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Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

My four week experience volunteering at AFAWI was short but sweet. I gained a surprisingly large amount of experience and knowledge despite only being there for a month, and I believe my ability to do so is reflective of the quality and efficiency of AFAWI, and how it works with its volunteers.

Despite never having officially worked in microfinance before, I was immediately given a lot of trust and responsibility upon arriving at AFAWI. Volunteers who were already there showed me a lot of support and my ability to quickly become acquainted with the work that was being carried out, definitely enhanced my overall experience. Furthermore, I was able to work directly with local people and coordinate, exactly where money and resources were directed. This, I believe, was one of the huge benefits of working within a grassroots NGO, and a fantastic way for anyone interested in the field of development to gain a strong insight into what the field involves.

Although the work itself was extremely challenging at times, the support I got from fellow volunteers and Philip, was excellent, and helped me to achieve my goals with my fellow team members.

Not only did the work I was involved in greatly enhance my experience at AFAWI, but the friendly, family-like atmosphere made my time there unforgettable. I was cooked traditional Ghanaian meals every day, and working and living with Ghanaians gave me a strong insight into the culture, which I do not believe I could have gained at any other NGO. As a foreigner, I was granted the chance to become a part of this unique lifestyle, and the ability to always feel accepted and appreciated made my summer an unforgettable experience.

Overall, I would strongly recommend anyone interested in development, to look into volunteering with AFAWI. Their volunteering times are flexible and span all year round, and there is a wide range of projects to get involved in. The great thing about AFAWI is that you do not have to be an 'expert' in the field to feel like you can make a difference. You just need to be enthusiastic, open minded and ready to learn. From this, as I did, you can have an amazing experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Oct 11, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
8

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

This experience was a wonderful opportunity to greatly improve my spanish and also learn a lot about another culture. It definitely takes you out of your comfort zone, but is well worth it. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life. I lived with a host family and with a few other volunteers. The house was very nice and all of the meals were home cooked and catered to dietary needs. I am a vegetarian and they were very good about making sure there was something for me to eat without making me feel like a burden. My favorite memory is swimming in a waterfall in the jungle. It was chilly, but I went with another volunteer and some other travelers we met that day. I never would have been able to meet those people or be in that place if I did not travel here with ABV. If you do not know any spanish at all it is possible to come. However, if you have time before coming it is a good idea to take some sort of basic lessons or use an application. It really enriches the experience if you are better able to communicate with everyone. The immersion will really help with learning spanish no matter what level you have at arrival. The local coordinator was amazing and provided complete support. The coordinator really goes above what is expected. She helped us figure out the best form of transportation to various weekend destinations. She even came with us on one weekend trip. She also makes sure to ask often how the project is going and will talk to the director of the project if there is a problem.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Oct 10, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I spent one month doing Beach conservation on Madagascar and it was amazing. I really had no expactations going in, I booked my trip in a haste wanting to leave home and be part of an adventure. This was all the adventure one could want, the camp exceeded my expectations it was simple but you had everything you needed. I had no prior knowledge in this area so this program taught me a lot about beach conservation and all the small things we can do to help the environment. The staff were great they were always around if you needed them and the other volunteer were amazing as well I met so many interesting people from all over the world. It was challenging, exciting and spectacular and I would definitely do another volunteer trip in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Oct 10, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Askari WCP

My 4 week stay at Askari was the most amazing time of my life. I wish I could have stayed longer. Learning about conservation in South Africa along with doing activities that will help towards conservation was an absolutely amazing experience. Ed and Katie are amazing leaders and teachers. Once you go you will want to keep going back!! I am looking forward to when I can go back and contribute again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Oct 9, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This was an amazing experience that I will be doing again. Upon arrival the staff were very welcoming and they immediately treated me like family. I felt very safe at all times and had no problems getting around town or to excursions. The excursions were great! We visited a waterfall, climbed to the second tallest mountain in Ghana, visited local farms, and more! I was placed to volunteer in a local private school and I loved all the children. They welcome you with open arms and love to see you everytime you come. I will miss their smiles! I have made great friends on this trip with the staff because they are so much and make it fun for you. Do not be afraid of anything here, it is very safe and everyone is very friendly and welcoming to visitiors. The community loves visitors! I would recommend this program to everyone because it is something you will enjoy throughout! Go to Ghana!! I loved it and will return!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Oct 9, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

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