Africa

Frontier

I have had the best 5 weeks of my life here, completely bested my expectations and has been the perfect start to my gap year. Could NOT recommenced the place more, the diving is amazing, the staff are excellent and camp life is great. COME TO MAFIA!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Africa
Posted: Aug 8, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I arrived at Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi Kenya several days before the visit of Obama. After I got my visa,one of my hosts Jackson picked me. Then he drove to the place where i will live for 3 weeks. On our way home, Jackson told me a lot about the Nairobi. He showed me where the downtown area and the tallest tower. The place where I live is located inside the slum Kibera.The environment is soso but worth to experience. In the afternoon,Leah(volunteer from Canada) and I went to the YAYA center and had our money exchanged and we got local Sim card with 3G network access too. This was basically what happened on the first day. On the next 4 following days, I worked at a Children Center inside the slum. It only costs around 10mins to walk there. When I went the the first day, the kids were a little bit shy. They were curious about me. Later, I was assigned by the Domitila(founder of center this children) to teach the class 2. When the kids first saw me, they were yelling Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee all the time because I am from Hong Kong, China. They really wanted to learn Kung Fu and, fortunately, I have learned Kung Fu when I was a kid. I do not want to let them down so i decided to teach them Kung Fu on the following two weeks. We truly had a good time and 8 of them will performance Kung Fu at the following school festival. Besides teaching Kung Fu, I graded their English assignments and helped the kitchen to serve breeakfast and lunch to the kids. I also helped the teacher Tarson to cut out the letters for the following school festival. In a word, this place is definitely worth coming and the coordinator Barnabas will take good care of you. Kenya welcomes you and the kids are waiting for you.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 28, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I have volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions on 5 different occasions. Each time it has been an incredible experience and I hope to travel with them again. I travelled to Moshi, Tanzania once and Rabat, Morocco four times. I fell in love with both places and would highly recommend both trips to anyone that in considering volunteering abroad. The program is very well organized and the quality of the volunteer placements really makes you feel like you are giving back as you are working with grassroots organizations in each country. I can't say enough about the orphanage and school where I worked. I made amazing connections with both the children and staff, many of which I still keep in touch with today. The in-country staff were fantastic in both locations, they really go above and beyond to make sure you are safe and comfortable and have the best possible experience. The accommodations are lovely and the ease of getting to your placement with the help of their drivers/transportation was also great, it really allowed you to focus on the volunteer work and not the logistics. The food was also wonderful and CCS really gives you a unique opportunity to participate in other cultural activities, such as day trips, traditional cooking, dance and music. The way the program is set up you work hard in the mornings and have a good amount of time in the afternoons and weekends to really get to explore the location you have travelled to. Some highlights were a safari in Tanzania and a camel trip through the Sahara Desert in Morocco. My experiences with CCS have changed my life for the better, prior to my first trip I worked in a job that I wasn't completely in love with, since my travels I have realized I love working with children and have gone back to school to become a teacher. I owe these positive life changes to my experiences with CCS.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 21, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

ORIGINAL VOLUNTEERS!!! DO NOT DO IT!!!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 15, 2015
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Askari WCP

I participated in the Askari 2 week programme with a group of students and teachers from my college. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was blown away by everything when I arrived. The hosts, Katie and Ed were such passionate, knowledgeable and hospitable people. The food was great, the volunteer house was comfy and had everything we needed, the maid service was excellent and of course, the landscape and wildlife surrounding us were astonishing. The activities that we participated in showed us that there is a lot of work that goes into managing a wildlife reserve and it was always very rewarding at the end of the day to know what we had accomplished as a team. Everything about Askari is inspirational, and will most definitely change the way you live your life!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jun 13, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Unfortunately, although I had a good time at my placement in Namibia the advertisement for Volunteering at Naankuse was misleading. We were more like glorified farm hands than volunteers who were there to learn and help. I have since submitted my review to the coordinators at Naankuse who by the looks of it from facebook have taken some of my points on board ie mixing up the work. However, we were often left out of what was going on and not given details which would have made the overall experience more engaging, interesting and I would have been willing to go back. Unfortunately this was not the case. I feel it was Frontiers responsibility to advertise this better and make sure they are up to date with what is actually going on at Naankuse.

My next project was in Madagascar, I was a little out of my comfort zone and although the support on the ground was faultless the guys in the office I found distant, once you were a few weeks off from joining the project and once you were on the project.

I had been warned, albeit after I'd paid my money! that Frontier aren't too client focused and have now found they are actually quite expensive. There were hidden costs in Madagascar for extra food and also Naankuse, which meant missing out as I wasn't informed about it and this made it hard to budget for.

I will say this all the guys working on the projects are very passionate, if sometimes a little complacent.

Frontier need to advertise truthfully and be fully client focused and make sure communication is their top priority. Volunteers are paying a lot of money to join these projects & we should not be made to feel like we are just throwing money away.

Unfortunately I won't be using Frontier again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
7
Value:
2

Comments

Hi Verity, Thank you for your comments, we appreciate all constructive feedback that we receive regarding our projects and we are sorry that you feel some aspects of your trip did not meet your expectations. We take 1000s of volunteers to projects every year and while the overwhelming majority have very successful experiences, there are occasionally times when they are not as successful as they could have been, which is why we have a comprehensive communication and feedback process in place between our participants, field teams and office teams. It is a shame that you did not utilise these communication channels and inform your Volunteer Coordinator of your views during your time on either of the projects, as it would have been taken up with the respective field teams to discuss what the issues may have been and whether any alternative measures were necessary, and we are confident we could have resolved any issues had you done so. Frontier is dedicated to providing support to all of our volunteers at all stages of their projects should volunteers need and request it. Thank you for your feedback on the field staff, it’s great to hear that they made such an impression. It sounds like your overall experience was a positive one. If you have anything further to add then please feel free to contact us directly. Thank you again for your feedback and we wish you well for your future endeavours. Kind regards, The Frontier Team

Give a Heart To Africa

This is a review of my three weeks volunteering with Give Your Heart To Africa [GHTA] in Moshi Tanzania.

It was an excellent volunteer experience from the beginning to end. I was met at the Kilimanjaro Airport by the founder and coordinator Monika Fox. The 10 month program itself is for women wanting further education in order to set up a business and become independent. The program has three aspects - English, Vocational Training and Business. It is very well organized with excellent teaching/learning resources. I was involved in teaching English. The woman are enthusiastic, hard working and a joy to teach.

The classes are taught on-site in the mornings from Monday to Thursday. The accommodation for the six volunteers is good and secure. In terms of meals - volunteers are responsible for preparing breakfast and lunch while dinner is prepared every evening.

Overall the founder and coordinator, Monika Fox ensures a well organized and smooth running non-profit volunteer experience.
I would highly recommend GHTA as a meaningful and excellent volunteer experience in Tanzania

Program: TEFL
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 27, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Conservation Travel Africa

I enrolled in the equine programme and was so excited when I found out I would be riding alongside Judy Travers. She has been a bit of a hero of mine for a while now, and her passion and enthusiasm for Imire and the surrounding community is so undeniable and inspiring!

She assigned us each a horse depending on ability. I got to ride a beautiful pony - Maware - who was a bit green, but we just clicked, and I had the most fantastic time riding her. We would meet Judy in the early morning and set out on our mission for the day. Sometimes it was rounding up cattle, or counting the new babies of wildebeest, or checking on the babies and mums of other herds to make sure everyone was in good health. The cattle rounding was so much fun - you set off with a group of cattle in sight and yoop, whistle and yee-hah until they go in the direction you want. It satisfied every little girl dream I had ever had about becoming a cowgirl all in one session.

The rides out over the Imire property were just breathtaking, and we got to see many areas and sights that you just would not see by vehicle.We could get right up close to the wildebeest herds, and walk quietly past as the sable grazed in the distance. I remember cantering through a beautiful patch of land after a long ride with the others, zebras in the foreground and empala watching on from afar and just thinking 'this is exactly what I had hoped for when I had signed up to Imire.

I am not kidding when I say I could pitch a tent on the vol house lawn and live at Imire forever. The place is incredible. My first impression came as Manyati (the Imire driver) dropped me at the volunteer house. The sunset was literally the most beautiful I had ever seen. Gloria, the dams resident hippo, was yawning with her massive wide open mouth just a hundred or so metres away, the insects were chirping the loudest i have ever heard, and I had already met three awesome volunteers. Catherine and Mike at the vol house were so much fun, and I could listen to their stories forever.

There is no mucking around, each morning we were up at the crack of dawn and getting on with the activities for the day. Might I add here, my first activity was clearing out Tatendas food pen and attaching a 'rhino proof' gate to keep him out… HA! It had a suspicious rhino horn shaped dent in it the next day..

What I loved so much about Imire is that it is not a sugar coated, 'easy' volunteer experience. You really get stuck in and do things that help with the running of the park. I wanted to be able to get a sweat on, and feel like I was truly contributing. We built roads, painted fences, help track wandering animals and so much more. The rewards were being able to spend time up close and personal with the animals, like Tafika the baby rhino and her mum Shanu, or walking the elephants back to their ele-beds, or being diverted to see a massive python after its kill.

I felt particularly privileged to be involved in a huge community project involving Imire, which involved traveling to designated points around Wedza, and administering rabies vaccinations and first aid to up to 3000 dogs. It was awesome to see everyone turn up from afar - through only word of mouth 'advertising' and have their dogs vaccinated. It was difficult at time to see the vastly different conditions the people and animals lived in, but so so awesome to give them education about animal care. Judy was so well respected by these people, I admired her giving them advice on planting crops and preparing for the seasons ahead.

On my final drive out as I was leaving for the airport, the entire journey of giraffe surrounded the driveway (I like to think they were saying goodbye) and all I could think was two weeks was definitely not enough. I am already planning on going back! If you want an experience that fills your soul and opens your mind, and then pours you a beer at the end of the day, go to Imire.. just be prepared to want to go back time and time again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 19, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

4U Arabic Language School

My Volunteer Experience in Bali
I am Yilin,a junior student at university. I have been volunteering (teaching English and Computer) since I arrived at IHF in Buitan which is on the east coast of Indonesia.Places like Ubud, Kuta and PadangBai are fairly close(you can take motorbike). During the mornings and evenings it's really quiet as Buitan is quite a remote village. In the afternoons,I give lessons to local students. In fact,they are not only my students but also my friends,teaching me Indonesian,fishing,and swimming. We do special projects on Saturdays,including gardening,origami,and language learning. Sundays are our day off, so we may go to Kuta or Ubud or somewhere nearby the center like Virgin Beach. We also go snorkeling and I really like Balinese food!
IHF stands for International Humanity Foundation and they have 6 centers in Indonesia,Kenya,and Thailand. They are always looking for volunteers(couples can do it) to join them. IHF is devoted to make the world better for the future generation. Our center has power and internet and most of us either read or do online work for the organization at night/during the mornings,so it's really peaceful. We have regular meetings,discussing center projects or simply change thoughts on teaching methods.
Last July,My friend Yang told me that she wants to volunteer for IHF asked if I wanted to join. I think why not? It’s a good chance to experience locsl culture and do something meaningful. Therefore,here we are. At first,I was very nervous because It’s my first time to volunteer abroad and I had problem doing my online work. It was frustrating for me but with the help of my newly-met friends,I have learned the skill of communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds. I think IHF provides me the opportunity to improve myself,to meet a better me. I hope more people can join us and make the world better with IHF!

Program:
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 8, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
10

Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

My time with AFAWI gave me the opportunity to experience first hand the obstacles associated with the implementation and operation of social developments projects within West Africa, in what seemed to be a typically unequal and unjust African capital. Yet by working within a dedicated organisation along with both creative minded interns and inspiring local employees, it became apparent that many of these first noticed problems could soon be capably overcome. Whilst working on the “ECCACHLD” project that aimed to provide much needed health, medical and educational support to vulnerability children, I found myself independently coordinating with facilitators working for a wide array of local institutions, social organisations and disciplinary professions. In reflection, I believe AFAWI’s internship programme provides you with the provisional coordinates necessary to implement social development projects within the local community, yet allows you to work independently synchronizing and managing, offering you the opportunity to responsibly ensure that vulnerable children effectively receive help. Given a position of reliability, the placement forces interns to be both think intuitively and creatively, as well allowing interns the opportunity to independently develop project in directions that reflects their own personal concerns.

Working in the ‘field’ predominantly, allows an intern to experience first hand the dilemmas of current development interventions; both through ones own experience of programme implementation as well as observing troublesome governmental run development services within the local community. AFAWI’S social programming allows you to intimately explore the structure of Ghanaian social, health and medical institutions, becoming unavoidably inspired by a community of committed working professionals; whose societies development and the fulfilment of its people has been noticeably prevented by a corrupt government and an inequitable social order.

In personal reflection, my experience with AFAWI entirely motivated and inspired my greater involvement and commitment towards social development, both towards Africa and on a wider international scale. AFAWI’S internship scheme facilitates social development both for the local community and for ones own personal development, where an intern will find themselves confronted with issues of programming ethics, the diversity of culture, as well as gaining a deep insight into local Christian and Islamic faith. I recommend this experience to anyone who is passionate about social development, human aid and the complexities of cultural variation, and to someone who will be inspired and not discouraged by an opportunity to work independently and initiatively on an inspiring ground roots development project.

Program:
Location: Africa
Posted: Jan 24, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

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