Global Vision International (GVI)

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9 / 10 after 209 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.gviusa.com/

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I attended this program with my mother, who verified that our experience was not in keeping with the program she had been on before with a different group (Globe Aware). To keep a long story fairly short, our experience was so negative that we left the program a week early to simply go explore South Africa on our own for a few days so that we wouldn't feel like we had completely wasted our time. While on the program, we were not given the opportunity to participate in nearly as many activities as we were told we would. Although we were in Africa, we were not allowed to be outdoors most of the time, since we could not venture far from the main building without guides, and no one would help in this matter. Guided walks were few and far between. Actual, hands on work was incredibly minimal. Most of all, it was very unclear that we were helping the reserve in any way. It felt as though we were simply there for the money that we had paid, that it was only our dollars that were wanted and not our volunteer labor. The whole thing seemed like just a way for the few guides to get to do what they wanted to do. The extra trips cost exorbitant fees, we were not given the means to get around on our own, and (one of the worst things, and exacerbated by this last part) there was a quite serious food shortage. The town was easily accessible by the guides, only a few miles away, and yet they allowed our food to run so low that there was only some flour and margarine left in the kitchen at one point. It was absolutely ridiculous. The guides had food, but the volunteers did not, and nothing was done until we complained forcefully. At this point, a loaf of bread and bag of oranges were purchased. I'm sure this sounds unbelievable; it certainly was to us at the time. As the absolutely unnecessary food shortage continued, we decided to leave.

I think that there are probably other global vision programs that are not like this. I believe that the irresponsible, neglectful, unprofessional, and even endangering behavior that we experienced was due mainly to the staff of the program that we specifically were on, namely the woman in charge (Rene). However, after experiencing the conditions of hunger and uselessness on this program, I will NEVER, EVER go on another Global Vision program, and hope that those who read this will not make the mistake of going with them. It is not worth the risk - such a trip should be the be the adventure of a lifetime, not a tedious and sometimes physically harmful experience.

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Location:
Posted: December 29, 2010
Overall:
3
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: crose7
Age:
New User

Spent two weeks in Esteli, Nicaragua and couldn't have been happier with the trip and with GVI. Staff was great and truly care about what they are doing. This organization makes a difference down there and regardless of if you stay for 2 weeks or 2 months, you definitely make an impact.
Staying with the host family and the weekend trip were great experiences.
Great opportunity and I highly recommend. I will be traveling with GVI again in the future.
Side note: I am a 25 year old male who has never traveled solo or volunteered before.
Check out gviphoenix.blogspot.com for more info!

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Posted: October 26, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

Spent 2 weeks in Mahandakini Village, Kenya, Africa July 2010 with Global Vision International (GVI). Outside of having my daughter, it was the single most life-changing event of my life. Gave a new perspective on life, sense of global community that I never knew existed before and completely changed my perspective on what is important in life and how small projects like building a workshop can have an immediate and significant imapct on a community like Mahandakini.
Only downside was the transition back to corporate america after experiencing something that changed my perspective so drastically. Would have liked to have a longer debrief at the end of the project that addressed how to re-assimilate back into our lives back home while also carrying forth any lessons we may have learned.
Overall a tremendous experience!! Would recommend GVI to anyone looking for a great volunteer experience!!

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Posted: September 7, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I went away for five weeks to join GVI´s Marine conservation project. I been traveling quite a lot around the world, and this experience was really something special. The trip and the pre-departure preparations went smoothly and when arriving on the expedition base in the Sian Ka´an Biosphere reserve it felt like home. Great people and staff members. Interesting lesson, really good and interesting diving and all this just a few meters from the beach. This is a short story about how one of my days looked like in the Pez Maya expedition;
Epic day in Pez Maya!
Wednesday morning started as usually at 6 o´clock, but instead of doing my ordinary duties together with my hut roomies I went bird watching with Jaen. We saw this amazing sunrise while we did our transect along the mangroves and then we took a quick look over the bridge and saw a crocodile soaking up the morning sun, what a great start on this day.
After breakfast and boat push it was time for some diving! Me and Amy started to kitting up for our first actual monitoring dive (supervised by Stu..) So I, Amy, and some coral people, Alex boy and Renée jumped in the boat and captain Jaen headed towards our dive site of the day. After a few minutes we all heard Renée shouting Dolphins Dolphins!! And a couples of metros in front of us we saw them swimming around. Jaen slows down and the dolphins disappear, but before we know it they are back swimming along the sides of the boat!
The dolphins say goodbye and all of us are totally stoked from the encounter. We geared up, ready to jump in the water and start ´monitoring at the dive site called Punta Yuyum. It was a really good dive and we completed our monitoring transect with great success.
Then it was time to head back to the surface with our first collected data in our hands, and one of the main goals of this trip has been achieved. Before we reached the beach we were lucky to see two turtles having fun in the ocean so hopefully in a couple of weeks there will be baby turtles running down the Pez Maya beach!
Back to base I spent most of my time in the kitchen preparing todays dinner. We took a break from kitchen duties to help out with the boat push and take a swim in the beautiful turquoise warm water.
The rest of the day just fly by so quick, we had dinner, listen to the fun and interesting briefing about tomorrow´s dive, after that some people went straight to bed, others went on a scorpion hunt in Hut two, Laurie was running around like a mad dog and the rest just chilled ´out in the common area. Bedtime was just around the corner and when I was brushing my teeth, seeing all the fireflies’ sparks in the dark and the starry sky smiling at me, you realize that this is truly paradise!

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Posted: August 29, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

I spent 5 weeks in the Amazon rainforest with GVI taking part in biological research and conservation at the Yachana Reserve.
Although I was first apprehensive of spending that time away from home, in an un-known environment with a group of people I had never met before, as soon as I arrived I felt at home!
All the staff were extremely welcoming, you would have thought we were the first group of volunteers they had met. All the volunteers were in the same situation and you ended up bonding over the silliest of things!
GVI organised everything excellently and we were always busy and active or relaxing and getting to know one another.
The Amazon rainforest is an astonishing place and I saw so many amazing things, including animals, plants and insects. It felt extra special knowing that I was there to help save this beautiful place!
I have met so many life long friends from all over the world and I can honestly say it was the best 5 weeks of my life and an experience I will never forget, and although I may only be 20 years old, it would be a hard experience to beat!

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Posted: August 22, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

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