i-to-i are the ‘original’ volunteering company...
We were started up in a bedsit above a pizza shop in 1994, and haven’t looked back since. We have supported over 50,000 volunteers to make a difference over 80 projects across 20 countries, giving you the access to a world’s worth of knowledge, opportunity and the chance to align your interests- whether it be in wildlife conservation, teaching or community work, with a country from each corner of the planet. All of our projects have been established and are run by local people and NGO’s (Non Governmental Organisations) - and the support and constant flow of volunteers that we provide them is pivotal to their success going forward. We liaise with them on a regular basis, and support them through the Helping Hands Foundation.
Make a Difference
Although volunteering is an incredibly worthwhile and fulfilling experience for the community and the volunteer, not all projects are as sustainable, reliable and safe as others. The projects we work with are carefully sourced, and are run by our locally recruited in-country coordinators who research them to make sure that they are worthwhile and that the hard work of volunteers is going to make a difference in the long term.
These projects existed before our partnership and would continue without our support, albeit a little slower in achieving their goals. It’s important to us that the projects we work with grow organically because that way those who know best about what the local community requires set the development agenda. We believe it is vitally important to support worthwhile projects in a sustainable way that doesn’t have a destabilising effect on their development and the wider community.
Get great advice from our team of expert travellers
Searching for an independent volunteer project yourself can be a challenging experience and if you choose to travel this way then we advise you do lots of detailed research before committing your time and money. Many people are successful in making contact direct with a local project, but at the same time we hear many stories of people who have travelled to a far corner of the earth only to find out that the project either doesn’t exist or that the work is not worthwhile or responsible.
Our travel advisors are passionate about what they do and are always happy to share their own travel and volunteering experiences, to help you in choosing from our wide selection of projects. They can also talk you through the intricacies of travelling and volunteering on the projects we support.
Once booked our customer operations team are on hand to support you to ensure you are fully prepared for your travels so you can make the most of your experience and be in a position to give your time, energy and enthusiasm in the most productive way for your project.
Be supported by our in-country team
Our in country teams are there to support you from the moment you arrive; travelling independently can be challenging and finding your feet the first few days in a new country can be a daunting experience for even the most experienced of travellers. Supported volunteering with i-to-i offers many benefits including the confidence that you are ensured a safe and supported travel experience. We’ll pick you up from the airport and help you get settled in with our introductory volunteer orientation. Here, you’ll be able to ask our in-country coordinators any impending questions you may have, and as they know the area and the projects like the back of their hands you’ll be able to settle in right away.
Have an amazing experience
Your time, effort and enthusiasm will not only help to bond i-to-i’s support network across the world, but you will you be able to immerse yourself into a new culture, get to know the local people that your project is helping first hand, and explore the local area in your ample free time. As we share similar ethics ourselves, our aim is to provide our volunteers with an invaluable level of support before they leave, whilst they’re in country, and when they’re back on home turf.
24 hour support
Our in-country teams are trained on how to handle medical emergencies and will ensure you are well cared for whilst you are travelling with us. With offices in the UK and Australia we are able to provide 24/7 emergency support & assistance, so if you do need urgent attention there will always be someone on hand to help.