Volunteering in Argentina was a life changing experience. I volunteered at an all girls correctional facility in the city of Cordoba. It was beyond a fulfillment to be able to act as the little hope these girls needed to continue on and change their current situation. My job at the placement was to be a friend to the girls, to plan arts an crafts activities, games, talk, and just be there for the girls as a support system that many did not have and hadn't had for quite some time if ever at that. I was told that the placement that I would be working at was one of the most challenging and that certainly made me nervous. However, I found myself to quickly adjust and can say that I made quick friendships with the girls with lots of trust. Even though they didn't really know me they quickly began telling me personal things. The staff at Projects Abroad does a great job of providing welcoming support necessary to get adjusted to a new country. Also, the host families they assign volunteers are very loving, helpful, and caring of all of your needs. I can definitely say that Projects Abroad does a good job of making everyone feel at home. I would recommend Projects Abroad to anyone and especially in Argentina! Such a loving and welcoming place to be! I will most definitely be volunteering with Projects Abroad in the future!
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Established in 1992, Projects Abroad is the world’s leading short-term international volunteer organization. Over 8,000 people a year join our programs in over 25 amazing countries around the world. All participants receive unparalleled in-country support from our full-time, professional staff to ensure that the experience is safe, worthwhile, and fun.
I did the two week special for teens for Care and Community in Nepal over the summer and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
On my flight to Khatmandu, Nepal, I was joined by an adult escort from Projects Abroad and four other volunteers my age. Once we arrived in Nepal, we were greeted by more friendly and helpful staff from Projects Abroad, who made transitioning into a new culture very easy and comfortable. When we got to our hotel, we met many other teen volunteers from all over the world.
My placement was at a school with kids ages 5~18 and every day we were met with enthusiasm and love from all of the students and teachers. While our main project was to clean up and repaint some of the classrooms with bright colors and designs, we also spent a lot of time playing with and getting to know the children. Often times we would dance, sing, or teach each other new words in our own languages. There was never a negative moment with those kids.
After we were done for the day, our group would either get some down time to do whatever we pleased, such as explore the city with a couple friends, or we would go on group excursions. Some of the places we visited were temples, a placement for abandoned or abused children, and a placement for children with HIV/AIDS. Over the weekend we went to Chitwan to take a small break from volunteering and go explore. We went on nature hikes, rode elephants, went to cultural shows, and more.
It was incredibly easy to make friends, and the Nepali culture was fantastic: it was rich, positive, and very relaxed. I found every moment to be valuable and enjoyable in some way and never felt unsafe. Although I did experience some culture shock in the beginning, I found it pretty easy to adjust to: Many of the people in the shops, and even the students at the school, knew enough English to communicate fairly easily. The Projects Abroad staff was always there to help you if needed, but they didn't hover over or baby you, which allowed you to keep your independence without feeling vulnerable. Food was also always taken care of, although you could always go buy more in the local shops if you wanted.
Overall, I had a wonderful time volunteering in Nepal in every aspect and would definitely recommend it to anyone, or at least volunteering with Projects Abroad in general.
Over this past summer, I was able to experience a great experience in life by being able to volunteer at Barra Honda National Park through Projects Abroad. Immediately when I had arrived in Costa Rica, I was greeted by a very friendly man who made sure everything was going to go smoothly. Right away, any anxieties or worries I would have had were alleviated. When we arrived at the park, I was quickly presented with a very fun and friendly staff. The work we did here was both fun and self full filling. I really felt like I was doing something good and helping out, which made me feel very great about what i was doing. Even when we were done with work for the day, I always had something fun to do. There were many other fun and interesting kids there that i got to meet. I felt welcomed by everyone there, and overall had an excellent experience that I would definitely recommend to anyone.
I can honestly say this was the best experience of my entire life. Projects Abroad made it so easy for me to feel comfortable and confident with my decision to go through their program. They answered every question and concern I had right away and were happy to do so. While in Cambodia, the Projects Abroad team made sure that everyone was happy and comfortable not only with their accommodation but also with their food, placement, driver, etc. I genuinely felt like they cared about me and even more so about their purpose as being a Projects Abroad staff member.
I volunteered doing physical therapy at an orphanage with all disabled children. It was the most rewarding experience and I truly fell in love with the kids. They were the happiest/ cutest kids I have ever met and their appreciation for my help was astonishing. I had a member of the Projects Abroad staff drive me to and from the orphanage everyday and had an in-home cook that made us the best meals. Projects Abroad member Seang planned group events for the volunteers every week and made the experience outside of the orphanage fun as well.
I am so grateful for choosing Projects Abroad and can't wait to go back to Cambodia next year!
I spent two weeks in Accra, Ghana during the month of April. It was the first time I was traveling to Africa and I was anxious because I could not imagine what my trip would be like. Projects Abroad helped me a lot before my trip, answering all my questions, even the silly ones quickly and effectively, making sure I was feeling safe about what I needed for a good trip.
I got there on a Saturday night, around eleven and my first surprise was the warm weather! I knew it was going to be hot, but not that hot. It felt amazing! One of my favorite things out of Ghana was the amazing weather. A driver picked me up and took me to my hosts' house. He was very nice and talked the whole way about things I should see, places I should visit and former volunteers. I was so excited! When I got to my house, I met the other volunteers who were all girls around my age. Along the trip, we became friends and I had so much fun with them! Even though I only spent two weeks there, during the weekend we went for a trip to the West of the country, and I am sure I will never forget that experience.
During my first week, I worked at a school. It was a school for the neighborhood children, who had no money to go to the public schools that all the other children go to. I asked the other volunteer who worked with me at the school if it was expensive and she said it was around 15 dollars per year. 15 dollars per year! And they couldn't afford it. It made me sad, to think how 15 dollars are so easily spendable where I live, and so important and need other places.
The teaching I had to do was very simple, basic math and basic english. I loved doing it, and the kids were so sweet, they made it all worth it! on my last day at the school they had a dancing competition and it was so much fun watching them dance. I also met this girl, Abigail, who I fell in love with. I still think about her everyday, and wish more than anything I could bring her to live with me. I am her official sponspor now, and she is my biggest pride. If there is one thing I am really glad I did, is to have decided to sponsor Abigail. I gave the kids all my stuffed animals, and they were so happy! It felt nice to give them what was once was so special to me, and see that priceless look on their faces.
The second week I worked at an orphanage. It was sad to see all those kids without parents, without families, and it was hard to imagine how they felt. Amazingly enough though, they were always smiling, always laughing. That good energy that they had changed me, made me realized how petty our society is, how we are always complaining when we have everything. That was my favorite thing about Ghana, a country without luxury, without extra comfort, but with a population that is always smiling, always happy, always ready to wave when you walk by and sing and dance. I think everyone could learn with them.
It was an amazing experience, and it was only possible because of Projects Abroad and how organized and caring they are. They made me feel relaxed and safe during my stay. I recommend them to anyone who is thinking of taking a gap year, or having an experience abroad!
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