update: program closed
2018 - UPDATE - PROGRAM CLOSED
CRSI Ecuador Volunteer Program 2014
Location: San Isidro, Ecuador
Project: Animal Sanctuary
Duration: 6 months (Minimum 2 weeks)
Project Details: Cleaning, Feeding, Enrichment and General Care of all animals at the sanctuary.
For those that have read my blog on Ecuador I have been given the green light to go ahead with my volunteer project. Starting February 2014 I will be in need of volunteers to help me with these amazing animals.
The sanctuary is not open to the public, therefore there is limited funding. The project was created to not only assist with the daily duties of running a sanctuary, and provide the animals with much needed love and attention, but to eventually expand and help the local community as well.
Volunteer support is very important, with your hands-on help we can make a huge difference to the well-being of all the animals.
During your visit take the opportunity to learn Spanish, visit the Galapagos, and help local communities.
Daily Volunteer Work- 5 day week:
- Enrichment with the animals
- Cleaning the animals enclosures
- Preparing the food (vitamins, portions etc.)
- Feeding the animals
- Building or fixing enclosures and shelter
- Grounds maintenance and upkeep
- Assist with husbandry, new or injured or sick animals
Assisting with marketing and fundraising may also be required.
Fees go directly towards airport transfers, accommodations and meals. As there is no funding, a small portion goes towards staff and essential supplies for the sanctuary.
Cost: $125 a week with a minimum of 2 weeks.
Like us https://www.facebook.com/pages/crsi-Ecuador/237311506316384
If you are unable to volunteer, you can still help out by donating here http://www.volunteertruth.org/donate/
IVHQ - International Volunteer HQ
Cape Town, South Africa, December 2010
Project applied for: Surf Outreach
Duration: 2 weeks
Cost: $620 ($220 Registration Fee / $400 Program fee including Food & Accommodation)
Project Details: Getting kids off the street, mentoring & feeding them while having fun teaching them to surf. Staying in a home-stay 30mins from Cape Town, All meals provided.
Project Change: Orphanage
Project Details: I changed projects once I found out the Surf Outreach Program was changed to staying in a hostel 2hrs from Cape Town. Orphanage project would be at a church and my home stay was with the pastor and his family.
Project completed: Kids Drop-In Centre
Duration: 3 weeks
Cost: $1040 (Fees as above / $100 accommodation fee paid directly to host family for an additional week / $140 on food / $20 travel / $160 Project supplies, food & gifts
Project Details: Playing games with kids whose parents were at work during the Christmas holidays. 3hrs a day, 4-5 days a week, for 2 weeks. First week, no children, just planning and buying supplies. That left only one week to actually be a part of the project. (A secret deal was made that I pay the host family $100 for the week to stay and finish the program). Bread and Fish sticks were the only meals provided. Public transportation to and from project/town is extra.
Overall Costs: $3296.70 ($1040 as above / $1,446.70 flight / $45 insurance / $315 vaccinations / $200 hostels / $150 food / $100 Misc
Groups Involved: IVHQ / SASTS / Host Family & Project.
IVHQ: A company with great marketing. This is the initial contact and they were exceptional. Very prompt at replies, great with details and very fair pricing, their mistake was dealing with SASTS. They had acknowledged this and I believe have dealt with it.
SASTS: Our South Africa contact. Programs, accommodation, orientation and all questions/concerns while in South Africa. I am unsure if they were new as a volunteer company or just a company trying to make a quick buck, but this is one organization I would steer clear from. From a company taking a CUT of $600 for 2 weeks - 3 years ago, to a company CHARGING $1200 for 2 weeks, something is not right. They definitely do not research the host families or projects very well. (A few girls had signed up for 6 weeks on the same 2 week project as above, SASTS was of no help and told them to deal with IVHQ) Other IVHQ volunteers that were there for the orientation, I had kept in touch with and found out that their projects with SASTS were nightmares and not what they had expected. (They did say that IVHQ had been very apologetic and helpful.)
Host Family: As this was also their project, their intentions were good, but their priorities were not. They were not straight forward with project details to SASTS and the money they received from SASTS and the volunteers was not spent wisely.
Overall Project: I absolutely adored working with the kids. There were roughly 100 kids, aged 4-16 who were not orphans but did live in some not so great conditions (many of the kids had ipods!) I taught life skills, created a talent show and played many games. We went on a field to Boulders Beach (in which some of the kids had never seen the ocean) and hung out with penguins. The hours were way too short - we left whenever the lead was too tired to work, usually about 3hrs. Sadly the kids were left to take care of themselves until the parents got home. I purchased tons of items to hand out at Christmas, including toothbrushes, school supplies and toys and was overwhelmed by tears of how thankful they were.
Overall IVHQ: I would recommend IVHQ, but check with whom they are dealing with in your projects country. Keep in mind all the additional costs that may occur. Although IVHQ is one of the cheaper organizations, you may be dealing with similar experiences. So it goes to question - is paying more for a volunteer project worth it?
update - program closed
2018 - UPDATE - PROGRAM CLOSED
Tiger Temple 2012
Location: Kanchanburi, Thailand
Project: Animal Sanctuary
Duration: Ongoing (Minimum 1 month)
Project Details: Cleaning, Feeding, Enrichment and General Care of the Tigers and all animals at the sanctuary. Working with the Tourists.
The Tiger Temple, Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand about 3 hours from Bangkok. It is one of the only Volunteer programs that does not require a fee. The program provides you with shelter, food and the experience of a lifetime. You are required to be there for a minimum of 1 month. As this is on Buddhist land, the accommodation is a bare room. Women are in separate quarters from the men (There are 4 rooms in each quarter, so a max of 16 volunteers). Mattress and mosquito net are essential. Your shower consists of a cold water hose, which you actually look forward to by the end of the day. There is also a common room for the volunteers to hang out together in.
Food is provided once daily as monks believe in fasting after 12pm, a Thai buffet that has been offered by the community and served in the Sala (an open air temple) with the monks and tigers. (As Westerners, we are permitted to eat privately throughout the day with our own food or food saved from breakfast.)
Your schedule is from 7am until 4:30, 6 days a week. The morning is spent with the tiger cubs: training them to walk, to play, feeding and providing them with heaps of love. Cleaning cages and the areas around them is another part of our morning ritual as well as an hour of enrichment, (building toys, enclosures, stimulating their senses or other jobs for the many other animals at the temple).
The afternoon is spent dealing with the tourists. You could be sorting lines, giving speeches, selling tickets, watching the guests near the tigers, providing information or looking after the cubs. The people can be abundant and the heat excruciating, but at the end of the day you eagerly look forward to your mornings with the tigers - definitely worth it all.
When most people were planning their families, starting their career and thinking about a mortgage...my plan was to help others, even if it meant giving up all those things. Volunteering became my passion and I would always find a way to make it work. Since 2010 I've travelled the globe and have had some amazing volunteer experiences ... and a life I'm proud of.