eliabroad.org / Volunteering abroad
My husband and I went to Tanania for volunteering through ELI(www.eliabroad.org). We had volunteered to work in an orphange. The program we participated was disorganized, the local program coordinator was very unprofessional, and there was no defined program. We were dropped off at the orphanage on our first day and told that we can do what we wanted; the coordinator never showed up at the orphange house since. The local coordinator had no concern about our volunteer program. Instead, he was trying to set-up his own program and tried to recruit us as sponsors. He told us how bad ELI was, that they took money from volunteers and did not help the locals. Me, my husband and other volunteers were surprised and very disappointed about ELI. Also, upon ELI's recommendation, we used our local coordinator as a safari guide, but it was wasting time and money. We felt like ELI treated us volunteering as a business transaction, and their relationship with the local coordinator was a business relationship, not to help the locals in Tanzania. Under the uncomfortable situation with the coordinator, we left the guest house earlier than we planned and couldn't finish our program. ELI is supposed to be a non profit organization, but I really wonder where the money from volunteers goes? We asked ELI how they spend the money from volunteers, but we never heard any clear answer from them.