Original Volunteers

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

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This was my first time volunteering abroad, I chose this programme, because of the excellent reviews from other volunteers, and wow it definitely lived up to these reviews and comments! Ghana was a fantastic place for first time volunteering, as the locals were the most friendly people I've ever met! When I arrived I was welcomed by Fred and Rebecca, who helped me settle in by showing me round the accommodation, where I would be volunteering, and they took me to the local town, so that I could buy a few essentials.

The accommodation was secure with brick walls all around and security guards there 24/7 so I always felt safe. The children that I taught were so cute and enthusiastic! I was surprised at how well behaved they were as well! The volunteer programme was very relaxed which I liked, especially as I had never done this sort of thing before. You were able to swap and change where you volunteer at any time by talking to the support staff.

In my spare time I explored the local towns with my fellow volunteers, went to the beautiful waterfall, which was a short drive away, where we took a refreshing shower! I also went to Mole national park where I saw elephants bathing in the cool waters! The volunteer house is located in the Volta region, which is near Lake Volta, which is well worth visiting, the largest man made lake in Africa. We explored Cape Coast for the weekend which was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to! A nice way to relax after volunteering.

Over all I would absolutely recommend this programme to anyone, it is extremely rewarding and life changing. You will not regret it!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 7, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

Wow where do I begin!...My experience in Kenya was incredible, the children were a delight to teach, and the volunteer staff were so welcoming and helpful. I stayed with a Masai family who cooked for me, they were so lovely and made me feel at home. I stayed in Kenya, Masai land, for 2 weeks, where I taught in a primary school throughout the week, and in my spare time explored the stunning mountains surrounding where we stayed and visited local towns. I also did a safari, which was well worth doing! An experience I will never forget.

I think price wise, you would without a doubt not get a better deal! However the price did not compromise the care and support that the organisation gives you. I found the 24/7 support very reassuring when I was out there and Original Volunteers would send me emails before my departure informing me on what to take, and information on the project.

I am going to Morocco with Original Volunteers next month and am already planning another trip with Original Volunteers next summer! I would recommend this organisation to anyone, because, you are never on your own, there are always volunteers with you, most who go alone and the staff couldn't be more helpful.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 7, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

I went out to Ghana last August. Volunteering with Original Volunteers really allows you to get into the sticks and away from the popular tourist areas. This way you get to properly see how the locals live. Speaking of which the locals in Ghana are extremely friendly and always happy to help, even in a city (Kumasi) where one kind lady offered to guide us though the bus system and then refused to accept payment. With Original volunteers in Ghana you had the option of building, teaching or I think you could work at a library. I selected teaching where the children are just so eager to listen and learn although I could of easily switched between projects. Ghana was a really insightful experience and Original volunteers are an extremely affordable and well organised organisation to go with. For me it was the perfect set up as volunteers could travel independently during the weekends. I always felt safe; In fact I am going back to Ghana for 3 weeks this September with Original Volunteers.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 6, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
18

From the moment I landed at Marrakech airport any apprehension I may have felt travelling alone quickly dissolved as soon as I met Adil, the driver sent by the co-ordinators to take us to our accommodation. The warm, genuine welcome he gave me made me feel totally at ease.
I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodation in Riad 9 which although basic was homely and adequate for everyone’s needs with power points for e.g. hairdryers, a communal kitchen, a dining area and large sofa’s on the second floor where everyone could congregate and get to know each other. The roof top has sun loungers where you can sunbathe during the day or sleep under the stars at night. This all, I may add was kept scrupulously clean by Amina who came in daily, taking extreme pride in her tasks.
The project co-ordinators in Marrakech, Rachid, and Fatime are extremely dedicated and enthusiastic not only to the projects but also the welfare and enjoyment of your stay. The supervised daily activities are varied with visits to orphanages, schools and nurseries in and around Marrakech, which brings you into contact with children of ages from birth right up to late teens. The tasks included Basic English, numeracy, arts and crafts, painting and outdoor games. The children are fantastic, with a huge appetite to learn. One of my favourite projects was The Street Kids which is like a youth club. There we played games and did arts with the kids who in return sang and played traditional Moroccan drums – djembe and bendir. They were so happy, confident and talented it emphasized what can be achieved if you invest time and encouragement in others. Another highlight for me was the two hour trip to volunteer in a Berber village. We were split into groups, with one group getting water from a well using a donkey, another group making bread and another Tagine. We volunteered in the local school for a while in the afternoon. Then after a mint tea making competition we went for a walk in the breathtaking Atlas Mountains. On our return we received more than enough food to feed an army. Afterwards our hosts entertained us with traditional Berber music and games which we were encouraged to take part in. Seriously I’ve never had so much fun. These memories are everlasting.
The weekly schedule whilst it seems to be full on actually allows a generous amount of off time. Trips to the Sahara desert, Essaouira for example can be arranged via Fatime or Rachid. Also every evening we headed down to the Souks in a large group for dinner (as it was really cheap to eat). Shopping is great fun with stall holders expecting you to barter. If you’re careful you can pick up a lot of good bargains. Leather goods especially.
Marrakech is a vibrant city which is guaranteed to stimulate every sense you have via the sights, colours, smells and sounds. I feel the projects run by Original Volunteers allows you to experience this magical city in its entirety. Not only do you gain an insight into the hardship people face but you also the warmth and generosity of ordinary locals. I’m enchanted by this wonderful place and its people. I was so impressed by my experience due to the Original volunteer co-ordinators Rachid and Fatine that I can’t wait to go back in December.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 3, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Adele M
Age:
48

A friend and I volunteered for the first time at Uganda Lodge through Original Volunteers in October 2012. It was a fabulous experience and an amazing project, you are very well looked after and the facilities are amazing.

Original Volunteers provided all the information I needed included contact details for the project direct, I had all my questions answered so I was fully comfortable and prepared for the trip.

The school itself is lovely and the children are wonderful, they are all very welcoming. The volunteer programme is laid back and you can do as much or as little as you like. You do need to have some get up and go in order getting things moving sometimes but that is to be expected what with 'African time' as well as the weather (rain / heat) restraints.
I really cant believe how much I managed to fit into 1 week volunteering and 1 week travelling Uganda although if you have more time I would definitely recommend a 4 week stay in order to build relations and get more out of the trip. Denis is a superb host and really makes sure you get to do what you want without any worries.
The main tasks I got involved with was arranging and participating in a school sports day, as well as serving the children breakfast each morning and assisting on the school run each evening as well as assisting in the younger pupils structured play sessions and interacting with the children in break times but testing their English, Maths and playing sports, i.e. skipping and netball. It totally exceeded my expectations in every way. I would recommend this to anyone.

We also went on the Safari with Denise and Ann and it was literally the most fabulous, back to basics, free in the wilderness experience you could ask for. I have been on several safaris and although on others I have seen a larger variety of wildlife this overall experience outshone the others.
I also went on the Gorilla trek trip, again this was surreal.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 3, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: ajlea2005
Age:
33

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