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Global Vision International (GVI)


GVI is an award-winning organisation that tackles critical local and global issues by operating education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world.

Formed in 1997, we have been operating our award-winning programmes for over two decades and over 25,000 participants have volunteered or interned with us. All our programmes are run in in partnership with acclaimed international partners, like Save The Children, WWF, The Red Cross, PADI, Project AWARE, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and the National Parks of South Africa, Costa Rica, Seychelles, Mexico and Thailand, among others.

GVI consists of a vibrant group of friendly staff members who regard each other as family and passionately work together towards making a difference in the world.


Unit 7, Westlake Business Park, 4-8 Stibitz Street
Cape Town
South Africa

We are proud to launch our new GVI Business Internships Abroad!

Business Internships Abroad are a great way to apply your business management and leadership skills, explore the world, experience new cultures, contribute to a sustainable cause and kickstart your career!


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My experience in South Africa was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to see first hand wildlife in its natural environment. I learned about a variety of species, from small to big mammals and insects. The overall internship is a great opportunity to discover the importance of conservation in SA and the impact these creatures have on the planet. The internship gave me an understanding of the animals in SA, their behavior, the importance of protecting the species, prey/predator relationship, rhino dehorning, tracking, bird watching, as well as the out reach programs around the local community. The staff at GVI SA had a wealth of knowledge and their willingness to teach and the effort that they made to make each day full of adventure and a wonderful time.

How can this program be improved?
The program can improve if they gave the Intern manager some room to implement more tasks and activities for the interns.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I think almost every volunteer would agree that there isn’t a view quit like that of Houy Pakoot!

One my first day in the village I was fortunate enough to experience a celebration day for the end of rice season. I was greeted by a delicious breakfast with my family, followed by not so delicious rice whisky. The volunteers then went round to different houses in the village to celebrate with the families. This was a great way to get a sense of the type of people the villagers are. They are happy, generous, hard working people. The day made me feel more at home, happy and calm. It was also a great way to get to know the other volunteers (especially with a few glasses of rice whisky). As the weeks went on I grew more attached to all the people there and the village itself, which is something I did not expect before going out there.

Hiking was genuinely one my favourite parts of the experience. I learned a lot about different species of animals, insects and plants while in the jungle, which I did not expect. You become closer friends with people by chatting and helping one another on hike. I remember being speechless when I first saw the elephants. I learned so much about elephants health and behaviour through the staff, mahouts and data collection.

An aspect of the trip I didn’t not expect to do were the presentations in the first two weeks. This was one of my favourite parts because I was able to learn so much about elephants, the Karen people, ecosystems and the situation of conservation in Asia. As well as learning a lot some of the presentations did make me feel irritated with the current situation animals and their habitats are in. This has made me driven to help as much as I am able to change the situation of these animals.

How can this program be improved?
Give volunteers more opportunities to make a difference. Organise more activities at base over the weekend.
Yes, I recommend this program
Recess from teaching in the Mekong cafe

I took retirement from my job as a nurse manager in the UK and needed a diversion to help me adjust to this life change. I searched the internet and was instantly attracted to the Womens Empowerment Programme run by Global Vision International (GVI) in the beautiful city of Luang Prabang, Laos.
GVI provided me with 10 hours of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and issued me with a certificate. This guidance, from GVI staff, gave me the necessary preparation for my teaching role. The instruction on lesson planning and using different teaching techniques and games were particularly useful. The GVI teaching staff provided mentorship, so I always felt supported.
My involvement with the Women's Empowerment Programme, where I was involved in teaching English and running careers workshops, was very rewarding. I had the opportunity to make a positive difference to these young women who have limited access to education and often limited life choices. GVI recognizes that teaching English improves employment opportunities for this group of young women. Also, the aim of the careers workshops is to help broaden their awareness of employment opportunities and choices. It was a pleasure to see their enjoyment when participating and they even chose to attend on a bank holiday!
Through volunteering with GVI I was also involved in the Days for Girls (DfG) menstrual health programme. This initiative provides health education and reusable menstrual hygiene products for women in rural communities. I taught a young Laos man about menstrual health which prepared him to be an ambassador for the DfG programme. It was a privilege to be part of a programme that is making a difference to the health, self esteem and daily living of these women.
Volunteering for GVI was an amazing cultural experience which I gained from immersing myself in the culture whilst working and living in Laos. For example, when teaching I had to dress appropriate to the Laos culture and wore a Sinh (Laos skirt) and collared shirt. This meant I was recognised and respected as a teacher by students and local people, hence I felt part of the community. I learnt about the local customs, language and Buddhism through cultural talks run by GVI which enabled me to behave in a culturally appropriate way. My learning about the Laos language helped me to consider the difficulties in learning English and to adapt my teaching accordingly. I could speak a few words in Laos and locals appreciated a friendly greeting 'Sabaidee' with 'nob' gesture. As volunteers we participated in chanting and meditating at temples and gave early morning alms to Buddhists. I felt fortunate to participate in these rituals as a volunteer who was contributing to the community rather than observing as a tourist. I even experienced tourists wanting to take my picture when wearing my Sinh!
Another positive part of my time as a volunteer was experiencing the beautiful UNESCO world heritage sights and local countryside. The highlights of my trip included visiting temples, the food market, waterfalls, and the Mekong river.
My immersion into the culture when living and working for GVI in Luang Prabang has helped me adjust from retirement and consider new opportunities for my future. Overall my experience of volunteering and the country of Laos has been amazing. Being part of projects that are sustainable and make a difference to communities has made my experience all the sweeter.

How can this program be improved?
Improved IT resources and database of teaching aids
Yes, I recommend this program

During my stay at Jalova, I worked a good deal of time on the Jaguar Project, usually by traveling up and down the beach between mile markers 18 and 14, where cam traps had been set up near the beach or near a recently predated turtle carcass. Carcass cameras were set up whenever a new turtle carcass appeared on the beach and would remain there for almost up to a week. Mile marker cameras, on the other hand, would remain where they were set up every week, with only their SD cards being swapped out every Tuesday on Jag Cams. Once we returned to base after Jag Cams, we would review the footage we recovered to see if any jaguars were still in the area. On Thursdays, if you had the stamina and endurance for it, some of us would go on what is called Jag Walk. It's the 14.5 mile walk you've probably already heard about. During that walk, I would alternate with others every 3 miles different positions we were given: GPS tracking, noticing whether we saw any jaguar tracks, noting how many turtle nests we saw, counting how many turtle tracks there were, or recording data at every half-mile. At the end of Jag Walk, we were given the chance to have a nice meal in the town of Tortuguero.

Living accommodations on base were very basic. The diet was very vegetarian-oriented due to a lack of a working fridge. We would get fried or grilled chicken every Friday from Tortuguero. Showers and dorms were co-ed, but we did have locked doors for showers and toilets. Washing was very basic and had to be done by hand, and drying clothes might take some time due to the constant humidity and unpredictable weather.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The people at Jalova were very welcoming and a lot of fun to work with. I thoroughly recommend to anyone, who shares a passion in environmental conservation, to go to Jalova.

Yes, I recommend this program

I have just finished an amazing few weeks with GVI in Thailand, volunteering on their coastal conservation project. It's hard to explain just how fantastic the experience has been from beginning to end.

It has been wonderful to experience a different side to Thailand, which has felt much more authentic than just traipsing around all the typical tourist haunts, and to know that you are making a genuine difference to the community you are working in while you are there. As a volunteer with GVI you have so many more opportunities than a "regular" tourist, from helping out at a nearby turtle conservation centre to teaching in a local school (and with plenty of time for sight-seeing at the weekends, too!).

One thing that really impressed me was GVI's commitment to having a real impact, focussing on several of the UN's sustainable development goals which are applicable to the region. It's tempting to think that, as a short-term volunteer only there for a few weeks, you can't make a big impact, but GVI give you the opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself, so you know that the work you are doing will be continued by the staff, interns, and future volunteers long after you have moved on.

Possibly the best thing about volunteering with GVI was the people I met while I was there - staff, interns and other volunteers alike, I got to know some of the most inspiring, passionate and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, who happily shared their time, energy and expertise with those of us who have plenty of enthusiasm, but little knowledge of the conservation issues in the region.

It's been a truly amazing experience that I can't recommend highly enough!

How can this program be improved?
In terms of the actual experience in country, I don't think it could be much better. However, the information provided in advance could have been a little clearer in some respects, especially for those of us who have never been to this part of the world, or been on a volunteering experience before.
Yes, I recommend this program


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