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honest and fair information about responsible and ethical

volunteer travel opportunities

Volunteer travel is much in demand, and the ethics of volunteer travel is a hot topic – BUT – it’s a challenge for potential volunteers to identify genuinely meaningful and responsible volunteer opportunities.

There are now many websites that provide advice on how to look for volunteer opportunities – BUT – few such websites focus their listings on organisations that are operating ethically and responsibly.

Many volunteers use directories to help them shop for opportunities – BUT – how can volunteers be clear about the criteria used by directories in accepting an organisation onto their site? All too often, they can’t.


(we have just launchedthis site – we are working on loading some great volunteer opportunities -bear with us -register andyou will get updates as we load them)

All listings in this directory  clearly state the criteria against which the organisations are checked, and the organisations  have to provide published information as proof.

Organisations are able to give short details of their work and a direct link to their site.

Volunteers can search by destination and by type of volunteering.

Volunteers can send us reviews – if you find an organisation that does not deliver on their promises, we will investigate.

The better volunteering directory enables volunteers to find  worthwhile volunteer opportunities –  a simple and transparent check list to enable them to make informed decisions about which project is best for them as well as for the local community

Who is behind this directory?

Award-winning responsible travel organisation people and places. ( we have just won the 2013 World Responsible LowRes - Tourism CampaigingTourism Award for best campaigning   and we won Best Volunteering organisation in 2009) We have

virginvolunteering_winner2009campaigned for many years to improve international volunteer travel – all too often local communities and the volunteers that seek to serve them are poorly served by volunteer sending organisations that make marketing promises they do not keep – what we call smoke and mirrors. We have campaigning pages on facebook: better volunteering and better child protection.

Why have we started the directory?

Not just for the reasons above – though they are powerful enough in their own right – but also because there are many great projects doing great work who need and value volunteers.

At people and places we would love to work with them all – and although we can’t, what we can do is try to promote their work. These organisations are almost invariably cash-strapped with no marketing budgets, so they rarely get a presence on other volunteer directories. If they are accepted onto a directory, they are normally way at the end of the listings and also find it very difficult to differentiate themselves from the large organisations with marketing skills and loads of dosh!

Want to promote your ethical and responsible volunteer opportunities here – and think you meet the criteria?

email Sallie Grayson

  1. To whom it may concern
    I was looking into travelling to Equador with my family of 4kids.
    During my searches I came across volunteer opportunities. I remember my younger sister did such a thing in costa rica many years ago. It was a lugs changing experience. I have two boys. 16 & 15 who are avid animal lovers and nature lovers. Any idea where to start looking or recommendations on a safe company they could possibly volunteer with.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hello Samantha, It is not clear from your comment whether you are planning for the boys to travel on their own or with an adult? Let us know because this would influence our advice!

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