Why Volunteer?

Our Background

Handshake Volunteering was created by ex-volunteers for volunteers, based on our own experiences working for conservation and education programmes across the globe. We have tailored our Handshakes to open doors and opportunities for all those interested in supporting conservation organisations, from wildlife sanctuaries; grassroots community projects and schools, to world renowned organisations, since 2008. The Handshake is unique in the fact that it specifically concentrates on the production of digital content, media and research to support conservation programmes and activities to raise awareness, funds or educate a local or global audience.

Your Experience

As a volunteer you can use your enthusiasm, skills and commitment to support the work we do a in a number of ways. Popular skill disciplines include: Video Production – Direct, film and edit, awareness-raising videos to benefit primate conservation. Website Design – Produce and manage leading primate sanctuary websites and educational content. Education – Research, create and develop innovative educational materials. Journalism – Interview the very people working to conserve primates live in the field. Music – Compose musical scores for the videos and content produced by your fellow volunteers. (If you have a skill that’s not listed, don’t worry, contact us for a chat and we could discuss what’s possible). The Handshake theory is based around the idea of sharing skills. Already have skills? Great, you can develop them, perhaps use them in an area you haven’t before and share your knowledge with the team, the projects and communities we work for. Don’t have a background in digital media? That’s OK. Each project begins with an orientation period and staff work hand-in-hand with you throughout the project to ensure you create the best content possible. The orientation period will also give you time to adjust to expedition life; learn more about the country; culture, each other and the Handshake concept. Handshake staff are with you for the duration of the project, working with you to create the best content possible and making sure that you get the most out of your Handshake experience.

The Impact

At Handshake Volunteering we want to create a positive impact with both the content we make and how we go about creating it. We work closely with the organisations we support before, during and after we have visited them. Locally Our projects are designed with and for the community or organisation that it will ultimately benefit. Every Handshake is initiated from a request, invitation or consultation from local stakeholders. We build relationships with organisations, community leaders and members and keep in touch with them, ensuring that the impact of our work is sustainable by continuing to advise people on how to get the best out of the content and skills we’ve shared. By maintaining a skill-sharing ethos and giving all stakeholders the opportunity to exchange knowledge with others, the Handshake builds the capacity of both local organisations, communities, and its own volunteers, to develop and maintain the work carried out during Handshake Environmental We keep our energy use to a minimum and during volunteer orientation show the volunteers how to do the same. To further reduce the impact we have on the environment we calculate the energy used on each project, from the transport we use to the batteries we charge and plant trees to counter the impact. By planting trees we help: Reduce carbon dioxide Create jobs (part of the cost of planting trees pays labor) Source of food (Nuts and Fruit) Provided income (Nuts and Fruit can be sold) If you volunteer on one of our Kenya projects, that includes Bore, you will be able to see firsthand the reforestation project and how this is having a positive impact not just on the environment, but the local community who gain an income from selling the nuts harvested from the trees.

The Fees

(To see the fees for current projects please see dates and costs on the appropriate project page) As a paying volunteer, you are contributing funds solely to cover all necessary costs for running the expedition (equipment, accommodation, food etc…) and are volunteering your time and skills to support conservation efforts. Please take a look at the ‘what’s included’ tab on each project page for a list of what’s covered. Note that unlike volunteering elsewhere, our projects are extremely varied, providing the opportunity to travel across a country and include experiences such as safaris and chimpanzee tracking at no additional cost. (Additional activities vary from project-to-project). The amount spent on admin, advertising and wages from the volunteer fee is kept to a minimum. Outgoings such as these are generated though work by Handshake Productions CIC (Community Interest Company) the non-profit company that runs Handshake Volunteering. Funds raised from the sale of commercial media services (often focusing on the conservation and charitable sector) is fed into our volunteer projects which is why our project fees are so low.

Becoming a Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer is a simple three-step process: Fill in an application form. Places are limited so tell us why you are right for the project. We’ll call you to discuss the project. We want to make sure you have all the information you need and to make sure that the project is right for you before you make a commitment. Return contracts and pay the deposit. Secure your place by paying a small deposit and returning your Terms and Conditions contract and Copyright Wavier within 7-days of an offer being made. Further Payments We will chat to you about a payment plan, where you can spread the cost of volunteering over a period of time.

Fundraising

You may choose to fundraise to support the cost of all, or part , of your expedition. We have partnered with Volunteer Forever, a crowdfunding platform to raise funds for your trip expenses. Start fundraising at Volunteer Forever