International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.3 / 10 after 239 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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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.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 8, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: sking90
Age:
24

Comments

It is great to hear that your experience in Ghana was incredible. Thank you for the feedback and we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ again in the future.

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!!!!

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 8, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: crummel
Age:

Comments

Hi Carol, Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ in Argentina. It is great to hear that your 4 weeks volunteering in Argentina was amazing. It is also fantastic to hear that you were able to make the most of your experience in Argentina by traveling further afield on the weekends. Thanks for your feedback and we hope to have you volunteer with us again in the future.

I spend 10 weeks in Ghana this year volunteering at an orphanage and it was incredible! Those 10 weeks have definitely been the most rewarding and live-changing weeks of my life. I absolutely loved my time there. I made wonderful friends, both locals as well as other volunteers with whom I will definitely keep in touch, and overall I could not have asked for a better experience. It was my first time traveling to Africa, so I was a little nervous and did not really know what to expect when before I got there.
The local staff members from IVHQ were very welcoming though, they picked us up at the airport and brought us to the volunteer house in Accra where we spend the first night and had orientation the following day. After that we were brought to our placements, I got placed in the pink program in Dodowa, which is about an hour from Accra, and I could not have been happier about that. It was amazing, I had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute of it. The kids at our orphanage were so sweet and I cannot keep them out of my mind ever since I came back from Ghana.
Even though we had some problems in the beginning, everyone at IVHQ was always very friendly and helpful at any time, and I felt very safe and welcomed the whole time I was there.
Ghana is truly amazing and I can only recommend volunteering there with IVHQ to everyone, you will not regret it! It might change your life and your view on a lot of things and your friends back home might be annoyed by you when you come back (If you ever want to come back...), because most likely you will have had the greatest and most amazing experience of your life and you will not be able to stop talking about it, but it is definitely so worth it.
Leaving Ghana was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and I am looking forward to coming back every day since I left.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Karen P
Age:
19

Comments

Hi Karen, Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ in Ghana. It sounds like your 10 weeks in Ghana was totally unforgettable. Thanks for your feedback and we hope that you will volunteer with IVHQ again soon.

I volunteer in Argentina and Brazil with IVHQ for a total of 7 weeks. This is an honest review of my experiences there.

One of the first things I was told in the orientation with IVHQ Argentina was that if I had a good review of them to write it on facebook and if I had a bad one to e-mail it to them! Depending on what project you are looking to do don’t expect to spend much of your time doing that! I applied for childcare and only spent 3 hours per day with children, an hour of that getting to and from the project. If you want to spend more time volunteering and actually feel like you’re doing something worthwhile you have to take it upon yourself and look for another project to volunteer on.
You definitely need more than basic Spanish to get by and the Spanish lessons there are overpriced, a waste of time and not useful!
The showers are a dribble of luke warm water. While the showers are low on my list of what I look for in accommodation when volunteering (and I have done a lot of volunteering abroad) after a while you do start to think where does my money actually go because it is not on the up keep of the accommodation!

My project in Brazil more than made up for Argentina, even with a 30 min walk, 1 hour bus ride and over 200 step journey! I started a brand new project on my first day and felt appreciated, supported and needed by the staff from the start even with the language barrier!
The house manager in Rio was NEVER there! We a lovely lady that helped with breakfast in the mornings but other then take items out of the fridge and put them on the table I can’t see what else she was needed from! The accommodation had cold water and barely any light. Again these things are low on my list as I’m there first and foremost to volunteer but comparing the price with what you get I can’t help but feel is it really worth it??

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 29, 2014
Overall:
4
Support:
6
Value:
1
By: Cath
Age:
23

Comments

We appreciate your honest review and are sorry to hear that your experience was not up to your expectations. We are addressing your areas of concern with our local teams and have our Latin America coordinator visiting our programs in Argentina and Brazil later this month to work with our local teams and ensure your concerns have been rectified. The ongoing improvement of our volunteer programs is very important to us and we appreciate your feedback. As IVHQ was founded on a model of affordability and transparency, our local teams provide program fee break-downs to IVHQ volunteers and if you have any questions around the allocation of your program fees, please contact your IVHQ Program Coordinator and we can follow up with you directly.

I volonteered in Ghana with IVHQ (Ghana Volonteer Corps) for 6 weeks in an orphanage. I have to say that it was a great experience to discover the ghanaian culture, the ghanaian people who are so nice and always smiling, the wonderful nature ... For the moment I flew into Ghana, a staf member was there for me. I arrived in Accra with a flight delayed of an hour and a half, after 11pm, but despite this, there was someone waiting for me. During my whole stay the Ghana Volonteer Corps Staff was very helpful if we needed anything, driving out to our placement every weeks to check if all is doing well. I recommand volonteering with IVHQ and Ghana Volonteer Corps.
It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget !

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 27, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
20

Comments

Hi Emmanuel, Thank you for volunteering in Ghana! It is always awesome for us to hear about our volunteers amazing experiences. Thanks for the feedback and we hope to have you volunteer with us again soon.

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