Responsible Travel Policy
Embrace the ideology about being conscious and sustainable
At Volunteering Journeys we embrace the ideology about being conscious and sustainable. Our volunteer travelers can expect a wholesome experience that involves being closer to local peoples’ traditions and culture, and that can uplift the local communities in a responsible way. We want you, our traveler to be a part of a wider movement towards responsible travel and be assured that all our volunteer projects and travel options are helping communities that are hosting you so generously.
- We partner with local schools, community centres, or local charities and work on their needs first.
- We collaborate and handpick our local project partners to build a long term relationships based on trust and understanding. This means everyone involved including accommodation owners, local transport drivers, local staff and others get income over the long term and can sustain themselves.
- Volunteering Journeys provide support to projects that are for the long term.
- We protect our project partners and the people we work with by having a screening process. We will ask volunteers for references and police checks. Volunteers will also have to agree to our Terms and Conditions which includes Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy.
- We educate both our volunteer travellers and local partners. All volunteers get pre-departure information and on arrival orientation and training.
- 24/7 support is given to the volunteers at all times. All our projects have bilingual staff present at all times.
- We employ local staff as they are the cultural ambassadors, know multiple dialects of the sub-continent and can easily facilitate local interaction and thus guide you towards best practices (e.g. how to avoid encouraging a ‘œbegging’ mentality, how to be sensitive in photographing local people, etc.) as well as specific tips on how to avoid running afoul of local customs. More importantly they get training and income that can help their future.
- We always encourage purchasing locally made resources that can help our community to earn a living. This includes buying souvenirs, food and even project resources.
- To give you a true understanding of life in a country our accommodation is in local areas in our own volunteer housing or with local families who host you in their home. You will be eating local delicacies during meal times, interacting with locals constantly, and learning about community traditions and culture.
- We avoid marketing poverty in photographs on our website,social media and online marketing so we don’t belittle the communities we work with.
- We give all our volunteers honest information so volunteers understand the projects, the location and the role clearly before they sign up. We also make sure volunteers joining us get realistic expectations and are aware of the challenges they could face in country.
- We hold regular reviews with our projects to check how the project is progressing and how we can best support them. Our Programs are constantly evolving to the needs of the community.
- We send feedback forms to all our volunteers and put up reviews online.
‘œResponsible Tourism is quite an abused term. People get wary of conscious ridden catchwords because there is tendency to think that if there is a responsible way to do something, then we must all be guilty of doing the opposite sometimes.
The key is to ensure that the money you spend stays locally – which means staying in a homestay as opposed to a hotel chain, eating at local food markets rather than in Western franchise restaurants, and engaging in activities which benefits the local communities.
What we’re trying to achieve with Volunteering Journeys is meaningful service arranged with local partners to provide responsible impact, while inviting travelers to a take more responsible experience of life in the country they travel to. ‘
Ridhi Patel: Founder of Volunteering Journeys