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Volunteer with Turtles in Greece

Protect and conserve an important loggerhead turtle nesting area in the Mediterranean.

Program Code: GRMV0124P

Program Information

Discover historic Greece when you live and work alongside a team of international volunteers and staff, and make a real contribution to the conservation and protection of one of the most important loggerhead turtle nesting areas in the region.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals

 
Remote-Working Friendly
 
Reliable WIFI
 
Part-Time Options

Overview

Based in the beautiful Bay of Kyparissia in the western Peloponnese, you will be involved with conserving and protecting one of the most important loggerhead turtle nesting areas in Greece.


Depending on the time of year you'll be involved in activities such as the daily surveying of nesting female turtle activity. This will happen on morning patrols, in order to protect any nests that were laid overnight. Once a nest has been found you'll protect them by using a metal grid as a barrier against predation. If necessary some nests may need to be relocated to reduce the risk of flooding by the rising ocean tides. This generally happens in the months of June and July.

During September and August you'll have the task of recording the nest hatching events where you'll monitor the tiny turtles as they make their way to the ocean. After hatching has occurred you'll dig to excavate the nest to gather data on the hatching success. During these activities, volunteers will be able to share their passion for conservation with international visitors and the local community members.


GVI works in conjunction with our local partners to ensure you receive all the necessary training to meet the project's objectives as well as providing opportunities for you to explore the fascinating Greek culture and sights of the surrounding area in your free time.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Conducting practical work with one of the endangered species in the Mediterranean;

  • Monitoring turtle nesting activity on the beach and watching hatchlings make their journey to the ocean, though this is season dependent;

  • Contributing towards protecting the next generation of Loggerhead sea turtles

  • Experiencing Greek culture first hand in a beautiful area which you can explore in your free time

  • Taking your first steps towards your career in conservation and making a lasting contribution to the preservation of endangered turtles.

Program Details

 
Flexibility
Change your location and dates free of charge.
 
Payment Plans
Flexible payment plans available.
 
Cancellation Waiver
Cancel anytime and receive a full refund minus your deposit.

Select a Start Date

  • 2022
  • 2023

Select a Duration

Select a start date first.

Life On Base

Our base’s campsite beach provides you with breathtaking scenic views to wake up to each morning, and, the sound of the crashing waves to fall asleep to at night. In between your survey shifts you will have plenty of time to soak up the sun on the sandy white beaches right on your doorstep, or relax with your fellow volunteers back at the campsite. Although the climate will be hot and can get very humid, by living so close to the beach you will be able to cool down with a quick dip in the sea or finish the day watching the sunset over the Mediterranean.

Base Tour

Highlights

 
24-hour in-country support
 
Accommodation
 
Beachside living
 
Meals while on project
 
Outdoor activities
 
Transportation
 
ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation will be in a tent in a private section of the campsite, allowing you to enjoy Greece’s coastal beauty from the campsite’s beach. The campsite has a number of facilities available and there is also a communal charging station for participants to use and shared bathroom facilities. On a GVI base, participants share camp duties, including cleaning, cooking and other chores – it’s part of the GVI experience!

 
COMMUNICATION

You will have limited access to long-distance communications whilst on the programme, so make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Participants typically use WiFi in the camp, to keep in touch, however, be aware that the internet at the campsite can be very slow as it is shared between everybody. Cell phone reception is fairly good so you may want to buy a Greek SIM card in Kyparissia, to use with your unlocked cell phone.

 
MEALS

Breakfast is self-service, featuring cereal, oats, fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt. Lunch is usually made with a combination of healthy and varied Mediterranean produce, along with a fresh salad. Dinner is cooked by your fellow volunteers who take it in turns to prepare meals for the group – this is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your cooking skills! Dinner options can range from lentil burgers to fajitas, stirfries and pasta.

 
TRANSPORTATION

We provide transfers from the airport to our base in Giannitsochori, which is about four hours drive. The beach is at our doorstep so there is many activities to complete within footsteps. To travel around, you can make use of a taxi.

 
CLIMATE

Greece gets very hot during the summer months of June to August (sometimes reaching up to 40ºC!), so make sure to bring your bathing suit. The sea in Greece is warmest in August, making it perfect for swimming while on project. Temperatures can drop however during the night to offer a pleasant reprieve to the heat of the day.

 

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Covid-19 Response

Health and Hygiene

For over 20 years, GVI has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GVI has created the GVI health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet or exceed international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of GVI’s participants, staff and communities around the world. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.


The work GVI is contributing to across the globe remains important and the following measures allow our participants to continue to join GVI’s programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. The following changes to our existing protocols have been made by the GVI health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities.


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

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.


Live Updates

Follow GVI Giannitsochori'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.
 
GVIGreeceGiannitsochori

Arrivals

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.


As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.


 
 
 

COVID-19 Safety

Please note that the above images were taken pre COVID-19. All airport pick-ups and program operations now run with enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place. Learn more.

Flights

Please note that if you use this service delivered by Student Universe and / or if you buy your ticket through this portal you are agreeing to the Student Universe Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. Your agreement regarding flights will be between you and Student Universe or as per their terms and conditions.

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.

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

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.


Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll 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.


GVI’s programs in Giannitsochori work in collaboration with a local Greek organisation that has been conducting research in this area since 1983. This makes it one of the oldest conservation projects in the Mediterranean, and an important partner of ours.


We work to safeguard the sea turtles and their breeding sites on the coast of Greece. This is done by protecting nests, monitoring turtle activity, collecting data and excavating nests. During these activities, you get the opportunity to share your knowledge and passion to help develop the awareness of sea turtles with international tourists and in the local community.


This allows us to offer support to our local partner, assist in the conservation of these endangered sea turtles, and to address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as #14 – Life Below Water, #15 – Life On Land, #17- Partnerships For Goals and #11 – Sustainable Cities And Communities.


Our Partners In Giannitsochori

Project Objectives

GVI Giannitsochori Long-term Objectives:  


1. Expand the monitoring area of nesting sea turtles in northern Kyparissia Bay (Neda and beyond).


2. Contribute to the efforts of our local partner to make Kyparissia Bay a marine protected area.


3. Reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the turtles nesting area.


4. Educate participants on environmentally sustainable practices and the importance and impact of climate change.


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 every 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.


Program Ethics

 

NO ENTERTAINMENT-BASED ACTIVITIES

We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos

NO ORPHANED ANIMAL SANCTUARIES

We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases

GUIDELINES FOR TOUCHING OR MOVEMENT RESTRICTION

When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

ANIMAL WELFARE GUIDELINES

We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.

LOCAL COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.

NO VETERINARY PROGRAMS

We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.

Qualifications

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.


 

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures are in place throughout each GVI program. Learn more.

Support

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


Safety

Upon arrival at the airport, participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. The minimum staff to participant ratio on GVI’s programs is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19
pandemic – including destination ratings, flight bookings, and tests.

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

General
Volunteer
Intern

24-hour emergency desk

24-hour in-country support

Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)

All project equipment

Food (except on long-term internship placements)

Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)

Pre-Program Training
Volunteer
Intern

Group introductory call

Welcome presentation

Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Endorsed Leadership Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond
Project Work
Volunteer
Intern

Sustainable project work

Leadership responsibilities

Remote Support
Volunteer
Intern

Remote Internship Supervisor

Post-Program
Volunteer
Intern

Preferential recruitment on GVI positions

Job portal access

Endorsed Careers Course

In partnership with the University of Richmond

Career coaching sessions

Certificates & Achievements
Volunteer
Intern

PDF reference - upon request

Exclusions