African Adventures is the UK’s leading volunteer travel organisation, running trips for educational groups, football clubs and charities to Africa. We provide incredible opportunities to volunteer in Africa. On your own or part of an educational, charity or business group, we have a trip to suit you
We are so excited to have recently launched the Youth Development Programme (YDP) for 16-19 year olds, and initial interest has been extremely positive! In this blog, we explore the benefits of the programme, and find out why you might like to book your place. From meeting new friends and learning about a new culture, to making a difference to the lives of others and adding an incredible experience to your CV – the question is more ‘Why wouldn’t you get involved?’
Who is the Youth Development Programme for?
The programme is for 16-19 year olds who want to take part in an amazing experience which starts with fundraising, gaining independence and developing new skills, and culminates in making new friends, stepping outside of comfort zones and learning about new cultures on a life-changing trip to Africa. The way that our trips are organised means that young people can maintain a certain level of independence – travelling to Africa without your family - whilst still travelling within a safe and supportive framework. Instead of setting off to the other side of the world on your own, and organising everything from flights to accommodation yourself, you can take a trip with us and we will take care of everything for you. What’s more, you will be part of a team of young people who will all share the experience with you.
How is the Youth Development Programme structured?
Following sign-up, the programme is split into three phases, clearly outlining the different stages of the journey.
Preparation Phase: This is the time for you to find out all about your chosen destination country (either Ghana, Kenya or Zanzibar) and to fundraise for your trip. Check out our ‘Trip Preparation’ section on My African Adventure, which provides you with fundraising ideas and resources. Keep a log of your fundraisers – what worked? Why? How much did you raise? What could you improve next time?
Action Phase: It’s time to travel to Africa - volunteer at our partner projects, immerse yourself in a new culture, learn about a beautiful country, make new friends, step outside of your comfort zone, and learn new skills.
Reflection Phase: With so many new experiences in such a short period, it’s time to look back on all that you have achieved over the past year. Complete and return your YDP Logbook to receive a certificate of completion for the programme, which you can proudly show off when applying for future education or employment opportunities.
Volunteer with your YDP team at our partner projects in Ghana, Kenya or Zanzibar.
What is the Youth Development Programme all about?
The Youth Development Programme is an experience spread over 9-12 months which involves fundraising to cover the costs of the programme, a challenging and worthwhile volunteering experience in Africa - coupled with some adventure activity time - and documentation of the journey through the compilation of a logbook. The volunteering aspect involves supporting with teaching and sports coaching for children typically aged 5-16, and assisting with renovation and building work for our partner projects, which can include anything from moulding bricks for new school buildings, to painting interior classroom walls in order to create a more engaging learning environment. Away from volunteering, we have organised a weekend adventure activity to allow volunteers to see the beauty and wonder of Africa. Our different adventure activities are educational, breathtaking and eye-opening, and an opportunity to recharge after the hard work you have put into volunteering.
What support will I receive on the Youth Development Programme?
From the moment you sign up to the programme, you will have the support of our UK staff to answer any queries you have. In addition to this, you will have access to our online portal – My African Adventure - which includes a wealth of information about fundraising, the destination you are visiting (covering everything from weather to cultural norms), the itinerary for your time in Africa, and the impact that our volunteer trips have.
From the moment you arrive at the airport in the UK, you will be supported by an African Adventures Group Leader, who will accompany your group at all times and be your point of call should you need support or guidance at any time. You will also have a dedicated Trip Host who will ensure that the programme runs smoothly in Africa and will provide you with helpful local knowledge. We pride ourselves on our excellent support systems, and we are confident that the staff involved in your trips will not only be a great help to you but will enhance the experience that you have. You can be sure that you are travelling with a trusted and experienced company when you choose to travel with us.
Meaningful volunteering is combined with a weekend adventure activity.
Who benefits from the Youth Development Programme?
There are many potential benefits, both for those joining the programme and our partner projects in Africa.
For young people to really get the most from the programme, motivation, enthusiasm and proactivity are key; it is true that the more you give, the more you will get back. Year after year, volunteers who throw themselves into their fundraising demonstrate that it is possible to raise the entirety of the trip funds, which is a commendable achievement. This often enhances the experience that follows, because these volunteers feel like they have really earned the experience through their efforts. Through fundraising, there is the opportunity to gain skills in entrepreneurship, communication and negotiation, as well as developing a truer appreciation of the value of money. On the trip itself, volunteers learn about new cultures, teamwork, compassion, and different ways to communicate, as well as picking up practical skills such as painting, aspects of building work, and standing in front of a class to help deliver lessons. Finally, on your return home, you will have an incredible and unique experience to include on your CV, and to reference when applying for further education or job opportunities, making you stand out from the rest.
Our partner projects benefit from the programme through the financial and humanitarian support that the trips bring. We work with projects that need our support to help maintain and develop their facilities, in order that they may provide opportunity for children in the local area. Many of the projects lack the necessary facilities, or the facilities need improving, and that is where our volunteers can help. In addition, our volunteers can provide teaching assistance in classrooms where there is overcrowding and a lack of resources, meaning that more children can access the support they need. We work with our partner projects to identify the needs of each project and what we can reasonably commit to helping with, meaning that we are providing the help that is wanted, and that we have organised project work in place for when the programmes take place.
Volunteers can support with teaching and sports coaching, or building and renovation work.
How can I get involved in this exciting new programme?
It couldn’t be easier to get involved in this opportunity. Visit our YDP page for all the details about the trips we have available for next summer. Simply book now to get your journey started! We will then be in touch to provide you with all the information you need to start the programme. If you need a little more information about what’s involved, why not register your interest or give us a call? We can provide you with any details you need and get you on your way!
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today and start preparing for next summer’s trip of a lifetime.
In July, students from Tiverton High School will return to Kenya for their second trip, having previously volunteered at Cherish School in 2017.
Two years ago, the group from Tiverton took a small donation of bras to Kenya, and saw first-hand the profound impact that this had on the female students at Cherish School. For their second trip, staff and students at Tiverton High School have organised a campaign, aptly named No Girls Left Behind, which has seen them collect an incredible 800 bras from their local community.
We asked Anthony Nderitu, a teacher at Tiverton High School and Group Leader of this year’s trip, about the motivations behind their campaign.
What motivated you to organise this donation?
"Our motivation came from a comment made by a female student at Cherish School in 2017. On our last trip, we decided to take a small donation of bras with us, as we knew that the limited availability of good-quality bras was an issue for many of the students at the school. During our trip, we distributed the few we had amongst the female students, and the girls at Cherish were absolutely delighted! One of the older girls gave me a hug, and, with a huge grin on her face, told me, “Thanks to you, I can now go running”.
For us, that was the clincher. Donations of sports equipment and other educational resources are always given with good intentions, and often go a long way towards meeting the needs of the school and its students. However, without something as basic as a bra, many girls are left behind, and lack the confidence to participate in sports.
Our small donation of bras helped solve this problem by giving dignity to the female students. Providing them with something as simple as a bra helped to remove a source of worry, and opened up so many opportunities for them."
The limited availability of good-quality bras is an issue for many female students in Kenya.
How did you get the message out to your local community about this campaign, and how did you organise the collection?
"With this motivation in mind, the staff and students who are travelling to Kenya this year got together to plan our No Girls Left Behind campaign. We shared the story of our previous trip with all the teachers at our school, as well as the parents of the students, and explained the difference that their donation could make. The parents of the students were fantastic, and went above and beyond to share our message with the wider community in Tiverton. We can’t believe the success of the campaign; thanks to the local community, we will have easily collected 800 bras before we leave for Kenya in July."
What would you like to say to everyone who has donated?
"We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated to the campaign. Although you might not see it for yourself, your donation will generate a smile, and will help a young woman in Kenya feel that life - and the opportunities it brings - is for everyone, not just for some. Thank you for being part of something that will generate countless smiles and give dignity to countless young women in Kenya."
Tiverton's donation will give female students in Kenya new opportunities.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about your trip?
"After months of planning and fundraising, we can’t wait to return to Kenya and continue the work we started at Cherish School. We are so excited to distribute the bras we have collected, and to see the difference that this makes in the lives of the female students. Thank you again to everyone who donated!"
We are very grateful to Mr. Nderitu for speaking with us ahead of Tiverton High School's trip to Kenya in July, and we can't wait to see what they achieve on their trip! If you are embarking on your own African Adventure, and have something you would like to share on our News page, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can find out more about our school expeditions here.
In a move that may affect anyone about to undertake volunteering in Zanzibar, the Tanzanian government have announced that, from 1st June 2019, all visitors entering the country will be banned from bringing in plastic bags.
Daily life is busy, with friends, family, school, further education, or work to consider. So, when I was asked recently what being a global citizen means, I questioned how often I take the time to think about how people live their lives in other countries, or how my life choices might impact theirs. But this is exactly what being a global citizen asks of you.
Closing date for applications: 2nd June 2019 – The Volunteer Recruitment Manager is responsible for generating and converting enquiries for new groups looking to travel with us. These will derive from our core markets, which include schools, colleges, universities, sports clubs and youth development programmes, like NCS. You will work to quarterly and yearly recruitment targets and work withother key staff to achieve these.
This Saturday, Derby County Community Trust embark on their eighth trip to Kenya! There are some exciting additions to the group this year, most notably eight-year-old twins Harry and Oliver and 67-year-old, Dave Hadfield.
Closing date for applications: 24th May 2019 – The Marketing and Communications Officer will assist with day-to-day responsibilities within the existing structure. The role will be focused on strengthening our position within our existing markets, and helping to diversify our customer base through the expansion into new markets. The role relies on great organisational and communication skills, with a strong attention to detail.
We are looking for a Trip Co-ordinator to assist with day-to-day management of group volunteer trips within the existing structure. The role will be focused on ensuring good customer service and effective practical management of the groups’ experience once they have booked their trip with us.