I’d like know if Green Lion is a trustable association. I went to Cambodia last summer with this association (through Jeunesse et Reconstruction), and after having seen a report on volunteering, I’m not so sure about its seriousness.
I’d also like to know if you have any recommendation of associations all around the world that can be trusted ?
You can imagine that it is difficult for us to give information on specific programs or operators. But thank you for hind, we will take a closer look at this one. Unfortunately, there is no sign or quality seal or anything that will assure you, that an association can be trusted or not and of course we don’t know all of them. That is why we decided we cannot take the responsibility to recommend or suggest a program or operator. The best thing is to get in contact with them and follow que questions suggested under “Quality Standards”. If the organisation cares, they will do their best do give you satisfying answers – if they struggle, this means something too.
Green Lion Cambodia and their operations
Hello and thanks for your question.
I have personally lived five years ago for four years in Cambodia. I have not heard yet yet about the travel agent but know that they are part of a company that works with International Volunteer HQ. Green Lions Head office is located in Thailand. The Cambodian program is part of the company. They work mainly through volunteer travel and tour agents. Volunteers cannot apply directly. They offer projects in many countries worldwide. Some countries, such as Indonesia, are open for volunteers as well.
Organizations such as http://www.learningservice.info might be able to give you additional advice about their operations in Cambodia, they work on improving volunteer travel world wide and are based in Cambodia.
I found positive but also critical points.
Signs, that I found concerning are
- In Bali Indonesia and Sri Lanka, for example, they work with International Volunteer HQ. IVHQ is a volunteer travel company that is known within the social aid sector for poor quality standards in terms of community involvement and sustainability.
- They offer residental care placements to volunteers that are not qualified.
- They are flexible and client orientated in terms of work and minimum stay as well as qualifications. They outline that they are “extremely flexible, our advanced online booking system allowing agents to design their own tailor made program and itinerary“.
- Insurance is advisable but not mandatory
- Volunteers who travel with IVHQ to Green Lion Sri Lanka can try out every week an new placement.
- Even so Green Lion is considering themselves to be a little bit more than a tour operator, it looks for me just like that. Especially as they advertise that traveling with them is a great chance to combine a holiday with some voluntary work. For us volunteering is not a combination of traveling and volunteering but a full time job.
General Quality Standarts
Check out the quality standards we drafted for international volunteer programs, and decide yourself if they did a good job. You have seen the impact they have in the field and experienced yourself how they prepare volunteers. Additionally, we recommend you to check out the quality standards the non-profit organization Weltwegweiser drafted recently which you can find here. And, as Daniel already wrote, ask them the questions you have. If they are a good organization they will be happy to answer them.
All the best and please let us know the developments!