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Cost of Volunteering Abroad

Volunteering needn't cost the Earth!

At Original Volunteers we have always believed since day one that costs should not be a barrier to putting something back.

Although long gone are the days when most of our projects were £10 a week or completely free (although we are currently supporting the India project for 2 free weeks to new bookings to encourage support), we do try to keep the costs as low as possible in order that more volunteers can stay longer at projects or do additional projects.

On every project, everyone gains in confidence quickly and it would be a shame to see successful motivated and experienced volunteers have to return home after a week because they could not afford to stay.

But we still have some little gems amongst our popular well established projects. Our Cambodia programme offers volunteers to stay for up to 12 weeks for only £150 whether you stay for 1 or 12 weeks. That works out at only £1.66 per day if you stay for 12 weeks.

With a budget of £500 a volunteer placement in Morocco or Bulgaria is easily accessible including budget flights for 1 or 2 weeks.

If your budget can stretch to £700 - £1000 and needs to include the cost of flights then any of our long haul projects will be within reach for between 1 and 4 weeks. If you have any questions regarding costs, please contact us and we will be happy to advise on the best project for your budget.

After securing your place with a one-off booking fee of £145 to register with Original Volunteers, you have access to all the available projects on our list subject to availability within 12 months of arrival at your first project. Unlike other volunteer placement providers this means you can access many projects with just one registration fee of £145.

This means if you book now and arrive on 1st July 2015, you have from 1st July 2015 to arrive at any other project on our list.

Travelling project to project?

If you are already thinking about travelling from one project to another, combining a project or two with your own independent travel or other pre-booked tours contact us for advice on how you can include our projects into your existing itinerary.

Many of our project destinations also offer special deals for local tours exclusively for OV volunteers if booked locally through our local teams which you may like to contact us.

To see tours and day trips available at each project take a look at the Trip Info tabs for each project on the list below.

When booking online for more than one project, select your first destination on the first page, then tell us on the second page which other projects you would like to join and and your arrival months. You can stay over into the next month, as we work on arrivals within a specific month allowing for volunteers to stay over into the next. We'll be in touch straightaway if there is no availability for your chosen projects or dates.

The minimum stay on most projects is 1 week. Please see individual project descriptions for details and when projects operate.

Flexible costs - exclusive to OV

Unlike most providers and exclusive to Original Volunteers all project fees below which have been paid directly to Original Volunteers UK are refundable should you change your mind at any stage including any 'unused' stays after arrival.

This is because we know that plans change, new friends are made on projects and travel opportunities sometimes wait for no man so you have to go with the flow even if that means leaving a project earlier than originally planned.

For example, should your plans change after arrival in Africa and you decide to travel with new project friends, an 100% money back guarantee of unused accommodation is available (minus a small admin fee of £5 for UK bank transfers).

Simply send us an email when you get back home confirming the date you left the project (*see below for more).


Price per week

Weeks 1-2



Extra weeks

Week 3 +



£200 once only contribution and £10 per week
£250 once only contribution for stays up to 4 weeks, then £20 a week.
£150 once only contribution for stays up to 3months
Uganda£125 **£87.50 **
Kenya Masai£125**£40
Kenya Mombasa£125**£85
Mexico Merida£125***£125***
Tanzania£200 once only contribution for stays up to 3months
Thailand£195** once only contribution plus £13.50 per week for midweek hotel.
India School Project£ FREE **£50 **
South Africa£125**£125**
Paraguay£ FREE£ FREE
USA - Florida£175£175

In addition, the 12 months start with Original Volunteers when you arrive at your first project not when you register. This means if you register now and go to a project next year, your year with Original Volunteers starts next year when you arrive at your first project. This gives you extra time to prepare and save for your trip, especially if it will be your first experience of volunteering abroad.

Prices include

The above prices include accommodation and a local coordinator or team to organise a volunteer placement for you and provide additional support. Please contact us for projects offering private rooms for couples and families. At some projects extras may be included, please check the individual project page. The above prices do not include unless where stated in the individual project description (see individual webpage): flights, visas, volunteer permits (where required), insurance, airport pick-up and transfers, meals and local transport to projects. Some projects may require an additional one off programme contribution and details can be found on the individual webpage.

100% refundable - exclusive to Original Volunteers

*Please note we are unable to refund monies paid for 'used' stays, pickups provided when we or your project coordinator were unaware of your cancellation, separate additional organisational fees and project programme contributions which do not form part of your weekly contribution. We are unable to refund any project fees or other payments which are made between volunteer and project directly whether before travel or after arrival.

*** Mexico Merida
Please note from 24-Nov-2014 the price for Mexico Merida will change from week 1-2 £95, week 3+ £95, to week 1-2 £125, week 3+ £125.

** Uganda
Please note from 27-Nov-2014 the Uganda project has increased its prices from £87.50 to £125 for first 2 weeks, and from £52.50 to £87.50 for week 3 and beyond.

** India

FREE 2 week stay exclusive offer for all volunteers registering with Original Volunteers on or after the 1st November 2014. Extra weeks are charged at £50. Meals available for all volunteers on site £3 per day. See Trip Info tab above for more information and free time trips. If you are already registered, the first two weeks are charged at £20 per week only. This offer is provided exclusively by Original Volunteers to help support this project in need.

Pick up and transfer from Chennai, 2hr 50 minutes.
6am - midnight £40
midnight - 6am £60

** Peru
Please note from 14-Nov-2014 the Peru project has increased its prices to those listed above.

** Nepal
Please note from 14-Nov-2014 the Nepal project has increased its prices to those listed above

** Bulgaria
Please note from 14-Nov-2014 the Bulgaria project has increased its prices to those listed above

** Kenya Mombasa
Please note from 14-Nov-2014 the Kenya Mombasa project has increased its prices to those listed above

** Kenya - Masai
Please note from 27-Nov-2014 the Kenya-Masai project has increased its prices from £75 to £125 for first 2 weeks.

** Thailand
Please note from 27-Nov-2014 the Thailand project has increased its One-Off contribution price of £125 to £195.

** South Africa
Please note from 11-Dec-2014 the South Africa project has decreased its prices from  £175 to £125.

Not sure where to volunteer?

Contact or call our projects advisor team on 01603 280702.

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