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A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I have to start by saying that my program and trip was amazing, the experience of living in Chile was something everyone should have. I was nervous to travel to La Serena without knowing a soul, but my host family welcomed me and made me feel at home. The work can be difficult and tiring at times, but it is worth the effort. The kids are adorable and it is obvious to see the difference the volunteers make. I did branched out and tried so many new things while there. It was like I went through years’ worth of experiences in six weeks. I did also learned lots.... My Spanish did definitely improved: both my understanding and speaking. I did learned how to navigate through an unfamiliar city at night and ask for help if needed. I did learned how to keep multiple toddlers entertained, if not quiet sometimes. Overall, the last six weeks of my stay was some of the most memorable ones of my life. This trip did heightened my desire to travel more and see the world as well as continue to volunteer and help those who are less fortunate than I am.
The host family exceeded my expectations. The mom, Vilma, was amazing. She was so thoughtful and helpful. She packed my lunch every day and had dinner ready for me when I was hungry. We traded off picking movies to watch together on the weekends and played cards during the week. I never felt unsafe or in danger. Walking to work in the mornings while it was still dark made me a little uncomfortable at first, but I never had any issues. Most people in La Serena were very friendly and helpful. Everyone smiles and says hola as you pass on the sidewalks. The city of La Serena is a good size and offers enough to do to stay occupied on the weekends. I didn’t really go out much on weeknights.
A few days after I arrived in La Serena, I received an email from ABV checking to see how I was settling in. We corresponded a few times. I decided to work at the day-care center for my last two weeks instead of just staying at the orphanage. The staff was very easy to work with to allow me to make that change. Thank you again for everything.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Chile
Posted: Jul 3, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I LOVED my experience in Peru! It was really the people in Peru, including my host family and fellow volunteers, that made my experience. We all get along so well its magical! I have had an amazing time exploring Cusco with them and learning about the public services in the city. If I could I would do it all over again and I would do it with ABV. ABVs design allowed me to personalize my experience so that I could go where and when I wanted to go and I could volunteer in a place that was perfect for me. ABV and Peru were truly magical!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Jul 1, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP Nepal

Wow!!! My name is Debra Valencia and people call me Ana. I am from Colombia and live in New York. I decided to join the RCDP Mini-Adventure Program and went through their web profile and found myself very much addressed with their program and enrolled myself to one of their program.

The project started with an introduction about Indian culture and language, which was really interesting. Throughout this program, I learned a lot about Indian culture. We went to visit the orphanage and It was a great experience During my volunteering period, I was involved in different activities like teaching computers and games for kids which was very challenging and rewarding for me. They made me part of their family and I learnt a lot about Indian culture from them. In the evening, we went to visit different places in the city and watched different traditional shows that are very common in streets which were very interesting.

After finishing my 8 days in the volunteering program, I was so intrigue that I joined for further 4 days mini-adventure tour. With that program we went to Agra where we spent 1 night-2 day stay where we participated in a Festival. In the same day we visited many historical places like Taj Majal, Agra Fort, Taj Festival, etc. which were splendid. The food and accommodation was excellent.
After Agra, we went to Jaipur where we spent 2 nights-three days and a wonderful time. We visited all the historical places in the town and we even were invited for dinning with an Indian family. They hosted us and gave us an unforgettable evening giving us the taste of Rajasthan and its culture. Next day we went to visit many different places such as Habba Majal, Jaintarmantar, Zoo, Museum, etc. Everything was perfect. We had fun dancing and looking at different shows that were presented specially for us which gave me a fantastic impression.

Finally, the staffs were very nice and helpful at all times. The overall experience was wonderful learning about Indian culture, their customs and life style. It has really created a good impression of RCDP Nepal and its Management skills. In future I am planning to do this program in Nepal.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Jul 1, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

AFS

Statistically, it's likely that your student will have a wonderful, memorable, formative experience. There is only a small chance that it will be otherwise. AFS is equipped to handle three scenarios well. Smooth sailing is, of course, no problem. Minor issues, stemming from cultural differences and the normal issues associated with teens, can almost always be resolved by the host family and student talking the matter through. The third scenario, in which the student is severely injured, becomes seriously ill, or commits an egregious breach of the rules (driving a car, dating) ends with the student being sent home. These cover the majority of likely situations.

In this forum are reports of rare but real scenarios which AFS, because of it's fragmented structure, or because of differences between the cultures and laws of different nations, does not handle to the satisfaction of parents. Examples posted include students being robbed, raped, or suffering severe mental stress. I add placement with an abusive host family to that list. In these situations AFS tries to fit the problem into one of the three scenarios they're comfortable with. They advise the student to talk to the family, they warn the student to behave, they threaten to terminate the exchange. In all cases they assume the student is at fault.

These are inadequate and harmful responses to these sorts of problems. As these students and parents have found, they have little or no recourse. AFS does little, probably because there is little they can do. It is not a monolith with a chain of command, at least not across international lines. It is a constellation of similar, affiliated volunteer organizations.

This is not to say that nothing can be done, just that nothing is usually done because it's difficult.

This doesn't mean AFS is off the hook though. These are our children we're trusting them with. Parents rightfully expect more than deflection and stonewalling.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Jun 30, 2015
Overall:
5
Support:
1
Value:
5

RCDP Nepal

My experience with RCDP has been excellent overall. I regret not having time to do the language course at the start as it would have been a lot nicer being able to speak some Nepali. The Royal Chitwan National park activities were really great and I strongly recommend it to any volunteers. The Elephant Bathing and jungle ride was especially fun. We were in chitwan during the Nepali festival and a part from the lights, firewood and dancing, one of the men that helped run the lodge made us a part of his family for the brother / sister ritual part of the festival which was an amazing experience. My project has been quite fun, between building some concrete flooring at a temple and helping with teaching at the orphanage. The communication between me and lila the local coordinator was a bit slack and I was unsure so what to do for some time, however with time it did improve. So I suggest that all volunteer ask as many questions as they can so that they are more aware of their situation. My project was in Rampur in the chitwan district and unfortunately I only have two weeks there. Bhirab was my host father and I really enjoyed his family’s hospitality! They really did try to integrate me as part of their family, even if the hard bed took some getting used to, along with no running water. But this eventually really made the experience for me. As I really felt I was experiencing some true Nepalese culture which unfortunately isn’t the easiest thing to discover in the more touristy areas. Surrounded by fields and only a handful of houses, mostly housing farming families Rampur was a very relaxing place to volunteers and get away from the more western influenced Nepal. if you are considering volunteering at all, feel free to send me an e-mail. There are so many other things that I don’t have the time to write. In summary, t have thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from this experience with RCDP. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning and about new cultures etc. Apart from a few breakdowns in communication I have been impressed with the running of RCDP. sujan, especially at the hostel in Kathmandu was one of the nicest people I have met. The staff at the lodge in chitwan was also incredible.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Iceland
Posted: Jun 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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