We employ locally to manage our volunteers’ experience, including volunteer assistant positions, guides and translators in each of the Big Beyond destinations. Big Beyond local employees are paid above minimum wage and all are given a detailed and ongoing training scheme to help them improve their future prospects in the tourism industry. All food and drink for Big Beyond volunteers is sourced locally, apart from very few items not available in these villages. All furniture and furnishings are made locally where possible. We work with hotels particularly to help them localise their supply chain, link with the local communities and avoid imports from far away urban places.
In the UK we aim to encourage the use of electronic information and online facilities to minimize the use of printed materials. During the volunteer orientation, pre and on-trip, as well as at the time of booking, all volunteers are made aware that the locations where they will be staying in Africa are remote, rural and in most cases do not have the luxury of running water. Big Beyond has put water harvesting and recycling schemes in place and will encourage all volunteers to support this scheme by minimizing their water use.
Before our volunteers commence their trips we provide them with a complete e-learning programme which will teach them important safety tips and give them an overview of the socio-cultural and political climate of their destination. Core to Big Beyond is the measurement of local impact. Each volunteer will be set tasks within their placement and the outputs will be measured each and every time to help understand the bigger picture. Volunteers are encouraged to immerse themselves into the local communities and learn how to become valued members of the community for the time they are living there.