frequently asked questions
Got a question?
See our list of frequently asked questions and interviews with previous volunteers below. If you still have a question after reading this then please don’t hesitate to send us an email, our friendly team is more than happy to help!
Where can I volunteer?
In 2019, we will be hosting projects in England, Fiji, Zambia and Vanuatu.
Where does my money go?
70% of your fee goes directly towards running the project on the ground. Project running costs and volunteer related costs contribute to the majority of this percentage. The remaining 30% goes towards running our supporting operations back in the UK. Things such as volunteer recruitment, marketing, software, finances, reinvestment and putting on events for our volunteer alumni. Our offices are crucial to ensuring the safe operation of volunteer projects and well being of all volunteers.
Do I get a say in the design?
Yes! We consider volunteer and community design input as one of the most important contributors to making our projects successful. Prior to the project beginning we will provide optional design challenges and discussion sessions. Whilst on site there are many details and aspects that need to be designed in the moment and we give our volunteers the complete freedom to design them - contributing to your learning experience.
Do I need any construction experience?
No! All we ask is that you have a passion for design and a desire to make a difference!
What does a typical day of volunteering look like?
On most weekdays, we will start on site at around 8am, with a briefing of the tasks for the day, assigning small teams to each construction task. There will usually be a mixture of locals and volunteers on one job. We will then set to work on a range of tasks, from digging, cutting and nailing, to measuring installing and finishing various building elements. Regular water and snack breaks are necessary until we reach lunchtime, where we will all eat together, along with the local construction team! Once the heat of the day has passed and everyone has refuelled over lunch, we will continue working until around 4:30 / 5pm, before clearing the site and packing away our tools ready for the next day. Volunteers then have free time to enjoy down time, participate in community activities or gather as a group to play cards or read stories to the local kids.
Do I need to bring any tools?
We provide all of the necessary tools. We however, require all volunteers to have their own pair of steel toecap boots / shoes and a pair or two of working gloves. Bringing a personal measuring tape, pencil or tool belt is not required but will come in handy on more than a few occasions!
How many people will I volunteer alongside?
Volunteer team sizes will vary from project to project but will usually be somewhere between 10-20 volunteers working together with locals at any one time.
CAN I COME WITH FRIENDS OR AS A COUPLE?
Yes, we welcome couples and friends / groups to apply. Please state on your application, who you are applying with. We cannot always guarantee that you will stay with those with whom you applied, but we do our best to ensure that you do.
Is there a selection process?
Yes. Our volunteers are selected based on their application. Our projects are usually over subscribed, so make sure your application stands out!
Can I travel prior to / after the project?
Yes! In fact, we encourage it! Make the most of being in a new place and explore it as much as you can. Being on a CAUKIN Project offers a chance to acclimatise before you go it alone in a new country. You’ll probably find that you make friends and connections whilst on project that give you someone to partner with in your onwards travels.
What age are CAUKIN Studio Volunteers?
Our volunteers range in age – theres no age limit! All we ask is that you are 18 years or older at the time you start on site. Majority of our volunteers are between 18 – 35.
How do I know CAUKIN Studio is reliable / trusted?
CAUKIN Studio’s projects have been recognised all over the world for both their design & builds as well as their experience and immersion in different cultures. Our projects have been published in the Architects Journal, various architectural websites and articles in the EU and US such as Hola Magazine.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies between projects, depending on their location and duration. Please see project specific cost information for your chosen project on our Volunteer page.
Are there any additional costs to consider?
This can vary between projects. Most projects include food, accommodation, 24 hour support within host country, various day trips, and project related travel within host country. Additional costs to consider are things such as Visas, Insurance, travel money, spending money. Please see project specific inclusion information for your chosen project on our Volunteer page.
Can I fundraise?
Yes, we encourage our volunteers to fundraise as much as they can towards the costs of the project. Often, our volunteers have been able to fundraise the entire amount required and more! We can offer advice and support in your fundraising efforts.
How do I pay?
There is usually an application fee due upon acceptance to one of our projects. The remaining project balance is then required in 1 or 2 instalments prior to the project commencement date. Payments are made via bank transfer to our UK bank account. Our international volunteers often use We Transfer or equivalent to execute payment.
Are flights included?
In most cases, flights are not included. It is up to you to arrange your travel to the host country. Once you have made it to a specified airport or bus terminal pick up point, you’ll be greeted by one of our team and we’ll take it from there!
Do I need insurance?
Yes, it is compulsory that you have travel insurance which also covers you for light construction, involving the use of light power tools. CAUKIN Studio offers a group travel insurance policy at an extra cost which provides the required cover at a cost that is competitive with most providers.
Do I need a Visa?
This depends on the passport you hold and the country you are travelling to. For countries that require a visa to be applied for after entry to that country, CAUKIN Studio will assist volunteers in their application.
Will I be met at the airport?
Before your departure, we will issue you with a Pre-Departure Package which contains all you need to know about travelling to and arriving at your destination. We will assign a pick up point in the project country where one of our team will meet you and take it from there!
What is accommodation like on a typical project?
The accommodation will be more basic than a tourist holiday. In most cases you will stay with another volunteer in a host families house. Our team vet all accommodation prior to volunteer arrival to ensure that the base hygiene and safety level is to standard.
What is the food like?
The food will be healthy and nutritious. Your dietary requirements will be catered for where necessary. You’ll get the chance to try different cuisines and might even find your new favourite food!
Will I have any free time?
Yes. Typically, build days are Monday – Friday, giving you the weekend to engage in pre arranged activities or to explore and do as you wish. In some situations, your days off may be shifted depending on the requirements of the build.
Are there any medical restrictions?
All volunteers will need a sign off on any disclosed medical conditions from a qualified GP/Doctor and admission to your chosen program is subject to consideration of all medical conditions so we can ensure the safety of all volunteers. Exclusion from one option for medical reasons does not necessarily prevent participation on all of our projects.
I cant decide which project I should choose! Who can I talk to?
We get it! Its hard to choose which exciting project and country you want to work in next! Our friendly team are here to help you consider your options, just drop us an email and we can arrange a call!
Still got a question?