FAQs for International Volunteers
Who can volunteer?
We encourage anyone with an interest in volunteering and who displays a commitment and genuine enthusiasm for helping our children to apply to join our team. There is no age limit for volunteering with us, we welcome and encourage volunteers from all demographics.
Do I need to have previous experience working with or teaching children?
Whilst experience working with children is ideal, it is not a requirement to come and volunteer with us. As long as you have a genuine interest and enthusiasm for working with children, we know you will have a great impact at Seeds.
How much does it cost to volunteer?
Contribution fee - we ask for a $200 USD monthly contribution fee, as we are still a small NGO and our funding is limited. This money goes directly towards the children and the operational costs of keeping Seeds running.
We do offer reduced costs for volunteers who are willing to make a commitment of 6 months or more, please speak to our International Volunteer Coordinator about this.
Accommodation - we have a very safe and secure volunteer apartment in the heart of the city. TThe rent is very affordable for such a central location. We have a number of room options available from $220 - $260 per month.
Included in the accommodation cost - pre-departure contact and guidance, bus pickup, 24 hour assistance, English and Spanish speaking staff, orientation and tourism advice, rent, gas, water and electricity costs, bed linen, cleaning supplies and house maintenance costs, WI-FI, Netflix and filtered drinking water.
Additional costs - personal expenses such as food, transport, travel insurance, vaccinations, weekend trips/treks, and volunteers need to bring their own bath towels and toiletries.
Do I need to be able to speak Spanish?
Our school is a Spanish speaking environment, however volunteers come to us with a range of Spanish speaking abilities. A main component of your role as a school tutor is to help the children with their homework and so, having at least a basic level of Spanish proves helpful with this.The children speak Spanish (and most speak Quechua as well), but they enjoy learning new English words and phrases. The children love interacting with our volunteers and are all very patient and helpful when it comes to communicating with them. Our International Volunteer Coordinator can provide you with tips for useful Spanish to become familiar with before you commence your volunteering and once you are here, we can arrange private and very affordable Spanish classes with our local Peruvian tutor if you would like this option.
How long should I volunteer for?
We have had people volunteer with us for a period of over six months, one month or just a couple of weeks. We strongly encourage people to stay for at least one month, as you’ll get more out of your time as a volunteer and it gives you and the children sufficient time to get to know each other. We understand however that sometimes time constraints and financial pressures cannot allow for longer stints and so we are happy to host volunteers for a minimum of two weeks.
What does my Volunteer Contribution Fee go towards?
The Volunteer Contribution Fee is a vital component to our NGO, without it we would not be able to keep Seeds running. The Volunteer Contribution Fee helps cover the rent of our school building as well gas, water, internet and electricity costs; administrative and maintenance costs including printing, cleaning, kitchen and first aid supplies and incidentals; school supplies; transportation for field trips; and medicine and clothing for children, as the need arises.
We appreciate any fundraising efforts to also help us cover these costs. Please contact us for more information on how you can help financially or visit our Donate/Sponsor page.
How much free time will I have?
We have two sessions daily: 8:30am – 11:30am (with our Secondary students) and 2:30pm – 5:30pm (with our Primary students) every weekday during the school year and so between the hours of 11:30 and 2:30pm and after 5:30pm are yours free. *New for 2019* Volunteers are encouraged to join/support the new English class for local people. This is a great opportunity for local adults to speak with native and non-native English speakers, improve job prospects and learn about other cultures.
During vacation periods however, we run a holiday program and all students attend one session each weekday from 9:00am - 1:00pm, giving you the afternoons off. Our International Volunteer Coordinator can inform you if there will be school vacations occurring at the time you intend to volunteer.
There are no classes during the weekend, which gives you the opportunity to explore the beautiful Peruvian countryside and nearby mountains. Occasionally, there might be a special event during the weekend (such as the Santa Dash or a field trip), but generally speaking, the weekends are your own.
Is travel insurance necessary?
When travelling abroad, travel insurance is highly recommended. We strongly advise that you get travel insurance to cover you while you are volunteering, especially for medical coverage.
How can my friends and family contact me?
WIFI internet access is available in the apartment. Please note that unexpected lapses in connectivity may occur and it is likely to be slower and less reliable than what you are used to at home.
There is good mobile phone network coverage in the Huaraz city centre. To take full advantage we reccomend buying a local SIM card. Peruvian networks Claro and Movitel have the best coverage. To use these networks your phone by "unlocked". Furthermore Peru operates on a different GSM frequency to Europe and North America so you should confirm with your phone retailer that your phone is compatible. Generally quad-band phones should work on almost all frequencies around the world.
If using a local number you can make international calls using special services to get cheap rates. A quick online search for “cheap calls Peru" will bring up options such as www.planet- numbers.co.uk
Do you have any additional questions?
Ready to volunteer?