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Involvement Volunteers International

Highlights: Being able to see the Galungan and Kuningan celebrations up close and be given the chance to actively participate in it was a once in a lifetime experience.

Comments: The team made us feel right at home and we’re all very quick to help us with anything we needed. They helped us organize trips to the Gilis and Nusa Penida. The food was great for me, considering I have no eating restrictions, but wasn’t for my friend who has several food allergies and lactose and gluten intolerance. On the last few days, they ran out of her almond milk and didn’t get more because she was leaving soon, so she had only a hard boiled egg and water to eat for breakfast.

Improvements: My only suggestion would be concerning the food options. It would be great if there was a variety of options for individuals with previously mentioned eating restrictions.

Program:
Location:
Posted: Feb 16, 2020
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I spent two weeks volunteering in the kindergarten program with IVHQ in Ho Chi Minh and honestly had the time of my life!! The staff make you feel so at home and the accommodation is clean and well maintained. There was a variety of food to choose from at meal times and the location is super close to cafes and restaurants. The other volunteers were all so welcoming and had a great attitude, wanting to make the most of their experience.

The kindergarten program was really rewarding and even in two weeks I made so many connections with the children. Although some days are repetitive (singing, dancing, feeding, teaching), the kids really love when the volunteers are there and you can see the difference you're making in their lives. Without the volunteer program, the children wouldn't learn English, limiting there opportunities in the future.

The city of Ho Chi Minh is busy and has so much to do, after volunteer hours everyone was super eager to explore and make the most of their time overseas. Travelling to other parts of Vietnam is also really easy and affordable from Ho Chi Minh and the staff at the accommodation were so helpful with planning weekend trips and providing recommendations. We could book tours or weekend trips the day before we left easily with the help of the staff which allowed flexibility and kept the experience exciting!

Overall, in my two weeks in Ho Chi Minh, I made memories which will last forever, made lifetime friends from all over the world and learnt so much about the rich culture and beautiful landscape of Vietnam. For anyone thinking about volunteering overseas, I would highly recommend the IVHQ Vietnam experience and any of the programs they offer.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Australia
Posted: Feb 16, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Involvement Volunteers International

Highlights of the trip:

Although we worked hard on repairing and painting the school’s rooftops, the highlight for me was being able to play soccer and volleyball with the students after the school day has concluded. Master Pate had asked if I could work with the children’s english on our off time. So as we played volleyball, I asked the children to count in english every time we hit the ball back up. We got it up to 23. They all loved it as every time the count had passed 15, their voices would start screaming 16, 17, 18, and so forth. That was so much fun!

Comments on the team:

The team was awesome! Very organized. Food at the end celebration at Masi’s house was excellent!!! Iri was an awesome host on the island as well!
Any improvements to help us be better:
Hard to say. For me being a carpenter, the next time I decide to volunteer, I’m bringing my tools with me.

Program:
Location:
Posted: Feb 13, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Involvement Volunteers International

Sri Lanka:
Highlights:
The highlight of Sri Lanka was definitely the team; the drivers, coordinators, managers, chef, cleaners – everyone was so helpful and lovely. Everything felt very well organised and I felt very comfortable to talk about anything with them. The people of Sri Lanka in general were all so beautiful and friendly.

Team, food and accommodation:
Again the team was amazing. The food was really good both at the accommodation and at the projects! I love spice, rice and curry so I was always happy. There was plenty of vegetables and plenty of food so always had enough to eat. The accommodation was clean, a nice temperature, hot and cold showers, lockers for valuables, good location.

Improvements:
Again I had originally put down to volunteer at a baby center, however on arrival I was told that that option was no longer available which was a real shame. I found other volunteer options which I ended up really enjoying but I was initially disappointed.

Program:
Location:
Posted: Feb 12, 2020
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Global Vision International (GVI)

I am currently a university student studying Environmental Science (hence the relevance to my amazing summer). I went to Thailand, Phang Nga base for a total of 6 weeks and did the short term internship, earning myself a leadership qualification out there. This was my first summer solo travelling, having not taken a gap year and it was everything I had dreamed of and more! I went on this trip alone and it was the best thing I could have done, it benefitted me in ways I didn’t even imagine – cringe but ‘I found myself’. I gained more self-confidence and developed my people skills; communication to people of all ages – from teaching school children to making friends with the older volunteers.
GVI and the programme itself was amazing, they were so accommodating and made me feel at home for my summer, the base felt like home and the staff were friends. It’s not like being at school as you are all on the same level and treated equally, if you have a suggestion whether it be for around base or an activity you would like to do they will always try to accommodate it. GVI Phang Nga hub has 2 other programmes being run from the same hub so there will always be a group of people there, this is great for your weekend travels. While on programme every other weekend is a long weekend (free from Thursday evening to Sunday), this means there is plenty of time to explore southern Thailand and perhaps even further with your new friends; I visited Khoa Lak, Khoa Sok, Phi Phi islands, Phang Nga Bay, Phuket town and even Patong!

The marine conversation programme has such a variety of activities meaning every week is different, even after being there 6 weeks I was still doing new activities. Every week you visit the turtle conservation centre twice – cleaning tanks, treating their wounds and collecting data for a wider database. Along with the turtle project you do; beach cleans, butterfly surveys, bird walks, working in national parks, teaching conservation/English lessons at local schools in the community, mangrove surveys on canoes, once a month there is a week-long trip off base to stay on 2 islands doing camera trap work and whole hub Friday projects including: village cleans and teaching at English camps. Even in your down time at base there’s still optional extras to do such as cooking classes, weekly Wednesday night quizzes, early morning sun rises and movie nights. Before getting to Thailand I had my doubts and worries about the teaching aspect of the program as this is usually something I would shy away from however it was one of my favourite projects, along with the turtles of course, but the children are so keen and happy to learn and have so much respect for you. You are not forced to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing while on project however there is plenty of opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone, if you’re not already out of it in Thailand!

Food is great, people are fab and the experience was one of a kind. There is something for everyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Feb 7, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
9

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