Volunteer Abroad Alliance
The member organizations of our Alliance have spent over 25 years helping communities all over the world and make the world a better place. Volunteer Abroad Alliance is registered as a non-profit which means we do not employ a business model because doing good is not a business but a mission. We do not have any Western staff and our in-country teams are supported by our member organizations who are on a daily base are actively fundraising for the projects where our volunteers assist the local team members.
Our organizations’ mission is to have an impact on disadvantaged communities, financially in the first place volunteering came later. It is our mission to show you another culture its people, religion and complex situation in other countries so that in the future our volunteers get a broader world view with respect for every person on this planet. Our mission is to change the face of volunteering. Our mission is not to become a travel agency and we do not believe in the term “voluntourism” because disadvantaged communities are not a tourist attraction By working together we can become stronger and volunteers can commit to authentic, honest & transparent projects.
When Ward Reekmans in 2018 decided to found this alliance, he was already was already active as Chairman & Volunteer Coordinator for Let Laos Learn for over 10 years The foundation of this alliance was not an impulsive idea but came after Ward was asked by other organizations how to organize volunteer work abroad. Volunteers from Let Laos Learn also wondered if they could work elsewhere outside Laos. All these questions and conversations with volunteers made it clear that the landscape was extremely fragmented and far from transparent. On one side you have the “voluntourism” companies where the volunteer is more likely to be seen as a consumer and on the other side a variety non-profit organizations & NGO’s looking for volunteers to help them in their mission, a better future for the communities that they help.
With an alliance of non-profit organizations & NGO’s Ward wanted to offer the large group of potential volunteers an opportunity to a transparent volunteer placement with a win-win situation for all parties and in the first instance the community the volunteer is going to help. With this alliance Ward also wanted to respond to “voluntourism”. An industry where it is not exactly clear where the funds go, or even how they create a positive impact for the local population. By working together in an alliance across national and organizational boundaries, volunteers are sure that they will end up in fair projects instead of profit-based initiatives.