Kaya Responsible Travel

About

The idea behind Kaya is to bring together the quality and impact of grass roots projects with the breadth of choice, quality of structure and organization and level of service that enables everyone the opportunity to contribute to positive action and enjoy traveling the world more responsibly.

Kaya offer a variety of volunteer placements in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Projects include working on wildlife conservation, community development, marine conservation, teaching, healthcare and many more options. Kaya also have various internships in Africa, Asia and Latin America in areas such as business, graphic design, journalism and medical work, enabling people to get hands-on work experience in specific fields.

Kaya are committed to matching the volunteer to the right project. We match your skills and interests with the needs of our projects to ensure that they are meaningful placements for all.

Founded
2008

Reviews

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Karen
10/10

Two amazing weeks volunteering for a local Turtle Hatchery, helping with conservation of 4 endangered turtle species. Hands on experience with many baby turtles, helping care for sick turtles, educating visitors to the site about the dangers facing this species, releasing turtles. The homestay on this project was superb!

Fantastic host family, really enjoyed my time with them learning about the Sinhalese Culture, Bhuddism and local foods. The meals provided were delicious and all Sri Lankan cuisine, they can cater for people who prefer less spice!

I visited Kandy (amazing cultural city), many Bhuddist Temples, Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and Yala National Park. From hand feeding elephants, to spotting wild leopards, these activities were unforgettable.

I would highly recommend this project and Sri Lanka as a destination! The feeling you get after releasing a baby turtle is awesome! Sri Lankan people are extremely friendly and love to feed people!

Response from Kaya Responsible Travel

Hi Karen

Thank you so much for taking the time to review your time on our Turtle Conservation project in Sri Lanka and for sharing such wonderful photos!

At Kaya Responsible Travel we love working with projects that make a positive impact while allowing our participants to immerse themselves in the local culture and by the sounds of things that's exactly what you did.

We are so glad you enjoyed your time in Sri Lanka and hope you will think of us when looking for your next adventure!

The Kaya Team

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jane
1/10

Unfortunately I had an awful experience while on a volunteering project organised by Kaya Responsible Travel.

I was not picked up from the airport in India as was previously arranged with the company (which meant that I was left in a dangerous and scary situation as a lone traveller). Many of the other volunteers that I subsequently met who had also booked with Kaya had similar issues.

Additionally due to poor organisation and communication between the UK team and the team on the ground, I was only able to do my volunteering project for 5 days out of the 2 weeks that I had paid for (which was a substantial amount of money). I was promised that there would be English speaking members of staff once I was in India, however there were none. this meant that I was unable to understand anything that was said, which made the volunteering project pointless. When these issues were raised with the team (both in India and the UK), these concerns and complaints were dismissed with no apologies.

Very disappointing for a company that charge a substantial amount of money to arrange volunteering opportunities for those that want to help and provide for others. I had initially picked this company as they had promised to provide certain unique experiences for volunteers abroad, however they did not deliver on these promises. There are many other similar companies out there that provide a similar service to Kaya, and I would definitely suggest searching these out if you want to get more out of your money (rather than being let down and feeling quite helpless while in a foreign country on your own).

How can this program be improved?
More transparency for volunteers, with the correct and up to date information given on the website as well as in correspondence to volunteers.
Response from Kaya Responsible Travel

Dear Senekha, we really value all the feedback we receive and, in the small number of cases when that feedback is negative, we work hard to act on it and try to correct any issues.

In this case, it was difficult to do that as you only raised these concerns after completing your program and returning home - despite us checking in with you after your arrival. To address your specific issues, we have reviewed your visit with the team and other participants to provide an honest response as follows.

Volunteer placement: As part of your 2-week program, the itinerary offered 7 days of working, due to orientation, training and travel days, but as a result of your personal travel plans, we accommodated you to take more time off the project, so this reduced time working was at your own request.

Pick up: The team are confused by your claim that you were not picked up from the airport. You were picked up from Delhi airport as arranged. Some other participants were picked up from Jaipur, as a result of new transfer plans, but in no way did this affect your pick up, nor that of the other participants, who have all confirmed that they were all picked up as planned.

Language barrier: Our ground team are all fluent or advanced English speakers. We understand that at your placement you experienced some communications issues and that when you shared these concerns with the ground team they immediately discussed another placement with you which you decided to take.

We are genuinely sorry that your experience on our program was not all that you had hoped, but we ask that you are fair in your evaluation of us. We take every piece of feedback we receive very seriously and ensure to address any concerns with great immediacy. This is important to us and our communities. If you would like to discuss this further with us please get in touch with us.

No, I don't recommend this program
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silvia
9/10

I’ve been “working” for Kaya now for few years and I will always go back to them for volunteering.
The staff have been amazing and truly helpful with all my needs and requests.
Philippines was an amazing choice, I went there after Yolanda tsunami and it was very “strong” what I’ve see but the smiles and light in people faces and eyes definitely left a soft spot in my heart. Plus, Philippines is simply amazing!!!
DO GOOD, IT FEELS GOOD.
Thanks again for everything.

Response from Kaya Responsible Travel

We are so pleased that you continue to have great experiences with Kaya and enjoyed your trip to the Philippines so much! We can't wait to see where your volunteering might take you next.

Do good, it feels good is such a great takeaway and really sums up the experience we hope all of our volunteers have!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Margaux
10/10

I volunteered for 3 months with Kaya in Koh Tao, Thailand. Not only did I make friends for life but it also triggered my interest in coral conservation and pushed me to pursue a career in marine biology.

Chad Scott and his team are amazing teachers and advocates of marine conservation.

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How can this program be improved?
Limit the number of volunteers during busy months
Yes, I recommend this program
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Josie
10/10

I spent 2 weeks in Neapl. Originally I had signed up to work in a Kathmandu project, for a school which catered to "at risk children". However at the time of my arrival, a big festival was occurring and schools were closed for the holidays. I was therefore taken to a women’s farm cooperative which is also a part of another project with Kaya, situated in a rural part of Nepal outside Kathmandu. It was an 1&1/2 bus ride & 2 hour trek to the village. When we arrived at the house I was greeted with music and dancing and instantly fell in love with the place.

The village itself has a school where the children attend schooling and the women's farm also has a classroom where extra English is taught, the classroom is basic however that doesn't stop the children's keenness to learn. They always attended with smiles on their faces, spoke in English as much as they could, and were always in the mood to learn new things. The biggest challenge I had with teaching, was trying to cater the needs of all the children who were at different stages in regards to their ability to learn and understand. Classes will run a lot more smooth if there's at least two teachers working there.

The volunteer house had a couple women who live there with their children. A girl, who the project on the ground had "adopted", Plus girls and guys from the village and Kathmandu who worked and lived there on a daily basis. everyone was so loving and welcoming and treated me like family, keeping me involved in their daily activities. And if you ever wanted to go off the farm and do other activities for a few days, like trekking, the staff were always happy to help organise it for You.

Overall I enjoyed my time on the project. Things ran as smooth as they could, and when inevitable changes were made; I wasn't left in the lurch. I will definitely go back again in a few years!

How can this program be improved?
Communication between the staff at Kaya and Nepal, e.g when the schools were closed for the festival, I found this out only after I arrived.
Yes, I recommend this program

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