Make a REAL difference in Ukraine - From $285!
80% Rating
(4 Reviews)

Make a REAL difference in Ukraine - From $285!

Love Volunteers offers participants the unique opportunity to give back to communities in Ukraine where orphanages are heavily understaffed and are in need of volunteers like you! Volunteers can join a program anywhere from 1 week to 3 months and stay with host families in Ukraine for an immersion experience.

While knowledge of Russian or Ukrainian is not required, it can definitely help with your placement. Volunteers will organize and facilitate a variety of volunteer activities for orphans. Bring your enthusiasm and compassion when you join Love Volunteers in Ukraine!

Highlights

Programs in Ukraine are affordable, starting at $285/wk!
Accommodation with a host family is included in the program cost

Don't just be a volunteer...join us in Ukraine and be a LOVE VOLUNTEER!

Locations
Europe » Ukraine » Kiev
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Language
English
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Host Family
Hostel
Starting Price
$285.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Love Volunteers registration fee, plus program fees starting at just US$285 for 1 week.
Program fees cover airport pickup, orientation, accommodation, and food (see website for specific program details).
The Love Volunteers registration fee covers any placements you undertake for twelve months from the start of your first placement.
This fee is refundable if you choose not to volunteer more than three months prior to the start of your initial placement.
Other Locations
Cherkassy

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    85%
  • Support
    70%
  • Fun
    73%
  • Value
    83%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (4)

Default avatar
Karine
Female
25 years old
Montreal Canada
Concordia University

My week in Cherkassy

10/10

I just finished my week in Ukraine, and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. So much that I plan on coming back for 5 weeks when I am done school this year. I had been looking forward to volunteering in Ukraine for a while now and my coordinator was very fast at answering any questions I had at least two months prior to my arrival. My week was very organized, I got to do so much for the time I had, see children from different orphanages, visit the area, enjoy plenty of the local food and plan activities for the children. Another aspect of this trip is that, other than my love for Ukraine as a country and its beautiful culture, I was amazed by the children's view of happiness and their profound respect for one another. They were caring, grateful, protective, always smiling and very loving. All they wanted was to play and enjoy their afternoons together. It was so precious and simple. I also got to teach English and, my Ukrainian/Russian grammar being far from perfect, my coordinator Alex acted as a translator and everyone was very helpful and understanding when he was not around. As there were different types of orphanages, children differed on mental levels or physical illnesses, but I could never tell, because you'd be surprised how much children can communicate simply with a smile or a laugh ! It is the most rewarding feeling. All together it was a truly touching experience and I plan on keeping in touch, sending toys, crafts and pictures during the year (they promised to show me pictures of their art) and am very excited to make new memories with them in 10 short months !!!

Karine Wlasichuk, Montreal, Canada
Autumn, 2015

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Karine,
It's always such a pleasure for us at Love Volunteers to work with amazing people like yourself who get so much joy out of helping others.
It's so great to hear you were inspired to go back to Ukraine and give more of your time to these wonderful children.
Thanks so much for being an awesome volunteer!
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Default avatar
Sara
Male
32 years old
Los Angeles
Other

Rethink volunteering through love volunteers...

3/10

My experience volunteering with the children and getting to know the locals was amazing. I knew very little about Ukraine and its history befor arriving. I spent my days teaching English and face painting. However I would not recommend volunteering through love volunteers. The overall experience with the Ukraine coordinator was horrible. I've never felt so deceived and controlled by anyone like that before. My first issue was paying $535 for staying there for two weeks. I had no idea before my arrival the state of Ukraine's economy and how drastically different it is from the USA or any other European country. I didn't think it was reasonable to charge that amount since you could have breakfast for less than $1 and rent a for a room is $40 a month in the city center. The amount I paid for room and board for two weeks is what a school teacher makes working full time in 6 months. I also went out of my way to try and connect with other teachers. When Alex found out I talked with other people he became very irritated. Staff members told me Alex said it was "forbidden" to talk to me and only allowed through him. He also insisted I was working at a summer camp for orphans or extremely poor children. I later found out it's a sanatorium which I wasn't familiar with and any Ukrainian child can attend regardless of their background. The worst part for me was when he would go out of his way to introduce me to orphans. He would translate the children's responses and I would just stand there looking at their sad blank faces. I felt like he was using the children's sad stories of being abandoned or orphaned tragically to convince me that there were orphans there. Near the end of my stay I confronted Alex about my issues with him. He told me he didn't like "my kind of woman" and insisted he never lied and the cost of living is much more so the prices were reasonable. I believe that the coordinator and the host family work together to profit massively off of volunteers. I wouldn't recommend going through love volunteers if you're interested in volunteering in Ukraine.

If you're interested in Ukraine there are other options. This review is not intended to deter people from volunteering there. I received so many hugs, bracelets, and hellos from countless children. I'll never forget their sweet faces and gentle nature. There was also never a moment i felt unsafe.

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Sara,

We’re pleased to hear that overall you enjoyed your placement and that you would recommend volunteering in Ukraine to others. It is a wonderful destination with so much history and kind, generous people who are extremely friendly and welcoming of foreign visitors.

We are very sorry to hear that you do not recommend volunteering through LV. Volunteers who choose our programs do so because we're able to make all of the arrangements to ensure that they have a successful placement. It's important to remember that the program fees are used to cover all of the costs associated with your stay and also include a donation to the project. Within the first couple of days you personally donated the medicine that was purchased with part of your program fee. It is disappointing for us to hear accusations of Alex and the host family trying to profit from volunteers. They spent a lot of time with you throughout your stay and even went to the trouble of renting a car to collect you from the airport because your arrival was at a difficult time. The amount that was used for your accommodation (after meals and other costs were deducted) was around $15 per day which is a similar price you would pay for a hostel. A quick online search shows that basic to mid-range hotels can cost between $25-50 per night and do not include meals.

When you contacted LV asking to be reimbursed because you preferred to make your own arrangement for the last week we explained that an agreement had been made with the host family and it wasn’t possible to request the money back. We're pretty sure a hostel or hotel would have the same refund policy if you booked and later changed your mind. We know that you were very upset that your request for a refund was declined, however, it’s important that we handle these situations fairly for all involved (host families included) which is why we have refund policies in place.

We understand that you met a friend who you decided to stay with which is fine, but at the time we asked that if you chose to leave to please let us know so that Alex could inform the family out of respect. Part of Alex’s role is to ensure that volunteers understand the local traditions, customs, and rules and act in a respectful manner in a country that they’re unfamiliar with. Sadly, in this case your host family simply found a note on the floor and were told by a neighbor that you had arrived with an unknown man to collect your belongings while they were out. Your host family are respected members of the community and well known within the orphanages in the area. They have been hosting volunteers for many years and have an outstanding reputation. The accusations made against them are an example of what topics Alex was unhappy with you discussing with the local people. The host mother is a doctor and her husband a businessman, they kindly share their home with international volunteers and like all of the host families we work with worldwide, they are compensated accordingly.

Regardless of everything that took place LV and Alex continued to offer our support and reached out to you to see if you needed any assistance returning to the airport at the end of your stay. Alex even left positive feedback about you as a volunteer and said that you seemed to be a natural teacher and were great with the children. It is a shame that your placement ended the way it did, however, we’re pleased that you had the opportunity to experience a different country and culture and that you enjoyed your time volunteering with the kids.

Default avatar
Jérôme
Male
32 years old
Augsburg
Ecole Centrale de Lyon

Really nice country

9/10

My participation to this program was 3 weeks long, at the end of Autumn in Cherkasy. Despite a program "baseline" orientated towards help in orphanage, I passed most of my time helping out English teachers in a working-class school. The teaching team was really happy to have a foreigner helping them, as well as the pupils (between 7 and 17 y.o) who, for most, never had the opportunity to speak to one before. Some time in orphanages came on top of that, mostly playing with the kids.

Ukraine is a very nice country I must say, unfairly forgotten by tourists, full of sincerely kind and helpful people, who were really happy to share their culture. I plan to go back as soon as I will be able to, but this time, maybe more as a road trip.

How can this program be improved?

Looking back, I would see three points of which I had difficulties
- the hard long time earning the trust of the local focal point, and get some idenpendancy or precise tasks from him
- the language : I could not speak Russian or Ukrainian, and almost nobody could speak English fluently
- the fact that I was the only volunteer during my stay.

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Jerome,
Thanks for taking the time to write this review to help future volunteers. We commend your resilience and flexibility in overcoming language barriers and being on your own on the placement to make a valuable contribution to the teachers and pupils (you even had the initiative and open-mindedness to change programs when this was the best option!).
What a great volunteer!
Thanks again and all the best for your future travels.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Default avatar
Vinelle
Female
32 years old
Hong Kong
Other

The warm hearted trip

10/10

We travel for fun, leisure and business, but seldom have we traveled for love. Ukraine is an unfamiliar nation for the people in Hong Kong. My decision to join the voluntary programme in the country is totally out of curiosity. I cannot speak in Ukrainian, I am not familiar with the Western culture though Hong Kong is an international city, and I lack experience of being a care-taker. It turns out to be the most amazing discovery of my life. My love and respect to the people, for their generosity, kindness, happiness, and all other positive qualities, will never end. Kindness is everything. We broke-through the language barriers and tried our best to understand each other. Children’s laughter and smiles shined my days and became my energizer for the stressful work in Hong Kong. Remember one day when I first met a child called Anton. He has been a rebellious boy who always hopes to escape from the orphanage. He was kidnapped and later escaped from the trafficker, he has nowhere to go but he wanted to escape. He caught my attention and I wanted to protect the little boy in all means. On the last day of the program, he came to me with a gift made of chestnuts. Kindness is everything. All through the program, I have gotten much more than I give. I was not giving enough. “You should stay here for longer. One week is not enough”, Alex, the gentleman who chairs the local organisation told me. It is very difficult for a Hong Kong working person to take more than two weeks of holiday. I am very lucky to have my company’s support. However, yes, I was not giving enough. I hope I could stay with the children longer, to understand them and teach them my languages. Now, every night, I pray for them before sleep. I wish they will grow up healthily, contributing to the society and the world. This is a mother’s wish to their future. I regard every one of them as my children. They are the unique ones. Easy to do than say, please allow me to join the force and take care of the children. This will be my life-long project.

“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace”, once Mother Teresa said. I firmly believe in the words.

How can this program be improved?

A town map can be provided for new comers

Response from Love Volunteers

Dear Vinelle,
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your very limited holidays to give back to the children of Ukraine. You say "All through the program, I have gotten much more than I give." but I very much doubt that is true. It sounds like you were a very valuable team member on the program and your passion to help in the future shows that you will continue to give to this worthy cause.
Thanks again, we commend your commitment to help others.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

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