Global Crossroad

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8.8 / 10 after 321 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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It’s hard to describe accurately in words my time at By Grace – it was an incredible experience. From the moment I was introduced to the staff & children, I felt at home and very welcome in the centre. It was quickly agreed that I teach English & Maths to Form 1 during my 2 week stay at the centre & I was given the teaching aids that were necessary for classes. The other teachers were especially helpful if I had any questions etc. and also Salome was a fantastic source of information and advice during my stay. I found the students to be very eager to learn and very receptive in class - it was just such a pity to find them with only one book to work from for the whole class. Nevertheless, the teachers manage with what little resources they have & they are a great inspiration for the children. I had a fantastic time at By Grace – I extended my stay there by a further week but that was still far too little time to be spending with such great children. I wish I was still there now but I will definitely go back as soon as I can organise for it.
The only thing to note maybe for future volunteers is that the description I received from Global Crossroad on the activities I would be performing at the orphanage was not very accurate. I did not expect to be spending my whole time teaching – had I been aware of this I could have brought out some teaching aids, books etc that would have been beneficial for the students.
Host Family
I was so lucky to be housed with Rahab & her family. I was welcomed into her home as one of the family & I really felt at home during my stay. Rahab spent so much time with me & taught me a lot about Kenyan culture and way of life. She sacrificed her own time at weekends to bring me to the Giraffe Centre & the Bomas of Kenya. She also helped me to buy provisions for the orphanage – taking another whole day of her personal time. I was also invited to join the family in Mombassa over Easter …..the list of ways in which I was welcomed, helped and guided really is endless. In terms of the livings conditions I found the house to be most comfortable and the quality of the meals I received was excellent.
Safari
The safari was absolutely fantastic. The driver, Sammy, was very competent – I felt very safe in the vehicle on such rocky roads! He was also very knowledgeable with respect to the wildlife – in terms of both identification and giving us information about specific animals. The campsite was well run – it was clean & even had hot showers on our second day! The food was also very good.

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Posted: October 5, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I can only add to the previous reviews of this company by strongly agreeing with the comments, particularly that of GC being a business and not a charity. While the project I was involved with in Ecuador was very good, and I really felt like I was helping, it was only once I had arrived that I discovered that the cloud forest eco-lodge is run by local villagers and supported by a couple in Quito who find them volunteers. GC act as an agent in this respect, and therefore take a huge cut for doing virtually nothing. Having talked to locals and the couple who run the show in Quito, I worked out that over two thirds of what I paid ($1500 from memory) went to GC, while the Quito representatives took a fair amount of the rest (I believe deservedly) and a horrifically small amount a day went to the eco-lodge and local people to look after us. When I questioned GC about this huge discrepancy, the only answer they could give was that the rest was needed for "administration". It would be rather more understandable if the pre- and de-briefing had been of the highest quality, and I had been totally confident of how and what I was doing before I went. This, however, was not the case, and I can see no reason for them taking such a large amount of money. What upsets me most is the abuse - as a traveller, it takes experience and confidence to just turn up in a foreign country and find a project to volunteer for, but this is by far the best way of doing it; that way you are bound to find good people doing good work, and not be ripped off by opportunists who have prospective volunteers over a barrel.

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Posted: October 4, 2008
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

I am suppossed to be going to Ecuador in september with rcdp. I'm trying to figure out if they are the same company as gv. If anyone could give me more info if you've been that would be great. I'm starting to get nervous being that I'm travelling alone. Any help would be great! Sofiad@hotmail.com
are you available to give me some info about where to volunteer in Ecuador. David at eaglechiro@yahoo.com

Global Crossroads is a business not an organization. They are not supportive, and could care less about you and your well being after you pay them. I'm lucky I didn't end up kidnapped and sold. The other volunteer who I later met, was an 18 year old boy who had never even been out of the USA. Upon his arrival at the airport, his ride never showed up and he ended up taking a random taxi to a motel where he stayed the night in fear. Luckily the next day he somehow found a contact and eventually made it to the local office. Global Crossroad does not provide you with any information once you arrive. I was picked up, driven to some lady's house, (to this day I have no idea who she was or how she was affiliated with GC), spent the night there, picked up again in the morning, taken to the local office, waited there 3 hours, then finally taken to the orphanage. Along the way nobody would ever tell me where I was going or what was happening and it was truly frightening.
I think my total cost to Global Crossroad was around $1500 and I learned they gave the orphanage where I stayed only $100 for me being there.
I was told I would be teaching orphans English. Instead, the orphanage had it's own school that was well established and taken very seriously. They already had teachers and all the kids knew English. For the first few days I really had no purpose, but eventually I just started helping with cooking and cleaning and playing with the kids. I also helped them with their homework. It turned out as a great experience but not what I signed up for. I am still very close with the founders of the orphanage and help raise money to put the orphans through high school. IF ANYONE WANTS TO VOLUNTEER AT THIS ORPHANAGE WITH NO COST TO YOU, i can set it up. The founders of the orphanage are willing to pick you up from the airport and make sure you are taken care of. Don't waste your money on any organizations. If you really want to make a difference, use the money you would've spent to help put these kids through high school!! Please feel free to contact me with questions or info on volunteering in Kenya. The kids will change you forever. It was the best experience of my life (no thanks to Global Crossroad)
htebbutt@hotmail.com

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Posted: September 26, 2008
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

I didn't receive all of my pre-departure information, not did I receive my travel insurance. All questions answered by Global Crossroads before my trip were answered vaguely. Global Crossroads did not make it clear to me the best way to get financial donations to my country, thus causing me to loose 1/5 of my donations to Global Crossroads' fees. I was treated rudely in country and overcharged by the Global Crossroads ground coordinator. I was told to apply for a tourist visa, despite being a volunteer. My host family was not paid the allocated money they were told they'd received. My ground coordinator was unsupportive when there were political and corruption issues taking place at my volunteer placement. I was forced to leave my project early when I was being threatened by locals for deportation because I was on the wrong visa. I have yet to be reimbursed for the money I lost when I had to return hom.

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Posted: September 7, 2008
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1
By: Anonymous
Age:

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