International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.3 / 10 after 235 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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, 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.

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In May of 2014, I volunteered with IVHQ's orphanage program in Ghana. I stayed for one month and it was a fabulous experience. I would highly recommend this program to others, especially to those who are traveling abroad for the first time.

It was my first time traveling abroad, and also my first time traveling alone. I completed the program independently, but I did make friends with the other volunteers whom I stayed with. I was 18 years old when I traveled to Ghana, and I had a mother who was very worried about safety. IVHQ has an amazing staff who is very professional and supportive. Before traveling, an IVHQ employee was in contact with me and gave me all the details of my program. I contacted this employee many times via email to ask questions, and she always responded quickly. Once I arrived in Ghana, the in-country staff were amazing. I had various phone numbers to reach them on 24/7 and they made me feel very safe.

I stayed in a volunteer house with the other volunteers on my program. One of the Mamas who worked at the orphanage would come make our meals for us and clean our house. She was so friendly and would always be there to offer advise about the program or travel plans. I spent most of every day at the orphanage because the primary reason for my trip was volunteering. IVHQ's program is dedicated to making a real change in the lives of the children. On weekends many volunteers travel to the main city or to other tourist attractions. Ghana is a VERY beautiful country!!

IVHQ is very organized and I had absolutely no trouble volunteering with them. If you are contemplating volunteering abroad with this organization, especially in Ghana, please just do it! I was very apprehensive at first, but it was a decision I will never regret.

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 15, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:
19

I was blessed with the opportunity to volunteer in Ghana over the summer through IVHQ. I was on this mission for a total of 4 months and simply put..this was the absolute BEST experience of my life! I had never before traveled on my own and was paranoid about what challenges I would have to face. Honestly, right from the airport pickup (from my amazing coordinator Evans Kojo Nkansah) I was comforted and all my needs/wants were met. My coordinator was so friendly with me that I never felt home sick even once throughout my trip. The staff members has a really good way to deal with problems and I could always trust me secrets would remain secrets. Not was Evans just such an amazing boss but he also became a very good friend of mine. There were times I faced challenges but IVHQ staff members were there 24/7 to support me and this allowed me to overcome any obstacle. The experience was actually a lot more rewarding than I thought it would be. It has changed my entire life, no exaggeration. I would recommend this program to anyone looking at doing a volunteer program! IF it still hasn't convinced you ... I'm going back in a few months again to this same program :)

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 6, 2014
Overall:
7
Support:
10
Value:
7
By: malikis
Age:
21

Comments

It’s great to read about your experience and we look forward to following your progress on your next volunteer trip in Ghana in a few months. Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ and for sharing your experience.

I had the opportunity to volunteer with IVHQ in Ghana, Africa this summer. It was the best experience of my life. I decided on IVHQ by doing research on several programs and comparing them. I am a college student so I don't have a lot of money, and IVHQ was definitely the most affordable program I could find.

I felt like I was pretty well prepared for the trip because IVHQ provided an extensive handbook and a program coordinator was constantly in contact with me. She helped me with a background check, visa problems, and travel insurance. I also went with my boyfriend, and they were very good at helping us out to make sure we received the same placement and same details.

Airport pick up was a little bit of an annoyance, as I waited in the airport for several hours while they collected everyone, but not a huge problem. Once there, the placement I received was great. There were several different placements in Ghana, so I can't speak for every one, but mine was really an incredible experience. The woman who was in charge of the orphanage/school that I volunteered at, was very friendly and loving. There were times when I felt like I wasn't making a difference because I was just helping in the classroom most of the day, however, there were times when I knew I was. The children were joyed to just have a new friend and leader in their life. It was truly amazing to see their faces light up every time the volunteers came around. I was also able to work with a couple other volunteers to repaint the walls of the orphanage and clean up some things around the place.

Our volunteer house was more than I expected it to be. We were also provided with meals. Food allergies were a bit of an issue that never seemed to get fixed, so that was a bit of an annoyance, but you have to realize you are in another country where they don't deal with food intolerances.

We had an IVHQ representative assigned to our program that visited us once a week. He would check in on us and make sure things were going ok. All of the IVHQ representatives are fantastic and so friendly! They are really a great group of people. The head of the program, served all 30 or so of us dinner the night we arrived. Everyone I met was a very loving person.

Overall, it was a truly rewarding experience. I would definitely recommend IVHQ to anyone who is looking for a cheaper program with a great experience.

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 6, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10
Age:
20

Comments

Hi Madison, Thank you both for volunteering in Ghana on our Childcare project. We really appreciate your feedback and will use it to improve the experience for future IVHQ volunteers. We are glad to have had you and your boyfriend volunteering with us in Ghana, and hope to welcome you both onto one of our other volunteer abroad programs again in the future.

I spent 10 weeks in Ghana this past summer and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. IVHQ offered awesome in-country support and provided regular visits to be sure that volunteers were settling in nicely. Both the orphanage and clinic I worked in were very welcoming. The entire staff of IVHQ Ghana was so helpful and friendly. I made great friends from all around the world this summer and I truly felt like we were able to make a difference in the community. I fell in love with Ghana all over again; It was the greatest experience in my life to date!

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 1, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

Comments

Hi Sarah, we are so glad to read that volunteering in Ghana on our Medical project was such a rewarding experience for you. We hope to welcome you onto another IVHQ program again in the future.

I am a nursing student and decided to volunteer in Ghana in order to gain a further understanding of the healthcare conditions around the world. Even before I got to Africa the IVHQ coordinators made their emails accessible to the volunteers for any last minute questions or comments that wanted to be expressed. From the start of the program to the end of the program the IVHQ staff set up in Ghana were helpful and resourceful. When asked questions about the setting and general FAQ's they were able to give us a very detailed answer and point us to the right direction if we needed something specific that they could not help us with. The living conditions were okay. I always felt safe during the trip, even if I was walking alone at night. In totality, I would definitely recommend using IVHQ to a friend when they want to do volunteer work, and give this program an 8/10.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 29, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:
20

Comments

Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ in Ghana. It’s great to hear that IVHQ provided you with an experience where you felt well prepared prior to arriving in Africa, looked after and safe while in Ghana and one you are happy recommend. We hope to have you volunteer with us again in the future.

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