Friday, June 27, 2008

What's the deal with CADIP?


UPDATE: I NO LONGER RECOMMEND CADIP. They need to stop treating every prospective volunteer like a brainless load of cash. And Roy needs to learn to sign his emails with both his first AND last names.

If you're looking for an organized volunteering alternative, consider Service Civil International. Same setup as CADIP, but much nicer to deal with.

I see that a lot of you end up here when searching for “CADIP scam” or “CADIP legitimate”. Some of you even take the time to write emails and ask questions about that group.

I am not sure what’s responsible for this recent spike in interest in CADIP. I did see that the organization started to use Craigslist to recruit volunteers, and I can only assume that’s how most people heard about it for the first time. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that with everything else that’s on Craigslist, the company may or may not be legitimate.

CADIP is legitimate. At least it was the last time I checked. It’s a big Canadian volunteer work camp coordinator and has presence and connections all over the world. And because it’s big, it offers many volunteer options, and because it offers many options, it uses a lot of volunteers. And not only volunteers from Canada. As with any big organization, some of those volunteers have excellent experiences, and others -  not so excellent. And some – utterly crappy. A couple of people who had utterly crappy CADIP volunteer gigs sent me emails screaming at me for recommending the company on my blog.

I feel your pain, but the fact that your volunteer placement was less than stellar doesn’t mean that the company is a rip-off. I may hate Air France so much that my groin hurts, but even though EVERY flight I had with them turned into a total nightmare, it doesn’t mean that Air France is a scam. Or maybe it is, and I didn’t get the memo.  You never know with airlines these days.

As any placement agency, CADIP charges a fee. But unlike other placement agencies, their fees are actually reasonable. They also offer volunteer options in Europe, which in this day and age just might be the cheapest way for North Americans to spend some time on the old continent.

When it comes to CADIP’s volunteer programs elsewhere, they only act as a middleman offering placement with a variety of local NGOs in far away lands. With a little bit of detective work googling, you could probably locate the same opportunities yourself. That’s how I came across CADIP for the first time. I worked on the same program alongside their volunteers. They seemed well organized and happy with their lot.

After reading your less than pleasant CADIP stories, I sent an email to the overlords in Canada expressing my concern about the current state of things. If and when they respond, I will post their reply here.

In the meantime, cut them some slack. Just because they’re Canadian (hey, nobody’s pefect!) doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing ☺

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura,
    Does it have to be Canadian? If not, then please take a look at the list of Low-Cost Volunteer Organizations in different countries. I am sure you can find something that fits your plan. The list is in the sidebar to the left. Good luck!