Why Pay for a Program?
Before we jump right into how to get around paying to volunteer in Africa, let’s talk about why you might want to pay to volunteer abroad through what we’ll call “program providers” or “organizations”.
First of all, program providers and placement organizations requiring payments do so for a few important reasons:
- Financial support / monetary donation for their projects.
- They’re providing orientation and training for volunteers.
- They’re providing in-country support and logistics (i.e. airport pickup)
- The fee includes room and board organized by the program.
Therefore, It is a good idea before deciding to avoid any program that charges a fee to see what’s included first. If the price is reasonable, it may actually be cheaper to go with the program as they can get local prices you might otherwise not. They get discounts for buying in bulk, and the hassle they save you from figuring out an extended visa on your own may be worth it.
Also, if you’ve never traveled abroad, have general concerns about being in Africa alone, or would prefer less hassle, a fee-based program might be an option worth reviewing.