Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

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8.4 / 10 after 80 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) offers volunteer service opportunities in community projects around the world.  At GVN we align with the idea of 'local solutions to local problems', so we work with local community organizations in each country.  We provide a wealth of experience, resources and dedication to both our volunteers and partners.

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I first visited Vietnam in 2011. While there I met a guy who had been volunteering with GVN. Having seen the amazing work that was going on there I made a promise to go back. This year I finally got to. Volunteering in Vietnam was one of the craziest, scariest, best things I have ever done! The way you see a country is completely different than if you were traveling as a tourist. The support from GVN both before I left and while I was in-country was amazing and I couldn't have asked for more. I never felt lost or alone, knowing that I had someone who would answer their phone day or night should I have any issues. My favourite experience from the whole trip would be the days where I could wander down to the local market. Everyone wanted to come up and talk to you and thank you for what you were doing, it was a real eye opener. This was a truly amazing experience and I highly recommend GVN to anyone considering volunteering overseas

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Posted: July 13, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Ellie_W
Age:
23

GVN's distribution trip to Uganda was an amazing experience. In one week I met inspiring people, saw three projects the GVN Eat So They Can campaign is helping to fund and had a lot of fun with like minded people on the trip.

The greatest impact for me was when we met the women of Kitoola. These women were part of the empowering women programme organised by The Real Uganda. As soon as we got off the bus they were dancing, singing and giving us great big hugs and just full of smiles. These women received cows from the ESTC campaign, and the reception we got made me understand the value of the cows to these women. Their gratitude was written all over their faces.

The accommodation and living conditions were standard and comfortable. The trip was really well organised, GVN and The Real Uganda did a fantastic job. I felt comfortable and safe within a trusted group of strangers.

I would recommend this trip to anyone who is keen to experience a bit of Africa and wants to know how GVN is distributing funds raised by volunteers. The great thing about it is that it’s all premised on giving a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ so that the locals can take ownership of the projects and develop their own communities. Now that's empowering and inspiring!

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Posted: June 15, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Amisha
Age:

We worked in an orphanage called Gisimba based in the capital Kigali. Gisimba’s primary goals are to provide a nurturing, safe home environment for children in need and to support children in completion of their primary and secondary education and provide guidance and support towards post-secondary education or training in order to become independent, find employment and contribute the country's development. 130 kids live at Gisimba spanning from 2-23 y.o.

Our initial plan was to teach the kids English, however, because they were on their Christmas break we decided to give them a more relaxing experience as they get enough of learning when they go to school which most of them do. Instead we engaged them in a lot of sports activities; soccer, volleyball and table tennis, played with them (bought them a lot of toys and various board games), there was an “art room” where they could be creative, draw and paint, and there was actually a computer room (sponsored by a Korean NGO) so here they could practice using Word etc. and I also let them play computer games. For the older kids (16-20 y.o.) they really just liked to talk to us to hear more about life when you leave the orphanage (life as a grown up basically), which educations they should go for, how to apply for jobs once they finish their education etc.

For New Year’s we organised a party in cooperation with 15 of the teenagers which was a huge success. The kids themselves organised entertainment all night long spanning from a singing contest, a dancing contest, speeches, a catwalk show and a comedy show. We provided food, beverage, decorations and music. It was a blast of a party.

In addition, we arranged a day out where we took a bunch of the kids out for a 5-6 hour trekking tour to the nearby Mount Kigali.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it.

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Posted: June 12, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Tstensbol
Age:
40

I've had two experiences with GVN, both life-changing and life-enhancing! I volunteered for 3 months in an orphanage in Nepal, and this was an eye-opening and heartwarming experience. I went from total shock and dismay upon arrival to regret at having to leave such a wonderful place 3 months later. Lots of this was due to the network of support offered by GVN in this very strange land -- though of course lots was also due to the amazing wonderfulness of Nepal. When I learned several years later about a terrible injustice that needed to be fixed (the Secret War waged by US forces against Laos during the Vietnam War), I turned again to GVN. I needed to do something to help but didn't know what, and the Be The Change program was the perfect answer! In a beautiful farmhouse-villa in the Tuscan countryside, surrounded by inspiring and inspired people from all over the world, we all learned steps we could take to realize our goals. And we all made great friends -- I know I will cherish everyone I met there forever. Now I'm building a non-profit organization to raise money for the removal of unexploded bombs from Lao fields, villages, playgrounds, I've traveled to these bomb-riddled fields myself to see the Mines Advisory Group in action, and I'm selling Laotian coffee (some of the best in the world) as a money-raiser -- all with the help and guidance I got from GVN;s Be The Change program!

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Posted: June 10, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
62

To be specific, this is a review for the Be The Change Program, as that is the only program through the Global Volunteer Network that I have participated in so far.

From the very beginning, my communications with the facilitators via email, from questions about the program itself, to finance and travel information, were handled promptly, efficiently and in a very warm and friendly manner, and this treatment carried well into the program and beyond. I was given a truly welcome and open environment to explore what was important to me, what change I wanted to see in the world, with constant feedback that was critical and constructive, understanding and encouraging.

Upon arriving, while I felt like I was partly on vacation because of how removed I was from my day to day life, the Be The Change staff was quick to rein in the focus, still providing a comforting environment, but also emphasizing a definite plan and curriculum. They asked us to trust in their plan and they made it wonderfully easy to do so. For the next 6 days, we made time for work, developing our own plans of change and really diving into the core of what we wanted out of the program and how we should best approach our own personal goals, from the general to the more specific. I always felt included in the teachings, as if they were fine tuned just for me as much as for anyone else.

The evenings were for relaxation and recreation, from small hikes to wonderful meals cooked in groups, creating a comfortable environment where we could take the needed time to let the workshops really sink in so as not to feel overwhelmed, and to be honest, the program was at times overwhelming, though never in a negative way. If I was ever overwhelmed, it was at the realizations of my own potential. That a simple, everyday kind of normal guy like me has what it takes to start something bigger than myself and make a change I want to see. To be surrounded by so many like minded people, all of whom are now friends, made it so much easier, the experience was very humbling. Real people making real change, it's that simple, and the Be The Change program and staff helped me build the skills, focus and confidence to be one of those real people, for real change.

If it sounds like I'm gushing, it's because, well, I am. I have nothing but praise for a program that took a guy like me, struggling with a vision, and helped guide me into someone with a specific plan, who knows he can make a difference. While I can't speak for everyone, I can say confidently that participating in the Be The Change Program has been one of the defining experiences of my life, I couldn't be more thankful, and if anyone is looking into the world of creating change, regardless of scope or direction, I couldn't recommend this program enough, it was simply amazing and inspirational.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 4, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: OlorynEx
Age:
31

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