Learning from our 10 years experience supporting +1500 trip participants we’ve developed a one a kind cultural exchange program experience. 94% of participants say they would recommend the experience to a friend.
Local Leadership + Long Term Partnership
Our trips and projects are designed and led by local NGOs and community leaders who design and manage all aspects of a project to ensure long-term sustainability, relevance, and effectiveness. We’ve worked with our partners for many years to build a relationship of trust and reciprocal exchange.Meet our partners here!
Immersive & Authentic Exchange
SOS facilitates a truly immersive and authentic cultural exchange experience in which you will live, sleep, and eat directly within our partner community. All participants also go through an interview process and pre-departure training to be primed to participate in an informed, meaningful, and reciprocal cultural exchange experience.
Not only do volunteers support with their time, SOS also provides grant funding to our partner communities to sponsor the costs of improving education. We’ve provided over 2.5 million to support +225 projects (see past projects here). Meanwhile, everyone involved in supporting the trip and project receives fair compensation for their time – from trip leaders, cooks, transportation providers, and local labourers. Your trip participant contributes to the local economy in addition to enabling access to education.
Catalyst for Local Action
Our trips are meant as catalysts for ongoing engagement in global cooperation efforts. All SOS trip participants have the opportunity to contribute by joining their local SOS chapter upon their return, or through our Alumni Impact Network partners. See stories of our alumni!
We know student budgets are tight so we make our trips as affordable as possible. In fact, SOS trips are the lowest cost option available of any comparable short term volunteer experience. Learn more about pricing.
Tangible + Sustainable Results
SOS projects are designed with long-term sustainability in mind. Our project design and proposal process ensures there is long-term support for the project (eg. for teacher salaries, maintenance, educational resources, and parent buy-in). Additionally, on average each project includes 10% of the project budget for local labourers who provide skilled oversight to ensure the project is fully completed to a high standard of quality. Furthermore, SOS engages in ongoing monitoring to ensure projects are achieving intended impacts, and to be able to share the long-term impacts of our volunteers’ efforts. Learn more about our results.
SOS is proud to work with Flight Centre for provision of all travel-related services!