Congratulations! You have made it to the next (important) step: choosing A project! This page shows different kinds of projects, how you can choose an organization and to finish this topic there is an example of an email.
You can divide volunteer work in different types of projects. Please select the project type you want more information from below.
It is important to look into your own knowledge, background, and expectations when you choose A project type. You do not have to be an expert, but try to find A balance between your experience, your motivation and available time you have for A project. Most of the volunteers end up in A project through an inland organization that arranges A position for you. Choosing an organization is an important step! Below you can find some useful imformation on choosing an organization.
How do i choose an organization?
In several countries, there are many organizations that offer volunteer journeys. Keep in mind that organizations that offer volunteer journeys. Keep in mind that orgnaizations are different in size, commercial institution, contact with projects, accompaniment and offers. Based on experience and research we recommend the following:
Choose your organization with attention!
A good organization does not focus on marketing on poverty and does not present the locals as passive aid-receivers. A good orgnaization does not mind answering the questions below and exactly likes to, because they find A responsible volunteer very important. Dare to ask these questions to the organization.
Questions which you can ask your organization:
How will I BE prepared as a volunteer on my journey?
As you read earlier on this page, good preparation proves to be crucial in making your volunteer experience suuccessful. Many organizations, therefore, require the preparation of Muses, while others offer it as an option. Ask your organization about this. Do you also receive instructions or trainbing on site? Do you receive A manual and to what extent are you helped with practical matters? Make sure your organization makes every effort to prepare you as well as possible.
How long has the organization been working with the local project? where can i find more imformation about the project?
Has the organization been working with the project for years or only recently? How do they know for sure that the project is reliable and safe and can there be experiences of previous volunteers somewhere? Has the project been visited by the organization itself? Make sure that your organization knows the project well enough to provide you with information immediately.
how much of my money will go to the project?
Expect transparency in the budget. Organizations have costs here in the Netherlands and good organizations are transparent about this and can explain the distribution of your amount well. It also does not hurt to ask what happens to the money that goes to the project. Prevent that you end up in projects where A project owner earns A substantial amount and none of your budget enters the project.
what does the accompaniment look like?
Make sure you have A clear understanding of who and how you will be guided on the spot. Where can you go with any problems? When should you contact the organization and when only the local guidance? Good organizations have these kinds of things in order and can clearly explain this to you.
will there be feedback from volunteer about the project? and from the project about volunteer?
Good organizations monitor the quality of their projects and, of course, former volunteer can provide perfect insight into this! Ask if there is A feedback system about the project and if you can see some feedback. It is of course an extra plus if local projects also give feedback about the volunteers back to the organization.
Are you going to work with children? then you should pay extra attention to the following!
Muses made the infographic and even designed A special training with information about working with children during your voluntary work. The questions below help you to consciously choose your organization and project in order to work with children in A responsible way:
what will be my role in the project? what will my tasks be?
Make sure that you are not going to perform primary tasks with children. Examples of primary tasks are changing diapers, putting children to bed or getting them out of bed, giving medication and provideing immediate care. Good projects have hard rules in this and this is also necessary to prevent damage to the children. Are you in doubt? Ask if you can get in touch with A former volunteer who has worked on the project.
how will the children know what my role is in the project?
It is very important that within the project attention is paid to ypur role as A volunteer. Children must understand that you are only there for A short time and are present for support. Check with your organization how you are introduced to the project. Is there A standard procedure for this? Are there standard for when you are going to say goodbye?
what will the proportion of staff be in comparison to the volunteers?
If your organization has good contact with the project, they can give an indication of this. Of course this ratio can vary per moment of the year, but keep in mind that the project is not only run on volunteers. A ratio higher than 1:3 is very high and this means that (1) volunteers probably have A central role in the project and (2) that you as A volunteer probably can not be properly supervised and instructed during your work.
could you share the behaviour protocol with me?
Good projects have A behaviour protocol (code of conduct) and therefore ask whether your organization can share this with you. Pat attention! This is different from the behaviour protocol of your Organisation (you can also request this). This is because it is not always known by local people within the project. This behaviour protocol contains guideloines for your behaviour and any measures to be taken if these rules are exceeded. If A project has such A protocol, it shows that they have consciously thought about this and that there is therefore attention for A safe environment.
what will happen if I send a complaint?
Do you encounter abusers or do you have complaints? Then it is important that there is A possibility to report this and that your organization also clearly states where this is possible. Of course the next step is for an organization to actually do something with such A complaint or reported abuse. Feel free to ask for an example of this. Organizations like to show that they have an effective system for this.
am I going to work in an orphan house?
Is the answer to this 'Yes'? Then pay attention and make extra inquiries about your work. There are many abuses within orphanage volunteer work and A lot of hard work is being done to get rid of these abuses. Make sure that you do not contribute to maintaining this. Better care network (rightly) pays A lot of attention to this and made this infographic (English) to inform you about this.
i do not have experience/education in working with children: what will my accompaniment look like?
In the Netherlands you have to study for A number of years to work with children. If you miss this experience, it obviously does not mean that you cannot work with children. However, it is important that there is good guidance where you can go with questions. Assure that this guidance is present by just asking for it.