Developing World Connections
92% Rating
(37 Reviews)

Developing World Connections

Developing World Connections (DWC) matches teams of volunteers and resources with people and organizations in developing nations to alleviate poverty and inspire hope. DWC ensures volunteers work on meaningful projects that have impact for the community.

DWC is a registered non-profit Canadian charity that has no religious or political affiliation. Volunteers work alongside locals, which gives them a chance to make cross-cultural connections and develop a stronger understanding of what locals' lives are like. DWC connects dedicated volunteers to people in countries around the world with a goal of creating lasting and powerful change.

We offer one- to two-week adult and family trips for all ages, two- to four-week youth and university trips for 16- to 29-year-olds and customized group or corporate trips. For more information, please contact us or visit our website at www.developingworldconnections.org.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Preety
Female
23 years old
Vancouver
University of Northern British Columbia

Incredible Volunteer Trip with DWC

10/10

Developing World Connections does an incredible job of organizing meaningful trips & there is always someone available to answer any of your questions! Volunteering through DWC has been so life changing! I was Team Leader to DWC’s volunteer trip to Peru in the summer of 2016 & had previously went on their trip to Guatemala 2 years prior. It is not only a great opportunity to make meaningful friendships with those that are part of your team, but also gives you a chance to put your life into perspective & understand the significance of connecting with those that have a different background from yourself. Being of service puts one in touch with the needs of humanity and helps one understand that changing the world is a community effort. If you are interested in developing connections & doing meaningful & life-changing work, I highly recommend going on a DWC volunteer trip!

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Preety
Female
23 years old
Vancouver
University of Northern British Columbia

Volunteering with DWC: A Life Altering Experience For The Better

10/10

“Cii,” said a Guatemalan lady, while just behind her a mariachi band played and her boyfriend kneeled on one knee crying tears of joy. A group of us stood on the other side of the street cheering, as we had just witnessed a marriage proposal. The next day while walking through the town we heard a similar mariachi band. The seven of us instantly began dancing until our group leader, Teresa, said that the mariachi band was there for a funeral. This funeral was for an eleven-year-old girl who had committed suicide because she could no longer cope with the domestic violence she faced at home. This was the first time I cried during my volunteer trip to Guatemala. In Guatemala, mariachi bands are not only used for celebratory events, but also during times of grief. This volunteer trip was organized through DWC, a non-profit organization that connects volunteers to communities in developing nations. Our group worked with Open Windows, a foundation that runs a children’s learning center in San Miguel Duenas. We built a room for a family of six and taught English to elementary school students. This valuable experience taught me many things including cultural diversity and that I can make a difference in the everyday lives of those less fortunate. It also taught me about suffering, especially domestic violence, an issue we often ignore as a society and it ignited my passion for addressing social issues.

Developing World Connections does an incredible job of organizing meaningful trips & the trip coordinator, Thomas, is amazing & always available to answer any of your questions! Volunteering through DWC has been so life changing! It is not only a great opportunity to make meaningful friendships with those that are part of your team, but also gives you a chance to put your life into perspective & understand the significance of connecting with those that have a different background from yourself. Being of service puts one in touch with the needs of humanity and helps one understand that changing the world is a community effort. If you are interested in developing connections & doing meaningful & life-changing work, I highly recommend going on a DWC volunteer trip!

Allen
Male
61 years old

DWC Rwanda Dec 2016

1/10

It would be hard pressed to see DWC's footprint on this trip. DWC hadn't truly partnered with the host organization and hadn't trained them to host teams. DWC's drive to cut team costs and take funds from the supported organization make's it hard for me to believe their business model will survive. The information flow from DWC was too little too late and many things were left up to the team leader to tap dance and make the experience better. I was glad we had a very experienced team leader who could make rational decisions, keep Grace Rwanda on track and effectively communicate to all parties. DWC should count their blessings they have such a wonderful volunteer leader. This DWC experience was built for backpackers, not an experienced international volunteer team like ours. Overall, Rwanda was a wonderful experience, but it was because of the team leader and the team, not DWC or Grace Rwanda.

Response from Developing World Connections

We thank Allen for taking the time to submit his comments on his Rwanda trip. Grace Rwanda is a new partner with DWC and there have been some growing pains along the way. We are working with Grace Rwanda to resolve those issues.
Concerning the comments about undercutting, DWC does not try to slash team costs. The funds allocated for meals and hotel were standards used for other trips in Rwanda and other countries.
DWC chooses team leaders who have experience in the countries where they will be leading. In this case, we knew we had a highly organized team leader who had been to Rwanda and who has a track record of leading not just with us, but with other organizations as well.
DWC is in the process of upgrading its pre-trip preparation for volunteers and team leaders. We review feedback from volunteers like Allen and team leaders to keep improving the experiences we offer. While the vast majority of our trips run smoothly and reviews are hugely positive, there is the occasional case where that doesn’t happen. We are committed to making every trip as enjoyable and memorable as possible for each volunteer. We regret that Allen did not feel DWC held up its end of the bargain.
- The team at DWC

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Lawrance
Male
33 years old
Binga

An extra mile,suprise.... to tears of joy!!

9/10

While working on Nadia's house. Marcia,Cathy and Bonnie brought the maternal side of the observation that the family did not have the basic household materials. It was heart-breaking. There was a small and very old stove, there was no shower and the kitchen tap needed replacement. When I looked around; just at the corner of Nadia's house I saw a public tap water point where those without taps came to fetch water and take a bath.

On the way back the team agreed to contribute from their pockets and procure plumbing material, kitchen utensils,a folding mattress and a new stove!! The team was going an extra mile and we agreed that the presents should be a surprise to Nadia and the family on our last Friday at the project site. The team split. John,Gab and I shopped for the plumbing material. I did not know so much detail was needed for the measurements and John was really great. Meanwhile the other team shopped for the other kitchen and bedding presents which were latter wrapped in beautiful packs and boxes.
The last Friday came and we did our last chores.Finally we sat down on the newly made top floor in Nadia's house and presented the gifts. I saw big smiles from the team and Nadia and her husband could not believe it. Their faces expressed it all and it was such a heart warming moment. When we finally left and hugged them goodbye I saw tears of joy in their eyes and I felt my eyes shedding tears too!! 'This is a connection' I cried to myself.

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Wray
Male
57 years old
Kelowna, BC Canada
University of British Columbia

Two Weeks Building a Small House in Guatemala

9/10

A group of twelve of us volunteered to build a family a small home in the village of San Miguel Duenas, Guatemala. We worked diligently on the project for two weeks. The good parts for me was learning about the country, its people, and how things get done. We left for the worksite at 8:00 and returned about 3:30. We stayed in nearby Antigua - a much larger centre. Breakfast was provided at a nearby café, lunch was in a private home near the project, and dinners was our choice at any restaurant in Antigua. It worked quite well.
Everyone on our team gave 100% while working on the house. We essentially were unskilled and unpaid labourers assisting the bricklayers with supplies and materials. it was rewarding to see this cinder block house (10 x 17 feet) take shape. A regret is that we could not finish it before we had to leave. One concern is that I might have preferred to work on a community project rather than a home for just one family but nevertheless it still improved the lives of a few people in this rather poor part of the country. I feel positive about the entire experience.

How can this program be improved?

There was a last minute change in for whom we were building the home. Unfortunately there was a legal lot line dispute that meant we had to build the home for another family on a different lot. We knew little about the needs of this new family so those of us who wanted to take items from Canada for them could not do more that guess what might be useful.

Program Listings

Cambodia

Developing World Connections
Volunteers work side-by-side with Cambodians in a village near Phnom Voar, Chamcar Bei, on locally driven community developme...

Rwanda

Developing World Connections
Volunteer with DWC in Rwanda to make a difference in the lives of rural villagers. Just visiting Rwanda with the intention to...

Peru

Developing World Connections
Volunteers build educational and community facilities that support working children in the poorest barrios of Lima, the capit...

Nepal

Developing World Connections
Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with one-third of its people living below the poverty l...

Guatemala

Developing World Connections
Our volunteer projects are based in and around the town of San Miguel Duenas, Guatemala, an agricultural town of 12,000 peopl...

Sri Lanka

Developing World Connections
The Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 killed more than 40,000 Sri Lankans and changed the lives of many more by wiping out their liv...

India

Developing World Connections
Developing World Connections volunteers work with one of our two Indian in-country partners in the Rajasthan state. Located i...

Philippines

Developing World Connections
Volunteers are needed in the Philippines to help alleviate poverty. Volunteers will help build housing or work on a school in...

Kenya

Developing World Connections
With a dramatic increase in population over the last few decades, Kenya's poverty levels have also greatly risen. DWC is part...