Volunteer with “Endless Summer” in J bay South Africa

jbay endless summer

Jeffreys bay has a lot of volunteer opportunities

Over several years we have established a number of projects where we work in tandem with the local communities to uplift as much as we possibly can.

Reasons to Volunteer?

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people or animals around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge of other cultures and customs and for some helping other is just great fun.

Why Should I Pay to Volunteer?

Congratulations you, you’ve made an incredible decision not just to travel abroad as an intrepid globetrotter, but to give back along the way by volunteering abroad. But in researching different volunteer programs you notice one commonality: they all expect you to PAY to volunteer. You are free labor, so what the heck is that about?! Before you get bent out of shape, there are a few things you should consider about why these programs are charging you fees.

So, how does this fee thing work?

Program fees vary based on what the program offers in return. From logistics and orientation to in-country support, these organizations are there to make sure you get the most out of your time abroad and are there to help if you find yourself in a tight situation. Some organizations go a step further, by setting up day trips for their volunteers to explore the region. Other organizations may include room and board in their fees. So it is important to read the fine print to find out exactly where your fees will be going and what will be covered for you. You should also look into the general cost of living when comparing programs, as the fee may be adjusted based on which country you are looking at, and this could save you some money in the end.

Some volunteer program providers act as the middlemen — they focus on getting volunteers from the States and assisting with logistics and support, much like a travel agent. With these programs, your placement will be within another organization (hereunto referred to as the placement organization) that your program provider has a relationship with. In general, you are paying for the service of these well run and established volunteer program providers to help you do the legwork of linking you with a partner organization in need of volunteers, and usually, other logistical aspects of volunteering abroad (many of which you would eventually pay for anyway, like housing, excursions, language classes, or visa fees).

Reasons to Volunteer and what your money goes towards

Program fees vary based on what the program offers in return. From logistics and orientation to in-country support, these organizations are there to make sure you get the most out of your time abroad and are there to help if you find yourself in a tight situation. Some organizations go a step further, by setting up day trips for their volunteers to explore the region. Other organizations may include room and board in their fees. So it is important to read the fine print to find out exactly where your fees will be going and what will be covered for you. You should also look into the general cost of living when comparing programs, as the fee may be adjusted based on which country you are looking at, and this could save you some money in the end.

Some volunteer program providers act as the middlemen — they focus on getting volunteers from the States and assisting with logistics and support, much like a travel agent. With these programs, your placement will be within another organization (hereunto referred to as the placement organization) that your program provider has a relationship with. In general, you are paying for the service of these well run and established volunteer program providers to help you do the legwork of linking you with a partner organization in need of volunteers, and usually, other logistical aspects of volunteering abroad (many of which you would eventually pay for anyway, like housing, excursions, language classes, or visa fees).

What will my volunteer abroad program provider… provide?

People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.

  1. Airport Pickup & Transfer

Congratulations you’ve made an incredible decision. To travel abroad as an Forget being overwhelmed in the arrivals area and ripped off by the taxi guy. After traveling halfway around the world to a country you’ve never visited, there is nothing better than being greeted by a friendly face at the airport who then grabs your bag and whisks you away in a car. When it comes time to leave, you have someone willing to help you lug your bags back to the airport and give a big hug as you head off.

  1. Logistics

Arguably the most difficult part of picking up your life and plopping down in another country is all the logistics involved. From finding a place to live to obtaining the perfect volunteer placement, the details are much easier to accomplish when you have a local there to guide you or take care of it for you — who, obviously, needs an income. Additionally, some program providers have developed relationships with schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the countrie(s) they work in. As such, it is only through the program provider that you can get a placement there.

  1. Orientation

Orientations will help you be a better volunteer. However it takes time to understand not only your role but how your placement organization works as well as local cultural practices and etiquette, which is why orientation and trainings crucial. In some cases, orientation will also include language training or cultural orientation by the program provider (not necessarily by the organization you actually end up volunteering with). The fees paid by volunteers helps the program provider to develop their training and hire on quality individuals to run them.

  1. Food & Accommodation

In some cases, the organization charging a fee may not only set up your accommodation but also include the cost of living in your program fee. If you are doing a homestay, you may have your meals cooked for you by the host family, in which case you would be charged in advance. Or perhaps your placement organization serves lunch daily, which may be included in the fee. This is of course important when you do a budget for what you would spend abroad, deciding if it is more economical to cook yourself or have it provided.

  1. In-Country Assistance

Perhaps it isn’t all you hoped or you need help sorting banking issues, renewing visas, or see a doctor. Having someone to help with such, especially if you don’t speak the local language. We will know of doctors to visit, the best place to buy a bus ticket, avoid being scammed and much more! So if an emergency happens on a weekend or in the night, you have someone to call. We’ll also keep in touch with family members if you need to be evacuated from the country or fall seriously ill. It’s peace of mind that is be worth the money!

  1. Program Support

Organizations need money to run their programs. Funding typically comes from grants, donations, and volunteer fees. Your organization may tack on a fee for their programs, and the staff are required to run them. While volunteers are involved in daily activities, most people cannot volunteer for more than 6 months. Thus organizations need to keep paid staff members to ensure continuity of their programs and administrative duties.

  1. Trips and Excursions

Many volunteer program providers go a step further to convince you to choose their organization by setting up trips for the volunteers. From going on a safari in Masai Mara to visiting local ruins, to daytrips to the beach, this is a great way to see the country without being responsible for the logistics. Plus it means you will have the opportunity to better acquaint yourself with your fellow volunteers and local staff.