Volunteering Recommendations Needed
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 27, 2012 8:17 AM Last Post By: 5107
Oct 24, 2012 4:25 PM
Volunteering Recommendations NeededHi all,
We’re based in Australia and planning a 6 month trip to include Western Europe, Canada, and Indonesia from April – September 2013.
An acquaintance of mine who recently returned from Europe, suggested we look into volunteering. It’s something I hadn’t thought of before, and am now looking into it.
We’d like to volunteer for a week or two, and are open to the location being anywhere nearby the abovementioned locations. We’re both mid-20’s and healthy. We’d consider a range of volunteering types because I have a heart for animals, he has building experience, and we both love children.
Whilst my acquaintance is going to pass on her recommendations to me, I was wondering if anyone has any good solid recommendations of volunteering organisations they’ve been involved with?
Oct 25, 2012 12:27 AM
My girlfriend and I are off to canada next year for a year or two (From the UK). As part of that trip we are considering working on organic farms. Look at the WWOOF Canada site. (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). They are a world wide organisation, however, each country runs its own. You pay a fee and you get access to the contact details of hundereds of farms, some large some small.
I would say that there will almost certainly be an oppurtunity to work on a farm with animals and building needs. Plus you get your bed and food for your work. We want to do the same sort of thing and from looking online it seems the best option.
Let us know if you decide to and how you get on :) where in Canada are you going?
Oct 25, 2012 6:44 AM
Oct 25, 2012 7:01 AM
Oct 25, 2012 7:07 AM
4Not sure why these posts get under my skin lol. Maybe it has something to do with the words organic, and volunteer. I know ANY place in western Canada will try to avoid the "hipster hippy" worker, but in the end, they are forced because they are the only ones willing to work for free while getting a trip out of it (yes I know, your doing it out of good will lol). Kinda like the volunteering done in many touristy tropical countries...offereng their much needed english skills.
Dont be fooled by the glam of the organic label or good will...the jobs offered in Canada for wwoofing are backbreaking, and I know a dozen people who just decided to leave in the end. The ones that come to mind are several orchards. Here around Calgary on the large ranches, they wont even sniff at you, only farm raised men need apply.
Oct 25, 2012 10:19 AM
5Hi carling_reid I have seen a great deal of the world by volunteering and the rewards on both sides are immnse. I agree with the comments on WOOFING as I witnessed this basic 'abuse' on some of the farms in south Florida while I was volunteering at a backpacker hostel with HelpX.net. This is also 'free labour' for the Host as you are the HelpXer and they have opportunities EVERYWHERE. The differnce is that it is monitored and the Host is removed if the opinions of the HelpXer leads to an investigation of abuse. I have done HelpX in United States, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Uganda. Wonderful hosts and you can even read testimonials of the Hosts from the HelpXer. Give it a look and safe travels. t.
Oct 25, 2012 3:39 PM
6Thank you Kahua for your thoughtful response... though I suggest that next time you take a moment to consider that you don't actually know my background or situation enough to make a judgement like this.
I could have been battling with cancer and am now in remission... or I could be a full time carer for a disabled person... or I could have spent time and money dedicating myself to a charity here at home...
There's a great saying "If you don't have anything nice to say..." well, you know the rest. So maybe next time, take a second to think before you make a sarcastic and self-righteous comment.
Oct 25, 2012 3:41 PM
Oct 25, 2012 11:57 PM
I'm an Australian who lives in Canada and have heard some pretty good/bad stories about Wwoofing, you will be known as a Woofer. Im not sure about how far you tend to travel in Western Canada, but look into 'Beaverfoot Lodge' they are located about an hour and a half from Banff. 45mins from Golden, B.C. I am friends with the caretakers there at the moment. The place is in the middle of no-where (not a city/town) but if you want to experience the mtns, then this place is the place to be.
Raph an Catherine are the sweetest people and will do their best to look after you. Catherine cooks up a storm everyday (we can never just pass by or pop in quickly without them asking us to stay for a cuppa or for dinner. They are situated in some awesome mtns with some amazing scenery. They have horses on the property and a lot of space to explore. Wapta Falls is the 3rd largest waterfall in volume in Canada (you can goon a horse ride to them or stroll if 3kms isnt too much).
Im not sure if they take people for small bouts of time, but I'm sure they can help you out. Even if you go an see it.
Canada is awesome
Oct 27, 2012 8:17 AM
9I'd like to speak to volunteering as a form to contributing to community & why the Canadians on the forum have jumped on your ideas. I've had the priveledge of being a 'kept woman' meaning I don't have to work, but I choose to contribute to my community through 1000s of volunteer hours each year. In so many places in Canada volunteer work is encouraged & embraced by those who have more than a week to contribute. Because 'Canadian's' have a focus on building community during volunteer time some contributors to this board may feel that you can't contribute to the community in only a week. If you are looking for free room & board for a week that is a different issue than trying to find a place to contribute via volunteering to a community. . Often the liability issues that our culture lives with makes it impossible for a foreigner to just drop in & help out while they are travelling through the area. There are police checks that are required if you want to work with any program that children/youth are part of. Try & help in a womens' shelther & you will be asked to take weeks of training! Or you will find that volunteer based organizations need help for a specific project; a few hours a week over many weeks (such as providing transportation for disadvantaged children to sporting events they are sponsored to be part of).
Most businesses that work with livestock, or animals as you word it - have safety practice training that is required & may not be offered when you are interested in being part of the group. Many places might be interested in having some volunteer help, but would be stretched to offer accommodations or food in exchange for your work. You could attempt to help at rescue missions (soup kitchens serving the poor/homeless - though in my province these facilities are so well stocked with volunteers that you would need to book a time to be with them at least 8 months in advance. (And again hoping for accommodations with them would mean that you would be taking a bed from an individual who can't afford or find any other option!)
Woofing options exist - if you want free accommodations in exchange for food I know a local farm in our area would love to have you join them for a week. Are you comfortable living communally in a swampy area (hear mosquito's!) and living off the grid, without running water? (It isn't a typical lifestyle for Canada - most of us like our creature comforts too much - so if you want to see the real Canada I wouldn't think this was it, but you could get free accommodations!) There is no giant volunteer data base for you to check out apart from the WOOFing, listing other opportunities here in Canada - hopefully you find a great way to see the countries you travel too. Enjoy your trip.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.60 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night