Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

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8.4 / 10 after 80 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) offers volunteer service opportunities in community projects around the world.  At GVN we align with the idea of 'local solutions to local problems', so we work with local community organizations in each country.  We provide a wealth of experience, resources and dedication to both our volunteers and partners.

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I volunteered on the GVN Brazil Program this September and it was by far the most rewarding, eye opening and heartwarming experience I've ever had. GVN supported me before, during and after my trip and is always there to answer any questions you may have.

During my stay in Rocinha, I was working and living with wonderful volunteers from all over the world. I did the Teaching Program so I got to teach smart and enthusiastic kids every afternoon, as well as equally amazing adults some days of the week. At night we got to do some locals classes which was a lot of fun as well, I've never met more welcoming and friendly people than the ones in Rocinha!

The children running up to you yelling "Teacher!", grabbing your hands and hugging you, will put a smile on your face every single day. The lessons are great because the kids are genuinely happy to be there and eager to learn, especially when you put in the effort to make everything interesting for them (singing songs, playing games, reading stories, letting them act things out and draw, asking people to come up front to point things out etc.).

Arriving in a favela by yourself is daunting of course, especially when you don't speak Portuguese. All I can say is that it's SO worth it to jump in head first and go for it, you will not regret it. Sure, it won't always be easy but that just makes you a stronger, more independent person. The people you meet, the experiences you have, the things you visit in Rio will stay with you forever. My main advice: stay as long as you can!! I was only there for a couple of weeks and I so wish I could have stayed longer.

Thanks to GVN and the local Brazil Program, I can't wait to come back some day!!

Program:
Location:
Posted: October 2, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
21

An absolutely wonderful, diplomatic, kind and responsive team working with you. I'll be joining the "Public Health Improvement" project in Uganda for 6 months starting in September of this year.

I have to tell you how impressed I am with GVN. Fiona and Miriam were my first contacts. Fiona (at the main office) continues to be absolutely responsive, helpful, detail-oriented and kind. Though my contact with Miriam is much more limited, she helped me work through the "medical insurance" maze quite nicely.

And then there is Leslie, with The Real Uganda ("on the ground" in Uganda, she places volunteers appropriately.) What a hoot! She is so much fun, so very responsive. I can ask her ANYthing to "do I REALLY" have to wear skirts to, "oh my God, I'm a vegan....will this work"...and she endlessly has funny and appropriate (and quick) suggestions for me. It's obvious that the "vollies" are her "babies" and I feel as if I'll be in good hands.

Leslie's idea to send me past "activity reports" about previous work done by the Public Health project resulted in my making two important contacts, so I can prepare and study in topics beforehand.

Rather than wait and possibly waste time when I get there, I contacted Dr. Wanyama via email (he just returned rom South Sudan in the warzone where he was volunteering...) and he and I have been noodling around some ideas for a project he wants me to work on in the remote villages once I arrive. This has made the experience 'real' for me immediately and given me the focus I wanted. With my background in research and medicine, this will be perfect.

Here's to the journey!

Charlotte Michael Versagi

(6 mother, Uganda, Public Health Improvement Project, starting September 1, 2014.)

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 16, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
65

This review is for GVN's Be the Change Program (not listed in the box above.) I attended the program in Taupo, New Zealand in November, 2013. It was my first venture into the volunteer abroad arena, and was an ideal venue for me to get information and interract with with experienced volunteers. The week was life-changing for me.

GVN staff picked me up at my hotel as arranged through e-mail. There were 9 of us there as participants and 6 GVN staff. We lived as family in 2 houses with both staff and participants, which was a bonding experience. We shared cooking and cleaning responsibilities. I loved this format, finding that volunteers are an adaptable and throroughly interesting group to live with for a week. We were a diverse group, ranging in age from 20 to 67, of varying ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds. At the end of the week, I considered them all friends.

The purpose of this workshop was to both inform and motivate volunteers to pursue our own charitable projects at either a local or international level, or to feel confident in participating in existing projects. I came away both informed and motivated. I was most impressed with GVN staff's enthusiasm and dedication to their work.

Having previously attended both business and horse training workshops, I had a value comparison. Be the Change delivered what I considered to be good product for the price.

I have no criticism for the Be the Change Program. When I fail to find anything to criticize, I tend to be generous with my "stars". I will be going to Uganda in June as a follow-on to investigate how GVN distrubutes money they raise through participating in the global Eat So They Can fundraising campaign.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
67

GVN were knowledgeable and efficient when we dealt with them. Their communications were timely and helpful. My wife and I were pleased to have used them for our month in the Philippines with the local agency CERV.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 20, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: aeldred
Age:
61

Very well organized and reliable. I felt safe and confident going into a situation far from home and in a very different culture.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 16, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: elgreen
Age:
63

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