An important part of any volunteering is preparation. We work closely with our volunteers in the months before they depart to ensure they are fully equipped and ready for their placement. These preparations include everything from making sure our volunteers have had the right vaccinations, have the correct visa and know all their travel logistics to having a good understanding of the country and community they are visiting, the finer details of the organisation they are helping and their exact role as a volunteer.
Pre-departure support is offered through face to face meetings, telephone calls and email. We also put our volunteers in direct contact with representatives at the organisation they are visiting as soon as we can.
On returning from their placement, volunteers are encouraged to report back to us and our wider membership, we also meet with them to help them to make sense of their experience and discuss outcomes and ways forward for both them as the individual and our links to the organisation they have helped.
This sort of support is a vital part of the learning experience.