Alumni's Reviews 2017
Check out this interview with Travis, one of our 2016 volunteers, featured in the Spring 2017'edition of Source magazine.
POSTED ONLINE FEB 1ST 2017
CHECK OUT THIS POST BY ONE OF OUR VOLUNTEERS ABOUT TEACHING WITH US IN SRI LANKA
Alumni's Reviews 2016
2016, JULY: TRAVIS; STUDENT, CIRENCESTER, UK. RA UNIVERSITY
GROUP: VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT
I volunteered with a group of 7 others during my university vacation in 2016, and I had such an amazing time I’m hoping to lead a team back out here from my Uni in 2017. There really is something for everyone here volunteering with GAFV, and they organise it really well. Any hiccoughs, because they are there with us in Sri Lanka, are sorted out straight away, and never become a problem. The accommodation was really good, and the transport – we opted for a mini bus each day - was all arranged, which made life so much easier for us. This cost an extra £50 each per person for the 2 weeks' volunteering days, but it really was worth it. GAFV also organised a 2 day mini-tour for us to the beach and other sites on our days off, and were flexible with the programme, as on one work day we went to a local hotel – which was a fantastic place, with a great swimming pool. One of the things I really liked was that we worked a 4 day week, and so we had plenty of time to work and relax, without feeling too tired, because we did work hard. We were involved in an infrastructure project, but it could so easily have been about agriculture, organic agriculture, wildlife conservation, tree planting and reforestation, or education. We missed the herd of 100 elephants that live near the village, and the crocodiles, but we saw some amazing sites, natural, and archaeological – including dolphins, and elephants – on our tour. GAFV are clearly committed to the villagers they work with, as they got on really well with them all. We were welcomed by dancers, and had a great send off at the end, with a village meeting, presentation with a certificate, as well as participation in a Buddhist festival. I really loved the pottery, which we did at the temple. The potter and his family brought all of the clay to the temple where we were working and we had a go at this craft. Everything was really well thought out and designed to involve as many of the community, and provide as much work for the locals – who clearly have very little - as possible. This is something I’ll never forget. I still keep in touch with GAFV and follow them on FB, and I am amazed at the personal touch and time they put into working with us, and tailoring programmes for people. I promise you, you won’t get a better volunteering experience, or a better managed programme than with these guys.
2016, JULY: CHELSEA; PROBATION OFFICER, LONDON, UK. KNIGHTS Youth Centre
GROUP: INFRASTRUCTURE VOLUNTEER
I’m sitting here looking at all my photos, and reminiscing about my time in Sri Lanka as I write this review, which Paul asked me if I'd be happy to write, and I am delighted to be able to do so. Volunteering with GAFV was honestly the most amazing experience ever, and I'm so grateful I got to do it! I went with 7 other youth leaders from a London youth organisation, and we had an amazing experience. We went on a village infrastructure development project. The village was in a rural area, and we worked at a temple, finishing off toilets, and improving the home of 13 young monks. GAFV organised everything for us, and did so really well. The accommodation was excellent, and they were on hand to support us every step of the way to ensure that everything went smoothly. We had an interpreter with us the whole time, who was from a local college, which was brilliant. She was really helpful and it demonstrated GAFV’s desire to support local young people get work – which she now has. We had an amazing time getting to know people and getting involved in their culture. We were greeted by dancers, and a welcome speech; we cooked with the locals, went to gather reeds and made baskets, had time making pots with a potter. We worked a four day week – which was brilliant, and good planning on GAFV’s part. We never got too tired – even though we worked hard - went swimming at the local 5* hotel, and on a 2 day tour to see elephants (we missed the herd by the village), and then dolphins and had a great time at the beach. All organised by GAFV. Well done guys!
The most amazing thing, though, being youth workers, was spending time with the kids in the village after they’d finished school at 13:30, and with all the young monks. Those kids hold a special place in my heart and always will. I really do miss my time over there but I know I will 100% be back there to see them! Thank you to everyone who made it special and amazing and to Give a Fig Volunteering for a job really well done!
June, 2016: Dan and Ruth, Retired Teachers and volunteer Organisers, Israel
Individual: English Teaching at the Buddhist University
We are both retired teachers and volunteer organisers, and joined this Give A Fig programme for 1 month. Organised and arranged by Paul and Jane who lead Give A fig, they coordinated everything with the university, including our accommodation and food. We taught for 16 days over 20, and had 10 days holiday. The monks – the university lecturers – were a pleasure to work with, and we had an amazing time in this fabulous country. Nothing was too much trouble, we were treated very well, and supported throughout. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering with Give A Fig Volunteering; you’ll have an amazing time.