Original Volunteers

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

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In June 2012 I volunteered in Mexico with Original Volunteers for 3 weeks. I chose OV because the value for money was miles better than other companies offering the same type of thing. Before the trip I was given tons of information on Merida (the town in which I would be staying in), and plenty of other important information which made me feel well prepared. I also used the OV Buddy List in order to contact other volunteers which would be there at the same time as me. This is a great opportunity to meet the people who you will be staying with and to find a flight partner which makes the 12 hour plane journey more enjoyable!

During my time in Mexico I was impressed by the support from the coordinators out there, They were always on hand to discuss any issues and offer any guidance. They made booking taxi's a lot easier than if we were to try ourselves.
I really enjoyed the experience of volunteering with the kids out there, it's something I would recommend to anyone. There was a variety of different volunteering projects, as they send people where they are needed. I enjoyed this variety and I did everything from looking after babies, to teaching kids English in an after school club and even giving dogs a bath!

If you are thinking about volunteering with OV then I highly recommend it and I guarantee that you will have an amazing time and meet tons of awesome people. I have just booked onto the Morocco project for August 2013 :)

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Location:
Posted: July 10, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: sjhayes93
Age:
19

When I first found ov I was overwhelmed with the number of different places I could travel to. After picking about 4 different places I finally decided on Morocco and it was the best choice I've made. Arriving in Marrakech on my own was rather scary as I had no idea what I was letting myself in to! When I found the taxi driver I was a bit more relaxed, and by the time I arrived at the riad I felt 100% better. I got a huge warm welcome by everyone there.
The projects were all so amazing and eye opening. My personal favourite was probably Tamshlot orphanage where we got to play outside with all the kids.
Whilst being there I also got the chance to visit the Berber house, waterfalls and ride a camel at the Sahara desert. These were all amazing and beautiful places to visit but the Berber house was probably my favourite as you are very much welcomed in and you also get to learn how to make mint tea, Tagine and bread. You also have a mint tea competition (remember and use all the sugar!!!)
Rachid, Adel and Fatine are amazing coordinators who definitely made you feel right at home. And I can't forget Amina the cleaner who is the best woman I have ever met despite the language barrier!!!
Whilst being there for three weeks in February 2013 I met some amazing people who I still speak to this day. Sophie and I who met then decided to travel back together in may again for 10 days also meeting Alice and Justin there who we met previously.
This is a fabulous place where you can see beautiful places and meet amazing people whilst volunteering with some of the nicest, happiest kids I have ever met.
If any one has any questions about this project I will be happy to answer!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 10, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
7
Age:
18

Comments

Hi! I'm wondering if you could give me some more information about volunteering in Morocco. I am thinking about going in April 2015. Did you have to save up for the trip or was it reasonably cheap? How did you find the buddy system, was it easy to be paired up with someone and get to know them before you flew out? Did you feel that 3 weeks was long enough or would you have stayed for longer? How did you find the atmosphere in the house with everyone? Hope to hear from you soon. Izzy x

I started my travels in Morocco for two weeks last December. Confident I could travel solo I went to Nepal for the whole of June, two weeks with original volunteers. Met some people who I will stay in contact with for life. I stayed with a Nepalese family. Although, primarily on the outlook, you think you will struggle with your western ways vs Nepalese ways, if you sit back and go with it, you soon become accustomed and will love it. Staying with a family rather than in the volunteer accommodation makes you at the heart of Nepalese life and is amazing. A short walk away was a beautiful lake and walks. After my time with original volunteers I continued to visit the boys each day. For two weeks with the boys I was the only volunteer, this enabled me to spend plenty of time on park visits and walks with the boys. Before this trip I would have hated the thought of 'going it alone' but after spending my first week with a great volunteer and a loving host family, I felt at ease. I then went on to Chitwan and stayed at the girl's home for one night. A couple of the girls and one boy living there have siblings in Pokhara. It is emotional to meet them once you know their stories and how long it has been since they have seen each other but volunteers who travel to both homes share letters and photos. If staying longer I would recommend you request to work at both homes as they are far apart in distance and experience. If you are doubtful about going so far from home because it will be out of your comfort zone, fear not.

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Location:
Posted: July 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: izzkins
Age:
24

MOROCCO.
twice now in the last year I have used OV to volunteer abroad.. firstly last August I travelled alone to Morocco. Using the travel buddy list, I found a friend prior to departing to fly with, this was super useful as this was my first time travelling alone I felt a little more at ease. Three weeks was spent in the heart of Marrakech and it was amazing! The children that I got to share my experiences with literally made me smile every single day. The reward of spending time with children who have so little yet continue to smile, laugh and play with you as if they are your best friend was overwhelming. The organisation out there were great, however like anywhere, go with no expectations and put into it what you want to get out. Sessions ranged from feeding the street people, taking the street children swimming - which was amazing to see how much they appreciate a day in a pool! seven hours and they didn't get out once, and play time in orphanages. These are to name a few. I went in August so schools were closed! Overall, location wise morocco was a pleasure. The culture is so different compared to England, and I personally enjoyed that, getting lost in the Souks was a personal favourite. Also, staying in a traditional Riad was an experience, basic but you aren't there to stay in a five star hotel :) OV were brilliant overall with this trip, and i'm glad I picked this as my first volunteering experience.
THAILAND.
I have just come back from 4 weeks in Thailand, choosing to teach English for two of the weeks to primary children. This was a difference from Morocco however I loved it! Again, the children were amazing and so willing to learn. Having them knowing little English made it a challenging task but something that was worth it in the end. Being able to organize your own lesson plans was a good as you could adapt it to your own knowledge and skills that you may already previously had. Even the teachers wanted you to help them learn English! This project tests your ability to be patient and persistent, but at the same time is so much fun! if you want to teach in the future it is brilliant for your confidence.

Overall, my two experiences of volunteering with OV have been priceless. I have gained some friends for life, memories that will last forever and more importantly been able to impact some of the most happy and amazing children I am yet to come across. If your thinking of doing, DO! you won't regret it :):)

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: chelsey28
Age:
21

I volunteered with Original Volunteers in Nepal last August. I had a fantastic experience and I would recommend them to anyone. Despite only being a short project, I feel like I made the most of the time that I spend there and I really enjoyed teaching in the school. The majority of the work that I did there was working with the teachers to show them different ways of teaching and modelling how to teach lessons in a fun way. Both the teachers and students were really keen to learn and I developed really good relationships with both.
I decided to volunteer on my own and I made lots of friends while I was there. It was great to be surrounded by so many like-minded people and we had great fun there! I'm still in contact with some of the people I met and we can't wait to meet up again to talk about our experiences.
I was also extremely lucky with the host family that I stayed with. The couple treated me like I was part of the family and made me feel so welcome. They even took me out of a couple of excursions and were very supportive with the project. I found that Original Volunteers was really good value for money and I received everything that I expected to get from them and more. The main project co-ordinator was regularly in contact with us to check everything was okay and he even helped to organise a trip for us to the Jungle Safari where we got to ride and bathe elephants! Overall, I had a great time!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 7, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
27

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