Original Volunteers

Not Verified What's this?
8.1 / 10 after 86 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Submit a review

I have just returned from doing volunteer work in Marrakech with original volunteers. I wanted to write a review to prepare people before they go. I was not given much information about what the work entails and i feel if i was better informed as to what was involved I would have got more out of the experience.
The children spoke very little english other than simple phrases which I wasn't expecting as it said on the OV web site that the children do speak english. Their primary language is Arabic and secondary is french so I recommend brushing up on your french before you go! Otherwise it becomes quite frustrating for both the children and yourself trying to comunicate!
The work was varied, we did 2 projects a day. The first was at around 9am-12pm then after a couple hours rest in the afternoon we'd go to the next project which was around 3pm- 5pm. Our coordinator would meet us and take us to the projects. On the information pack it mentioned a typical session would be in an outdoor space but during my stay there was only 1 outdoor activity which was in tameslouht, a small village just outside Marrakech. The boys love to play football, some of the volunteers managed to get some footballs at the supermarket which is just 10 minutes away from the riad. The other children were happy to play with a bat and ball, balloons, skipping rope, they also enjoyed playing stuck in the mud or tag. The other projects were all inside, we worked at orphanages, schools and nurseries. The childrens ages ranged from around 6-14. I recommend taking plenty of art and craft! the children loved making masks, bracelets, hats, puppets and doing finger painting, playing with play dough, face paints (ask first though! some of the nurseries wouldn't allow it) nail painting (again, ask first and only use pale colours! nothing too dark) I'm sure you would be able to get plenty more ideas online. I strongly recommend preparing before you go as we found it very hard to find supplies once we were out there! There are a few bits and bobs which have been left at the riad such as colouring books, paper and pencils although colouring in gets pretty boring for the children as well as the volunteers!
Also, if you are going in winter the temperature during the day was around 20-25 degrees but the temperature dropped considerably at the night and the riad we were staying in got very cold!! take loads of warm jumpers and perhaps an extra blanket!
I had a lovely time in Marrakech, although at times I felt the work we were doing was unfulfilling. However; its an excellent opportunity for trying out volunteer work for the first time and I have met some amazing people along the way!
I hope this information helps :)

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 10, 2012
Overall:
4
Support:
2
Value:
10
Age:
25

Comments

This is my first time to plan to go volunteer. I didn't register with them yet. Is it worth to go with original volunteer? are their support is enough? Can you give me some suggestions? Thanks :))
Hiya, I have just booked my flights to Marrakech at the end of May. I am glad to hear that it was rewading for you personally. I am slightly concerned however that they seem to be a bit unreliable. Is this the case?

I don't want to write common phrases but unfortunately I can't write anything new: you'll love volunteering and you'll love Mexico Puerto Vallarta. It's a very different world out there and you really have to jump in and taste it. I knew I wanted to give back and help others but wasn't sure exactly how. This was my first trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. The kids and the OV coordinators were fantastic. The kids were a joy and OV gave me the opportunity to be part of something special. Try to smile to everyone and you'll get much more back for sure. The lack of resources in some centers and the poverty the children come from makes you realises how lucky we are. I had an incredible time and wonderful memories.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 21, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Kelly
Age:
New User

I recommend that you don't volunteer with this company. If you want to make a difference, go direct to the charity. OV and similar companies are only interested in your money.
I know for a fact that OV is involved in aggressive business practices behind the scenes. Forcing vulnerable charities to go exclusive with them, or fear being dropped entirely by them.
Where possible- contact your charity direct. I assure you they will appreciate it!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 4, 2010
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

What was your experience like?
thank god some body else has had their eyes open and i agree with all you say as i am trying to deal with problems from this company

denis & suvanna are fake. You are left to your own devices, no support, no advice and no contact. The children make up for the volunteer company, but their not here for us, we are here for them. Unfortunatly lack of support can make beneficial lesson plans a challenge. cowboys

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 12, 2010
Overall:
5
Support:
0
Value:
5
By: Anonymous
Age:

My friend and i have just returned from a 4week stay in ghana. whilst i was there i couldnt wait to write this review as before i left i found it hard to track down some up to date reviews. i was also worried about the lack of support i though i would get but has i was with a friend i felt i would have that support from her and as the woman in the office wernt as helpful or informative as i hoped. However when i got there 3 of us was picked up by the polite young man and we traveled back to the new volounteer house which had jus been newly rented out by fred and rebecca. fred and rebecca are the co odinators made us breakfast at there home gave us the opportunity to ask questions and told us about the projects. in the house we lived with 3 young ghanians rose who cooked richard and atta who just genrally looked out for us for the 1st week we didnt travel by ourself richard would come in a taxis etc with us and as we expected we built our confidence to travel alone (small groups) i was just very sad to think that maybe a few people would be put of by the orginal volunteers ghana projects becasue of the lack of support they advertise which is a shame as i couldnt have had any more support fred and rebecca we also around or on the other end of the phone and showed so much passion for what they do which is so encouraging. the country is just wonderful, the village that the volunteers house are in rural areas but markets are so close for food etc. there are lots to do in the weekends and if there enough of you its so cheap to travel by minibus if you can fill. it was the best time of my life and cant wait to return next year/ to if you are still thinking please go there they need us so much. Good luck!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 27, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Hi Rebecca, I am haviung exactly the same worries as you were I am supposed to be going to Ghana in January and am getting really nervous about the support that we will receive when we arrive. Did other people that were on the projects give you the same kind of feedback? I have been so excited but then people put doubt in my mind which makes me worry. I would be so grateful for any advice you can give me! Thanks, Jodie
We got to a understanding and the payments were made, it looks it was a misunderstanding as they usually only charge a small fee to participants and not the whole amount as they did to the ones coming to Costa Rica.
Hi Jodie, Not sure whether you have all ready been on your trip, if you have i hope you had a great time, If you haven't all ready been then....about other people give the same feed back i cant really say too much as their are 3 house in 3 different villages and we were lucky enough to be the first in a new house. But the people i was lucky to live with were so nice and just as excited and eager to be there as i was and a group of about 15 of use got on really well and travelled at the weekends together. Obviously there are 25people living in the same house so it does tests you patience having to share toilets that don't flush. one kitchen etc, but in a way it is just an experience that has way more positives then it does negatives. You get to meet so many different people when you stay people going home and arriving while your their, and in a weird kind of way because you so out of what we know as a normal life and habbits you build relationships quickly and really look out for eachother beasue it is such a diffrent environment to be in. I could go on about it for ever :-D i am going back next year and i cant wait, 3 people i met out there have been back since as well. I hope this has been useful. Rebecca

Pages