GVI: Volunteering for Teens

Video and Photos

Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering
Teen volunteering

About

GVI offers a variety of opportunities for young adults between the ages of 15 and 17 to gain first-hand experience in cultural immersion, marine and wildlife conservation, and community development. This is a great way to become a global citizen with a better understanding of social and environmental issues. It’s also a gateway to improving your future education and employment opportunities, as you will acquire soft and hard skills in your chosen GVI focus.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to dive in oceans of Greece, explore the jungles of Costa Rica, or the rolling Incan valleys of Peru, all while contributing to ethical impact, this is for you. This is an opportunity to connect with a network of people who share similar passions for sustainability, while also expanding your knowledge of different linguistic practices, and cultural customs. Each project is aimed at reaching sustainable objectives that align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Highlights
  • Improve your education and employment opportunities with practical skill development in cross-cultural communication, marine and wildlife conservation, and community development.
  • Have an opportunity to receive the University Award by ASDAN, for participating in a GVI teen program.
  • Expand your knowledge and experiences of coastal Greece, biodiverse Costa Rica, Carribean Mexico, limestone isleted Thailand, and Incan influenced Peru.
  • Contribute to the 17 UN SDGs, and learn about ethical volunteering and impact.
  • Become more familiar with global issues collectively affecting the environment, community, and wildlife while also making friends with like-minded teens from around the world.

GVI has a Community Development Internship in Thailand!


This is an opportunity to learn more about Chiang Mai's local Karen hill tribe culture, gaining intercultural communication skills and valuable teaching experience.

Popular Programs

In Quepos, a coastal town, you will support self sustaining community projects such as maintaining locally produced gardens, and the renovation and construction of school classrooms. This contributes to the UN SDGs Goal 2: Zero Hunger, and Goal 4: Quality Education. This is also a way to make friends from around the world, experience different adventures such as white-water rafting or ziplining in the jungle, while also developing cross-cultural skills.

Join other international teen participants to support environmental conservation and economic development in Cusco. As Machu Picchu is a highly visited destination, with only one main source of water supply available, your contributions to preserve the natural resources of the area assists with the UN SDG Goal 6: Clean Water And Sanitation. This is also a way to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and be a part of locally run festivals.

Safeguard endangered loggerhead turtles and their nesting grounds in Giannitsochori. Your conservation efforts will include surveying nesting activity and assisting with protection against natural predators and nest disruption. While in Greece, connect with fellow international participants and learn more about culture and tradition in the country, while also exploring historical ruins, observing panoramic views over the Ionian sea, and visiting the Neda waterfalls, just east of Giannitsochori.

Collaborate with the Royal Thai Navy to provide medical treatment to green sea turtles, monitor the turtle’s growth rate, conduct marine debri and plastic pollution clean-ups, and support local school renovations. You will earn your ILM Youth Leadership Certificate, and contribute to ethical sustainable objectives. Experience the best of both worlds in Phang Nga, with jungle covered mountains, clear-water beaches, limestone cliffs, and an assortment of floating, and fishing villages.

Earn your PADI Open Water Diver certification, and as Puerto Morelos is a port town on the Carribean coastline, you’ll have the opportunity to dive in the second-largest reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Gain valuable practical skills in marine coral monitoring and data collection projects, research environmental changes from the ever pervasive effects of climate change, and assist in reef recovery efforts through lab grown coral transplantation initiatives.

Questions & Answers

It is actually not necessary to speak the language of the country you are going to, all programs will feature guides in English. If you desire to speak the language, there will be lots of opportunities to practice and learn.

Reviews

90%
based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 8.8
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Thailand at 16

This is my second experience of going on a under 18 programme with GVI ( Global Volunteering International). In my opinion they know what they are doing and have specialism in getting it right for under 18s. I enjoyed seeing the beauty of Thailand and having the opportunity to help protect and preserve it, both directly by looking after turtles but also working with local children to increase their understanding of recycling, and how they can look after their world .
This GVI programme provides a perfect combination of holiday fun and adventure ( canoeing, swimming, hiking, sleeping in tree and raft houses ) with cultural visit to temples and Buddhas with meaningful work with turtles and children.
Meeting, living and working with the other GVI volunteers from across the world was fantastic and our leaders were great.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go with an open mind and a view on making a difference
Default avatar
Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My first under 18 volunteering in South Africa with GVI

From start to finish this was an incredible experience.I would highly recommend GVI South Africa to any young person It provides adventure and a opportunity to work with, and for some amazing people , other volunteers and leaders.You get to experience working as a team,giving time and energy to make difference to children.You will get to see Cape Town at its best and also see. the problems the country faces. I went just before my sixteenth birthday and was very pleased with how GVI got the balance between supporting us as under 18 year olds and giving us responsibility and challenge. The practical arrangements , accommodation and transport were good and our trips at the weekends were inspiring and eye opening. It has had a lasting impact upon me .

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
This trip is perfect for any young person with an open mind looking for adventure and challenge.
Default avatar
Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Magical experience!

When I first arrived in Thailand in the first day of the program I had no idea what to expect. It was one of those thing where no matter how ready you think you are you never will be quite ready enough. I was so nervous as I had only come with one friend. Immediately the staff who had come to pick us up put us at ease. This made us feel welcome and they were so friendly. This experience has taught me so much in terms of being more independent as well as showing me how much of an impact our everyday decisions have on others around the world. My favourite part of the experience was working with sea turtles because we were able to help them by cleaning their tanks and giving them medicine. I also really enjoyed the sightseeing of the second week as we did so many awesome things such as sleeping in treehouses and in huts in a lake.

Default avatar
Izzi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I wish everybody could have an experience like these trips. Going to a foreign land working with people that don’t speak the same language as you, traveling to places outside of your comfort zone, connecting with people you never would’ve met otherwise. These trips have shaped me as a person, taught me how to be more grateful, how to learn from my experiences and the people around me. I couldn’t ask for anything else in this world than to travel and GVI gave me that opportunity.

The world would be a better place if everybody could have these experiences and learn about different cultures with hands on experiences. It’s a completely different feeling to learn by experience than sitting in a classroom watching videos from places we’ve never been to or problems that don’t perosnally affect us. It’s a completely different thing to see people struggling in person, to lend a helping hand to someone in need, to understand that even though we may have it so good that we can pay to help others, there are people out there that need that help.

It was also extremely refreshing to go to an area that appeared to be stuggling only to learn that the people there are happier than those in my home time. The people and the kids I got to work with had better attitudes and more spirit for life than any person I had ever met in my day to day life. It’s incredible what living in poverty can do to someone’s life. It does not obviously equal unhappiness, but motivation, appreciation for the things they do have, and a simpler expression of happiness.

I will forever cherish the experiences I have received from these programs.

Default avatar
Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Thailand Under 18

My experience with the GVI Under 18 program was quite unique compared to my fellow participants. Although we all did the same activities, my experience is one that I will never forget because although it was rough it was one of my best memories and my dumbest actions. It was the second and last week we would be in Thailand so we went to see as much of it as possible and we stayed at a new housing every night. This particular housing was one of the best, the view was mountains and greenery, actually breathtaking. After we ate dinner we all went to our rooms and my room had a porch so my roomate and i were talking and having fun with everyone. They sat out on the lawn and we were on the porch. For some reason I needed to run back into my room and I didnt see whether or not the glass door was open. Running towards the room it seemed open. It was not open, my whole body smacked right into door and i just felt numbness everywhere. I fell back and when i got up I could not stop laughing, the thought that I had actually done something that dumb was shocking. My lesson to future participants is to not make the same mistake I did. Be aware of your surroundings. When I got home I went to the doctor and we discovered my busted lip, bruised knees, a concussion and a fractured nose. The next morning the staff saw what had happened and automatically raised concern. As it was my last week I didnt want to miss out on any activities but the staff definitely took care of me the best way they knew how. I would not change a thing about my experience and I would definitely continue with more GVI programs in the future.

Default avatar
Sam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand Under 18s July 2017

I was recently involved with GVI on their under 18s program in Thailand. One of the highlights was when we were doing construction work in an education centre for Burmese refugees. This is a picture of me playing football with some of the younger children who are the beneficiaries of our work there. I was able to ride on a Samlor (motorbike + trailer sidecar) full of rubble and plants with two Burmese boys of around 16. Even though we couldn’t communicate in each other’s language we were working together to achieve a common goal- to better the lives of the community. I especially remember being passed bricks out of the side of the samlor in the sweltering heat with sweat dripping down my bright red face. In that moment, I felt as though I was finally doing something genuinely meaningful. The outdoor classroom we created together will exist as a testament of our efforts and benefit the lives of many hundreds of children. I would thoroughly recommend GVI thoroughly if you are interested in going abroad as they provided me with an experience that I will never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel as though the only way that the program could be improved would be to make it longer! When the two weeks had finished, I felt a deep longing to be involved in the country for a longer period of time.
Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

U18 Costa Rica

GVI Under 18s in Costa Rica is the perfect mix of meaningful volunteer work and adrenaline pumping activities. Working within the local communities is much needed and you feel the work you do every day is important. You'll have plenty of opportunities to practice Spanish and maybe even learn how to cook in an authentic Costa Rican kitchen. Outside of volunteering there is time to visit the beach, see local markets, surf, hike, rappel down waterfalls, camping and go white water rafting on one of the most beautiful rivers in Costa Rica. Get ready for a truly once in a life-time trip- complete with monkey and sloth sightings! As they say in Costa Rica, come and live !Pura Vida!

Default avatar
Brydie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI = GREAT

Every moment with GVI was amazing. From the first step out at the airport to my very sad departure 9 months later. The staff were extremely welcoming and always there when i needed to ask any questions- and i asked alot. With GVI you have that support all the time while still having that complete freedom of doing what you want also. Besides that, the children and adults in Nepal are the nicest people you will ever meet. Completely welcoming and generous.
Loved it!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Only thing is the housing which is expected in a third world country but even then everyone goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable and at home
Default avatar
Jeeveeai
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

GVI is a ripoff scam

I was horrified to learn after I arrived in Thailand that 1--my money wasn't going to the community but to the owners of GVI to perpetuate their lavish lifestyles, 2--that their excuse for poor living conditions and bad food, namely that it was for the good of the Earth, was a lie, 3--that we were in very real danger on the other side of the world and GVI would not protect us, and 4--that if anything bad did happen, GVI would cover itself before looking to our welfare. I don't know if all GVI programs are like this, I only know that they have a practice of lying and fraud in Thailand that extends to the owners at the top.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

About GVI

Founded in 1998, GVI runs programs in various countries around the world, each manned by our own staff and aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), as well as the objectives of local partners. We welcome participants...