Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Utah college student starts 2011 helping others

GVN volunteer Margot Crandall was recently interviewed by ksl.com and we were so excited about her news segment we wanted to share it with you!

Two days after Christmas 19 year old Margot begins her journey to Rwanda, where she will be volunteering in a HIV/AIDS program with GVN.

It is estimated that approximately 150,000 people are living with AIDS in Rwanda, with 78,000 of those women, and 19,000 children under the age of 14. The aim of the HIV/AIDS program is to decrease the spread of HIV through raising awareness and education, increasing access to homecare and providing emotional support to those affected by HIV/AIDS within the community.

Volunteers have the opportunity to work with community mobilizers to assist with counselling and taking care of patients both at home and at hospitals.

We couldn't agree more with Margot's desire to start 2011 by helping others in need.  Margot knows it's not a one way street though, she puts it so well by saying "I guess this might be idealistic, but I hope I come back a different person, just having a new perspective on life."

To view Margot's interview please click here.

To find out more about volunteering in Rwanda please visit our website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hannah's Life Changing Volunteer Experience

I’ve just recently returned from volunteering in GVN’s Thailand and Kenya programs.   While working at GVN I’ve had the opportunity to coordinate both these programs, and have heard time and time again how amazing they are, so I decided it was my turn! 

Animals have always held a special place in my heart which is why I decided to spent my first two weeks of my trip in the Thailand program working in a Wildlife Rescue Centre with 8 of the most beautiful Elephants!!  The Elephants have been rescued from a life of slavery and now reside at the centre where they are able to live out the remainder of their lives in peace.  All of the animals at the centre are rescued and most arrive at the sanctuary malnourished, wounded and traumatized.  The abused animals are a result of Thailand's illegal animal trade, in which wild animals are caught and sold as pets, exploited by the tourism industry, or killed for their fur, meat and medicinal purposes. Many simply end up as trophies.  It was really sad to see some of the Elephants in this state, but I was also able to see the big improvement that the rescue centre makes everyday to these animals!  It was just amazing to watch these animals regain their health and their dignity.

My daily routine included bringing 3 of the elephants back from the jungle, feeding, bathing, cleaning up their enclosures and then returning the 3 back to the jungle at the end of the day.  Every few days we would go to local farms with the mahouts (Thai Elephant keeper) to harvest food for the elephants.  This was hard work but we managed to make our own fun!      

I found working at the reserve with the Elephants really was that ‘once in a life time opportunity’ which I will remember forever.  They are incredibly amazing animals.  The more time I spent with them, the more I realize just how intelligent they are and how the quote ‘an elephant never forgets’ is so true!   

After I finished my placement in Thailand I headed off to Kenya to participate in another one of GVN’s placements and to visit a friend.  My first thought arriving in Kenya was, ‘it’s really cold!’  It just so happens that I went during the time of year where it was coming into summer, so the weather wasn’t bad – but after being in a 30 degree, humid heat in Thailand, it was a big shock to my system! 

I spent two weeks in a baby orphanage in Nairobi.  The orphanage I worked in was really well run, had a team of very dedicated staff and of course, the children were adorable!  This made a huge impact on my placement as I felt comfortable straight away and I was excited to go to work everyday. 
The orphanage was home for about 50 kids but I worked with 14 babies aged from 6 months to about 15 months old.  Most of my time was spent helping feed the babies, and playing with kids.  I miss the way when I walked in the room, their faces lit up!!  They were so excited to have someone there to spend time with, hold them and play with them. 

During my time in Kenya was I lucky enough to see 4 of the babies at the orphanage get adopted!  I was so happy to see that these children finally had their own loving parents, but at the same time it was sad to see them go. 

I also had a chance to do a bit of sight seeing while in Kenya, so I became a whizz at working the markets, went out to the Maasai Mara on safari and spent four days relaxing on the coast, on a little Island called Lamu!  Africa has gotten under my skin and I can’t wait to go back!

This trip was life changing for me and has ignited a passion within me!  I can’t wait for my next adventure! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ambos for Africa

Meet a pair of awesome Kiwi Ambulance Officers preparing for their trip to Kenya with the Global Volunteer Network.  Hannah shares their story with us below:

"In Jan this year while working an unusually quiet Friday night shift at Manukau Ambulance Station, New Zealand, my co-worker Janelle (a paramedic) was talking about how she wanted to go overseas and volunteer in a third world country.

I (Hannah, an Ambulance Officer) had already been on a volunteer trip to Ethiopia, Africa in 2004.   It was the most life changing, heart breaking, challenging but best thing I have ever done and I have always wanted to go back!  After talking more and more about the idea we jumped online to see what we could find.  That's when we came across Global Volunteer Network.  We read about a little medical clinic in the Massailands of Kenya, Africa and it sounded like the perfect place to go!!   We both applied and were accepted the next day!  Wow it all happened so fast.   And so the fundraising journey begins and we have decided to call this little adventure "Ambos for Africa". 

We are both really excited about this trip and have received so much support from friends, family, co-workers even people we have never meet but who really believe in what we are doing.  Fundraising is hard work but we have to get the $14,000.00 from somewhere and that hard work is paying off.  We are over 1/2 way there and with only 5 months to go we know we will get on that plane!!

Someone once said to me "people are paying thousands to get out of Africa, why are you paying thousands to get in"?  Its simple.  I've already seen first hand the destruction of AIDS and lack of healthcare and I want to do my part in making a difference.  I come from a very privileged country and I don't want to become someone who takes life for granted and forgets about those in need!"

Great work ladies!  We're sure you'll make a real difference providing healthcare to Massai communities.

If you'd like to read their blog or provide support please visit: www.ambosforafrica.com 

To learn more about our volunteer programs in Kenya please visit: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/kenya/

Monday, November 15, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why Volunteering Internationally Will Help You Get Ahead

What do Harvard, Time Magazine, USA Today, the Chartered Management Institute, and former GVN volunteers all have in common?

They think that YOU should volunteer abroad!

GVN has just released a fascinating report on the benefits of volunteering. The report brings together key research from universities, the media, and former volunteers to highlight the top 10 reasons why volunteering will help you get ahead.

Did you know that volunteering abroad not only gives you the chance to give back to communities in need, but also increases your employability, improves your university admission chances, and helps you figure out what to do with your life! Check it out here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Volunteer in Guatemala

Guatemala is one of the most bio-diverse and historically significant countries in Central America. Bordered by Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, and Guatemala has coastlines along the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It is one of the poorer Latin American countries, yet considered one of the most beautiful to visit.

General poverty is a major problem in Guatemala, with roughly half the population living under the UN defined poverty line. Inequality is also a major problem, with 15% of the country living in extreme poverty, and Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in the region. Those living in the countryside are at a particular disadvantage. Despite the low expenditure on education (just 2.6% of GDP), literacy rates have reached almost 70%, however this still remains one of the lowest in the region. Infant mortality and malnutrition rates are also very high compared to the other nations in the region.

GVN's newest program gives you the opportunity to share your time, skills and experience with projects in La Antigua.

Childrens Program
Many of the children at our projects have been affected by poor living conditions, little or no education and alcohol / drug abuse. Volunteers provide loving care, support and companionship to children in need, organising games and activities, providing individual attention, educating children in hygiene and assisting with homework. Volunteers will work in street children centres, orphanages and schools across La Antigua, working alongside local staff to provide this essential support.

Teaching Program
As well as volunteering in the Childcare project, volunteers can teach English tutoring local students, establishing workshops, assisting local teachers, and organising educational games and activities. The ability to speak English gives Guatemalans a genuine opportunity to find employment and build a career in tourism, business or teaching. Volunteers play an integral part in providing free English to adults and children so they can learn English.

The construction projects are focused on school and orphanage renovation, and building playground and bathroom facilities for areas that do not have these facilities. Volunteers work with a local foreman who provides guidance and training, along with families and other volunteers.

Volunteers will work in the rural clinics surrounding La Antigua. There is a strong rural / urban divide in terms of medical facilities in Guatemala. Volunteers will get hands on experience working in small local clinics for the poor and / or working with local doctors and nurses on medical programs; such as providing checkups and basic medical care in poor communities and at orphanages.

Volunteers will work in a clinic or hospital for low income families, or a clinic for physically and disabled children. Depending on the level of medical experience and Spanish spoken, volunteers will participate in Triage (taking weight, blood pressure, pulse taking etc), working in the hospital wards and preparing medical materials, physiotherapy, health campaigns and assisting with mealtimes and activities for the local children.

The Working with the Elderly program is the second medical option, and volunteers work in nursing homes and senior centres in and around La Antigua. The projects are there to provide a compassionate and friendly atmosphere for the elderly, in under-resourced and under-funded centres in need of volunteer manpower. Volunteers provide one-on-one attention, basic healthcare and organise recreational activities for the elderly.

Animal Care and Animal Rights
Culturally speaking, cats and dogs across Latin America are not really looked upon as integral members of the family the way they are in the ‘West’. This often leads to neglect and animals being abandoned in the streets. This project allows volunteers to work with and protect these animals, providing human company, medical treatment and play time for the animals. Volunteers also participate in educational programs in local schools, spay and neuter programs, rabies vaccination clinics and fund-raising events. Volunteer roles may also include bathing and brushing the animals, providing obedience training, cleaning cages, walking and playing with the animals. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to work in small construction projects building dog runs and creating fences. Additionally, there may be the opportunity for some photography and fund raising projects.

To check out all the details on this program go to http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/guatemala

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Global Volunteer Network's Fundraising Vietnam Cycling Challenge

Challenge yourself with GVN's newest fundraising tour. 

Cycle through the beautiful lush countryside of Vietnam and visit the children that this fundraising bike tour is assisting.

The Global Volunteer Network's Fundraising Vietnam Cycling Challenge offers participants the opportunity to help support children in Vietnam and to cycle through one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

This trip is a challenging 8 day cycling expedition through Vietnam.  Trekking from Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An, GVN has teamed up with a highly experienced cycling company in Vietnam to develop this program. You and the team of cyclists will stop along the ride at 3 of the orphanages that the funds you raised will directly be supporting.

GVN Vietnam works with over 600 kids in orphanages and schools in 3 locations; Da Nang, Tam Ky and Tuy Hoa. These communities lack the necessary staff and supplies to afford the children an opportunity to escape the poverty cycle they have been born into. In the orphanages and support centres there are also many children who suffer from mental and physical disabilities. Proper treatment is oftentimes costly and rarely undertaken. These conditions have the worst effect on the most vulnerable members of society, and the ones who have the least resources to help themselves: children, especially orphaned children.

In the months preceding your trek, you will be asked to raise funds to support our partner organization. 75% of the money donated will go directly to our Vietnam Partner.

Our partner in Vietnam is a local non-government organization which manages programs in Da Nang, Tam Ky, and Tuy Hoa. Unlike a lot of other orphanages, the children in these homes are well cared for by the staff working there. Many children in the surrounding area live in unsafe conditions, sometimes without adequate food, education or even clean water.  GVN Vietnam works hard to provide qualified staff as well as ensure the children are adequately taken care of.  The funds you raise will support the running costs of these orphanages to ensure the children’s health, nutritional, and educational needs are met.

Check out all the details on this amazing trip go to http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/vietnam/cycle

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Explore 22 - a Haiti Earthquake production

What better way to get an idea about a what a culture, country, project or need is like than through the lens of a video camera.

Jordan Freda of Explore22 has teamed up with the Global Volunteer Network (GVN) to venture to Jacmel Haiti. This video production enables us to take a look at the devastating damage of the earthquake with our own eyes while Jordan gains insight to the realities of living in the country among it's people.

Jordan Freda says "Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to watch my show Explore22. I have decided to give back to the world in a way which was natural to me; using my media making skills. I have set out to produce an independent travel educational series where each episode I venture to a new country with the goal of learning about it’s culture."

Episode 1 in Haiti is a wild ride as together the viewer along with the show host gets to learn language, experience culture, make friends, drive motor bikes, get stuck in rain storms, cleanup damage sites and explore the vast beauty of this resilient country.

To watch this awesome video go to Explore22, sign up as a fan and be in the know when the next exciting episode is released.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NEW: Elephant Refuge and Education program in Thailand!

GVN is now offering volunteers the opportunity to work with one of the most magnificent animals in the world! We have opened up a program in Thailand where volunteers have the chance to work hands on with domesticated elephants who have spent their lives working in the tourism industry. The city is a harsh environment for such a large forest animal, they are under constant threat of road accidents, pollution and a scorching heat that can be fatal to a large mammal such as the elephant.

Volunteers are needed to assist the local staff at the Refuge Centre to ensure that from now onwards the elephants have a better quality of life in their natural environment.

The main duties at the centre include:

• cleaning the elephant enclosures
• feeding and watering the elephants
• harvesting food for the elephants
• walking some of the elephants in to the forest at night and
collecting them in the morning
• bathing the elephants in a lake
• maintaining the elephant refuge

To find out more please visit:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We did it! Fight on Haiti!

There are lots of ways to participate and be active with GVN. This is one story from a can do volunteer.

"I first found out about GVN and their efforts to help Haiti in early February. The Earthquake and tragedy that followed with it struck a cord with me like never before. Already knowing that they are the poorest country in the western hemisphere, I felt it was going to take a monumental effort from many in the volunteer/disaster community and GVN was vowing to be firmly committed to the cause. My initial intention was to join GVN's volunteer effort and be on the ground where I could make an immediate impact and help in whatever way possible. However, due to some circumstances, I wasn't able to be apart of the initial group going to Haiti. I felt like there was still something I can contribute to the cause and after giving it some thought, I decided to throw a mini-fundraiser to coincide with my birthday party in late April.

After going over some ideas with Caitie Goddard and having GVN's blessing, I decided to create a flyer, and invite some of my closest friends, relatives, and co-workers. I made it a 90's themed party, had my good friend video DJ, and rented out a small space in one of Hollywood's historic bars: The Formosa Cafe. Moreover, The Formosa gave me the space for almost nothing knowing that it was for such a great cause! I wasn't expecting anything too big... my goal was to have at least 50-60 people there, and ask for nothing more than $10 a person. I told everyone that was within speaking distance about GVN and their commitment to build a long term volunteer program.
Everybody was thrilled to pitch in and be a part of something important and urgent! Yes it was also my birthday party, but it was only a backdrop to the real stars of the night, Haiti and GVN!

Long story short, I had well over 80 friends, family, and co-workers attend, and along with my contribution, we were able to raise over $1,200! I wish I could've done more but at the end of the day, it wasn't bad for a thrown-together last minute lil' shin dig! Also, I linked GVN's foundation site to my facebook page so the people that could not make it to the party can contribute via online donation. All in all, I am proud of the fact that I have friends and relatives that share my feelings about this tragedy and even though we can't be there in person, we are there in spirit, heart, and mind. I wish GVN the best of luck in all of there endeavors and I still plan on being a part of their volunteer effort in Haiti in the near future.


Much Love,

Sean Porter

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't allow Africa to become the forgotten continent!

In the past, Africa has been to referred as the “forgotten continent” and sadly with so much going on in the world this may well again be true.

However, my experience with people in countries like Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana has been one of joy, perseverance, and resilience. Not the poverty pornography that has been displayed across our TV screens. Working in partnership with people in need can be such an illuminating, loving, and rewarding experience.
I just got back from spending time with communities in Kenya and Uganda and my passion has been refuelled. I was touched once again by the power of personal connection and I urge everyone to please consider a volunteer placement today. Whether or not you can give two weeks or ten weeks of your time, you can make a difference and change the lives of those in need.

Please review our program options and help put Africa back in focus:


With gratitude,

Colin Salisbury
GVN Founder and President

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haiti - Art for Change

The devastation that occurred in Haiti touched every one of us and I think we have all dealt with the pain and sadness in our own way. From volunteering to fundraising to prayers, each of us are giving what we can. Today I would like to introduce you to Kelsey Montague, a remarkable young woman who is helping in the best way she knows how - through her art. Kelsey has created a series of Haiti pen and ink drawings exclusively for GVN Foundation. Her unique work incorporates 'drawings within drawings', giving each print multiple meanings, emotions and perspectives. The drawings were inspired by both the plight of the Haitian people and by their indomitable spirit.

"After the news broke about the earthquake, and the immense loss and suffering of the Haitian people, I felt a terrible sense of helplessness. I wanted to contribute in any way that I could, and the most natural way for me was through art," says Kelsey.

"I was incredibly fortunate to travel to Haiti and to see the fortitude of a people who have lost so much but have such a will to recover and try to re-build their lives. I was most struck by the beauty and kindness of the Haitian people. On our last day in Port-au-Prince, after a gruelling 10-hour day, we were meeting with a group of GVN volunteers when the camp leader leaned over to tell me that some of the Haitian women who were cooks in the compound had rushed to prepare a meal for us. Even though we had only been there an hour, they had managed to put together a feast. These women had endured so much loss, and yet they wanted to share with us. I was both humbled and inspired by their generosity.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the situation in Haiti because the needs are so great, but this is exactly why we must get involved. When a nation of people has lost everything, even the smallest gesture is a great gift. Every effort, no matter how large or small, will have an impact, whether through donations, volunteering or spreading the word and encouraging friends and family to get involved," says Kelsey.
The common theme running throughout Kelsey's drawings is the message of hope for a people who have endured so much, yet have such strength, passion and faith in the future. Please show your support by sharing her artwork with your friends and family or by purchasing one of the drawings which will give the gift of hope to so many. 50% of the sale price of each print will go directly to the Haiti Relief Fund.

HAITI - ART FOR CHANGE: http://www.gvnfoundation.org/programs/art_for_change/

With gratitude,

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Program Development Team arrives in Jamaica for Training and Orientation

The GVN Program Development Team will be arriving in Haiti on April 10th ready to set up their home base camp and get started on project work. We are all really excited to finally be able to start making ‘ripples of difference’ in Haiti and begin a fantastic partnership between GVN volunteers and our new friends in Haiti.

What an amazing group of people that have come together to make up our first Program Development Team in Haiti. Nadine McNeil is currently leading the training and orientation program in Jamaica and she had this to say about the group assembled there:

“The GVN Haiti Development Team have arrived Jamaica and all are happy, safe and well. Today marked the first day of the induction training and it has been truly incredible. I am deeply humbled and blessed to be able to lead such a talented and committed group of human beings into Haiti as we launch our collective contribution to re-building this impoverished yet abundantly rich nation.”

Topics covered in the training program include:
• Haiti Volunteer Program Review and Team Objectives
• Cultural Awareness
• Security Awareness, Health and Safety briefings
• Presentations covering Haiti pre-earthquake and Haiti today
• Logistics and what to expect in Haiti

The training program has been designed to prepare volunteers for the conditions they will meet on arrival in Haiti, and aims to provide them with all the information they need to have a safe and productive assignment in Haiti.

GVN wishes the Haiti Program Development Team well and we look forward to sharing further reports on their progress.

If you would like more information about the GVN volunteer program in Haiti please visit our website: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/haiti/

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Haiti Disaster Update - Advanced Team Report

The meeting with the Haiti Advanced Team in New York went extremely well. Nadine McNeil, Project Leader, presented the Assessment Report which outlined the current state of conditions on the ground in Haiti; and the volunteer profile and skill set that will be required over the next 12 months.

Excerpts from the Team Assessment Report:
The initial recovery teams have left and most crisis medical care has been done. The medical needs now are in the realm of broken bones that were never set, secondary infections and maladies due to toxic living conditions and poverty-related illnesses. The roads need to be repaired and built. Buildings need to be rebuilt or made structurally sound again. Communication systems need to be established. Housing needs to be a major priority as approximately 1.5 million people were displaced, a total of 3 million affected. Infrastructure basics such as running water and plumbing are needed to attenuate the ubiquitous diseases that have caused one of the world's highest rates of infant mortality.

All volunteers to Haiti need to be in optimal health condition; i.e., mentally and physically. Given the harsh conditions on the ground and virtually no adequate medical support, to travel in country with questionable health is deemed unacceptable and irresponsible. Awareness of the Haitian cultural backdrop is critical to lending meaningful assistance. Knowledge of French and/or Creole is highly encouraged and recommended, especially for those volunteers who are placed in remote locations. At least for the first 6 to 9 months, all volunteers travelling to Haiti will need to undergo induction training prior to their arrival in Haiti. Prior relief/emergency experience is strongly desired for the first team going in.

Nadine and I have been working around the clock this week confirming which partners we will be working with and setting up the logistics required to operate a safe and effective volunteer program.

We are aiming to have the first team mobilised in April which would include a 5 day training/induction in Jamaica and then a Haiti mission.

We are currently working through the applications received and next week we will commence the selection process based on the recommended criteria. We will also be in a position to provide you with more concrete information about the types of placements being offered and associated costs.

Again, I thank all of you for your continued support and patience during this time.

Kind Regards,

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President
Global Volunteer Network

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Haiti Disaster Update - Interview with Nadine McNeil

As we endeavour to reach out to the survivors of the Haiti earthquake disaster and assist in the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the country, I wish to update you on the three key areas where we are concentrating our efforts:

1 - GVN Haiti Advanced Team

Nadine McNeil, GVN Haiti Advanced Team Leader and Project Co-ordinator has returned to Jamaica following the five day assessment in Haiti and provided us with a preliminary report which is available online for you to listen to:

In the report, McNeil describes the living conditions on the ground in Haiti and says the whole team experienced tremors while they were there. "We experienced two or three tremors... living conditions are sparse and we were living in tents as most of the society and community are, simply because people are too traumatised to go into buildings," says McNeil.

Nadine McNeil also reports that the main issues on the ground that she witnessed are in relation to the distribution of food and water and the growing number of IDP's (Internally Displaced People).

Listen to the full report: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/haiti/nadine.php

2 - Haiti Volunteer Program and Be The Change Course

On Saturday 6 February I will be travelling to New York to meet with Courtney Montague (GVN Foundation Executive Director), Nadine McNeil, and other members of the Haiti Advanced Team. The findings and recommendations put forward at this meeting will drive and shape the Haiti Volunteer Program going forward.

If you are interested in joining a GVN volunteer team in Haiti over the coming 12 months, please go to http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/haiti/ where you can complete the online application form.

Or if you would like to start your own project or organisation and work directly with Nadine McNeil and myself, then please join us at the next Be The Change course in Jamaica, March 2010. One key area of focus will be sustainability in Haiti and the relief and rehabilitation efforts going forward. Apply now: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/be_the_change/

3 - Haiti Emergency Appeal

It's great to be able to report that since launching the appeal, over US$20,000 has been donated. If you have already supported our appeal, thank you for your donation. If you haven't yet had the chance, please consider making a donation so we can further support the 3 million survivors in desperate need: http://www.gvnfundraising.org/cause/Haitidisasterrelief
We guarantee that 100% of donations received will go to the disaster relief fund.

GVN will continue to provide all who have registered with details of the volunteer program as information unfolds.

Thank you once again for your commitment and support.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

GVN Relief/Assessment Team to be Transported into Haiti Thanks to Support in Jamaica

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) will send an advanced team of GVN relief professionals into Haiti this week thanks to a private organisation in Jamaica and public support.

In response to the Haiti disaster Colin Salisbury, Global Volunteer Network (GVN) Founder and President has commissioned an advanced team of relief professionals - all private individuals who have readily volunteered to lend their expertise and support - headed by Nadine McNeil, GVN Foundation Board Member who has over 20 years experience working in the UN, including a three year assignment in Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami.

“The team will make an initial assessment of the immediate needs on the ground, specifically addressing water/sanitation, health/safety, psycho-social trauma support, and logistics/ distribution. The recommendations coming from the initial assessment team will drive the GVN Haitian re-building/support volunteer projects for the next 12-18 months,” says Salisbury.

Salisbury says that the international community, both the public and private sectors have been quick to respond but more needs to be done.

“I am urging everyone to act. Whether you dig deep and put your hands in your pockets, volunteer, or send prayers, please do something. We can all do something.”

If you are interested in joining a GVN volunteer team in Haiti over the coming 12 months, please visit the GVN website: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/haiti

You can also listen to Colin Salisbury's radio interview about the Haiti relief effort and volunteer program here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti Disaster Update: Volunteers Needed!

On Tuesday, January 12th 2010, an earthquake registering at 7.0 hit the island of Haiti in the Caribbean. Over 100,000 people are predicted dead and more than 3 million directly impacted by this natural disaster.

We are now working to implement a long term, sustainable volunteer project in Haiti.

GVN have commissioned an advanced team of relief professionals to make an initial assessment of the immediate needs on the ground, specifically addressing the following areas:

* Water and Sanitation
* Health and Safety
* Psycho-social trauma support
* Logistics and distribution
* Media outreach and communication

Once the advanced specialist team have completed their work and provided a report on the situation we will then send in a rebuilding and rehabilitation team of volunteers.

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) is looking for volunteers to help with rebuilding and rehabilitation.

GVN’s experience from the December 2004 tsunami indicates that volunteers will be required over the next 12 months to help in the following areas:

* Working with Children
* Teaching
* Health/Medical
* Building and construction
* Counselling
* Business development

GVN must be in a position to deploy our volunteer teams as soon as required; we are therefore looking for expressions of interest in leading or joining one of our volunteer teams. We believe you will be able to volunteer anywhere from one week to six months. Those who have registered to be a team member will be given first preference.

If you are interested in joining a GVN volunteer team in Haiti over the coming 12 months, please go to http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/haiti/ where you can complete the online application form.

GVN will provide all who have registered with regular updates from the advanced team, along with details of the program as information unfolds.

Be encouraged, you are not alone in your concern for the people of Haiti as both GVN and GVNF are receiving hundreds of emails each day from people like yourself, who want to help. Together we can.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake Decimates Haiti: Please Help

Haiti's worst quake in two centuries hit south of the capital Port-au-Prince this week. Thousands of lives have been lost, many are still missing, and hundreds of thousands of people have been affected. Haiti's Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive says he believes more than 100,000 people may have been killed.

The earthquake has destroyed much of the already fragile and overburdened infrastructure in the most densely populated part of the country. A massive and immediate international response is needed to provide food, water, shelter, and medical supplies to the people.

The GVN Team have launched into action and set up the Haiti Emergency Appeal to assist in the relief efforts and rehabilitation of the country. I plan on travelling to Haiti to head the distribution team once the UN has stabilised the area and we have made contacts on the ground. Plans are already underway for GVN to set up a volunteer program to assist the victims and the rebuilding of their communities.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. I urge you to please consider making a donation to this appeal. 100% OF YOUR FUNDS RECEIVED WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THE FUND. (Please note donations are in NZ dollars, if you donate NZ$10 then this will be approximately US$7.40)


Click to donate: http://www.gvnfundraising.org/cause/Haitidisasterrelief

Every little bit will help. Every dollar will make a difference. Please give today.

Kind Regards,

Colin Salisbury
Global Volunteer Network

Treat Yourself in 2010 - Climb a Mountain!

Have you ever dreamt about climbing a mountain? Are you looking for a new challenge or a rewarding personal achievement for this year? Treat yourself by being part of GVN's Fundraising Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp and support disadvantaged children living in Homes at the same time.

As a participant in this trek you will also have the opportunity to visit ancient temples and palaces in Kathmandu, as well as the highest Buddhist monastery in the world. Funds raised through this trek will ensure the health, nutrition and education needs of the 13 children living in the Brighter Future Children's Home are met and also contribute to the construction and running costs of a new home.

Participants from the previous two Base Camp treks fundraised over $56,000 and here is what some of them had to say about their trekking adventure:

"It was wonderful! It was life changing and I am so glad I decided to do it....Having the opportunity to see a completely different way of life from my own really had a huge impact on me - more so than I ever thought it would."
Lindsay, USA Everest Trekker

"My trip to Everest Base Camp was a defining moment in my life and, for a moment, it gave me faith that I was not one to let life slip quietly from my hands. If you are like me and want to truly understand your world and your place in it, I hope that you will allow GVN to get you up off the couch and explore life. Best wishes on your journey."
Chris, USA Everest Trekker

Make this your year! Apply online today and make the trek to Everest Base Camp: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/nepal/everest/

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President

Monday, January 11, 2010

Treat Yourself in 2010 - Join 'Be The Change'!

If you've been thinking about a career change or starting your own non-profit, NGO, or social enterprise, then treat yourself in 2010 by taking part in our exclusive Be The Change program.

Join me and discover how you can live the life you always dreamt of. But don't take my word for it, see how previous Be The Change participants are 'being the change' and what they have to say about the program.

Check out the testimonial video: http://www.volunteer.org.nz/be_the_change/index.php

"The 'Be The Change Breckenridge' program definitely exceeded my expectations in every way. Instead of just learning about the mechanics of NPO's, NGO's and social entrepreneurship, I also came out of the program more focused, driven and confident to implement my idea of developing a global awareness campaign around sex-trafficking."
Andrea Suica, USA
Be The Change (Breckenridge)

"Traveling to New Zealand to be a part of the Be The Change program was hands-down one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life. Having the opportunity to learn from such incredible people who are doing the work I once only dreamed about has changed my life in many ways. They instilled in me the confidence, strength, and courage to go after my dream to make a difference in this world."
Jan Reid, USA
Be The Change (New Zealand)

The next Be The Change program will be held from March 14-21, 2010 in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. For more information or to apply online click on the following link: http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/be_the_change/

Please join me on this life changing program and I look forward to helping turn your dreams into reality!

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Treat Yourself in 2010 - Read Ripples of Difference

Treat yourself by grabbing a cup of coffee, sitting down, and relaxing with GVN's first book - Ripples of Difference!

The Ripples of Difference book is a collection of unique and powerful stories written by volunteers from around the world. From refugee camps in Africa to orphanages in Asia, you can read about how volunteers are touching the lives of others and making a difference - a ripple of difference.

To download your own FREE copy of the e-book simply click here.

Here are just a few quotes from our amazing authors:

"I know I can't change the world in a day and I know I can't do it by myself, but I believe that people working together really can make a difference."
- Ana Dodson, Founder of Peruvian Hearts

"Scary and exhilarating, frustrating and rewarding, empowering and humbling; teaching in Ghana was for me, life changing and immeasurably soul changing"
- Michelle Gourley, Ghana Volunteer

"The thing that strikes me the most about volunteering is that once you do it, you can never walk away. You're inevitably tied to a place, a people...their stories take root somewhere deep within and you never forget. And neither do they."
- Hannah Ford, Tanzania Volunteer

The book is not just a collection of stories; it is a call to action. Mahatma Gandhi said "You must be the change you wish to see in the world".

In 2010, let's inspire world action and help turn the tides on the humanitarian and environmental crisis we face - one ripple at a time.

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treat Yourself in 2010 - Volunteer!

Treat yourself to an adventure packed volunteer experience in a far-flung country and help a community in need at the same time.

Options range from volunteering in orphanages in Nepal, teaching in schools in Vietnam, assisting conservation efforts in New Zealand or providing care to IDP's living in camps in Kenya.

Over the past seven years we have connected 11,500 volunteers with our 21 partner organisations throughout South America, Africa, and Asia. Here is what some of them had to say about their volunteering adventure:

"Volunteering was magical on so many levels. The partner is inspiring, well organised, passionate and a privilege to be aligned with. The opportunities available to impact directly on the lives of those in need are incredibly special, and the rewards are felt by the children, their communities and the volunteers themselves."
Rebecca Ramsay. Australia
Nepal Volunteer

"I had the most unbelievable experience. It was hard work but hugely rewarding and after 6 weeks I didn't want it to end. I met so many great people and learnt so much about the environment. By the end it felt like my home; an experience I will never forget and recommend to everyone."
Catriona Moss, England
Ecuador Volunteer

Visit our website to find out what program is right for you. Treat yourself and make 2010 your best year ever! http://www.globalvolunteernetwork.org/programs/

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Treat Yourself in 2010

If you felt tired and drained at the end of 2009 then perhaps it was because you were giving yourself the 'burnt chop!' This phrase might sound silly but I think it is something we are all guilty of at one time or another - giving the best of everything to others rather than to ourselves. Sound familiar?

So this new year I have a special request. I would like you to commit to giving yourself 'the good chop' in 2010 by putting your own wellbeing first. Treat yourself and visit that city you always dreamt of! Treat yourself and take those guitar lessons you have always thought about! Treat yourself and sign up to that course which you keep putting off! Make 2010 YOUR year!

We all deserve to be happy and fulfilled and the beautiful part is that when we are giving to ourselves our capacity to give to others is even greater!

Over the next few days I will be sharing some exciting ideas about how you can treat yourself in 2010 and help communities in need at the same time.

Until then, Happy New Years! I look forward to sharing a rewarding and fulfilling 2010 with you!

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President