Think Volunteer Academy
We need your feedback!
We recently made a prototype of the Think Volunteer Academy! To make the Academy as efficient and effective as possible, we need your feedback!
You can view our prototypes and leave feedback on the following page: Pilot Think Volunteer Academy!
Responsible travel and volunteering with a positive impact. That's what the Think Volunteer Academy is all about. It is the new platform of Think Volunteer that is still under development. The Think Volunteer Academy will become a digital learning platform to improve internationally responsible volunteering, ultimately available to both organizations and the volunteer themselves.
With Think Academy, good preparation through training and coaching is central. It is essential that the needs of the volunteer and the local target group are taken into account. In this way you ultimately contribute as a volunteer. You want to know more? We explain everything to you on this page.
Why Think Volunteer Academy?
Today, no country is too far. Traveling is popular, especially among young people. Many are interested in volunteering during their trip, the so-called 'voluntourism’. At first sight a nice development. Nevertheless, research, knowledge and experience show that in many cases voluntary work is far from responsible (see our research, *note: this is in Dutch). And that while we mainly work with vulnerable target groups.
The volunteer often benefits more from short-term and unprepared volunteering than the target group itself, which goes beyond all goals of international volunteering. Take, for example, social projects in a non-Western country, which are run from a Western country. It often results in poor or no preparation regarding the interests, needs, culture and other factors of the local target group. This has a negative impact of volunteering as a result.
International Volunteering Opportunities
All the reason to focus on improving responsible international volunteering. There is enough knowledge to allow volunteers to travel in a responsible manner. With a good preparation as a must. Something with many opportunities. Think Volunteer builds on these opportunities and faces the challenge of making international volunteering more responsible, in order to stimulate positive impact and counteract negative impact. How? The following three points are important:
- Preparation. Proper preparation for volunteers is essential
- Technology. Technology can make a good contribution to forming a platform. The Think Volunteer Academy is therefore a digital platform.
- Cooperation. Knowledge sharing and collaboration with local projects is an important requirement
For who is the Think Volunteer Academy?
Learn all about volunteering at Think Academy and travel responsibly. Gaining knowledge is central to the Academy. Volunteers and students receive the right tools to travel responsibly. This not only contributes to personal development, but also coaching to deliver a positive impact is just as important. Research shows that there is a need for a platform like this among students and (future) volunteers. Are you joining?
For travel organizations
Together with us, ensure that vulnerable target groups are effectively helped and protected and that volunteers travel safely, prepared and responsibly. We use the platform to bundle knowledge and experience that we would like to share with you and your participants. Students and volunteers receive the preparation and guidance they need to get started abroad in the right way. Are you joining?
Affiliated travel organizations
The following travel companies use the Think Volunteer Academy to contribute to responsible volunteering with a positive impact.
How does the Think Volunteer Academy work?
When the student or volunteer has access to our platform, various modules can be followed and courses can be completed. When a course is passed, this can be demonstrated with a certificate. Teaching materials such as textbooks and educational videos are always available.
In addition, the student or volunteer can make use of a coach when he or she travels. Contact with the coach, other (former) volunteers and students can be maintained via the online forum and the application.
See below for more information about courses, coaching and connect.
The courses of the Think Volunteer Academy
Follow the courses that are of interest to you and obtain your unique certificate.
- Basics: The basic module is suitable for every student and volunteer who wants to travel prepared. You learn about yourself, different cultures, how to deal with dilemmas and how to get the best out of an internship or volunteer work abroad.
- Working with children: This module is suitable as a supplement to the basics for students and volunteers who will work with vulnerable children abroad. You can think of street children, children in education centers or teaching English.
- Special target groups: This module is suitable when a student or volunteer will work with more specialized target groups. Think of people with a disabilities, addiction or psychiatric disorder.
- Animals and environment: This module is suitable when a student or volunteer is committed to the environment, nature or wildlife. Think of a wildlife rescue center, a nature reserve or the restoration of the jungle.
- Optional: Additional courses can be selected here. Examples are various language lessons or social entrepreneurship.
- Personal Think Coach: The student / volunteer is linked to an expert coach, which the student / volunteer can fall back on during the experiences abroad. A start, middle and end conversation with reflection on one's own actions is central to this.
- 24/7 support: In addition to a personal coach, you can always fall back on one of the employees or other (former) students/volunteers on the Think Academy platform via the forum or the chat function. You have the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences.
Optional: Personal development route and additional coaching is possible.
- Application: In the platform, but also the accompanying app, you will find all information, courses, teaching materials and the certificates obtained. In addition, the platform and the app provide access to the forum and a chat function.
- Forum: The forum on the platform is a place where ideas and insights can be exchanged with projects, participants and organisations.
Connection with your organization. You will also find great blogs, stories, tips and tops.
- Chat: With the chat function you can maintain contact with your coach, school, volunteer work place, but also other students and volunteers who are going on a trip or have been on a trip.
You have the opportunity to ask questions and ask for help via the chat.