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Original Volunteers

Original Volunteers are an independent volunteer abroad company based in Norwich, Norfolk. We offer a variety of placements some of which are free to volunteer on.

Our destinations include Argentina, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Africa and many more. We operate a buddy system so you can build relationships with like minded volunteers before you go and also gain some valuable tips from people who have already been on our volunteer projects.

Read reviews from some of our previous volunteers here and over at Abroad Reviews

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Total average

9.9/10

Overall ( 9.9 )
Support ( 9.8 )
Value for Money ( 10 )

(9)

Lizz
Original Volunteers 9.3

If you're thinking of a first time trip or something different to do i would recommend going to Morocco, from the moment you arrive at the airport the experience begins, you're picked up by a taxi man holding a sign, which makes you feel important, he will then take you to the Riad, which is like any basic hostle with a twist (you will understand when you get there and look up from the dining area) where you will meet your fellow volunteers and Rachid the main co-ordinator, who is a very crazy guy, i had some of the best conversations with him during my time there. Watch out for Amina, she is the house keeper, she works very hard at keeping the place clean so help her out and keep it tidy, She is a very crazy lady and loves talking to the volunteers so dont be shy. I couldnt say a bad word about any of the staff, they are all very welcoming and always up for a chat and happy to help you with anything.

Depending on what day and time you arrive will determine the project you will go on, i arrived late so had to wait until the next day to get stuck in with projects, My first project was the boys orphange, which is actually boys and girls and located just around the corner in what seemed like a maze to where we were staying so it was a quick walk. Each project is similar in the sense that you take puzzles, colouring things and memory games, if you want them to be different you have to find a way to make it different, no one is going to tell you what to do, the children enjoy learning new things and some of them want to learn basic English so they can communicate with you, if you make things fun and interesting they will want to listen. What you put in you get out! One thing i didnt realise is that you need to use taxis or buses to get to some of the projects, you always go with a co-ordinator but it costs about 5dh each way which isnt expensive but it does add up, eating out isnt expensive either but it all adds up my first week i spent about 1000dh (£80ish) on food and
travelling.

I met some amazing people, volunteers, children at the projects and the locals, everyone is so friendly, dont be affraid to ask for directions people are more than happy to help you, i had an experience in the souqs, me and a friend were trying to find a scarf shop but were lost, as it is so big and confusing, we asked this shop keeper if he knew where it was, he went out of his way to ask friends and draw us a map to where it was, it made me realise how unhelpful people are back home and really appriciate peoples kindness more. The culture is so interesting, i was really fasinated by it and was amazed at how different it was to being at home. I would truly recommend going and experiencing it as it is a real eye opener, i loved every second i couldnt say anything bad about my whole trip, even the donkey that nearly ran me over, Go with an open mind and you will be pleasantly suprised im sure!

I cant wait to go back to the beautiful city of Marrakech! It changed me, opened my eyes and made me appreciate things a lot more, i was there for 3 weeks.

Lizz xxx

Posted on May 24, 2013 1:12 pm
Shally Shabir
Original Volunteers 10.0

I have been here for over a week and I have planned to stay here for just over three weeks. I have adapted to the Moroccan environment very easily and I have been enjoying it a lot since I arrived here. I have done many projects so far in Marrakech. For example one project I have done is the baby orphanage. In the project I did different things in a space of two hours. I got to feed the babies with milk and also got to play with them. There were many toys available so the babies and toddlers never got bored of playing with me and the other volunteers.

Another project I did was the opportunity to do arts and crafts at a orphanage. After completing my projects on the day, I had the opportunity to explore Marrakech such as the famous Souks for example. I have already made a lot of friends while being here which is great. Also the co-ordinators have been very helpful and also had good English so they can understand the volunteers properly. Overall I think I was right to choose Original Volunteers and Morocco as the place to volunteer. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to my friends and family back in the UK.

Posted on July 2, 2013 8:56 am
Martin Pullen
Original Volunteers 10.0

Hi all.
I was In chennai India this year. I can say hand on my heart this was one of the best things I have ever done. I have travelled the world and worked abroad but this beats all of that. The local Original Volunteers coordinator and director of the school was so nice, helpful and enjoys volunteers.

My normal day would be... Wake up around 8, go have a wash maybe walk to the village to get some breakfast. Then the children would start to arrive about 8.30.

My glass was great, at first we had a bit of a communication problem but after a few days we would all start to bond and form a relationship. The local teachers try to help but pretty much leave u to it. At the end of the day u could go in the coach and drop children off and see where and how they live. This In itself was an eye opener.
In the evening all the volunteers would go to the village have some dinner, come back to the school. We would sit up, relax and have great conversations and a laugh.

These children don't have a lot but were all so happy and grateful for what they have.
Can't wait for my next project.
Thank you OV

Martin Pullen

Posted on July 4, 2013 10:06 pm
Lucy Bassil
Original Volunteers 10.0

I would definitely recommend this trip to someone else; it was such an amazing experience! I loved every single second and meet so many new people out there! The projects are really interactive and you feel as if you are making a difference out there. I like how there are two separate projects per day, as I felt that a lot could be achieved within the day and there was extra time left for exploring the country. I think the trips that are available on the days off are amazing and I particularly enjoyed the Berber experience. Having the raid in one of the main squares is really good, as you feel as if you are part of the country and are experiencing every bit of the culture, including the food! Additionally, it was particularly useful having a kitchen in the raid, so that people could make food rather than dining out. Despite travelling on my own, I felt safe and secure from my airport pickup to my return flight. Everyone is really friendly and I felt that the volunteer coordinators were very approachable and friendly. I would be extremely happy to return to Morocco.

Posted on July 5, 2013 9:38 pm
Cathiee Fairclough
Original Volunteers 9.7

My time spent with Original Volunteers in Ghana was one of the most formative influential experience of my life. During my time I took on the role as a teacher and was able to conduct my own research. This gave me a perpective of how teaching is different back home. In addition to the work I was able to experience the beautiful culture of Ghana travelling to cape coast. Finally I was able to meet some new people from different backgrounds who gave me a warm feeling of feeling welcome into there village and country and where very generous. I will also remember my time in Ghana and will be volunteering again next year

Posted on July 8, 2013 8:54 pm
Laura Harris
Original Volunteers 10.0

Over the Easter holidays I flew to Kenya Mombasa to volunteer at the grandsons of Abraham centre for boys. It was such an amazing experience!!! there was about 10 boys who came from broken homes or living on the streets the centre gave the boys a place to stay, food and an education. When I was there I helped to provide English and Maths lessons the boys were so willing to work! And new so much already for there age!

The place we stayed had running water and provided us with two meals a day. The sisters were soooooooo great! helpful and showed us around and were the beach was and the shop and how to work the tuk tuks and matatus.

I felt so at home while I was there the people are so kind! everyone says hello to you helps you if you get lost! (which I did a lot ahhaa) and always asking if we had suncream on and drank lots of water.

I miss being in Africa and wish I could go back and see the boys! Waking up to Tuk tuks and matatus beeping and the singing coming from the church was the most beautiful sound I've every heard! I advise ANYONE to go and volunteers!

Posted on July 12, 2013 9:33 pm
Monica Giardino
Original Volunteers 10.0

My trip was not just an experience, but it was an adventure, like in the adventure books where the main character left his/her own city looking for something new, with direction somewhere.

I left Italy in a snowy morning in February and it was so cold that the plane wings were covered by ice.
When I arrived to Kenya Masai village, at 11 p.m. after to many hours by taxi, it was twenty five degrees centigrade.

It was always dark and I just could see two girls that offered me a cup of Chai tea; at first I was distrustful, but after some days I discovered that I was going to miss it a lot.

Staying without lights, fresh water and a property wc , was like restarting a new life; Masai people taught me what really means being happy for what you have and for the people around you, that they called family.
People where always smiling and I never seen in Italy so many happiness just because they were going to school.
During my two weeks I also discovered the pleasure of staying all together around the fire just singing, chatting and drinking tea.

After my journey I was proud of myself; just with your brain, your leg and your hands you can help who needs your help, and for me the most important thing, just being happy to do this.

Posted on July 15, 2013 8:03 pm
Jack Matthews
Original Volunteers 10.0

My time with original volunteers (Mexico) was one of the best experiences in my life it made me grow as a person and gave me a different outlook on life.

From the day I arrived to the day I left fellow Volunteers made me feel comfortable and at home. The programmes projects were great and varied from working with disabled children to helping adults learn English it made me feel like I made a difference. Many thanks Jack Matthews

Posted on July 16, 2013 7:35 am
Nicole Meredith
Original Volunteers 10.0

Hi, here is my review for Merida, Mexico.
At first I was very wary about visiting Mexico as I knew what a dangerous place it could be. Although I was apprehensive, I was also excited about the prospect of visiting a new country on my own. When arriving in Merida, I concluded that Mexico was a mix between Spain and America, and this intrigued me. I finally reached the Volunteer house and at once I felt at home and safe within this small community of volunteers. The next day my volunteering duties started with teaching in a small community centre, teaching around 6 Children and 5 adults. It was brilliant as they were all so appreciative and engaging. I do not have the words to mention all of my projects but my favourite by far was working in a nursery for the children of the police officers, this was such a great experience and I felt I was making a difference. Although volunteering was the main focus of the trip, I also visited many places in Mexico such as many Cenotes, Celestun and Chichen Itza, which were all amazing. I would recommend anybody to volunteer in Mexico as it is exciting, challenging and breathtaking,

Thanks
Nicole Meredith

Posted on July 16, 2013 7:37 am

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