GoEco - Top Volunteer Organization of 2015
This project takes place in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, the oldest city in the country. From the iconic Table Mountain to the magnificent Cape beaches, this city
Submitted by Paul - Willow Grove United States | October 18, 2016
I had an amazing time working with the gibbons and monkeys. Showing them love and creating a connection with the apes was incredible. There weren't as many fellow volunteers as I would of hoped but none the less still a great experience.
Program: Thailand - Gibbon Primate Sanctuary
Incredible and stunning
Submitted by Amanda Lamb - Edmonton Canada | October 15, 2016
I first arrived in Ambalangoda not knowing what to expect. A 17 yr. old who had never flown out of North America by herself had just arrived in Sri Lanka a week ago was never happier. I had made an amazing group of friends during orientation week and was beyond excited to start volunteering. The housing I stayed at was directly across the street from the beach and a 2 mins. walk away from the Disabled Turtle Home. I would wake up and have an amazing breakfast with everyone else who was staying in the house. We would then walk over to the turtles and begin our work; which i will admit was sometimes hard but extremely fulfilling. Some days we would either clean the beach, clean the turtles, feed the turtles, move sand, or more. After working with the turtles, we would play on the beach, go to town and explore as many places we could go to. The volunteer organizers were extremely helpful and had a lot of trust in us.
I will admit, I was one of the youngest volunteers there and was a bit scared. However, within 6 hours of landing in Sri Lanka, my fear was gone and I was already meeting amazing people from all over the world that I still keep in contact with today. Some were Paris, London. Austria and we're even all planning another trip next summer all together. I highly recommend this program. This has been a life-changing experience and for anyone who's just a bit lost in life or the need for a change of pace; this program provides an amazing new perspective that I am so happy I was able to be exposed to at such a young age.
My incredible adventure Educare & Skills Development in Cape Town, South Africa
Submitted by Mélissa Luna Poutot - College catholique Franco-Ouest | October 05, 2016
This trip, from beginning to end, was by far one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever lived. Even though my young age, I feel as though this experience was simply eye-opening. I did not have any expectations before going to South Africa. Although poverty may be present in some areas of Cape Town, I couldn’t help but notice the beauty within the poorer communities.
I lived in a house, full of Europeans, all wanting to make a change in this world, starting by Cape Town, more specifically the area of Du Noon. We went to our designated schools (or educares) by 08:00. My educare was Foot Steps. A very small place, with two rectangular tin containers forming an ‘L’ shape. Those were the children’s classrooms. One was for the 3-4 year olds, the other for the 5-6 year olds. The principal of the school used her house as a classroom for the babies, aged from 0-2 years old. The kids do not have an interior toilet therefore they must pee in the outside area. The outside area is small. Too small for 45+ kids to play in. The children were all so sweet. I had the 3-4 year old class and the teacher’s name was Lulu. They all spoke Xhosa, the local language. Most could not speak English but they understood some words. The kids loved singing. They would sing “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”, or songs that they made up like “Days of the week”, “Seasons of the year”, and many other English and Xhosa songs. The kids get fed breakfast, lunch and dinner because most kids do not have food at home. Most parents invest in the children’s appearances with new clothing and nice weaves but do not have money to buy food.
There were also plenty of activities that I got to do. On my first weekend in Cape Town, I went to the Cheetah Outreach where my roommates and I got to pet cheetahs. Then we went shark cage diving (brace yourselves, pick up time is usually at 03:00). During the week, I got to go climb Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. I also took part in a wine tour, where we visited five wineries (best wine I have ever had). We went to Robben Island where we got to see nelson Mandela’s cell. The tour guide was an ex-political prisoner who knew Mandela while in jail. We got to learn many facts about the prison itself and the prisoners who were sent to Robben Island. I also did the Cape Point tour and learned about the history of Cape Town involving the Dutch and the English, as well as seeing penguins and ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope. I bought myself a long-board to go around Table View (the roads were perfectly smooth to cruise around). We also attended a rugby game featuring the DHL Stormers of Cape Town against the Crusaders of New-Zealand. Unfortunately, the Stormers got destroyed. My co-volunteers and I would also go to Long Street, also known as the Party Street. So many activities but so little time.
No words can describe the amazing feeling I had throughout this unbelievable trip. Everybody I have met, volunteers, teachers, locals… were all so open-minded and kind. I am beyond grateful for my project leaders, Gail and Shannon, who have helped me with everything during this adventure and I hope that everybody has an experience as incredible as mine.
My great escape
Submitted by Christopher Scalone - St. Joseph's College | October 03, 2016
My time at Glen Afric Volunteer Experience through GoEco, was the absolute best two and a half weeks of my life. The first thing that appealed to me about this project was the low cost. Honestly, 1350 USD for 2 days at a hostel, a shared accommodation for 2 weeks, all meals included, and transportation? Amazing. I was able to meet people from all around the world, help animals in need, and see a beautiful country. I have been to many different countries and I have been apart of so many amazing programs, but I can truly say with a full heart that this truly was the very best. The project leaders were absolutely amazing, the days were evenly structured into two hour work intervals, and the food was delicious. The atmosphere at this sanctuary was infectious with love, care, and unity. I have made some lifelong friends on this project, and we are already planning our return for next Summer.
Wonderful experience for young and not so young adults
Submitted by Todd Soyck - Seoul South Korea | September 06, 2016
My experience at Glen Afric cannot be summed up in one word. There is so much that this experience provided for me. As a first-time volunteer who was a bit older than the others, I was never made to feel like an outsider. The balance between work to make the sanctuary a better place and the contact allowed with some of the animals (which most volunteers came for) in their care was more than appropriate. I made many friendships with the volunteers, the group leaders, the owners and the staff. There were plenty of opportunities to learn about the animals and animal conservation. The accommodations and food were good, as well. Outside excursions were offered to learn more about the people and culture of South Africa or just to have plain fun. It would be hard to pick a favorite activity of my 3-week stay. I enjoyed walking with the elephants, working with the lions and tigers, and getting to know briefly some of the great people associated with Glen Afric. I would highly recommend this program.
Program: South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary