Volunteer companies that are a scam???

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Volunteer companies that are a scam???


Total Posts: 9

Joined 2008-04-23


I’ve been searching for a volunteer project and there are so many companies out there I think my heads gonna explode!  8O

What I was wondering is if anyone has ever heard any stories of companies that are not legit and just steal your money and stuff?

I don’t mean companies that charge way too much and rob you like that, I mean ones where they have websites, you apply, pay and then never hear anything?

Hopefully this problem doesn’t exist, I’m just such a worrier, I can’t help thinking that there must be some out there who are just there to rip people off?

Thanks in advance

Avatar for Travel_gavin

Total Posts: 1123

Joined 2007-01-04

LOL Not heard any stories like that..
But I did get very worried when I sent money to Trekforce Expeditions, then Noticed Trekforce Worldwide - I thought the website was phishing…then I found out the company had basically changed its name or something..


I have been to Bolivia a few times with a small outfit called Bolivia Volunteers, and have got to know them quite well, and how they work. They showed me a breakdown of exactly where my money goes (about £500 for a month), and EVERY PENNY was accounted for…..most of it going to the Volunteer Project I was on.
I asked them how is it that some companies can charge more than double for the same deal.
¨Just take a guess.¨ was their reply. !!
(I soon worked it out…..that´s right…a nice profit for the company, thankyou very much.!)
They´re worth a look at if you´re worried about how much a Project should really cost… at http://www.freewebs.com/boliviavolunteers.
Hope you get something sorted. Jiggers. xXx


Most of the companies pocket between 45% and 70% of your money and give the rest to the organisation.  Try looking at http://www.gobushdirect.com
they were set up to give the money direct to the organisations and their projects are some of the best possible. Hope that helps!

Avatar for Naughtybut

Total Posts: 155

Joined 2008-03-24

originalvolunteers is meant to be good and cheap.


I recently came back from 5 months in Nepal with Oyster Worldwide who were excellent value for money for the service they provided which was personal and supportive - not only in the UK but also abroad - a brilliant company to start off your travel bug!!! :D

Avatar for Daniellep89

Total Posts: 1204

Joined 2007-03-02

Im going with Global Vision International
there awesome

Avatar for Warrick

Total Posts: 6269

Joined 2005-12-31

Or try to go direct with the volunteer organisation.

What exactly is it you’re looking to do?


look on teh volunteer websites to find out what you want to do where etc

then contact your chosen voulenteer project(s) directly

will work out much cheaper for you and the project will get just as much money


Total Posts: 17

Joined 2008-06-09

i went away with Projects Abroad a year ago. Great website, very friend staff in the head office and the in country staff, great support, flexible start date, great projects in various destinations.

visit http://www.projects-abroad.net - if you’re interested

hope this helps


Try Ikando in Ghana. http://www.ikando.org - was there last summer and had a great time. Staff were great and pricing was very reasonable!

Avatar for Fluffylion

Total Posts: 108

Joined 2008-11-15


£1400 for a month???  In argentina????

what do you do? stay at the ritz? 

Avatar for Helensdavies

Total Posts: 52

Joined 2008-05-21

Avoid FRONTIER!!!!

I was meant to be doing a project with them in Cook Islands. And I’m sure originally it was on Aitutaki, then the island changed to Aitu. So I asked to be swapped to the other project Aitutaki and they said it was fine. They didn’t mention that I would need to repay them my deposit! I’d already paid £250 and as a travller/volunteer you can’t really afford to go shelling out all kinds. They were already keeping my date flexible as I wasn’t sure when I could go, so I doubt there would have been any admin charges as yet as my placement was not officially arranged!!

So I emailed them to tell them that I hadn’t realised that there would be a further charge and could I change back and they’ve ignored all my emails completely and on my account it is showing that

Then randomly they sent me a t-shirt and a (crumpled) letter to say welcome to my project. The t-shirt was a man’s large (which I am not).

Absolutely rubbish. They don’t seem to know what is going on. Before I booked they were very keen to get my business. After, they didn’t really care. Also there was a group set up on FB of all the Cook Island volunteers and they all seem to be moaning about the projects and the food as Frontier aren’t providing meals as the website says. They were just giving a food allowance which wasn’t enough to cover basic rations!

However I have been dealing with Absolute Africa and Travel Nation for other parts of my trip and they have been AMAZING!!!! Highly recommended!!!!

Also the African Child Care Foundation are great and I’m volunteering with them in Tanzania!!!


Avatar for Africaunite

Total Posts: 23

Joined 2010-02-16

I went with a company called Sub Saharan Adventures & They were REALLY GOOD with Me!!

They have loads of projects in East Africa! Check them out here


Total Posts: 1

Joined 2010-03-30

There are some websites that you can look at who can help. One is http://www.ethicalvolunteering.org they will provide you with questions to ask companies etc and has some good links.
Another new one is: http://www.fairtradevolunteering.com but this is pretty new so there aren’t any companies signed up yet but might be worth checking?
Its always good in my experiece to go for a company that gives you the break down of where your money is going to go - then at least you know that your not being ripped off and that they’re viable. I went travelling with Quest Overseas and they were excellent in that respect.
Hope that helps!

Avatar for Aidan87

Total Posts: 1

Joined 2010-04-19

I travelled with a company called YOMPS and was very happy with my experience! I worked as a horseback safari guide and back up rider in South Africa for 3 months. The trip was expensive but worth every penny! When not working as a guide taking beach and game rides or exercising young horses back at base, I was being treated as a guest on a luxury safari! I slept in a real bed, had a hot shower every day, ate restaurant quality three course meals every night, watched the sun go down over a yummy glass of SA wine and star gazed round the camp fire! Oh and 7 hours in the saddle every day getting up close and personal to rhino, hippo, crocs and loads more amazing animals! Awesome! So if you fancy something a bit more exciting, check out yomps.co.uk