Everything you need to know about our volunteer fees

Why should I pay to volunteer?

This is a question we hear occasionally, although most people seem to understand the reasons behind fees already.

It's a simple question of economics - as much as we love to have volunteers come in to help us, teaching or doing manual work, it costs money.

Ecotours project, which runs the volunteer programme,  must pay The Mirror Foundation for all costs incurred - such as accommodation, transport, and food for volunteers. Most of the payments we receive is used to look after you during your programme. 

The costs involved:

  • Food we feed you three times day, five days a week - we buy our produce locally, but it still costs money
  • Accommodation it costs us a rental fee paid to the foundation, per person per night, to house you
  • Transport we pick you up, drop you off, take you to work and back, off to homestay (sometimes in other provinces), occasionally whisk you off to special events... petrol costs, vehicle maintenance costs
  • Homestay we pay a stipend to the families when they house you, to cover food costs, and accommodation
  • Administration and wages we have staff to pay, bills to take care of, general overheads and running costs for the programmes
  • Equipment tools (but not materials), necessary for work.

In percentage terms:

  • food: 35%
  • accommodation: 15%
  • transportation: 30%
  • staff: 12% - (field staff)
  • equipment: 3%
  • admin: 5% - (office staff)

Essentially, without a volunteer paying to cover those things listed above, we couldn't run the programmes. If we can't run the programmes, there is no need for volunteers.