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Where does your money go...???

Prospective volunteers are usually surprised to learn that Conflict Islands Conservation Initiative charge successful applicants a fee to participate. Seems ironic to you that there is a fee associated with spending your time and energy on a cause you are already passionate about helping with your time.

Instead of asking. “Why should I pay money to work for free? You should be asking, "where does my money actually go?" And how your volunteer experience will make a difference? And think about what you going to do, where you’re going to do it and how will those associated costs be covered?

Once you establish this mentality, you will realize that the money you pay to participate in the volunteer program is vital to the CICI as a not for profit organization to effectively run these projects in the first place.

Besides the day-to-day expenses like your meals and accommodation, your fees contribute immensely towards sustaining these programs and other conservation efforts with meaningful and sustainable work. What CICI does is of real tangible benefit, that fits in with the long-term conservation and resource management objectives, but also does no harm.

It is also about facilitating a cultural exchange that builds relationships, develops people's’ thinking about sustainable development, and leaves volunteers with a thorough understanding of the meaningful work they have done, as well as the ability to pass these learnings onto others to create long-term change.

We will want to provide you with a great experience and give you a comfortable and safe place to stay, but in order to do this we invest money in volunteer facilities in order to reach your volunteer goals. CICI will help you make your Impact, Be Supported, Have Fun, Give you good Value, and do it all safely

So, why should you pay to volunteer

As a volunteer, you cost money, it costs to feed you, it costs to house you, it costs for us to provide staff to teach you and it costs us to transport you, and so all the different elements of the program costs money.

This is the direct cost of what your fees cover.

The other component is the in-direct cost which the money you pay covers.

  1. Airport transfers

  2. Cultural activities and induction seminar

  3. On-going support and supervision

  4. Certificate of participation

  5. Operation costs

  6. Salaries for volunteer organization staff

  7. Logistics

  8. On-the-ground support

  9. Safety training for staff

  10. Licenses for staff

  11. Training and courses for staff

  12. Program materials

  13. Project Equipment

  14. Island transfer

  15. Administration Costs

  16. Snorkel gears (if you don’t own one)

  17. Water sport equipment (kayaks, Stand-Up Paddle Boards) for free-time activities and

  18. Visits to neighboring island communities

  19. Fuel

  20. Staff


Volunteer abroad programs can be incredibly fulfilling. That said before you decide if a pay-to-volunteer opportunity is right for you, consider what people are saying about their personal experiences. Read as much as you can about the volunteer travel options that you're considering. It's also important to reflect on the personal benefits of volunteering, your motivations for doing so, and weigh these with the financial cost of the program.

If you decide to go, no doubt you'll meet like-minded people; you'll become part of an entire community; you'll experience something you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to; and you'll feel confident knowing you did something good for the world. All of these experiences are things money just can't buy--they're priceless and really do offer almost immeasurable value.

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