A Broader View Volunteers

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

About

A Broader View Volunteers is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit charity located in the USA. Our organization was founded in 2007 and is based in Pennsylvania. Our charity # is 26-0594308, you can fundraise for the cost of the trip in our website and all your donors can get a tax deduction. Our 245 social & conservation projects are arranged for volunteers to live with, and work side by side local people in a range of fields such as orphanage work, day care, community development, teaching and much more. We offer travelers the opportunity to explore a new country while taking part in meaningful, rewarding service work from 1 week up to 12 weeks in safe, affordable and customized programs for individuals, groups, missions, brigades and for families and seniors.

Our programs are located in 25 countries -- visit the A Broader View Volunteers website for more details on volunteer, teach, study and internship programs abroad.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

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

At home, I work as a nurse in a busy emergency room in Boston MA. I am used to seeing and caring for people that are sick and people that may be dying of a chronic illness. It was very challenging for me to be around people suffering and dying from HIV/AIDs and not being able to provide them with the care I am used to. The practice of medicine is very different in Tanzania since there are limited supplies and resources at your disposal. People are required to be much more self-sufficient, even when gravely ill. I had to adjust to the fact that just because it is not what I am used to, does not mean it is wrong. I had to respect cultural norms and learn to do what I could within my means for the ill individuals I encountered.
Traveling to Tanzania for volunteering I had no expectations. I had never volunteered in a foreign country and I had never traveled to such a place alone. This was a wonderful experience for me. Not only did I meet some pretty amazing people (local Tanzanias’ and other volunteers) but I also learned a lot about different cultures that will leave a lasting affect on me. Some useful tips for other volunteers are:
Packing: Wear layers. Tanzania Arusha is breezy in the mornings but gets very hot in the afternoon. At dusk it gets very buggy, so it is nice to have long sleeves/pants on. Dress respectful according to the culture, cover your shoulders and don’t wear short shorts. You will most likely stand out as a foreigner, you don’t need to draw more attention to yourself with your clothes.
Understand you can’t change everything in the limited time you are there. There are things that you are going to see that are really challenging to stand by and watch, like the extreme poverty, hunger and illness of people and animals. You can’t fix it all, you can temporarily help people but you have to be realistic that this is a way of life for some people in Tanzania.
Try and learn Swahili before traveling to Tanzania. Many people do speak English, but it is common to run into people that only speak Swahili. So it will help you get around, meet locals and enjoy your time
Bring your own first aid kit, medicines, bug spray and sunblock. These are things that will be helpful while your traveling and may be challenging to find while your away.
If you would like to donate clothes, food or house hold goods, i would recommend bring a second piece of luggage. Most airlines will allow an extra luggage if you are volunteering.
Be careful and cautious traveling alone while in Tanzania. You should not run into any problems if you use caution; however here are some warnings: a lot of people will approach you and try to sell you things, do not follow people that are trying to lure you to stores. Do not agree to a taxi/bota bota ride if you do not agree on a set price and they do not know where you are going.
Google Maps does work in Tanzania, i found it very useful in making my way around
Dala Dala’s are affordable and easily accessible, just make sure you know the name of the area you are going to. If you have any issues the Dala Dala drivers will guide you to the correct bus if you ask.
You will be charged more for things at the market if you are a foreigner. Try to learn the local prices for things.

working at the fundation
Rosalind
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Cartagena was wonderful. I met so many lovely women and men through my time spent at the foundation, especially the women I worked with. Although sometimes I felt that I could be doing something more effective or instantly productive to some people’s lives I soon realized that the need for emotional support and basic health education is monumental too. I offered to give basic English lessons at the end of the group sessions every morning and I was so pleased to see how enthusiastic the parents at the foundation were to learn after not having much opportunity to beforehand. I spent a lot of time with the toddlers too, to make sure I spent as full a day as possible volunteering and they were so adorable and I found it very rewarding to see them remember me and developing character - even over the period I was there.
I think it’s a beautiful, inspiring, sprawling city that has a lot of social issues at its core but is fundamentally full of great charming people who make the place so vibrant and welcoming. I’d love to return one day!

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

I wish I had been able to stay for longer and bring more supplies for the Hospital and Clinic. I was impressed with the connection Abroaderview has arranged with the local hospital. This is a unique volunteer program. I knew I would not be able to change the way healthcare works in Honduras, but still it was very difficult to see things that so easily could be improved just by some logistics, more education, and better supplies. I am now thinking of ways I can help Honduras in the future. I Appreciated the unique opportunity to travel to La Ceiba with my daughter before she begins college and introduce her to another culture and climate and a very different way of life and level of health care. The local coordinator and all the people associated with him that we interacted with all placed a high priority on our safety. He only used cab drivers that he knew and has worked with many times. He checked in with us frequently and checked in with our host family and interpreter when he present with us to make sure we were making safe decisions about where to go and how to get there. I was surprised to say that the donation supplies I brought ended up being a highlight. I brought many things used for surgery here in US, things that were extra or leftover or expired or no longer sterile. They were excited! And fascinated by many things they have never seen. I brought one very fancy dressing for a wound. The head nurse immediately sent us to a post op patient and had us clean her wound and apply it. And wished we had more.

me
Mary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to Costa Rica with A Broader View was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Just like everyone would be if they came to a foreign country alone, I was nervous that something would go wrong or I would find the experience too difficult. With the support of the coordinator, her family, ABV in America, my volunteer location and the people of CR, I was the happiest person ever. I got to volunteer as well as learn the unique history of Escazu, CR and the local people. The US and CR have so many differences, but by coming to Escazu I have a new appreciation for happiness. Seeing the kids of the kindergarten come to school with big smiles of their faces reminded me that happiness isn’t based on the things that you have, but rather what you make of it!

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

At my age 70....I always wanted to do some volunteer work and ABV USA looked to me as a good organization and Nepal did sound as a very interesting location with many needs, I traveled with 2 of my best friends from NYC. The orientation day 1 was provided with information about the program places to go, and ways to go. I got a cell phone from the country and eat lunch at a local restaurant, orientation was good by the local coordinator. I worked on the school in the morning and library in the afternoon, the school was challenging because there were physically disabled children in the same class with the regular children, but it was a very satisfying experience and heart warming to see how the able children help the disabled to get around the school. In the library was a lot of fun working with the children from the community different ages, loving, very polite. The host family was wonderful. I was happy that the coordinator was the head of the host family because he was there to help with any questions or concerns. The whole family was wonderful. Meals were good, I eat everything. Nepali food was delicious and I did not get sick from eating it. I am glad I went to Nepal, it was a very good experience.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 10

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Cat Ahlberg

Cat is a graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in Biochemistry. She is originally from Los Angeles, but loves the cold far too much to leave the East Coast. She is a travelaholic and always has her next three trips planned (mostly involving the food she will eat).
A broader view volunteer

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

The most important lesson for me was about true poverty. I grew up in a major city, and was no stranger to the homeless as there were quite a bit of them near my childhood home. However, even if someone is in extreme poverty, when they go to a doctor in the US they are treated with whatever is necessary. Even more simply, it is expected that the medical staff has the proper training and equipment to handle most basic procedures.

At the public clinic in La Ceiba, there is practically zero supplies. Patients need to bring their own gauze and gloves if they have a wound to clean. There is only one blood pressure cuff in the entire clinic. They rely on only donations for any supplies at all and use a little as possible. To me this was astounding, as even in severe poverty most of the US is able to obtain supplies for the basic medical needs.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

This was not my first trip abroad on my own. I have been lucky enough to study abroad in both France and Sweden. The difference for this trip is that it is not about getting good grades or seeing the sights, but about making the small difference you can in a difficult place.

Honduras is not the typical vacation destination, nor is it considered particularly safe. However, if you are even slightly considering this type of trip, GO DO IT! The experience that you will have, the lessons you will learn, the people you will meet, and the rewarding nature of your work is worth any risk. With ABV I never felt unsafe or unsure, and was able to focus on the task at hand. Get as much information as you can beforehand so that you make sure you are getting the exact trip that you want. Fundraise as much as possible to keep down your costs. More than anything, be open to every experience you can. It WILL be worth it.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

It is hard to chose a favorite story as each one was memorable. One of my favorite experiences during my off time was visiting Sambo Creek and the garifuna culture. Honduras is a melting pot of cultures, including the African culture of garifuna. Just east of La Ceiba is the town of Sambo Creek, where there is a large population of the garifuna people. They combine their African influences with the Honduran landscape to create a stunningly unique food and culture.

During a weekend, another volunteer and I went with a tour guide to this town to learn about the culture. There we tried traditional garifuna whole fish with plantains and conch soup. We even had a local boy come dance for us during our meal with traditional drumming. For desert was sweet coconut corn soup and a dip in the ocean. This is a relatively poor people, but when we joined a group of young kids for a soccer game with sticks as goals, all status melts away for just pure fun.

What made this experience unique and special?

When I was in Honduras I had a lot of hands-on medical experience taking blood pressure, giving shots, and cleaning wounds. However, I never expected that they would allow me to learn and see as much as I did. They taught me how to put in a catheter for a male and perform stitches on an ACE bandage. I got to see the treatment of diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, viral encephalitis, and dengue fever. Not only were the staff always will to explain to me what was going on or show me what to do, they used scarce and precious resources to teach me procedures. I was only there for two weeks, and yet this is part of the culture in Honduras -- always willing to help.

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions or future path?

I can honestly say that I will never forget my experience in La Ceiba. I have been sure that I wanted to become a doctor for years. After graduating, I was questioning my desire. This trip was not just to volunteer my time, but to reaffirm my love of medicine. There was not one moment that didn't reiterate to me that there was something special about this field. It is more than just the science. Its about the people you get to help.

For example, I was working with one of the physicians and we had a patient with epilepsy. She had a seizure and cut her head during the fall. In speaking with her, we found that she was homeless because her family did not accept her illness and kicked her out. The only clothes she had were the blood covered ones she had on. We were able to get her clean clothes, wound supplies, and free medication so that she could regain her dignity and prevent further episodes. Medicine is about the whole person, and I thank her every day for showing me why I love medicine more than anyone else ever has.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Lori Comitale

Job Title
Volunteer Coordinator
With her background in criminal justice and forensic medicine, Lori has spent the last 15 years working with children in the legal arena. In her free time Lori likes to read, travel, and spend time with her extended family.
Animal Care Center

What is your favorite travel memory?

As a child I would say my fondest memories are traveling to the New Jersey shore and enjoying family beach time. Recently I traveled to our Honduras project and loved every minute of it, including the heat!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

This is a really tough question because ABV offers so many great options. Aside from Honduras, I was at the orphanage in Belize, and that was wonderful. I love children and any of the orphanage programs would be a great experience.

I also love animals and am really keen to go to Costa Rica and join our Sea Turtle Conservation program.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

There are so many things that make ABV unique. The Spanish immersion lessons and host family accommodations are just a few.

One of my favorite things is the flexibility offered to our volunteers.

I was especially proud of the ABV team when were able to pitch in to provide school sponsorship to 15 children in our school project in Mukono Uganda.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

In order to be a successful company I believe you need to be professional, well-organized, offer excellent value for low cost, and have happy, genuine, caring employees.

More Interviews