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