Quite a legitimate question it is. People who think of volunteering for a meaningful cause have a preconceived notion that it'll be free of cost, but they often forget that there are a lot of things associated with the entire volunteering process which involves a certain amount of expenditure.
From arranging the logistics to providing 24/7 in-country support, a volunteering organization has to make sure that you get to give your best while serving the society in your host country.
The Program Fee that you pay is adequately utilized in arranging your accommodation, meals, transport etc.
A portion of the money is used for paying the administrative staff and rest of it goes for the project development and welfare of the people.
To make it more transparent, let's figure out where and how the money is utilized:
Airport pickup and Transfer
When you travel to another country to volunteer with us, we make sure to receive you at the airport on your arrival and transfer you to the accommodation where you'll be staying for the entire duration. We take care of the fact that in a new country, you don't face any hassle. Also, while heading back home, we shall come to bid you goodbye at the airport and give you a big hug before you leave.
We make sure that you receive a Pre-Departure Guidebook that briefs you about the project you have chosen and also gives you an idea of the country you'll be traveling to. But once you reach the country and get introduced to all new things, there's a possibility of experiencing a culture shock. That's the reason why we organize an Orientation Session before you kickstart your project work. At the session, our Country Coordinator will tell you about the project in details, the kind of work you are supposed to do, the people you'll be working with etc. You'll also get to know more about the host country, the places to visit, the culture, history and everything else.
Accommodation and Meals
We take the responsibility of arranging proper accommodation for you, in a safe locality. Our main aim is to provide you a 'home away from home' experience in the host country. You either get to stay at the volunteer house with other fellows or at a homestay with the natives. You'll be well fed on all weekdays and on weekends, you can binge on the local food. During your stay, you'll be served the local delicacies. In case you are living with a host family, you might just get lucky and learn to cook a few dishes.
24/7 In-country Support
Our coordinators will be active always (even at odd hours) to help you out. You can seek their help whenever you need. If you fall sick, they'll be there to take you to the doctor. They'll guide you through the project work, and ensure that you comfortably adjust to the place and the work. They'll happily arrange for your weekend trips so that you can explore as much as possible.
We have tied up with local organizations in the Third World Nations as well as several NGOs that are working towards the betterment of the people. When you pay the Fee, a part of it goes directly to the project, in order to provide a sustainable living to the natives. We make sure that there's a constant improvement in the rural schools, childcare centers, orphanages, hospitals, etc., where our volunteers work.
At the end of the day, whatever you pay is utilized fully. Only after you experience the journey, you'll get to know about its beauty. And it'll be nothing less than a learning journey for you.