Original Volunteers

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8.1 / 10 after 86 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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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.

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Posted: July 29, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9
By: mnamdamin
Age:
24

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! :)

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Posted: July 23, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:
20

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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Posted: July 22, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:

I've been to Morocco twice now, both times with original volunteers and I want to encourage people who are thinking about volunteering abroad, who want to make a difference, go on excursions and make new friends then Morocco is for you!

The first time I went to Morocco I was completely alone, however original volunteers make it easy and simple for you to find travel buddies and get into contact with people who are there the same time as you. This really helped me out as I managed to meet two people at the airport through facebook first, who became really good friends whilst I was there.

You are met at the airport in Marrakech and from then on are never alone, always with other volunteers in groups or the coordinators who are all very friendly and helpful!

Rachid who runs the projects is always there for advice and help, and is incredibly friendly and welcoming, he really is such an asset to the project!

The projects are very varied, all focused on children but you can work in orphanages, teach, go to autism and down's syndrome homes, work with babies and feed the homeless, there is never a dull moment and its great for first time volunteers as you get to experience so many different things.

The accommodation you stay in is lovely and always very well kept and such a pleasure to stay in.

There is an average of two days off a week and the coordinators organise exciting excursions for you to go on for a very reasonable price, such as a trip to the waterfalls, and overnight trips to the Sahara desert camel trekking and to a traditional Berber house to learn the ways of Moroccan life and be taught some home cooking.

If you're looking for excitement, fun, a varied experience with lots to do and somewhere where you really think you can make a difference, then Morocco with original volunteers is for you!! I would recommend it to anybody in a heart beat and can honestly say both times I have been there have been really incredible. Good luck and have fun to all prospective volunteers!

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Posted: July 19, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
20

I went volunteering in Morocco for just under a month in June 2013, and I can honestly say it was a life changing experience.

It is a good introduction to volunteering with a balance between days working and days off to explore Morocco. Trips are offerred and promoted for time off, and I can recommend the 2 night Sahara trip - the stars I saw on my night in the Sahara were incredible - I complained to a guide that I thought it was getting cloudy when he pointed out to me that what I could see was not cloud, but the Milky Way!

Every volunteer project is run in an organised manner with a local coordinator meeting you at a specified time and place to take you to the projects. Every coordinator is so enthusiastic about what they do and the people they work with. I found the passion and drive that particularly Rachid, Adel and Yousef have was inspirational.

Although I came away from each project declaring that it was my new favourite, three projects in particular really got to me and touched me in different ways: Working on the Sesame project with the street kids was the one that really pulled at my heart strings. These kids were so positive, and although the responsibilities they have and hardships they face must not be forgotten, they are still children who want to play, be cheeky and mess around, and the Sesame project gives them the time and space to be children.

Tahannout Village was another project that I loved so much that I cried when I left for the last time. Some of these children speak quite good English, making it easier to form a connection, however language is no barrier at all when it comes to playing and interacting with children - a simple smile goes a long way. Getting involved here was a real joy, and if you do go, you may be lucky enough to be treat to the children singing some Moroccan songs which are beautiful.

Tameslot Orphanage is the third project I felt a real privilege to be working on. I have never been a particularly athletic type, so when a boy asked me to play football outdoors I was worried I wouldn't be good enough. Well, it was like no game of football I have ever seen and it was so much fun that it quickly became one of my favourite projects. I shall always remember one boy introducing me to his brother who was also in the orphanage, and playing a very entertaining game of kiss chase! I have never been so hot running around in the heat, but I was having too much fun to sit down in the shade!

Now I am thinking about it, every project I did is my favourite again, but those were the three that really touched me. The day I came home, my heart was aching as I did not want to go - I wanted to carry on with the work that does make such a difference. I learnt so much from the coordinators and the children, it has put things into perspective for me and proved to me what is important in life.

My only advice would be to approach everything with a positive, can do attitude; use your free time to explore Marrakech - it is a beautiful city full of culture; be willing to try new things - I tried eating sheep head at a food stall in the Jemma El Fna and it was actually quite nice!; get to know as many of the other volunteers and coordinators as you can - everyone is there because they care and everyone has an interesting story; and finally, difference in language is not a barrier.

If you are reading this review thinking about volunteering in Morocco, just do it! I had such an amazing time I am booking to return in a few weeks so i can see the children again.

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Location:
Posted: July 11, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Gembrini
Age:
30

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