Question 1. How do I know that International Orphan Aid is a legitimate charity?

International Orphan Aid is a registered charitable organization in the United States of America. Our EIN is #27-2403326 and we have approved 501 C3 status by the Internal Revenue Service. Furthermore you will find us on Facebook under the username https://www.facebook.com/BykotaHouseOrg and a Facebook group titled International Orphan Aid Volunteers with other past, present, and future volunteers that can network with you. If you wish to talk to a staff member from IOA feel free to email us to arrange time for a call or SKYPE video call.

Question 2. Where can I confirm the existence of International Orphan Aid (IOA)?

The Internal Revenue Service offers a Charitable Organizations Select Check system to verify eligibility status using our EIN #27-2403326 Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check

Another public source is http://www.charitynavigator.org. At Charity Navigator anyone can search to see basic financial and tax reports of public charities. However, they only highlight charities with more than one hundred thousand dollars in revenue so you will need to do an extended search for International Orphan Aid, Inc.

Question 3. How much of my sponsorship actually makes it to Bykota House?

As with any sponsorship program this is a common and legitimate question to ask.  At IOA one hundred percent of the funds given to International Orphan Aid go directly to operate Bykota House.

Question 4. Is there a set amount of money requested to sponsor Bykota House?

Easy answer, NO. We know from experience it takes, on average, $180 per month to support one child at Bykota House.  We've set up some simple increments starting at just $1 a day or $30 a month to try and fit every budget. But our donation forms will accept any donation amount and donations can be on a one-time basis or recurring on the schedule of the donors choice. Additionally there are several ways to give your donation, these include online using your credit or debit card, by mailing a check, PayPal, and Auto-debit of a checking or savings account. You'll find all of these options on our give page or click here. Or just look for the Donate Today icon at the top of each page of our website.

Question 5. Why should I volunteer with IOA?

International Orphan Aid and Bykota House are still small organizations by comparison, we are set up to be affordable and can accommodate budgetary demands of people wishing to volunteer abroad.

Question 6. Why volunteer abroad?

Volunteering is based on the concept of giving through the donation of your time, your skills, your energy and often just simply your presence to help others in need. However, while volunteers have a tremendous effect on the people they work with, you will very rarely find a volunteer who feels they have given more than they have received. The lessons and benefits that a volunteer receives while volunteering are endless and can include increased self-confidence and social awareness, development of life skills, personal growth, friendship and building of independence. Furthermore, volunteering can help to enhance career prospects. Not only do volunteers increase their skill base, work experience and international contacts through volunteering, employers often look favorably upon those that are willing to go outside of their comfort zone and give up their time to assist others.

Question 7. Why do I need to pay to volunteer?

As a volunteer you are giving up your time and your skills to help those in need, therefore many people fail to see why they should also have to pay to volunteer. The program fees you pay go directly to help support International Orphan Aid, Bykota House in Cambodia and help to pay for expenses associated with your stay such as food, accommodation, airport pickups, orientation to ensure your volunteering stay in Cambodia goes as smoothly as possible. IOA and Bykota House are completely funded by donations and therefore in order for the project to continue it is imperative we charge volunteers for their board, meals and airport pickups. We will help you understand what your fees pay for as part of your budgeting during the application process.

Question 8. How do I volunteer with IOA?

Download our application packet and get started today. Volunteer-application

Question 9. Can we volunteer as a group?

Yes. International Orphan Aid, Bykota House accepts groups and can even organize special projects or trip itineraries designed with the skills of each group member in mind.

Question 10. Can I volunteer with a friend(s) or a partner?

Yes. International Orphan Aid, Bykota House has volunteer accommodations for singles, groups, and partners. Please make us aware of room arrangements when making your trip plans.

Question 11. I have a child who is under 18 and wishes to volunteer. Can they?

If a person is under 18 and wishes to volunteer abroad by themselves then the short answer is no. However, if they are volunteering as part of a group (with adults) or with a family, guardian or parent/caregiver who is over 18 then this is fine.

Question 12. Do I need specific skills or qualifications to volunteer?

The personal skills, hobbies, training or education you have gathered is important and will be put to good use so please make us aware of these when planning your trip.

Question 13. Can I donate money to enable others to volunteer in my place?

Yes! We have an established a volunteer scholarship fund and would be glad to accept a donation making it possible for another person to travel in your place.

Question 14. Can people from outside the United States of America volunteer with IOA?

Yes, although IOA, Inc. is based in the United States of America, we are an international organization and therefore accommodate people from many countries.

 

Question 15. Which countries do volunteers come from?

Volunteers come from a variety of countries but we find the majority come from countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland and France and Mexico.

Question 16. Will I be working with other volunteers?

In most cases you will be working with other volunteers, however we do have times when you may be the only volunteer. If this is something you desire please communicate this and let us help schedule your time accordingly.

Question 17. Is travel insurance necessary?

Travel insurance is not only a good idea, it is compulsory to volunteer abroad with IOA, Bykota House. While IOA does everything it can to ensure your trip abroad goes smoothly and is a fantastic, memorable experience, it is very wise to ensure you have adequate travel insurance should you fall ill, bags go missing or something is stolen.

Question 18. Is travel insurance included in the program costs?

In order to keep costs as low as possible for the volunteer we do not include travel insurance in our fees as we have found that generally volunteers can acquire it cheaper by getting it privately.

Question 19. Where can I buy travel insurance?

When making your travel insurance choice you want to look for an insurance which covers medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, personal belongings and personal liability. We have referred volunteers to World Nomads Travel Insurance, or Talent Trust but a quick Google search may turn up other choices.

Question 20. How far in advance should I apply?

We do not have a deadline for applications but our advice is to send in your completed application as soon as you have your dates chosen. This allows you time to coordinate, raise funds, and work with us to ensure your trip is a success from beginning to end.

Question 21. Do I require a visa to travel to Cambodia?

Yes, visas are required.  You will also need six-months validity on your passport beyond the date you plan to return home in order to enter the country. Your Cambodia visa will be purchased upon arrival either at the airport or immigration office if traveling over land. You will need 2 passport photos and the appropriate visa fee. Volunteers staying less than 2 months we recommend buying a tourist visa, the current fee is $25 per month and is renewable for one month only. Volunteers staying longer than 2 months we recommend buying a business visa, the current fee is $30 for the first month. Business visas can be renewed for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months.

Question 22. Will IOA provide a reference once I finish volunteering?

Yes, a reference can be presented to you upon completion of your volunteering stint.

Question 23. What are the accommodation and meals like?

If you are staying in IOA volunteer accommodations you will find pictures of our rooms at the end of this faq article. If it is necessary to find off-site accommodations we will make pictures available to you prior to travel. The food will depend on your budgetary needs. We can provide meals or you can prepare your own meals in the kitchenette available on-site. If you are staying off-site it may be more convenient to eat in nearby establishments.

Question 24. What vaccinations will I require?

If your immunizations are up to date you may also want to have a current Tetanus and be vaccinated for Hepatitis, both A and B types. Others may be recommended by your personal physician but may not be necessary because we are not located in the countryside.

Question 25. Do I need to be able to speak the local language?

It is always great to be able to converse in the local language but any language training can take place once you are here in Cambodia. If you are interested in learning a few words or phrases in advance of your trip we recommend visiting this website. http://www.bongthom.com/akonline/selectchapterek.asp

Question 26. Where can I learn more about Cambodia?

Cambodia has an important history which we do encourage all volunteers to become familiar with. After your arrival in Cambodia we will take you to see both the Killing Fields and S21 genocide museum to gain an understanding of the hardships the Cambodian people have had to endure. This website has an interesting country report: http://www.countryreports.org/country/Cambodia.htm

Question 27. Can IOA help with fundraising?

We are recommending the use of your social network of friends and family and solicit your donations in person or by email. Be sure to visit our Facebook page  and the Facebook volunteers group,  . If you wish to set up a funding social media site we can help do that too using our Connect Social Media Site, It is OK to tag our Facebook page in your own posts so your circle of friends can see the exciting things posted there daily and get a better idea of what you will be doing while away.

Question 28. Can I take time out from volunteering to go sightseeing?

Yes! We believe it is important to experience as much of Cambodia as you can while you are here. Volunteer travelers will often spend thousands of dollars on airfares to get here, and while we believe you will connect with the ones you serve, tourist activities and in-country travel will only serve to enhance your experience.

Question 29. How else can someone help and be a part?

PRAY! First, please pray for the success of this sponsorship drive, we are in a battle in every area, including finances, and prayer is our MOST powerful weapon. Please pray for us as individuals, as a family, and ask your church body to lift us up in prayer.

SHARE! Secondly, please consider sharing this appeal to your own circle of influence. Your personal recommendation would be greatly appreciated. Sign up for our newsletter and then forward it each time to allow others to get to know about the Lord's ministry in Cambodia.<br />If you are a member of any civic group, charitable organization, or community program please consider promoting Bykota House as an excellent opportunity to help needy children. We will do all we can to help you in your efforts.

ACT! Consider holding a special collection, a drive, tag sale, or a fundraiser with Bykota House receiving the proceeds. On our website, you will find many photos that you can use. If you can't find what you are looking for, contact us and we will do all we can to help. Recently a primary school class in Penang, Malaysia held a fundraiser for Bykota House and raised $300 to benefit the preschoolers of Bykota House.

VOLUNTEER! With the school going strong, we are finding ourselves in need of more volunteers to assist in the day to day tasks. Each and every day is one in which we are busy from start to finish but each week, we are falling more and more behind in many areas that need our attention. If you are interested in coming alongside in this way, please make it a point to see our job postings or write for more details. We are praying to the Lord of the Harvest for more workers!