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    (Original post by wilko1991)
    One of those things came to my school. I was quite pissed off and told them they were stealing peoples jobs. However they think middle class geeky rich westerners can do a whole load of good in Peru by painting a few schools and costing them a few grand each.

    Which group was that?
    and which do you regard rip offs?
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    Which group was that?
    and which do you regard rip offs?
    I can't remember which group it was. But they were charging 3.5k (or there abouts) but promoting "fund raising". So the local community was really paying these ***** wages. The whole thing was a total joke.
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    for gappies wordwide: a firm www.theleap.co.uk a lovely outfit i have used. family run, super personal and perfect service. its not as expensive as many other companies and genuinely does help communities. on my project i stayed with a local south american family so got to practice my spanish with my fam for three months whilst doing construction work on schools in the area that the government neglect because of racism/classism. take a look at the company and contact me if you are interested. i can wangle you a cheeky discount. you can get sent out in a group or solo. if you want me to sing its praises PM me.
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    (Original post by wilko1991)
    I can't remember which group it was. But they were charging 3.5k (or there abouts) but promoting "fund raising". So the local community was really paying these ***** wages. The whole thing was a total joke.
    ahh sounds like project trust
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    (Original post by isaacstarboy)
    are there any 'real' gap years (not holidays trying to imitate one, that cost thousands) that go to say, africa, and the volunteers can help build the local community? in my head, i'd like to go to somewhere like ghana and build a school for underprivileged children.

    Try: http://www.madvolunteers.org or http://www.piscosinfronteras.org

    These are 'real'; working in the Southern Peru earthquake zone.
    You're not taking anyone's jobs (which is a good point), its about getting stuck in doing something worthwhile and not being ripped off.
    These organisations tick all those boxes.

    HTH
    Steve
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    If you're into wildlife work in South America, try Inti Wara Yassi ; super cheap too! xxx
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    ahh sounds like project trust
    Might I ask, what makes you say that? Do you have a bad experience with them?
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    (Original post by VampireFreak)
    Might I ask, what makes you say that? Do you have a bad experience with them?
    no but i know a lot of people who have and it costs a lot to go on, besides costing a lot to even do the selection program.
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    Yeah you have to be really careful with some companies, they are sooooo expensive !!!

    Here are lots of gap year comps and volunteer placements...
    Gap year volunteer organisations
    Gap year volunteer projects

    Its always best to search reviews on google and facebook too before you book anything!!
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    (Original post by lizfairy)
    no but i know a lot of people who have and it costs a lot to go on, besides costing a lot to even do the selection program.
    I know, I did one =P
    What negative experiences have you heard reported? The reason I ask is that I did a fair bit of research before I went on Selection, and afterwards, when they'd offered me a place but I was deciding whether to take it or not.
    I couldn't find much in the way of bad press about PT and that unnerved me a little, but accepted the place anyway, because it's an amazing opportunity (a LOT of money, I agree, but for a full 12 months, it's comparatively cheap)
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    project trust is actually amazing value for money considering the experiences you get - a lot of companies charge this kind of price for only a month without any flights. you really get what you pay for from project trust - amazing support throughout your year and it was the best year of my life so far.
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    (Original post by fasteddy)
    Yeah some are really expensive, I volunteered with elephants in Thailand which I set up in the UK and spent a fortune on a middle gap year agency. Then I arrived and found out you only needed to make a small donation to volunteer!!

    Check out http://www.oneworld365.org there are over 8,000 organisations listed from little local NGO's, to cheap volunteer companies based on countries to your huge big gap year organisation. Might be an idea to click on a country as there are lots on there!

    Good luck!
    Wow i have been looking into this elephant thing for a while which one did you go to? I have been looking at the one in chiang mai. But it would be interesting to see others
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    Thanks guys. Ive been with Raleigh International before, expensive bu fab as your with others and theres always a group on each project with a translator etc aswell.. Can't deicde whether to go again to Borneo this summer or do summat else..
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    Thanks everyone for all the useful links!

    I'm currently planning a 2010/11 gap year in Asia with a mix of volunteering and backpacking. I'm looking at volunteering in India and Nepal at the moment- I just found an organisation called Shake Hands which gives placements helping street children, teaching, helping in orphanages etc in Jaipur, Delhi and rural Rajasthan at really good prices. I don't have the link right now but you should be able to Google it.
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    BUNAC are a non-profit, and they have some volunteering opportunities - think the website is www.bunac.org/volunteer - and it says 70% of their fees go into the host country. I've researched a lot of the vol companies and reckon theirs look like a good deal. Raleigh are also good, and i think are non-profit too - but seem a bit more expensive - and real gap are definitely owned by thomson holidays!
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    Hey
    Just wondering if anyoe has au paired bfore? Id love to do it but have only 2 weeks working experience in a primary school wrking with children. Is there any chance i would be accepted by a family with the lack of experience?
    xxx
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    For gap years I would suggest International Volunteers HQ, they have the cheapest programme fees I've seen on the web and no one has a bad thing to say about them!!! Here's their website: www.volunteerhq.org/ they have placements ranging from 1 week to 6 months all over the world and theres many things you can do (orphanage work, turtle conservation, teaching, medical, jungle conservation etc.) They look really amazing.
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    (Original post by lilymae)
    For gap years I would suggest International Volunteers HQ, they have the cheapest programme fees I've seen on the web and no one has a bad thing to say about them!!! Here's their website: www.volunteerhq.org/ they have placements ranging from 1 week to 6 months all over the world and theres many things you can do (orphanage work, turtle conservation, teaching, medical, jungle conservation etc.) They look really amazing.
    Has anyone had any experience with this company before and been with them to the orphanages? What did people think of the company, was it well set up for people etc and were there others out in the orphanage at the same time?
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    (Original post by mad-cow18)
    Has anyone had any experience with this company before and been with them to the orphanages? What did people think of the company, was it well set up for people etc and were there others out in the orphanage at the same time?
    People have posted what they thought of the programme on here: http://volunteerhq.org/testimonials.html There are 18 pages of testimonials singing IVHQs praise!! There's also a facebook page where you can ask former volunteers about their experiences http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?...2434512&ref=ts
    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by lilymae)
    People have posted what they thought of the programme on here: http://volunteerhq.org/testimonials.html There are 18 pages of testimonials singing IVHQs praise!! There's also a facebook page where you can ask former volunteers about their experiences http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?...2434512&ref=ts
    Hope this helps!
    Thank ytou so much. My friend wants to volunteer in an orphanage next summer to thought id ask on here. Ill pass it on! Thanks
    xxx
 
 
 
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