Programs that Welcome Teens with Parental Consent
"I think that the entire trip itself was the most memorable experience I’ve ever had in my life so far, I’m already planning to go back again this year! But Victoria falls was by far my favorite place that I got to visit in Zimbabwe while I was there. This was the best trip of my life - I’d recommend it to anybody!"
African Wildlife Orphanage gave me everything I wanted out of this experience. It’s a haven for all animals and it truly deserves to be applauded. The amount of work they do to help animals in need is extraordinary. No animal was ever turned down, no appointments had to be made, it was as simple as just dropping them off. I’ve seen anywhere from a plover to a steenbok to an owl to a snake come through the doors of Chipangali.
This previous summer (Summer 2012) I traveled with GoEco to Valencia, to take part in a series of conservation projects around the Valencia Region. I can summarize my experience in exactly one word, AMAZING! From the beginning, GoEco helped me find a suitable program and made the entire process so much easier.
At the orphanage we could do many things: construction, painting, building, playing with the children in the afternoon, and teaching English to Thai people. I taught English and it was the best feeling ever. It was extremely rewarding and my students were very thankful. They were incredibly sweet and very eager to learn. I felt a really strong connection to them and looked forward each day to seeing them again. It may sound as a cliché but I gained so much more than I gave. Volunteering at the orphanage gave me insight into the culture in a way I could have never gotten as a tourist. It really is waging peace through justice worldwide.
And of course, my favorite project, teaching English. You don’t need any experience at all because it is very basic stuff – such as going through the alphabet, counting, pointing at objects and saying the words in English. They mostly just appreciate you being there. Spending time with them was amazing and something which I will never forget and always cherish!
The work at the panda base wasn’t very hard, but it was extremely rewarding. I feel so grateful to have had this once in a lifetime experience, getting up close and personal with the pandas, learning their different personalities, and helping with their conservation. We were also part of an amazing group of volunteers, united by a love of pandas. We all got on really well and generally just had a great time together, both on and off the panda base. I will miss those crazies all most as much as I will miss my adorable new panda friends!
After becoming acquainted with our panda keeper and pandas, we started our first job. It was necessary to clean the cage, removing the bamboo leaves and other garbage. After that, we started to clean their enclosures... In addition, we fed the pandas twice a day with carrot and special bread (named ”panda cake”), and sometimes apples.
Our purpose there was to assist in the data collection of a variety of species, including elephants, rhino, lions, leopards, birds of prey, and many others, to give to conservation organizations that protect these animals and their environments. Without the help of volunteers, the staff wouldn’t be able to collect and maintain all of the information that they need.
Friday’s are a bit different because that’s test day, the children LOVE this though, as they get to see what they’ve learnt through the week and after an hour or so of tests are free to play. One Friday it was so hot we all ran through a fence at the back of the school and jumped in to a huge pond to cool off. All the kids who could swim were jumping in with us and the ones who couldn’t we were hugging and splashing.
If this is not the most rewarding feeling in your life and also the reason to pack your backpack now and move into the Amazon to have the TIME OF YOUR LIFE, I don’t know what is. Okay okay…being able to take care of a baby sloth and other incredibly cute animals you could die for is a great bonus and definitely worth visiting the center too...
- Wildlife and Animal Conservation
- Marine and Coral Reef Conservation
- Community Aid and Development
- Most Affordable Volunteer Programs
- International Internships
- 50+ Volunteering
- Family Volunteer Vacations
- Teens and High School Students
- Medical and Healthcare
- Special Offers
- Teach English Abroad
- Volunteer with Children
- Learn Spanish and Volunteer
- Environmental Volunteering and Eco-Education