Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fundraising For Your Volunteer Program Abroad

"You have already taken the first big step towards volunteering abroad.  We want to do everything we can to help you make this dream possible."

Covering the costs of your placement

Whilst volunteering abroad comes at a cost, you are not paying to volunteer! You are covering your own expenses to volunteer, such as accommodation and meals, and the services that provide you with a successful placement for both the community you are serving and for yourself.


To enable you to make your desire turn into reality, GVN recommends Fundraising to help you raise the funds for the costs of your program.  We have many resources available including ideas and tips on our website.


Friends and family will be really supportive of your goal to volunteer so include them in your plans as much as possible.  Let them know about the volunteer project you will be taking part in, talk to them about the needs of the community and you’ll find most people will want to help.  

Not everyone has the opportunity to volunteer themselves, friends and family will be eager to help in any way they can.  Many small donations will soon add up.

We are also pleased to annonce that we have partnered with the crowdfunding platform Go Get Funding which can help you raise up to 100% of the costs of your placement with us.

This method of online fundraising is a great way to raise the money you need and with Go Get Funding you can easily create a GVN Fundraising page.

Once you have created your page you can share your page link with family, friends and your wider network or contact.  Social media, such as facebook, twitter, and email make it easy to spread the word.

So, go get funding.....apply to one of our programs, Join Us and start fundraising!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Uganda Tour 2012 - Help in the Building of a Clinic

In May 2012, a group of five international volunteers spent time laying bricks to build the walls for a clinic at the school. With our Second Special Tour of Uganda, The Hope for Africa Children’s Village hopes to see the clinic completed, stocked, and a nurse paid for 1 year! 

This 10 day group placement, to be held in December 2012, will offer an intimate experience with no more than 9 other volunteers. Volunteers will get to know their peers and hosts well, experience a new culture, help complete the rural medical clinic, and go on amazing wildlife safari.  

The Hope for Africa Children’s Village was founded in 2007. Currently over 450 children aged 3 to 15 attend classes for just a few dollars per term. Classroom buildings, desks, an office block, teacher’s quarters, and a borehole have been generously donated throughout these past 4 years. The school runs its own farm providing meals to students and teachers, and a small income to pay teacher salaries from the sale of extra produce. The next logical step in the development of the school is a medical clinic. 

Many local elderly and sick people are unable to reach town to see a doctor because of distance and transport costs. Rural health services mean more people have their health issues assessed and managed, creating a healthier population, increased production, and reduced mortality rates. 

Combined with the organization’s existing public health outreach program, the clinic will be a central health service for the children who attend the school and the 4,500 youth and adults living in the surrounding villages. Clinical officers will provide health assessments, blood tests, counselling and education. 

Join Us
Participants will raise funds to enable the building and outfitting of a small clinic on the grounds of a local primary school. The foundation and walls were built earlier this year by our first volunteer group. The clinic will be completed with the help of this Second Special Tour of Uganda! 

To find out more about this project and how you can become involved go to:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Interested in Volunteering Abroad?

In this video we highlight how easy it is to choose a placement with GVN, and the services that are available to you.

GVN enables you to.... Discover a new culture and Accomplish something unforgettable.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Projects

This week we highlight some new additions to GVN's projects. Check them out below and find full project details at each link on our website.

Machu Picchu 2013

We are excited to announce the release of the 2013 trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.  This is a fundraising trek that runs every second year and gives participants to opportunity to hike the Inca Trail to the ancient city of Machu Picchu and raise funds to support our partner’s Peruvian Promise program.

The Peruvian Promise Program is designed to develop the potential for leadership in girls aged 15-17 living in rural Peru through increased educational opportunities, the development of their sense of personal empowerment, and their ability to set and carry out short and long-term goals through the development and execution of service projects. The life-changing impact that this meaningful program has already had on these deserving young women is truly heart-warming and inspiring. By participating in Peruvian Promise, these girls are equipping themselves with the knowledge and tools they need to uplift themselves out of poverty and become leaders of their family, community, country.

This trek starts on 3rd August 2013 to 11th August 2013.
You can find details inlcuding an itinerary and to apply online at

The Peruvian Government issues a limited number of trekking permits and due to the popularity of the trek we encourage you to apply early and secure your spot to see this amazing part of the world. 


Two new projects have been added to our Guatemala program.  The Coffee Cooperative Program, volunteers will assist with the sustainable production of coffee in a coffee-farming community, in the Guatemalan highlands.

Volunteers may be involved with coffee-picking in the fields, roasting the beans and packaging the final product, alongside wider agricultural activities, such as helping in the nursery. As well as various agricultural activities, volunteers will also be involved in marketing of the coffee product to the wider market and with support of the community by helping in reforestation and possible construction projects.

The second new project is the Lake Clean Up and Conservation Program
In this project, volunteers will assist in preserving the lake's natural resources by raising awareness and educating the population on the proper use of the lake and its basin. The three main areas that volunteers will be involved in are environmental education, natural resources management and environmental cleanup.

You can see the details of these projects in the Read More sections at


This program now has a variety of new projects located in 4 different areas of Ecuador.  

GVN has placed volunteers in conservation projects in Ecuador for the last 10 years.  

New projects include: 
  • Childcare
  • Teaching English 
  • Medical placements

To check out these projects visit the Ecuador program page at 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Learning How To Start A Non-Profit

Have you got a dream to develop a meaningful career or social enterprise; start a non-profit/charity organization; get a job with a non-profit/charity or simply learn more about international development?

GVN's week long Be The Change Course, based in New Zealand, is designed to take your idea or dream and give you the skills and confidence you need to make it a reality.

This course has been so popular this year that our initial session has become full.  We are now opening applications to the course starting on 30 October 2012 to 6 November 2012.

This is the program for you if you would like to:

    * Start a non-profit/charity organization
    * Get paid to make a difference in the lives of others.
    * Get a job with a non-profit/charity
    * Start a social enterprise or project
    * Or if you just want to learn more about the field of Social Entrepreneurship and /or International Development

The week starts with a discussion about how each participant wants to contribute to social change. From there, facilitators will take the group through a series of workshops designed to address the skills needed to start a nonprofit organization, development project and /or social enterprise.

The 'Be the Change' groups are kept small so that each participant gets a great deal of individualized instruction. Plus, participants for Be the Change are always innovative, fascinating and motivated people from all over the world. Many people find their plans and ideas grow exponentially during discussions with the group (at the dinner table or in workshops). You will leave with new friends and you will become part of our 'Be the Change' alumni network.

To find out more and to apply to participate in the course go to

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Take the Volunteer Challenge

We know that volunteers want to make a difference and improve the lives of others. We also know that it can be difficult to know where to start and that other 'priorities' sometimes get in the way. So when we came across Alexandria Le Carpentier (Ally), we knew we had met someone special.

Ally is 15 years old, from the UK, and describes herself as a 'country bumpkin'. She is right in the middle of doing her exams (GCSEs) and preparing to go to college in September. She loves swimming, jujitsu, ice skating, and Tai Chi.

By any measure she has a very full life, and yet she always makes time for her biggest passion – helping others. GVN first met Ally when she took part in our Vietnam Youth Tour in 2011. Ever since we've been amazed and inspired by her, and we thought it was about time to share her story with you.

Since returning from Vietnam last year, Ally has run market stalls, car boot sales and local yard sales to raise funds for Vietnam. She recently held an event to promote GVN's Eat So They Can campaign and she has now decided to do a ‘Vietnamathon' where she'll run/walk 26 miles to raise funds for GVN's projects. She's also decided to return to Vietnam to volunteer this July!

"I really miss the children and since leaving last year I have never lost focus on my goal of returning. I keep their photos on my wall with all my other memories. Every morning I wake up and their faces remind me how much I want to go back." - Ally 

Impressed? Maybe a little overwhelmed? Do be impressed but don't be overwhelmed. Ally is a regular teenager in many ways (check out all the smiley faces on her fundraising page) but she's simply made the decision to Be The Change and followed through with that decision. So we encourage you to take Ally's advice and: "Go for it. If you take the first step and get yourself involved you will not regret it." - Ally

Ally in currently fundraising to support the project in Vietnam. See her fundraiser at

To see details of the Vietnam Youth Tour for 15 - 17 year olds here and our regular Vietnam program here

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beanies for Nepal Orphans

New Zealand volunteers going to Nepal have the option of taking knitted woollen beanies to the children. One volunteer reports back and shares pictures with us. 

"My name is Leonie and in March last year I travelled to Nepal to take part in the Volunteer Program organised by GVN. I took some Beanies over that you and friends had so lovingly knitted!
While I was over there I spent time doing health checks and promotion at the VSN homes - BFCH and Shining Stars - and also at two non-VSN homes which they are supporting, Paradise and Samakhusi. It is at the latter that I spent most of my time as their need was greatest at the time. Consequently I was able to distribute many of the Beanies to the children at Samakhusi, this home is right in Kathmandu - and they loved them! Many of these children were recently off the streets and have no personal belongings to call their own so this was a real treat for them.

I was happy to be able to take the Beanies with me to Nepal. I actually took them as carry on luggage and they made a handy pillow during my stopover in Singapore! I was able to take them to the children I was working with in a home in Kathmandu that VSN are currently supporting, and they were delighted with the 'presents'.
Their smiles said it all really, they were so excited choosing their very own beanies and didn't want to take them off - in fact they didn't for days!"

You have the opportunity to work directly with children from children’s homes, teach English to adults or children, provide education on healthcare practices, take part in building/maintenance projects, or choose to enjoy a cultural exchange homestay.

To find out more about this program vist 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Young or Young at Heart?

Vietnam and Nepal are great places to travel to and GVN has two tour opportunities for those who would like to join a small team of volunteers with the added benefits of additional supervision and a scheduled itinerary.


The Vietnam Youth Tour

Designed with 15-17 year olds in mind, this program has been created to allow teens the chance to take part in the Vietnam Orphanage program starting 9th July 2012. 

This tour gives teens the opportunity to experience another culture, and foster personal growth, whilst caring for babies and children in orphanages, working with disabled children and sharing English skills. 

Stephanie, a past Youth Tour participant says "My experience of the YT has been amazing. There hasn't been one day where I haven't wanted to jump out of bed and get straight to work. It's a fantastic opportunity for young people to go out and make a difference even if it's just a small one like making a child's life that tiny bit better even for just one day. It really makes you think of everything you take for granted and makes you want to help for the rest of your life." 

15 - 17 year olds....Check out the Vietnam Youth Tour and to apply at

The Nepal Young at Heart (50+) Tour

This tour has been designed for mature volunteers who are over the age of 50 years old, still feel young at heart, and are ready for their next adventure! 

During the 10 day tour starting on 4th May 2012, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate within a variety of projects. Volunteers will assist by organizing activities for children, and teaching basic English. 
This tour truly allows the volunteers to experience Nepal through the culture, cuisine, lifestyle and children in the heart of Nepal. You will eat traditional Nepali food, observe village culture and get a general feel for local life while continuing with your Nepali language and cultural lessons. Volunteers are placed individually into local host families.  

This is a fantastic way to get more out of a short trip to Nepal is being placed with a Nepali family for your stay. Taking in true culture and resulting in an overall more exciting way to experience Nepal.

As well as tours to different cultural and ancient sites included in the ten day trip. As your time in Nepal falls on Buddha Jiyanti (Buddha’s birthday), a walking tour has been arranged for the whole Young at Heart tour to visit the Golden Buddha. Opportunities to visit other museums and ancient sites including Patan (also known as Lalitpur) are included in your itinerary.

50+ years old....Check out the Nepal Tour and to apply at

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vietnam Orphanage Program Provides A New Lease Of Life

A retired couple volunteering in Vietnam feedback on the wonderful experience they are having at their project.


"At the end of our first week in Tam Ky, we’re thoroughly enjoying the experience and totally besotted with the wonderful children and young adults we’re assisting.

Activities in the orphanage each morning are hectic, with bathing of babies, physio and feeding for some of the disabled children, English lessons for the older ones, and lots of play!  We’re bringing bananas with us each morning and these are a real winner with the children – it’s “bees to the honey pot” when they’re handed out.

The afternoons at Peace Village with disabled children and young adults are a little less hectic as the  numbers are considerably less, but it’s a full afternoon’s activities just the same. We commence by handing out fruit and then have all clean their teeth.  Then it’s party time with dancing to music from our IPods – Peace Village really rocks!

After the dance, there’s physio with some of the residents, art and craft activities indoors and more physical activities outdoors to engage and stimulate them, and finally we assist with feeding some of the more severely handicapped. 

On two evenings each week we take English classes at the baby orphanage for about 30 children aged between 7 and 12.  Whilst lively, many are keen to learn and the activity is particularly rewarding for the teachers and, we hope, the pupils!

For two retirees in our 60s, the Tam Ky experience is providing a wonderful and fulfilling new lease of life!"

John & Lyn Quilty

Check out the Vietnam Volunteer Program and how you can become involved > Here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mt Kilimanjaro Fundraising Trek 2012 - Trek Report

Anna McIntosh, a GVN representative reports on the success of the recent trek to Mt Kilimanjaro

“At 11pm on Thursday 12 January, all eight of us GVN trekkers were up and ready to begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. We had been climbing  for the past four days through rainforest, up grassy slopes and across moorlands and by now were anxious to do what we had come there to do – make it to the top of Kilimanjaro! After a long ten hours of hiking in the dark up scree slopes, rocks and snow, we finally all made it to the summit at Uhuru. The feeling of relief and amazement (and complete exhaustion!) at having actually made it to the top was incredible and well worth all the hard work of the previous few days. Looking back now a month later, the feeling of satisfaction is still strong for our entire group!

After we had returned to Nairobi from the mountain, we had the opportunity to visit the kids at Happy Life Children’s Home. After all, the whole reason we had all set out to climb Kilimanjaro was to raise funds for them. Our time there was spent holding, feeding, cuddling and playing with all the beautiful children at the home and we each definitely left a piece of our hearts with them. 

We were also able to visit the land where there are plans to build a Kenya GVN PoD. It was great to learn more about the PoD project and get a first hand look at how it will directly impact the local community in Kenya.

Overall, we had an awesome experience with a great group of people. The rewards of making it to the top of Kilimanjaro and the impact of visiting the projects in Nairobi were huge. 

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the trek and to all those who supported us!”

To find out information about our treks and how you can get involved in upcoming treks see our link