In the past decade, a plethora of agencies, companies and organizations have entered into the market of volunteering abroad. Unfortunately, many (though not all!) of these businesses/organizations do not put the community first. High demand for valuable volunteering experiences has made making money the first priority, not community development. At LLI, we choose to do things differently.
The community and our education programs remain the main focus and as such, volunteers play a very crucial role in their success. It’s important to realize we are first a non-profit offering education programs and we are a volunteer program second. We all, as volunteers and staff, want to have a great impact on the community we are serving. LLI is careful to ensure our volunteer program is not harming the community, but impacting it positively. Thus, our volunteer placements do not remove job opportunities from Peruvians (in fact, we employ minimum four locals at one time), but instead provide supplemental educational opportunities for people in the community. The placements received by volunteers are valuable to the success of the programs and to the community—they are not created simply because the volunteer “needs work.”
How do we keep an ear to the community, you ask? Good question. The following are ways we ensure community voices are heard and very often times, are the acting decision bodies:
Additionally, financial transparency is important to us. Please see the “Financials” section here.