I volunteered with IVHQ in May of 2016 in Cusco, Peru for 2 weeks. I volunteered caring for homeless dogs. Overall the experience was a good one and I am very glad I went. However, I am 53 years old and their website and communications made it sound like there would be volunteers of all ages. There were not. Everyone was college age except for me. I also thought I would be staying in a place with a group of other volunteers and getting to know the host family. Even though the house was huge there were only 2 other volunteers and their schedules were very different from mine. The mother/wife and 2 children were never home, it was always only the father. He was very nice and helpful but not the experience I was expecting. I also thought I would be volunteering with a group at the rescue shelter. I was the only volunteer. Again the 2 people than ran the shelter were very nice but it was not the experience I was expecting. I was alone most of the time.
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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 in 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, Italy, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, Kenya , Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Romania, Uganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.
I volunteered with IVHQ for 2 weeks in Ubud, Bali. The support from IVHQ is great, they check in to see how you're doing and are happy to help with any changes or info needed. The accomodation was amazing! I stayed in Moming house and quickly learnt it had the best community feel to it. We played cards every night together and became great friends. There was room for 18 people but there was usually less than 10 people there. The house was located at the back of a family's compound, so we got to know the family as well (who were so lovely).
The first week was orientation, which enabled us to get a grip on the culture, the surrounding area, the food, and also to get to know the volunteers also starting that week.
My second week was spent doing construction and renovation. We reconstructed a wall at a nearby school. We spent about 4 hours each day on our projects.
The food was great and served at a canteen not far from our accomodation. The canteen was a great place to see and meet other volunteers.
All in all, the experience was one of the most enjoyable things I've done in my life and I'd endlessly recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to go back!
My experience with IVHQ New Delhi, India has been a very memorable and incredible experience thanks to the hospitality of my host family Mohit and Chandni who provide a very clean, comfortable and welcoming home. I stayed with them for 3 weeks out of my 4 weeks in India. They are helpful with anything from weekend travel tips to where to do some shopping locally or in other cities,etc. I felt very at home and I am so grateful that i was placed in the best house in IVHQ India! They were there for me 24/7 with support and they interact with all the volunteers who come through the house.
My experience at the projects was very interesting everyday. We planned lessons to teach the children and we got the freedom of creativity to teach them different insightful lessons. I am so happy I had chosen the Slum Teaching program. It has been such a fun and rewarding last 3 weeks. I felt very comfortable with the children and the staff at school. It was within walking distance from my homestay and I loved being able to walk there and be able to walk the streets which are safe.
I came across many IVHQ staff members during my month here. They all were friendly and hospitable. I did orientation week and I am so glad that I did! It made it easy for me to get around and see the sights of Delhi without having to navigate myself, so I would highly recommend that.
I had done research with other volunteer companies and I'm sure every one would agree with me that, IVHQ provides the most affordable fees. Once i got into the country on day one they explain where the fees go and how they benefit the people within the company, locally and abroad. I feel that my time here was well spent and its definitely something that i will always recommend other people to do.
So the first I can say is that always apply for more weeks than the ones you real want to do. I will explain now what I am saying.
If you want meet a new culture, new realities and find out more of what our world has to give us you can definitely found that in India with IVHQ.
I applied for 2 months, I am leaving tomorrow and it looks like I was here 2 weeks. It was the best experience I have had in my life so far.
If you apply for India be ready, it will be an adventure. Nobody is prepared to come to India until you come but believe me, after this you are ready for everything (and you will never want to leave)!
So the program starts always on a Monday but I would advise you to arrive Saturday night or Sunday morning, don't worry that will always be someone to pick you up at the airport.
I stayed in a girls orphanage and it's incredible to live in the orphanage and learn girls habits and listen to their stories. It's a safe place with girls from 4 to 20-24 years and it's a unique experience.
My other month was about teaching in a slum school.You go to the school and you can choose the class you want to teach and what you want to teach, the students are incredible and will invite you for cricket! I stayed with THE BEST indian family you can have (so ask to stay at Mohit's and Chandni's house)!!
Apply to IVHQ India Delhi program, it will change your life forever!
I spent 6 weeks volunteering with the Slum Teaching program in India and it was an amazing experience that I will never forget. From the beginning to the very end you are supported and looked after. I was so nervous arriving in India alone but once I was met by the IVHQ staff at the airport all my worries disappeared. Definitely do the week long orientation, you get to see so much of India plus you will establish life long friendships with the other volunteers during this week. It also helps you to immerse yourself in the Indian culture so you won't be faced with culture shock once you start volunteering! The Hindi language lessons are fun and you'll learn the basics to make communication a little easier with the kids.
The kids at the school are so amazing! They are kind, caring, funny and sweet and despite not having much they always have a smile on their faces. They are eager to learn and it is so rewarding working with them. They will probably teach you as much as you will teach them!
A great feature of this program is having your afternoons and weekends to explore India. I did trips away every weekend and managed to see so much of this beautiful country in my spare time.
The host family you stay with are so welcoming and will help you with anything you need- directions, advice, translating, booking weekends away, nothing is too much for them. You really feel like part of the family and now I have a second home in India.
This really is a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend this program to anyone wanting to make a difference while being fully immersed in the Indian culture. Come with an open mind and treasure every moment!
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