Volunteer Toolkit

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Health Volunteers Overseas is all about our volunteers! We recruit and train highly qualified health care professionals to teach and train on short-term volunteer assignments in developing countries. The success of HVO programs depends upon these dedicated individuals to share their expertise with their counterparts in developing countries. They offer mentoring, training, guidance, and professional support to local health care providers who care for the neediest populations in the most difficult of circumstances.


A Guide to Volunteering Overseas is a resource prepared by HVO to help guide individuals as they prepare for overseas volunteer assignments. 


HVO has gathered together travel tips and information all in one place. It’s a great place to start as you prepare to travel to an HVO site for your assignment.


The paperwork required for volunteers traveling to our project sites can vary based on the country and institution to which they travel, but there are some standard forms that must be completed by all HVO volunteers throughout the volunteer process.


Are you giving a talk about your experience with HVO? You are welcome to use our PowerPoint in your presentation. Inside, you’ll find slides with information on our mission, projects, and impact. Click here to see a PDF version of the HVO PowerPointFill out the form here to request the PowerPoint and any other materials you would like for your presentation.


HVO has put in place policies on safety, research, and fundraising to help ensure best practices for our volunteers and overseas partners.

Blogs & Social Media

Travel blogs are a great platform for volunteers to keep family and friends updated on their volunteer assignment, and to share daily events and cultural curiosities. Volunteers may send a link to HVO if they would like it to be posted on MyHVO. Remember: blogs can be accessed by anyone, including hosts. Comments and observations volunteers make should be carefully considered.

Volunteers should also be aware that posting on social media can be cause for concern by your hosts, especially if you post unflattering images or negative comments about the institution or your colleagues. Volunteers should be circumspect about commenting on the local political situation, as well as this could have negative consequences for the institution and possibly for the placement of future volunteers.

See HVO’s Guide for Capturing Moments During Your Trip for tips.