Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

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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...
    23 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • 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
    Alumni Interviews
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • 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...
    8 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • elephants in Thailand
    Thailand
    The Global Volunteer Network has opportunities for you to be a part of community-based, Thai-led projects in education,...
    8 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • 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...
    7 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • Volunteers with local children in Uganda
    Uganda
    The Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities aimed at providing primary and secondary education to needy...
    7 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Peru Jungle conservation
    Peru
    GVN has opportunities to work on a range of projects in Peru such as childcare, teaching, construction, healthcare and...
    5 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • 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
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • 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
    Alumni Interviews
  • 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
  • Multiple Countries
    The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) is a New Zealand Charitable Trust (non-profit NGO) based in Wellington, New Zealand....
    3 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer teacher in Ghana
    Ghana
    You have the opportunity to assist underprivileged communities in Ghana through Global Volunteer Network and our local...
    3 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • Wildlife in Ecuador
    Ecuador
    You have the opportunity to participate in different projects which have their location at four different biological...
    3 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
  • Kenya
    Take on a "bucket list" physical challenge while supporting a community in need with GVN's Mount Kilimanjaro Fundraising...
    3 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
  • Volunteer with a disabled child
    Guatemala
    The Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities to work on a range of projects in Guatemala. Volunteers can become...
    2 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days

Program Reviews

  • Takuto
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Japan
    Other
    10/10
    Great experience!!
    01/20/2016

    It was my first time to go to a foreign country when I went to the Philippines and did my volunteer work. People I met there were very kind, cheerful and lovely. Especially, children were so lovely that I have missed them. I'm Japanese and pronounciation of Japanese was unfamiliar with them. That's why they couldn't say my name perfactlly. So they just called me "Kuya.T." Kuya means elder brother. Whereever I went, children called me Kuya.T and I was surrounded by lovely kids with full smile. This time was unforgettable and precious for me.

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  • Sara
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    American University
    10/10
    BTC - Costa Rica - Sara Halabi
    01/08/2016

    Well how about having a new family for a week? This is what I got from my experience in BTC Costa Rica. All I had to do was find my passion in this life and be part of a family that can nourish and help me grow and expand my idea in the right direction and the right influence. Everyone in the program came in with the good intentions and want to be part of humanity in helping other human being in their own way and their own projects. We were exposed to inspiring people that actually were the change in their community. I loved this experience as it helped me dig further down inside myself and try to find my way in connecting with people and make them feel my passion about my cause in food waste management as a whole. The coordinators, Colin and Caitie, have dedicated their time for each and everyone of us to take us into the right direction and connecting us with the right people.

    If I can do it again, I will! I recommend this to anyone who has the passion and the power inside to change something around them that they don't like.

    How could this program be improved?

    This is the first time I participate in such a program, I found it an extremely enlightening experience for me. For now I have no comments on it except that it is AMAZING!

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  • Ross
    Age: 25-30
    Male
    Brisbane, Queensland
    University of Queensland
    9/10
    Master Yourself
    01/04/2016

    African people, especially Ugandan's are very welcoming and humble people. I was sitting in my room of the guest house on night getting ready for bed when the young woman/lady who did alot of the food preparation and washing came in asked if she could sing for me. She sat down and sang me a couple of songs, some from Bon Jovi and some Celine Dion. If was one of the most heart warming experiences I have every had. It must have taken alot of courage to do what she did and I am grateful that she did.

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing that I could suggest is the preparation time for teaching at the primary school. Knowing what grade we were going to teach and when.

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  • Rakhi
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Houston, TX
    Louisiana State University- Baton Rouge
    10/10
    wonderful experience in Peru
    12/31/2015

    I have done multiple solo volunteer travels in the last year, and this has been my favorite by far. Peru is a beautiful country, full of rich culture, history, and amazing people.

    I have a background in medicine and work at cancer hospital, and I really enjoyed my experience at my volunteer placement. I signed up for a week trip to visit Cusco for a childcare project. I was placed at a pediatric oncological unit, where kids are unfortunately not able to visit with their families daily for various reasons. They are in isolation given their conditions, so there is a need to have volunteers be their support system during that time. It was truly an amazing experience. These kids are so special.

    Cusco is a very safe city, but basic common sense and precautions are needed for anyone traveling alone to any country. It was so fun exploring the different neighborhoods, Machu Picchu (will need 1 full day to visit), and other surrounding areas. There's so much to do.

    I signed up with GVN (global volunteer network), but was primarily in contact with the local support staff of a sister company Maximo Nivel. The staff was wonderful and always available for support.

    If planning a trip to Machu Picchu, I would highly recommend researching different companies to visit it with. The company I was referred to, World Wide Excursions, was ok but quite a bit more expensive compared to other companies. And my experience was not as great, considering the tour guide I paid for never showed up to give me a tour.

    The price is also considerably less with GVN, compared to other organizations out there. They're organized, and I truly felt safe with Maximo Nivel as well. My homestay family was also wonderful and thoughtful. The homestay had internet and was in a safe area of Cusco.

    Overall, I highly recommend volunteering with GVN and Maximo Nivel.

    How could this program be improved?

    If possible, then it would be beneficial to know in advance the volunteer placement and homestay placement. Donations can be tailored to what that particular placement may need. That's if it is possible. It's definitely not absolutely necessary.

    Also, there may need to be a little bit of clarification in advance regarding Spanish classes. I was under the impression that the Spanish classes are free, however during orientation with Maximo Nivel, I found out that there is a charge for classes per week.

    Photos:
    Kids at Hospital Antonio Lorena
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  • Kristen
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Ontario, Canada
    Wilfrid Laurier University
    10/10
    The Real Uganda- The Real Grassroots Experience
    12/29/2015

    My time in Uganda was life changing. I have an overabundance of stories of my time in Uganda, and cannot talk about my time there enough. The Real Uganda is an amazing program that offers outstanding opportunities for both Ugandans and volunteers.

    If you choose to let this experience continue it never really ends. I still keep in touch with the director of the project I worked at,Tony, through Whatsapp every week. I graduated two weeks after I left Uganda, in June, and I had let Tony know the date. He made the effort to call me while in one of the villages with the women's group I worked with, and the women sang me a cultural song in congratulations. It totally blew me away, although it didn't surprise me at all because that's just how amazing those people are. There was also one time when he was at home at the compound, where I also lived while there, and he put the kids that live there on the phone (which totally made me bawl my eyes out). It could barely be considered a conversation because of their limited English and my limited Luganda, but we just kept saying the same words over and over because we were so excited to speak to each other. For me, these two things totally reinforced everything about my experience and the relationships I formed there.

    The director of The Real Uganda was a source of endless knowledge and helpful information for me. She provided me with fantastic resources for planning tourist excursions on weekends, and helped me learn how to navigate and better understand the Ugandan culture. We discussed how to work from the ground up, and not be just another person with a "white Saviour complex". She helped me in a way that made this an optimal experience for me and the people I worked with. I could not be happier with my experience with The Real Uganda, and I cannot wait to be back- I am already planning my next trip.

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing I can think of to improve my experience would be for it to have been longer.

    Photos:
    Dancing with the women in Mayindo
    Me and the kids! They love having their picture taken
    The beautiful women of Bulyantete
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