Do you want to go on an international volunteering assignment, but you are not sure what it entails?

Here are the most frequently asked questions on the subject that will help you to better understand the project and the adventure you are about to embark on:


What is voluntary cooperation exactly?
Voluntary cooperation is a mechanism whereby, in a spirit of capacity building and international solidarity, volunteers are deployed in a structured framework to carry out missions that meet the needs of partner organisations. Voluntary cooperation is a reciprocal exchange – bilateral or multilateral – of knowledge, expertise and experience in a sustainable development perspective.
Who can volunteer?
Volunteers come from all walks of life. They are men and women of all ages and backgrounds, students, recent graduates, those just starting out in their careers, experienced workers, or even retired. The voluntary cooperation programme is intended to be inclusive, and the contribution of volunteers is diverse and adapted to the needs of the partners. Some missions may include communication support, others organisational management, others legal expertise or project monitoring skills, depending on the position and needs in the field.
The majority of volunteers are Canadians or people with permanent resident status in Canada. However, we also have a smaller number of missions aimed at residents of other countries, in order to promote regional exchanges.
Is the mission remunerated? Will I receive a salary?
Volunteers receive a fixed monthly compensation defined when the contract is signed. This is not a salary, but an allowance to cover the costs of the assignment and training, such as:

  • Transportation to the pre-departure training in Montreal, if necessary
  • A daily allowance during the pre-departure training, if necessary
  • A round-trip air ticket to the country of assignment
  • Visa(s), if necessary
  • Vaccines related to the assignment, if necessary and depending on the country
  • Housing (variable amount depending on the country of assignment)
  • A living allowance, including food, local transport and insurance (the amount varies according to the country of assignment);
What will my assignment be? Will I work with children?
The assignments are varied and differ according to the partners and their needs, as well as your expertise. As the main objective is to provide support and expertise to the partner, your assignment will be in line with its activities. Depending on the sector and the nature of these activities, you may be in direct contact with children, but this is not guaranteed.
Do I have to know Spanish to be selected?
In order to be deployed in a Spanish-speaking country, you need to be able to express yourself well in Spanish, both orally and in writing. However, a perfect command of the language is not expected. If you do not speak Spanish well, other volunteer opportunities are possible in French-speaking countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast or Senegal (see the list of countries here).

Before your mandate

Can I choose my country of assignment?
When you apply for a volunteering position, it will be tailored for a specific partner and country, however it is possible that your contribution and expertise may benefit more than one of our partners. Wherever possible and appropriate to our volunteering opportunities, we will take into account your preferences for assignments, with the aim that you will be able to support our partner while developing yourself.
Who is in charge of my visa, vaccinations, plane ticket?
The project covers your visa and vaccination costs (for those mandatory), as well as the purchase of a round-trip plane ticket to go to the country of assignment and return to Canada, with the limit of one round-trip per assignment. You will be informed of the process before your departure.

During your mandate

What kind of support and structure can I expect?
The project team based in Montreal will be your privileged contact and will remain available at all times for your needs while you are on site. A member of our partner’s team will also be in charge of supervising your assignment on site and will assist you during your installation and answer your questions about local life. In addition, you will be in touch with one of our 3 regional representatives depending of your country of assignment, with whom you will have a close link and who will act as a relay between you, the head office team and the partners you work with. You will never be on your own and the IBCR voluntary cooperation team will always be there to assist you. The contact details will be detailed in the volunteers’ handbook that will be given to you during the pre-departure training.
How will I find housing?
Your monthly allowance includes an amount dedicated to housing for the duration of your assignment. For a short-term one, you will be provided with accommodation. For a longer term, we will help you find your accommodation on site, guiding you through the process and ensuring that you have a safe and reliable place to live.
In case of an emergency, how will I be cared for?
You are primarily responsible for your health and safety, no matter where you are. However, the IBCR ensures that you are covered by emergency medical care insurance through an external company specialising in insurance for expatriates. In the event of a medical or security emergency, you will be taken care of locally or repatriated if necessary. The team is attentive to the situation in each country of involvement, and will be able to act quickly if necessary, to ensure your safety.
Can my spouse or family accompany me on the assignment?
When the security context in the country of assignment allows it, a volunteer may be accompanied by his or her spouse and/or a family member. However, costs related to the travel and installation of additional persons are not covered.
What’s next ?
Can I renew my contract once I am there?
In certain specific cases, when the volunteer’s willingness to renew his/her assignment coincides with a need on the part of the partner, it is possible to renew his/her assignment with the project. This will be decided on an individual basis, and take into consideration external elements such as visa, insurance or other factors which do not allow us to confirm the possibility in all cases.
Can I serve a second term in another organisation or country?
If you have already carried out an assignment of cooperation with the IBCR (within the framework of PRODEF or PCV), and you wish to repeat the experience, it is possible to start a second assignment of volunteering in another country. However, different conditions come into play, such as the availability of positions in the target country and the need of local partners in terms of expertise.


Are you ready to put your experience and knowledge at the service of child protection and be part of the solution for lasting change?