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International Humanity Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Human Services, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) is an international non-religious, non-political, and non-profit organization that functions through the efforts of volunteers, sponsors, and an Executive Leadership team from all over the world. We use our five (5) IHF Centers to provide education and safe-homes to impoverished children in Indonesia, Kenya, and Thailand. We are dedicated to using education to change the world—one child and one volunteer at a time. Our Mission: To educate impoverished children—activating their highest potential—and educate global citizens, through real life experiences, about the realities of impoverished communities, the value of other cultures, and the many responsibilities of running an international NGO. Our Vision: To develop global leaders with cross-cultural experiences, and respect for different cultures, from differing socioeconomic backgrounds, who are equipped to make decisions that serve and positively impact, promote, and protect the dignity and humanity of people everywhere. Our 8 Core Values: Children always come first. We exist first and foremost to meet the needs of the children we serve. Education empowers. We believe that education unlocks the door to greater potential and empowers people to make good decisions that lead to a brighter future for all of humankind. Honesty is the only policy. Authenticity, sincerity, and transparency are not only paramount, they’re non-negotiable. Lead by example. We don’t point the finger and wait for others to take action, or only lead with our words; we are always ready to get our hands dirty and to show others how it’s done. Celebrate differences. There’s a reason we see differently, our differences are not a liability, they are our strength. Preserve culture. We are not here to impose our cultural values on others, we are here to learn as much as we are here to give. We encourage others to discover and protect the inherent value of other cultures. Leave your mark. Each person has something to contribute, each person can leave this world a little better than they found it. The best way to leave your mark is by serving others. Pass it on. We show our compassion for all of humanity when we take the time to teach others! Teaching children who may not otherwise have access to education, educating other people about the devastating effects of poverty around the world, and encouraging them to give and get involved are the best ways to pass it on and make a lasting impact.

Target demographics: Children and Young Adults

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,000 children

Geographic areas served: Africa and Asia

Programs: The Education Program (TEP), Orphan Sponsorship, Medical Sponsorship, Class Sponsorship, and the Nakuru Peace Farm

Community Stories

96 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

In my life and travels I've often experienced and seen how knowing other languages really opens up a world of opportunities in all areas - personal, educational, career etc. So apart from teaching English back in Singapore, I've always hoped to volunteer my skills in other countries.

This year, I finally managed to arrange a month off work, and so decided to take a month-long stint at the International Humanity Foundation (IHF) Banda Aceh centre. This centre was established to help the disadvantaged in Acehnese society, a mission that became more critical during the 2004 Tsunami. Ten years on, the city and people have made a great recovery, and the centre continues its work providing education and opportunities for the community to interact.

At the centre, I was largely involved in teaching English and Mandarin classes for children and teenagers ranging from 7 to 17 years old. I was also a part of the centre's daily routines - planning lessons, cleaning and sweeping, and looking after the children until their parents picked them up. On top of that, I was given jobs helping out IHF itself through online work. All of this gave me a first-hand insight into the needs, challenges, and possibilities running a centre and working in an NGO.

In the end, what I really liked about the Banda Aceh centre was how both local and international volunteers came together in a family-like atmosphere - we didn't just work together, but also hung out at the centre on weekends, or went out to eat and see the city together. This is an experience that just visiting as a tourist doesn't always give you: a way for everyone to share and understand their culture and also themselves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jakarta center locates in the east part of the city, it offers the local children (from SD1 to SMP) English, math, Aflatoun and computer classes on weekdays and Saturday. As a work study volunteer in Jakarta center, I am responsible of teaching activities such as English and art classes and undertaking international assignments from four different teams in IHF. My initial purpose of volunteering is quite straightforward—to help those in need, but gradually I find that in the process of voluntary work, what I have learned is no less than what I have taught. Thus, being a volunteer connects me with the unprecedented life and experiences I cannot even imagine before. What I have gained from this work study volunteer experience is learn how to swiftly accommodate myself to a new environment and people from various culture and background, and the most important, how a grassroots NGO as IHF, operates to realize its commitment to children in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Here comes the third week. I am supposed to be in Medan center for four weeks. Since half of my journey has already passed, I’d like to talk about my experience here. I’m an ordinary girl from China, who is looking forward to having a different experience. I like to meet new friends from different countries and like to communicate with children since normally you’ll learn innocence from them. Here, I started to get used to say morning to everyone when I get up. Here, I started to forget about all the social networking services and started to sense the bright sunshine from the beginning of each day. Here, I made lots of friends including the children, volunteers, house-keeper, and co-director. Here, I am exposed to different culture and learned different styles of the buildings. I teach classes here and do some postings to advertise this organization. I play games with children, sing songs and watch them dance. I’ll miss everyone and everything here I guess when I left.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stayed at IHF for one month in Medan. I had a great time playing with the children at the centers and teaching them English. One of my highlights was doing some new student recruitment where we had to walk through the streets and hand out fliers. The children in the community were very excited to see foreigners and wanted to talk with us. People in Medan are very friendly and will often talk to me when I am walking around. It is a great cultural learning experience talking to people and if you want to learn Indonesian there are ample opportunities. The center accommodation was better than I expected for a developing country, but it was often a bit dirty. People in Medan have basic necessities and other things such as mobile phones. The country is advancing very rapidly. It is interesting to observe this. Medan has all the basic facilities one needs and is close to really cool places like Lake Toba and areas where Orangutans live. The local volunteers and students are all very friendly and the place feels quite homely.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a college student from China. I have been volunteering with IHF from 7.22-8-19. Where I have been staying is a town called Banda Aceh in Indonesia. IHF Aceh Center is a wonderful home for volunteers from all over the world. Here, we live, teach, work and have fun together. Usually in the morning, we do some housework, also some online tasks since I’m a work-study volunteer. In the afternoon, students of SD1 to SMP will come to the center to attend different classes. Although it takes efforts to communicate with the students, their eager for learning is really a delight for all of us. It’s so much fun to teach them as well as play with them. From my volunteering experience with IHF, what I treasured most is the friendship with all the local volunteers, who are always helpful and friendly to us. With every talk, we learn a little more about each other’s culture and I feel more close to the local life here in Indonesia. This volunteering experience has become part of who I am and I will carry the spirit of “pass it on” with me in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a college student from China, and I am working at Aceh Center as a work study volunteer now. I have experienced Ramadan and the following Id al-Fitr, it's a great fun. I had a great experience with students here, and also the local people, other volunteers and of course my center director. At center, I taught classes to SD2 and SD5-6(all primary school student)with another Chinese volunteer. In the beginning it's a little bit difficult because young children don't understand much English, but we still found it interesting. These children are cute! Besides, we also do cleaning and other tasks, like recruitment, creating posters and flashcards. All in all, great to volunteer in Banda Aceh.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I was thinking about applying for a volunteer experience with International Humanity Foundation, I went through a YouTube video about IHF, and in one of the comments there was written: “Don’t hesitate to apply”. I’m now nearly at the end of my experience with IHF here in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and would really like to thank the guy who wrote that comment, because it made me more confident about applying.
So now I want to give the same advice to whoever is reading: if you’re staring at this testimonial now, trying to figure out whether it is a good choice leaving your country and spend two weeks, one month or more, volunteering in one of IHF’s centers: stop thinking! Don’t hesitate anymore and send the application form! Volunteering with IHF is an absolutely unique and incredibly enriching experience. You will have the possibility to pass your knowledge to students, who are extremely eager to learn, but also to get to know a different culture in a deep way, to experience what real travel is. I met incredibly welcoming and nice local and international volunteers, and had the possibility to work in an international and highly stimulating atmosphere. Also getting to know, from the inside, how an international NGO works.
Often teachers says that teaching is a two way process, in which the teacher also learns from his students: this has been specifically true in my experience! In fact, working with IHF largely widens your perspective about the world and gives you the possibility to get to know cultures, ways of life and traditions different from yours. This experience will leave me life-lasting memories.

Sherry40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Yuxuan Zhu. Originally from China, I’m now studying Economics and Psychology at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. As a psychology major, I always want to put my professional knowledge, passion for work as well as love for disadvantaged children into serving those who need us.

Volunteering is a way for me to learn about the world, to create value out of my skills to help others, and to tie myself with the world together with love and care. From my past two years of experience in volunteering in Youth Volunteer Association in University of Science and Technology Beijing, it generates happiness for both others and me at the same time. Bringing love and warmth to acquaintances is the best way to help us seek brightness out of the dark and give us strength to overcome difficulties throughout our lives.

Being a volunteer is not new for me; but it’s the first time that I have devoted such intensive time and energy to an underdeveloped country and that I have lived with children day and night. I was not only refreshed by the peaceful and gorgeous scene in Chiang Rai, but also touched by enthusiastic local people, especially the smile of our kids in the center. We are like a big family – though from different countries with various race and ethnicity, we feel as if we are jointly parenting our kids, paying attention to needs and characteristics of every single one. You are never worn out because the lovely faces will cheer you up.

I used to think this month in the IHF center might be hard for me, but after these two weeks, it turns out that it’s more heart-warming and encouraging than tiresome. Admittedly, we volunteers have been going through lots of challenges both physically and mentally - weeding the garden in the hot sun, picking up kids from school in gloomy weather, and sleeping at night with dogs barking and mosquitoes humming. It might be hard to imagine for those raised up in cities and fed by their parents. However, it is the very contrast of living conditions and the fact that the kids are so independent and cheerful that teaches me that it’s the optimism and hard work rather than physical satisfaction that brings us real and long-lasting happiness.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My name is Yanyi and I’m from Shanghai, China. I’m currently spending 4 weeks in total at IHF Jakarta center. My main local task is to teach English to first to fourth grade. Since teaching small children can be very hard for beginners like me, the staff here has been incredibly helpful. And when you see the children giving their efforts to learn and making progress, it’d be eventually worth it. Plus, the children are really cute :) I first came to Jakarta partly because I wanted to see Indonesia’s culture and local life, which would be new and exciting for me. But now I’m here, the more impressive thing I’ve found is how warm the people in Jakarta are, even though it’s such a big city. I have learned a lot from my colleagues, students as well as the local people and I’m just glad that I made the choice to come here.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Being a Volunteer at Banda Aceh, Indonesia

My name is Qihui ZHENG. I just finished my sophomore year. I am now at the International Humanity Foundation's Banda Aceh Center. I am eager to teaching kids and knowing more about the people around here. Though I just came here for about 10 days and get annoyed by the mosquitos, I have already been impressed by the kids who are so excited about new knowledge and local volunteers who are very friendly and sincere. Sometimes, we would hang out together; they are very enthusiastic about local food and places with good views. We had a lot of fun. As for recruitment task for centre on field along with local volunteers after the school year, we visited the neighbourhood by motor bike and walk. The scenery around is actually stunning. People around are really friendly even if we are strangers to them. I will leave at 27th July, but for a moment, a-month-stay seems to be too short for me.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) has a small children’s home in Chiang Rai. As a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) we are registered in the US with the IRS as a 501(3)(C ) organisation. We are also legally registered with the Thai authorities as a Foundation in Chiang Rai and as such are operating and have been since conception as a legally recognised NGO. We have a Thai Council (albeit who has been inactive for some years). We have been contacted by the Thai authorities to file our financial statements and are currently in the process, through approved auditors, of submitting our financial statements.
Our volunteers come to us as either voluntourists using a tourist visa or longer term volunteers come to us on a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ visa. Thai law is contradictory on the visa requirements currently and we follow (as do all other NGOs in Chiang Rai) the guidance that an NIO visa is sufficient to work legally as a volunteer and a work permit is not required.
Therefore in both instance IHF is working legally and responsibly towards our volunteers and to state otherwise is in error. Visa rules and conditions change rapidly in Thailand and as such we give the best advice to our volunteers that we are able to at any one time in a very fluid situation.
Julie Polzerova
Executive Director, Thailand and Kenya.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Mary Stuart Wannamaker. I am a 22 year old from Charlotte, NC who lives in Madrid, Spain studying international relations, political science and foreign languages for my Bachelor’s degree. Yet, this summer, I am happily living in Nakuru, Kenya with the International Humanity Foundation family as a Work-Study Volunteer for 2 months (just shy of 9 weeks). Knowing that I am interested in a career goal concerning international development, human rights, and NGO organizations, when I heard back from IHF Kenya, it was an opportunity I could not pass as a summer internship. Upon my arrival to Nakuru, I was loved and greeted by many kids home from school on a Sunday and a handful of my co-workers. It was a great start to what is a great summer – or should I say winter as I am now in the Southern Hemisphere? I knew that Kenya deals with famine going into it, as each IHF center (centers are also found in Thailand and Indonesia) declares a focus on the particular issue within its country. Yet, I have learned much more of all the work that the center embodies since my arrival. As many of the children are from a Kenyan region known as East Pokot, a handful of our IHF team recently traveled out to the homeland for a famine feed, and from this, I was truly able to better understand what famine conditions exist with valuable second-hand stories as I stayed behind with the kids (yet, I hope to embark on a similar trip as well in the future to the communities so special to IHF Kenya). Though food is semi-plentiful in Kenya’s fourth largest city, still at the center, we depend on generous sponsorships to continuously feed the children through the weeks and send them to school with everything they need. Thus, play-time and study-time with the children is equally important during one’s time at the center to guarantee and maintain their fortune as happy, healthy, and loved by continuously focusing the attention on them, the reason why I, and all of us, are here in Nakuru. Though, as a work-study volunteer, I am involved less in all of the obligatory local tasks and more with the online international work to maintain volunteers and directors in all of the centers (including Thailand and Indonesia), I find that my time with the kids, helping around the center’s farm, and aiding as well as building relationships with our local ladies who help and cook and clean are all equally important in not only making a difference, but becoming a part of the Kenyan family. Though I seek to be involved in large-scale global issues regarding human rights and development, the personal connections between persons-to-persons and grass-roots movements are where real change begins for the individual when it comes to an improved and fair lifestyle, and I am very thankful to IHF Kenya for granting me the opportunity to embrace all aspects of local and international work, learn the ins-and-outs of how an international NGO runs, and continue to grow more loved ones around the world with an improved sense of cultural competency and leadership as well. I know already, that IHF Kenya is not only allowing me to love and learn from the Kenyan children and community, but it is also shaping me for great work in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5


I’m a college student from China, have been stayed in Jakarta centre for 23 days, just left a week to leave this wonderful place. It’s a really impressive experience for me. The first reason I came here is want to help the local children. But they conversely teach me a lot. The longer time I stay with them, the more I can find how lovely and warm of them.
At the centre, I taught SD3/4 students. The boys in SD3 are sooo naughty but smart, I should always say “Duduk” (means ‘sit down’). For the SD4 students, I love them very much!! When they finish the homework, they will call you see it. The crazy thing is they almost finished it at the sometime, you could hear everyone called “Miss” and you didn't know who was the first, ha-ha! The exciting news is that all of them have a great grade in the final exam, and enjoy the “pass it on” ceremony!!

Certainly, the directors in centre are all nice, they helped me a lot. One of direcyors- Ayu, recommended the so many snacks near the centre, reeeally delicious and company with me to supermarket for buying necessities of life. Even take care of me when I have a favour, soo warm! Whatever, it is a unique trip in my whole life, knowing how to cherish what you have and being able to get on well with children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Chaoran Wei, a rising junior in College of William and Mary in the United States. I am originally from Xi’an, China.
I am currently a work-study volunteer in IHF Kenya center, and my work is basically to guarantee the normal function of the center together with other volunteers and directors. What i do specifically can be divided into two parts. First, i need to complete weekly online tasks for IHF to promote the organization on internet. Second, i need to do some local tasks and projects, including, for example, tutoring math and contacting with local media for potential partnership.
I want to volunteer in Kenya for many reasons. The major one is that i have never actually live in Africa before. And IHF provide for me a great opportunity to actually live in the place with local people and indulge in a culture i never get to know before.
Also, i volunteer in IHF because i want to help under-privileged people in poor countries. Even though what i can do is tiny compared to so many people that need to be helped, the fact that i am trying to contribute to kids’ present happiness and bright future already makes me worthy of volunteering here.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My name is Nora Shepard. I'm a rising junior at the University of Michigan and I have been here at IHF for two months now, and they have been some of the best months I have ever had in my life. I serve as the medical intern, which means my responsibilities include taking care of the children if they are sick and taking them to the hospital if they are too sick for me to feel comfortable handling. I have had to learn quick-thinking, responsibility, taking initiative, and patience. They have been the hardest two months I can remember having, but also the most rewarding. Coming back to the kids at the end of a long day at the hospital or at the end of a busy week makes everything worth it. I have learned what it means to work with a grassroots organization, and I'm learning how to work with a company starting from the bottom. I wouldn't trade these two months for the world and I am already dreading the day I leave.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

It's funny, because my experience was definitively different and way worse compared to the ones I could read above!!!
I had to wait 8 months before I could join IHF in Thailand. Meanwhile, I fundraised almost 400 euros for IHF projects, but none from the organisation gave me any proof about where this money actually has gone. However, I trusted them.
The plan was to volunteer there for one year, working as Co-Director at the children centre in Chiang Rai. During the months before my departure, IHF Executive Director told me very vaguely about a legal issue IHF was facing, but to her it did not seem something to mention to me in detail...nothing to worry about! However, because of this issue I could not apply for a proper "working visa", because IHF could not give me a "working permit". Given that my country could not release me a "volunteer visa" (due to diplomatic agreements between my country and Thailand), I had to apply and get a "Double Entry Tourist Visa". However, IHF told me to not worry. As soon as I get to Chiang Rai, the legal issue would be solved, IHF would release me a "working permit", and I would get a working visa to work legally in the country.
I still trusted them.
Finally at the end of April 2014, I flew to Bangkok looking forward to work and give my best contribution to the IHF centre in Chiang Rai. However, the best was yet to come.
The first day I arrived at the children centre, I was surprisingly told by other Co-Directors (volunteers like me) that the apparently insignificant legal issue was instead a serious problem, definitively something to worry about and to solve as soon as possible.
Long story short: IFH HAS BEEN WORKING ILLEGALY in Thailand for the last years...not clear how many. They DO NOT HAVE LEGAL BASIS TO OPERATE in the country, and in the last 5 months the organisation already received several notices from the Thai authorities!
Not only, IHF is incapable to deal with its legal issues, but also THEY DO NOT TELL VOLUNTEERS about how serious the situation might be for them!!! Everyone who is involved with an illegal organisation might face unpleasant consequences. In particular, in Thailand, volunteers who work under a tourist visa face enormous risks, including deportation, insertion in a black-list, payment of high fines and also incarceration up to 5 years!!!
Once I got to know all this, I had no doubt. I did not want to get involved in all this and I left, just a couple of days from my arrival in a place where I was supposed to work for one year!

I rated IHF with one star just because I could not rate it less.

DO NOT TRUST IT!

Comments ( 3 )

profile

International Humanity Foundation 08/01/2014

Hi Marcello, We're sorry you had a bad experience at our Chiang Rai center. It may have been that the Director with whom you spoke did not have all the information in order to answer your questions properly, so we want to make sure you and everyone else reading this is granted maximum transparency and the full picture regarding our operations in Thailand as well as clarity about IHF Finances. The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) has a small children’s home in Chiang Rai. As a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) we are registered in the US with the IRS as a 501(3)(C ) organisation. We are also legally registered with the Thai authorities as a Foundation in Chiang Rai and as such are operating and have been since conception as a legally recognized NGO. We have a Thai Council (albeit who has been inactive for some years). We have been contacted by the Thai authorities to file our financial statements and are currently in the process, through approved auditors, of submitting our financial statements. Our volunteers come to us as either voluntourists using a tourist visa or longer term volunteers come to us on a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ visa. Thai law is contradictory on the visa requirements currently and we follow (as do all other NGOs in Chiang Rai) the guidance that an NIO visa is sufficient to work legally as a volunteer and a work permit is not required. Therefore in both instance IHF is working legally and responsibly towards our volunteers and to state otherwise is in error. Visa rules and conditions change rapidly in Thailand and as such we give the best advice to our volunteers that we are able to at any one time in a very fluid situation. The work-study volunteer program is a rather intensive one. To make sure volunteers are ready before arrival they are asked to commit to do some pre-trip tasks. There are different possibilities to get involved in our Volunteer recruitment, University relations or Fundraising. It is optional for the volunteer to choose which kind of pre-trip want to do. In case they voluntarily choose to do their pre-trip tasks in IHF Fundraising team they are asked to help that team fundraise $250 for our most needed projects. IHF provides assistance and support in order to ensure any volunteer without previous experience is able to fundraise the amount required. Volunteers are also advised that IHF is going to use those funds as sees fit. In this particular case, the funds went to Kenya to cover basic needs and other administrative expenses. IHF finances are public and we will gladly provide answers to any questions regarding this issue, also a summary of IHF finances can be found in our IHFAnnual Report 2013. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to answer these directly. All the best in your future endeavors! Sincerely, Julie Polzerova Executive Director, Thailand and Kenya

profile

International Humanity Foundation 08/01/2014

Hi Marcello, Sorry that you had a bad experience in Thailand; this is certainly not the norm, but it is indeed unfortunate. It may have been that the Co-Director with whom you spoke was not informed properly, but we want to ensure that you and anyone who reads this receives proper information and transparency. The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) has a small children’s home in Chiang Rai. As a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) we are registered in the US with the IRS as a 501(3)(C ) organisation. We are also legally registered with the Thai authorities as a Foundation in Chiang Rai and as such are operating and have been since conception as a legally recognized NGO. We have a Thai Council (albeit who has been inactive for some years). We have been contacted by the Thai authorities to file our financial statements and are currently in the process, through approved auditors, of submitting our financial statements. Our volunteers come to us as either voluntourists using a tourist visa or longer term volunteers come to us on a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ visa. Thai law is contradictory on the visa requirements currently and we follow (as do all other NGOs in Chiang Rai) the guidance that an NIO visa is sufficient to work legally as a volunteer and a work permit is not required. Therefore in both instance IHF is working legally and responsibly towards our volunteers and to state otherwise is in error. Visa rules and conditions change rapidly in Thailand and as such we give the best advice to our volunteers that we are able to at any one time in a very fluid situation. To make sure volunteers are ready before arrival they are asked to commit to do some pre-trip tasks. There are different possibilities to get involved in our Volunteer recruitment, University relations or Fundraising. It is optional for the volunteer to choose which kind of pre-trip want to do. In case they voluntarily choose to do their pre-trip tasks in IHF Fundraising team they are asked to help that team fundraise $250 for our most needed projects. IHF provides assistance and support in order to ensure any volunteer without previous experience is able to fundraise the amount required. Volunteers are also advised that IHF is going to use those funds as sees fit. In this particular case, the funds went to Kenya to cover basic needs and other administrative expenses. IHF finances are public and we will gladly provide answers to any questions regarding this issue, also a summary of IHF finances can be found in our IHFAnnual Report 2013. Again, we are sorry that you had a negative experience and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Sincerely, Julie Polzerova Executive Director, Thailand and Kenya.

profile

International Humanity Foundation 08/01/2014

Hi Marcello, Sorry that you had a bad experience in Thailand; this is certainly not the norm, but it is indeed unfortunate. It may have been that the Co-Director with whom you spoke was not informed properly, but we want to ensure that you and anyone who reads this receives proper information and transparency. The International Humanity Foundation (IHF) has a small children’s home in Chiang Rai. As a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) we are registered in the US with the IRS as a 501(3)(C ) organisation. We are also legally registered with the Thai authorities as a Foundation in Chiang Rai and as such are operating and have been since conception as a legally recognized NGO. We have a Thai Council (albeit who has been inactive for some years). We have been contacted by the Thai authorities to file our financial statements and are currently in the process, through approved auditors, of submitting our financial statements. Our volunteers come to us as either voluntourists using a tourist visa or longer term volunteers come to us on a Non-Immigrant ‘O’ visa. Thai law is contradictory on the visa requirements currently and we follow (as do all other NGOs in Chiang Rai) the guidance that an NIO visa is sufficient to work legally as a volunteer and a work permit is not required. Therefore in both instance IHF is working legally and responsibly towards our volunteers and to state otherwise is in error. Visa rules and conditions change rapidly in Thailand and as such we give the best advice to our volunteers that we are able to at any one time in a very fluid situation. To make sure volunteers are ready before arrival they are asked to commit to do some pre-trip tasks. There are different possibilities to get involved in our Volunteer recruitment, University relations or Fundraising. It is optional for the volunteer to choose which kind of pre-trip want to do. In case they voluntarily choose to do their pre-trip tasks in IHF Fundraising team they are asked to help that team fundraise $250 for our most needed projects. IHF provides assistance and support in order to ensure any volunteer without previous experience is able to fundraise the amount required. Volunteers are also advised that IHF is going to use those funds as sees fit. In this particular case, the funds went to Kenya to cover basic needs and other administrative expenses. IHF finances are public and we will gladly provide answers to any questions regarding this issue, also a summary of IHF finances can be found in our IHFAnnual Report 2013. Again, we are sorry that you had a negative experience and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Sincerely, Julie Polzerova Executive Director, Thailand and Kenya.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am at the end of my four months volunteering in Bali, full of impressions and experiences which are not yet in order. Instead of writing about the mixture of thoughts I have decided to share some notes from my diary with you. My name is Dominika, from Slovakia.

4 months ago – Several days ago, I arrived to the center. Everything is different. I see animals everywhere - outside, inside. Spiders in my room, crab in the kitchen sink, frogs and gecko in the bathroom. Thanks to the humidity and everyday temperature above 30°C I am non-stop sweating feeling smelly and very unattractive. Nobody cares, I know, but it takes time to get used to it.
On Monday, I met with children coming to the classes for the first time. It is hard to believe that these cute faces can make such a big noise. Children were asking me on my name, presenting their names, but honestly I remembered hardly three at the end of the day. Also, I was present at some classes to see how they look like. Teaching itself didn´t seem to be difficult. I am more afraid if children will accept me and listen to me while pretending that I am a teacher.

3 months ago –During the first month in the center, I tried to do my best to adjust to the whole system and find myself in the position of teacher. I have my three stable classes – SD3 (these children cannot sustain in the sitting position longer than 15 minutes, nevertheless they are very nice and some of them I found very smart and interested in learning), Juniors (teenagers who make me disappointed as I cannot find any way how to attract them, everything is boring and non-interesting to them) and Seniors (these “children”, some of them over 18 years old, are the best listeners, hungry for new information, however their speaking skills need to be improved).
Apart from classes, I spent a lot of time on special projects related to garbage and thanks to it I got a nick name “garbage girl” which makes me really proud of it. We cleaned the awfully dirty beach in front of our center and after we, together with the local community, used all the collected rubbish to build special benches under the worldwide project Peace on Earth Bench Movement.

2 months ago – None of the days in the center are similar and every time something unexpected appears. Although I really like time in the center, after the first real trip to the neighboring island Nusa Penida I realized that I cannot do work here properly without understanding Balinese lifestyle and mentality. Beautiful nature and people who are not shy to ask you what´s your name, where are you from, where are you going, if you have husband or children. Everywhere you meet friendly and helpful people who are open to talk anytime. After Nusa Penida I went for other trips and always I came to the center refreshed, filled with new ideas and energy to continue in work.
In Bali, I celebrated my 25th birthday with all the volunteers and children who made it special. Maybe because of the magic of the birthday, my relations both with children and also with volunteers deepened and I now I feel more relaxed while working in this friendly atmosphere.

1 month ago – All the long-term volunteers staying in the center from my beginning were leaving, even the directors were going for 2-week holidays and I (as the “senior” volunteer) was asked to welcome all the new coming volunteers and supplement directors in a few of their tasks. I was happy for this challenging opportunity as I could implement several of my ideas during this time. Instead of counting days until the end of my stay I spent a busy month with loads of work done. Luckily, the great volunteers came and all the tasks changed in fun.

I spent several months out of home many times, sometimes it is easier, sometimes I was counting days until the end. In Bali center, it took me time to feel comfortable because of a lot of differences to my previous life. But once I gained this feeling I didn´t lose it and leaving will be difficult. I´ve just remembered the sentence from the IHF promo materials talking about IHF family which sounded to me ridiculous. I am not melancholic, but now after the volunteering I got meaning of it.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Graduation in public administration – work as office and marketing manager in private company –leaving the comfort of carefree life – start as volunteer in NGO. That is the shortened version of the story: How I got from SLOVAKIA to BALI, where I became member of International Humanity Foundation family.

It has been already three weeks since I came to the IHF center but I cannot avoid feeling like it is my first week here. Every day brings something new. As a part of the center I never get bored or left out from the happening. Apart from fulfilling the everyday online tasks I can express my creativity while teaching or participating on the special projects for our children! Some days are exhausting but smiling children, helpful volunteers around and beautiful surrounding can recharge me every time.

And I hope 4 months here will be enough to make several green projects to “Keep Bali clean”!

mur_leo

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Many people make list of resolution to complete as New Year approaches. As for me, this year, I decided to incite the volunteerism in me. Having living as expatriate in other country for seven years, I thought it would be the right time to go back home, Indonesia to make contribution to my countrymen. In this place, where education only belongs to the privilege few, it’s amazing to have NGO like IHF which gather people from all over the world for an eye-opening experience. I teach English and Computer class in Bali Centre, play with the children, do project on Saturdays, build friendship with fellow volunteers, learn how IHF operates and travel the whole Bali Island. While it may seem that I have given out a lot, but as a matter of fact, I received much more. It’s a good feeling to see the kids nodding their heads because they understand what you teach them or smiling and laughing of your funny face expression. At the end of the day, you realize that not only you have made a difference in their lives, but also the other way around, they have helped you to grow as a person. With this trip checked off the bucket list, I am so glad that I collected some courage to buy the plane ticket and fly over. I can’t wait to come back for many more great adventures with IHF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I,a university-girl from China,19 years old,have stayed IHF Bali for 3 weeks,and will stay 1 more week here.I really enjoyed it.It’s like a big family here,warm and comfortable.
Everyday I woke up in the morning I was full of energy,course there were many lovely children who were waiting for me to bring them more knowledge,they laughed all time,so I was happy to do everything and worth to do everything.And the people here,they are so nice.They helped me a lot,when I was worried about class,when I felt lonely,etc,just like I was at home.I love them so much.
I am leaving here after I finish next week,I am so glad to have such a good experience in my university-life.I learned a lot from them,such as team work,taking care with every detail.And the most important,the guys are my good friends now,I will cherish this friendship between us.I will miss them,I will miss all things here.Maybe I will go to Bali again,I will come back to see my friend to see all children here.

luliiak

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi everyone. My name is Julia. I'm from Ukraine. And I made a decision to join IHF Jakarta Centre for a month. I'm finishing my Master's degree in international relations and I think that volunteering is an amazing adventure which will give me many answers on my questions.
I arrived to Jakarta on 1/04/2014. The Centre is situated in the Eastern part of the citywhich is considered to be not prestigious but secure. It has 3 classrooms painted in a funny manner. It is equipped with fans, so you can survive inside. There is no showers and hot water. But it is not difficult to get used to conditions. There is always food in the kitchen, so you'll never get hungry.
You can be free in planning your time. As to the job you are considered to do these are local and international tasks. One should be ready for different work to be done: starting from managing the books on the shelves ending organizing a local fundraising event. So, anyway your work will be connected with children but do not narrow your expectations to teaching. The best thing is to go for recruiting. Weekly I join Ade (a boy living in the Centre) and went to the poorest part of Jakarta to promote the IHF Centre and to motivate parents to bring their children to study. As to your international tasks. There are 4 teams: Fundraising, Media, OOTT, University relations.
Most of children attend classes after regular school so we start at 1 pm and finish at 8 pm. So it depends on Curriculum but you will have some free time for exploring the city daily.
Actually there are 3 landmark places in Jakarta - Kota, China Town (Glodok) and an area round National Museum All are close to each other. The biggest problem is that you just can't walk to get from one place to another. And because there is no life outdoor all promenades are made in numerous Shopping Malls. There is a Sudirman Street full of shops and fashionable places nearby. Such as a Skye Bar on the 56 floor of a Grand Indonesia Mall. But if you are not found of shopping, and going to the bars there is a solution -- the Rawamangun Zoo. It took us 4-5 hours to see it.
The most difficult thing personally for me was to adapt to the organization. But by time you get used to the team and to your role in it because all people are not here by case and then you have that natural desire to be fully involved. Perhaps, a month is a too short period to live through it. But you shall definitely try.
If you want to know more or see some picts you can follow my blog http://korzhiv.wix.com/iwashere or write all the questions you have on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julia.ko