Reach Out Volunteers

Reach Out Volunteers

About

When you arrive the ROV team leader is waiting for you at the airport. The tools and materials are there for you at the work site. You don't need to waste time and energy finding out the best things to do when you arrive, we have already booked you in to them.

We are a group of people that hopes to change the world, we're just doing it one village at a time. Our volunteers complete hands-on work; building homes for poverty-stricken families, protecting and caring for endangered animals, establishing marine protected ecosystems and becoming immersed in local cultures. We have programs in South-East Asia, South America and Africa.

We are experienced, professional and fun to deal with. We have been operating since 2010.

Founded
2010
Headquarters

500 Delaware Ave
Suite 1, #1960
Wilmington, DE 19899
United States

Reviews

Marco
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Every part of the trip was something that was on my bucket list, and for me to check off a whole lot of points says it all. Between going on trail walks through the game reserve, completing the foundation of a schoolhouse, and riding horseback through the wetlands I experienced all my life dreams in two weeks! I do not regret any decision or moment!
One story that makes me laugh is one night on the game park when my tent mate had to go to the restroom but I was too tired to walk all the way to there so I told her to go at the back of the tent. Two seconds after she went to the back of the tent, she runs back in telling me to turn my flashlight on. As I turn on my flashlight, we hear ruffling through the tall grass behind the tent. I start to feel a rush running through my body, it made me realize how close to nature we actually were. I was so tired that night, that I told her to go to sleep and forget this ever happened. But it was a cool experience.

What would you improve about this program?
More communication prior to departure. There were times before I had that I was doubting the organization because I hardly received any emails or any contact at all. Sometimes I thought that I'll just show up at the airport and hope someone was their.
Make the forums easier to communicate on between your group members. Maybe find a way to get everyone in the group to e-introduce themselves by telling a little bit about each other so it feels like we already know people when we get there.
The elephant interaction should be included in the price, not extra. Its one of the big five and big reason why people are engaged to go.
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Heidi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In the Khmer language lesson, I learned the word arkoun, meaning thank you. I didn't realize how important and constantly used this word would become.

In Cambodia the people are the sweetest and happiest I have ever met. The joy in their eyes from a simple high five is unbelievable. Even with so little they are willing to give so much. It's a kindness that makes my heart all warm and left me saying arkoun to everyone.

With only a couple nights left in the village, I got to spend the whole day fully immersing myself in the stories and culture of Cambodia. It was an experience that was at times hard to see but at the same time I was inspired by the strength and positivity of the people. Every minute of hard work was worth helping these amazing kids and beautiful elephants.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that offering a wider range of dates that are available to volunteer will open up this opportunity to more individuals and that will be incredible.
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Tegan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved teaching the children on the Wednesday at the Elephant Sanctuary, I was kind of thrown in the deep end, trying to teach a class English and there is a huge language barrier but once I got comfortable I was really into it.

I loved the night life and the fact the team leader came out with us to help us feel safe.

It was a good variety of activities, you were never bored and you felt like you were achieving something and having fun whilst doing it.

What would you improve about this program?
For the village immersion because they stay 2 weeks in Siem Reap City they should be able to do different nightly tasks in the same week then doing the same both weeks.
Aaron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was my first time traveling to another country on my own, I was nervous at first but meeting other volunteers from around the world made me felt less nervous. At the end, we became really close with each other. It was an experience I will never forget, volunteering at an orphanage, going on game reserves while I learned many new interesting things, feeding and petting elephants, riding horses and the best part was doing all of these things with great friends I've met during this trip. I will definitely do this again, again and again!

Eliza
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The school I was working at had a few dogs as well as a litter of puppies which needed some simple veterinary treatment. During one lunch break, a few friends and I decided to give the dogs a dirt scrub to get rid of the fleas, and also to remove all the ticks (many of which were on their faces). After cleaning up the first puppy we brought some of the local kids in and taught them how to use dirt as an exfoliant for the dogs coats. This was a great experience for the local kids and a really nice teaching moment for us!

What would you improve about this program?
Being given a photo of project we were working on once it was completed would be fantastic!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Alumni Interviews

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

Ashleigh Kennedy

Ashleigh Kennedy is from W.A, Australia and is currently a student of psychology. She volunteered in Mozambique in January and February 2013 with Reach Out Volunteers. Asheligh enjoys the outdoors, food of any kind, and the ocean.
Ashleigh and fellow ROV volunteers at the construction site

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with Reach Out Volunteers in Mozambique?

Ashleigh: Well I had never been overseas before, so I thought a volunteer trip was ideal because you are provided with guidance. I also wanted to volunteer to see the world as it is, not just the “best bits” through a holiday. I wanted to give my time and resources to those who needed it, and thought Africa was the best place to start!

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Ashleigh: In Mozambique we got up fairly early (7am) to have breakfast with each other and prepare for the day. Then we would drive or walk to the school we worked at and assess what needed to be done that day, and how to do it. We would then spend the day cutting/sawing/drilling/weaving reeds and learning other skills related to construction, all while in friendly competition with others or singing Disney songs. At about 4pm, we then packed up for the day and headed to the beach to cool off and muck around. At dinner time we’d enjoy three helpings of dinner and either go to bed or sit around the fire relaxing. On Sundays we paraglided, swam with dolphins and participated in other activities, such as catching up on sleep back at camp, scuba diving or shopping at the local markets.

The students of the classroom that Ashleigh built with ROV

Do you feel like you made a significant impact on the local community? Why or why not?

Ashleigh: I feel like we did something that would help the community. In particular, the structures we built made sure that the teachers at the school and the kids weren’t going to get rained on or bitten by mosquitos anymore because of an old classroom. The classrooms we built are going to last for years, so it feels good that two weeks of hard work means 3 or 4 years of benefits for the school.

What's something interesting about Mozambique that the average person doesn't know?

Ashleigh: The whole place (at least where we stayed) is beach sand! You could in theory get away with not wearing shoes for the whole time you’re there - which we gleefully took advantage of.

A gorgeous shot of a dolphin in Mozambique's waters

How has this experience impacted your future? (Personally, professionally, etc)

Ashleigh: This trip has made me hungry for volunteer work, especially overseas and in Africa - it’s the most beautiful country, and even though the kids have nothing they are the happiest children I’ve seen! It’s also pretty exciting to see a random zebra on the side of the road as you drive around; all we have in Australia are kangaroos and they usually jump out in front of your car (which is also exciting but in a different way). When I finish my studies in Australia I’m going to try my best to get work in a location like Mozambique.

Staff Interviews

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

Rachel Ballantyne

Job Title
Volunteer Coordinator

Tell us a little about ROV and your role at the company.

ROV Staff

Rachel: At ROV I have the fantastic role of coordinating the International recruiting teams. Each year I get to meet, train, and aid recruiters around the world who are spreading the word about the exciting volunteering opportunities that Reach Out has to offer! Every person that I work alongside is enthusiastic, outgoing, and has a passion to do their part in making a difference in the world

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

Rachel: I started with ROV after being a volunteer on their South African program. If someone had asked me a year beforehand if I could see myself doing this type of job, I would have laughed! The African program changed my life, I saw a side to the world, that I could never turn my back on, I made friends with some of the most wonderful volunteers from around the world, and I could see the difference I had made. SO! I worked hard, begged for jobs, and eventually made a ripple.

What makes ROV unique?

Rachel: ROV has so many unique components as a volunteer organisation. It starts in the office, where all of the communications are dealt with. Everyone who works in there are passionate about the job, they're the brains, and they are infinitely friendly and easy going. Then you have the recruiters, they're a big supportive family, who work hard, to see results in third world countries around the world.

THEN you have the volunteers and the programs. Each volunteer that comes through is selected carefully from their application, they display a desire to change the world, to have the experience of a life time, and to be a part of a cultural community! I also think the ROV programs are perfectly structured. Every single program, whether it be in Africa, Asia, or South America combines three very important elements. There's the cultural immersion aspect, the wildlife conservation aspect, and the community development aspect - ROV volunteers come away with having experienced all three of those in 2 weeks!! Phew! Thats a busy two weeks!

How do you ensure your programs are sustainable and mutually beneficial for you, the community, and the volunteers?

ROV volunteering abroad

Rachel: The sustainability of ROV projects in third world communities, is not a lightly handled task. ROV makes sure that we work alongside people within the community, people who can learn a trade through us (ie. house building) and be able to maintain the projects after we leave. We also source laboursmen and tools from within the communities, to help pump money back into the village. ROV also revisits projects to make sure everything is still running smoothly.

The volunteers find it to be a wonderful cultural experience being able to work alongside the locals from the communities we work within.They create friends for life, exchange Facebook details, and keep in touch. There are past volunteers who still go over to visit the communities (after the project is finished) and to visit their new friends. Not only is there a great deal of cultural learning being shared but there is also a great sense of leaving the completed projects in the very capable hands of the members of the communities that Reach Out Volunteers work in.

What does the future hold for ROV?

Rachel: The future for ROV that I see, is a biiigggg one! I see countries all over the world receiving aid from our volunteers. I can see us fulfilling our motto: Change the world; one village at a time. I know we'll finish entire villages, entire communities, entire states, countries, and continents. Everybody who comes through ROV is ready to change the world - with enough of these people, changing the world is a pretty simple task.