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Frontier

These 10 weeks have been very different from what I expected, but absolutely amazing. I feel like I have changed a lot, most importantly I’ve overcome many the anxieties I came here with. The staff are amazing, they all give you support when you need it and have huge knowledge about their chosen field within conservation. The staff are a huge inspiration to me and have been a great help with giving me a sense of direction when I get home tomorrow, I feel like I have a future within conservation to look forwards to. My favourite experience here was swimming in the primary forest waterfall and scuba diving on the vibrant coral reef of Tanikeli. I wish there was more time and access allowed in primary forest, but as it's a very strict nature reserve we were only allowed in the buffer zone. I think there should have been more information pre-departure about what nature and wildlife to expect. I didn't really research the area before I booked it and I advice people who want to see baobab tree's, more species of lemurs and amazing madagascarien nature reserves to travel the mainland, as that is the only thing i regretted not doing. I also ran out of money after 4 weeks and had some trouble with my bank, and I recommend that to anyone considering this project to bring extra money for food for when you become sick of beans/rice and for weekend activities such as tanikelly/qaudbiking etc. Considering everything is so cheap in madagascar and that most staff are paying to be here I thought it was quite expensive. I worry that the money is hiding high up in management and isn't being integrated in the local communities. However this is just my suspicions and you must make your own judgement of it. I expected camp to be a lot more basic that it was, I was pleased to find good showers and a real bar on camp:) I am sad to leave all the friends that I have lived with for weeks. However I am beginning to miss my comfortable bed and mums cooking so I am also excited about going home! I’ve made friends for life, and it's depressing to think that they are scattered all over the world, but it gives me an excuse to travel to all these places in the future. One thing is certain I will never forget my time and the people here.

Program:
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Mar 21, 2014
Overall:
7
Support:
10
Value:
4

Comments

Dear MM, It’s wonderful to hear that you had such a great time in Madagascar! Overall it sound like a fantastic experience. If you do have any particular concerns regarding your project contribution, I would strongly recommend emailing your volunteer coordinator. We do try to be very transparent with regard to where our volunteers' money goes, so I’m sure they would be more than happy to address any questions that you might have. I would also recommend having a look at the following page on our website specifically dealing with that very question: http://www.frontier.ac.uk/FAQs/Where-Does-My-Money-Go.aspx Once again, very glad you had such a good time, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any feedback or comments whatsoever. All the best, The Frontier Team

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

Since the moment we have arrived to Puntarenas, thanks to Janet and Sara it felt like our new home. The accommodation isn't 5star hotel but it's ok and we can actually have our privacy and all 3 of us are staying together. As for food, I can stress enough how good is cooking of Sara, the loveliest grandma you can imagine. She's not only taking care of all the cooking for us but also tidying up our place everyday and making it especially cozy and feeling absolutely like her own children.
On Monday we started with the Parque Marino and as a first task they already let us clearing the shark tank. Amazing!!!! The staff is so professional and you feel so safe with them u don't even mind cleaning the tank with the crocodile sitting right next to you. All the task and chores is the park where so enjoyable and you really feel like "behind the scenes". Andres, Martin and Cynthia are amazing and working there for the week was so much fun!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Mar 21, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

The accommodation was great. I was lucky to be able to have my own room with a fan, bed, mosquito net, table and everything I needed to make my stay feel “home-like”. I loved the living room area with the couches because it was a good area to socialize. Also, I appreciated the gated house. It made me feel safer knowing I was locked inside every night. The toilet was great as they mentioned on the website and the shower was excellent. I also loved having a fridge where I could cool my things down because it’s nothing like having something cold after a hot day. In short the accommodation was perfect.
Well Franklin was awesome. Literally, he was/is an absolutely amazing person. As far as everyone else, I have mixed feelings towards them. Honestly in the end the staff was great. The food was always prepared. And minus my personal taste dislikes, the food was amazing. As far as the staff being my “family” while in Ghana… let’s just say I could have done fine without them for the most part. I think I’m such a different person that most of the staff didn’t know how to act around me. Also because I’m one of the few African American volunteers that they’ve dealt with, that had more of a negative impact on my stay with the staff than positive. Often times they would relate me to other black volunteers and expected me to act like them which was stereotyping. Apart from the irritations, the staff was cool. It is imperative in the future that the staff takes into consideration the culture of the volunteers and where they come from as well as the volunteers understanding the culture of Ghana 
I was at Good Shepherd Orphanage for the duration of my volunteer work. I loved it. LOVED IT!! There had been previous issues with this particular location and the treatment of volunteers before I came, so I was a little nervous at first. However, I found no problems with my work! I created lifelong friendships with the teachers there and prayed I changed the life of the students I interacted with.
Good shepherd does not have much money which is why they need volunteers in the first place. So they are appreciative of the smallest gestures and truly pay attention to what others have to say to help benefit their school. They appreciated me as a “westerner” with a different level of education. And because I was able to relate to them at an eye to eye level, what I left behind and what I talk will stay with them. I will truly miss them so so much!
Global Crossroad was amazing. I consider it to be like a cool mini Peace Corps. I wanted to volunteer again but I did not want to go for a long time; so I appreciate Global Crossroad and all of the different time frames they offer. I’m not quite sure I will recommend this specific placement to other people but so far as Global Crossroad is concerned, yeah I would definitely recommend the company as a way to get volunteer experience I do wish however , they gave more detail on the actual work that volunteers would be involve in. I think that would help future volunteers understand each requirement and the duties they’d be performing to make a decision on if the placement will be 100% more or less beneficial to what they were looking for. The website says over 10,000 happy volunteers. I for one can say I am definitely among those volunteers. I loved it…

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Mar 20, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Global Volunteer Network

GVN were knowledgeable and efficient when we dealt with them. Their communications were timely and helpful. My wife and I were pleased to have used them for our month in the Philippines with the local agency CERV.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Philippines
Posted: Mar 20, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I spent an incredible two months teaching math and English to street children. They are poor but motivated, coming to school each day neatly groomed and nicely dressed. Sankalp has a small building for the school on the far north side of Jaipur. The teaching day is just three hours with a 30 minute break. The one regular teacher works with the youngest children; volunteers handle the other classes. My class of five ranged from 7-11. They were a delight and I was sorry to leave.

A continual flow of volunteers handles the four different volunteer opportunities. The orphanage and street children need volunteers the most. While I was there, volunteers stayed from one to 17 weeks. The ages ranged from 17 to 67, tho 95% were 17-26. Lunch and dinner are provided by the staff cook; volunteers get their own breakfast. Volunteers also wash their own dishes after each meal. Lazy people cause problems for everyone, so hopefully there is always someone who plays "clean up your mess" to keep things nice for everyone. The 9:00 curfew could be extended to 10 on Friday and Saturday nights, in my opinion. One negative for me was the Holi celebration. Alcohol was provided, and they even went out to buy more, but for non-drinkers there was no thought of offering Coke, Fanta, Limca,.... And maybe some of the 17- to 20-year-olds would have benefitted from the offer, too, instead of more alcohol.

For regular volunteers, weekend trips to Udaipur, Agra, Pushkar, ... are set up by the volunteers themselves. The gap year and work-travel trips are arranged by the Sankalp staff. Jaipur has a lot to offer, so I just spent my free time exploring the city itself. The apartment building is located in a non-tourist area, so I found the local markets, bazaars, and parks fascinating. One large park with a nice walking/jogging path, Smirti Van, is about a 20 minute walk from the building.

One negative in 12 weeks does not change the high opinion I have of Sankalp and the leaders, Pranay and Amita. I highly recommend this opportunity to volunteer in Jaipur. The quality of the program inspires confidence.

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Mar 20, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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