If you’re looking to take a different type of holiday, why not consider volunteering overseas?
We understand that not everyone can spare a month or two to travel overseas and join a volunteer project but that many people do want to use their annual leave to contribute to something ethical and worthwhile. This is why Pod offer a range of projects from just 1 week which allows people to turn their holiday into a working holiday and support the development of our long-term projects.
Whether you’ve travelled extensively previously or you are looking to travel for the first time, Pod offer supported placements and we’re here to guide you through the process. We offer working holiday opportunities to individuals, couples and groups of friends.
Working holidays are a great way for you to use your holiday time to work hands on at our projects and contribute your time, energy and enthusiasm to a project. They allow you to break from the norm whilst enjoying new experiences, picking up new skills and meeting people from all around the world. On your return you will feel that you have used your time off work in a meaningful way. Volunteers often comment that their experience volunteering was life-changing and return with a different outlook on the world.
We understand that it is also your holiday time so we encourage you to use your free time to relax and explore the surrounding areas of the beautiful country that you have chosen to visit. We work with an organisation which can organise additional trips to add onto your volunteer placement to really make the most of your time away.
As well as the benefits that you will receive through taking a working holiday, the projects that Pod work with also benefit considerably through having volunteers join them on a working holiday. We work with long term projects and volunteers are part of a bigger picture of development, so even if you’re only able to join for a week or two, your hard work during that time is valued. Volunteers allow the projects to continue with their fantastic work and often enable the projects to develop further.
Our 1-12 week projects include animal care, child care, teaching, conservation and community development so we’re confident that we’ll have a project to suit you. All of our projects are available to people looking to take a working holiday overseas. See all of our volunteer projects here.
Amanda and Graeme volunteered at our Elephant Care and Research project in South Africa.
“We were simply taking our annual two week holiday, in many ways it turned out to be a perfect break, allowing us to completely de-stress and to focus our efforts on something worthwhile, forgetting about our normal petty workplace issues. The opportunity to work closely with the elephants and to spend time with people who genuinely care was incredibly rewarding.
What was a typical day at the project? Start work at 6.30am, usually either cleaning out the Boma and taking dung samples after the elephants had been moved onto the property or following the elephants and recording behaviours according to a series of predefined charts. Break for breakfast around 8.30am then either back in the field recording behaviour or working in the garden or working with the facility’s staff eg preparing fruit for the elephants or entering the data that had been collected into the facility’s pcs for the rest of the day. Typically breaking for lunch and mid afternoon, on average we spent approximately half of each day in the field recording behaviours and the rest of the time was spent working on other functions.
Why do you think others should volunteer abroad? It was a great break from our normal routine which brought a genuine sense of fulfilment, it was a whole lot more gratifying than lying on a beach.
Why did you choose Pod and would you recommend us to others? There are many alternatives to Pod, but our ‘net research presented Pod as having placements and an approach that accommodated people like us with only limited time available. Having signed up through Pod their close communication and follow up, their obviously genuine personal knowledge of the placement and their sense of caring about the specific project, proved our choice to be the right one.
Perhaps the most reassuring element was that Pod’s presentation of the facility and the placement was absolutely correct. Nothing was overstated or misrepresented in any way and consequently we had no misconceptions about where we were going or what we were going to do - we got exactly what we signed up for.”