Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

Provider

Our vision is to connect people with communities in need. We do this by supporting the work of local community organisations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

At GVN we align with the idea of 'local solutions to local problems', so we work with local community organizations in each country. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) is a New Zealand Charitable Trust (non-profit NGO) based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Why do we do it?
"We believe in inspiring learning, innovation, and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world."

GVN places volunteers in Asia, South America, and Africa and has fundraising treks to Everest Base Camp, Mt Kilimanjaro, and Machu Picchu; along with specialist tours such as the Youth Tour for 15-17 year olds, and our Young At Heart Tour.

GVN profile

Programs from GVN

  • Multiple Countries
    This week long Be The Change Course is designed to take your idea or dream and give you the skills and confidence you need...
    16 reviews
  • kids in Nepal
    Nepal
    Placements currently on hold due to Earthquake see our website to help with Rebuild and Recovery Projects. Nepal Children's...
    9 reviews
  • Volunteer in the Philippines with children
    Philippines
    You have the opportunity to work in a variety of projects teaching, childcare, mentoring and community projects to assist...
    7 reviews
  • Volunteer teach in Vietnam with GVN
    Vietnam
    Are you crazy about kids? Do you want to support them in building a brighter future? The Global Volunteer Network currently...
    6 reviews
  • Peru 2012
    Kenya
    This is a unique opportunity for a small team of volunteers to see how funds are distributed from our Eat So They Can...
    5 reviews
  • Volunteers with local children in Uganda
    Uganda
    The Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities aimed at providing primary and secondary education to needy...
    4 reviews
  • Everest Base Camp
    Nepal
    Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Our Everest Base Camp trek is a unique opportunity to challenge yourself,...
    4 reviews
  • GVN Childcare and Orphanages Program in Guatemala
    Costa Rica
    Are you driven to help the world's most vulnerable citizens? Do you love kids and want to help them thrive? There are many...
    4 reviews
  • Peru Jungle conservation
    Peru
    GVN has opportunities to work on a range of projects in Peru such as childcare, teaching, construction, healthcare and...
    3 reviews
  • Volunteer at a school in Costa Rica with GVN
    Costa Rica
    The Global Volunteer Network has opportunities to work in a range of programs in Costa Rica. Volunteers can assist with our...
    3 reviews
  • Wildlife in Ecuador
    Ecuador
    You have the opportunity to participate in different projects which have their location at four different biological...
    3 reviews
  • Kenya
    Take on a "bucket list" physical challenge while supporting a community in need with GVN's Mount Kilimanjaro Fundraising...
    3 reviews
  • Volunteering with children in Rwanda with GVN
    Rwanda
    Volunteers will assist our partner organisation's mission to facilitate processes to help eradicate poverty, reduce HIV...
    2 reviews
  • Volunteer teacher in Ghana
    Ghana
    You have the opportunity to assist underprivileged communities in Ghana through Global Volunteer Network and our local...
    2 reviews
  • elephants in Thailand
    Thailand
    The Global Volunteer Network has opportunities available to work with Elephants at a refuge through our partner organization...
    1 reviews

Program Reviews

  • Jann Nielsen
    Age: 51 or older
    Male
    Crossville, Tennessee
    Do NOT use Global Volunteer Network
    05/21/2015

    I assistant taught for 4 weeks at a middle school in Soweto, South Africa. Global Volunteer Network (GVN) arranged for the housing for me while I volunteered. ZOTE was the local organization that oversaw my stay. My money was stolen from my bedroom. GVN has not stopped placing volunteers in that house or stopped using ZOTE as I suggested. If you volunteer with GVN and ZOTE, lock your bedroom door.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Sheena Lewis
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Dallas, Texas
    California State- Sacramento
    Costa Rica - Carlos Maria Ulloa
    05/15/2015

    I had an amazing experience with Maximo Nivel. The general orentation was very helpful and the staff was amazing. My project was great, I was able to help out all around the nursing home with occupational therapy, nursing and in the dining room. The nurses and staff at the project were also great. Even though I had a language barrier they put a lot of effort to explain things to me. I enjoyed meeting the patients and interacting with them by doing activites or just saying hello. I would definitely return and would love to be placed at the same project and with the same host family. Flory Murrillo was my host and she was nothing short of amazing.

    How could this program be improved?

    Having a direct nurse or contact at the project location that is designated for volunteers. Someone that could help them around when they arrive.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 0 Inspiring: 0
  • Edward Thomas
    Age: 51 or older
    Male
    Berkeley
    Other
    Real Connection
    01/07/2015

    As the typical NGOs pass by in their tinted windowed white SUVs you feel more connected to the communities since your modes of transport are jeepneys and trykes. The Nutritional day starts with shopping at the open air wet markets and veggie stands. You make a connection with your favorite vendors who are aware of the valuable work you are doing. The tryke drivers know you and transport you in their often overflowing trykes down the dirt roads to the village. Awaiting you are children who are the most well adjusted, smart and creative kids you will ever meet. You will be amazed at how the sense of community exists as you observeve 5year olds caring for their younger siblings. The richness and depth of community will awaken your passion for the day's work.
    Live your life like you mean it!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would only suggest that options for housing be offered

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 2
  • Ruth Delbaere
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Belgium
    Other
    Brazil Teaching Program
    10/02/2014

    I volunteered on the GVN Brazil Program this September and it was by far the most rewarding, eye opening and heartwarming experience I've ever had. GVN supported me before, during and after my trip and is always there to answer any questions you may have.

    During my stay in Rocinha, I was working and living with wonderful volunteers from all over the world in a shared apartment. I did the Teaching Program, so I got to teach smart and enthusiastic kids every afternoon, as well as equally amazing adults some days of the week. At night we got to do some locals classes which was a lot of fun as well, I've never met more welcoming and friendly people than the ones in Rocinha!

    The children running up to you yelling "Teacher!", grabbing your hands and hugging you, will put a smile on your face every single day. The lessons are great because the kids are genuinely happy to be there and eager to learn, especially when you put in the effort to make everything interesting for them (singing songs, playing games, reading stories, letting them act things out and draw, asking people to come up front to point things out etc.).

    Arriving in a favela by yourself is daunting of course, especially when you don't speak Portuguese. All I can say is that it's SO worth it to jump in head first and go for it, you will not regret it. Sure, it won't always be easy but that just makes you a stronger, more independent person. The people you meet, the experiences you have, the things you visit in Rio will stay with you forever. My main advice: come with an open mind and stay as long as you can!! I was only there for a couple of weeks and I so wish I could've stayed longer.

    Thanks to GVN and the local Brazil Program, I can't wait to come back some day!!

    How could this program be improved?

    It is not always very organised, though this is very understandable as the program is located in a Brazilian favela. Come with an open mind and don't expect too much, just take in the favela life and rhythm :).

    Photos:
    Was this review...?
    Useful: 1 Inspiring: 1
  • JoAnne Summers
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Ammon, Idaho
    Brigham Young University
    GVN's Be the Change in Taupo
    04/27/2014

    I attended Be the Change in Taupo, New Zealand in November, 2013. It was my first venture into the volunteer abroad arena and was an ideal venue for me to get information and interract with experienced volunteers. The week was life-changing for me.
    GVN staff picked me up at my hotel as arranged through e-mail. There were 9 of us there as participants and 6 GVN staff. We lived as family in 2 houses with both staff and participants intermixed, which was a bonding experience. We shared cooking and cleaning responsibilities. I loved this format, finding that volunteers are an adaptable and thoroughly interesting group to live with for a week. We were a diverse group, ranging in age from 20 to 67, of varying ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds. At the end of the week, I considered them all friends.
    The purpose of this workshop was to both inform and motivate volunteers to pursue our own charitable projects at either a local or international level, or to feel confident in participating in existing projects. I came away both informed and motivated. I was most impressed with GVN staff's enthusiasm and dedication to their work.
    Having previously attended both business and horse training workshops, I had a vlue comparison. Be the Chage delivered what I considered to be a good product for the price.
    I have no criticism for the Be the Change program. When I fail to find anything to criticize, I tend to be generous with my ratings. I will be going to Uganda in June as a follow-on to investigate how GVN distributes money they raise through participating in the global Eat So They Can fundraising campaign.

    How could this program be improved?

    I do not have the expertise to suggest changes to this program. I consider it a unique training and idea exchange venue.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 0
View All Reviews