A whole new perspective on life!

Impact: 10
Support: 9
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

Well how do I put into words the best time of my life? Im going to have a go but I still wont do it justice.
I took part in the "Volunteer in an Orphanage in South Africa" programme for 4 weeks in July 2011, and it was by far the most amazing and worthwhile thing I have every done. It changed my life, and im not exaggerating.

I was based in the orphanage for the whole 4 weeks I was there which meant that I really got to build good relationships with all of the children and see their progression from week 1 where they were all quite shy and dare I say it, well behaved, to the 4th week where their true cheeky personalities came out! The children in the orphanage when I was there ranged from tiny babies of 4 months, to teenagers. The orphanage has a special needs centre with 6 children with very different needs and it is with these children I spent most of my time, spending key 1:1 time doing therapeutic massages on the 2 boys with cerebral palsy, multisensory activities with the boys with sight and hearing difficulties and helping one of the boys learn to walk. The days were so rewarding just seeing the great big smiles that all of the children have and hearing them laughing and having fun.

GVI as a company are great. They were in constant contact before I went, answering any of my questions promptly and honestly. My parents were also very impressed that once I had arrived at my accommodation in South Africa they received an email from the co-ordinator saying that I had arrived safely which they really appreciated. While we were out there our co-ordinators were always around to help, even if it was late at night or at the weekend if we ever had any problems we could turn to them. They had loads of ideas about activities and games to do with the children and really knew how to have fun out of project, like at our weekly trips to the local karaoke bar.

GVI hire a driver to drive you to and from project and the accommodation was really clean and safe too. We had apartments of 5 - 8 people in each, and most importantly the food was great too! Very healthy and cooked fresh every day.

I would recommend this project to anyone, you make the most amazing life long friends, come away with some lovely memories that will stay with you forever, and it really changes your perspective on things. You will want to return as soon as you get back.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would