Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Search FAQs

General Questions

Can I talk to past volunteers?

You can request the contact details of past volunteers from the organization you wish to work for or contact a past volunteer though the reviews section of this website. Conversing with an ex-volunteer will answer many of your questions and help you decide if a project is the right for you.

Can I volunteer with a friend or partner?

Most voluntary organizations and non profits will accept friends and partners.

Do I contact the organizations myself?

You need to contact organizations directly if you have any questions about a project or want to apply. Volunteer 4 Africa is not a placement service. You can contact organizations via email or go to the website of the project.

Do you help organize a volunteer trip?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have or help you find a suitable project, but you are responsible for setting-up your volunteer trip (e.g. flights, travel insurance, vacinnations, etc). You will find some helpful travel websites on our links page. The organization you wish to work for will be an invaluable source of information, particularly with in-country matters.

Do you offer voluntary work opportunities for all ages?

Most opportunities are aimed at volunteers aged eighteen or over; however, there are some organizations that accommodate volunteers of any age including children and families. There are filters on the volunteer jobs page that will display ‘projects for under 18’s’ and ‘projects for seniors 60+.’

Do you offer voluntary work opportunities for all nationalities?

The projects we offer are aimed at all nationalities.

Do you protect my privacy?

Absolutely, your personal information is strictly confidential and will not be shared with any third party. We only use your information (name and email address) if you want to be contacted by other members about a project you left feedback for. Although we highly recommend interaction between members within the reviews section of this website, you are free to opt-out by ticking a box within your account (e.g. block membership interaction).

How long can I volunteer for?

Most voluntary work requires a minimum commitment which might be a number of days, weeks or months. Each project has its own set of requirements.

What about languages?

The predominant language spoken on most projects is English; however, a few projects require volunteers to speak French, Portuguese or Spanish.

Where can I volunteer?

We offer voluntary work opportunities in most African countries but some countries offer far more projects than others. The list of countries will grow as we transfer information over from old website and register new organizations.

Membership

Can we sign-up as a couple or family?

One of the nice things about this site is that you only need one account if volunteering with a partner, a friend, or as a family. You also only need one person to sign-up if you want to organize a volunteer trip for a small group.

Do you offer free membership?

Volunteer 4 Africa Membership is already a mouth-wateringly good deal and is integral to our survival. This is not to say we won't provide complimentary membership and are willing to listen to any propositions. We occasionally give-away membership accounts as contest prizes on Facebook, Twitter and through our newsletters.

How do I become a member?

Go the registration page for volunteers and follow the instructions.

How do I leave a volunteer review?

Log-in to the site and click-on the tab Provide a Review. Select the organization you wish to review from the drop-down menu and then complete the form.

How do I pay for membership?

You can sign-up via your PayPal account or with a credit/debit card. Once you have completed checkout your login instructions will be sent to you via email.

How do I renew my membership?

You will be given the opportunity to re-activate your account once it expires. If you choose not to re-activate your account you will not be charged again.

How do I submit a blog?

Log-in to the site and click-on the tab Submit a Blog Post. Please ensure you upload a good quality image to accompany your article.

How do I vote for an organization?

Log-in to the site and click-on the tab Vote for a Project. Select the organization you wish to nominate and click vote. Members cannot nominate any organization more than once during the voting phase.

How long does membership last?

Membership is valid for three years, from the date you activate your account.

What happens if I lose or forget my membership details?

If you lose or forget your password click on ‘lost your password’ on the login page. You will instantly receive a temporary password via email which you can change within your member account. If you have lost or forgot both your username and password please contact us via email and we will get you up and running again. Please ensure you use your registered email address when trying to resolve membership problems.

Why don't my username and password work?

Please ensure you are entering the correct username and password on the volunteer login page. If you are still having problems contact us via your registered email address and we will resolve the issue. If you were a member before the launch of our new website you will need a new account set-up. Contact us via your registered email address and we will do the rest.

Projects

How can I be sure that the projects are reputable?

We are very particular about the voluntary organizations and non profits we partner with in order to promote meaningful and worthwhile volunteer opportunities. We put every project through a strict vetting process and because of this have an exceptional record in connecting volunteers to good quality projects.

How do I apply for a project?

You should follow the instructions given in the project listings. This may involve the submission of a cover letter and CV or completing an online application form. If no specific instructions are given you should go to the website of the project. Check it thoroughly before emailing an organization to ensure the information you’re after isn’t already given in the FAQs section or volunteering page.

How do I find out more about the projects?

For open project listings you just need to click on the title to find out more. For members-only project listings you need to register and then login to the website. Once logged-in, clicking on any title will display a full project listing, featuring a photograph gallery, Google map, volunteer reviews, web link, and contact form with option to upload CV (not available to non-members). It is possible to view project listings and the websites of voluntary organizations simultaneously.

How do I search for a project?

You have the option to filter projects by country, project type, duration, or a combination of all three in order to build an on-screen profile of your ideal volunteer assignment. There is also an advanced search option to target specific keywords.

How far in advance should I apply for a project?

As a general rule you should apply for a project as far in advance as possible. Although it is possible to get on a project at short notice, by planning ahead you will have a greater choice of projects to choose from (e.g. they are more likely to still have spaces). You should apply immediately if you see projects stating “open until filled” or with an application deadline.

How much do the projects cost?

We predominantly offer free voluntary work or projects with minimal fees.

What types of projects do you offer?

We offer a wide variety of voluntary work opportunities, ranging from being an eco guide on a humpback whale conservation project to being a coach for a street kid's football club. We offer volunteer projects that go beyond the usual scope of volunteering with animals or working in orphanages such as teaching yoga or choreographing dance productions. Whatever your needs or personal interests - wildlife research, organic farming, health clinics, teaching, or simply wanting to spend a few months travelling and volunteering as you go - this website will connect you a wide range of no or low cost projects throughout Africa.

Website

How can I support Volunteer 4 Africa?

There are various ways to support us and here are some of the ways you can get involved.

  • Spread the word – give us a mention on your website, blog, or via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
  • Send us your feedback - if you have previously volunteered through Volunteer 4 Africa send us some feedback for our testimonial slider (see homepage)
  • Sign-up to our newsletter – read and share the Volunteer 4 Africa newsletter with your family and friends
  • Submit an organization – if you know of an organization that would benefit from being listed on this site please forward details
  • Share our blogs – share our articles via email or social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc)

Whatever you can do to help us spread our reach will be much appreciated. Feel free to contact us via email if you want to discuss other possibilities.

How does this website work?

Volunteer 4 Africa is essentially a guide to volunteering in Africa and providing aid for voluntary organizations when travelling abroad. Users of the site can search for volunteer opportunities or organizations needing supplies in the area they plan to visit. This gives travellers the opportunity to make a positive impact in the communities they visit by simply packing a few extra items in their luggage. Although it is possible to use this site as a non-member, it is best experienced as a member. V4A members can view all projects, submit blogs, submit project reviews, contact ex-volunteers, and vote for organizations in association with our Members Choice Award.

I don’t appear to be receiving emails from you, what can I do?

If you have not heard back from us, please check your SPAM inbox and add us to your safe list.

Wish List

How do I donate supplies from a wish list?

Supplies should be dropped off at a voluntary organizations head office or other pre-agreed destination. Please consult with the organization you want to help in order to arrange the delivery of your goods. Before stuffing your rucksack with any items from a wish list please ensure you check with your airline to determine the current luggage allowance to your destination, and to find out what baggage items are prohibited or restricted from being on the aircraft. If you don’t intend on travelling to Africa but would still like support an organization inquire about sending supplies via postal mail. It is often cheaper and more convenient to purchase items in the country you are visiting.

What is a wish list?

A wish list is a list of equipment and supplies charitible and non profit organizations would appreciate as donations. We urge anyone travelling to Africa to get involved and find out what they can pack in their luggage to support organizations and their projects. With a small amount of space and little effort, travellers can make a positive impact in the communities they visit.

What is philanthropic travel?

If you are interested in doing more with your time than lazing around on picture-postcard beaches or driving through the savannah in search of lions, you can use this website to find the wish list of a voluntary organization or charity in the area you plan to visit. You don’t have to be a volunteer to help worthy causes and any donation will be gratefully received, however large or small. Turn your next travel experience into something you’ll be proud of for the rest of your life.

Members Choice Award

What is the Members Choice Award?

We give our members the opportunity to vote for the organization they are most passionate about or believe is most deserving of recognition. Next December we will announce the winner of our Members Choice Award 2016 which is effectively our 'project of the year.' Our members favourite organization will receive a year’s worth of banner advertising on our site plus other benefits.

Partnership

What are the benefits of being a partner organization?

The information page for organizations provides a summary of the key benefits which include a free link to your website and the option of an 'open' project listing.

What do you look for in a partner organization?

We seek to form partnerships with reputable volunteer organizations that offer affordable, safe, fun and meaningful projects. Our primary goal is to connect people to inexpensive and trustworthy projects. We particularly like to work with grassroots organizations and have a preference for free projects.

Project Listings

Can we change our project listing?

You are free to advertise a different project as needs arise. Please ensure you update the entire project listing including the details, highlights and photograph gallery.

Can we submit volunteer reviews?

You should ask past volunteers to login to our site and leave feedback about your organization with a star rating out of 1-5 (poor, average, good, very good, excellent). Once we have verified the feedback we will publish it on the reviews section of your dedicated web page. If you know of a past volunteer who found your organization via us we highly recommend you ask them to login to the site and leave a review. It will enhance the credibility of your project, and provide a tool for member interaction. Please be aware that as this is a brand new website it will take some time to build up volunteer reviews from our members.

Can we view project listings as an organization?

If logged in you can view your own project plus 'open' projects. We need to grant special access to view all projects.

How do we get our organization to the top of the listings?

Updated projects automatically go to the top of the listings so you simply need to keep your information up to date.

How do we remove a project listing?

We can pause or delete your project listing upon request.

How many items can we include in our wish list?

We request a maximum of 20 items.

What information will be displayed to volunteers?

All the information you submit via the registration page will be visible and active. Volunteers are given the option to visit your website or contact you through our online contact form.

What is the difference between an open and members-only project listing?

An open project listing is visible to all users of the site, whereas, a members-only project listing is exclusive to our members.

Why isn’t our project listing online?

This could be for administration purposes or other reasons. We can provide details of any issues upon request.

Registration

Can you help our organization register?

We are very willing to assist with registration and the creation of a project listing. We understand that some organizations experience internet browsing problems or may be worried by maintaining the appearance and preciseness of our project listings.

Do you provide guidance on completing the registration form?

You can view useful information on-screen by clicking on the link guidance for organizations. To download the guidance 'right click' with your mouse on the link and then designate a location on your computer's hard disk to save the file. The key requirements are accuracy, neatness and careful attention to detail, including image format and size.

How can we add our organization to your website?

Click-on any registration link for organizations and enter your details and project information.

How much does it cost to be listed on your website?

Absolutely nothing! We offer a free advertising platform for voluntary organizations and non profits.

We can’t find our account details can you help?

If this situation arises, simply contact us from you registered email address and we will generate a new password.

What happens after registration?

We will hand-vet your organization and thoroughly check over the information submitted. In the meantime, you'll receive a copy of the information you submitted via email. If you do not receive a 'Project Addition' message please check your SPAM inbox and add us to your safe list. If approved, you will be responsible for maintaining your project listing by logging into the site with your registered email address and password.

What information do we need to provide?

You will see what information you need to submit during the registration process. Alternatively, contact us via email to find out the components of our project listings. Most of the information required is standard but due to the dynamic and dual function of our website, we also request images and items from your wish list.

Support

Do you provide any other help for organizations?

We provide administration and on-going support during membership, affording minimal effort on your part. We can provide fresh ideas and perspectives on your project in order to make it more effective. If you are a link partner we can feature your organization in an upcoming newsletter if you have an interesting story to share or want to raise awareness about a specific issue. Moreover, use our social media platforms (15K+ followers on Facebook) to raise your profile and boost recruitment efforts. For a limited number of organizations and by special arrangement, we can carry out an SEO audit to find site errors. We will highlight what technical issues are preventing your site from ranking higher in search engines.

What support can we provide for Volunteer 4 Africa?

The best way to demonstrate your support of our work and cement our partnership is by becoming a link partner. Please consider adding our logo to your homepage or volunteering page with web link pointing to our any page of our website. Alternatively, a text link from your website, blog or within a unique article with anchor text will be gratefully received. Drop us a line if you need a copy of our logo or suggestions for anchor text. There is also the option if linking to our sister organization if preferred. Before taking any action contact us via email with details of the proposed link including the URL.