CADIP

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8.9 / 10 after 21 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.cadip.org

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On May 3rd I began a journey from Halifax N.S. to Iceland through CADIP. I didn’t realize how life changing the experience would be. I always knew I wanted to visit the land of ice and fire and fortunately my experience through the volunteer organization helped me to realize my goal earlier than expected. At 18 I was new at travelling on my own. I had already visited many different countries throughout my lifetime but had always been part of a family or organized group with people I knew. CADIP helped me to feel at ease and answered any questions I had early on during the planning phase. They assured me I would be well looked after once I arrived at the planned destination and that I would enjoy my time. They were not mistaken. I left my home, alone and initially overwhelmed by the task at hand. I would transfer airports, arrive in Iceland knowing no-one, get money, make my way to Reykjavik, find my guest-house, spend a day and a night alone, completely alone, and then make my way to the meeting point where I would begin my two week volunteering experience alongside others I had never met. I didn’t know what to expect and it terrified me. I am an introvert by nature and I knew that this journey would be an important first step towards learning more about my strengths and abilities. I had to rely on myself and step outside my comfort zone. On the morning of the 5th of May I ordered a taxi and made my way to the meeting point. CADIP and the affiliated volunteer office in Iceland had organized several excursions for us to join and the first of three amazing tours was combined with making our way to the Hveragerdi where I would spend the next two weeks. It was a great introduction to a place that had already captivated me from landing. The landscape was exhilarating and more dramatic than I ever imagined. I arrived in Hveragerdi after a day that put me completely at ease in my new surroundings hoping that the workcamp would be a peaceful place where I could learn and explore and breathe after an exhausting first year of university. It was more. I was given my own basic room in a dorm or what I like to call cabin of sorts. I love my sleeping bag so I felt right at home and comfortable once I was settled in. Ours was a small group; Canadian, French, German, Latvian, Korean and Italian. I was the youngest and initially I was a little worried about how I would fit in. I shouldn’t have been. It was the best experience. I met the most wonderful, dynamic, interesting people who have inspired me to continue travelling, alone, discovering all the wonders that the world has to offer including unique friendships with strangers. The countryside was beautiful with every angle and view postcard perfect. I love the outdoors and Iceland is definitely the ultimate outdoor enthusiasts paradise. We hiked, we rested in the hot springs, we travelled to new places every weekend, we enjoyed the sights and tastes that our small town had to offer and oh yes, we worked and learned a great deal. Our primary role was to help in the greenhouses and on the NLFI grounds. I thoroughly enjoyed all the interesting and helpful information that was bestowed on us everyday. I have brought my new found knowledge home and use it for our family vegetable garden. I will never forget what I learned or the kindness and patience of the environment in which it was taught. I have to admit the very best part of the adventure, aside from the people, sights, excursions, pools, hot springs, bakery, glaciers, colours, sheep, horses, work, earth-quake and Icelandic air to name only a few, was the food. I am a foody. A vegetarian foody and I love to eat. I enjoyed, no I celebrated, every meal. I have never eaten as healthy or as well (sorry mom). I loved the food so much I would cut short any outings just so I could be back and sitting at the table for meal time. Thank you to the wonderful chefs who put together the meals that sustained me and brought me such joy. Initially I thought that my days in Iceland would drag, that I would be constantly wishing away the time until I was back with the familiar in Halifax. On May 3rd I left my family and home with tears and on May 19th I left new friends and Iceland with tears. I will never forget my journey or the life changing lessons I learned while overcoming my apprehension. Can I make it on my own? Yes I definitely can. Thank you CADIP for offering me the opportunity to realize this.

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Location:
Posted: July 19, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: NS
Age:
18

I have just returned from a 3.5 month volunteer experience in a small village in Uganda. I will say to begin with that I have volunteered in 5 developing countries in various conditions and settings but nothing prepared me for the disintegration of a project as happened in Uganda. It wasn't so much the disintegration of the project it was the complete lack of interest on the part CADIP that was really unbelievable. The in country host organization did all they could to help make things work and to communicate with CADIP to no avail. When I first arrived on site after the briefest of orientations I was introduced to my host family and got to work on conservation oriented projects. After living with my host family for about a week and a half it became clear that the family was extremely disfunctional and I asked to be relocated. The local sponsor helped to find other lodging but nothing was suitable so I had to stick it out. And I was determined to make it work. There is so much work to be done in Africa. Fast forward 3 plus months after learning the language, still living with same family, starting some programs, making some friends I suddenly got very ill. I had to be taken to the local clinic a couple of times. While I was gone from the house I asked the head of the Conservation org who was the father of my host family to take care of my money. In addition I asked him to buy my Rxs and safeguard everything til I got home. I was so sick that I could not manage these tasks. So when I got home, my money was gone ($142) and all I got was a really feeble explanation. What was extremely frightening to me as well is that my meds were gone too. I have an idea where they went but regardless I needed the medicine and I needed it immediately. As soon as I got really sick and all the stealing and craziness began I kept in contact with local sponsor and tried without success to reach CADIP - but no reply at all from them. My daughter also called CADIP twice and never received an answer. At any rate at this point I had to get away from the situation and get medical help so my friends got me on some buses to the capitol city and to my favorite 'marigold' hotel and eventually to a hospital and a great doctor. All this time emailing CADIP as to my whereabouts. I have been really scared only a couple of times in my life but that was one of them. Eventually I received a 2-line email from CADIP - Their only communication to date was an email saying they 'hoped I had a speedy recovery. ' I never write reviews but I see this as a moral obligation to inform other potential CADIP volunteers. I don't care what it says in their terms and conditions - if they have no interest in finding out what happened at this volunteer site that says to me they would have no problem sending others into the same situation. I just hope I'm wrong.
P.S. Back home now and getting a little better each day.

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Location:
Posted: July 4, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: Gnocchi37
Age:
68

Volunteer experience in the East of Iceland.

I chose this volunteer project mainly because it involved many of my interests. I enjoy hiking, camping and being outdoors, and I get out of the city as often as possible. I am also environmentally-conscious and have been looking for a volunteer opportunity to allow me to clean up the earth in any way possible. In addition to all of this, I chose this project as I have always wanted to go to Iceland, and for me it was an extraordinary experience to explore the Icelandic nature and landscape.

Feedback is amazing. I loved the program and so did everyone else I was with. It's seriously an amazing opportunity and experience. Meeting all of these different people from all over the world and becoming friends was amazing. I really liked the laid back structure to the program, and the leaders were great.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 10, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Robin K.
Age:
17

The project I took part in was a whole new experience for me. I have never been to Korea and am glad I had decided to go. I met some really great people and made some great friends. It was nice helping people and then just an act of help can put a priceless smile on their face.

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 23, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Sammy20
Age:
20

Just came back from volunteering with CADIP in Iceland. I had a great time, experiencing two very different projects – farm renovation near Reykjavik and coastline cleanup in the Eastfjords. I made friends from all over the world. The organization was perfect and the entire staff was so helpful and friendly.
Looking forward to my next volunteer trip.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 2, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
24

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