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International Humanity Foundation

I’m Lingna Chen, a student from The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. I’m also a work-study volunteer at Aceh center. At this center, we teach lovely children and teenagers who desire knowledge. At our spare time, we also go out for fundraising with local volunteers. As a Mandarin teacher, I teach the younger most basic but useful sentences. I also enjoy the story telling class and the singing class. Meanwhile, I make a lot of friends all over the world. I’m very glad to be an IHF volunteer because I have gained what I really want. I chose it for helping others as well as challenging myself. During this teaching period, I think I’m more patient and creative. Also I’ve broadened my eyes and thought more about equity and efficiency. I’ll try my best to help others!

Program:
Location:
Posted: Jul 23, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

uVolunteer

This was the second time I volunteered with uVolunteer. Both times were amazing experiences. The first time was Thailand and this most recent time was in Costa Rica.
I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica I have seen pictures I even did a school report on the country when I was in 5th grade. Ever since I did the school project it was on my list of countries I wanted to travel to.
After my experience in Thailand I knew I wanted to do another uVolunteer program. When I saw that Costa Rica was a uVolunteer destination I knew I had to do it.
The community project was a lot fun. It was summer time so at first there were not that many children but as word got around it was not long before there was a line out the door of children waiting for us to arrive with our arts and crafts projects.
I will definatly do another uVolunteer project in the future.
Helen

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

This is a review I've written and submitted to people who have contacted me; concerned fathers for their daughters were predominately the people who reached out to me. I was happy to submit this review to them, particularly seeing as how both myself and my parents held similar reservations about virtually any program we didn’t directly know someone who had attended.

I’m a 24 year old female, was 23 at the time of the program, and live in LA now. I've studied in both Germany and Morocco, and traveled internationally by myself many times. Because of this my parents were more willing to trust my decision; however, as the program date got closer, I became nervous that it was a scam, fraud, etc. Not the case at all. There’s a cultural difference in communication which lends them to having a rather “hands-off” approach to communication, or rather, the level of communication isn’t up to Western standards. This doesn’t mean it’s not a great program. Pranay and Amita founded the NGO together when they were 21 (they’re married), and truly believe in what they’re doing. I cannot praise the both of them enough.

They contract drivers to shuttle the volunteers to the program sites, and the in-volunteer-house cook, Puni, is not only a wonderful cook, but a wonderful person. Nobody got sick while eating at the volunteer house as the cooks are very sensitive to what volunteers’ stomachs may or may not be used to. Pranay and I had corresponded via email and arranged for him to book my first night in a hotel (he even made the hotel recommendation), and arranged transportation and paid both the hotel and driver from the airport (for which I reimbursed him for later, of course). He even had the driver from the airport phone him when I was in the vehicle, and spoke with me over the driver’s phone to let me know that this was the legitimate driver, and to which hotel we were going. This was above and beyond in my eyes.

I was pleasantly surprised at the volunteer house facilities. The rooms had ac from 11:00pm to 6:00am (I attended the summer, Jaipur program), and there’s actually a western style bathroom. There’s even a brief orientation in which they give the breakdown of cost percentages of your program fee, and how much actually goes to those in need. I don’t remember the percentage off the top of my head, but it is a large one.
I did the Women’s Empowerment Summer Program, and at the beginning of the program, everyone has a chance to change their program after learning about all of them. There are many nationalities, and I was only one of three Americans, which made the program a blast. Essentially all programs, government school, street kids, women’s empowerment, and orphanage work are all just teaching English. Just in different locations. This was such a challenge, but so very rewarding and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

On another note, Pranay and Amita don’t go on weekend excursions with you, though Pranay goes on the week-long summer program excursion with everyone. He’s young (about 28) and a lot of fun. The age demographic was that of self-sufficient, early to late (mostly those out of university) 20-something year olds.

I’ve done four overseas program (none volunteer though, Sankalp was my first), and while the organization to this one is perhaps the worst, the heart of the people and customer service is the best. Other volunteers and I did come to the conclusion that, from an organizational perspective, there was a Western bias and expectation that we held. I think the existential thought most people held was “who am I to come into a culture with little-to-zero legitimacy and still think I can make a difference?” This is incredibly valid, but once you’re there and complete the program, you realize that the point isn’t to teach them English fluently, it’s not to build a curriculum (which is virtually impossible because no structure exists, nor are we there for years), but just to keep the kids and young adults interested in schooling and learning. That, rather, is what I took out of it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Volunteering Solutions

I went through Volunteering Solutions to volunteer at an orphanage in Kenya. I had never volunteered overseas before so I wanted to find out as much information as possible before I left. Once I signed up and paid, I received the PreDeparture booklet which contained much of the information I needed to know; however, I still had many questions. I e-mailed the support person for this program and though at first it took some time to get a response, as time drew closer to my trip I got very timely answers that were helpful.
Once I arrived in country I was met at the airport by the program coordinator who drove me to my placement. I was met at the volunteer house by a group of amazing people who were anxious to welcome me into the house, and immediately invited me to go out for dinner with them. Our house mom could be quiet at times (and actually we had 2 different ones while I was there) but both would always be friendly if you had any questions or concerns. You have to think that even though you are in a country that is totally new to you, they are in a house full of new people that they have to watch after all the time- this would be a very exhausting job.
I enjoyed my placement as well and though there were some issues we had to deal with at times, it was very worth it to get to know the kids and feel like you were making a difference.
Overall, I had a great experience. Volunteering solutions was very helpful in making this first volunteer trip overseas a memorable and enjoyable one. Yes there are always going to be things that happen that aren't ideal, but it's all what you make of it. I was in a house full of awesome volunteers which made all the difference. Everyone has their own opinion of things, but after reading the previous reviews I almost canceled my trip through Vol. Sol. I'm so glad I didn't though, it was a great experience that I will remember for the rest of my life! :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8

Global Crossroad

I thought the house was a great home base. I felt at home since day one. We had a nice room and it was always clean. Only concern I had was my mosquito the first night had visible large holes at the top. Would have been nice to have had an intact one to start, after I replaced it all was fine. Food was great.
The staff was absolutely wonderful. The staff are all amazing at what they do and so welcoming. I felt like I’d known them longer than I actually did. Great group. Franklin also was clear with project placement and changes. Open communication, all was appreciated.
I was placed at TT clinic. I thought the time spent there was great. I learned a lot, though because of my short time there, I did not really get too many hands on time, but was expecting that beforehand. The staff was friendly and I’m walking away with a much better understanding of rural healthcare in Ghana. just wished I could have been a bit more involved to leave them something in return. Longer placement at clinic would be most beneficial.
I’m pleased with the set up provided. I have done many volunteer programs over the years and would definitely do another through Global Crossroad. Only thing I would have liked to have would be the orientation that the start to get an idea of how much things cost, language, sites etc. regardless I will recommend this program to others.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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