I volunteered going through IVHQ and could not be happier with my decision. I have always loved to travel, wanting to get out of my comfort zone I decided that I would volunteer in Ghana. Looking at different organizations to choose from I decided to go with IVHQ. It was an amazing experience from the moment I landed in Ghana. IVHQ was very helpful through the entire process answering any questions that we had and also making sure we were happy. Everyone in Ghana was so incredibly nice, and right away it felt like home to me. I would recommend going through IVHQ for any volunteering abroad trips and also would highly recommend volunteering in Ghana. I left my heart there with the kids and am counting down the days until I go back.
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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.
I recently volunteered with IVHQ in Cordoba Argentina this summer(2014). It was a brand new program thru IVHQ and could not have had a better experience down there. Its was my 3rd stint(Colombia and Brazil) with IVHQ and was without a doubt the best overall experience that i could have had. The house, the staff, and the projects all exceeded my expectations by far. I worked at the daycare center and while only about 3.5 hours/day (plus 1 hour in total travel time there and back) the kids and workers were extremely happy to have the extra help. The morning shifts also gave me time to attend other projects or take spanish lessons in the afternoon which were very helpful and extremely affordable. The cost was only $7.50US/hour and the teacher was dedicated and professional as i received homework after every class.
The 2 months that i spent in Cordoba were 2 of the best months of my life and i would highly recommend it to anyone looking to volunteer abroad.
When I think about my time spent in Ghana, I am immediately flooded with a series of emotions I continue to face everyday. First, love. I have always considered myself someone who surrounds themselves with love, but upon meeting the children at Blessed Bright Future Orphanage, I was quickly flooded with a "knock the wind out of you, gut wrenching, life changing" kind of love I have never experienced before. Their greeting was nothing short of spectacular as the kids jumped on my back, held onto my legs, immediately carried my bags to my room, and started asking me questions about myself. It was barely five hours into my stay before I felt an unbreakable connection connection with each child. I knew at this moment this place had changed my life for good. Next I felt peace. In a world where we have so much we barely know what to do with it all, I have often been subject to anxiety over what I now know to be nonsense. When I left America for Ghana, I planned on leaving behind every bit of worry I once had and allowing myself to embark on the journey Ghana had to show me. A couple nights into my stay, I noticed I had not once thought about what I had been facing at home. It was as if the children's tranquility and happiness permeated into my heart. For the first time in a long time I found myself at ease. Finally, I felt strength. I had lived in conditions I was not used to, comforted children as if they were my own, and proved to myself that I can do a lot more in the world than I could have ever imagined. Every child at Blessed Bright Future single handedly changed my life. Ghana is lucky to be home to such beautiful people. I hope to visit again soon & I will never forget all IVHQ introduced me to and I am forever grateful. IVHQ's comfort and availability made my first trip to Ghana one I will never forget.
I spent 4 weeks in Ghana this summer volunteering at a children's home on the Pink Program. I originally chose IVHQ because their program fees were the cheapest by far compared to other well-known volunteer companies and they seemed to have excellent reviews from previous volunteers. I had a fantastic experience and wouldn't hesitate to recommend IVHQ to anyone interested in volunteering with children in Ghana. There was a diverse mix of people volunteering there, from lots of different countries and ages ranging from 18-45. I was really happy to be placed with a group that were all around the same age as me. The program is very flexible, it's up to you how many hours you put in and you're free to travel at the weekends. Fortunately, we didn't have any major issues, but any concerns that we had were dealt with promptly by IVHQ staff, and our program coordinator visited us on a weekly basis. All the staff that I met (Benedict, Gideon, Elvis etc) were all extremely helpful and approachable. The meals that were provided were filling and varied and we felt safe and looked after in our accommodation which was basic but perfectly adequate and clean. I learnt a lot about a whole new culture, made some great friends, met some beautiful and inspiring children and overall had an incredible experience. The more you put into it, the more you get out, but IVHQ were certainly big part in making the trip such a great success.
I volunteered in Argentina for a month this summer (2014).
My experience in Argentina was truly amazing. The support once in country was excellent. There was always someone to help out and answer questions. I felt very safe and supported during my entire trip. The house managers were always there to be sure we had what we needed. The other volunteers were accepting and nonjudgmental of each other, and especially me, being quite a bit older than the rest of them. We all had a great time together; I miss them all! We had a wonderful experience and I would do it again in a minute!! .
The Spanish lessons were very good; spoken all in Spanish which really helped me a lot. The instructor tailored her lessons when students asked for a different format (dialogue/discussion, specific phrases, etc. shorter or longer lessons).
The house was great. Big living room and kitchen, dorm style and private rooms upstairs. Remember you are visiting an under-developed country so things will not be as they are at home; it's all part of the experience. I worked in the soup kitchen every day. If you want to do more than one project all you have to do is ask. My advice is to come with an open heart and an open mind, give all you can to the experience and seek the always-available advice of the volunteer team if you need it.
I had plenty of time on the weekends to travel to Buenos Aires and Igauzu Falls as well as Cordoba which was a bus ride away.
Please consider Argentina for your volunteer adventure, no matter what age you are! You won't be disappointed!
Thank you to Julio, Guillermo, Agustina, Ariel, Jose and Gisela for everything. You all helped to make my trip to Argentina unforgettable!!!!
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