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Take Part

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join any of our trips. We have taken school groups, university students, past volunteers, friends of friends, teachers; all who are interested.


There is always a range of ages and skills to contribute to any of our projects.


Please complete the on-line application for the trip that you are interested in and we will get back to you.


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FAQ Affecting Real Change


What difference will I make?

Volunteers provide a huge amount to the community that they work in, directly and indirectly. As well as the great help the sustainable project will be for the community, the volunteers are positive role models to the children and young adults. Many of our volunteers have high aspirations for themselves and this can be encouraging to the local people we work with.

Why don't I just give money instead of wasting it on my costs of going to the country?

People come back with a renewed perspective about our privileged lives in the West and often go on to raise a lot more money for their project in the future, or volunteer in other ways. For example, past volunteers have returned many times on ARC trips, volunteered more in their own community, and gone on to create an International Development Society their university. Local people want a relationship and a meaningful partnership not just our money. Sustainability is the result. In this way lasting relationships are built by providing a platform for future projects.

Why do we need to fundraise?

The amount of money that Affecting Real Change is able to raise is dependent on the generosity of donors and our volunteer's fantastic fundraising. All of the money raised goes towards project building materials. Without these funds we really wouldn't be able to do what we do.

Why do we ask our volunteers to fundraise?

We do not charge a fee from our volunteers, but we do ask them to raise a minimum of £200. This money goes directly into buying the materials needed to build the project – and you'll see it being spent!

How can I raise the money?

There are many different ways to fundraise. You will have access to a list of fundraising ideas in your volunteer user area once you have registered with us.

Do you have to have a particular skill to volunteer?

Not necessarily, although skills such being good with children, being able to cook, being a positive person, being able to play a musical instrument and of course basic DIY are always very useful.

Do you have a Safeguarding Policy and do I need a Police check?

Yes, our Safeguarding policy is available to view here. All volunteers over the age of 18 will be required to produce a Police check from their country of residence as well as two referees.

Alcohol and Smoking

ARC policy is to actively discourage the consumption of alcohol. Any consumption of alcohol that prejudices safety and the good order and conduct of the expedition and its benefit to the team is unacceptable. The laws of the country where the expedition is taking place must be complied with. ARC does not condone smoking because of the dangerous and harmful effects to health, and as many of our projects are based within schools or orphanages kindly request that volunteers do not smoke.

Do I have to have travel insurance?

Yes, you will need to arrange your own travel insurance and provide us with the policy details prior to departure.

Is it dangerous?

All travel has an inherent risk, but at ARC we endeavour to minimise that risk by constantly monitoring our destinations to provide the safest experience for our volunteers:

  • Diplomatic advisory services monitored (FCO)
  • Safety audits carried out in country
  • Annual visits to every destination
  • Subscribed to independent security specialists Red24

What if I become ill or have an accident?

All volunteer trips are accompanied by a member of ARC staff. At a minimum they will hold a first aid qualification, but will often hold an advanced medical qualification. We have knowledgeable in-country staff in all of our destinations and access to a range of medical facilities if required.

Do we have to wear any particular clothes?

It is helpful to dress as those in the country do; for girls in Muslim or Hindu countries it is unacceptable to show skin. Please be aware that you will only attract unwanted attention by wearing revealing clothing and this may make you feel uncomfortable. In general cool, comfortable, loose fitting clothing is advisable but remember you may be painting/building and so forth. Do not buy new clothes; rather we recommend you pack old ones you will not miss. Many volunteers leave much of their clothing behind for the local community. Jumpers are often needed in the evenings.

What are the toilets like?

Toilets are basic, often a hole in the ground or drop toilet. Toilet paper does appear on your kit list!

What do we eat?

Where possible we try to eat local food, often cooked by women from the community. This may be a delicious Gambian stew or an Indian curry with traditional breads. It is exciting to try the food of the country you are working in.

Where do we sleep?

Accommodation is very basic and we believe this is a key component to the relationship you will develop with the community. We often sleep on the floor of a classroom or office space on roll mats set up under mosquito nets.

Do the children understand English?

The children learn English when they start school so the older they are the more you will be able to chat with them about their life or their school.

What water do we drink?

We use UV Steripens or chlorine dioxide tablets or drops to purify the water from the school's/ orphanage's water supply. You quickly get used to the taste.

I have a special dietary requirement, is this ok?

Dietary requirements can be accommodated if you let us know. We have previously taken away team members suffering from severe nut allergies to gluten intolerance.

What is there to buy nearby?

You can purchase souvenirs or presents at local craft markets or stalls selling traditional items.