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Projects Abroad

I had a great experience with Projects Abroad. My parents were a little worried about security and the political situation the country I would volunteer in would be so I picked Peru and it was a great choice! Projects Abroad always made sure we were happy and if we wanted to do change something in our schedule all we had to do was ask! They were very welcoming. I met so many great people like my host family, other volunteers and the staff. Not only did I volunteer but we visited Peru and its various cultural sights. Overall I had a great time and I would definitely do it again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

My two weeks of volunteering in the Public Health program in Cambodia through Projects Abroad was hands-down the most amazing experience of my life. During my time there, I practiced hands-on medicine in a way that directly and immediately helped impact the lives of people living in some of the poorest regions of Phnom Penh. We worked with kids in the mornings and adults during the afternoon, and in our free time, most of the volunteers explored the city or even ventured to other cities on the weekends. This program is also an excellent program if you are interested in practicing medicine in a setting outside of a hospital or clinic: we set up temporary free clinics each afternoon where we saw patients from different parts of the city. Sometimes we worked out of an out-of-use clinic, used a day care center belonging to a partner organization, or even worked on the street or out of someone’s house. While this may sound unappealing to some, I will say that it definitely adds something extra to the experience. We one day were working in the street when it started pouring rain, so we ended up being shepherded into someone’s hut. It was literally a single-room home that had barely any extra floor space when the bed was lying on the floor instead of propped on the wall. However, we managed to fit all 6 volunteers/program staff, plus about 5 patients at a time, and we spent nearly 4 hours working with patients and bonding in our small, cramped but oddly cozy ‘clinic’. As simple and potentially insignificant as it may seem, this is one of my favorite memories and one that I know I will remember for many years to come.
While the incredible people I met, the work I did, and the unforgettable memories all play an enormous role in my reflection of this experience, I know that the program itself is to thank for most of this. The volunteers were incredibly well taken care of, and there was never an instance where I felt that the program had been ill-prepared to handle the situation; we always had a safe place to stay, clean/safe food and water, and ample opportunities to communicate with our program leaders if we ever needed extra help or support. Leaving a small town in Alaska to travel to a developing country on a continent I had never been to before was, understandably, only marginally less than terrifying, but the constant support from the Projects Abroad staff—which starts nearly the moment you send in your application—helped alleviate my concerns and was one of the factors that helped me decide to proceed with my volunteer experience. I have no reservations in entirely, whole-heartedly recommending this program to anyone wanting to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Involvement Volunteers International

The Philippines were amazing, I felt really welcome by the family, the project and also the city of tacloban. Our host family were so good! The Gepate family made us feel like home! They where warm and loving.

Our project were fantastic to, the kids were so sweet and I really felt that we were needed there and that we made a difference. So all in all a beautiful and amazing experience at the Philippines.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Philippines
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Involvement Volunteers International

“Oh wow, we have the same birthday” I said gently, sitting cross legged on the floor opposite a woman of my exact age, her name was Kaliti. She smiled weakly. She had been pleased to see me but there was an unbelievable sadness to her that made me want to talk softly and slowly so as not to break her.

It was my third week in Fiji volunteering at the womans commune, a housing commission for Fiji’s destitute. The property houses 124 flats that are rented out for $5 a week to anyone that has nowhere else to go. As a Naturopath, I had come to make house calls on all the residents and do some basic health checks.

Two other women sat with us. Outside you could hear the five children that also lived here playing and giggling. This was my seventh family I’d visited today so I was familiar with the setup of the houses- very little furniture, a small kitchen with nothing in it, a couple of mats on the floor which served as the sitting area/bed for this family of eight and an over powering smell that I can only describe as the smell of poverty.

Slowly this family began to warm to me and through broken English I learned of their story. Kaliti had just come from the hospital after an operation to remove an ovarian cyst. She had been living here helping her auntie who had recently become the sole carer of Kaliti’s 5 cousins. In January, the children’s mother had died from pneumonia, closely followed by their father from tuberculosis in June. Now they all lived here with their grandmother.

The grandmother was 61 years old. She looked tired and stressed. When I asked her about her own health, she began to cry. Through tears she told me that she had recently been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and fatty liver disease. She cried not because of her conditions but because of how scared she was that her grandchildren may have no one to care for them if something was to happen to her. On her death bed, her daughter had asked her to take care of the children and the grandmother had pleaded with her that she wasn’t strong enough to raise more children. But she had no choice.

The children are all in primary school. They have no shoes to wear to school. They out grew their sandals and now their thongs have worn out too. All five children have lice, ringworm and scabies.

This wasn’t the first grandmother I had met who was now the sole carer of her grandchildren. It was a common story line. Fijian people place high importance on loyalty to family. It’s inspiring. They will give so much of what they have to others even when they have hardly anything left to give.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location:
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I spent a month teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City, and loved every moment of it. The Green Lion staff are some of the friendliest people I have met, and go out of hier way to ensure that your stay is enjoyable. The first week consists of 3 orientation days to show you around the city, which were great but for this reason I recommend you volunteer for more than 2 weeks, as not much of the first week is spent in your program. The people I met there were so enthusiastic about travel and helping those in less fortunate circumstances than their own, creating a great atmosphere at the accomodation. The lovely family that live across the road pretty much do everything, from the cooking, laundry and running the corner store. Food served 3 times a day is a great way to experience Vietnamese cuisine, and they make sure to accomodate for all. If you are thinking twice about volunteering abroad or traveling solo for the first time, don’t! I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone, not that I was out of it for long because the Green Lion staff that run the volunteering projects make you feel right at home,

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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