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PAY To Be a Volunteer?You Gotta Be Kidding ME!!!

 
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bnix



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 645

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 4:01 am    Post subject: PAY To Be a Volunteer?You Gotta Be Kidding ME!!! Reply with quote

Just checked out the Amity Institute offering on the Jobs Offered Forum on Dave's .Seems their "teacher exchange" program , something called AVTA charges an "assignment fee" Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes (oh brother!) ranging between $500 and $!000 depending on the place of assignment.The"volunteer" also pays his or her own health insurance and airfare.

Is something wrong here? Who would go for something like this?After all,you can try the Peace Corps,VOS,or a few others...and you can be a volunteer for free...and they will even give YOU some pay and benefits(some.not much) instead of CHARGING you.I mean,it is bad enough working for free,but paying someone for the privilege of letting you work free?AH...I don't know about that one.I am sure they have some set altruistic answer.Also,I bet they have administrative staff who are not working for free.

If you are really in the mood(and can afford ) to volunteer your services,I suggest you steer clear of the people who charge a fee for the "privilege" of volunteering. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

Reminds me a little of the CETP(Central European Teachers Program)out of \Beloit,Wisconsin that was charging $3000 fee to their "volunteers".
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it is a scam, and it is not the first time one of them is cropping up. They always catch some impressionable green folks, and I say, why not? SO long as it is members of the backpacker brigade... they can at least learn a few things while accepting an assignment from such an outfit, and seasoned by these experiences they might be ready to join us as experienced ones.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too was shocked at just how much it costs to be a volunteer. Many organisations justify the fee by including accommodation, food, training, admin, sometimes flights, but it still seems so steep. There are clearly many people with enough money to take part (though I guess they are mostly gap year students with parental funding, wealthy pensioners or career minded people with enough savings to take a year out), but it seems a shame many people willing to offer their services for free are excluded, because they can't pay their way. It may be possible to get sponsorship, though I'm a bit clueless as to how you'd go about it. If you're attached to a church they may be able to fix you up and fund you.

IMHO VSO (or the Peace Corps if you're from the US) is the best deal. With VSO flights are paid, accommodation is paid, a small allowance to live on and they even pay national insurance contributions. All they ask for in return is a degree, a CELTA, a year of experience and a two year commitment. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any first hand experierience either with VSO or a "pay to volunteer" scheme.
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TEECHER



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2003 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROGER!!! How could you slag the "back-packer brigade" like that!! So many of us on this forum have great respect for your opinions, being as you are a "veteran" in China. Not all ESL teachers take their jobs seroiously, as do neither many of the schools who see ESL as a "business first" situation. However, I must say, some of the worlds brightest, most energetic, talented, enlightened and open-minded people are....... yes, young back-packers. I have met all too many "over thirty something" ESL teachers who would never be able to hold down jobs in their own countries due to alcoholism. Showing up drunk and perhaps not showing up at all. And yes, young people have lots to learn along the way, as do we older types.I hope I never stop learning. I do hope you see my point. I will retire to the balcony now and have a glass of Huadong red as you recommended it in an earlier post. Cheers
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reality



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:27 am    Post subject: Volunteer Jobs are a Scam Reply with quote

Many NGO´s and VSO Organizations, are into money, as well as "Saving the World." I saw this sad truth in Laos and Camobodia, were the Organizers earned very high Salaries, whilst local and Volunteer Staff
earned a pittance.

Many of my friends worked for these Organizations, and advised friends back home, not to come or give "donations" to Official Organizations.

I would love to help people, who really need to better their lives under disadvantageous situations. But not through any of these corrupt, money oriantated or religious based Organizations, claiming to "help Humanity."

In reality, they are scamming people, and earning a fast buck.
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David Bowles



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dodgy side comes, I think, not from charging the 'volunteer' but in where the work goes. I can understand admin costs etc, if the organisation doesn't have enough corporate backing/government funding, and I've seen quite a lot of teaching and other projects where the volunteers raise money for their own project.
The problem is, as far as I can see, that a lot of the teaching posts don't match the philanthropic rhetoric. The schools that get 'volunteer' teachers are often the richest in their area, with the most privileged students. Partly this is because of a paradox in the whole idea- volunteers go out to help in areas where living conditions are poor, but to get volunteers at all many companies have to offer decent conditions. Partly, I assume, it's because the richest school are usually the most 'visible' and accessible. And in some cases, it might well be because a little money changes hands behind the volunteer's back.
On the upside, I'm sure there are genuinely useful volunteering opportunities and I have no problem with the idea of raising money for these.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have met all too many "over thirty something" ESL teachers who would never be able to hold down jobs in their own countries due to alcoholism. Showing up drunk and perhaps not showing up at all.


They're the backpackers ten years on.
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TEECHER



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAH!!!!!! Good reply Stephen. I like that. I really dont think that all the screw-up teachers can be stereo-typed into one group though. As I suggested in a post some time ago, I think many people who for various reasons do not "fit in" in their own countries, find other cultures much more forgiving . Or else, they will put up with some of our shortcomings because as we know, English teachers are a valuable resource . And dont forget.......there is always the really "got their shit together group" who are still seeking the "good men/women!!!! while supposedly teaching English. Bye for now
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