I traveled to Ghana with Original Volunteers and I can say that, without a doubt, it was the best time of my life. I was there for 7 weeks and met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends. I did not think it was possible to get so close to people within such a short space of time. The workers were brilliant and they made everyone feel welcome. The house itself was situated in the middle of a small community and the families around the house were very friendly and I always stopped to talk to them. The people were so happy and always friendly. Working in the schools was so rewarding. Playing with the kids and giving them the time and company is all they want. The smiles on the kids faces will remain with me forever. We worked from 9 to 2 everyday and I did a variety of things. I did some building, painting, teaching and football coaching. The volunteering is very relaxed and you can pretty much do whatever you want with the kids. I am used to doing the same thing in work day in, day out, so I welcomed this with open arms and it gave me a chance to actually use my head and be creative. Weekends were free and we got to do a bit of travelling around Ghana which was so much fun. I have kept in regular contact with my fellow volunteers, the workers from the house, the coordinator and the principal of the school. I am returning in a few weeks and I can't wait to get back.
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This was honestly the most amazing trip of my life. I am only 16 so signed onto the Morocco project, and I flew out with my best friend on the 15th July 2013. As soon as we entered the house, we were welcomed by everyone and it was just amazing - the house felt like big brother and all the people were so nice! The weather was so hot, and it was a completely new experience for me and my friend. We were taught the ropes by all the other people also staying in the house and were welcomed out on our first project as soon as we arrived. I have never met such nice people and gotten to know them in a short amount of time. The projects and working with children were honestly one of the most rewarding things I have ever done! The smiles that were put on the childrens faces were great and also put a massive smile on my face! The accommodation was lovely and clean, the rooms were small but comfy, with two large living areas and roof terrace, it was a great place to stay. The house was within walking distance of the square, and lots of restaurants. Also the supermarket was only a taxis drive away, which allowed us the opportunity to cook back at the house if we preferred. The trips and days off were also great, as I went to waterfalls and into the sahara. They were amazing experiences spent in the company of tourists and people who were staying in the house. The whole experience was just the best thing I have ever done and I would go back tomorrow if I could. The memories are phenomenal and I will be forever grateful to Original Volunteers for giving me the opportunity!
I was volunteering in Tanzania with OV last year. This is my first time to Africa and volunteering overseas and I decide to go with OV because of good reviews from the website and stories from my friends. Before arrival, OV emailed the information pack and contact details, which I found very useful and informative for volunteers. I arrived at Dar airport at a very early morning and there was a guy, waiting there to pick me up and send me to bus station for a bus to Iringa. I received the same warm service upon leaving Tanzania. Although there were not many projects available at that time due to school holiday and it was about end of the year, I spent most of my time at a street children protection center, Fisch. Other project running at that time includes conservation project, HIV clinic, teaching orphanage kids and school construction. Due to my background in computing, I mostly help in building the database for street kids for the organization to keep track of the children in the town. I also took sometime to teach Physics to a boy whom travelled miles away from his village to learn at Fisch. Perhaps my most memorable memories are cooking and eating locusts and going on a safari trip to Ruaha Natonal Park. The help of the volunteer coordinators and people at Fisch are incredible. They help me to organize the teaching materials for the kids, getting a mobile sim card and even walk with me around town several times as a translator. It was a rather short trip, about 2 weeks and I even cancel my initial plan to go to Zanzibar and I was in Iringa for my entire trip. Overall, I would recommend volunteering at Tanzania and for first timer abroad volunteer; OV is definitely the perfect organization to go with.
My friend had visited Morocco to participate in volunteer work last year and came back with so many stories and told me how amazing it was. So when she offered for me to come with her this year it was difficult to see a reason why not to, and im so glad I did! The prospect of going to a country far away from you to an environment where you may not know anyone or few people always seems daunting at first, but going with Original volunteers made everything really easy. There are people there to meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation and everyone is super friendly and helpful in every situation. You make so many friends and experience some really amazing things that will definitely stay with you for life! Its a once in a lifetime opportunity and anyone would regret missing these fantastic trips, Id definitely volunteer with Original Volunteers again and have made some great friends to share the amazing memories of my trip with! :)
I travelled to Cambodia last year, arranged through Original Volunteers, and worked at the Hope Agency School for 3 weeks. The school has been built to assist the children of Cambodia with their English, with a dream that once they can speak the language, they will be able to obtain jobs within the towns and cities, in order to get a better life for themselves and their families. Without speaking English, they are forced to work the land in remote areas, in poverty.
It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this to anyone; groups or solo travellers alike, as it was fulfilling, rewarding and very safe.
The experience was remarkable. It was not just about the help you could give to the children, it was also about the insight that they offered to you. It opened your eyes to a whole new world.
Although I am a trainee teacher, I feel that anyone with enthusiasm and a kind heart could make a difference to the children, the project, and the whole Bakod community. Personally, I bought a lot of energy to the lessons, which assisted the children with their learning. I was patient and took the time to get to know the children outside of lessons so that I could understand their lifestyles and share my own experiences with them. The project does not merely want a teacher, it wants the opportunity to welcome a new member to its community.
Original Volunteers gave me the opportunity to reach out to an organisation that I would not have known about otherwise. The location was so remote, that without OV seeking them out, it would be impossible for them to receive the help and support that they require.
The great thing about this scheme is that it is completely safe, you have the support of the UK based OV back home, should you require it, there is complete flexibility in that you can arrange to volunteer for any amount of time, and that you are guaranteed to feel that you have truly contributed to a worthy cause.
The experience changed my life and I could not recommend it any more highly.
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