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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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!

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

Going to a foreign land by myself where I spoke only a little of their native language was a terrifying idea. Perhaps thats why I wanted to do it so badly. There were three things that I wanted to do last summer: volunteer, travel, and meet new people. GVI met my criteria and provided me with opportunities far and beyond what I could have imagined. Like I said, going by myself to a new country was scary. I had my packets of information from GVI telling me what I was going to be doing, where I was staying, who I was staying with, but in reality, I didn't truly know until I experienced it first hand. From the time I was picked up at the airport to the time I was dropped back off there 4 weeks later I felt nothing but hospitality and kindness. Dom, Doreen and all the GVI staff go out on the limb to make sure you have everything you need. My host family welcomed me with open arms and provided me with food, a shower, a place to sleep, and above all else, love. I looked forward to mealtime not only for Angela's delicious and diverse foods, but also for her and Duilio's conversations. My Spanish was flawless, but it was enough for us to be able to get to know each other and talk about our two very different cultures. They are used to hosting volunteers who have little Spanish speaking skills and were very understanding when I could not think of the right word. One thing I really appreciated was them trying to help me improve my Spanish. They would speak slower so that I could understand and then correct me if I said or pronounced something wrong. This is just one of the many things I am grateful of Angela and Duilio for.
My first week in Guatemala I stayed in Antigua where I took Spanish everyday from 8am to 3pm. GVI has a close connection with a good Spanish School in Antigua and that is where all volunteers go for lessons. The lessons are one on one with a tutor. It was a very relaxed atmosphere where we sat outside at coffee tables, coffee and tea were provided and the tutors had a sense of humor that made learning fun. For that first week I had the evenings to do as I pleased and usually spent this time with other volunteers exploring Antigua. We discovered everything the market had to offer and spent some time there. It had just about everything you could think of including food, clothes, jewelry, cd's, etc. Most things were beautifully hand made and the costs were extremely reasonable, even before bartering if you choose to do so. Besides the market there are many other things to do in the area like local coffee and macademia nut farms. Some require a short ride on the chicken bus but I think that is something everyone should experience anyway, just be smart and go with a friend.
Every weekday morning all the GVI volunteers met at the same cafe before heading off to the schools or spanish class. Hearing about the schools in Itzapa and San Andres Jesus made me eager to get there and see everything for myself. When week two rolled around I was more than ready to get going. Even after a week of being in Guatemala, I felt yet again a sense of fear. It just hit me that I was going to be teaching my own class! Dom explained to me that he would teach the first few days or so until I felt comfortable enough to take over. As we I was going to be doing the first few days or so until gave me material to look through and he taught my class for the first few days while I observed and got to know the kids a little bit. Immediately upon my arrival in Itzapa I felt welcomed. Elena, a very active woman in the community, greeted all the new volunteers and she served us lunch everyday. I was showed around the school and then the kids finally started showing up. I had never met them before this but nonetheless, they ran up to me and gave me huge hugs! You just don't experience that in the U.S. I quickly learned how grateful all of them really are and it encourage me to do the same. I guess in a way, teaching them taught me more than I could have imagined.
My 4 weeks there went by extremely fast and it was very hard to say goodbye to my class, my host-family, and of course the other volunteers and friends I made along the way. I would recommend volunteering in Guatemala to anyone and I can only imagine that all of GVI's programs are just as amazing as those based in Guatemala. I will leave you with this quote, "Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely," Rodin. If you want to do something, don't put it off, just go do it and don't hold back. Be open minded and don't take anything for granted. Talk to people, get to know them and learn their culture, it will only help you grow as a person. And help. Help those who do not have the same opportunities as you and show them kindness and care. You will get even more in return. That is the best advice I can give anyone.

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Posted: January 28, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

The staff members are very warm and always there to help you. They were making positive changes in the village as well as the lives of the volunteers. I felt very honor to be part of it even though I was there only two weeks. You also have time to explore the area during weekend. It is truly worth a trip.

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 24, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I volunteered for GVI on the education project in Nicaragua, and i had an amazing time. I would really recommend this to everyone. The work is really rewarding and gives you a great chance to get to know people who live in and around the community. It can be hard work ( I did start going to bed at 9:30pm on weekdays ), but it is really appreciated by the families who send their kids to the school. I choose this project because so much of what you pay to do it, go's straight into the community and on the the project. You really can see evidence of that when you arrive. I'm still buzzing from my time there ( only got back last week ), but I really hope and go back again in the next few years, either to see the kids a bit older or even work on one of the other projects in Guatemala or Ecuador.
You have to see the project to really appreciate how well it works.
Good luck to all you future volunteers and say hi to Nicaragua and the kids for me.
Patrick.

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 22, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

I did the short-term English teaching workshop in Guatemala this summer and had an awesome time! The GVI staff is extremely welcoming and helpful and all of the volunteers were really nice. The program is well run and respected in the communities they work in. You really feel like you're making a difference for the children who are really excited for you to be there and really eager to learn, and by staying with a host family you are really immersed in the culture. And you're free to do pretty much whatever you want in your free time; one weekend I climbed one of Guatemala's volcanoes and another I rented a beach bungalow with some other volunteers. I also loved that I got to practice my Spanish. The program seems a little expensive, but pretty much everything is covered and everything there is really cheap. If you’re thinking about volunteering abroad definitely go with GVI, you won’t regret it!

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 11, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

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