This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Volunteer travel - what's it all about
Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world. Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.
Responsible tourism: Medical work experience in Madurai, India
Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage our volunteers to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect
Our company: You taking part in this project enables us to continue to donate financial assistance as well as necessary goods, where it is needed around the world. Examples of donations include building new classrooms, providing school uniforms for poorer students, buying computers, sports equipment, playgrounds, toys, mattresses, classroom equipment and funding school trips and the building of libraries, and more. We also donate significantly to conservation research efforts and the purchasing of necessary conservation equipment. In the past, these donations have been made in all continents and in projects where we work, and some where we do not work.
Recent donations made include:
- Monthly donations to a variety of schools, orphanage and animal sanctuaries around the world to help with costs.
- Donations to a school in Zambia to sponsor the education of five children per year.
- Donation made to a school in Ghana to build new signs to advertise the school, buy a photocopier, buy reading books and pain some classrooms in need of repair.
- Donation of funds to build a toilet at one of the schools we work with in Cambodia – until now the children have had to go into neighbouring houses or in the bushes!
- Computer and Camera for a Street Kids project in South Africa.
- Ongoing monthly donations made to orphanage in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and every year additional money given at Christmas to buy presents for children.
- Approximately £1,500 towards the building of a desperately needed classroom in a Zulu school in eMakhosini, South Africa.
- Water tanks for various projects in Ghana and Kenya to allow the children safe drinking water.
- Toys and play equipment for children at a project that was severely lacking funds for this in South Africa.
- A donation of books for the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town.
- A donation of $400 to the elephant project in Thailand.
We employ an all local staff force in most of our destination countries, which benefits the local economy. These range from skilled country managers, who are often pillars of their community, to local labourers and craftspeople. We believe in paying our overseas staff fairly, and many are rewarded with higher than average wages for local standards. When required, we send local staff on training courses to widen their skills. For example, a member of staff in South Africa recently attended an ‘eco-school’. Here, she was trained in eco teaching methods, which she will take to the schools around her region of South Africa to encourage eco-friendly farming methods.
We are committed to upholding strict ethical standards that ensure a positive and lasting impact upon the environments, communities, institutions, volunteers, animals, children and people that we work with.
- We encourage our volunteers to make the most of local opportunities available to them, such as shopping at local markets, eating in local restaurants and using local services and transport.
- We encourage volunteers to pay fairly for goods and services. We believe that over payment for goods and services or payment to beggars can have negative consequences and result in the over-reliance on tourism within the local community.
- We strongly advise against purchasing wildlife souvenirs or anything which may perpetuate the death or cruel treatment of animals for the purpose of profit.
- We advise on dress codes and codes of behaviour in all of our destination countries to ensure volunteers don’t cause offence to local communities.
Our aim is to create always a win-win-win situation in terms of the benefits for the local communities and institutions that we work in, for us and for the volunteer. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to the communities, institutes or volunteers. We conduct regular volunteer satisfaction surveys to monitor our performance.
Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, the schools where we teach English very often have no other English teachers, and so they rely on us for continued lessons. We kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.
As an intern you’ll be exposed to many different working areas of a hospital.
Generally during the morning you’ll be on ward rounds with doctors and nurse and in patient consultations. Depending on your experience and ability you’ll be able to treat patients, under supervision. You’re impact on local community will at times be minimal as you’ll primarily be learning through observation but you may also have the opportunity of some hands-on work and helping provide relief to nurses during busy periods .
During the afternoon you’ll observe surgeries when possible, sometimes from within the operating theatre. This firsthand experience of observing surgeons at work is often hard to find and provides an excellent opportunity to learn for interns both experienced and in-experienced.
During you’re stay you will live with host families providing a good source of income, helping them to provide for their, often large families and create employment. Families are selected based on their desire to provide real cultural exchange and at the same time a warm family environment. All food is home cooked, helping support local markets and businesses.