South Africa

Connect-123

My experience with connect-123 was one of the most enriching experiences of my college career. Cape Town is a beautiful city and fun to explore and Connect always had great social programs going on that we as interns could be involved in.

On the academic side, UCT was a great school and I enjoyed the classes I was enrolled in. The lecturers were good, and the content was especially good. Every class asked us to engage in many 'real-world' situations in the coursework such as finding a local business to analyze throughout the semester, and interviewing small scale entrepreneurs for reports in class.

Connect 123 also arranged for me to intern for SASDI ( a local NGO involved in development work). The internship was extremely demanding with very real stakes for the people who we worked with and were helping. Being in such a scenario pushed me to excel at the work I was given. It was a fun and exciting internship and our work resulted in a childcare center being built in one of the township areas, which was important to me that the work we did really did matter.

Connect 123 was extremely helpful from day one. They were always there to answer questions and check in with me when I needed it. They facilitated a great overall experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The time I spent in South Africa through connect-123 is the reason I have the job I have today, so it truly was life changing!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 4, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is one of the few companies that offer volunteering trips for under 18s and I highly recommend them. I had an absolutely incredible time in South Africa with GVI Foundations. The whole trip was well organised from the point of leaving on the group flight from Heathrow and arriving back again three weeks later. All the staff were really friendly and relaxed only being strict when need be, which made the whole trip more enjoyable for everybody. More importantly, our leaders made us feel very safe and aware of what to do in an emergency whilst out there. Being able to spend two weeks at Marine Primary School was wonderful, all the teachers were really welcoming and so appreciative of our work that it made this a truly uplifting experience. Having the opportunity to teach sports as well as basic literacy and numeracy to the kids and paint alphabets, number charts and hop scotches etc. on the walls and playgrounds was fantastic as it gave us a taster for the other types of projects available through GVI. There were a range of side trips including Cape Point, Robben Island and travelling to various places on the Garden Route, all of which introduced us to the South African culture and helped us learn about some of the country's history. This was a truly worthwhile trip, an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back. Anyone thinking about volunteering with GVI or GVI Foundations should stop thinking and get going as this company is fantastic!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 24, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

I would think long & hard before I do another volunteer placement with GVI. I found it to be a mediocre experience at best. The program at the orphanage appeared to be very disorganized.
We seemed more like sitters rather than teachers.
One coordinator who shall go nameless seemed to be on her laptop more often than doing anything hands on at the orphanage.
Before I booked the trip the organizer, James, strongly encouraged me to book side trips during my free time. I can only assume that GVI receives some sort of kick-back from these companies.
My suggestion is to look at Globalteer.org, I had a much better experience in Peru.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 14, 2012
Overall:
5
Support:
7
Value:
4

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I was very satisfied with IVHQ - South Africa. I spent 3 months volunteering there (teaching) and I had the time of my life. The program is very organized and the 2 leaders are always available when you have concerns or need support. Financially, I didn't break the bank on my experience and I am grateful for that. For a relatively small cost I got to take part in the adventure of a lifetime. IVHQ is the only program I found that seems to take into account the fact that young people don't have thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend. You don't have to be rich to do a trip like this. So thank you IVHQ for your AFFORDABLE volunteering!

The experience is what you make of it and if you go there with a positive attitude you will have the greatest time of your life. Be ready for adventures of a lifetime. Expect the unexpected. I miss the kids I taught and the beauty of the country of SA. What an experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 11, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thanks for sharing your experience from South Africa. We're happy to be able to provide affordable volunteering opportunities and it's always great to hear from our volunteers making the most of the experience!

Global Vision International (GVI)

My trip with GVI was absolutely incredible and I would gladly recommend GVI to any of my friends. Before arriving in South Africa, GVI sent me a wealth of information on my trip and pick-up plans from the airport. I felt very comfortable and prepared for everything, even though this was my first time flying alone internationally. The program itself was amazing; we went on drives around the reserve twice a day and spotted every different kind of African animal you can imagine. The safety procedures on the trip were all very thorough and the training for our field work excellent. The staff were all very helpful and friendly, showing us exactly what we needed to do and how to conduct the research. Also, the social life on base was great! We even had party nights which were really fun and went to a local bush pub. I plan on going on another GVI trip next year and can't wait!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 5, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

In July 2012 I went to South Africa to volunteer in construction with GVI and now, writing this review, I can honestly say that I wish I was still there. I only went for two weeks and two weeks was by far not enough time for me. I ended up being the only person there who had volunteered with construction in the Gordon's Bay base in Cape Town, which actually meant that for a majority of the time I was helping out with the kids in the orphanage (where the construction was) as there wasn't a whole lot we could get done without materials.
The whole program was amazing, the people were so nice and experience is one that will be memorable for the rest of my life. I will always remember the kids that I worked with and how, even though I was only there for two weeks, I was able to help them and help GVI in there overall plan of helping in the orphanage.
I would recommended EVERYONE to do a program through GVI as the people you meet will last for a lifetime and for people my age, it is not that expensive for what you get to do. It worth the trip and for me personally, I learnt a lot about myself and how amazing our world can be.
EVERYONE should be going on a trip with GVI and going to volunteer in a place they have always wanted to go to, but have never had the guts to like I did.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 3, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I am in love with Askari! I would go back tomorrow if I had the opportunity. The staff were friendly, supportive and informative. The house was always clean and tidy. Learning about the African flora and fauna was fun and interesting, as well as our daily activities. If you're looking to take a vacation with some kind of purpose, this is the program for you. I left feeling accomplished and like I made a difference. I would recommend Askari to everyone! Memories to last a life time!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 15, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

As a 52 year old past international volunteer through Rotary International I admit I wanted to do this volunteer experience for both selfish and altruistic reasons. Selfishly I have always wanted to travel to Africa and go on a safari. Volunteering I have found addicting and has left me with powerful feelings for people from other cultures and other life experiences than my own. I signed on to this particular program because of the selfish reasons and because I felt I could use my past teaching experience to possibly help others. When asked how I enjoyed my trip I have found that the more exclamation words I use (Fantastic! Life changing! Amazing! Awesome!), the enthusiasm I feel of my experience is best communicated. I enjoyed the raw beauty of South Africa – pristine beaches next to mountains with clouds below the peaks next to colourful wine country. The weekend adventures (including my safari!) were memorable and my picture portfolio proves this. My fellow volunteers from Australia and United States and England and Columbia and Scotland made the trip so much fun. (I like to say I gain another son or daughter in every country I visit). Teaching subtraction with carrying to my 4th grade boys and playing dice with them and seeing their progress was well worth the days of flying to get there. I am so lucky to have been able to experience this South Africa teaching project. Thank you!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 14, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I was amazed from the moment we stepped off the plane, at the friendliness and thoughtfulness of the staff. The Askari team are great, there was never a question I asked that went unanswered. If I was curious they readily pointed me in the right direction. Bongani and Cedric were both friendly and a pleasure to have around. The programme was hard but very fulfilling. I would recommend it to anyone interested in conservation or helping animals. Truly a once in a lifetime experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 10, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I just got back from a month with Askari. My time at there was absolutely amazing. It’s one thing to go on a safari and see African animals but this program gives you the unique experience of actually working to help run the reserve while enjoying the same sights (and many others). The volunteer house is lovely, the staff is so friendly and knowledgeable, the activities are a blast, the experience is unforgettable! You can read about my experience on my blog at http://goingplaces.blog.usf.edu/?tag=south-africa-summer-2012

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 10, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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