HelpX diminutive of "Help Exchange" (or "exchange of aid"), is a system of exchange of hospitality resulting from the sharing economy according to which human exchanges can obey other logics than pecuniary , which is very successful.
What is it about ?
HelpX is a service sharing between a host looking for a cheap labor and a willing traveler willing to donate his time and labor in exchange for lodging and food.
Close wwoofing (working in an organic farm against cottage and covered), it is open to very varied activities : babysitting, agricultural work, construction work, cleaning, picking fruit, gardening ..
The volunteer is accommodated and fed by his host in exchange for 3 to 4 hours of daily work and discovers the region during his free time.
What steps does the volunteer have to take? ?
The volunteerregistered on the HelpX platform (www.helpX.net, launched in 2001 and active worldwide) and created its profile.
For a small fee, he has access to the announcements and profiles of the hosts.
What are the precautions to follow to avoid unpleasantness ?
Before launching and opting for this or that mission, the reading comments voluntary precedents and the prior contact with the hosts are necessary to specify their expectations (schedules, works, difficulties…). In addition to the solidarity aspect, the hosts' approach must be marked by generosity and sharing.
The HelpX allows you to travel inexpensively, to discover the life and culture of families in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, this self-help system can sometimes have some cons :
- Despite their adherence to the HelpX charter (hospitality, sharing, commitment, exchange), some guests may be tempted by to make cheap labor work rather than sharing their experience, culture and way of life,
- on the other hand, some volunteers do not provide the requested efforts by their hosts ("working hard on time" explicitly listed in the HelpX chart)
- of the incompatibilities of people or embarrassing situations can arise that require the termination of the experience that is not subject to any commitment.
In general, the HelpX can be a rewarding and interesting way to discover a country and a local culture at a lower cost.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is important to agree in advance on the expectations of everyone who must respect the philosophy of HelpX (empathy, commitment, indulgence and mutual enrichment).