I spent 6 weeks volunteering in Ghana, Africa with International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) at the beginning of this year and it changed my life forever. It was an absolutely amazing experience and I owe it all to the ease of the program getting me prepared for the trip, picking me up from the airport, transitioning us from arriving in Ghana to our program placement, and all throughout the length of my stay I saw an IVHQ employee at least once a week if not more who just came to check up on us and see how we were doing. IVHQ really cares about their volunteers and their experience. I had the misfortune to end up in the hospital for a few days due to an infection and my IVHQ placement guide was by my side within hours, he came to sit with me, to see how I was doing, communicated with my family back home, they really care about your wellbeing and safety. I felt so comfortable volunteering with IVHQ and extremely cared for and protected. I fell in love with the amazing children I got to spend my 6 weeks in Africa with and I long for the day that I can see their sweet faces again. I highly recommend IVHQ volunteering!
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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the trusted volunteer organization, providing safe, quality and extremely affordable volunteering placements developing countries all over the world. Each year they place over 5000 volunteers abroad and have a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Argentina, Bali, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia - Bogota and Cartagena, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, India - Delhi & Dharamsala, Kenya - Nairobi & Maasai, Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.
IVHQ Ghana Turquoise Orphanage Program 8 weeks
My experience with IVHQ Ghana has been amazing!! I had never traveled abroad before and I chose to do so alone, so it was an intimidating thing at first... but the nerves go away as soon as you land and meet the IVHQ Ghana staff member there to pick you up. The staff were incredible, every single one of them! The most friendly, welcoming, kind, helpful and fun people ive ever met! All the volunteers and myself were all having a great time before we even got to our various programs. You are taken such good care of at the volunteer house, any question you could possibly have or any worry ANYTHING you need is all taken care of by the IVHQ Ghana staff.
Prepare to be overwhelmed when you get to your program! Every single kid bolts over to welcome you... its a welcome you will never forget and never get tired of...and its a welcome you will always get from Ghanains. Mr Seth and his wife Vivian were the host family, they become your family... they are very very sweet, very caring and SO much fun... Seth is the most easy going guy on the planet and will do anything for his volunteers to make sure you are happy and comfortable, I never felt home sick for one moment, their incredible people. The kids are so much fun, your first week with the kids can also be very overwhelming, every kid wants your attention and there are over 40 so you have to learn how to manage them lol. You will fall in love with the kids so quickly... everyone does. There is so much to do at Turquoise... so many ways you can help, and you feel so appreciated, the work can be hard especially in Ghana's hot sun, but it is so rewarding and fun. The placement is beautiful at turquoise, you have an awesome view of the ocean. Weekends are free to do as you please, so we always took advantage of that and traveled every weekend... There are SO many beautiful and fun places to visit! You'll want to visit them again and again. Each program has a IVHQ Ghana staff member who always comes to visit to see how things are, if you are happy, if there are any changes that could be made, if you have any questions... their also a phone call or a text away... so between Seth and Vivian, Gideon (IVHQ staff member for turquoise) and the other volunteers you will be with, you have a huge support team. These people go up and above for you.
You will end up making life long friends and memories you will never ever forget. I think the kids will teach you more than you teach them.. its a life changing experience. It has been the best decision Ive ever made to go through IVHQ and come to Ghana, and I would recommend it to EVERYONE...
Leaving is awful! The last few days you have are too hard, the last day is a bad day... everyone would agree leaving is the worst. You make such good friends, and become so close with the kids, seth and vivian and the IVHQ staff... The only thing that will make you feel better is knowing you will be back... and everyone says they will be back.
I wish everyone could do this or something like this atleast once in their life time. Ghana is beautiful, Ghanians are beautiful, the most friendly people I know... If you are thinking of it.. stop thinking and just do it! You will not regret it, no way.
I truly enjoyed my experience in India volunteering for IVHQ.
The Orientation week was a great way to help me to settle gently into Indian life, with language lessons and tours in a group of wonderful people.
The Volunteer Coordinators were extremely helpful and always available to offer support, answer questions or book taxis for us. They visited the projects often to ensure everything was going smoothly and that there were no problems.
The family I stayed with during my homestay were very welcoming and made me feel comfortable and at home. When I became unwell, my "mum" was the one who took me to the hospital and helped me speak to the doctor. Her cooking was amazing as well :)
I made such amazing friends both on the orientation week and during my volunteering stint, whom I am still in contact with today and will be for a long time to come. It was a truly life-changing experience, and I would do it again in an instant.
IVHQ India is a fantastic program, I would recommend it to everyone. I have just completed my first week of slum teaching and am already starting to plan another volunteer trip with IVHQ! From the drivers, to the coordinators, to my host family, to the placement staff, everyone had been unbelievably welcoming and supportive
I am by no means an experienced traveller, so going to a 3rd world country by myself for 8 weeks was pretty daunting. However, from the time I arrived at the airport I have receive 24/7 support and have alway been kept very comfortable. I opted for the additional orientation week and the coordinators and local staff went above and beyond to help me adjust to any culture shock I was experiencing, as well as make sure I was having a great time. Once at my placement they have continued to make sure I remained just as happy comfortable, and safe.
Overall I have been having an amazing experience with IVHQ, I couldn't be happier! They provide a safe and comfortable way in which you can really make a difference in less fortunate people's lives. It is also the most affordable volunteer organization I've found, with the coordinators insisting on making sure I knew where my money was going. It's a very legitimate organization, free from any kind of exploitation.
I highly recommend IVHQ India. I have opted for four weeks of volunteering in Delhi, with an extra week at the beginning for induction.
The induction week is a great way to get introduced to India before the challanges of volunteering, and the local staff make it very clear that they are here to help and support us 24/7. Airport pickup is very convenient and stress free. Combined with extensive pre-departure information, we have been well prepared for our experience in India.
Having completed my first week of volunteer teaching in the slums, I am very pleased with my experience. It really feels like we are doing worthwhile work, and my host family makes me feel very well cared for. Combined with frequent visits from IVHQ staff, I feel supported while also making a difference.
Overall, the experience is a very safe way to come and make a difference for people who live hard lives. The programe is both affordable and legitimate. It can be daunting to travel around the world to a new country and volunteer in tough areas, and it's hard to know which companies you can trust, but IVHQ make it accessable and enjoyable without exploiting anyone.
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