Africa

Original Volunteers

My time with Original Volunteers in Ghana was easily the best few weeks of my life, everything ran smoothly, I met some wonderful people both locals and other volunteers and every day was a new adventure.

First of all I was a little nervous about walking out of the airport into a strange place not really knowing what to expect, but straight away I saw a guy with a big Original Volunteers sign and my name written with it, so I walked over and he explained in good English who he was, showed me his ID and off we went onto a 3 or 4 hour journey into the Hills of Kwahu. It was late when I arrived and the other volunteers were sleeping so after a very warm welcome from 3 more staff members we called it a night. In the morning the other new volunteers and I were given a proper welcome, all the information we need was given and they answered all our questions, we spent the rest of the day getting shown around the local area, gathering supplies, mainly drinking water and snacks.

The next day is when the volunteering began, the days usually begin with a meeting where we all discuss what we will be doing and what we want to achieve. We had a good mix of teachers and builders so we split into our groups and headed off to work. We spent the first couple of weeks building a new class room for a small community in which the school was falling to pieces. As a volunteer builder you don’t need to bring anything special or have any special skills but it is hard work.

I did some teaching at a school called Sunrise where I met so many lovely children and teachers, it was an amazing experience. I had no teaching experience and no idea what to expect. The children have a curriculum but there’s no need to stick to it, the subjects are up to you within reason of course. I taught lessons on planets, simple maths and some simple English lessons. If you plan on teaching for your whole trip I’d recommend thinking of some lesson plans before hand and take any equipment you might need. Most of the schools have little or no equipment so taking stationary is a good idea.

Usually weekends are free time so we travelled to various places around the country, The first place we went was Mole National Park, it was amazing, we stayed in a hotel in the middle of the park surrounded by all kinds of animals, we saw elephants every day and every kind of monkey imaginable, the only crime I saw in Ghana was a Baboon stealing my Hobnobs.
There is also a nice pool and well stocked bar, friendly staff and quite nice rooms.

My other favourite place is Kokrobite, a small beach front community with a few hotels and a very nice atmosphere, this is the place to come to unwind, there Is a western owned hotel called Big Millies, they organise beach parties with bars, live music, Bon Fires and nice food.

Another great place to visit is Cape Coast, we spent two days there and visited the old Slave Castle which was very interesting and taught me a lot. The next day we visited Kakum National park where we had a mini jungle trek followed by the Canopy walk which is a 350 M walkway suspended high in the trees, I highly recommend this as it gave a unique perspective of the rain forest.

There is so much more to do in Ghana it’s impossible to fit it all into one trip but whatever you do you will love it.
I was so sad to leave Ghana I have been back once already and I will going again next year, I genuinely recommend Original volunteers, they are cheap, supportive and reliable.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Aug 16, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Nakuru Hope

I am so thrilled that there is a site that you can actually say how you're volunteering was so that others can see for themselves, I didn't have this when I was searching for a volunteering experience, I wish I did.
I spent just over 5 weeks at the most amazing school and orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya called Gabriels, which is Nakuru Hope's centre and it's amazing!
Right from the beginning when I finally came across Nakuru Hope through Google and sent an enquiry which actually went to the founder of Nakuru Hope, her name is Susan Saleeba, within a day I got back everything that I needed to know, what I was going to do, where it was, what the costs were and all that information that you just want straight away because you can't wait to go.
I emailed Susan with my concerns and there was some, like safety, diseases etc, and what I liked was that she was straight up and explained all the facts and that if my parents or friends were concerned she was available for a Skype discussion to alleviate any concerns.
I got an account of the charges, and there wasn't one for organising everything, because its done voluntarily from her office in Perth, Australia. It was great to get it early so that I could budget.
When I arrived I was met at the airport and had an overnight stay which was organised at a really interesting historical Club just over from the city of Nairobi. I was picked up the following morning and had a choice to go to the Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Park, I did both, it was pretty cheap as well and glad I did as it was my first time in Africa and to see the giraffes up close as well as the elephants it was an experience. The we drove through Kenya to Nakuru, its a big town with everything that you could want, supermarkets, banks etc. We arrived at these big yellow gates and when they opened for the van all the children ran to welcome me, I was with four other volunteers from different parts of the world, I had met them at the same club overnight. The children are amazing, lots of laughter and big smiles.
My first day was a bit daunting as this was all new to me, one of the other volunteers was making her second visit. Where we would be living for the next few weeks was really great, its like a dormitory but we all have curtains plus there's is a bathroom and proper toilet, a little kitchen where we had our breakfast and dinner was prepared each night by a lovely Kenyan lady, her name was LUcy and she cleansed and looked after all of us. The days were filled with countless experiences. Working in the classroom with the kids, playing and teaching them songs. I went to the farm where they grow vegetables and it was great to see how they feed all the children with fresh vegetables like kale corn spinach and there were tomatoes going in as well. The kitchen work was fun we had a day making chapatis for all the children and talking to Josephine and Julius who work in the kitchen just talking and learning about each other. Christopher is the head of the school and orphanage and he is amazing with all the children, he comes out with funny little thoughtful sayings that make you think and understand so much more. We had plenty of time to ourselves as well but I really just wanted to stay where we were, some of us frequented the local cafe and went shopping. Its hard to sit and have a hamburger and thick shake when you know that there are so many children out in the slums that we visited that had nothing no food nothing to sleep on. Chris took us out many times to visit families of the children so that we could see for ourselves the lives of these little ones. It really is shocking but the wonderful thing that Nakuru Hope does is calls them all their family and they are right there to help whenever they can with whatever needs doing. One lady burnt her self really badly on the coals that they cook with, Chris straight away got her to the hospital, took the children into the orphanage bathed, feed them and looked after them with the staff helping so that the mother could get better. Anyway I just wanted to let others know that everyday meant something to me and I know now how important it is to help and to care about those who really don't have anything except for Nakuru Hope. I am thankful for Susan for right away helping me with my doubts and making all the arrangements and for Christopher who runs everything with the most amazing staff. I always felt safe, needed and it was very sad the day I had to leave it was like leaving my family, I hope that one day I will return what I do know is that the donations that they get really are given for the needs of the kids there is so much that is done. I hope one day you may also have an opportunity to visit and if you do I hope you too will feel at the end of your stay that you have made a difference. Its been 4 months now since I have returned to my own home, lives not quite the same now, i guess i look at things a whole lot differently. I am also hoping that when I get to Perth which is across Australia from me here in Melbourne that I will meet the most remarkable lady who began Nakuru Hope's Gabriels, she is as amazing as all that is accomplished.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 15, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

Staying at Daktari was such a great experience for me. I was impressed of the amazing people who made me feel welcome. I didn’t need previous knowlege to teach the chiledren and to take care about the animals I could easily handle it, because of the good introduction of the Daktari team.

Ian and Michelle are just like caring parents for the children, animals, the staff and volunteers.
I had the feeling to really make something useful for the the children and the animals.
I enjoed showing them the real world and the real south africa.

Reflecting the time in africa I really miss the beatiful landscape of Daktari, the morning Dogwalk, the colourful sunset, the run to „Leopard Rock“, singing and sitting around the ,,Bonfire’’ and last but not least the people from Daktari.

A big thank you to all the people who made my visit at Daktari unforgettable.

Best wishes

Sabrina from Germany

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Give a Heart To Africa

Many of life’s best adventures are not meticulously planned far in advance. Thirty days after I retired from thirty years’ of teaching, I arrived in Tanzania in June, 2010, to volunteer at GHTA for the first time. I taught English to a fabulous group of men and women who were eager to learn. It stunned me that they would thank me every day for teaching them. I lived in the house that is attached to the classrooms in a secure compound in a neighborhood near the university. Our translators were so encouraging and helpful; Margaret sang as she cooked our dinner daily, and other volunteers quickly became my friends for the next two months. Although I have a teaching background, this is not a requirement; a willingness to help these students gain skills so they can discover opportunities for success and employment to provide for their families is vital. Though I loved my daily interaction with the classes, I loved our Friday home visits which gave us a chance to interact one-on-one and to meet the family (or, sometimes, the whole compound). It was the home visit that informed us clearly about each individual.
As you read other reviews on this page, you will find plenty of details about the basics of the school, the lovely town of Moshi, and the serendipitous array of weekend adventures. Though I thoroughly enjoyed my safaris, the coffee tour, the visit to Lake Chala, trips to Arusha, the Usambara Mountains, what I loved was the people. If you are reading this review trying to decide where to volunteer and how long to stay, let me be clear. At the end of two months, I was wishing I could stay longer. You also should know that I have returned twice, in October, 2011, and May, 2014, each time for two months. It was wonderful to share a home with other volunteers of varied backgrounds, languages, ages, occupations and travel experiences. We helped plan lessons and activities together and sought ways to help our students who struggled as well as challenge those who excelled.
One of the absolute highlights was celebrating the 5th anniversary of GHTA and meeting students and volunteers from the classes I had taught in 2010 and 2011 to see how their lives had been positively impacted by their time in our school. The very fact that Monika would seek to find them and invite them to come tells you that this is a community effort, not just a quick field trip into another country. What an absolute joy to come alongside them as they work in the co-op, run a spa, maintain a food stall in Uhuru Park, actively supporting one another. It is astounding that these mamas came as strangers to one another as they entered GHTA. If you are seeking to expand your horizons while making a true difference in the lives of women in the Moshi area, this is the place for you. It bears repeating that this NGO uses 100% of the fees to live and board in the house to support GHTA. No fees are divided by an umbrella organization; your placement as a teacher is established clearly when you are accepted. Former volunteers and board members are available to answer questions you might have. You will be independent, you can learn some Kiswahili, you will bond with these women very quickly and invest your time and energy in their educational experiences. You will come to love the neighborhood children in the bi-weekly after-school program. You will make some lifelong friendships with other volunteers. You will not leave GHTA unchanged; my perspective on life has not been the same.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 17, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I was placed in Moshi, Tanzania by IFRE. I had the most incredible experience. I was originally signed up to work in an Orphanage, but I would have had to walk 45 minutes every day by myself to get to the job. I decided to join the people living in the volunteer house that were teaching at a local school, and in the afternoons I went to the local orphanage that was just 5 minutes away. It was truly life changing, and I could not have asked for a better experience. I am young, only 17. I had been trying to get myself to Africa for about 3 years but the teen programs were always too expensive. I found IFRE because I was trying to find an affordable way to travel to Africa and volunteer, yet still be safe. During my trip I never felt unsafe. Deo, the in country coordinator and owner of the house, was awesome! He was super nice and funny and helped me get set up as soon as I got to Africa. The only complaint I have is that I didn't get my insurance until I was already in Tanzania, when I should have gotten it before. Other than that it was amazing. I created incredible bonds with the children I worked with and with some of the local people in Tanzania. Currently I am still connected to those people through Facebook and email! Because I enjoyed my trip so much, I am planning to go back to Tanzania! I wanted to thank IFRE for giving me the opportunity to have the incredible experience I had.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 7, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Cross Cultural Solutions was everything I was looking for! I was in between universities and degrees and was not sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. I ended up spending 5 weeks in Morocco because I could work with individuals with disabilities. I struggled at first to keep up with the daily tasks and the conditions but after just a few days I feel in love. Everyone there never stopped smiling and laughing, no matter the day or how they felt. It was inspiring. Cross cultural solutions also let me explore an amazing country! I went to Fes where it feels as if you are still in the 12th century, I went to the desert and rode a camel and it was truly the most amazing thing I have ever done! The country director was always available and went out of his way to make sure I was okay. Cross-cultural solutions is the best program if you want to help others, travel, and really immerse yourself in the culture.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 14, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Last summer I decided to volunteer through Projects Abroad in Tanzania. I had the opportunity to work at a school and an orphanage in the local village of USA River which is a Dala Dala (a Tanzania taxi bus of sorts) from the city of Arusha. Initially I part took in the 2 week high school special. This was an amazing way to meet other high school aged volunteers from around the world, with the same commitment to volunteering. I met some of my closest friends to this day, and they are from Holland, Dubai, while I am from the USA. Projects abroad will provide you with an experience that you won’t forget! I decide to stay an entire month because of the amazing staff I met, and their support encouraged me to continue volunteering. They are extremely supportive from the very first informational email, to the taxi back to the airport the staff was there for you. When I arrived in Tanzania one of the staff members picked me up from the airport, introduced me to the host family I was living with, and then the next day took me around the town to orient me to where I would be living. The next day a staff member took me to my volunteer placement at the school and helped me find my way around. While having the chance to be fully immersed in the Tanzanian culture the office also provided language lessons to enhance your experience. I went to two separate sections of classes and loved both the local teacher and support staff. I would without hesitation recommend Projects Abroad for your Volunteer Organization! If you want to be the change that you want to see, contact Projects Abroad today!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 11, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
9

RCDP Nepal

best job ever !!!!!
thanks all the peoples I met during my volunteering time, really gratitude for this opportunity , it was my first time join the program like this , l learned a lot from the children and teachers . Even I just stay few days with the kids , but I m sure this is the most awesome moment in my life .
I love Kenya , I love Havilla .
God bless all of us and I will back .

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 11, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Elective International

Jambo my name is Radha and I'm a 4th year medical student from the UK. I came to Mombasa Kenya to do a 4week elective in Coast Province General hospital. Let me tell you now, it was the best decision I made! I have learnt so much from the doctors and patients and their families alike.

Coming from a National Health System, I wanted exposure to a low resource hospital in a developing country where I would be able to gain a vast amount of hands on experience. That is exactly what I got. There wasn't one day when I didn't learn a new skill or about a condition. The doctors were eager to teach and you were included into their team and your opinion and input mattered greatly to them. I had prejudged that their practice would be very different to back home, however, quite obviously, the knowledge and treatment guidelines were basically the same, only that the work ups and management was conducted to the best of their ability.

Being a government hospital meant patients had to pay for their treatment and investigations. Therefore Drs would have to manage the patients based on that pretence, sometimes having to skip certain steps.

The set-up is basic but it is incredible how much they are able to do still and the vast patient turnover. I chose to rotate through internal medicine, Obs Gynae, paediatrics and casualty/ER. These areas gave me a wide view of the standard there.

Having not been to a government hospital in a developing country before, I was apprehensive about how I would personally react more than fear of getting a shock. This was thanks to the Global aid team as they had thoroughly prepared me from weeks in advance.

Throughout my planning and decision making process, members of the team had been in touch via emails, text and calls to ensure that I knew exactly what I was paying for and what I could hope to achieve. Although I initially felt overwhelmed with the amount of discipline they proposed with regards to hospital timings and logbook completion, I later came to appreciate this level of organisation and care they had for wanting me to get the most out of the experience. They based my experience on objectives that I had set to achieve and tailored this whilst I was out here based on what I was able to see and get done and what further things I wanted to do. For example I was able to fit loads of IV lines and take bloods within the first week and so wanted more practice Suturing. I was able to do just that in casualty. As long as the staff know what you want to achieve and you show enthusiasm and intuition, you will get to do and see above and beyond what you had bargained for!

And it doesn't stop at the hospital... I felt I got a real feel of Kenya whilst I was there. Although awesome meals are provided, I made sure I ventured out and tried typical Kenyan food. The family I stayed with guided me to the best places which meant I didn't get ill even once!

Just like any country, you need to be smart and not put yourself in harms way. Your transport to and from hospital is in place so there is no worries there. The drivers are great fun and teach you about the area and the local language! Within the hospital you will have a mentor who will organise your time in hospital to make you sure you're not wasting your time and getting the most out of it. Then once in the team you will make friends with docs etc who will be so eager to show you around and make sure you see their country that you will never feel alone and in danger.

Any activities outside the hospital are organised by yourself but again the global aid team will be more than happy to give you ideas and contacts to get you the best deals and make sure you don't get ripped off. It obviously depends on your interests, for example I am really into nature rather than the touristy things, so I went on walks and to the beach. I even got the chance to do a kite surfing course. I am also a huge fan of food so I made sure I tried all the local delicacies! As long as you want to do things badly enough, you won't miss out!

I would advise taking lots of mosquito spray. And definitely make the most of the team. Ask them as many questions as possible. I felt bad for constantly annoying them to find out every last detail, but they were more than happy to help and I was grateful for all their advice as it meant my trip was successful and thoroughly enjoyable!! And once you're out there make the most of it, get stuck in, talk to doctors and patients about their experience and really get a feel of life for them. You will be amazed! Don't pity them because the majority are doing incredible things with their lives and are so happy! Just don't take them for granted and treat the people like they are below you. Developing country is just that.. They are developing and coming up in the world, and that is only possible because of its people!

I want to thank them all for being so great and can't wait to embark on my next adventure with them! Have a great elective and hope you pick coast general!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Sep 9, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I was a volunteer for the month of July 2015 in Kenya, Africa. I had a wonderful ground coordinator (Barnabus Mutua) and host family. I was introduced immediately to the community and family friends which made my trip most delightful and interesting. The project I worked on was well organized and I was encourage to participate in as many aspect of the project as needed. Weekend tours were organized which allowed me to see much more of Kenya and Nairobi outside of the work area. The home was nice and a variety of ethnic foods were provided each day. Other volunteers were welcomed in the home which enriched the experience even more. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to have had the experience in Africa doing what I love doing the most, which is: teaching, sharing and learning with others.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Aug 11, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Africa