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Frontier

I took part in the Frontier Madagascar Community Teaching Program for 6 weeks, and Forest Conservation for 1 week, over the months of February and March. I can honestly say it was a life changing experience, and I whole-heartedly and without reservation recommend it to anyone prepared to work hard and have an amazing time.

The project takes place in the town of Hellville, on the island of Nosy-Be off the North-West coast of Madagascar. The community house is very central in its location, being very close to all of the schools and places where volunteers work. I volunteered primarily at a primary school known to locals as "L'école frère," run by catholic nuns, the youth club of Nosy-Be, and a village school near to the Frontier Camp at Ambalahonko. At the catholic school, I taught around 5 or 6 30 minute lessons everyday, teaching them basic english such as body parts, and family members. Each class held around 70 children, which was very intimidating at first! However, in my first week, the community staff member trained me and guided me through how to best and most effectively teach, thus by my second week I was ready and raring to go! It was very rewarding teaching at the catholic school, and a lot of fun. The kids absolutely love the Frontier Volunteers, and always said "'Ello Annah!" whenever I passed them in the street after school and at weekends.

Every Friday, we would go to spend the night at the Frontier Camp at the village of Ambalahonko. It was great fun, and really good to spend time with the Forest and Marine staff members and volunteers. In the afternoon, we taught english at a school in a neighbouring village. Although the children were always quite loud, it was always a great learning experience and lots of fun! The walk there and back through the forest always involved seeing lemurs and eating mangos, which was an added bonus!

By far my favourite part of the project was teaching at the youth club. I taught them three times a week for two hours. It was great because I had a lot of freedom with what I taught them – I started by teaching them about Australia, and then over my 7 weeks covered subjects ranging from music and films to feminism. I really felt I was making a real difference in the lives of those who attended class, and we always had such a good laugh. Some of the students asked me to take extra classes with them, and so starting from my second week, I gave individual help and extra classes in all of my free time. Although it was tiring, I’m so glad I did this, because as a result I made life long friends, and became part of their family. One particular student, benefitted greatly from this extra help, and made it all worthwhile for me. In the beginning, although very strong at English, he lacked confidence in himself, and was too scared to apply for jobs (his dream is to become a tour guide). Over my stay, I made it my personal project to get him to apply for jobs and hopefully to secure one in the future. We worked on his oral skills, English CV and did practice interviews. In my last week, he finally secured an interview for an apprenticeship at the Economic Development Board of Madagascar. After many practice interviews at his house, he went for the interview, and came out having been offered the job! This made all of my hard work worthwhile, and deeply touched me. I also just found out he now also has a tour guide job secured for December.

I'm so glad I decided to take part in the Frontier Community Project in Madagascar. The opportunities that Frontier provided were really awesome, and it was so amazing to actually make a difference in the lives of our students. The work that Frontier does in Madagascar is incredible - it's reflected in the cheery greetings anyone in a Frontier t-shirt receives from any locals wandering past. The support from the staff members was superb, and they made the whole experience so amazing and highly educational. I hope to return very soon.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

We had one of the most wonderful experiences here in Xela. The women´s project was very empowering and we could see how communities are benefited by stoves we built.
Our host family was fantastic and we loved having had the chance to meet them and share our experience with them. Thank you to all the Guatemala staff for such an empowering experience. As the trip leader for this service-learning trip, I would recommend Rustic to other student groups. There were some communication issues with the US office which made things a little complicated but my experience in Guatemala was great overall.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Mar 31, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Slum teaching with IVHQ has been amazing! I volunteered in the little angels school right in the middle of Faridabad, Delhi for 3 weeks and it has been such a rewarding experience.
It has been a real hands on project and we helped the children with English and maths in the mornings the had freedom in the afternoon to decide yourself what activities that you would like to do with the children, which was so much fun! It is emotionally challenging and working with these children who have so little yet are so happy and eager to learn really pulls on the heartstrings, but i felt so privileged to be there and to actually have the opportunity to work with those who appreciate and need our help.

The IVHQ staff have been brilliant and are contactable 24/7 for anything you need help with or any questions you have no matter how small. One member of staff even personally took me to the doctors when I wasn't feeling too good. They really feel like an extended family rather than staff! So warm and friendly! Orientation week was so much fun and I would definitely recommend it to other volunteers who are thinking of doing the project. Its a great way to meet other volunteers from around the world and we spent the next three weekends together going on trips to Pushkar, Varanasi and Dharamsala.

Living with a host family was one of the best parts of the project, they were so welcoming and we really felt at home living with them. The accommodation was perfect and our host mum is a seriously good cook! We enjoyed so many delicious traditional indian meals. She even let us help prepare them with her to learn how to make them when we wanted.

All in all this project has been everything I had hoped for and more, I am happy I chose IVHQ to do it with. Other volunteer projects are so expensive in comparison which is one of the main reasons I chose IVHQ and there was definitely no compromising! They even explained to us exactly where all of the money goes and what percentages are spent on what.
10/10 for this project! would definitely recommend and I'll be looking into what other projects I can do next! Thank you IVHQ!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Active Internationals

Active Internationals will always remain on top of all the lists of organisations I ever recommend. I am really happy that I participate in their program.

I booked for an 8 week animal rescue program in Jaipur, where I was aligned to an amazing place for working with animals.
I got hands on experience in animal care, and animal rescue. I was also the store-keeper for the medicines.

By he time I was in my 5th week of volunteering all the animals, specially the small rabbits became great friends.

At the volunteer house I made many international friends, who were from many different countries and backgrounds. The whole experience of living in such an international environment was great.

We went through a lot of workshops and activities. The staff was also very helpful. I will miss them all.

Not to forget - I am bowled over by the Indian food. Even after coming back home I try some recipes.

Love,
Malsyhka

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Concordia Volunteers

Concordia volunteers are a great organisation. I went to Nepal through them in 2011. Since then I have volunteered with them in the UK and am going to South Korea this year through them. The staff are so supportive and everyone volunteering in a developing country must go on a training day to ensure that they are fully briefed on their experience before going. The staff cannot do enough to help volunteers and work so hard to make sure that volunteering overseas is ethical, safe and meaningful. The projects are very affordable and as they are a charity you know that all the fees are going back into improving the service. Going to Nepal was an amazing experience and Concordia made sure I was fully prepared including making sure I had a hostel booked when I arrived and was picked up from the airport. I lived and volunteered in an orphanage in the Himalayas and can honestly say that it was a life changing and amazing experience. I would recommend overseas volunteering and Concordia volunteers to everyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Mar 29, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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