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GVI Community operations in South Africa are based out of Gordons Bay, a picturesque coastal village nestled at the foot of the Hottentot Hollands Mountain Range, just outside Stellenbosch and 45 minutes from Cape Town. The area is home to beautiful swimming beaches, magnificent wine farms and popular restaurants and bars. Gordons Bay is also the beginning of the scenic and well-known Garden Route, making this the perfect base to explore the best sites and activities the Cape has to offer.
HomeProgramsTeaching and Community Development Internship in South Africa
Gain valuable experience when you join a teaching and community development internship in South Africa’s famous city of Cape Town. Plan and deliver a range of educational lessons as well as leadership and teamwork skills, then apply it in educare centres and township schools to provide lower income household children with a quality education.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Contribute specifically to these United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Travel with ambition and purpose. Make a positive environmental or social impact and gain experience in an impact-focused role or sector.
Travel with ambition and purpose. Make a positive environmental or social impact and gain hands-on, impact-focused experience in the field.
Gain practical experience in the field while receiving support from a supervisor throughout. As a core intern, you’ll take part in project work with local partners while also taking on extra responsibilities on base, giving you opportunities for leadership experience. This means you could lead workshops and surveys or organise fundraising events and beach cleanups, for example.
Designed for students, new graduates and working professionals
Get field experience in real-world conservation and community development work
Gain insight into careers within the sustainable development sector
Join our international team in the spectacular city of Cape Town and work with children from the local townships while developing teaching experience and qualifications on this long-term internship. The internship begins with a 12 week volunteer project, where you will learn how to plan and deliver a range of educational programmes in local township schools and educare centres, gaining experience in teamwork and leadership. You will get the opportunity to try all of our projects in Gordon’s Bay, including teaching, early childhood development and sports as well as women’s empowerment. After successfully completing this phase you will then undertake a 12 week work placement where you will further develop your teaching skills and assist in the running of educational programmes (including child care, sports, and creative play) for young children. You will work with a range of partner organisations or assist the GVI team in the operation and management of our project. With both pathways, you will work alongside professional community development teams, gaining valuable experience throughout. Depending on where you are placed you may be expected to assist in the following areas: outdoor exercises and games, arts and crafts, music and drama activities, storytelling, health workshops, numeracy and literacy, and sports. Please note that it is not possible for you to choose exactly where you would like to be placed. We hope that you will be flexible and open-minded enabling us to place you wherever the need is greatest at the time and wherever we feel that your skills, interests and experience can be best utilised.
*Please Note: During holiday periods, all participants will join Cape Town’s school holiday program. During the school holiday period, all of GVI’s projects come together to work at a local library to provide a safe and educational space for children of all ages. Activities here possibly include a wide range, from tutoring, reading and arts & crafts, as well as sports and wellbeing. When possible to do so, the team also runs soup kitchens on the ground in the community.
Gain on the ground, practical teaching experience while volunteering on the base
Get practical exposure to the industry through a work placement following the completion of your internship
Immerse yourself in the bustling culture of the Southern Peninsula in Cape Town
Coordinate workshops and developing practical skills within the community, including teaching sewing and computer literacy
Cancel anytime and receive a full refund minus your deposit.
Life On Base
GVI’s Capetonian operations are based in Gordons Bay, a picturesque coastal village nestled at the foot of the Hottentot Hollands Mountain Range, roughly a 45 minute drive from the city centre. The town plays host to a diverse range of community projects at our hub, which participants will get to experience in a communal, familial-type setting, both with their fellow participants as well as GVI staff.
24-hour in-country support
Meals while on project
Accommodation on GVI’s base is just a short distance away from the beach. Your South African experience will involve dorm style rooms and shared bathrooms, with facilities including a large balcony, patio in the garden as well as other communal spaces where participants can get to know their fellow participants from all over the world.
Your program associated transport on location will be taken care of by the GVI staff on the ground. On our Gordon’s Bay base, you will be conveniently based just a short drive from the project site each day.
Being on a program with GVI means being fully immersed in the experience, so access to long distance communications are available, but it is limited. Be sure to let your loved ones know how often they can expect to hear from you. Participants typically venture to internet cafes to keep in touch but daily internet access can be provided at your own expense. Be mindful that your mobile phone may not work in South Africa, and should this be the case, you can always purchase a local sim and top up airtime at a convenience store around the corner when necessary.
Generally, most volunteers will prepare their own breakfasts, which is usually toast or cereal. Lunches are also packed first thing in the morning, to be enjoyed while you’re working hard on the project site. When arriving to base, participants are split into teams, in order to rotate dinner duty, and also to help participants get to know their new peers from all over the world.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate, with wet and cool winters, and dry and warm summers. The annual average temperature in Cape Town is a sunny 17 degrees and it can reach up to 30 degrees in the peak of summer, in December – February. Don’t let winter be a deterrent to you: a winter’s day in South Africa is often warmer than a summer’s day in the UK, with more than half of the year experiencing temperatures of over 21 degrees. Pack your beach slops!
Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.
Health and Hygiene
For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.
The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.
Download our Travel Smart Checklist
Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.
If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.
We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.
Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.
Follow GVI Cape-Town's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.
As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.
Please note that the above images were taken pre COVID-19. All airport pick-ups and program operations now run with enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.
Please note that if you use this service delivered by Student Universe and / or if you buy your ticket
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As GVI is providing this portal as a service we are not responsible for the accuracy of this site.
We are also not responsible for any loss, damage (including loss of profits or consequential damages), injury, illness,
harm or death in relation to your flight and travel arrangements.
Download our Travel Smart Checklist
Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.
We’re of the belief that internships are learning experiences and that a great supervisor is absolutely essential to the success of any internship program. Our supervisors will assist you in familiarising yourself with your environment and provide the guidance you need to meet your goals and solve problems. They’re remote, so that location and travel restrictions don’t affect us in choosing the supervisor that best suits your needs.
If you choose our research internship package, you’ll be assigned an research supervisor. Your research supervisor will provide guidance for you in achieving your data collection and analysis goals. They’ll also help you to navigate the complex challenges of collecting and analysing data within the context of international field research.
When you choose our core internship package, you’ll be assigned an internship supervisor. They’ll help you to navigate day-to-day challenges involved in completing learning and tasks related to your internship program. They’ll provide guidance throughout your internship so that you can get your work done successfully and maximise the benefits of your experience.
If you choose our career internship package, you’ll be assigned a career supervisor. Your career supervisor will help you to navigate the professional relationship with the international organisation for which you’ll be completing a project. They’ll also help you to master skills necessary for successfully making the transition from full-time student to full-time employee.
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Our Cape Town based community development programs involve researching, planning and delivering practical skills workshops in the local community alongside the direction of local partners
We have partnered with a well-known various educare centres across Cape Town to implement and deliver educational programs to young children. We have been working with our current partners in the Nomzamo township for more than six years, and see the relationship as a long term partnership with core underlying sustainable principles. By participating on a GVI program in this region, you will also be bridging the gap between educational and developmental stimulation needed for the younger generation. We provide support where it is needed by our partners and local communities.
Our Partners In Cape Town
GVI Cape Town Long-term Objectives:
1. Improving the quality of education in Nomzamo and Zola.
2. Promoting gender equality in the local community
3. Increasing the health, self-sufficiency and wellbeing of community members with less resources available to them.
4. Increasing in-country capacity by providing long term training to help the local community achieve their long term sustainability objectives.
The best decisions in international development and conservation cannot be made without accurate and up-to-date data or informed research. Our many field teams around the world collaborate with local and international partners to analyse data and draw conclusions. In addition, many of our participants have used research they have collected on their various GVI projects to complete their Masters, Doctorate, or postdoctoral studies. We also run a fellowship program which connects postdoctoral researchers at globally-respected universities with our many sustainable development programs around the world to support their research and ensure continuous improvement of our best practices on base.
Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.
We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.
Our 10 Ethical Commitments
Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects
We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.
Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes
We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.
We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.
Working Against Dependency
We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.
Responsible Exit Strategies
For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.
Clear Roles & Specialized Training
We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.
Respect for all
In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.
We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.
Transitioning from the Orphanage Model
We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.
Child and Vulnerable adult policies
We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.
As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.
However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.
NO ORPHANAGE PROGRAMS
We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.
Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.
We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.
We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.
A GVI program is an investment in your career. No matter which you choose, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise and earning qualifications in many cases. Most of our staff are, in fact, GVI Alumni, and we have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs. Each program includes introductory workshops, ongoing presentations, as well as on-the-ground professional support provided by our very own trained staff members. In addition, our training programs are critical for helping us to ensure the long-term impact of our sustainable development projects around the world.
For All GVI Participants
Orientation: Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Learn about COVID-19 pre-departure guidelines, base expectations, personal and area hygiene practices and what we are doing to keep you safe.
Orientation: Travelling Responsibly and Ethically
Learn about the importance of child and vulnerable adult protection best practices and how to apply them while on project.
Orientation: UN Sustainable Development Goals
Introduction to the history and evolution of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and how these related to your project work.
Orientation: Further Opportunities for Impact
Learn about our country locations and further opportunities available to you during or after your program.
For All Participants at Cape Town
Learn strategies for reflecting on, developing and facilitating educational programs. Learn how to plan engaging, meaningful lessons, and how to manage a classroom.
Your Program Specific Training
Introduction to Childhood Education
This orientation includes information about the local curriculum for young children, the assessment process, and the education system as a whole. You will also be introduced to our local childhood education partners and learn about your role in their work. A schedule of your daily and weekly tasks will also be provided.
Introduction to Teaching
Learn about the local primary school curriculum and how this is implemented by our local partners. You will be introduced to concepts like lesson planning and record keeping as well as a detailed rundown of your role on this project and your daily and weekly schedule.
Introduction to South African Mathematics Curriculum
This training introduces participants to the South African Department of Basic Education’s curriculum and assessment of mathematical skills in young learners. This training is necessary to allow participants to effectively tutor children in the subject of mathematics in line with the local curriculum.
Reading Assessment Training
A Running Record is a widely used system in primary education to assess a child’s reading level and stage of language development. It helps to track a child’s learning progress.
Introduction to Sports
Learn how physical education fits into the local curriculum. Then complete training on how to structure a sports lesson and learn some useful isiXhosa, phrases, the local language of the area. You will also receive training on health and safety guidelines to ensure all sports lessons are conducted safely.
Introduction to Women’s Empowerment
This training starts with an overview of the challenges faced by women and girls in South Africa. You will then learn about the courses and lessons conducted in the local community in collaboration with local partners. How data is collected to monitor the ongoing impact of the project will also be discussed. Then GVI staff will discuss with you the logistical and admin tasks that are required on the project and a role will be assigned to you. You will receive a rundown of your role and your weekly schedule. Participants working on this project are also introduced to cultural considerations that need to be kept in mind when working on gender equality issues in the local community.
University of Richmond Certificate Careers in Sustainability
Career paths in social and environmental impact are not as well-established as in other fields. That’s why we’ll provide our interns who have successfully completed their program with our Careers in Sustainable Development course. In this course, you’ll learn about current and emerging opportunities in a range of sectors, allowing you to make the best decision about your future.
This online course, valued at £295, is included in all internships. Full course details can be found here.
University of Richmond Certificate Leading Teams for Impact
Leadership is a critical skill set for anyone looking to make an impact or drive sustainable development. Develop your own leadership style and learn how to set achievable objectives, give effective feedback and manage conflict successfully. After successfully completing the course, which you have the option of doing prior to your in-country program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond.
This online course, valued at £295, is included in all volunteering programs. Full course details can be found here.
University of Richmond Certificate Community Development
In this course, you’ll explore the most common pitfalls of community development initiatives so that you can avoid them. You’ll also learn how to carry out community development work effectively and ethically and how local context impacts program development. After successfully completing the course, which you have the option of doing prior to your in-country program, you’ll receive a certificate from the University of Richmond.
This online course, valued at £295, is included in all volunteering programs. Full course details can be found here.
References and Recommendations
Once you’ve successfully completed your internship, you’ll receive a digital professional reference signed by your program manager. It’ll include a description of the topics covered and the experience gained on your program. Add this to your job applications to boost your chances of securing the position of your choice.
After successfully completing your internship you’ll have a host of new skills, specialised knowledge and work experience. You’ll also have a professional reference and, possibly, new qualifications. Our post-program career services will help you leverage what you’ve gained throughout your internship to take the next step on your chosen career path.
Careers in Sustainability
Career paths in social and environmental impact are not as well-established as other fields. That’s why we provide all of our interns with a Careers in Sustainable Development course in partnership by the University of Richmond. In this course, you’ll learn about current and emerging opportunities in a range of sectors, allowing you to make the best decision about your future.
This online course is valued at £295 and is included in all internships.
When you’ve successfully completed your internship, you’ll have the opportunity to schedule two career coaching sessions with one of GVI’s career mentors.
Use these small group sessions to develop your career goals, personal branding and job-hunting strategies.
At the end of your internship you’ll be added to our list of potential candidates we’ll consider first for GVI vacancies around the world. Stay up-to-date on positions by checking our Careers Abroad jobs portal. Get in touch if you find that fits you perfectly.
Job Portal Access
Once signed up to a GVI Internship, you’ll receive access to our jobs portal listing thousands of vacancies in social and environmental impact roles around the world. Employers range from non-profits to purpose-driven businesses.
Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.
Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.
Bungee Jumping and Ziplining:
Awe-inspiring canyons dot the Drakensberg range, and many use the opportunity to experience the exhilarating thrill of bungee jumping for the first time. If you aren’t ready to dive headfirst into the canyons you can glide overhead, using the many zipline tours available in the area. This is an excellent way to see the spectacular landscape from a bird’s eye perspective.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
Participants are able to see various antelope, zebra, ostrich, seals and possibly even whales! Plan a picnic lunch on one of the reserves beautiful beaches too while you’re at it.
Cape Point Penguin Visit
If you’re planning a nice day trip for a Saturday, you should consider a trip to Cape Point and a visit to an African Penguin colony shortly after.
South African Landmarks
Robben Island, Table Mountain, The District 6 Museum, Castle of Good Hope or the Green Market Square craft markets are all once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which participants are encouraged to read more about ahead of their travels to South Africa.
Kruger National Park
Where roughly 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity of life forms fuses with historical and archaeological sights – this is real Africa.
Kalahari Desert and Historical Zululand
The culture richness and diverse beauty of the Kalahari Desert and historic Zululand is often quite hard to put into words, but is an activity to be planned as part of greater cultural immersion and in an effort to expand your horizons, to solidify your global citizen status.
The Drakensberg mountain is a spectacular hotspot in the country and a must-see tourist destination while you are in South Africa.
The Cederberg Mountain Range is an exquisite sight to see for the adventure enthusiasts. Walk or hike your way through an experience that quite frankly, is only done justice in person, and not on photographs.
In Cape Town, participants have easy access to the famous Garden Route and most participants come back raving after a weekend trip on the open road in the beautiful region.
Visit a private game reserve which is located one and a half hours from Cape Town. Here you will enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari before returning home. Transfers to and from the project accommodation are included. There are many other fantastic trips in the area around Cape Town that can easily be arranged once in-country such as shark cage diving, skydiving, wine tasting tours, Hermanus day trips for whale watching (seasonal) or a typical township experience.
Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.
Cape Town immersion
Cape Town is a bustling melting pot of culture, considering it is a fairly complex, multicultural city with a fascinating history. There are many activities you could participate in while visiting the region, including township tours, taking language lessons, visiting the V&A Waterfront, going for a walk on the sea promenade, going whale watching in the bay, as well as exploring the various local cuisines on offer in the multitude of suburbs across the city.
The country has celebrated over twenty years of democracy, usher in by the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela in a historical moment in 1994. South Africa is often referred to as the rainbow nation to describe the country’s multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid and this is something participants are encouraged to learn more about both before and during their time visiting the country and engaging with the local population.
South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th largest country in the world by land area, with a diverse cultural population of over 56 million people.
The population of South Africa is made of a diverse number of ethnic groups and cultures. There are also eleven official languages.
‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.
We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.
Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’
Parent Info Pack
Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:
Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office. Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios. Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page. Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.
Support & Safety
We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.
Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures are in place throughout each GVI program. Learn more.
Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.
Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.
It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.
As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.
The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.
Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.