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RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

My friend and I joined the one-week programme in Sri Lanka for our first overseas volunteering trip and it was great experience thanks to the local coordinator Michael, and tips from other volunteers we met during our stay. It was a rather hasty decision to join the programme but Michael helped make sure everything worked out for our flight schedules and itineraries. Wish we could have spent more time with the kids at the orphanage but it was an eye-opening experience and it surely won't be my last volunteering trip.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Dec 12, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

uVolunteer

Applying to the program was a simple step-by-step process. I planned my month long trip to Costa Rica only two weeks before I boarded the plane. The staff in Costa Rica made it simple for me to get organized and told me exactly what I needed to bring. I decided to spend three of my weeks in Costa Rica volunteering and spend the last week exploring the country on my own.
When I arrived at the airport the coordinator and some other volunteers that had come in the same day greeted me. After a long day of travelling it was nice to get in the car and not have to worry about finding the volunteer house on my own at night. The staff are incredibly patient, organized and helpful coordinator. On the hour ride to San Ramon, she made me feel welcomed and at home in Costa Rica. Her help was priceless during the time that we were volunteering and even after we had finished with the organization.
Upon arriving at the house I met the other people I would be staying with for the duration of our time there. The dorm was at max capacity filled with people from around the world. They were all really nice and I made some great friends that I ended up travelling with on weekends and spare time. The way the dorm runs, you are very likely to begin your stay with people who have already been there for at least two weeks. This allows you to gain an immense knowledge about the country and the program in a very short period of time.

I had signed up to work as a physical education teacher, however the kids were on holiday during my first week there so I was assigned to the community center. Joining the program there, I felt immediately useful. Without any Spanish I was still able to connect with kids through sports and games. For an hour during the day I helped as a supplementary English teacher where I helped kids work on conversational English. The kids are highly motivated to learn and it is a blast talking to them. In addition to this you can volunteer to work with local adults at night, which I highly recommend. They are incredibly nice and their English is quite impressive. It is mostly just conversing with them, which allows you to really get into the culture and meet locals from the area.

It is worth noting that a Christian mission sponsors the community center. While the program is based on this idea, there is no pressure to conform and everyone working there is very nice. Overlooking everything there is a man named Henry, who is amazing to work with. He is great with the kids and makes you feel very appreciated for the work you are doing. After three weeks I was sad to leave both the kids and staff who I formed great relationships with.

Costa Rica is a great place to travel. Since you are only working four days a week, your weekends are wide open to see and experience the rest of the country. San Ramon is a wonderful and quaint little town. Using it as a base we were able to use our time off to go surfing, white water rafting, bungee jumping, scuba diving, zip lining and more.

My time with uVolunteer was invaluable. I plan to come back to Costa Rica soon to visit and volunteer. Until then I will be thinking about San Ramon often and practicing my Spanish.
Zev

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Dec 10, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9

uVolunteer

It was a great month working with a local football team and local college sporting teams such as track and field, basketball, badminton, table tennis and volleyball. Since the West African Poly games are coming up, I was very busy volunteering with various teams.

At the college, it was track and field qualifications for the West African Poly games. Most of the athletes competed in bare feet, socks, and a few pairs of shoes. Kofi, the 20 year old man who represented the IT students, won the 1,600 meter race by running it bare foot and still managed to break the school record held for 15 years.

As a volunteer, it took long days to help prepare the field for the event. We had to measure, chalk the lanes for the runners, pick up and move large rocks, dig a large hole for the long and triple jump. The best part about getting the long and triple jump pit ready was going to a local saw mill with other Ghanaians and bringing the saw dust back on our bicycles. The day of the event was filled with hundreds of people from the local community, and the local college. The telecom company MTN, sponsored the event by giving the winners of each event shirts, trophies, and hats. A very memorable event that I will never forget!

I really appreciate UVolunteer for being organized and providing the volunteers with such a nice environment to live in. Great showers, kitchen, food, staff and a clean house with comfortable beds. Koforidua is surrounded by mountains, so it's a great place to have weekends off. It's close to waterfalls, hiking in the mountains, bicycle riding, local villages,and easy access to festivals in the Eastern Region. Only a quick ride to Accra to see any major attractions in Ghana's capital city.

I really enjoyed the Ghana experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Dec 10, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

uVolunteer

My first time travelling outside North America, to Costa Rica, reached and exceeded all my expectations. A friend and I got bored at home and decided to travel, after deciding on Costa Rica and a quick google search, it appeared that the uVolunteer program would be a perfect match for us. uVolunteer helped us organize our travel info, and were very helpful in letting us know what was and wasn't necessary to pack.

Im very grateful that I was allowed to do this program on such short notice, as many other programs wouldn't have let two guys zip down to costa rica on 10 days notice.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with hugs and smiles at the airport and although it had been 24 hours without sleep, their energy was infectious!! Arriving at the dorms was shocking. I assumed in my head
that we would be living in cabins or tents, but the house is closer to a hotel. Hot water, comfortable beds, wifi, 2 meals a day and laundry have made the time spend here incredible!

On our first day we were given a tour of beautiful San Ramon, perfect weather, even better people, and a tight nit community made us all feel welcome. The fruit market is a must see, with produce I have
never heard of in my life including dragonfruit, and guanabana ( a watermelon looking fruit that it white instead of pink, slightly creamy, and ten times as sweet).

After the tour of the city we were taken to Bajo (the village where most of the children from the community center live), which was easily the most eye opening experience of Costa Rica. There homes were little more that glorified shacks, with a single light bulb and no beds, however I have never met happier people in my life. They were all very welcoming and friendly and wanted to share what little they had with us.

At the community center over the next few weeks were the most enjoyable of my time here. Even though I had gone scuba diving, whitewater rafting, ziplining, snorkeling, and bungee jumping, nothing was as thrilling and rewarding as teaching these kids English and playing our daily Tico vs Gringo basketball games. Each child wanted to learn as much English as possible. Lesson plans were of no use because they told us exactly what they wanted to learn, and even after class kids continued to ask us questions during the activity time.
The children ranged form 2 to 19 and they all loved to play with whatever they had, whether it was making cakes out of mud, playing lamda (tag on the play structure), football, jump rope, or volley ball.
San Ramon and the rest of Costa Rica and Panama have given me memories I will never forget, and friends I will never lose. I plan on coming back to Costa Rica soon to give back even more. I cant believe my time here is over already but I can honestly say that these were the best three weeks of my life!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Dec 9, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

China Study Abroad

They were able to set me up with martial arts classes with some of the best Sanda (Chinese Kickboxing) fighters in the country. I was happy with how much they helped me

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: Dec 9, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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