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Who are the Global Volunteer Network?

Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) was launched in December 2000 by Colin Salisbury, its Founder and Executive Director, after spending time volunteering in Ghana, West Africa. While he was there he saw the tremendous difference volunteers could make in helping local organizations achieve their goals. Upon returning to New Zealand he spent some time researching the different volunteer organizations around the world and was amazed at how expensive and limiting many programs were in terms of volunteer opportunities.

On April 14, 2011 GVN became a New Zealand registered charity (non-profit) – the GVN Charitable Trust.

 

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Experience

Colin Salisbury (GVN Founder) has extensive volunteer experience both locally and internationally with time spent in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Thailand. His background in Community Development and achieving a Masters in International Development has enabled him to provide challenging and affordable volunteer opportunities around the globe.

Over the past 11 years the Global Volunteer Network have built up strong ties with grassroots organizations throughout the world, and placed 19689 volunteers. 

Many of our staff members have participated in one or more of our programs, and are experienced in international travel so you will find us a great resource when planning for your trip.

Bill Gates personally recommended GVN by stating "I'd love to see more young people taking action to help the poor and disadvantaged. Two places to get started are Network for Good and Global Volunteer Network” and CNN listed the Global Volunteer Network as one of 10 organizations that can help you to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Our Network

At GVN we align with the idea of 'local solutions to local problems', so we work with local community organizations in each country. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) is a New Zealand Charitable Trust (non-profit NGO) based in Wellington, New Zealand. Our Charitable incorporation number is: CC46460. The GVN Charitable Trust is New Zealand owned.

GVN currently has volunteer positions available through our partner organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam. Click here for detailed information on our programs.

The number of people volunteering through GVN continues to grow. Since 2002 we have placed over 19689 volunteers.

We also offer fundraising hikes to allow an active role in raising funds for communities in need. We offer hikes to Mt. Everest Base Camp, Machu Picchu, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, as well as a cycle challenge in South Africa.

How GVN Works

One Small Organization - One Big World!

Over the past eleven years we have connected 16,000+ volunteers with our 21 partner organizations throughout South America, Africa, and Asia.  The network continues to expand with new programs currently being researched and assessed.  Our diverse opportunities include volunteer programs, training programs, and fundraising treks.

This is how we do it...

Achieving Our Vision

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Our vision is to connect people with communities in need. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

Our staff in New Zealand are passionate about their work, we want to ensure volunteers have an incredibly rewarding and memorable personal experience on their placement.

We work with our partner organizations to support them in achieving their goals and ensuring that their projects are sustainable and effective.

Benefits of working with local partners

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At GVN we value our relationships with our local partner organizations.  When you volunteer with us you can be assured you are helping a local grassroots organization rather than a large travel/tour provider.  This means that volunteer efforts directly benefit local groups, local communities, and local people.

By sourcing international volunteers for our partners we allow them to concentrate on the work they are doing to bring positive changes to their communities, rather than having to worry about recruiting and sourcing volunteers.

Our local partners experience the everyday life and struggles of the local people, they have intimate knowledge of what they go through and what they face in their day to day life.  Our partners want to impart this knowledge to our volunteers giving them the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of communities in need.

Our partners and their goals inspire us each and every day in the GVN office.

Local Partners

At GVN we align with the idea of 'local solutions to local problems', so we work with local community organizations in each country. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide volunteers to help them achieve their goals.

What this means for our volunteers is that they receive a unique and genuine cultural experience whilst being immersed in a local community.

 

Benefits of a Gap Year

Take a few minutes  to discover the benefits of the Gap Year, and watch the video to hear from industry insiders, (including our very own Colin Salisbury) on whether they think a Gap Year can be a positive experience for school graduates.

The Gap Year has numerous benefits for recent school leavers.  In particular, taking a gap year with a purpose, such as serving others through volunteering has many advantages.  International volunteering is a great way to gain experience living in a developing country, learning about another culture and experiencing a different way of life.  It is a fantastic way to grow as a person, to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and is a tool for self discovery and identity formation. 

A gap year provides an opportunity for school leavers to develop skills outside the classroom, skills such as team work, project management and responsibility.  A gap year with a purpose can add to a student's CV and reflects their work and life experience gained.

We welcome you to get in touch with us to find out if a GVN volunteer program is the right Gap Year experience for you or your child.

 

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Did you know how you wanted to spend the rest of your life at 17 years of age?

Teen Coach Darryl Gardiner, former Gap Year volunteer Rebecca McKeown  and Colin Salisbury from Global Volunteer Network star on Television New Zealand’s award winning show Good Morning with some pointers for teens who are struggling to decide what to do with their lives.

GVN Foundation

GVN Foundation was founded in 2005 to provide financial assistance and help implement sustainable development projects to local community organizations around the world. Whether that is building a school for orphans of HIV/AIDS or providing emergency food supplies to victims of natural disasters, GVN Foundation work to provide communities with the resources they need.

The GVN Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the United States and was granted Special consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in July, 2009.

The GVN Foundation Vision

The vision of the GVN Foundation is to support the charitable and educational work of local community organizations in various countries through the distribution of financial, in-kind and material donations.

The GVN Foundation Network

The GVN Foundation is currently fundraising to support programs through our partner organizations in ten countries, such as Nepal, Kenya, Uganda, Romania, and Vietnam. The network continues to expand with new programs being researched and assessed.

Partners

At The GVN Foundation we believe in the idea of 'local solutions to local problems,' therefore we work with local community organizations in each country. We believe that local communities are in the best position to determine their needs, and we provide resources to help them achieve their goals.

The GVN Foundation Programs

The GVN Foundation is able to provide financial assistance to the local community organizations we support through our various programs and fundraisers:

UN Consultative status

In July 2009, GVN Foundation was granted Special Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  Consultative status opens the door for GVN Foundation to actively engage with the ESOSC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies.

Website

For more information, please visit http://www.gvnfoundation.org.

 

Meet the Team

Our StaffThe GVN home office is located in High Street in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.

GVN has a dedicated group of staff whose role is to facilitate the placement of volunteers and to support the work of our partners.

Here to help...

Our website has been designed to answer most questions a prospective volunteer will have.  However you may have further questions which one of our friendly staff members will be more than happy to help with.  Many of our staff have participated in one of our programs, and are experienced in international travel so you will find us a great resource when planning for your trip.

Once you have signed up to a program you will be put in touch with your own Volunteer Coordinator.  Your Volunteer Coordinator has a thorough knowledge of your program and will be there to guide you as you prepare for your volunteer placement with us.

Who are we and what do we do?

Learn more about us by clicking on the thumbnails below

 

 

GVN's Services and Resources

With over 11 years of service and 18,000+ volunteers under our belt, GVN provides you with all the resources and services you will need to take part in a successful and rewarding international volunteer program. Here is a handy list of services which you will be given the opportunity to take up when you decide to volunteer with GVN.

Varied Project Options

Services GVN offers such a wide variety of project options there’s something for everyone. Projects include working with children, teaching, construction, conservation, wildlife, medical, HIV/Aids, peace cells, women’s empowerment, and organic farming. We also offer treks, a cycling challenge, as well as a youth project for teens.

Project Placement

The GVN team includes dedicated staff with the sole focus of facilitating the placement of volunteers and supporting the work of our partners. We aim to provide you with all the resources, support, and information you will need to take part in a successful and rewarding volunteer program with us.

Project Sourcing and Assessment

We provide volunteer programs through our partner organizations in 19 countries throughout South America, Africa and Asia. The network continues to expand with new programs currently being researched and assessed.

Each project is assessed by our expert staff, based on the needs of the community and suitability for our volunteers.

Each project is assessed by our expert staff, based on the needs of the community and suitability for our volunteers.

Communication and Support

Throughout the process, we are committed to working with you to answer your questions or concerns. Your Program Specialist will be in touch with you, and can answer any questions you may have and provide guidance while you are preparing for your placement.

Personalised Staff Support - Program Specialist

Once you have confirmed your placement you will be put in touch with your Program Specialist (PS). Your PS has a thorough knowledge of your program and is there to guide you as you prepare for your volunteer placement with us.

Expert Staff

Many of our staff have participated in one of our programs and are experienced in international travel, so you will find us a great resource when planning for your trip.

Program Guides

Once you have secured your placement you will be provided with further information to help you prepare for your trip. You will be given access to your in-depth online Program Guide which covers topics such as country information, details on your placement, travel links, visa application process, vaccinations and much more.

Orientation

The orientation session will provide you with the necessary information to begin your volunteering program. It includes an introduction to the local culture and language, the Code of Conduct and expectations of the program, health and safety, local tips and advice.

Accommodation

Services Accommodation is provided and depending on your program choice will vary from home stay, dormitory style, volunteer house, apartment, or on-site accommodation.

Meals

The delicious meals provided are a great way for volunteers to experience the local culture. Depending on your program choice you will be provided with between 1-3 meals each day.

Language Lessons (optional, and during orientation)

Depending on your program choice, you may receive introduction to the local language at orientation, Spanish immersion lessons may be included, or you may have the opportunity to pay for additional language lessons before orientation or during your placement.

Project Transport

Daily transport to your project can be provided and arranged for you.* (Applicable programs only; see the costs section of your program page to see if transport is covered for the particular project you are applying for.)

On-going In-country Support

During your placement GVN staff in New Zealand are available to support you as you volunteer and will email you while in country to see how the program is going. Our 24 hour emergency telephone number provides an opportunity to get in touch with us in the case of an emergency.

Insurance

GVN's insurance package is specifically designed for volunteering. It includes excellent medical and accident as well as a 'loss of deposits' cover which includes fees paid to GVN, airlines etc.

Airport Pick-up

You will be provided with detailed information on the arrival arrangements for your program. In most cases volunteers will be picked up at the airport by a representative of our partner organization and taken to their accommodation.

Access to a Non-Profit: the GVN Foundation

ServicesThe vision of the GVN Foundation is to support the charitable and educational work of local community organizations in various countries through the distribution of financial, in-kind and material donations.

Change Makers Club (entry to past volunteer network)

Returned volunteers join our Change Makers club which provides a variety of opportunities for staying connected to your volunteer project and GVN.

Access to Airfare Discounts

Opportunities for preferred pricing and personalized travel agent service when booking airfares to help you find the best airfare deal available.

TEFL Training

GVN is proud to partner with Global English: specialists in online TEFL/TESOL provision since 1996. GVN volunteers receive preferential pricing.

24 Hour Emergency Phone Line

GVN has a 24hr/7day emergency hotline for volunteers and their family.

Crisis Response Plan

GVN recommends volunteers register with their country's embassy before arriving in-country. Partner staff are there to help volunteers follow their embassy emergency response plan, and will facilitate contact and updates between the volunteers, GVN and families. GVN has a 24hr/7day emergency hotline for volunteers and their family to contact in the case of emergency.

Personalised 'My Account' Page

An easy way to keep track of your application, payments and volunteer resources.

Letter of Participation

At the end of your placement you’ll receive a letter outlining the details of your volunteer placement, which can be included in your resume.

Fundraising Guide and Personal Website

Services GVN provides our volunteers with a comprehensive fundraising pack (including software), that will provide you with the resources to raise 100% of your costs!

Preparation Video

Join Mike in his volunteer journey, taking you step by step through the preparation process and how to make the most of your experience.

Online Journal

We provide online volunteer journals where you can post your latest news, making it so easy to keep in touch with your friends and family while you're volunteering.

Discount Voucher

If you choose our Full Cover service you will receive a $350 GVN Gift Voucher to use on a future program or to give to a friend.

Diploma of Volunteer Service

A printable certificate confirming the details of your volunteer placement which can be framed and/or used in your resume.

T-Shirt

A GVN branded T-shirt to wear before, during and after your volunteer placement. There isn't an easier way to promote a good cause!

Access to an Online Community

We love to stay in touch with our friends, and can provide you with updates, inspiration and encouragement. You can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and through our Blog and volunteer journals.

Media Resources

We provide you with access to GVN articles, newsletters, and videos. You can also access the GVN PowerPoint, logos, screensaver, and factsheet to assist you with your fundraising activities.

Phone Consultation

We can set up a time to chat with you about your upcoming placement and answer any questions you have.

Carbon Offset

The carbon dioxide you produce through air travel can be fully offset by planting trees at our reforestation project.

Photo Website Comparison

A great resource for choosing the best photo website to upload your pictures, store them securely, and share them with friends. Many volunteers find a photo website useful while on placement as storing photos online allows them to re-use their memory card.

Preparation Checklist

To make the preparations for your volunteer placement even easier, we provide you with a 'must have’ checklist.

Contact Details of Fellow Volunteers

One month before you travel we will email a list of all the volunteers who will be starting in the program at the same time as you. This provides you the opportunity to get in touch with each other before you meet in country.

Parent Guide

A guide specifically designed for parents of 18-25 year olds to provide them and their son/daughter with important bits of information to help them feel secure and confident about volunteering abroad with GVN.

Featured Programs
Downloads / Resources
Quotes

10 Reasons to Volunteer PDF
Learn about the top 10 benefits of volunteering in this comprehensive report

Ripples of Difference eBook
A collection of unique and inspiring short stories by real volunteers

Vietnam"I'd love to see more young people taking action to help the poor and disadvantaged. Two places to get started are Network for Good and Global Volunteer Network."

Bill Gates
Newsweek Web
wango Member of Wango
World association of non-
governmental organizations
un GVN Foundation has
special United Nations
Consultative Status
Global Volunteer Network Reviews on GoOverseas.com GoRecommend