GVI: Women's Empowerment Volunteering

Video and Photos

On our way to a project site one morning, in a Tuk Tuk.
Group picture of the GVI crew at an assembly at a school where we volunteered weekly.
Saree night aka night out dressed in (supposedly) Indian clothes with the group of volunteers.
Cape Town computer literacy
Cape Town computer literacy
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Women's empowerment in Cambodia
Women's empowerment in Cambodia
Himalayas
Himalayas
Kampong Cham
Kampong Cham

About

Join a GVI women’s empowerment project to support gender equality in India, Peru, Nepal, Ghana, Fiji, and South Africa, among others. You can assist with income-generating workshops, vocational training, gender equality discussions, English language and literacy, and global health education.

GVI offers you the opportunity to work bilaterally with community partners, GVI staff members, and fellow GVI participants to travel ethically and responsibly. At the same time, you can learn about different cultures, develop cross-cultural skills, explore the country, adventure with other international participants, and gain new soft and hard skills in your chosen focus.

Your efforts contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 4: Quality Education.

Highlights
  • Collaborate to improve gender equality, and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.
  • Travel to Southeast Asia, Africa, or Latin America.
  • Expand your knowledge of global sustainable development issues, and gain hard and soft skills.
  • Learn about different cultural practices, taste traditional cuisines, and connect with other GVI volunteers from around the world.
  • Make life-long friends with like-minded international participants.

GVI has a Community Development Internship in Thailand!


This is an opportunity to learn more about Chiang Mai's local Karen hill tribe culture, gaining intercultural communication skills and valuable teaching experience.

Popular Programs

women smiling and laughing in conversation

By joining this program, you are supporting community members in their chosen career focus, and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work And Economic Growth and Goal 5: Gender Equality. Focus areas could include, English language, business management, IT literacy, and financial planning. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about culture in Ghana, and explore the surrounding west coast of Accra.

four women standing in front of a recycling center

Learn about the gender dynamics within local communities by supporting equal opportunity initiatives in education, and health and wellbeing. By encouraging the skill development of local women, you are supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. In turn, you will have an opportunity to learn about Fiji culture and lifestyle.

Questions & Answers

GVI has a number of U18 programs you can participate in. However, our Women's Empowerment projects, due to the nature of the work involved, do currently have age restrictions in place. The U18 programs do offer projects where you could be working to empower the youth, including young women, among other focus areas. You can check them all out here: https://www.gviusa.com/volunteering-for-teens/

Reviews

97%
based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Rosie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First time volunteer

Last summer I had my first experience of volunteering abroad with in Pokhara, Nepal on the Womens Empowerment Programme. I was one of 3 more mature volunteers in the project working alongside a dozen younger volunteers, mostly students or in their mid 20s. The age difference was not an issue in any way - we were all there to make a difference and all did this in our own ways.

I chose to take this first step into vo!uteering as something completely different from my career at home at a time when I felt I needed a new challenge. I was uncertain of precisely what I was letting myself in for and even after arriving on project, I was still unsure of exactly what I would be doing, but once we met the ladies and children and the project was in full swing, the impact of the work that GVI is doing and the contribution that I could make soon became apparent.

I have no formal teaching experience , so elements of the lesson planning were a challenge at first, but soon felt more natural. I would say to first time volunteers, be prepared to put in some time each day for preparation and you will enjoy the teaching far more knowing that you you are organised!

The Nepali ladies on the project without exception were keen to learn, and the support from the local project staff was excellent. By the end of the 2 weeks , despite the relatively short time, I and others all felt that we had made a difference to the individuals that we had worked with.

The work in the local primary schools was an unexpected element of the project for me, but equally rewarding. Just like the ladies, the children were keen to learn and appreciative of the one to one and small group support that they do rarely get in their norma! classroom environment.

The third element of our work , with the ladies of Sasane was potentially the most challenging given the issues being faced by these ladies. Whilst we didn't spend much time at Sasane due to the programme and festivals, the sessions we did there provided great examples of the tremendous work done by Sasane supporting victims and those affected by human trafficking.

At the end of my 2 weeks the obvious question was "would i do it again ' and the answer was a clear yes, and have in fact booked onto another project this coming October.

If you are a potential Volunteer wondering if this is for you i would encourage you to seriously consider GVI . You don't need any formal qualifications, just your own individual life experiences, a willingness to have a go, and an open mind.

Give it a go and like me you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

Default avatar
Louisa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Women's Empowerment Cape Town

Going out to South Afirca was a fantastic experince. The women and girls from the township who we worked with were so inspiring and I hope my time there had a positive impact on they're lives. I am also lucky that I went out there with such a fantastic group. Its hard work, but the end result of actually helping these women is so worth it. I did things I never thought I would be capable of and having left now, I can't wait to go back.

What would you improve about this program?
I think we arrived at a time when lots of staff had left so there was some issues with being left on program with out a coordinator, the problem was rectified quickly, but making sure there are enough staff to cover when something goes wrong, would improve the program.
Default avatar
Geneviève
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The greatest experience of my life (so far).

I volunteered in India for the Women's Empowerment Program offered by GVI, for a month, in 2016 and I absolutely LOVED IT! Travel wise, India is great. Yes, it is different, yes, it is a lot to take in, and I read (pre-departure) that in order to enjoy it, you have to have a certain "calling" for the country and I couldn't agree more. Having that pull towards India, I did not fear what was coming my way (and that's saying a lot since I was a first time *female* solo traveller). I acted confidently until I felt confident in my surroundings and I got to experience the true life of India, something others don't because they just aren't open to it (again, those are the people that visit India without feeling a certain need deep inside them to explore the country). As for the volunteering experience, it was amazing. The people you meet, both associated with GVI or with the partners, are incredible. I had so much fun throughout the journey. Sometimes, I would get tired and I wouldn't feel like going on site to "work" for a few hours but EVERY time I left, I felt so good, so happy. I can not stress this enough: taking part in a volunteering trip like this should make you feel good, proud... happy! I certainly was. When I say proud, I mean feel proud of myself AND feel proud of the progress you are helping to make as well. I really enjoyed how, with GVI, it wasn't a short term program, it was a long term project and I could see how others before me had already made a change and how I was continuing it to finally pass it on to others that would come after me. I am a strong believer in the saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". GVI has the same beliefs and that is why I was so glad to be part of something as great as their Women's Empowerment Program. I was making a difference by spreading awareness and by teaching men, women and children and if that is what you want to do. Go for it. It will truly change you. Finally, the GVI staff really knows how to get you to have the greatest time while abroad (I couldn't wait for quiz night every week *wink wink*).

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly I do not know. It was so well organized. My last week, there were some changes in the daily schedule that sort of over crowded it but I am sure this has been fixed since. It was nothing major, I believe it was just a period of rearranging planning and volunteering sessions.
Response from GVI

Hi Genevieve,

Thank you for your kind words about your time in India, we always love hearing stories from our Alumni!

Do you know that we run an Ambassador program which allows you to stay connected with GVI from home, and earn points towards a future program? If you'd like to find out more, you can email me on [email protected] and I'll be able to give you more details!

All the best,

Jon, Alumni Engagement Manager