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Which company to volunteer abroad with? ORIGINAL VOLUNTEERS?? watch

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    I have been doing some research on volunteering in Africa in summer 2018. I am looking at a company called Original volunteers, they're cheap but it's hard to find reviews on them. Anyone got any suggestions of companies or have any experiences with Original Volunteers? I will be 17 when I go so my options are somewhat limited and I would like to have the opportunity to do some clinic stuff.
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    I'd go with ICS or EVS if i were you, they're free and much much more reputable.
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    For anyone thinking about volunteering with Original Volunteers, DON’T. I knew something was dodgy when they wouldn’t confirm how much the “project fees” are only until after I sent them my flight details, even though I gave them the exact dates that I was looking to come. After reaching out to past volunteers, I was shocked to hear what they had to say! Screenshots attached but long story short, volunteers are demanded high, random fees everyday that they aren’t made aware of prior to travelling (volunteers said they felt staff were just keeping it all to themselves rather than donating it) and are charged huge taxi fees by original volunteer drivers, that the volunteers didn’t believe to be truthful. I even saw horrifying reviews that volunteers got sexually harassed by OV’s drivers! When I told OV that I wanted to cancel my trip with them and requested a refund for my registration fee which should’ve been as easy as a click of a button via PayPal they kept ignoring my requests, calls and even hung up on me when I had to call through my friends number to get through to them - the audacity! The two staff members Hannah and Emma who I spoke to on the phone and via email had conflicting views on payments and weren’t thorough and confident when I asked them basic questions, getting one word answers from Emma and ignored by Hannah, who was so eager to speak to me on the phone to book my trip before. Always listen to your gut, if something doesn’t seem right, just don’t do it. I’m finally getting my registration fee back after having to escalate this as a claim to PayPal - whichever organisation you choose, always try to pay via PayPal to make sure you’ve got a safety net.
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    I think with all companies reviews are mixed, no companies really have 100% positive feedback. The companies basically all do the same thing, place you to volunteer with a local organisation. Some Original Volunteers reviews are good whilst others are mixed but they seem a well established company with thousands of past participants. There are so many volunteer programs in Africa be sure to research all destinations & projects before applying so you know what to expect. Helping elephants and other animals in South Africa looks amazing!
 
 
 
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