Good question! After all, if you’re already willing to volunteer your time, why should you have to ‘volunteer’ your money as well? While the concept of paying to volunteer may sound counter-intuitive, when you choose a Global Service Corps program you are not paying to volunteer – you are paying for an entire volunteer service-learning, cultural immersion experience.
As a non-profit organization, GSC is funded in large part by volunteer contributions. Your contribution covers a wide variety of costs that are necessary to provide the GSC volunteer service experience: program development and preparation, training, food, housing, transportation to volunteer work sites, and the support of our local partner’s projects. Taken together, your volunteer fees fund the foundation for a fully supported community development, service-learning experience giving participants the opportunity to see the real Cambodia.
Because GSC is a certified 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, all program fees may be 100% tax deductible in the United States to the full extent of the law, and are sometimes deductible in other countries as well.
Much of the work done by US and Cambodia staff members to support volunteer participants is actually done prior to your departure: participant recruitment and preparation pre-trip planning, in-country project coordination and program development. The individual program you select will be well prepared before you arrive.
Your GSC Program will also provide unique in-country services seldom found in other volunteer programs. One of these unique services is the orientation and training you receive in-country before the start of your project to ensure that all GSC participants are properly oriented and trained to carry out the community service work of GSC and the local partners we support.
Another unique aspect of the GSC experience is the opportunity for all volunteers to work with local counterparts during their projects in Cambodia.
In addition, your GSC volunteer contribution helps ensure that the project you worked on will be sustained long after you leave. GSC maintains and supports both full- and part-time in-country staff to continue its community service work throughout the year. Many past volunteers have chosen to stay in touch with GSC and these projects to keep informed of and offer support to this ongoing work.
Participating in a GSC program is more than just an exchange of money for room and board. It is an enriching cross-cultural, service-learning experience for both participants and hosts. It promotes international understanding and fosters a mutual sense of compassion and consideration. By volunteering, we give and receive, and together we learn!