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Life on a project

Who will be on the project with me?

On most of our short term projects you would be with 10-15 other international
volunteers normally working alongside local volunteers or members of local
organisations. The ethos of our volunteering is to gather people from different
countries, nationalities and cultural backgrounds to volunteer and socialise
together on a residential project. We try to make sure that the groups have a
good mix of nationalities to encourage the integration of the group and maximize
the intercultural experience for everyone involved.

On every project there is a project co-ordinator, who is either a member of
staff or volunteer from the local organisation. Co-ordinators are there to link
volunteers, host organisation and local community and to help in case of any
problems that might arise.

On our medium and longer term projects you might volunteer individually rather
than in a group but you will have more interaction with the local population and
communities.

Language of the project

On nearly all the projects the language used is English; all volunteers are
expected to communicate in English at least at a basic level. However there
are some projects that do run in other languages mostly French, German and
Spanish but this will be clearly indicated in the special requirements of each
project. Nonetheless, a basic knowledge of the local language is always an
advantage, as it gives you the chance to better interact with local people.

Food and accommodation

Food and accommodation for all of the project are provided free of charge by the
host organisation (unless it is stated otherwise in the project description). Food
is usually organised on a self-catering basis, with all group members doing an
equal share of the shopping, cooking and cleaning. It’s a good idea to take some
recipes with you, because you might be asked to cook a traditional dish from
your home country. However, some projects will be catered for but information
of this will be in the info sheets. Don’t forget to let us know if you have a special
dietary requirement.

The type of accommodation varies but generally you could be staying in tents,
sleeping on the floor of a village halls or local schools, or staying in dormitories
in hostels or youth centres. You will need to bring your own roll-mat and sleeping
bag and should be prepared, in some cases, for very basic standards of living.

Free time

Generally you will work up to 7 hours a day with evenings and weekends free.
Social activities are usually organised by the group with assistance from the
project co-ordinators. It is also quite common for volunteers to travel after they
have volunteered.

Project length and dates

Short term projects are usually two to four weeks in length. The main programme
runs from June to September although there are a number of off-season projects
available during winter and spring. Our Medium Term Volunteer projects (MTV)
usually last between one to six months.

Who organises the projects?

Each project is organised by one of our international partner organisations. They
work in co-operation with local community organisations, who act as the project
hosts, providing food and accommodation for the volunteers.
Our partner organisations are responsible for organising their own work and co-
ordinating the international volunteers. They also provide one or two trained
project leaders, who will help run each project. All our partners exchange
volunteers which allow us all to have a diverse group of volunteers on each
project.

Concordia is a member of the Alliance of European Voluntary Organisations and Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS).

Some quotes from Concordia volunteers

“After spending a month in Kenya it is my belief that international volunteering
can be a great way to immerse yourself in a culture, give something to
community and learn a great deal about yourself and the world around you. It is
an experience that I will not forget in a hurry and one, which even on my return,
demands that I question and broaden my ideas and perspectives”

(Caroline Dudley, on a construction project in Kenya).

“Very good experience. The experience for me was wonderful. Although the
walks up and down the mountain were hard; and the work was worthwhile.
Acquerino reserve is stunning. The volunteers all got a really well together, the
food was great and we had a lot of fun in the evenings and on our trip. It’s an
experience that will always stay with me and I’ll definitely do it again”

(Sarah Podmore, on an environmental project in Italy)

“I enjoyed this project hugely. As well as allowing me to contribute to the local
community, I was able to get to know young people from all over the world. This
was for me a learning experience in many different ways. I will definitely be
attending more projects in future”

(Emily Winterbottom, a renovation project in France)

“I never though it was possible to experience so much in just three weeks of
being in a foreign country. Although things didn’t always run smoothly I met
some amazing people. I have some fantastic memories that I will always cherish.
Furthermore, I also enhanced my German skills. I would like to thank the host
organisation for making this project happen and giving me this unique chance
to experience an totally different way of life and to meet amazing people from all
around the world”

(Karen Evans, children project in Germany)

Summer 2017 Programme

Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to know when we release our new programme on 13th March 2017 with over 1500 projects worldwide.

Programme Launch Early Bird discount

If you apply for an international project between 13th March and 22nd March included, you will get £40 off the project registration fee (pay £230 instead of £270).
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