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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause such as wildlife conservation or tsunami reconstruction efforts? Tell us how you did it, what the experience was like, and how others can help. Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details here.
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  #1  
Old 10 Mar 2011
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Volunteering in Africa

I can recommend an organisation called AFRICA IMPACT Volunteer Africa - Volunteer Work in Africa - Gap Year Africa Volunteering

I'm voluteering for three weeks with them in Cape Town but they have projects all over Southern Africa. I'm teaching in a primary school in a township but you can do wildlife, teaching, medical etc. It's a great way to spend a few weeks - especailly in Cape Town if, like me, you are waiting for your bike to turn up, or you've just put it on a boat and have some spare time.

Check out there website and my blog for more details. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. If you're reading this you're probably thining about volunteering somewhere. DO IT. It really is a wonderful experience and can only make your motorbike trip even more memorable. You won't regret it.
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Last edited by Lonesome George; 15 Mar 2011 at 18:50.
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Old 10 Mar 2011
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The last thread on this subject attracted quite a lot of opposing views.

The biggest problem is the impact this has on the job potential of locals who go through education only to be undercut by volunteers.

Then there's the companies who make their money from 'gap year experiences.'

Sorry to put a damper on your enthusiasm.
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Old 15 Mar 2011
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Tim

Thanks for the heads up but I have to say I'm appalled, shocked and angry to read that thread. This quote especially sticks in the thoat:

I'm with Noel on this. Virtually every educated local I've met in Africa has expressed that they wished all the NGO's, the UN, and all other "do gooders" would leave their country ASAP.


Unbelievable. I spent two years living and working in Ethiopia, and I wasn't working for an NGO or being a "do-gooder" I was well paid to work in a private school so I have no personla axe to grind - but I witnessed lots and lots of good work being done by people. And in my experience EVERY Ethiopian I met or heard of was extremely GLAD that NGOs were there. That comment above is just plain wrong.I DO agree that there are some less reputable organisations to volunteer with and I'm sure many are just there to grab money from GAP students and have limited positive impact on the communites. BUT NOT ALL. That is why I posted this in the first place because I have found one that is good.I was worried when I signed up because you don't really know what you're letting yourself in for. But I'm so impressed with what Africa Impact are doing - I'm on a Cape Town project - that I wanted to share the news. We work with different projects in three townships south of Cape Town with the full and complete support of the local communities. We HELP them. I'm not taking anyones job and they are more than happy to have us here. What's more more than 60% of the money it costs me to do this goes direct to the projects.If you don't want to volunteer (I don't mean you Tim I mean anyone) then fine but please don't make crass comments like those above.
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Old 10 Apr 2011
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re: volunteering and working abroad

George, I felt the same way reading that comment. I have worked abroad for the UN, and while I heard both positive and negative comments from locals, to a person -- even in Afghanistan -- they all said the same thing: "please please don't leave. We *want* these NGOs and UN agencies here." These organizations hire far more local people than they bring in people from abroad, and they build capacity that's going to last long after they leave. But we don't hear about the success stories in Egypt, East Timor, Kenya, Afghanistan, Liberia, and on and on.

My frustration is with people who think they can do a lot for a community in a day or two of visiting there while traveling. While it's certainly possible to do good while traveling abroad (and I have a web page to help people, including motorcyclists, do that), it's unrealistic to think you are going to significantly transform a community with just a few weeks of holding babies at an orphanage.
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Old 13 Apr 2011
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I must say I do see what Tim was trying to express.

I am a teacher and in my summer holidays I have volunterered all around the world for the last 13years. I finally got sick of being dissapointed by different organisations who make you pay and then when yo get there you not really feeling like you are doing any worth. It almost feels like they just giving you a boring old job- ie. paint a mural to keep you busy. I wonder how many volnteers have painted the exact same mural??

So I decided to work independantly from now on. I will be doing my first mission from July 2011 (11 weeks away-eek). I have been working very hard for the last 2 years and have finally gotten enough funds from companies in Dubai to purchase 5000 solar powered laptops from One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).

I will then take a LC and drive around the coastline of Africa, stopping off in countries where OLPC will meet me and we will deploy the laptops. I will help educate the teachers and students how to use the laptops and give lessons for a few weeks before contineing onto the next deployment area.

I am very excited and feel that THIS could make a BIG difference. Edcation is the key! Like the Chinse proverb says:

" Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. "

This way I am enjoying the two passions in my life- overlanding and making a difference

Check out my website if you would like to meet up or assist in anyway:

everything except the horn - Home

Last edited by Tamin; 20 May 2011 at 21:53.
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