Pay to Volunteer? Are You Mad?

Pay to Volunteer? Are You Mad?

Every time I go travelling I come across hoards of people that have paid vast sums of money to volunteer. 

Just take a step back and think about that for a moment. What is volunteering?

"Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services."

Who can you volunteer for? Health work, disaster relief, child care etc etc How many organisations will accept volunteers? LOTS and what do they want? Your time....


So we come back to the original point, why on earth are people paying so much? I have volunteered for organisations all over the world and in exchange for my time, they have given me free food and free accommodation. Granted, once or twice I have paid a few dollars a day for my accommodation as they didn’t have any spare etc. Have I ever paid £1000+ for four weeks volunteer work? Absolutely not... I wouldn’t even dream of it.

Does anyone know how much of it actually goes to the organisation as opposed to just the agent?
Do a bit of research and you will find places that accept volunteers from Indonesia to South America, from building things through to teaching things and you won’t get charged a penny!


Make a donation directly at the end if you feel you have somehow cheated them!

1. A comprehensive list of FREE and LOW COST (i.e: few pounds for accommodation) throughout South America:

2. Free, room and board included, project in Haiti and possibly up and coming project in Japan:

3. Not sure on their current policies but i think its a Low Cost opportunity and more geared towards people that speak Indonesian but well worth a look anyway:


Get out and about and make a difference!

For more information about my personal experience with some of these organizations, take a look at this.