Frequently Asked Questions...or the A to Z of what means to be a volunteer with VAP
To volunteer with VAP on a Standard Programme project costs £210.
The Standard Programme includes short term projects (2 to 4 weeks).
To volunteer with VAP on a Medium/Long Term project costs £230.
These projects last between 1 and 12 months.
The fee you pay to VAP covers the administrative and organisational costs of your project plus a year’s membership to the charity.
This fee also includes a weekend orientation session to help prepare you for your project experience. The activities you take part in, food and accommodation costs are all included in the fee but travel to the orientation weekend is not. The 2016 orientation weekend will take place on 17-19 June at the Othona Community in East Essex.
Volunteers to countries in the South, and also some countries in Europe, will also need to pay a Hosting Fee as this is the sole funding that our partner organisations in those countries receive. This fee covers food, accommodation and other hosting costs, as well as the hosting organisation’s administrative and staffing costs. The Hosting Fee is paid to the hosting organisation on arrival in cash unless otherwise stated. This fee varies from country to country but is typically around 250 Euros.
We currently work with a vast range of partner organisations in almost 80 countries on 6 continents so there is no lack of choice! If you have a particular country or region in mind then use our projects database to find any opportunities taking place in that area. Furthermore, if you have specific dates that you must keep to then you can input these and browse the projects for that particular timescale.
Workcamps are typically 2/3 weeks long, but can last longer depending on the objectives of the project.
You can also do medium or long term volunteering through VAP where placements last from 1 month to one year.
Volunteers on medium and long term placements are more likely to be working as the only volunteer or within a smaller group than when on short term projects.
Try to book your travel as soon as you receive the placement confirmation e-mail from VAP, as tickets tend to become more expensive nearer the departure date.
VAP also strongly recommends that you are covered by a comprehensive insurance package. In case you are going to Southern countries, please also book an appointment with your GP or visit your local travel clinic to arrange any vaccinations and anti-malarials you may need for your destination.
VAP organises one weekend orientation session open to all volunteers going on a project prior to the workcamp beginning which will leave you with a sense of what to expect from it. Aside from this training it is wise to get hold of a guidebook for the country or region you will be volunteering in and a phrasebook as knowing a few key phrases before you go is always a bonus.
It is possible to receive funding to help you pay for your trip.
If you are a student, it is worth seeking advice from your University Student Support office for more information.
Alternatively there are various charitable organisations that you can apply to for a bursary to help you out. The best way to locate these charities is through your local library where they keep a register of charities who offer funding.
This is a general guide for travellers but it really depends on your location of choice!
You should not leave home without your travel and insurance documents safely packed away plus any relevant vaccinations or medicines required. Always take something warm for those cold nights and sun cream for the hot days. A travel guide and phrasebook often come in very handy and don’t forget your camera!
VAP’s Orientation Weekend is essential to help you understand more specifically what you will need to take with you to your location, in case you are going to a Southern country.
If for any reason you decides to cancel a confirmed application to a project you should inform VAP immedietely so that we can find a replacement.
If you decide that you would like to change your project prior to it’s start date, you must cancel and reapply.
VAP will refund 50% of the fees when cancellation is made in writing one month before the start date of the project.
Full refunds can be requested in exceptional circumstances and written proofs must be provided.