I have just finished an amazing few weeks with GVI in Thailand, volunteering on their coastal conservation project. It's hard to explain just how fantastic the experience has been from beginning to end.
It has been wonderful to experience a different side to Thailand, which has felt much more authentic than just traipsing around all the typical tourist haunts, and to know that you are making a genuine difference to the community you are working in while you are there. As a volunteer with GVI you have so many more opportunities than a "regular" tourist, from helping out at a nearby turtle conservation centre to teaching in a local school (and with plenty of time for sight-seeing at the weekends, too!).
One thing that really impressed me was GVI's commitment to having a real impact, focussing on several of the UN's sustainable development goals which are applicable to the region. It's tempting to think that, as a short-term volunteer only there for a few weeks, you can't make a big impact, but GVI give you the opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself, so you know that the work you are doing will be continued by the staff, interns, and future volunteers long after you have moved on.
Possibly the best thing about volunteering with GVI was the people I met while I was there - staff, interns and other volunteers alike, I got to know some of the most inspiring, passionate and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, who happily shared their time, energy and expertise with those of us who have plenty of enthusiasm, but little knowledge of the conservation issues in the region.
It's been a truly amazing experience that I can't recommend highly enough!