GIVE Volunteers

GIVE Volunteers

About

GIVE is an established leader in sustainable volunteer and responsible adventure travel offering meaningful trips in the USA, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Thailand, and Laos. We are dedicated to inspiring growth, empowering global citizens, and igniting sustainable change worldwide. GIVE has adopted the Asset-based community development (ABCD) model which is a set of proven best practices in sustainable development that mobilizes a community's own assets and resources as the basis for development. Join us in exploring incredible and remote corners of the globe while uplifting host communities and changing your life. Live your passion by volunteering abroad and embarking on an adventure; or take our Wilderness & International Leadership Development (WILD) Program to turn your passion into a profession.

Reviews

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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Tanzania Trip!

GIVE is an amazing organization that cares about each volunteer experience and places everyone with a welcoming community! Tanzania was a great opportunity to learn from local men and women in remote villages of Tanzania. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and excited to share what they know about the community and culture there. It was so hard to leave the beautiful town of Cairo. It feels as though we made a great impact on the community, and I know that they made a huge impact on us as well. I’m so grateful for this experience!

Pros
  • Working with guides to help a community
  • Teaching English to locals
  • Building a local school
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Faith
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE Tanzania Program 2022

If you didn’t know already, I went to Tanzania 🇹🇿

I was planning on writing a lengthy post about how this trip has impacted me but no words are going to do my experience any justice.

I loved every single second of my time spent in Tanzania, whether it was taking dance breaks from mixing concrete, doing sunrise yoga, laughing with my students as they tried to teach me Swahili, jamming out to music in the dolla dolla (car/bus), swimming with dolphins, or having nightly group discussions about how to be more socially aware.

I’m so thankful to have been able to experience this beautiful culture and to be accepted into the local village of Kairo with open arms and warm hearts. So, asante sana (thank you very much) to all of the guides, volunteers, and locals. I love you all and I’m so blessed to have been able to meet each and every one of you ❤️

Pros
  • The locals and guides are so energetic and fun to be around
  • Being able to make a difference in a community
  • Culture
Cons
  • Busy days means less sleep
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Aleena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can not recommend this trip enough

If I wrote out everything I want to say about my recent trip to Africa, you would be reading this review for hours. So here is my short(er) and sweet version. Going to Zanzibar for 2 weeks with Give Volunteers was easily one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The Zanzibar locals i’ve gotten to form relationships with have stressed the importance of sharing what Africa is really like and everything I have experienced with as many people as possible. There are a lot of negative stereotypes and misinformation spread about Africa, and I encourage you to check your privilege and where you are receiving information that you are using to form opinions and generalizations about a continent and the people in it. The people of Zanzibar want you to know that they are happy, CHIZI CHIZI people who are genuinely so excited about life. These individuals, and the culture they shared, have shown me what it’s truly like to live fully in the present in every moment. I have learned so much from the souls i’ve gotten the chance to know, and I am forever thankful. GIVE is a fantastic program because the locals are so involved with the program and improving and shaping it in all aspects that it needs. I have learned so much about sustainable travel, GIVE, Zanzibar, myself, and the world in general. I am so blessed to have experienced something that has opened my mind so far beyond what i thought i already knew. I left a piece of my heart in Zanzibar, and I am so thankful to have experienced something that makes me feel that way. So much love to this island and all the beautiful people i’ve gotten to know and love and treasure. I highly recommend this trip, it is something you will never understand until you experience it for yourself.

Pros
  • Education about Zanzibar
  • Connection with Locals
  • Impact on myself and others
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America
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE Tanzania - May Review

GIVE is such an amazing company that volunteers in a truly sustainable way. I cannot recommend this experience enough! The local guides take such good care of you and really make you feel like family. The island of Zanzibar is absolutely breathtaking and getting to experience right next to the local people is just incredible.

While I was there, we worked on constructing a new store house for the local schoolhouse. I had so much fun working with the GIVE construction workers and just making memories with our GIVE group. In the afternoon, we worked in the classrooms and taught English to students. It was so amazing to watch the students pick up on a new concept or watch a light come on as you explained something that they didn’t understand at first. When we were not volunteering, we were out experiencing the local culture. We swam with dolphins, explored local food markets, swam in the most beautiful ocean and so much more! If you are on the fence about a trip to Tanzania, don't be! GIVE will take such good care of you and this experience will change your life in ways you can't even imagine!

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Katelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE

This experience changed my life. I always wanted to help the planet, be more culturally aware, and meet inspiring people, but never knew where to begin. GIVE have me all of that and more. I was able to learn about Hawaiian culture and hear the struggles that native Hawaiians face now and through history. I helped the community through projects on organic farms and historical sites. I met amazing strangers from all over the world who I now call friends. The guides are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. I am so grateful for this experience.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it is more than just travel. It combines the meaningful ability to volunteer with the wondrous adventures awaiting in these countries to provide an incredible adventure that excites the soul and the mind. I wanted to volunteer and learn about different cultures. I wanted to do something I've never done before in a new place. I got all of that with GIVE.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I didn't have to do anything completely on my own. They helped me with fundraising ideas, connected me to a flight booking center, sent me all the information for travel documents I would need, sent a packing list, and contacted me with reminders to keep me on track to be able to go. The only thing I had to do was go see my doctor for any shots or medications.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Don't plan everything. Traveling is supposed to be an adventure, complete with highs and lows. If something goes wrong, don't put but; accept the situation as an experience to learn. With that said, nothing really goes wrong. When things are incredible, take the time to appreciate it in person rather than having your phone out the entire time. Go with the flow and when packing, take out a third before leaving.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Wake up and have breakfast. Go volunteer. Eat lunch. Volunteer. Free time to fill with various activities depending on location. Dinner and discussion on various topics. Free time before bed. Volunteer days follow this pattern. Adventure days are either scattered throughout the week or at the end and vary depending on location and adventure.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I have traveled enough, especially with GIVE, that I have no fears. I know that anything unexpected that may occur will be dealt with by my guides and I enjoy the thrill of not knowing 100% what is coming next. I am always eager to learn about the culture I am in, and what I've learned has definitely changed my perspective on various international issues. The hardest part is the reverse culture shock; that is the shock of coming back to the US and dealing with our culture.

How accommodating is GIVE to different personal preferences? (i.e. food, allergies, medications, etc.)

GIVE will ask you if you have any dietary restrictions or medications when you sign up for a trip, and offer a space to add any other concerns you have about personal preferences. I am a vegetarian and always had something to eat. My friends with allergies always felt safe since the guides have medical kits at all times.

Staff Interviews

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

Amber Parucha

Job Title
Lead Guide - Nepal
Amber Parucha is a Lead Guide and Volunteer Fulfillment Specialist for Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE). She has led groups in both Thailand and Nepal. She studied Biology/Psychology with a minor in Leadership and Civic Engagemnt at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Amber Parucha

What is your favorite travel memory?

There was a time in my life when I wanted to see the world and thought I only had a short amount of time to see it all. I was more concerned about how many stamps I collected in my passport rather than the quality of the time I spent in each place. It was not until I had my first experience in SE Asia with GIVE that I realized I had been doing it all wrong.

We spent 2 weeks living and working within the region, Muang Khong. This experience lifted the superficial veil of travel and allowed me to become part of a community rather than a tourist passing through. We shared meals with the locals, learned from them, and became completely encompassed by the culture. By the end of this experience, we felt like we were part of the family.

I'll never forget trekking through the jungle following in the footsteps of a mahout named Eddy. We spent 2 hours tracking semi-wild elephants. As we passed through lush vegetation, Eddy was telling me about his family, his experiences growing up in the jungle and the special connection he shares with his elephant. Reminiscing on standing face to face with my favorite animal and I still remember my conversation with Eddy above it all. Memories are deeply encoded when you share an emotional connection with that place or the people within it. That is what GIVE provides when you travel, a connection to yourself, others, and this planet, unlike anything you have ever felt before.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Before joining GIVE, I had never truly made the connection that my actions could have an impact. I cared about social issues but lacked guidance and direction. GIVE mobilized that deeper desire within me to be a part of something that was bigger than myself.

I've learned that small choices lead to larger lifestyle changes and one of the best ways to make others more cognizant of their actions is to lead by example. I'm thankful to work for a company that builds up its employees and genuinely cares about the legacy they are leaving behind.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Many of our volunteers return home with an ignited sense of passion and eagerness to spread their knowledge to others. I am always so proud to see folks use social media as a platform for advocacy and environmental stewardship after going on a GIVE trip. The best stories always stem from eco-experience. Those that plant a seed of compassion in the country and nurture it through education and expanding perspective once they return home.

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

Of course I would recommend our Thailand and Laos program for anyone who is looking to experience the magic of SE Asia. Not only are these places beautiful to visit but GIVE also shines a light on the colorful cultures and people that call these places home. The programs are jam-packed full of adventure activities for those looking to push their comfort zones. I'm a thrill seeker myself so bungee jumping, zip-lining through the jungle, and chartering a bamboo raft down the mighty Mae Tang river are right up my alley.

If a month in SE Asia is not enough, which of course it's not... We also now offer a separate elephant immersion program that includes 8 days of observing, caring for, and most importantly serving as advocates for a rapidly declining keystone species. Talk about a fricken epic travel memory...

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

GIVE practices a specific form of development that is centered around evaluating the strengths and assets within a community rather than focusing on what they are lacking or in "need" of. We do not compromise our values and treat these communities with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Our projects are built upon the ideas of great leaders within these communities and GIVE is the catalyst to make these dreams become reality. I am proud to be part of a team that views sustainable development as a way to invest in people. By practicing responsible tourism, we are not only voting with our dollar to support local initiatives but also gaining perspective and preserving the sacred entity of culture within.

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

I believe the biggest factor for success in our company is to constantly analyze our impact and "walk the walk". How can we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs? It's all about finding a better way to do things and that is the ripple we hope to spread throughout the world.