Kaya Responsible Travel
Kaya Responsible Travel Programs
Contribute to a Marine Conservation project in Belize, and earn a PADI Certification. You will be part of a project based on a small private island off the coast of Punta...
Participate in a computer literacy and arts project in South Africa and work with rural communities on the Wild Coast with Kaya Responsible Travel. The project focuses on...
If you are looking to spend your holidays doing something different and help others why not join Kaya and work on one of 4 projects in Costa Rica on our volunteering for
Volunteer in St Lucia and help where it is most needed on this community health and home based care project in South Africa. This project aims to bring education, help at...
Volunteer at a day care center for the very young in rural Nepal with Kaya Responsible Travel. Volunteers will also provide education support for older children from underprivileged...
Use an experience in education and become a classroom and childcare assistant volunteer and work on rewarding educational placements in Cambodia's premier tourist destination,...
Volunteer with Kaya at this wildlife sanctuary in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and get involved in all aspects of the centre. Volunteers may feed the animals, clean and carry out maintenance...
Volunteer on a reef conservation and diving project in Borneo and assist with research and reef construction carried out to mitigate damage occurring from fishing and global...
Volunteer in the east of Thailand on this elephant welfare project and work with communities that have lived with elephants for centuries. Since the ban on logging and the...
Kaya Responsible Travel Reviews
A complete shift in perspective
Submitted by Maya | July 13, 2018
I had the absolute best time in India, and i would not trade this experience for the world. It’s been a couple days and I am still trying to process how eye opening this experience was. I truely felt immersed in the culture and really felt like I had made a difference.
Nutrition intern in Swaziland
Submitted by Chelsea - Central Michigan University | June 27, 2018
Signing up to volunteer with Kaya was very easy. The agents are always willing to help. I even talked to an agent over the phone to ensure that the volunteering project was indeed ethical and what I wanted.
I chose the nutrition internship because it fit into my college coursework. The course was counted as a study abroad course at my university. Because I am studying public health, the nutrition internship in the Kingdom of Eswatini was a perfect fit.
We were accommodated at Lidwala lodge. The lodge was safe, fun, beautiful, and clean. I made a lot of friends from all over the world at the lodge. It was also on the same premise as the volunteering office, which was very convenient.
At the project, I conducted research as a part of an ongoing assessment examining the health and nutrition of children at various Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs). Specifically, I took anthropometric assessments of the children (height, weight, and MUAC measurements), plotted and analyzed the data, and studied common foods and cooking methods at the NCPs.
Before I began my travels, I was nervous because I had never traveled alone before. I thought I could get lonely, given that I was gone for over 5 weeks. The opposite was actually true. Navigating airports was easy, and there were always people willing to help me find where I was supposed to go. In addition, I made incredible friends at my project and at the lodge. I never felt alone.
I was surprised by many things throughout my time abroad. I didn’t expect to make so many meaningful friendships during my travel. I got to know other volunteers and locals very well. I learned so much just by conversing with such diverse people. Also, the avocados grew to be larger than mangos!
Many aspects of the Swazi culture also surprised and intrigued me. I loved how polite everyone was to each other. It is custom to say “Hello. How are you?” in Siswati to everyone you walk by. Also, music and dance are woven into the culture so deeply that even the three-year-olds at the NCP’s knew how to bust-a-move. Much of the education at the NCP’s was taught through song, and the children loved to sing and dance along. This was one of my favorite aspects of Swazi culture.
Overall, my research as an intern was the highlight of my experience. I got to know many children, teachers, and cooks at the NCPs. The teachers and cooks volunteer their time to run the NCP’s for the local children. I had so many valuable conversations with them about their passion for their community. I met some of the most powerful, strong, passionate and authentic women of my life at the NCPs.
Traveling as a volunteer allowed me to experience a new culture for a much longer time period than a tourist might stay. Because I was in Swaziland for over 5 weeks, I got to know some of the local language, meet local friends, navigate the transportation system, and experience local customs. Additionally, by working at the NCPs, I got to experience many values, lessons, and customs that the local teachers taught the children. Talking to the NCP teachers gave me the most insight about what Swaziland truly is. A tourist would find it more difficult to get this thorough understanding of a culture. Even as a volunteer, I realize that there is so much more I could learn.
I gained a lot of self-confidence through this experience. Not only was I able to travel to the other side of the world completely alone, but I was able to conduct an entire research project with minimal direction. I designed the study, conducted the field research, analyzed the data, wrote a research paper, and gave a formal research presentation within a 5 week time frame. Throughout the experience, I also strengthened my cultural competence and enhanced my global awareness. This experience has made me a more responsible global citizen.
I encourage everyone to volunteer, but do your research first. Ensure your project is ethical and sustainable. You will not save the world by volunteering overseas, and you shouldn’t think that you can. However, volunteering at the right place can enhance your understanding about the world, which will benefit everyone. If you volunteer abroad, fully commit to the experience. Have conversations with local people, try using the local language, and take every opportunity you can to authentically understand the people you are working with. If you think of your time as a vacation and focus simply on doing the tourist activities, you are destined to be disappointed.
Program: Nutrition Internship in Swaziland
Submitted by AR96 - Central Michigan University | April 23, 2018
Kaya is an awesome organization to go through for travel! My advisers answer every question I had and provided me with so much information. They even went out of their way to help me find the perfect placement. I will definitely use them in the future :)
Kaya Responsible Travel responded to this review May 01, 2018 at 3:47 AM
We are so pleased you had such a great experience!
Submitted by Carls Jiménez - Escola BetaniaPatmos | March 03, 2018
I definitely recommend this programme for other volunteers. I think that Cost Rica is a perfect place to volunteer and in your spare time you can also do lots of different activities and visit many places. Although, I would advise that you knew the local language, at least enough to communicate basic information, because some of the volunteers I was with did have some trouble communicating with their families.
Kaya Responsible Travel responded to this review May 01, 2018 at 3:47 AM
Thanks for the feedback, we're really pleased you enjoyed Costa Rica!
Great experience as volonteer in the young mothers program
Submitted by Emmanuelle Prest - Haarlem France | October 30, 2016
The young mothers program is an excellent local initiative, for which Kaya helps in finding volunteers. The girls are well taken care of and shown how to become independent in their future life, go to school and learn a profession, learn how to take care of their children. As volunteers, a lot of time can be spent taking care of the children, but also teaching the mothers all kind of activities, dependent on the skills of the volunteers. I taught them english, and I taught one the mothers to play the flute. It was very rewarding, as the mothers are very eager to learn new things. And the children are adorable. A wonderful experience overall, with a very enriching contact with the mothers!