Love Volunteers

Program Reviews

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I don’t know where to start from. But in a nutshell, this was the best experience and the best month i’ve ever had in my entire life.
I arrived to Cherkasy on December the first, it was snowing. Too cold and new people, new language, however, i felt home in a very short period. The people here are great and friendly. The local staff in the orphanages are friendly and respectful as well. My coordinator Alexander was absolutely helpful and made it really easy for me to accomplish my volunteering work.
About the kids, nothing can describe how lovely they are, they are so amazing, they participate in every activity i prepare and made me feel really happy. I brought tears to my eye in my last day, whey came and asked me not to cry :(
Also they ask me to come back and made my promise to do so, and i will visit one day.

This month had changes my life, i realised how simple things can do for these kids.
Thanks for every one in Cherkasy, thanks Alexander and thanks Love Volunteers.

How can this program be improved?
Can’t think of anything really, all the program and the local team are really helpful and supportive. Also the kids are happy to participate. So all depends on the volunteers
Yes, I recommend this program
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General Impression
After a long and patient research on the net about volunteering organizations around the world I chose Love Volunteers because of the genuine, altruistic and confidence-building vision they were able to transmit to me.

Very useful and understandable pre-departure information and helpful tips from Love Volunteers.
Informative and detailed three days induction program at their partner organization in Nepal.
Uninterrupted and devoted help and support from both LV and their partner throughout my whole volunteering adventure.

Impression about the country
Nepal is an engaging country with a fascinating collection of magic landscapes. Its people belonging to many different ethnos are warm and welcoming. I experienced it as a very «spiritual» country, very proud of, and anchored in its profound values, and at the same time equipped with an enviable humility, openness, tolerence and acceptance for different views of life, ways of thinking, religious and not religious beliefs. This «spirituality» I could sense and see just strolling in the streets invited me to take a deeper walk into myself and reflect about my way of thinking and perceive the world. Day after day I felt encouraged to become more open to the new and the unknown, to work with my prejudices and to become more curious about life, people and all resources and possibilities which I was able to grasp through unpartial observation and dedicated receptiveness. The country is beautiful, its people is charming and the handmade clothes, jewels and food are definitly delightful ... BUT what I really liked most and nourished me in an enriching and instructive way was its nonmaterial dimension, the trust and the broad-mindedness of its people and their contentedness and generosity even in situations of material poverty. YES many people in Nepal need better living conditions and a better economy. We who live in richer countries CAN IN FACT HELP THEM WITH THAT, IF WE JUST DARE IT. It is a very healthy exercise for us -who are bathing daily in material abundance- to become more detached from «things» and to win a more sober relation to material objects. We discover very quickly that we actually don’t need so much of all this stuff, and it turns out very soon that it is much more fulfilling to learn to enjoy it moderatly and more consciously. It is sharing which gives us the biggest joy. We are just able to prosper if we learn to share prosperity. In Nepal, through sharing and giving I gained lightness in my mind and more happiness in my heart. Now in Norway I feel more free and real, and happy.
It was a therapeutic material weight loss!

Project and staff
I chose undoubtedly the right project for me this time «Women’s empowerment». Thank you very much for having it on your list! I wished to do field work, research, interviews with women (people) in their daily surroundings and to meet an authentic and natural reality. I wasn’t disappointed. On the contrary… I hadn’t particular expectations, but I feel I got more then I ever could have imagined… This project gave me the chance to challange myself and my limits, to meet very different people who contributed to my growth, to expand my knowledge and to open my mind, my heart and my ears in an innovative way: I learnt «to listen» in a more genuine and sensible way. This is a BIG DEAL for someone like me who is very fond of «talking». I still like to talk, but I became more conscious about it and I do know now much better how good it does and what a source of knowledge it is, to «hear and listen».

All the people I was/am in contact with, I met and I worked with, both at Love Volunteers and their partner were helpful, cooperative, committed and prepared to support me in the best and more satisfying way through my whole volunteering experience from the day of my application to this day. THANK YOU. I would choose Love Volunteers again, without adventuring into new internet researches next time I will embark on a new volunteering project.

Tips for other volunteers
I don’t like really to give tips to others about travelling or other matters in life and don’t rely so easily on tips from others because I believe that we are all individuals and have a unique way to experience and live our own life and our adventures. I also believe that every single human being has the right to choose and try things and experiences out of her/his own needs and convictions without mediations from others. I also believe that it is constructive and empowering to find the courage and inspiration inside you and in your deepest self because this will give you more tenacity, power, joy and success in the end. But if you really wish a tip from me… Well: Don’t miss volunteering in your life. It is the most effective career training you can get on earth.
Love from Emanuela.

How can this program be improved?
I think continuity and reliability in the program are decisive cardinal points both for survival and success of the program. The involved women should be provided constantly with them!
Otherwise it would be very unfair and distressing for the women's community if the program would suddenly stop and if the activities and running classes will be interrupted because of lack of volunteers… The women will feel that we didn’t take our mission and their needs seriously enough and will loose trust in us, in the program and our mandate. To interrupt the work from one day to another would in addition have unpleasent effect on the motivation and self-confidence which our beneficiaries just began to build up during the first training’s weeks and would have undesiderable effects on the quality and strenght of their learning, involvement and enthusiasm.
We are working with human beings who live in difficult and vulnerable conditions and who most of all need more stability and constancy in everyday life.
It is crucial to aim constantly at clear objectives which can be achieved through progressive and constant implementation of both human resources (volunteers with their knowledge and skills) and economical investment.
More accurate and detailed information is necessary, so that we volunteers will be able to answer the questions when the community women ask them (and not let them wait some hours or a whole/more day/s for a reliable answer). More explicit information would be vey useful for us volunteers to see and understand better the work prosess in which we are involved, so that we can contribute in a more constructive and confident way.
I also feel and think it is right, that the program has to provide enough money for the purchase of materials, instruments and equipment needed, in order to support the target group during the training time and after training, and promoting the women’s skills and marketing the products they manufacture. The volunteering organization shouldn't save on books neither!
Books ARE IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY in order to democratize teaching and knowledge, so that the women learn/know knowledge and learning are not the program’s or volunteers’ monopoly, bounded/limited to interaction between them and the volunteers who come and go … KNOWLEDGE can come into life in a similar dynamic way through the direct interaction of their own motivation, talents, aptitudes and capabilities with accessible sources and instruments of knowledge, like f. ex. books. For the illiterate women would books displaying a consistent number of pictures be very useful to approach language or other issues in a quicker, easier and more effective and sensible way.
I would like to see very soon that the program implements more resources to the DIRECT benefict of the women we are assisting. Help needs to become operational in practice, so I would like to see that «money» is primarily used to offer concrete and effective help and support to our target groups, in order to underline and enphatize their dignity and human rights, and motivate them to further constructive and more autonomous action.
If we go this way, then I feel we are going some steps in the direction towards authentic and sustainable empowerment.
Response from Love Volunteers

Dear Emanuela,
What an absolute pleasure it has been to work with you in arranging this placement. Thank-you for taking the time to share your incredible experience and encourage and assist others.
Your commitment, enthusiasm and passion are infectious and made such a positive impact on the Women's Empowerment program in Nepal.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the women could be provided with sufficient books and other resources!
As an aside, we don't include a large donation of money in our program fees as we prefer this to be at the discretion of each volunteer once they are familiar with the program. Instead we focus on enabling volunteers to contribute their time and experience and believe that each volunteer is better able to judge what they can contribute in each situation.
We wish you all the very best for your future endeavours and truly hope that you will be able to join us again in the future.
The Team @ Love Volunteers

Yes, I recommend this program
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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

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 :)


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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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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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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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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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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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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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!


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