Today, IFRE Volunteers offers one of the most-affordable, safe, successful and fastest growing volunteer abroad programs program in the world. Our volunteer programs are highly regarded for safe projects based on attention to detail, affordability, professional field volunteer support and diverse opportunities for cultural immersion. We are committed to our quality and safe volunteer abroad programs. Since our inception, continuous improvement of our quality and safety has been an ongoing process. Each year, we review volunteer projects, host families, field support staff and other logistics to ensure our programs are the best they can be. Our satisfaction rate is near perfect and many IFRE volunteers are program alumni or friends/families of past IFRE volunteers.
Presently, IFRE facilitate volunteer programs in Asia: Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand; Latin America: Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru; and Africa: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. We are always looking to expand and diversify our programs to include other developing countries where volunteer assistance is greatly needed.
IFRE was officially established in 2005, but it was not until 2006 that we began looking abroad – traveling to 12 different countries, researching potential service projects and screening potential and experienced coordinators. We initially selected Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand as our volunteer abroad program destinations.
We found that one of the most frequent complaints voiced by potential volunteers what that of cost. While most individuals understand the need to “pay to volunteer” (accommodations, meals and administrative costs), there appeared to be a gap in the market with many exorbitant prices being charged by other volunteer abroad organizations. We committed to fill the gap.
We designed our volunteer abroad program to be affordable. Some organizations charge as much as $2500 just for a 2-week program. We made a commitment to be a non-profit company and ensure that extra funds are distributed to the international projects that truly need them, not to our profit margin. We make the effort to hire local coordinators in each developing country and allocate funds to local orphanages, schools and various grassroots organizations that are desperate for funding. Through this innovative method of organization, we are able to offer exceptionally affordable program fees to our volunteers as well as boost the local economy by creating jobs. We remain committed to maintaining its low fee structure – which provides more opportunities for budget conscious travelers to time abroad in a wonderful country, amid a wondrous cultures and making a significantly positive impact on our world.
In 2006-2010, IFRE hosted nearly 3000 volunteers abroad. This was an outstanding achievement for such a small organization – especially with an overwhelmingly high satisfaction rate of nearly 99%.
Some statistics to consider
- 80% of our volunteers participated in one of our many orphanage projects.
- Our volunteers average 6 hours/day.
- The average volunteer project lasts 6 weeks.
- Our first wave of volunteers contributed approximately 108,000 hours – all in an effort to make our world a better place.
Some exceptional contributions made by IFRE volunteers
- In Nepal, IFRE volunteers supported a tourist sales project with a number of impoverished children. By selling postcards and other items to tourists this project raised $1800, which was paid directly to a local orphanage.
- IFRE Tanzania volunteers constructed schools and orphanages – providing stability and hope to nearly 400 orphaned children in the form of a steadfast home and suitable educational facilities.
- Our volunteers assisted in boosting Peru's growing international tourism industry – distributing informational materials explaining further the natural and historical beauty of this wondrous country.
- IFRE volunteers lent their hands to support Costa Rica’s amazingly diverse wildlife population by assisting in a sea turtle conservation project – aiding in these creatures' repopulation by helping in breeding programs and hatcheries.
- Our volunteers in India organized a moving children's rally in hopes of creating awareness and promoting children's rights for a proper education.
IFRE Volunteers’ mission is to offer the most affordable and highest quality volunteer-abroad experiences in the world – enabling us to positively contribute to humanity and improve our world. We aim to spread love and compassion worldwide through our volunteers and interns improving lives of destitute children and less-fortunate communities. We have no political or religious affiliations.
IFRE will create and offer volunteer abroad programs that include humanitarian contributions, cultural experiences and idea exchanges, which are catalysts for positive change in communities, people, children and our international volunteers.
IFRE Country Coordinators
IFRE's country coordinators are dynamic, responsible and emotionally mature adults who support the volunteer abroad experience on many levels. IFRE's country coordinators are chosen for their leadership skills, particularly in working with young people, as well as their cross-cultural experience and language competency. Most important, they were chosen for their experience with international volunteers. Our coordinators establish and maintain a safe and secure setting for our volunteers to have a meaningful and memorable volunteer abroad experience.
- Local coordinator and/or staff welcome you upon arrival at the airport and transfers you to our office/homebase.
- Coordinators conduct orientations, explaining local culture, ways of life, knowledge of the country and learning/travel opportunities while providing opportunities for questions.
- Coordinators stay in close contact with volunteers, host families and project staff throughout the program. He/she is available for any type of help or support you may need
- Country coordinators play a major role in participants' enjoyment, safety and welfare, offering program logistic support and facilitating the volunteer experience while encouraging the personal growth of the participants
IFRE is proud of all of the coordinators' achievements over the years. Nearly all IFRE volunteers praised our coordinators and appreciated the help and support they received to make their experience amazing and worthwhile.