Responsible Volunteering

Our commitment to Responsible Volunteering

Responsible Volunteering

Volunteering is an amazing way to gain an insight into the culture of a country. By volunteering with a sustainable and responsible project you will become part of the community you work with. Responsible volunteering allows you to make a valuable contribution to long term solutions for the community served by the project.

Really meaningful and responsible volunteering is much more than simply sending in groups of volunteers to dig a well or paint a classroom. Meaningful volunteering must be part of a bigger plan. A plan that genuinely addresses the needs of the communities we are trying to help. Without proper thought, volunteering can be time wasted. In the worst-case scenarios volunteering can actually do more harm than good. And if your volunteering placement is not part of a long term plan, with sustainable solutions to real problems, then all your hard work may be forgotten as soon as your placement is over.

Which is why finding the right placement is so important. Globalteer has built up relationships with number of carefully selected community, wildlife and conservation projects over the years. Meaning our placements fit all the responsible volunteering criteria that we believe are so important to sustainable development.

When you volunteer with Globalteer, you can be confident that you are making a real and lasting contribution.

Why Volunteering with Globalteer is a Responsible Choice

  • We have built strong relationships with local partners over many years.
  • All our projects have measurable long term goals answering genuine needs.
  • Globalteer volunteers work alongside local staff not instead of them.
  • Globalteer volunteers are never required to undertake duties you don’t have experience to effectively perform.
  • Volunteers with relevant specialist skills are always encouraged to share them with local staff.
  • All volunteers working with children must have background checks and sign up to our Child Protection Policy.
  • All volunteers are given a full in-country induction, descriptions of duties and full travel and country guides prior to departure.
  • Location tours are conducted shortly after arrival in-country.
  • All our projects have full time staff in country to take care of volunteers and ensure your placement is productive and your stay a safe and enjoyable one.

Money matters

  • As a Registered UK Charity and not-for-profit organization, Globalteer is required to ensure that 100% of all monies received are used to promote our charitable objectives. The majority of your donation goes directly to the country that you are travelling to.
  • Your volunteer donations make it possible for projects to employ salaried local staff.
What about the Volunteer?

In return for your commitment and for giving your time to volunteer with our communities, you will encounter a variety of new challenges, sharing new experiences with new people. You may learn new skills that will give you confidence to face challenges in other areas of your life. And at the same time, you will be giving appropriate support and help in areas where it is needed most. Volunteering is a unique quality that is found in only a few individuals.

Responsible volunteering overseas is a way of gaining a new perspective about the world. Connecting with people of other cultures and putting your sense of social responsibility into action. You may not be able to save the world, but you can have a positive effect on a piece of it.

Orphanage volunteering

Volunteering with vulnerable children carries a huge amount of responsibility and any organisation that does not take this seriously should be avoided. One of the areas where vulnerable children are most at risk is orphanage volunteering. We want to make it very clear what our thoughts are on this subject. Read Globalteer's views on orphanage volunteering here.

Donations for Volunteering

Paying a donation to volunteer can seem a strange concept to the uninitiated. Why should someone charge you to work for free? But this is a common misconception about volunteer travel. Arranging Ethical Volunteering placement that works for both volunteer and the host project takes time, and inevitably costs money. The volunteer work is not what you are paying for. Furthermore, a share of your donation goes directly to the project where you will be volunteering. All the projects we work with have been carefully chosen by us to ensure that they share the same responsible and sustainable objectives as Globalteer.

So where does your donation go?

The exact cost of each element of your placement varies from project to project. Your donation covers the cost of your accommodation, pre-departure preparation and in-country orientation, supervision and training. For many of our projects it also covers the cost of food and daily transport to and from your placement location.

It also goes towards the cost of running and managing our operations in the countries where we operate. This enables us to identify worthy and sustainable projects and host organisations, as well as helping us to recruit suitable volunteers.

The partner projects we work with not only need your help as volunteers, but also rely on donations to help them in their constant battle to raise funds to cover running costs and to pay for much needed resources. As such they are not in a financial position to cover the costs of hosting volunteers which can add up quickly. In addition, your donation helps to create and pay for employment of local workers, with local language skills and who can also stay with the project long term.

For further details go to our where your money goes page.

Responsible Volunteer Organisations Q&As

Yes, Globalteer is registered with the United Kingdom’s Charities Commission, which monitors charities, ensuring the public can support them with confidence.
Globalteer is 100% a non-profit charity.
We can ensure that your placement fee goes towards our charitable objectives, running the charity, direct project donations, and supporting you at your project. It never goes into the pockets of shareholders - because unlike other organisations, we don’t have any! You can read a full report on where your money goes here.
Yes. Each year our accounts are examined by an independent accounting firm to ensure that our finances are in order, and this report is published publicly on the Charities Commission Website.
Because we are not aiming to make a profit, we only charge what is absolutely necessary for keeping the lights on at Globalteer, for your placement accommodation and support, and for sending direct donations to our projects and partners. We also never add any hidden fees on top of what you see published on our project pages.
No. Because profit is never our goal, child and animal welfare always come first.
Yes. In fact, Globalteer was a pioneer in enacting a Child Protection Policy for projects in Cambodia. Anyone who works with children at any of our projects must undergo a background check.
No. Animal welfare will always come first, and elephant riding for tourists’ pleasure is detrimental to the elephants’ well-being. The elephant sanctuaries care for their animals in an ethical way, never allowing volunteers to ride or swim with their elephants, and the elephants can live like elephants should.
Animal welfare will always come first. As a guiding principle, if it is detrimental to the animals’ rehabilitation or if it’s dangerous to humans, touching the animals is not allowed. At some of our projects touching of the animals is permissible when it is necessary for the animals’ care or not harmful for them. However, we must always remember that at many of the projects, these animals have been rescued from damaging captive situations or directly from the wild, so avoiding human contact at all costs is key to their rehabilitation.
Yes: • We will treat all volunteers with respect for their charitable intentions and never use them as a means for profit. • We will always place child and animal welfare before volunteer experience. This means we will never support Zoos, Volunteering at orphanages, Elephant trekking, riding, or performing or Volunteering with children without Child Protection Policies in place. As Globalteer is registered in the UK with the Charities Commission, the UK government also hold us to high ethical standards.
The main beneficiaries of our programmes are the local communities and ecosystems in which we work. We choose our projects and partners based on community-driven or environmental need. Our local and international staff also benefit by having steady employment through their work with Globalteer. Shareholders or board members are never benefiting financially from our programmes.
If you volunteer at our community projects Helping Hands in Cambodia or Picaflor House in Peru, you will be working directly with Globalteer projects. We run these projects from top to bottom, so your money goes only to Globalteer supporting these programmes. You receive direct in-country support from friendly Globalteer staff who are present on the ground. If you volunteer at any of our other projects, these are our partners. We have chosen to work specifically with these projects because we believe in their visions, and they have a need for volunteers and Globalteer’s support. Therefore, we have formed a partnership where we help get the word out about their programmes, send them volunteers, and support them financially. So, with these projects, there is one layer (Globalteer) between you and the project. The project staff supports you in-country, and your volunteer placement fees are sent to the project via Globalteer in accordance with our partnership agreements. It is important to note here that some volunteer organisations may have multiple layers between you and the project – you may sign up with them, and they send you to another placement agency within the country, which then sends you to the actual project.
When we talk about promoting sustainable development at our projects, we mean “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” To ensure our projects are sustainable, we make certain that they meet specific criteria: • They employ and train staff from the local community • They meet genuine local needs and actively involve the community • They have established, achievable long-term goals
Yes. You can find our Mission, Vision, Objectives, and Strategies here.
Volunteers support the projects by providing assistance, instruction, man-power, and ideas. Each volunteer has something unique to offer, whether it be their skills and experience, their aptitude for brainstorming solutions, or simply their passion for helping others. Also, importantly, volunteers support the projects financially, because every placement fee includes a direct donation to the project which they attend. This is essential for the projects to keep running and carry out their objectives.
Yes. This is an essential part of any programme being sustainable in the long-term. Both community projects that Globalteer runs in Peru and Cambodia maintain a full staff of local residents. While we do also have international staff at these locations, the importance of the local employees is never diminished. The overarching long-term goal for all of our projects is for them to be self-sustainable one day, without intervention from Globalteer. This would be impossible without having competent, trained employees from the local community.