Why We're Different
We created SLV because we couldn't find an organisation that was ethically minded, that provided training and that was affordable, which is why we created our own. We're proud to be different and here are just a few of the things that set us apart from most other organisations that offer volunteer work abroad.
We were founded by psychology students and graduates, so we know what kind of experience you're looking for and will benefit you the most in the future. We're invested in every step of your placement, from your phone interview to arriving in the country. We all began as members of the SLV volunteer team, which means we know everything there is to know and we won't sugarcoat it. There was a hand-sized spider in my bed once. True story.
We’re Focused on Sustainability
Our goal is to provide an ethical experience for everyone involved. This means providing a consistent presence in the countries where we work and not exploiting the individuals we work with. We provide valuable and sought-after work experience, not a holiday. You won't ever see one of our volunteers snapping a #selfie at any of our projects either. Our projects are not tourist attractions and our volunteers are not tourists.
We make sure you're trained up well. It's in everyone's best interest that we send only skilled volunteers to work on our projects. And while we understand that you might have awesome experience already, working in the West is different. So in addition to all the knowledge you already have we want to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible using your skills in a totally different cultural context. This is why your first week in country is dedicated to getting you ready to work in a whole new country with unfamiliar norms.
On all of our placements you’ll live “like a local.” We do not provide a watered down, tourist experience. Why volunteer abroad if not to live abroad? On our placements you’ll eat curries with your hands, dress modestly, ride the local buses and in Bali and Sri Lanka you'll live with an incredibly kind local family. We hope this is one of the reasons you would want to join our team. Living and working in a new country is challenging. But that's your thing, right?
We Learn as Much as we Contribute
Our volunteers take as much from this experience as they give, sometimes more. Leave your stereotypes, expectations and ideals at the airport and open yourself up to an incredibly enlightening cross-cultural experience that can open your mind in ways you may have never expected.
We Support you the Whole Way
We have an exceptional team who are always available to help with any pre-departure questions you may have before you depart and we guarantee you’ll only ever speak to people who have volunteered with SLV before. Of course we’re always there for you once you're in the country too, along with a whole host of other people whether you're in Sri Lanka, Bali or India.
We Invest in the Local Community
We’re really proud that over 80% of our team in Sri Lanka is Sri Lankan and even though we're still finding our feet in Bali, 40% of our team is Indonesian and our sole employee for our India program is Indian.
No one knows the country like our national teams, so hiring a bunch of Westerners would be grossly irresponsible and would hardly provide you with an authentic, immersive experience. Our team want to show off their beautiful countries, so let them. They delight in taking you to the local temples, explaining the strange bundles of flowers and food you see on the street, teaching you some of the language and helping to ensure you're not committing any societal faux pas. These amazing individuals are not only your guides, they will fast become some of your best friends.