International Volunteers (IV) is registered Non-Profit Organization in Zanzibar, Tanzania with a registration number Z0000123148. International Volunteers (IV) is also registered under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry C.R. No. 1279860 in the Sultanate of Oman.
IV’s social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you wish to talk to an IV staff member, please free to contact us and we will answer any queries or concerns you may have.
IV was established to provide affordable, high quality and responsible volunteer programs for people wishing to volunteer abroad.
The organisation is built on 10 strong foundations that we aim to provide every volunteer with: Affordability, Responsibility, Quality, Support, Safety, Friendship, Need, Loyalty, Experience and Enjoyment.
Volunteering is founded on the concept of giving through the donation of your time, your skills, your energy, and often just simply your presence to help others in need. However, while volunteers have a tremendous effect on the people they work with, you will very rarely find a volunteer who feels they have given more than they have received.
The lessons and benefits that a volunteer receives while volunteering abroad are endless and can include increased self-confidence and social awareness, development of life skills, personal growth, friendship and building of independence. Furthermore, volunteering can help to enhance career prospects.
Not only do volunteers increase their skill base, work experience and international contacts through volunteering abroad, employees often look favorably upon those who are willing to go outside of their comfort zone and give up their time to assist others.
As an IV volunteer, you give up your time and your skills to assist abroad, therefore many people fail to see why they should also have to pay to volunteer. The Registration Fee you pay to volunteer abroad with IV facilitates on your volunteer abroad trip.
The Program Fee you pay goes directly to IV’s organization in the country you are volunteering in. The Program Fee is used to pay for the expenses associated with your stay in country, including airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, food and staff support to ensure your volunteer program goes as smoothly as possible.
All IV programs and projects are funded almost entirely by the Program Fees and therefore in order for the program to continue, it is imperative we charge volunteers for their airport pick-up, accommodation and meals. Some of our volunteers are also sponsored and they require not to pay any amount while volunteering with IV.
The IV program contribution is comprehensive, covering all your needs once you arrive in-country, from accommodations in the IV Home-Base to the full support of the IV in-country staff to all meals and Cultural & Learning Activities. Volunteers are responsible for their own flight costs, as well as free time activities (except for IV High School Volunteer Abroad programs, which includes these staff-led excursions!)
IV was established to provide genuinely high quality and responsible and yet affordable volunteer travel opportunities. Our Registration Fee and Program Fees have been designed to keep the quality of our volunteer programs high, yet at the same time ensure we do not include any unnecessary costs or middle men, which often inflate the fees of other organisations.
The Program Fee you pay goes to our projects in the country where you are volunteering, leaving only the Registration Fee to cover costs outside of the country, such as marketing, quality control, program visits, and pre-departure administration and support from your dedicated IV Program Manager (to help you prepare before you depart).
IV does not sacrifice the quality of our programs, rather we work on a transparent financial system, whereby we can operate at a sustainable level, provided we have high numbers of volunteer travellers participating on our programs.
Follow us in Instagram and wait for our announcements for our future volunteering trip and be part of it.
If you decide to join us, we promise your life will never be the same again!
IV does accept volunteer groups and if a group has 10 or more members, we can even arrange special projects and itineraries for groups. Every year, IV aims to host groups of volunteers from universities, schools, and companies who participate on a wide variety of volunteers’ programs.
Requirements vary from project to project, however for many of our projects, our only requirements are fluency in English, a clean criminal background and a willingness to learn.
It is important to note that for the majority of our Medical and Health projects, volunteers must be qualified or training in a relevant medical field (documentation to be presented to IV before and on arrival in host country).
IV is a charity, Non-profit organization registered in Zanzibar with a registration number Z0000123148. IV is focused on providing the most affordable, quality and responsible volunteer abroad opportunities available.
If a volunteer wishes to make a donation to their volunteer placement, we encourage volunteers to inform our local staff so they can ensure the donation is invested as intended. If you are not volunteering and wish to make a donation, you can donate to IV Zanzibar directly via the website donations account.
On the majority of IV programs, volunteers are placed in small teams at placements and can expect to be working with at least two to three other IV volunteers.
Some of our programs are flexible and if you wish to be placed by yourself our local team may be able to accommodate this, however in most cases IV volunteers live and work together in small groups.
To participate on an IV volunteer program, all volunteers are required to provide a criminal background check during their program orientation. As IV volunteers are from all over the world, there is not one process for applying for a criminal background check that will work for all.
Among a number of factors, it will be determined by each individual’s country of residence.
Travel insurance is mandatory in order to volunteer abroad on an IV volunteer program. To keep costs as low as possible for volunteers, we do not include travel insurance in our fees. While IV does everything, it can to ensure your trip abroad goes smoothly and is a fantastic, memorable experience, it is imperative to ensure you have adequate travel insurance should you fall sick, your bags go missing, or something is stolen.
We recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance which ensures volunteers have access to the best insurance deals, designed specifically with volunteer travellers in mind. World Nomads is recommended by highly regarded travel experts, Lonely Planet, and is underwritten by insurance giants Allianz, IHI, BCS Insurance Group, BUPA, Mondial Assistance and Millstream.
This insurance covers medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, personal belongings and personal liability. World Nomads quotes are extremely competitive and they are one of the only insurance companies that allow travellers to claim whilst traveling, or to extend their policy if they decide to stay longer.
We do not have a deadline for volunteer applications and registrations, but our advice is the sooner the better. IV volunteer programs are very popular and at busy times of the year, some programs are booked up months in advance.
As soon as you apply to volunteer with IV, you will be connected with an IV Program Coordinator who will help you prepare for your volunteer trip. Once registered on an IV program (by paying your Registration Fee and Program Fee), Your IV Program Coordinator is also on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to collect all the required information from you before you depart. In addition to this you, you are introduced to our local team who will email you to welcome you on the program.
All volunteers must have a passport that is valid for six months after they plan on returning to their country of origin. In some countries, a visa is also required to enter the country, which is dependent on your country of citizenship.
A visa is permission from the government to enter and exit the country you are visiting, and will be stamped in your passport. Your Program Coordinator will provide you with more information on obtaining a visa, if one is required, or contact your nearest embassy for the country you are traveling to.
Your IV Program Coordinator will provide you with a letter of reference at the completion of your trip and an International Volunteering Certificate.
The type of accommodation and meals provided on IV programs vary from country to country. For more information on accommodation and meals, visit the specific country you are interested in via our Programs page.
All volunteers should be fully vaccinated for COVID 19 with proof of evidence. In addition, you will need Yellow Fever vaccine.
Language requirements vary from country to country and can depend on the type of project you are participating on. However, for the most part, volunteers are generally only required to speak English to participate on an IV program.
IV volunteers are provided with basic language lessons during their orientation and we recommend that volunteers take additional language lessons where available. The more you can speak and converse in the local language, the more you will be able to immerse yourself into the program and local culture.
At IV we believe an important aspect of any IV volunteer trip abroad is the sightseeing and tours that volunteers can do outside of their volunteer work.
Although we believe an IV volunteer trip abroad is the most authentic way to experience a country through living and working with locals, we also understand that many of our volunteers wish to visit and experience sites like regular travellers.
Our local teams are flexible and often encourage you to take time out from volunteer work to travel and explore the country you are volunteering in.
We’d love to! The IV partnered in-country staff is there to support and guide you through your full experience, 24/7.
Our teams are made up entirely of local and expert nationals, who truly understand the needs of their own communities and who can provide personal and expert guidance and information during your journey. Each team is led by a fantastic Program Coordinator who’s an expert in the field of international development and volunteering.
Cultural activities are organised by IV and included in every volunteer experience. They are designed to give you a unique insight into your new community, so whether you’re participating in an engaging conversation with a local expert, visiting a cultural landmark, learning a new language, or practicing traditional dance, each cultural activity will offer you a new level of understanding and genuine opportunities for cultural exchange.
The IV Home-Base is your home-away-from-home, a place to relax and reflect right in the local community where you’ll engage with your second family of fellow volunteers and our expert IV in-country staff. The Home-Base is comfortable, with common areas to share experiences, comfortable shared bedrooms, and plenty of space as you’re re-charging for your next incredible day of volunteer adventures. We know that your comfort is key to giving all you can as an international volunteer, and the IV Home-Base is just one of the many unique ways that the IV experience changes everything.
Our team of Program Specialists, are on hand to answer any questions you might have, and to guide you as you select and prepare for your IV program. Reach out to us, seven days a week, by WhatsApp, chatting with us on social media, or sending an eMail to [email protected]
IV volunteers include students, working professionals, families, and groups from around the world! For our Volunteer Abroad, and Intern Abroad programs, volunteers must be 18-year-old to participate independently.
Children and teens can participate in our Volunteer Abroad programs if traveling with a parent or guardian (or as part of a chaperoned group). We typically recommend that children be at least 8 years of age to participate, but please contact us to discuss your specific needs for families with younger children.
We also offer High School Volunteer Abroad for high school students who wish to make a difference on programs designed just for teens!
The diversity of IV volunteers is one of the elements that makes an IV experience amazing! Sharing your experience with volunteers from many backgrounds and perspectives – who quickly become lifelong friends – only deepens the impacts of your work.
A lot of our safety procedures have been put in place to help protect against illness in-country-like traveller-safe food and bottled drinking water. But, in the case of an illness, we are ready to ensure that the volunteer receives appropriate and professional care. Whether it means a warm bowl of soup and a comforting hand, or an appointment with a local doctor or hospital, our experienced staff is trained and ready to handle any situation.
It starts with our comprehensive travel medical and emergency evacuation insurance, which provides the peace of mind that your needs will be covered in the event of a medical issue. We’ve also developed relationships with nearby doctors and hospitals so that any concerns can be handled immediately. Our in-country staff will be there every step of the way-and we are confident that a dedicated and caring professional who is there 24/7 is often the best comfort of all when your teen is overseas.
Absolutely! We have tons of experience with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Whether you’re vegetarian, Kosher, gluten-free, have peanut allergies, or anything else, just let us know beforehand and we’ll make sure you’re covered. Our in-country cooks, who prepare delicious home-cooked meals, have specific training in food restrictions and allergies, food safety standards, and are experienced in preparing meals for a variety of preferences.
We’re passionate about the safety of our volunteers, and its core to everything we do – from selecting a program location to looking at every little detail of the Home-Base and the program design. Our in-country staff are on-site 24/7 and the IV Home-Base is designed to provide a safe and relaxing retreat after a day of volunteering, exploring, and learning.
We look at every little detail of your experience to make sure it’s impactful, amazing, and safe. We’ve thought of everything from daily vehicle inspections to carbon monoxide and fire detectors throughout the Home-Base – even grip tape in slippery areas! Safety, Our #1 Priority.
We want you to remain healthy on our programs, so we advise all volunteers to think about any medications they’re taking or might need during an international volunteer program, under the advice of your medical practitioner. Keep in mind that not all medications may be available in your destination, so we’ve included some tips to ensure you’re well-stocked for your IV experience:
Ensure that you have sufficient medication to cover your entire trip. If you need documentation from IV about your trip length for your doctor or insurance provider to obtain the appropriate amount of medication, please let us know. Remember, in some locations, you cannot send medications through the mail – so please take special care to plan for your health needs while abroad.
Medication should be brought in your carry-on luggage, in original packaging with original labels. It’s just too important to trust to your checked bags!
Consult with a medical professional before your trip about your medication schedule in a new time zone and any drug interactions with travel immunizations or medications that you might be taking. And, of course, don’t change dosage or stop taking your regular medications without the consultation and supervision of an appropriate medical professional!
Volunteers over the age of 18 are responsible for responsibly dispensing and holding their own prescription medications. For any volunteers participating in our High School Volunteer Abroad program, or for any volunteers under the age of 18 participating independently in an IV program, all prescription medications will be held by the IV in-country staff.
IV volunteers can choose their IV Project: Education & Literacy, Child Development, Girls & Women’s Empowerment, Support for People with Disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and Global Health.
All IV Projects are community-led and driven and immerse you in helping sustainable organizations toward their goals in creating positive change in communities around these important social issues. Please visit our Programs page.
Free time is just another amazing part of your full experience with IV. On some afternoons, most evenings, and all weekends, you can spend your time relaxing in the Home-Base, getting to know the community better, or embarking on some pretty incredible adventures in your chosen region or throughout the country! You may also choose to travel before or after the program.
Forever! Just kidding. We offer a variety of program lengths so that we can meet the needs of every kind of volunteer. Only have a week to spare? We’ve got plenty of week-long programs that offer an excellent introduction to your destination of choice through volunteering, cultural immersion, cultural activities, and free time. And the best part is, one week is plenty of time to make a real impact.
Our volunteers love their IV experience, but here’s one thing we hear over and over: “I wish I stayed longer!” So, if you’ve got more time to spare – three weeks, seven, twelve (you get the point) – enrol to volunteer in any destination for up to 12 weeks. And if after that, you’re ready for even more, we’ve got some great options for pairing programs so that you can volunteer in multiple destinations, one after another.
Absolutely! When you volunteer with IV, the experience you get is not only life-changing, but also educational. Many of our past volunteers have received academic credit that they were able to apply to service-learning programs, internships, and/or independent study requirements. Be sure to check with your academic advisor to assess your eligibility for academic credit.
We believe that each part of your international volunteering experience works to complement the whole. That’s why we offer a full and balanced international volunteer experience with time built in for guided cultural activities, solo adventures, cultural exchange, and personal reflection.
Whether you’re engaging in guided discussions on relevant local issues, or find yourself elbow deep in rice flour and learning how to cook an authentic dish, every organised Cultural Activity will offer you a deeper understanding of the community and all of its beautiful complexities.
Free time is available on some afternoons, most evenings, and every weekend. So, whether you choose to go it alone or set out exploring with a crew of your fellow volunteers, every IV destination offers plenty of time and tons of options for some off-the-charts excursions.