Africa

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

My experience using Rustic Volunteers has been very rewarding. I would definitely recommend this program.
The house is very nice. There is almost always electricity and running water, with western style toilets. Our Housemother, Eva, is very good about keeping the house clean and cooking delicious meals on time.
Deo, the country coordinator, has been very helpful. He will answer all your questions and take care of any issues you have. He is very good about coming to the house to check in with everybody. He has been more than helpful.
Volunteering has been great. There are many different schools/orphanages/street centers you can attend. The program is very flexible, so you can have the freedom to jump around to any location you please. All of these centers are very welcoming of volunteers. I recommend going to various volunteer centers so you get more experience, since they are all so different.
There is a lot of free time to do whatever you want. I was fortunate to have Sabi, a tour guide, around to take me and the other volunteers to different excursions and side trips. He was very helpful with showing us around the city, exchanging money, getting us a phone, and planning events.
I highly suggest going on safari. It was a great experience, and a nice break from volunteering. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and going to Zanzibar have also been popular side trips with the other volunteers. However, I recommend booking these trips once you get to Tanzania. It’s cheaper, less hassle, and you can plan to do it with other volunteers.
The only disappointment was Language and Culture week. There was hardly any “culture” involved, and the language part was just having the teacher read out of a translation book. It was not worth the money, and I would not recommend it.
Some things I would recommend are, like I previously mentioned, wait to book any side trips. Also, bring snacks, because only breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided. However, there are lots of nearby markets you can get these things at. I would bring lots of books, an Ipod, or even a laptop. There are internet cafes, but laptops are good for watching movies during your free time. There are outlets here, but you have to bring a converter. These are all things I failed to do. It didn’t affect my stay too much, but it’s something I would have done differently if I would have known.
Overall, Tanzania is a beautiful, safe city with lots of nice locals. I had a lot of fun for the two months I was here. It’s been a life changing experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 26, 2011
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
9

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I went to Uganda for two weeks as a volunteer. Although this wasn't my first time in Africa, Kampala and Uganda proved to be completely different from anything I've ever experienced before!

During my stay I worked at three different projects. I got to try everything from teaching at a local primary school to feeding and playing with orphaned babies. This was very much thanks to the project coordinator, Herman, who was very flexible and helped us with everything regarding the different projects.

We also stayed in Herman's house with his family. They were so great and extremely helpful - they helped us get to and from projects, showed us around Kampala and really made sure we felt as if we had a family away from home! Our stay really would not have been the same without them. They have the biggest hearts and are so caring and welcoming, I am so grateful that I have had the chance to get to know them! Their house was also really nice and comfortable. It was the perfect way to meet other volunteers, but it was also so nice to be able to stay so close to people who truly know the community and could help us with anything we needed. And the food they make here is so good!

Kampala as a city was such a shock at first, but I soon got used to the traffic and the craziness I started to really like it. The people were so friendly and the kids at all projects were so great and I really felt as if I made an impact on their lives. Although I was only here for two weeks it has been so great and I will definitely try to come back again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 15, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I am very disappointed with this organization.
This is definitely no value for money. It is extremely expensive, considering the fact that there are similar programmes who charge way less money, like Youth in Action (which even is free) of the EU, or United Nations volunteer, or SCI long-term volunteering.
I was shocked about the fact how little of the money actually went to the hosting organization and family. Not surprising though, since this is a profit company with many offices and staff all over Europe, they really should focus more on staff /benefits for the people in developing countries, which other organizations do!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: May 11, 2011
Overall:
0
Support:
1
Value:
0

NGO Abroad

I used NGOAbroad in 2010 when I was looking to use my professional degree abroad. I was very satisfied with the experience. Like everyone I was skeptical about paying, but it definitely has paid for itself.

I had several long phone conversations with staff and together we made a plan for what I needed to bolster my resume.

I told them where I wanted to volunteer (a specific African country)and they found a 3 month placement for me that really suited my skills and geographical preferences.

I worked for this small NGO for 3 months and really enjoyed it. In the course of working there I made a lof of contacts, one of whom eventually offered me a job with a UN agency. Another volunteer who was with me also found paid employment at the end of her volunteer stint.

I think this organization would suit people who are career-oriented and pretty serious. Humanitarian/development work is often difficult physically and emotionally, so people who need a lot of hand-holding or flattery might not like the advice they receive. But, for people who really want to break into the field, it is definitely money well spent. Yes, you can probably find somewhere to volunteer on your own, but it will probably not be very connected to what your specific skills are.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 30, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I volunteered with Global Crossroads in Tanzania and Kenya. The program was simply amazing. We (5 friends and I) did a package trip with Global Crossroads: we volunteered in an orphanage in Tanzania, did a safari in Kenya, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was the best trip I have ever been on. Global Crossroads has a system where they have a "homebase" house in every location where volunteers go. The houses in Kenya and Tanzania are both large and nice, and the staff are great. I followed one of the staff members around one day to visit 3 or 4 of the volunteer sites, and they all seemed like great places to volunteer: from clinics to kids centers, orphanages, and community centers. In my opinion, the service and the organization of Global Crossroads can't be beat. If you have an idea of a trip you want to do that integrates service and travel and fun excursions, then as longa s it is in one of the 24 countries Global Crossroads operates in and there are enough people to support the cost, they will create a customized travel package for you. I am definitely going to travel with them in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 10, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

you sound like you work for Golbal Crossroads. as do many of the reviews on here. I had to drop out of a volenteer program after 1 week. i had so much trouble with them. total rip off, for profit org tht pay very little of your program fee to the program you work on.
This in no way sounds like an actual honest review. It is totally lacking in any relevant details and is completely inconsistent with the vast majority of responses. Clearly this organization as so many others, pads its own reviews. Look for information not on Abroad Reviews... unfortunately the for profit owners have corrupted these sites.

Madventurer

If you want to truly help people then Mad probably isnt the option for you. If you want a lightweight 'safe' experience and don't care about international development then Mad IS for you.
This review doesn't say that it isnt fun to travel with Mad, simply to point out that they are a travel agent with a sham development charity. Their projects are like high-tech missiles, fire-and-forget.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jan 16, 2010
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
5

Comments

hi, im interested in applying with madventurer and am looking at reviews because i want an experience working with people from different cultures and helping them out in places like hospitals and orphanages where I really am helping them out and working with people. what do you mean exactly by they are a "travel agent with a sham development charity". please email me on zbrook1@rbksch.org. zoe

Quest Overseas

An amazing experience, there aren't words to describe it. We saw some of the most amazing things in the world, and shared it with a really nice group of people.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Aug 2, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Quest Overseas

I had the most incredible time. The volunteer work was incredible and very worthwhile. we stayed in Tanzania, worked hard on a building project for 6weeks (fun at the same time!!), it was so rewarding by the end as we could really see that we had made a difference. We then travelled around the other countries trekking, diving, going on safaris and more! truely amazing. Never thought I could fit so much into 3 months!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 2, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Quest Overseas

Quest overseas was by far the most amazing experience of my life. Within only three months we visited a huge amount of country and did some incredibly amazing things. The people i met on the trip were absolutely brilliant and our leaders were both highly motivated, resourceful, friendly and exciting to be around. The reason i choose Quest overseas for my gap year was its project, we spent 6 weeks working on a building project in Tanzania on the slopes of kilimanjaro, this was incredibly rewarding as it was a well researched project that was actually something the local community wanted and were committed to the development of. While working it felt like we worked with the community as integrated members rather than being a group of outsiders stuffed on a site for a brief period of time.
The expedition part of the trip was absolutely amazing!! it literally felt like we did something incredible everyday, bunjee jumping, walking safaris, trekking, scuba diving, camping in the Botswana delta, tubing, bridge swinging etc. Although Quest is expensive i would definitely say it was worth the money, the reason its so expensive is that everything is included apart from flights, i barley spent any money while i was actually on the trip and a huge part of the cost is a massive donation to the project, without this donation the project is not possible as it pays for materials and wages etc.
I would not hesitate in recommending this trip to anyone who wants to travel widely, volunteer or just escape for a few months!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 6, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Quest Overseas

Quest is probably one of the few volunteer gap year programs that offers volunteer projects that actually benefit the community. For the 6 weeks that i was helping on a building site in the kilimanjaro region of Tanzania i was very aware of and involved in the positive effect we were having on the local community. Quest makes volunteers give an £850 donation to the project. This paid for our food, accomadation, building supplies and wages for the local builders. None of this money went towards quest. The only money quest takes is for the 6 week travel after the project. This whilst being fairly costly is probably one of the best tailor made trips you can find for that price. We did an amazing number of things, all highly enjoyable. Safari, scuba diving, bungee jumping and many other activities were all part of the trip. I had an amazing time and would recommend Quest to anyone without hesitation. I haven't found any other companies that offer either such a genuinely beneficial project or enjoyable travel. The support we received from our 2 group leaders was gerat as well. Without question worth every penny and at the end of it you have actually helped accomplish something beneficial.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 2, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

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