Africa

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

TRULY AMAZING!!! I went out to Ghana in April 2014 after having this trip planned for around 8 months i could not wait to begin my dream i had imagined since a young age. At first i thought i could never plan and follow through with a trip like this all by myself but right from the start the coordinators and staff at IVHQ were always on hand to assist with any issues or questions and up to the date i flew they made me feel at ease, even though they had many other volunteers to help, i still felt valued and that they really wanted to make sure my trip went smoothly. So my nerves were calmed and excitement was taking over! Which was good!
As soon as i arrived at the airport in Ghana i was overwhelmed a little, but as soon as i saw the IVHQ staff member Gideon waiting for me i was instantly at ease. His warm friendly calming manor, whilst making sure i was okay as i looked like a lost puppy, really helped. I could tell instantly i was in safe hands.
When we got back to the volunteer house we were well looked after with water, shown around the house, introduced to the other staff and then we had our dinner cooked, followed by breakfast and a welcome meeting the next day. I strangely have never been made to feel more at home and welcomed in a place so far from home. This really helps when on a trip in an unfamiliar country. I already knew i had a safe place to rely on with people on hand that really cared about your safety if i needed it. It meant i could relax and truly enjoy my experience from the get go.

On route to our placements Gideon and Evans made sure we had everything we needed, like money etc, and told us all we needed to know, the rest was for us to experience :) They reassured us if we needed anything that they are only a phone call away, they checked in on us and we were never ever made to feel like we were a hassle, they were always so happy to help. This really made you feel supported and not alone in what you were doing. They gave you your independence which is important as this is a personal trip but it was amazing to know support was there. I personally appreciated this as i am still only young. I never had any issues whilst away in terms of safety, food etc. I was always well looked after and obviously had me own common sense to prevent any issues from rising.

I did get a little sick, which is extremely common due to change in diet, water, weather etc, but it was nothing extreme. I told one of the staff members Evans and he made sure i got back to the volunteer house so i could be looked after there. He did everything he could to make sure i was okay and getting back to health again, there was nothing he wouldn't do to make sure i was feeling as best i could. He then took me back to my placement once i was well enough and checked up on me for the next few days. This made me feel at ease as being sick in a country where you know nothing can be quite scary. But i felt no fear as i knew i was being looked after. A big thank you for that. You could tell he really was concerned for my health and genuinely wanted to make sure i was well as soon as possible so i could get back to being with the kids as he could also see the passion i felt for them. The staff there really would do anything for you. YOUR ALL AMAZING :)

The programmes available at IVHQ are simply life changing, not only for you but for the people you work with. In my personal opinion there is no better feeling you can get from doing this. You get a real sense of pride and passion from all involved at IVHQ, it is very family orientated and that is exactly what i was hoping to find in this organisation. I was not disappointed, i came away not only changing my own life, the life of the kids i so openly bonded with, but also a part of IVHQ and Ghana itself. It will always be a big part of my life and i have IVHQ to thank for that.

I will most definitely be back... i need to come and find my heart again, it's in safe hands in Ghana though!
If anyone has any doubts.... quite simply, don't!
It is amazing and life changing, the staff there will not let you feel anything but calmed, loved and valued as you start your amazing journey with their programmes available. The kids out their will take your heart. I miss it every single day.

You all deserve so much, you changed my life. Your positive attitude, pride, passion and love has all made its way into my heart!
See you soon Ghana! :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 30, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Becki, Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ in Ghana! It is always great to hear back from our volunteers, and reading about your experience in Ghana is definitely why we do what we do here at IVHQ. It seems like you gained so much from your 4 weeks volunteer experience in Ghana which is awesome. We hope to see you again in Ghana soon.

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I volunteered in Rabat, Morocco for 3 weeks with this program and would recommend it to anyone young or old wanting to travel abroad for short to long term. They dove us into the culture but yet had the home base where we could still feel at home. During my time there I taught Conversational English to students of all ages. The students were always eager to learn, and we quickly became good friends. The afternoons Monday-Thursday, the directors put on sessions for us from 1-3 hours which included cooking, language, script, tours, women's rights, demographics, education, etc. These were very educational and taught me so much about the country that I wouldn't normally have learned traveling for leisure. I then had the rest of the evening and each weekend to travel around the city and explore more of Morocco. The directors helped me with my travel plans and made sure we knew exactly where we were going. This program has definitely changed my life and would love to volunteer with them in the future.

Program:
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 8, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I used International Volunteer HQ to travel to Ghana, Africa for three months. I lived and worked at an orphanage while also teaching at the local school. This was an amazing experience! IVHQ took very good care of all of their volunteers, they checked in with us every week, and they were always on call if we ever got sick.
I was completely changed and humbled by my volunteer trip to Ghana and I plan on returning in December to the same orphanage. I would highly recommend International Volunteer HQ to anyone who is looking for a safe affordable and very supportive program to travel through.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jun 23, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Cassie, It is so great to hear that you had an amazing experience volunteering in Ghana for 3 months at the beginning of this year on our childcare project. We hope that you are able to return to Ghana with us in December. Thank you for the feedback and for volunteering with IVHQ.

International Humanity Foundation

I'm a rising junior in America, and I'm spending three months in Kenya volunteering as a medical intern with International Humanity Foundation. I have been here 5 weeks and have two months left. In the short time I have been here, I have learned a lot. I have learned taking initiative, responsibility, working hard, how a grassroots level NGO works from the bottom up, and the value of long term commitment to make an impact. I am learning so much about medicine, thinking on my feet, and how to make the best out of any situation. I would recommend this program to someone who is wanting a new experience, loves kids, loves traveling, and is willing to work very hard.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jun 21, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

International Humanity Foundation

I am Chaoran Wei, a rising junior in College of William and Mary in the United States. I am originally from Xi’an, China.
I am currently a work-study volunteer in IHF Kenya center, and my work is basically to guarantee the normal function of the center together with other volunteers and directors. What i do specifically can be divided into two parts. First, i need to complete weekly online tasks for IHF to promote the organization on internet. Second, i need to do some local tasks and projects, including, for example, tutoring math and contacting with local media for potential partnership.
I want to volunteer in Kenya for many reasons. The major one is that i have never actually live in Africa before. And IHF provide for me a great opportunity to actually live in the place with local people and indulge in a culture i never get to know before.
Also, i volunteer in IHF because i want to help under-privileged people in poor countries. Even though what i can do is tiny compared to so many people that need to be helped, the fact that i am trying to contribute to kids’ present happiness and bright future already makes me worthy of volunteering here.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jun 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Staff in-country all very supportive and professional. Great fun and very informative.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: May 25, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

An absolutely wonderful, diplomatic, kind and responsive team working with you. I'll be joining the "Public Health Improvement" project in Uganda for 6 months starting in September of this year.

I have to tell you how impressed I am with GVN. Fiona and Miriam were my first contacts. Fiona (at the main office) continues to be absolutely responsive, helpful, detail-oriented and kind. Though my contact with Miriam is much more limited, she helped me work through the "medical insurance" maze quite nicely.

And then there is Leslie, with The Real Uganda ("on the ground" in Uganda, she places volunteers appropriately.) What a hoot! She is so much fun, so very responsive. I can ask her ANYthing to "do I REALLY" have to wear skirts to, "oh my God, I'm a vegan....will this work"...and she endlessly has funny and appropriate (and quick) suggestions for me. It's obvious that the "vollies" are her "babies" and I feel as if I'll be in good hands.

Leslie's idea to send me past "activity reports" about previous work done by the Public Health project resulted in my making two important contacts, so I can prepare and study in topics beforehand.

Rather than wait and possibly waste time when I get there, I contacted Dr. Wanyama via email (he just returned rom South Sudan in the warzone where he was volunteering...) and he and I have been noodling around some ideas for a project he wants me to work on in the remote villages once I arrive. This has made the experience 'real' for me immediately and given me the focus I wanted. With my background in research and medicine, this will be perfect.

Here's to the journey!

Charlotte Michael Versagi

(6 mother, Uganda, Public Health Improvement Project, starting September 1, 2014.)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: May 16, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hello! I am looking for my friend Charlotte. Please have her contact me as she deleted her email for some god awful reason lol Ed Higgins 6236927571

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

My trip to Ghana with IVHQ was the best trip of my life. I got to know a new culture, see new people and live almost the same way as they live. We had a host called Beathrice who was just like my mother. Full of spirit and laughter. She cooked for us and made sure we were satisfied. I slept in a volunteer house 5 minutes (walking distance) from the orphanage called Potter's village. The children are adorable. At first my heart broke and almost fell into tears when i first met them. The terrible smell, their bedrooms and everything else was so overwhelming. I needed almost 2 days to adjust since it was my first trip ever volunteering. I played with the children, woke up early and helped them brush their teeth, bathe and get dressed before school. In the afternoon i would go play with them, read for them and sometimes simply just hug them since they need a lot affection and love. One girl called me her mother and chose her family name to be the same as mine. This made me cry and realised how blessed i am. The children at the orphanage are full of spirit, eager to learn and very sociable. They became like family to me and i am definitely going back this summer. My trip with IVHQ was very safe, very affordable and i had a 24/7 support from them. Water was provided at all times, food was exotic and delicious and the other volunteers became like my closest friends. The shower was not working so we had to bathe with a bucket. This may sound terrible, but it was actually a new and fun experience. It was a trip to remember and made me stronger and down to earth. I recommend it for everyone to try, since we only live once.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Apr 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Luana, Thank you for sharing a detailed run down of your experience volunteering on our Ghana program. It is great to hear that volunteering in Ghana was the best trip of your life and that you felt supported by IVHQ throughout your trip. Thank you for volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to have you volunteer with us again in the future.

Frontier

I spent six weeks on the TZM frontier program on Mafia Island. I enjoyed the surveying of the fish and snorkeling in the hugely bio diverse waters of Mafia island.
Landing on mafia island displayed a very interesting contrast between rural and developing areas because the only developing object one sees is the airstrip everything else is rural. As I retrieve my bags from the bungalow sized airport I’m flooded with vibrant colours, the smell of the sea in the air, the busy streets filled with fast moving tuktuks (3 wheeled taxis), motorbikes, trucks and of course the immense African heat blaring down. As I leave Kilindoni with another frontier volunteer the ride to the camp takes 40 minutes to an hour. Once one leaves Kilindoni which is a decent sized village hub, for the next hour or so all to be seen is vast amounts of vegetation with a few buildings along the way.
Eventually we get to the village of Untende which is much smaller in comparison to Kilindoni. The villagers of Untende are friendly, they have a certain relaxing charm about them that makes you feel welcome and at home and are always ready to help despite the significant language barrier. Camp life was exactly as I expected it to be. Thatched buildings with very basic amenities and furniture. The toilet is a long drop which involves squatting in order to do what one needs to do. The one thing that did surprise me was the fact that everyone had to collect fresh water for their homes for whatever use. By this point I didn’t think that the village was that rural. Seeing as the village was indeed very rural I didn’t expect any bars or any homes to have DSTV (the South African equivalent of Sky) however there was very good bar in the village that had a decent selection of African beer such as Tusker. I also managed to find a house where we could watch the Barclays premier league and catch some of the Six nations rugby.
The culture on Mafia was refreshing in both a religious and admiring way. Mafia is split between Islamic and Christian faith. The Muslims and the Christians live together as Tanzanians without strife or conflict. Other countries around the world should take example.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Africa
Posted: Mar 13, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Frontier

Hello there,
it is my last hour here in Nosy Be, Madagascar.
I have spent four unforgettable weeks of teaching , exploring , enjoying life Four weeks of smiling , waving and greeting the Malagasy kids !These small creatures could fill you up with happiness !
So , coming to the island you will eat delicious food, dance who cho cho (a typical Malagasy dance), sunbathe, drink the best cocktails, swim, see a whale (eventually) , see lots of geckos (they are everywhere!) , walk bare foot (ohh God , I will miss that, it kind of makes you feel free), I will stop here because the list is endless.. Just come here and find out for yourself :) !
I would highly recommend this to anybody who desires a tropical, wild , African experience. I am glad I chose Frontier , I felt safe during my adventure, they do perform their duties on a very high, professional level.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 24, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

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