Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

Not Verified What's this?
9.1 / 10 after 328 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Submit a review

My wife and I successfully participated in the Sri Lanka Volunteer Program #110919 in Sept 2011. The Country Coordinator was Michael Noel Ferreira. He corresponded with us before the trip. He met us at the airport and transported us to the field site. He managed the arrangements with our host family and introduced us to the on-site program manager. He contacted us several times during the program to be sure that we were doing well.

I am sure that Michael's attention to detail was a major contributor to our stay being such a success. He was cordial, knowledgable and readily available to us through out the program. Thanks Michael...

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 31, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:

Comments

Please let me know what you thougth of IFRE and if this was your first time with IFRE. Thanks!
hi, my friend and I are going to Sri Lanka, and our coordinator is Mr Michael Noel Ferreira too. May you tell us his email address or contact details so we can get in touch with him in advance? Thanks~

I went to Kampala for two weeks in the beginning of September and worked at a primary school as a teacher the first week, the second week did I work at a babies’ home. I truly had an amazing time and I really got to experience the real Uganda and meet the real people. What I liked about the work was that it was real work, we really did get to do things and it really felt as if we did make a difference, it was sometimes long hours but it was always fun and worth it in the end. The coordinator was also very flexible and helpful and helped us with basically anything from problem at work to plan activities for the weekends.
It was of course all very new to go to such a different country and I struggled a lot in the beginning to take it all in, to understand the culture etc, but the people were so nice and helpful that it went quicker then I thought it would take. I would though recommend everyone that is interested to stay for a longer period then I did. At least one month or more, which gives you time to settle down, get used to the work and get to know the children and teachers better.
Regarding accommodation, we lived with the coordinators family and a few other volunteers in small dorms (4 beds). The family were very nice and the room comfortable with toilet and shower (only cold water though). The food was definitely something we all looked forward to during the day, the housekeeper cooked amazing food everyday and we were never disappointed!
The only thing I could object on is that the description of the work not really fitted with what we actually did. I applied to work in an orphanage but ended up teaching the first week (it was though no problem to talk to the coordinator and arrange a new volunteering place for the second week). Otherwise I have nothing else to complain at, it was two amazing week and I dearly recommend anyone who wants to have fun but at the same time work and make a change to go!

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 10, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: wolkert
Age:
New User

Comments

What did you think of IFRE? Is it really a real organization and not a hoax? I am so sorry I ask this question, as we never know these days with the way teh internet is being utilized. Thanks,
Well I did not have that much contact at all with the organization, I applied through IFRE, and paid through IFRE but that was about it, after that our coordinator in Uganda handled everything. But I didn't have any problem at all with money or payment, and we got everything we were promised, accommodation, food, airport pickup etc.
Thank ou so much for your post and reply to my questions. Thanks for your honesty! We ahve been thinking about going to either Kenya or India.
What clothing did you find suitable to wear during this time of the year? Is there some clothing you'd suggest isn't appropriate or to avoid packing?

I went to Uganda for two weeks as a volunteer. Although this wasn't my first time in Africa, Kampala and Uganda proved to be completely different from anything I've ever experienced before!

During my stay I worked at three different projects. I got to try everything from teaching at a local primary school to feeding and playing with orphaned babies. This was very much thanks to the project coordinator, Herman, who was very flexible and helped us with everything regarding the different projects.

We also stayed in Herman's house with his family. They were so great and extremely helpful - they helped us get to and from projects, showed us around Kampala and really made sure we felt as if we had a family away from home! Our stay really would not have been the same without them. They have the biggest hearts and are so caring and welcoming, I am so grateful that I have had the chance to get to know them! Their house was also really nice and comfortable. It was the perfect way to meet other volunteers, but it was also so nice to be able to stay so close to people who truly know the community and could help us with anything we needed. And the food they make here is so good!

Kampala as a city was such a shock at first, but I soon got used to the traffic and the craziness I started to really like it. The people were so friendly and the kids at all projects were so great and I really felt as if I made an impact on their lives. Although I was only here for two weeks it has been so great and I will definitely try to come back again!

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 15, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
New User

I am young Caribbean girl who delights in serving others. It was one of my greatest blessings in life to have had the opportunity to do service in Kampala, Uganda through the organization, IFRE. It was an incredible experience!!!
It started with our host. The family I lived with were at all times very kind, considerate and always willing and ready to help in any possible way they can. They served us three meals a day [sometimes two – breakfast and dinner, as we would have lunch at our stationed area. We always had fresh fruits [pineapple, watermelon, mangoes ect] with our meals.
Our bedroom was a very nice one. Herman’s wife was even so kind as to offer to clean our room after we have been living in it for two weeks or so. Usually no landlords ever offer to clean one’s room, tenants are expected to do so themselves. But our family – our host was the best host we could have asked for. They spend quality time with us at nights talking to us about whatever we would like to talk about. They were very helpful in any possible way we needed them. Charles and Richard, two brothers would at times take us to places outside of our work, for example Charles took us to our church building, which we would not have been able to find on our own; Also Richard took us to the zoo and other times they would give us or bus drivers all the necessary directions we needed to find our way around. We felt like we had a real family away from home and we sure did because our host and his family treated us with respect and demonstrated love and appreciation to us at all times.
The opportunity to meet the incredible people in Uganda is definitely worth saving and experiencing. They are a lot of things one learn to do and also the persons met there are life teachers in their own unique ways. I am in love with Uganda and I most thankful for this Organization and the persons who make it a great one!

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 6, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: sallard
Age:
New User

This was my first time to Africa and I went for one month. My dad came for the first two weeks and when we arrived at the airport there were two men waiting for us just like they said. The support at home before coming was awesome, I would know because my mom sent one million questions that were all answered thoroughly! On the drive to Herman's house from the airport, we were with Charles, Herman's brother and he told us all about Uganda and answered all the questions we had been asking. When we arrived at the house we were greeted immediately even though it was late in the night. The next morning I woke up to Herman's daughter, Annabella, singing outside and the smell of breakfast in the air. They set our plates up and gave us boiled water for tea every single day and always told us when the food was ready. If any food like bananas ran out, they would be replaced by the next day. Herman told us all about his life in the past and what he is doing now. We had a very strong connection with Herman and his family and his two brothers. We had so much fun sharing stories and talking with them. A lot of my time that I was in the house I was hanging out with them. They are so friendly and such sweet people. They really went out of their way to make us totally comfortable and we were always the first ones that they helped. Herman was very accomodating to our needs and he reccomended us to certain places and projects. If we wanted to switch, we could do it no problem. I ended up seeing many places during my stay because I did something new every week. Each experience was incredible. I got to see Ttega which is what Herman is trying to build up right now to be an even better school and orphanage. He works so hard to help people out and so does both of his brothers. The accomodations were very good because we still got to shower and use a toilet which I found to be really important after a while. Herman's family will literally come get bugs if you see them and don't want to kill them yourself. They are so awesome. We played UNO with them multiple times and when I went to a village one week, the whole family came with me and didn't want to leave me by myself. Herman gets very involved in what we are doing and will try really hard to sort out any problems that may come up. Kampala is sort of scary if you are not used to a city, but when I went there Charles, Herman's brother, always led the way and took us to where we needed to go. Someone would always accompany us if we didn't know what to do. I really, really felt such a close connection to this family and when I had to leave I could barely say goodbye because I was crying so hard. I can't wait to go back and see that family again. They were so incredibly wonderful and welcoming and I am still connected with them on Facebook. Not to mention that Herman's two children were the CUTEST kids on Earth by the way! They were also always honest with me and explained anything that I wanted to know. So if you can't tell, I LOVE THAT FAMILY.
My other favorite thing about my trip was the amazing people I met while volunteering. In Mubende, a village I stayed at for a week, I met an amazing guy named Emmah that had a school and was struggling but trying so ridiculously hard to help anyone he could. The kids were so great and everyone was just awesome. I was also volunteering a week at a woman named Josephine's house and she was so amazing and the kids that were there literally were my favorite people I have ever met in my life. I had the most fun there than I ever have. I can't really describe the amazing feeling that is in my heart now that I am home, but I really feel so happy and I want to go back right now. My trip was truly life changing. I learned so much and I wouldn't change a thing.

oh, and eat the cabbage they make! It is soooo good!

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 30, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: DanielleH
Age:
New User

Comments

I love that yours is so in depth! In says everything I did not say, which are all true!!!!...N I had to add volunteers like you did make this trip a very special one!

Pages