Love Volunteers

Program Reviews

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Dil
10/10

Amazing amazing experience!!!

Although it was not what I expected no program is ever what you expect. But what I will say is this program exceeded my expectations!!

Not only was the local organization super helpful and amazing, every person I met left me with an amazing personal connection and great memories. The program was incredible and I learned so much about Moroccan culture and had an amazing experience with my host family as well. As someone who has never really travelled before, I am amazed at the experience I've had here. The culture, the people and everything else is something I will take away with me for life.

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Dil,
Thanks for this great feedback on our Journalism Internship program in Rabat, Morocco. It's fantastic that you had such a great first experience travelling and volunteering! Your comments are a wonderful encouragement to future volunteers.
Thanks for being an amazing Love Volunteer, we hope you join us again in the future.
The team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
Dil
10/10

I partook in a four week program working for Morocco World News in Rabat as a journalism intern.

Let me just start by saying, it is evident no program is going to be exactly what you expect before you arrive and this was no different. I did have a different idea of what it would be but in saying that that does NOT mean the experience I did have was bad!

Although different than expected, the entire program was fantastic! Ali, the project manager who worked and corresponded with Love Volunteers to create the program was not only super helpful and responded but he was very nice and always took the time to make sure our needs were met and we were not only safe but happy with everything going on.

Everyone I met at the office was amazing as well and really taught me a lot in terms of skills, experiences and office management as I worked with them for four weeks.

The personal connections I made with other interns and my roommates are friendships I will have for a lifetime and this experience here in Morocco will be as well! This was fully and wholeheartedly an amazing experience that I enjoyed to the fullest with a variety of weekend trips that really allowed me to travel and discover a wonderful new country.

Big thank yous to everyone all around; Love Volunteers and their partner, my host family, and all of Morocco for the best trip ever :)

Diil

Response from Love Volunteers

Dear Dil,
Many thanks for this great review of our Journalism Internship in Rabat. It was fantastic to receive your feedback throughout the program and to hear how well you were getting on with everyone and the enthusiasm you applied to the program.
It's wonderful that you were able to gain skills and experiences whilst giving of your time and effort to help the local staff. They really appreciated having you there!
Thanks again and I hope you enjoyed your time exploring marrakech and the desert before returning home :-)
All the very best with everything your future holds and we hope to have you back with us again.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
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Mikela
10/10

I was a medical volunteer in Fewa City Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
I am a pre-med graduate from Denmark meaning that I had no previous hands-on experience.
But I still got to observe, participate and help so many people. It was wonderful, challenging, educational and eye-opening. I learned so much about medicine, medicine in a Third World country and the Nepali culture. Words cannot describe how much I learned and developed, I enjoyed this so much. But it should be noted that this particular volunteering program is not for those who are afraid to ask questions and take initiative. Your learning and participation is your own responsibility. Noone will be there to hold your hand and explain everything to you. You must ask questions, study at home to understand the cases better, engage yourself and put in the time. The more you give, the more you get!

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints.
Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Mikela,
We can't overstate how appreciative we are of your contribution to this program. Your endless enthusiasm and commitment were so apparent from your wonderful emails and you were to achieve so very much!
Thanks for posting this review and for the valuable advice. It's so completely true that you get out what you put in!
All the very best for the future and we look forward to having you with us again :-)
The [email protected]

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kerry
10/10

I chose to volunteer with Love Volunteers & their partner's Education Program teaching English in Luang Prabang, Laos for a few reasons. I wanted to meet the children of Laos and help them obtain a universal tool that could help them reach further in their lives. I also felt that it would be a great fit for me because I am currently studying in the field of Education. I wanted to experience a rich culture far from my own and make a difference there. I got all of that and more out of my experience and impact while volunteering. Did I mention that this was my 1st time teaching and my 1st time volunteering? I have to say that it couldn’t have been a better 1st-time experience! The smiles on the students faces when they learned new words, meanings, and pronunciations from our classes were amazing. The energy they displayed and the connection I was able to make with them touched my heart and confirmed that I had chosen the right volunteer program. I felt like part of the family immediately. Everyone was so incredibly supportive, great partners in the classroom, and helped me obtain some teaching skills to take back home! When my time was up in Luang Prabang, the hardest thing was saying goodbye to all of my students...and I quickly started thinking of when I would be able to come back and see them! I also was sad to leave the delicious Laotian food, beautiful scenery and people...I never passed a frowning face on the street during my time there. Shortly after returning home in Chicago, IL, I was hired as an educator at The Ogden International School of Chicago and I think my time teaching had a hand in that achievement. I can not wait to go back to Luang Prabang!

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved with more volunteers :-)
Response from Love Volunteers

Dear Kerry,
Thanks so much for this fantastic review of our wonderful program in Laos! It's hugely helpful for other volunteers, who may also be volunteering and teaching for the first time, to see how rewarding the experience can be.
We are so pleased that you felt at home and plan to return to Luang Prabang :-)
Congratulations on your position at Ogden and we wish you all the very best for your future endeavours.
The [email protected]

Yes, I recommend this program
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Aaron
10/10

This was a 10/10 A* Program! From start to finish Love Volunteers were brilliant and I highly recommend using them. The program itself was wonderful, we would catch the morning ferry from Cairns to the island every week day which is a 45 minute journey and is a great opportunity to talk to fellow volunteers and staff. The location was stunning. It is located on the island which I can only describe as paradise plus all staff on the ferry and on the island are so polite and accommodating. The tasks that we did are accurately described in the programs brochure and I enjoyed doing these tasks every day, whether that was cleaning the tanks and filter bags, prepping the food, feeding them or scrubbing algae of their shells! The charity is only a small charity that relies purely on the support of the community so if you do get the opportunity to do this program - please do it! I was fortunate to volunteer for two weeks and I wish I could have stayed for longer. Not only are you volunteering with likeminded people but you also get to meet volunteers who are local that may help once a week or once a month so this was good because I received plenty of advice on what to see and do locally. Furthermore the accommodation which was arranged by Love Volunteers was excellent. Northern Greenhouse Hostel is conveniently located in the CBD and has all the facilities you need including: en suite, free wifi, free breakfast, free day trips, large dorms, a fridge with a work surface inc sink in every room and a quiet communal area and communal kitchen that is large - plus the staff and guests are all so helpful and friendly.

How can this program be improved?
Make it clearer whether volunteers can help during the weekend and not only weekdays.
Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Aaron,

We can't thank-you enough for your contribution on this program and for leaving this amazing review to encourage others to attend and help out.
Turtles are one of the earth's most incredible creatures and we're proud to be part of making sure they remain that way.

Thanks again and we hope to have you back with us again sometime in the future.

The Team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kaye
10/10

This was a great program. Love Volunteers were in contact regularly in the lead up to the trip (when I did feel a little trepidation!) and then the team on the ground were so very supportive and welcoming. Somsouk (the coordinator) and Kui (his assistant) spent time with me apart from the teaching component and I was able to really experience some of the culture with them. I found the Lao people to be generous and sincere, and a pleasure to be with.
The teaching was varied, I worked in 3 different settings (Library, Temple and 'night school') which allowed me to meet a variety of students. They are so keen to learn english, so focused and interested - no behaviour issues here! Even so they were just still normal, funny children and teenagers and we shared many laughs.
It really was a very interesting place to be, beautiful countryside and beautiful people! I saw a very different world to the one I'm used to and that gave me much food for thought!
I'd really recommend this program to anyone.

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Kaye,
Thanks so much for taking the time to post this review of our English Teaching program in Luang Prabang.
We love hearing volunteers praise our local teams who work so hard to run the programs and care for our volunteers. It can be daunting to go into the unknown but it's immensely worth it as you discovered :-)
All the very best for your future adventures and thanks again for being an awesome Love Volunteer.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Loren
10/10

From day 1 I felt the support from the volunteer staff on the ground. They were incredibly friendly and always willing to help with whatever I needed, from booking weekends trips to shopping in the market. The volunteer house was very comfortable and the food was delicious. Without doubt, the most cherished memory from my time here was meeting other international volunteers that were similarly eager to contribute to the community. However, this experience would not have been possible without Ali and Jihane. They were always there to help me and made me feel at home.

Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Loren,
Thanks for sharing this wonderful review of our Women's Empowerment program in Rabat. It's great to hear your praise of the local team who work so hard to run the programs and care for our volunteers.
All the very best for your future endeavors and we would love to have as a Love Volunteer again soon.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
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Claudia
8/10

Dear future volunteer,

My 3 weeks in Costa Rica were extraordinary, an experience that will
always stay in my heart. This was the first time I traveled on my own,
and so far away. Right before landing, I was getting a bit nervous,
but at the airport, two members of the local team were waiting for me with two other volunteers that had just arrived.
They drove us to the Animal Rescue Center and I remember it was
raining really hard, since it was the rain season at that time.

During every morning on the following days, we had a meeting to assign
different activities to volunteers. These activities consisted in
maintaining the center (cleaning the cages, preparing the food,
feeding the animals, rehabilitating some animals) and in working on
the new center in another location very close to this one, where they
would move a few weeks later. Some of the activities were not related
to the animals, like helping to cook for the volunteers, cleaning the
pool, collecting branches, and maintaining infrastructure. Animals in
that center included sloths, capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, howler
monkeys, pet dogs, a pet goat, a baby porcupine, small parrots,
scarlet macaws, marmosets, one olingo, two kinkajous, owls, and
peacocks. I learned a lot about them, some evenings we even had
lectures on a specific animal.

In our free time we read, swam in the swimming pool, played cards,
called our families and friends (there was wifi there). This is one of
the things that bothered me at first, that many volunteers were on
their phones during free time, instead of socializing. Sometimes I
wished there wasn't wifi right on the center. But after some days had
passed, I also spent some time on my phone because I realized that
it's very nice to keep in touch with your loved ones. Concerning free
days, we took one or two days off per week. Me and other volunteers
went to Montezuma, Manuel Antonio, Land of the Strays, and Los Chorros
waterfall. On my birthday evening, we all went to a bar close-by to
celebrate. What was even more amazing is that before going to the bar,
after dinner, the manager and the coordinator brought by surprise two
cakes to me and to another birthday girl, and we had 40 people singing
happy birthday to us, which felt incredible.

Regarding accommodation, it was alright, but not great. The mattress
was too thin so you could feel the metal bed frame, there were too
many people in one room, it was a bit stuffy, and there was hardly any
space to put your things. Besides, showers had only cold water.
However, I realized that one gets used to anything. Once you return
home, you really appreciate and are grateful for the usual level of
comfort we have in developed countries. Note to future volunteers: the
new center has new thicker mattresses and the rooms are way nicer,
still a bit packed with too many people, but more pleasant :)

Now, about food, we had food three times a day. In the morning it was
either rice and beans with eggs, or pancakes with syrup and fruits.
The other meals were Costa Rican dishes. Some facts I realized about
Costa Rica, especially in the rain season is that everything is humid
(things don't completely dry, like hair and clothes); your skin is
always hydrated without the need of creams;; there are no big brands
in shops (i haven't been in big cities though), for instance one shop
was called “clothes for babies”, instead of Mango or Zara; there are
not many highways, but for this reason, buses go through very
beautiful roads around nature; there are no traditional addresses, for
instance, our center was located in 1 km to the southwest of the
church of San Miguel de Turrucares :p and the post still works fine!
Buses and cars can be very old and not well maintained.

Overall, I'd recommend this program to whoever likes
working with animals and helping them. In the meantime you'll meet
some amazing people from around the world, you'll get to know a bit of
Costa Rican culture and see a bit of this beautiful country. One tip:
you could reserve a week or two to travel after staying at the center!

Love,
Claudia

How can this program be improved?
At one point there were too many volunteers in the center, so there wasn't that many activities to do for each one of us. An improvement would be to accept less volunteers at a time, so that we feel more needed. Probably now the situation is different, because they have moved to another location.
Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Claudia,
Wow, your review is so helpful to future and potential volunteers on the Wildlife program in Costa Rica! Thanks heaps for taking the time to include so much detail. It's fantastic to hear about the work you were involved in with the animals and supporting volunteers.
How exciting to have been able to celebrate your birthday in their unique setting. We're so glad the local team made you feel special and welcomed.
All the very best for the future and thanks for being an awesome volunteer.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kaiman
10/10

Before I left, I held a talent show, cause I really want to see what they have inside. To my surprise, nearly each of them could sing and dance, some with comedy which I had never seen before.

There was a boy who danced a little bit “ different”, so many people began to laugh. But dancing had no boundary… thinking of that, I just saw him keep dancing, in the sea of laughing. Normal people would choose to laugh, not to mention children, but he didn't seem to step back, he just kept telling us "yes, I am dancing one dance."

So when he finished and gained many recognition, I gave him more presents. He was a brave boy!

How can this program be improved?
I know buying things here can improve the economic situation here, but I also think that bring the food or games from our volunteers' countries is also fresh to the local people here. Like when I saw them just eat potatoes and coins… how I wished they could have a taste of noodles or dumplings… This is just my little feelings.
Response from Love Volunteers

Hi Kaiman,
Thank-you so much for this heartfelt insight into our Refugee Camp program in Kenya.
Children continue to amaze us no matter where we travel and giving them a hand-up in life has got to be one of the most rewarding things we can do!
Thanks again for your comments and advice and all the very best for the future - come back and join us again someday!
The Team @ Love Volunteers.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jessee
10/10

Ghana stole my heart. I cannot explain how sacred this journey was. Not only did I become a member of a beautiful family of 50 children; but I gained a much better understanding of myself and the world around me.
As Americans, our worth and happiness is based upon our materialist mindsets. We all fall victim to unnecessary complaining, judgment and negativity. Unknowingly, we let our egos get in the way of the interactions we have with ourselves, others and the world around us. We forget how auspicious our lives are here in America and (me included) take a lot of things for granted.
In Ghana I witnessed joy, love and happiness like I’ve never seen before. The kids at the orphanage live beyond what you and I would consider minimal; yet they are the most grateful, compassionate and intelligent humans I have ever met. The kids range from 2-23 years old; most have never seen a computer and none of them have phones. They don’t have social media; therefore, their interactions and relationships are genuine and unfeigned. Their culture is flip flopped to that of America.
People live on .25 American cents a day which in their currency is 1 cedi. Their minimum wage per WEEK is 5 cedi’s which is equivalent to $1.50. Yet this is all they need to survive and never did I hear a complaint. They are the most magnificent people that I have ever had the privilege learn and grow with. I am already planning my trip to go back during Christmas. Always sending my love and blessings to everyone who shared their lives and their wholesomeness with me.

Yes, I recommend this program