This website is for travelers who are independent, well-prepared, confident, with positive mindset and who don't need the support that paid "NGOs" can offer in exchange for your money (training, guidance, insurance, airport pick-ups, etc). There are many reasons why volunteering is a rewarding and fulfilling role. As well as gaining experience and new skills doing all type of jobs, you will also meet new people and it will make any trip more interesting. Be aware that volunteering is not for everyone! So if this is your first time we recommend you to conduct a serious reality check on your personal skills, expectations and goals.
Hosts listing their projects on VB will support volunteers by offering them this service for free, unlike other sites where volunteers have to pay yearly memberships. We need you! VB has no fees and makes no profit, this is a free service for everyone. We need the support of new and existing hosts for this project to grow.
Volunteers don’t pay for memberships or subscription fees to participate. That means that if they can’t find a project that fits their interests or if the project they have applied for can’t work out convenient dates with a host, they won’t end up with a useless expensive membership. Please notice that we do have a profile verification system introduced in 2022. For the first 8 years of VB's life online, all volunteers needed to do was to register and they could contact hosts immediately. We had a very small amount of spam messages reported by the hosts and we dealt with it manually, so it worked just fine. Unfortunately, everything changed drastically when the pandemic came in 2020. We saw a massive increase in the amount of spam messages requesting paid work, invitation letters, visa sponsorship, and several types of online scams. Something had to be done, otherwise the hosts were going to leave the site. Since the site is non-for-profit, we don't have a budget to pay for some traditional third-party identity verification system. A donation based proof of identity was the best option so it was implemented. There is no minimum or maximum donation amount, it's totally up to you to decide what is fair. Alternatives like WorkAway, charge volunteers 50 euros per year for a membership. The main point is to verify your name, to protect hosts from spam, and to generate a small revenue to cover the costs of keeping the website operational. If for any reason you can't use the donation system to verify your identity, we can find another way to verify you, please contact us.
Start browsing the listings and use the Contact button to get in touch with your potential Host. To prevent Spam you have to be registered to contact projects.
A well written message gives you more chances to be accepted!
To get positive answers, you should write a nice and friendly message, including information about yourself and telling your potential host why you want to join his/her project. Show that you care and that you are not applying to every project by sending copy/paste messages.
Complete you VB profile!!! Hosts will get a link to it with your message and will be interested in taking a look (read "recommendation written by a host" in the section bellow)
We encourage Hosts and Volunteers to communicate extensively and to clear up all doubts before making any agreement. As a potential Volunteer you should inform yourself as much as possible about the project you are applying to. You can use the Internet to find extra information, ask your potential Host for feedback from previous Volunteers or any other reference. When you meet each other in person, reproducing any form of identification is recommended.
"As a host I like to read a profile that someone has clearly put some time and effort into. Stand out from the generic "I'm on my gap year" . Be clear about what you want to learn, your limitations, what skills/interests do you bring to a host. Be honest if you smoke or are a picky eater. Read projects description carefully, ask questions. Be courteous with your correspondence (punctual, answer all questions asked, etc). If you book a host consider it a commitment and make sure you show up as planned. If things aren't what you expected talk to your host - don't quietly complain to yourself. Work hard and recognize that this is an exchange - someone hopefully has put in time and energy to host you (shopped, cooked, cleaned, provided a nice room and spent some free time with you). Appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes that allow you to enjoy your experience."
— Recommendation written by a host
If a host asks you for money to participate in a project please use the "report" button located at the top right corner of every project page. Projects should NOT charge volunteers. This excludes reasonable contributions for food in some developing countries. Please notice that in developing countries, reasonable contributions for food are tolerated, keep in mind that a part-time job doesn't cover food and accommodation everywhere in the world. Therefore, expect to contribute for food or to work longer hours, using your common sense is highly recommended here. We ask Hosts to specify any money related arrangement in the description of their projects to avoid misunderstandings.