leaving. Before arriving to Tigman, I had never thought that I would get this attched to these people and that I would cry on the last day. After spending all of this time with everyone and sharing unforgettable moments with them, you become so close and feel like you’ve known them forever.
Sadly, nothing lasts forever and each one has to go his own way. Memories will however never be forgotten.

Tigman village, forever in my heart

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Caline, we appreciate you taking the time to provide this detailed review and I am sure future volunteers will find this extremely informative. It is awesome to hear the amazing, unforgettable experience you have had on the Philippines program and I am stoked to hear that the hardest part was you having to leave. With that being said, we would love to have you back to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nikola
10/10

Christmas in the Philippines!

I travelled to the Philippines for a week to take part in their kindergarten volunteering programme. I enjoyed my time, far beyond my expectations, and the first thing I would tell prospective volunteers is...go for longer!

In the short time I was there, I met amazing people (both volunteers and locals), and was able to see how the team works so hard to make a positive, tangible, impact in the community. The children at the kindergarten are thrilled to have volunteers there, as are the other villagers who tell stories of how the programme has helped their community grow over time.

I was in the Philippines over Christmas and New Year, and would highly recommend it during this time, if you can. Everyone is in such good spirits, and you really get a feel for how strong the community is. We organised a Christmas party for the school, with games, karaoke, and performances from the children - which we all loved. Everyone in the village wishes you a Merry Christmas.

Though I have so many more great memories from the trip, instead of sharing them here I encourage people to go and experience the place for themselves. All the logistics work, and the coordinators are so helpful during your time there, so all that's left for you is to enjoy the experience. Get as involved as you can and be open to trying new things, and there's no doubt you'll have a great time!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nikola, thanks for your detailed review and it is excellent to hear that our Philippines program went above and beyond your expectations. It sounds as though your Christmas was one to remember and I am sure you and the other volunteers created the same lasting memories for the children of the village. We loved having you volunteer with us in the Philippines and I hope you can volunteer with IVHQ again in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Athena
10/10

Best experience ever!

This trip to the Phillipines was everything and more. I started off by having no expectations and just let my open-mindedness take over. You definitely have to come to this third-world and not expect to achieve things as a high standard. As I was explaining to Dani who works for IVHQ in NZ, this program definitely gives you gratitude and appreciation but also teaches you how to let go of first world problems that are really just luxuries that aren’t that important. The biggest tip are to forget the amenities we have back home and try to live in their shoes in the Phillipines. Some of my favorite memories are just becoming family with the staff. I am also Filipino and they definitely helped me understand my culture more. Some of my favorite memories also include just the people you meet. The conversations, debates, and diversity is very unforgettable. This program has opened my eyes to traveling and future volunteer work and career work. I will definitely be back. Thank you to Green Lion for being my second family. I loved this program! (I was in the environmental program which is very unique because not everyone can handle the tropical environment so I was alone most of the time, but mark and construction was worthwhile as well and would definitely recommend construction with SuperKing Mark!!)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Athena, thanks for your review and it is great to know that the IVHQ Philippines Program exceeded your open-minded expectations, that is definitely some great advice for future volunteers. It's excellent to hear of your self-growth and I hope you can return to volunteer with IVHQ in the future. ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Deanne
10/10

The Philippines

Loved it here! The program I was on was the kindergarten one and it was very interesting and challenging at the same time, as the kinder children have very little English but try very hard to please the volunteers. The children and the teachers at the school are very welcoming of volunteers and that makes it easier to go there and have fun.
I would recommend this program to anyone who truly wants to live life the way the people in the Philippines do. The volunteer camp is beautiful and even though it is very remote it gave me a chance to realize what life is really like for the people living in Tigman Village. The staff at the Green Lion are very accommodating to all volunteers and try their best to make it work for everyone, I will never forget them or the children I was lucky enough to be able to spend time with.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Deanne, thanks for taking your time to provide an excellent review. It's great to hear that the teachers, children and our local team welcome our volunteers with open arms and that you were able to do some reflecting while enjoying the down time in camp. We would love to have you come volunteer with IVHQ again! ^Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Ivana
10/10

My experience in Philippines

I will start to say that the Philippines was one of the best experiences that I had in my life so far.
I went to a 3 weeks programme and before I was thinking it was too much time but at the end of the third week, I didn’t want to leave that place.
It changed my way of thinking and seeing the things around me.
In the village, everyone knows each other, and people are so kind and welcoming that after a few days you feel connected with them.
Saying goodbye to my students was the worst and best thing at the same time. The worst because I knew I would miss them a lot and the best because I felt that I had made a positive impact in their life.
In addition, things in the Philippine are very cheap and it's a wonderful country to visit.

Tip: bring a good repellent!

How can this program be improved?

More activities with the children and other volunteers after classes.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ivana, thanks for taking the time to share your review! It is wonderful to hear that volunteering abroad with IVHQ has made such a positive impact in your life and I have no doubt you did the same to the children you volunteered with. We have loved having you volunteer with us and we would happily welcome you again in the future!
Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Susmitha
10/10

Highly Recommended

I was with the IVHQ team at the Philippines for only a week, but that was enough for me to realize that this is something I'd like to try again. It showed me what it meant to travel meaningfully. You get to have all your fun, plus you feel good about it too. The Environmental program has varied activities for the weekdays, all of which I found to be educational in a way. The weekends are the absolute best. There's always so much to experience on the island from scuba diving to bonfire parties, it's all a thrill ride. Everything's very affordable and the people are quite possibly the friendliest I've ever seen.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Susmitha, thanks for sharing your review! It's excellent to hear that this one week of volunteering abroad in the Philippines has helped you realize this is something you would like to pursuit in the future. IVHQ will be more than happy to have you back to volunteer on any of our programs.
Sean - IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Miranda
10/10

Amazing IVHQ Philippines Volunteer Experience!

Before leaving I was afraid 2 weeks would be too long to spend at this program but once there, I was so sad when I had to leave. My time volunteering in Tigman was one of the most amazing travel experiences I've ever had and I can't wait to do more programs with IVHQ and The Green Lion. Both organizations were a pleasure to work with and are really experienced which alleviated a lot of my stress. Every week day activities/placements were well planned out and on the weekends, the other volunteers/local staff were able help make recommendations and reservations for fun trips. I felt like there was a good balance between volunteering/immersing myself in the local's everyday life and site-seeing/having fun with our free time.
If you do this program, expect to see a unique culture, meet amazing friends, and make tons of great memories. Some of mine include our crazy Karaoke Thursdays, getting a gnarly sunburn on a sandbar (WEAR SUNSCREEN), and of course, teaching and playing games with the students at my school. The work you do here can be difficult but it is so rewarding. I can't recommend this volunteer trip enough and someday I hope to visit the beautiful island of Palawan again!

How can this program be improved?

I feel like there are some logistics within the kindergarten program that can be worked out. It was really difficult for me to formally teach the really little children since they couldn't really understand English. I think the students would get more out of it if us volunteers were used as supplemental help within the classroom and the actual teacher took more of the lead.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Miranda, Thanks for your great review! We are stoked that you enjoyed your time volunteering and exploring in The Philippines and found IVHQ and our local team a pleasure to work with. Thank you for recommending this program and for being a great volunteer – we would love to have you join us again!
Sean – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Kieren
10/10

Weekly karaoke night

Before I arrived I was incredibly nervous, I've never really traveled before never mind on my own. And normally I'm quite shy in social situaitons, however on the weekly karaoke night on Thursday I managed to sing barbie girl with two Dutch girls and a fellow Englishmen. I felt I truly came out my shell and would recommend to anyone to gain a unique perspective. The locals were so friendly and the staff were great.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kieren, That sounds like a hilarious performance, thanks for giving us a laugh! It is uplifting to hear that you gained confidence and a new perspective while on the IVHQ Philippines program. We hope your newfound confidence continues to grow and wish you all the best for the future.
Lynn – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
Kaylor
10/10

My Two Months on the Most Beautiful Island in the World

My two months in Palawan were 8 of the best weeks of my life. I registered for this program because I wanted to travel SE Asia and volunteer during my gap year, at an affordable price. I was a first time backpacker and this was the perfect spot to start. I volunteered on the construction and environmental programs. It was so much more than I imagined it could be.
If you do this program, you'll be living on the beach in a 1500 person village full of beautiful, kind Filipino people who are happy to have you there. I will never forget hanging out with our neighbor children on the beach at sunset or coming back from working in the mangroves covered in mud and jumping in the sea or dancing all night on our weekend trips or the sights that were so beautiful they triggered spiritual experiences or karaoke nights, beachfront fires, trike rides through the rice fields, pumpkin fritters, hammock days, bucket showers after sweaty days, hikes, the list goes on and on and on!
This program really has it all, and IVHQ offers it at an awesome price. I volunteered a lot, really experienced the culture, traveled a bunch, and made some of the greatest friends of my life (international volunteers, coordinators, and villagers). I will never forget my time in Tigman Village.

If you find yourself in Tigman, have a Red Horse for me and skinny dip in the Sulu Sea! Honestly, go sign up for this program right now, it will probably change your life.

Disclaimer: You may not enjoy this program if you don't like being outside, and you will be very dirty (bucket showers) and covered in bug bites. Also, the Philippines is a third world country. These turned out to be some of the things I loved most about the experience, so don't be discouraged.

How can this program be improved?

If you go between busy times, you might find that there are not a lot of "big projects" to volunteer on, but there is always something to do!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kaylor, Thanks so much for posting this brilliant review. You provide a totally accurate summary of a day in the life of an IVHQ Philippines volunteer, from working in the mangroves to karaoke nights, and offer great insight for future volunteers. We're so glad that you felt welcomed by the local Filipino people who call this slice of paradise home, as well as the local coordinators and other volunteers. We love your video - it looks like you all had so much fun! Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and embracing every aspect of the program – bucket showers included! We hope to have you join us again in the future.
Lynn – IVHQ Philippines Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Shuang
8/10

will do this program in the future for sure!

I met many wonderful friends there and did learn a lot from them. Wanna keep friends with them forever! As i worked in a orphanage with special needs for two weeks, I found it meaningful and worth-of-time. The children there were super cute and adorable. I found it difficult to say goodbye to them.
However the work in the hospital was actually not that.. worth of time.. There was not much things to do, even the coordinator said what the volunteer should do is to 'observe', but there was not much things to observe at all though..
But overall, my trip to the Philippines was still wonderful! the sightseeing there was clear and glorious. I'd like to go to the Philippines and do this volunteer again!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Shuang, thanks for sharing your experience. We are so glad to hear that you had a great time in the Philippines! However, we will follow up with your feedback regarding the hospital placement. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ in the future!

Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
10/10

i love tigman!

I just returned from my trip in Asia, which included 2 weeks of volunteering at Tigman Village in the Philippines via IVHQ. The experience was amazing and far exceeded expectations. Glory, Miko and Delma were incredible leaders onsite, and the children/families I got to work with were truly inspiring. My biggest regret, is that my time was so short! When initially planning, I was a bit nervous about what I would find when arriving solo to the volunteer site (as I never worked with IVHQ, or visited the Philippines) - but the entire program was awesome, and I wish I could have stayed longer. The leap of faith it took me to get there, was definitely worth it!

How can this program be improved?

stronger wifi please!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jen
10/10

Don't hesitate to go if you want a once in a lifetime experience that will push your limits and expand your horizons!

I was on the Hill Tribes program for 1 month.
------
The Philippines IVHQ program is a tough one. I'll start by saying the month I spent on the program was the BEST and most difficult month of my life thus far. It was exotic, fun, sad, frustrating, adventurous, dangerous and life-altering all at the same time.
The Philippines is an absolutely stunning country with amazing people. But you have to peel back the surface and really get in there to appreciate it. The program in Davao really positioned you to do that, though.
A lot of volunteers did really really poorly on the program. I saw many volunteers go through some real fits of depression because they felt like they weren't being helpful, that the Philippines was hopeless, that they wasted their time. There was one volunteer who stayed in bed for almost the entire month I was there.
The program in Davao has almost no structure, no agenda, no guidance, no support. But if you are the kind of person who can see problems and are motivated to make things happen then this program NEEDS you. This program NEEDS people who can work independently, who can think big, who can shake things up and aren't afraid of failing or succeeding!
It's a plus if you have a background in social projects.

The hill tribes program was nothing more than banana farming when I first arrived but I saw the need for women's health in the tribes and I got a women's health clinic to make monthly visits to the village. Now hill tribes women who never had access to birth control, have access to it monthly. That was an awesome accomplishment because I built something from the ground up, and there is almost NO red tape in PH, so we were able to move fast and without much government interference.
But, a lot of people didn't know what to do or how to help and they ended up chilling around the volunteer house a lot, occasionally travelling around the Philippines and coming back to Davao.

The Philippines is a third world country and there are no animal rights there so be prepared for that. The people are honest, helpful, accepting, fun, and they want to make their community better when they get a chance to.
Another cool thing about Filipino culture is that they are generally very accepting of LGBTQ people. Even the older generation will not be fazed by it.

The other volunteers were absolutely AMAZING. I made some of the best friends of my life there. The type of person who chooses to volunteer in the Philippines must be some kind of above average person because everyone I met was totally cool and hardy. The friendships alone totally made that trip.

The coordinator for the IVHQ Philippines that was based in Davao passed away a few weeks ago. She was an amazing person who held the program together, so now that she is not there I cannot say what the state of the program is now.

Bottom Line:

Don't go to the Philippines if you want to be told how to help and what to do. It's not going to go down like that.

Go to the Philippines and work hard, seek out what the community needs and go above and beyond to make the changes you want to see. This community needs INNOVATION! This program needs people who with an open heart and mind. This program needs good people with a strong work ethic.
They will be supportive when you try to help! The pay off is enormous if you can make things happen! Don't hesitate to go if you want a once in a lifetime experience that will push your limits and expand your horizons.
I especially recommend this for experience travellers who want to push themselves.

How can this program be improved?

There could be more guidance and support from IVHQ. I understand that communication comes slowly to the Philippines but this community is in dire need of creativity on the coordinator's and the volunteer's part.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your feedback Jen, it's great to hear that you enjoyed your time volunteering in Davao and that you were able to use your initiative to make an impact within the hill tribe community.

As you may know, the IVHQ Philippines program has recently moved to a new location on Palawan Island which offers volunteers some different opportunities to those available in Davao. While volunteer support is being maintained in Davao, our volunteers have communicated that they are pleased with the placement opportunities on Palawan Island and the opportunity to be actively involved in contributing to projects within the local community.

Yes, I recommend
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Jenna
9/10

the IVHQ family

Although I have completed many international volunteer programs abroad, the IVHQ Philippines program was by far the most "user friendly" and would be a great start to getting your feet wet for many more adventures to come. I felt the program had a perfect combination of family style and opportunity for exploration and productivity. Of course when it came to the volunteer project, there was not much structure or oversight- but that is what almost all international volunteer will be like. You have to have the determination and attitude to make the difference you want to see, and to have the Excitment and creativity to put an idea into action. IVHQ will provide you with the necessary support and resources, you have to take advantage of the opportunity and don't hang around the volunteer house all day and wait for it to happen! I have made lifelong friends from around the world, with whom I would have continued to travel the world with if I didn't have to return back to the states to finish my nursing degree. I 100% recommend IVHQ to fellow volunteers and I would definitely volunteer with them again NO HESITATION. They are a very trust worthy organization and my safety was never compromised. In fact, I fainted twice while in the 3 weeks I was in the Philippines - once while on the medical project observing a surgery and another time in the hill tribes probably from my own irresponsibility of eating everything and not drinking sufficient water regularly. Despite these episodes, I was always taken well care of (in fact, probably had even more care and attention than if this happened back home in the states!) and never once felt compromised, embarrassed, or scared because of it.
Enjoy all that the world has to offer and have fun exploring it through IVHQ :)

How can this program be improved?

More fresh fruit provided at the placement?

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jenna, It's great to hear from you! Thanks for the recommendation, it's great to hear from our volunteers that they felt safe and would gladly recommend IVHQ. We love providing the programs we do and will continue to work to ensure more and more people are able to give back to the communities they visit while travelling the world. Thanks for being an IVHQer.

Yes, I recommend
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Fernanda
8/10

IVHQ Philippines

If you want to experience a whole different culture and are travelling for the first time Philippines is the place to go. Their a no language barriers for English speakers, English is spoken and written everywhere and the team in the country that take care of you are the friendliest ever!

How can this program be improved?

There do need some more activities, there was a bit too much free time when not volunteering and the program's themselves need a bit more organisation.

Yes, I recommend

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IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world. Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...