In country support or when you will be in field

When you are volunteering abroad, you are likely to have various questions, issues and concerns. Every volunteer abroad organization has a system to make this all a bit easier for you and this article will explain that further.

What is volunteer abroad in country support?

There are two primary models of volunteer abroad organizations. The first kind rents out the home and hires staff, such as coordinators, cooks drivers etc., themselves. These people are known as field staff.

In the second model, the volunteer organization with whom you have been in contact will actually be acting as a 'middle man' for local volunteer organizations.

Who is the volunteer abroad country coordinator or local staffs?

As outlined above, the country coordinator is the person who works directly for the volunteer organization and is based in the country. Depending on the size of the organization's operations in that country there may be multiple coordinators.

Local staff will be working for a separate, local volunteer organization. If your volunteer abroad organization is the second kind of model (as detailed above), you will find that after your application has been accepted you are likely to passed on to a local contact from a different organization.

What do they do for me?

The duties of the coordinator varies between organizations and projects but you can generally expect the following from them as a minimum:

  • Organising pick up and transfer fro the airport.
  • Overseeing accommodation arrangements
  • General orientation to the country, culture, health and safety, transportation etc.
  • Introducing you to your host family , project staff and other volunteers.
  • Follow-up visits or calls
  • First port of call for advice, problems and concerns

Do I need to stay in touch with in country support?

Your in-country support will be your lifeline during your volunteer abroad experience. Make sure you have all of their contact details as they will be your first port of call for any problems or issues. If you're feeling sick, if you're having problems with your host family or have any other questions or problems, talk to them! Their job is to help you and make sure your volunteer abroad experience runs as smoothly as possible.