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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I was in India for one month. During this month I was able to learn so much about the culture, customs, and people of this great country. IVHQ offers an orientation week that allowed me and a group of volunteers to learn more about this history of India. After the week was up, we were all off to our volunteer sites. I worked as slum teaching in New Delhi. It was an experience that I would gladly repeat again. The homestay that I was placed at was with Chandni and Mohit. These beautiful individuals made my Indian experience that much more meaningful. They welcomed me in and from day one I felt like family. I can't believe my month is already over, but I'm looking forward to returning in the future and I'd definitely do it with IVHQ.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: May 27, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I volunteered for one week in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I went in a group of four people and IVHQ did an excellent job of preparing us and supporting us throughout the trip. We signed up together, and by doing so we were able to ensure that we would be together for every part of the volunteering process. At the airport we knew someone was there to pick us up, but we had a hard time finding that person. Once we found him it went smoothly enough. He loaded us into the back of a truck and took us directly to the mirror foundation. Once we arrived there we were given a tour of the property (granted we didn't quite understand everything and had to ask quite a few questions later). We had daily meeting explaining what each group was doing and the majority of information was given out there. I volunteered with the outdoor group and we worked in rice paddies. Because it was the hot season, we would only work for a few hours before taking a long break. I felt we could've done even more work, but I'm grateful they were so worried about our well being. The work for the volunteers depends on what the local tribes request, because of that I felt the relatively small amount of work we did was extremely worthwhile and would leave a lasting impact. The weekends allowed time to tour, which was wonderful and transportation was simple to organize. We also had the opportunity to spend a night with the hill tribes in a local village. We swam in a waterfall and got to eat and sleep in a local hut. We were warned it could be remote, but we were actually quite comfortable. IVHQ did a wonderful job of communicating and providing information that allowed the trip to proceed without any bumps. The facilities were comfortable, though we were sleeping on mats. The house we were in was cleaned by volunteers and the mosquito nets were provided. Showers were in a closed off bathroom. Food was cooked by the locals, which was great. They prepared it with less spice for those of us with weaker stomachs. Overall the trip was wonderful. I do recommend taking some extra time to stay places farther away from the foundation after your volunteer opportunity.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: May 26, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I volunteered for 2 weeks in Kibera town, Nairobi. My project is a medical and health project working in a clinic. A lot of volunteers may be confused who will pick you up and where you stay. The coordinator from Kenya which is my host is a responsible person. He will contact you before the project started to make sure you have everything set and ready, and he is always ready to help you if there is any questions regarding the project and the country. Kenya is truly safe when you are with the local. Then the host will arrange accommodation and transport for your project unless you have special request.

Throughout my volunteer week, I really learnt a lot from the doctor and manage to see the malaria and TB cases from patients. I also experienced to do a public screening for students in the school. In the meantime, I have visited a few primary schools in this town to see their environment of study. The school will be recommended by the host for visit. These schools definitely need some support in term of foods, books and stationaries. From this 2 weeks, I have seen the culture and people living in Kibera town which is different from the Nairobi city center. This place is mainly populated by the poor living people called slum. This is something could open your eye when you have seen the reality on how these people living as compared to your home .Moreover, you could really interact with the local, tasting the local foods and learn a few Swahili words. Everyone is really friendly in this town that I really had a hard time to say goodbye to my host family and my project team.

There are also a few other projects offered in Kenya. I have seen other volunteers teaching in the school either in Nairobi or in the Machakos county. Some were doing cultural exchange in Masai mara and wildlife conversation in national parks. I was lucky that I could spend my weekend in Mitaboni, Machakos county where my host used to lived there. This is an unexplored village where you really can live in nature and livestocks. All and all I really had an amazing time in Nairobi and Mitaboni.

In terms of cost, personally I would think that the registration fee is too high for usd300. The program fee is still reasonable as stated in the website. Other expenses you might consider to cover is your phone data, cost for tour to national parks and spend on some snacks you might miss from home.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: May 22, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

My name is Viktor, and I have just completed a 2-week medical volunteer project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I found this experience so wonderful that I felt teary when the time came to leave Vietnam (My fiancée who completed the program together with me can attest to this!) IVHQ has been instrumental in ensuring an amazing experience for all of us volunteers. Their staff were very responsive and eager to help me and my fiancée with the logistics of flying from Canada to Vietnam, long before program start date. The IVHQ website was also a great tool that helped me prepare and stay organized in preparation for the volunteer program. All of the requirements needed to start volunteering in Vietnam were all in one place (i.e. Application fee, resume/CV upload, criminal record check upload, etc.) The site also contained an excellent and customized guide to prepare us for the country we were travelling to, including a basic language primer. Upon arrival to our site in Vietnam we were warmly greeted, and given clear and succinct instructions on the schedule of activities. Leah (one of the coordinators) lead our group of volunteers through a number of cultural activities with infectious enthusiasm and spirit. Her positive energy was so moving and powerful, it made a deep and lasting impact on my own disposition towards life. Our project was centered at an orthopedic hospital, the majority of patients were recovering from trauma and injuries related to moto/moped accidents. Khanh and Thanh - the 2 on-site coordinators were very friendly and experienced. They were our line of communication with the local medical staff, as we lacked proficiency in fluent Vietnamese. We did a wide range of activities at the hospital. These ranged from aiding the nurses with wound care, premixing IV/SC/IM medications, taking vital signs of all patients on the ward, to shadowing countless orthopedic surgeries and assisting the acupuncture doctors with IM B12 injections and removal of acupuncture needles. By the end of the 2 weeks, both me and my fiancée wished that we had more time to do a longer volunteering session. Unfortunately, we both had prior commitments to get back to back home. But the memories of all the new Vietnamese friends we've made live on - through the power of social media! To summarize, this IVHQ Medical program in Vietnam was a fantastic learning experience, that has transformed me in positive ways. Perhaps the most influential factor that I derived from this Vietnam experience, was derived from the patients at this orthopedic hospital. Being a witness to the strength with which the Viet people hold themselves during excruciating pain and traumatic injuries, has toughened me up and made me more resilient to dealing with difficult situations in my own life. This is not a goodbye, but a see you later Vietnam. I would definitely redo this program if given the chance.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: May 18, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Walking Tree Travel

I try believe in Walking Tree Travel because of their dedication to their mission and vision: providing experiences that motivate high school students to become global citizens through engaging and immersive programming around the world. They work around the clock to provide safe, challenging, immersive, culturally sensitive (and FUN!!!) programs for high school students. They work with local communities to find homestay opportunities that give our students the opportunity to engage with other people and cultures around the world - truly a once in a lifetime experience. In Peru we worked in a local host community side by side with our host families on a project chosen and driven by them - allowing our students to engage culturally with community members in a responsible and sustainable way. Such a great, community-driven way to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: May 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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