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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In January I volunteered in Latvia for 4 weeks, at an orphanage. It was an awesome experience! Coming from North Queensland, Australia and going into a European winter was very exciting! Apparently it was the worst winter in 30 years, so the staff thought it was hilarious that an Aussie was amongst it. The support from the GVI staff was wonderful, and they answered all my questions thoroughly and quickly.
As part of my volunteering I helped the children with their English homework, helped a bit at meal times, and just chilled and played with them. One weekend we went skiing which was great fun! And another weekend I played outside because it had been snowing for about 5 days. I taught them how to make damper for Australia Day, which was a bit messy with all the flour. Haha!
The staff at the orphanage were amazing, especially Christoph, the founder and director. He has an incredible vision and such love for these kids, I feel honoured to have met him. When I went, there were two houses with 6-8 kids in each one, and an adult 'educator' would pick the kids up from school and stay overnight. There were three educators in each house. They were lovely and so welcoming, and very funny!
I guess one of the most challenging aspects was living alone for 4 weeks. I didn't mind being the only volunteer but for the first week or so I found the living very lonely.
The language barrier was pretty huge, given some of the kid could speak a small amount of English, and most of the adults couldn't. I thought it was fun and challenging because you communicate in a whole different way. Just don't leave home without the trusty Latvian/English dictionary.
I found the history of Latvia devastating, and many of the staff can tell you stories of Soviet times and what happened. One of the boys who used to live at the orphanage and was back for a visit said many children do not have grandparents because they were deported during Soviet occupation.

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Posted: April 11, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I have just returned from South Africa where I volunteered on a conservation project collecting data for long term research. I felt the support and training was awesome and really allowed me to appreciate the goals of GVI and the local partners - I went with little knowledsge of wildlife and returned with so many new skills (now boring my family with my identification skills!!) It was also great to learn about how the wildlife interact with the ecosystem - and the importance of sharing this knowledge with the local communities. It was great to see GVI working so closely with the communities and even better that they appreciatd the work the volunteers are trying to achive. I also loved being able to meet volunteers from different backgrounds and other countries - it was myfirst time overseas and being able to meet volunteers from other countries was a real bonus! Already planning my next trip! Love Africa and want to now explore Kenya! If you want to get more out of a volunteer trip then I recommend GVI - great to also know they have long term investment in place.

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Posted: March 25, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

I had an amazing time with GVI last year in Thailand, i cannot recommend them enough. I was looked after from start to finish, the GVI staff were amazing and you could see straight away how GVI were respected by the local community. I am going back this year for sure!

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Posted: March 6, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I had a great time when I participated in the Marine Conservation Program in Mexico last summer. About 20 volunteers from all around the world were trained to scuba dive and then monitor coral and fish on the barrier reefs just off the beach where we were living. It was a great experience, learning new skills and helping to protect a fragile environment. In addition to collecting valuable data, we cleaned up the beaches, taught English to some local army soldiers, and taught local school children about the importance of coral reefs. The GVI staff were friendly, helpful, knowledgable, and safety-oriented. They were well-respected in the local community as well. The other volunteers were fun to get to know and we soon became a closely knit family. We worked hard during the week and then had most of the weekend off, during which we traveled to local Mayan ruins, went diving or snorkeling in cenotes, or hung out in Playa del Carmen. I would highly recommend any volunteer opportunity through Global Vision International.

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Posted: February 21, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

A Wonderful Experience !
I went to Cape Town in November 2009. The project was run by GVI and All Out Africa.
I worked at the Sentinel School in Hout Bay. The staff and students were wonderful: they were welcoming and really appreciative of any help I could give. The staff were cautious at first - not wanting to take advantage of my services, but once they realised that I wanted to help as much as possible, I taught different classes, marked and analysed exam papers and generally helped out wherever I was needed.
The experience didn’t stop here though. I was able to help with Hout Bay Green Fair, run by Environ Child. At School the children made goods to sell from re-cycled materials – great fun, lots of paint and glue! At the fair I helped the children to talk to customers and sell their products, as well as helping out at the gate and enjoying all the other events of the day.
I also painted murals at Imazamo Yethu; abseiled from the top of Table Mountain, stroked baby cheetahs at Speir; helped run a hula hoop activity at an Earth child event in Kayelitsha ( I can hoop now too); sunbathed on the wonderful beaches... and all in just 5 weeks.
I have visited Cape Town before, but I wouldn’t have been able to organise a trip like this one on my own. GVI/All Out Africa, helped me to shape the experience to include everything I was interested in. I had the privilege of meeting and working with people, whom I would not otherwise have come into contact with. This was truly a life changing experience!

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Posted: February 11, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

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