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Academic Disciplines Education
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Sustainable Agriculture
Women's Empowerment

India Community Development Service Learning Program

Learn about India's inequalities while contributing towards sustainable growth projects with local partners in Kerala.


Program Information

Our service learning program in Kerala, India combines community development work with a comprehensive educational curriculum. Students will teach sports in the community, spend afternoons building an eco-garden or eco-toilet or get their hands dirty with a local partner-led construction project.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

Overview

The program will focus on improving basic human rights through educational development, infrastructure improvement, and reciprocal cultural exchange, and will take place in Kerala, India, a sliver of a state in India’s deep south that is shaped by its landscape – almost 600km of fascinating Arabian Sea coast and beaches, a network of backwaters, and the spice and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats.

Kerala is home to exotic wildlife and is a place of vibrant traditions, such as Kathakali plays and snake-boat races. As with the rest of India, it also hosts extreme economic disparities for communities who live well below the breadline, with little access to formal education, income opportunities, and decent hygiene standards.



These projects range in content suitable for students studying academic disciplines such as:

- Women’s Empowerment
- Sports and Exercise
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Education
- Global Health.

Example project activities include:

- Providing sports therapy at special needs schools and teaching PE classes;
- Vocational training for mentally ill adults;
- Women’s empowerment workshops and advocacy/awareness workshops with men;
- Maintaining sustainable vegetable or sensory gardens;
- Teaching life-skills and English to primary/secondary schoolers and adults;
- Teacher training workshops.

 

Program Details

Location: Asia - India - Kerala

Enquiry Form

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Enquiry Details

   

Curriculum

This inter-disciplinary program introduces students to international service-learning and sustainable development in content and practice, in Kerala, India. Through lectures, discussion, research, service, and reflection (beginning two weeks prior to their departure and continuing two weeks after their return home), students in this course engage in meaningful, context-driven service-learning at home and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on relating long-term project goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience, which will be led by qualified group facilitators who are trained to enhance individual student development. The program curriculum will be tailored to your students’ academic needs as well as any faculty requirements.

A GVI service-learning program provides students with the opportunity to live and work within the “classroom” of their chosen field of study, and to develop professional capacities associated with intercultural competency, global citizenship, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. By participating in this program, students will be prepared to contribute to solutions for critical global issues related to sustainable development within a local community, and alongside an international team.

The Project

The objectives for each GVI project are based on specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Kerala, students will largely contribute to need-based community development projects in Kerala’s surrounding township areas that primarily improve the general infrastructure and learning environments for local disadvantaged children.

India's short, mid, and long-term objectives


All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.



Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in India:


1. Increase women's opportunities in Kerala

2. Ensure healthy lives, well-being and promote opportunities and equality for those with special needs in Kerala

3. Enable the absolute development of children and young adults in Kerala by providing support and training in LSBE (life skills base education)

Itinerary

Example Itinerary:

This program varies in duration, depending on project requirements as well as cultural expeditions or activities. The below outlines a one week in-country program; however, your in-country service can run for as many weeks as set by your academic curriculum, objectives, and requirements.

Pre-Departure

Two weeks prior to departure, students will be assigned readings and assignments. These assignments make sure they have a basic cultural understanding of Kerala and it’s local conservation-based issues; a foundational understanding of international service learning and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and begin a dialogue surrounding global engagement. Materials will be chosen based on collaboration with the group’s educational leader to ensure the work fits within the group’s in-class curriculum.

In-Country:

Day 1- Arrival at Kochi Airport and Transfer to Base

On arrival the group will be met at Kochi International Airport by a GVI appointed driver. We recommend that flights are booked to arrive first thing in the morning so as to maximize time spent in-country. Students and accompanying teachers will be transferred to their accommodation by GVI’s driver and given time to settle in and rest before meeting for an afternoon orientation session with the GVI field team. During the orientation, the week’s logistics, duties, and responsibilities will be explained. This session will also include familiarization with the Emergency Action Plans and Health and Safety Risks as well as an overview of GVI and our overall local and global goals.

Day 2- Welcome and Orientation

The team will be given an orientation tour around the city of Kochi, where they will be based throughout the service element of the trip. In the evening, a reflection period will take place in which participants will debrief and review their initial reactions and observations on the experience and location.

Day 3-5- Daily Structure: Service, Education, and Reflection

Students will report daily to the project construction sites where they will work side-by-side local community members and our partner organizations. Specific projects will depend on the needs of the centers at the time, and could involve engagement in construction and renovation projects, as well as creative activities, basic healthcare and hygiene programs, and sports development initiatives.

All service elements will be connected to a greater understanding of the cultural context in which the students are working. Assignments, in the form of lectures, readings, written response papers, journal entries, group presentations, and miscellaneous creative projects will be conducted daily to enhance student learning from their service involvement. Daily reflection sessions will act as the bridge that connects and helps to synthesize the many aspects of the experience.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which participants are working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students will critically examine their part in this process, by analyzing their contributions, challenges, and observations.

Day 6- Cultural Day

Understanding Kerala, India’s diverse and stunning culture, means that exploration is an important component of the experience. Options for the day could include: a traditional Keralan Kathakali dance show; a backwaters tour on one of Kerala’s beautiful and iconic houseboats; a safari outing to the Periyar Forest and National Park for a chance to spot elephants and monkeys (and tigers if you’re lucky); or a visit to the sea side village of Marari (40-minute drive away), which boasts beautiful sandy beaches lined with coconut trees. Activities will be determined based on the interests and educational goals of the group. 

Day 7- A Fond Farewell

GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavour to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field, with particular reference to the projects volunteers contributed to during their time in India.

Post-Return

Students will continue to engage with active reflection and educational expansion two weeks after leaving Quepos, with emphasis placed on incorporating the international experience, and insights gained which are then applied to the students’ home context. Assignments will involve generating ideas to continue global engagement, connecting the experience to personal and career goals, and reflecting on the insights gained while in the field.

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Flights

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As GVI is providing this portal as a service we are not responsible for the accuracy of this site.

We are also not responsible for any loss, damage (including loss of profits or consequential damages), injury, illness, harm or death in relation to your flight and travel arrangements.

Live Updates

Follow GVI Kerala's Facebook page for live updates straight from the field. Get an idea of the types of projects you might be involved in, meet our staff and participants, experience life on this GVI base, hear about free time activities, and learn about the local culture and environment.
 
GVIIndiaKerala

Meet the team - Senior Field Management

Cheryl

Regional Director for Nepal and India
Introducing you to Cheryl. Cheryl is the Regional Director of GVI Nepal and India. Her journey with GVI began in 2011. Before this Cheryl had a history of teaching, although she fancied a change, which lead her to volunteer with GVI in Cape Town. After this she became a staff member and subsequently she stayed in Cape Town for the next four years.

Another role came up as Program Manager for Pokara, Nepal, which Cheryl took on before finally getting to where she is now.

Cherly has always possessed a love for travel. She has backpacked across Europe, working as a nanny. Her main highlight however has to be Peru. In fact it was her experience here that inspired her to volunteer in the first place.

Jill Walker

Deputy Director of Programs
Meet GVI’s Jill,also known by her rap name, Rainmaker, or her spiritual name, Field Whisperer. Her journey with GVI began back in 2007 as Thailand's Country Director, where she helped set up GVI’s first TEFL program!

Now she is based in Chaing Rai, Thailand. Jill's role involves providing support for all of our programs around the world. Working closing with each base, she looks to identify and manage any issues that occur so GVI are able to offer the best programs possible.

Paul

Program Manager
Say hi to Paul, the Program Manager at GVI’s Kerala hub in India. Paul is from the UK and came over to India last year. He originally came on a service learning program, however has since become the Program Manager. Paul has a background in experiential education and has previously managed operations of community development programs. They have been in a variety of countries, including: Nepal, Ghana and the UK. Paul’s passion lies with engaging with people in service learning activities so that they are able to get the most out of a experience while also giving back to a community. Lastly Paul is a freelance trainer. He enjoys capacity building and working with people from all walks of life. He is really excited to apply everything he has learnt to his time in India.

Meet the team - In-Country Staff

Cormac

Education Coordinator

Meet Cormac, also known as Mac. He is GVI’s Education Coordinator at GVI’s base in Kerala, India. He has been with GVI for three years in total and has worked in a variety of roles, in an array of locations. These include, working as a Diver Officer in Mexico and being the Base Manager in Jalova, Costa Rica.


One rather interesting fact about Cormac is that he cannot spell the word colourful (sp?)!

Jutten

Program Coordinator

Meet Jutten. Heis originally from Kerala in India, where he currently works as a Program Coordinator at GVI’s hub there.


Jutten has been with GVI since 2010. He started his career as a translator and a Community Liaison. He really enjoys the work that he is involved in, as it helps him to empower and help the people in his community.

Midhu

Program Coordinator

This is Midhu, one of GVI’s Program Coordinators for the Women's Empowerment Program in India, Kerala. Midhu has been with GVI for two years year now. She really enjoys that, through her work, she is able to help and empowerment the community she grew up in.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.


Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.


Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.


India is known as being a popular cultural and foodie destination among international visitors. Due to this, the country has a thriving tourism industry which provides many locals with employment opportunities. However, the ability to speak English is often a vital skill needed to access these jobs.


The fact that a large portion of the community live in rural areas with low resoruces, limited infrastructure, and deep-rooted cultural values, often impedes their access to education. Our programs in Kerala assist in the socio-economic development of the country by supporting English language learning, women’s empowerment, global health and community development.


As such, the main UN Sustainable Development Goals of this project include, #4, Quality Education, and #5, Gender Equality.


Project Objectives

 


GVI Kerala, Long-term Objectives


1. To empower women and increase their access to employment and alternative livelihood opportunities in Kerala


2. To ensure healthy lives, well-being and promote opportunities and equality for the local community in Kerala


3. To enable the further development of children and young adults in Kerala by providing support and training in LSBE (life skills base education)


4. Provide an authentic experience to GVI India volunteers, which develop both personal and professional skills within the field of education and community development through thorough training and mentorship by long term staff.


Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.


Festivals

Unique to Kerala:

Thiruvathira: This festival is held either during December or January, depending on the movements of the moon and stars. It celebrates the birth of the god Shiva, in the Hindu tradition. The main customs of the festival are observed by women in the community. It features a specific dance known as thiruvathirakali performed only by women, seen as an embodiment of traditional feminine elegance.

Vishu: This festival is celebrated in April and is seen as New Year celebration in the Hindu tradition. A older family member, typically the mother, create shrines of auspicious items, usually yellow and gold items, to allow them to go into the New Year with good expectations. She lights lambs before the sun rises on the first day of the Hindu New Year and then wakes each family member to ensure that their first sight is one of joy and light.

Onam: This is possibly the most famous Keralan festival which is celebrated during August or September. It is a rice harvesting festival and celebrated with much fanfare including massive parades and boat races. In homes and business, Keralans create flower carpets, large, ornate patterns created using a range of fragrant flowers including marigolds, magnolias, jasmin, and hibiscus.

Other Festivals: Kerala is a multicultural city and the region honours many of the celebrations popular in other locations throughout India. Some of the popular Hindu celebrations include Diwali, Holi, and Navratri. With a high Christian population, Easter and Christmas, are also major festivals. Eid is also popular among the significant islamic population of Kerala. Although there are fewer attendees, significant dates in the Judaic, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh calendars are also honoured in their communities.

Handicrafts

Kathakali Masks and Figurines: Kathakali is a symbol of Kerala and as such many of the souvenirs on offer are representations of this performance style. You can buy colorful masks and little figurines of the dancers in many locations throughout Kerala.

Coconut Crafts: The Kerala area is abundant in coconuts. Therefore it is no surprise that many of the local crafts are based on this major resource. You can purchase numerous homeware items that are both functional and beautifully made from coconut wood and fibres.

Pulpaya Grass Mats: Although popular throughout Indian, pulpaya grass mats are particularly popular in Kerala. Making them is an ancient tradition and they are possibly the original yoga mats. Grab one at the local market for your morning yoga practice.

Keralan Saree: The Keralan saree is a symbol of traditional elegance in India. Many of its unique features are lost on those who are not familiar with this style of dress. However, the traditional colours and pattern, of crisp white with a bold gold border, are universally recognisable. While in the province, be sure to try out the Keralan Saree.

Yoga and Meditation

In the West, yoga is most commonly associated with a specific physical exercise of holding certain postures. This is, however, a very particular type of yoga activity known as Hatha yoga, falling within the broader umbrella of yoga as a kind of psychological or spiritual practice. The term ‘yoga’ is interpreted in various ways by ancient texts. In general it is seen as the integration of the human body, mind, and spirit and alignment with divine will using discipline and thereby attaining enlightenment. Hatha yoga is practiced throughout India and there are plenty of ashrams, Hindu monasteries, and formal teaching organisations, throughout Kerala, where international visitors can learn Hatha yoga, as well as more about the overarching yoga philosophy. Meditation practices and areyuda medicine are also often taught at these facilities.

Mehndi or ‘Henna Tattoos’

Mehndi, temporary staining of the hands and feet in lace-like patterns, has been popular in South Asia for many centuries. Ancient Vedic texts refer to the use of the leaves of the henna plant and tumeric to create these designs. While it is most commonly applied during weddings, festivals, and other special events, there are many designers available year round to offer this beautifying service to international visitors.

Kathakali Dance

Kathakali dance is one of the eight classical Indian dance forms. Its name derives from Sanskrit and can be loosely translated as ‘story art’ or ‘folktale performance’. It’s designation as a dance form is a bit of a misnomer because it includes not only specific choreography, but unique music, costumes, and acting styles. It is therefore rather a performance style akin to classical opera. Kathakali performances tell stories from Hindu epics, through elaborately dressed and painted male actors, dancers, and singers. More modern Kathakali groups have incorporated women into their performances. The specifics of this artform are detailed and complex ranging from the instruments used to the eye movements of the actors. The Kerala Kathakali Centre is located in Kochi and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to visit one or more of the performances.

Keralan Cuisine

Keralan dishes are typical of South Indian cuisine, featuring lighter, fresher dishes as well as plenty of coconut and seafood. It is also rumoured that southern cooks are more liberal with their use of chillies. A famous Keralan dish is a Sadya, a kind of mini buffet of about two dozen distinct dishes served, with rice, on a plantain leaf. Due to its Hindu heritage many Keralan dishes are vegetarian, and Sadya is no exception. This is however, only popular during celebrations. Everyday Keralan dishes include, dosas, a kind of light crispy pancake filled with vegetable curry, ethakka appam, fried bananas, and, of course, chai, sweet milky tea flavoured with spices. Some ethno-cultural groups like the Jewish and Syrian Christian community have their own specific cuisine. In your free time, feel free to book one of the many Keralan cuisine cooking classes available in the region.

Kochi

This port town has been a centre of global trade for many centuries, known to European explorers since at least the early medieval ages. Its main trade was in spices and the region’s cuisine still reflects this penchant for flavour complexity. Due to it being a merchant hub, the city has known influences from all around the world including China, Middle Eastern territories, Portugal, Holland, and Britain. This has resulted in a very specific ‘kochiite’ culture. Languages and religions common to the city reflect this diversity. The language of Kerala, Malayalam is popularly spoken, but Hindu, a language more common in North central India is also spoken here. Religious traditions include common practices in the South of India such as Hinduism and Jainism, but specific communities also practice Islam, Judaism, Syrian Orthodox Christianity, and Catholicism. Visitors can learn about these historic influences by visiting the old town, but it should also be noted that Kochi is very much a modern Indian city, and is the economic hub of the Keralan province.

Kerala

Kerala is one of the Southernmost provinces of Indian, known for its luxury houseboat tours through the region’s lush, tropical backwaters where wildlife like the Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, and lion-tailed macaque can be spotted. It’s uniquely delectable cuisine, featuring lots of coconut, which grow abundantly in the region, and seafood, common in a coastal region, is also a major attraction. The region was popularised in the Western mind, by author Arundhati Roy, who grew up here, and set her Booker-Prize -winning novel, The God of Small Things, in Kerala.

India

The great diversity of the Indian subcontinent, and a perceived contrast to many Western norms, keeps international visitors coming back for more. India’s unique cultural milieu, featuring over 22 languages, seven major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and distinct cooking traditions, make for a life-changing cultural experience, no matter which location in the region you choose to visit. Tourists also flock to its many breathtaking landscapes, including snow-capped mountain ranges, tropical evergreen forests, mangrove swamps, and grasslands, not only to spot endangered species like the Bengal tiger, the snow leopard, the Indian Rhinoceros, and Asiatic lion, but to experience adrenaline-fueled activities like white water rafting, waterfall rappelling, or paragliding.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


 


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.


 

Our 10 Ethical Commitments

 

Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


 

Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


 

Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


 

Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


 

Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


 

Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


 

Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


 

Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


 

Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


 

Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.


Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.


However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.


Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Support

Once a participant books, our support team will oversee their pre-departure journey. This helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. We will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Safety

Once a participant books, our support team will oversee their pre-departure journey. This helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. We will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov

HOW GVI UPHOLDS HEALTH AND SAFETY

It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.


1 Nov

GVI’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY AND SECURITY

As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.


6 Nov

HOW GVI REMAINS PREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS

The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.


5 Nov

HOW GVI MANAGES PARTICIPANTS EXPECTATIONS

Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.


What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A dedicated course co-ordinator
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Flight bookings service on request
  • In-country transport costs
  • Insurance on request
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)