Global Vision International (GVI)

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9 / 10 after 201 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.gviusa.com/

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While I did have an enjoyable experience, I have too have to wonder how much goes into the field and back to the community. GVI are simply a corporate organsation out to make money. You may particapte in conservation or community based activies, but I have to wonder how much GVI actually cares about making a difference. Not a lot would be my guess. They are just taking advantage of people who do want to make a difference.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 5, 2009
Overall:
5
Support:
4
Value:
4
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

I am a qualified and experienced ecologist and researcher and I do not understand what on earth your point is. I was once on an expedition where camera trapping was used we had 2 cameras. This statement is relatively meaningless. How many should there have been in your opinion? Would 10 be enough? 20? 50? You really should think things through before trying to bring someone else into disrepute. Also, gvi is a business, yes. They pay salaries to their staff, yes. Are you a full-time volunteer or do you earn money in order to be able to volunteer? Well some people who are with gvi full-time, dedicated to carrying out environmental work, are paid to do so and to look after/train volunteers who help them. That money has to come from somewhere I'm afraid. It doesn't make them evil or unethical.
Volunteering should NEVER cost more than room and board. GVI says the money goes into the field (70%) but I did a program in Costa Rica in the rainforest at a site only accessible by boat and GVI didn't own a boat! we had to borrow the ranger's boat to get to and from base! They also said camera-trapping was a study they were conducting for population sampling of the rainforest but they only had 5 cameras and 2 of these still used film! Be wary before giving this corporation you money!
Please see GVI'post above for comments on how volunteer's monies are allocated

I took part in the Sustainable Development Programme in Kenya Aug 2009, the staff we're very supportive prior to the program beginning by contacting me via email and phone to check everything was okay and answering questions i had. I arrived early morning about 1am, there was a GVI staff member there to meet me at the airport and one at the hotel i was staying at for the first night, throughout the program 2 staff were there the whole time, supporting us, working with us, they are now good friends. The cost of the program initially did seem expensive however 70% of the money does go directly to the program you sign up for, and knowing what i know now and what i got out of it.... i would of paid double!

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 27, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

this is Deepak, director of rcdpnepal.org. we are sorry to read this email. This is fake and not posted by any of us. Now a days, any one can post any thing in internet so, we need to be careful. RCDP never involves in any posting aiming to defame or hurt other organization. we have no relationship with gvi. If you have any question, please write me manager@rcdpnepal.org
We were local partner from Nepal (www.rcdpnepal.org), regarding the money GVI used to keep 70% of program fee. We paid a small portion of program fee so we did not like to work with GVI developed our own program. I can grantee you that in developing countries everything is cheaper. In Kenya project receive max $100-$125/week and plus some administrative cost. 95% of our volunteers were unsatisfied from the program cost of GVI. I sure that you should have some kind of relationship w/ GVI and given positive comments. In fact we worked for them 3 years. They find all partners though the internet, they have no ideas about the counties however thank your for your good time w/ GVI

Without a doubt I would encourage anyone to go on a GVI expedition! I just returned from an amazing 5 weeks in the Seychelles and am hoping to take part in another expedition at some point in the future.
I found the whole experience well organised, personal and smooth from general enquiry to returning to the UK. I found the staff to be really friendly and helpful, and were always happy to answer any questions I had, no matter how trivial! My emails were replied to quickly which was reassuring and after applying (which I did about 8 months before I actually left) I had regular email contact to provide more specific information and answer questions.
When I arrived in the Seychelles I was met at the airport and taken to the base, which was about 30 seconds walk away from a beautiful bay where we went diving each day. The staff on base were brilliant - most of them having been volunteers in the past, then interns before becoming staff and so had a vast amount of knowledge of the area and base, and knew the answer to almost every question or problem which could arise!
The expedition wrote a weekly blog which was uploaded onto the website which was great for family and friends to keep updated with what we were doing.
Overall I think every £ spent was worth it. I came back an Advanced, Rescue, Coral Reef Research Diver with some lifelong friends and unforgetable memories.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 10, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I wouldn't recommend GVI to anyone. I ended up leaving the expedition in Costa Rica after 3 weeks because I was so disappointed with the experience. It wasn't at all like how it was described on the website; the training was brutal, there was no english teaching or environmental programs for the community, the base was crappy, the equipment was falling apart, and the activities that they promised like white water rafting and the canopy tour were suddenly not part of the expedition when we arrived there. They also make you pay for anything they can when you're on base...like t shirts.
When they say that 79% of the money goes into the field, they really mean that it goes to Head Office and the field is neglected. The 24 hour emergency support was terrible and I'm still trying to get in touch with them to get a refund, even though I left a month and a half ago. My emails and phone calls to GVI to talk about my experience are basically being ignored.
There are plenty of people who need your help abroad! - look for them at hostels and in communities when you are travelling! Dont make the same mistake I did! Go with the little guys who need you and avoid GVI's corporate money making ideology.
Join this expedition if you want to throw your money away and get screwed.
p.s., no refunds under any circumstances...apparently its in the fine print.

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 11, 2008
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

I read this review before paying for GVI Costa Rica Rainforest Expedition and thought the same as other replies: that maybe you were over reacting and simply couldn't handle roughing-it. I was completely wrong. This program is not how it is described. It is not research, it is not making a difference, there are no researchers, educators or scientists on base. The food is rice and beans everyday lunch and dinner. The leaders are highschool graduates and young adults and you never do community work, teach english or feel as if you are making a difference. Seriously consider everything before you give this corporation your money, this project in particular is seriously misrepresented and all the money is in the office. BE WARY!!
Similar disappointment has been expressed by current participants in Costa Rica (April 2010). THIS IS NOT A RESEARCH PROGRAM. If it's summer camp for adults you're looking for, this is it, but there are better options.
Stay away from global vision. I paid $2000 for 5 weeks Nepal trip. I learned only $300 reachers to field. where does rest money go? corrupt organization- stay away
I volunteered with GVI in Ecuador last year, and couldn't have been more impressed with their operations, before my start date and the professionalism in the field. Everything from start to finish was perfect and I strongly recommend it to anyone wanting the complete volunteer experience. The company has been going for over 10 years, and would not be where they are now without being able to do an excellent job in all aspects of the program.
Couldn't be more different from my own experience! I had a great time and really saw the difference the program was making - Yes, I had my issues with how much was going into the field - but many of the small organisations (that companies like GVI support) wouldn't receive any volunteers if it wasn't for GVI and their network highlighting the needs of these programs. I spent 6 months in Latin America picking up volunteering work from hostels and found that it was impossible to do anything structured if you only stayed for a minimum of 2 or so weeks - these companies allow people to get involved when time is short. I guess there will always be some that are dissapointed, but from the whole I felt those volunteering with me were well looked after and really made a difference
Sorry but I have to question this. Exactly what difference does this program make? I did the six month internship with GVI in Costa Rica and I will admit that there is some important work done with the turtles but this is not run by GVI. GVI volunteers are just used as man power by the STC (formerly the CCC). Why not volunteer with them directly and cut out the money making middle man? The GVI surveys are not scientific, have not contributed to improving the environment in Costa Rica in any way (a few posters do not count as published scientific findings) and all the beach patrols, compost heaps, light and noise pollution and chemicals being dumped by volunteers who use non eco-friendly products even though they are not supposed to is actually harming the local environment if you ask me. Don't get me wrong I had a lot of fun out there but now I'm home I don't feel I have the right to go round telling people I was helping the environment for 6 months because I wasn't. It's not eco-vounteering and they should be ashamed to pretend it is given the huge amounts they charge and the massively low operating costs of the base.
No water rafting, and no canopy tour?? How horrible! You have to PAY for your own T-shirt!! Gosh, development work seems really tough! Maybe I'll stay back and work at Starbucks this summer.

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