Originally Posted by PeoplesElbow
most of these orphanage or volunteering stuff are actually really bad and just money spinners. the kids are being used etc etc. Just do a bit of research on the subject you fiind some information.
this is not to say all are like this, but alot are.
A lot of the projects you find on the internet are just travel agencies trying to make money of you (trying to sell you language school-voluntary job combos for example). I've had some bad experiences with this myself.
I volunteered at this
project in Colombia and I can wholeheartedly recommend, you deal directly with the project itself. As you can tell from the website they charge a fee to volunteer. When I volunteered there it was basically a place where underprivileged kids come to get lunch, help with homework and activities but now they also have other projects for adolescents and adults. During the week you help out with preparing the food, helping the kids with their homework, teach English etc. and on the weekend they take you on small trips or go for drinks. The woman who runs the project is an awesome person and like all the Colombian kids always has a smile on her face, everything is very relaxed (no problem if you ant to skip day or travekl the country and come baclk later) and there is room for initiative.
The guy who set up this program is a small business man in Bogota and wanted to do something back for the community in his hometown. We asked him about he fee and he explained us that he set the project up this way beacuse he taught it was a substainable way to run a project like this. Since they is very little money from the local and national goverments for projects like this he donates a % of his income to the project and charges the volunteers a fee. Anyway it's further explained on the website.
I volunteered at this project about 3 years a go I think and have been back several times (without having to pay the fee). The last time, in April of last year, I was there for only a few days and was pleasently surprised to see that the project had grown substanially. They are providing help, eduaction and food to a lot more people now and also in other areas of the city.