Why Volunteer with RSVP?
RSVP Caribbean is based in Jamaica with key partners in different Caribbean islands. As nationals of the various countries the team understands the important needs that should be focused on and are committed to ensuring that volunteers make a meaningful difference while on their programmes. With RSVP Caribbean, the team focuses on impact while ensuring that all partners are considered in the process.
There is an unpaid Board of Directors that reviews the operations of the company every quarter to ensure that the volunteering experience is excellent and the community impact is evident. We comply with the highest standards of management, accountability, best practices and environmental stewardship. An annual report is also prepared and published.
Prices are reasonable and competitive; and RSVP Caribbean ensures value for money. The communities and partners benefit from the contributions made from programme and project fees.
RSVP Caribbean offers timely and accurate communication through our website, emails, personal webpage, telephone conversations and text messaging. All information is kept up-to-date and changes are quickly communicated.
The purpose of RSVP Caribbean is to serve persons in needs and so the impact being made at the community level is noticeable. Where possible resources are bought from community businesses and through focused intervention RSVP Caribbean supports giving back to areas of need. Volunteers, host families, partners, communities and local businesses are all important in the process of changing lives.
All staff are competent, experienced and knowledgeable about the culture, requirements, programmes, projects, accommodation and way of life in each island. They will be able to answer all your questions and guide you based on your specific objectives for volunteering. We offer a Caribbean operated volunteering business that understands the Caribbean context. Each volunteer is directly assigned to one staff member pre-arrival and upon arrival to a Programme Coordinator who is their first point of contact. Two other staff members act as the next point of contact if for some reason the assigned staff member is not available.
In most cases you choose your dates and how long you want to stay. Except for factors beyond our control such as school holidays, public holidays, group dates, natural disasters or community downtime; you are able to determine when you want to come and how long you want to stay.
With all the work you will also have time for fun. Caribbean nationals know how to relax and have a good time – you will get to Discover while Changing Lives.
All our accommodations are carefully checked to ensure safety, security and comfort. You will have the basic amenities – electricity, clean water, a comfortable bed, adequate storage and a lovely family who will treat you as one of their very own.
All programmes and projects are properly researched and linked to local, national, regional and international priorities and are specifically aimed at addressing key issues affecting individuals, groups and communities in different islands. You will receive information on your programme or project before you arrive. RSVP Caribbean has a wide network of partners with established programmes, project linkages and networks that are tapped into to source or create the best option for you. Our programmes and projects definitely make a tangible and noticeable difference. There is a pre-established plan for each programme and project with each partner; this plan and its expected outputs are implemented and followed for continuity and ease of tracking results.
Before arrival in country Team RSVP will provide on-going support through emails, calls, skype, Whatsapp and other options to ensure that the necessary support and information is communicated to all volunteers. Team RSVP knows about the Caribbean, is based in the Caribbean and understands the Caribbean context.
At RSVP Caribbean we ensure that volunteering abroad is a benefit to the volunteer and the local organization. We provide all the information so volunteers can make informed and responsible choices and do not exploit people, animals, wildlife and the environment in a bid to promote what we do. We have a Responsible Volunteering Policy that outlines how we operate.
Upon arrival our team provides 24-hour support and can be called upon any day and at any time to provide assistance.
Your safety is our number one priority. We ensure that programme, projects, accommodations and communities are safe for our volunteers to work and live by conducting risk assessments and preparing risk management and safety plans. We provide a detailed orientation the day after arrival which includes the necessary safety tips. Background and reference checks of staff, host families and volunteers are completed. We also have first aid qualified staff and proper emergency response planning.
If you are looking for school credits or to complete your internship or dissertation then RSVP Caribbean will provide that opportunity for you. You will also receive an academic reference and certificate if you have completed all the requirements of your volunteer agreement.
Volunteering with RSVP Caribbean will be short-term for most volunteers. Given our approach which is aligning what we do to the Sustainable Development Goals it is imperative that each volunteer programme and partner has a plan that facilitates achieving these overarching goals. Each volunteer’s tasks feed into that plan and so each volunteer builds on the work of previous volunteers. These goals and the work it necessitates is tied directly to empowering communities and building relationships that lead to growth in all programme areas. There is ongoing research and documentation, local needs being addressed, weekly visits to programmes and projects, staff training in specific programme areas, volunteer tasks linked to goals and plans with these plans being updated by each volunteer so that there is continuity.
Coming to a new country can be daunting but do not worry the RSVP Caribbean staff will be there to meet you at the airport and ensure that you are safely taken to your host family. The day after arrival you will be picked up from your host family by a staff member and you will get a full day of orientation so you can better understand your new environment.