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Volunteering abroad – leaving your footprint

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Ever thought about spending your school holidays volunteering abroad by coaching sport to underprivileged children?  I suppose it is a bit of a bus-man’s-holiday if you are a teacher but you get to see a country from the inside and not as a tourist laying on a sun bed supping cocktails…

Volunteer Bethany Neave on her first coaching session

You could coach Rugby in Swaziland?  During the holidays, the Swazi coaches organise coaching for the community as a whole and you can have people from very young to very old all wanting to learn to play rugby and be part of this wonderful charity.  AIDS awareness is very much part of the programme with informative leaflets being handed out and the slogan “Pass The Ball, Not The Virus” being taught to all players.  Volunteers also get involved in the day to day running of the charity and get to paint the charity’s logo on the outside of the schools (much wanted by all schools in Swaziland)!


Annie Lock much appreciated by the kids in Port Elizabeth

Another fantastic charity in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has a 5 week sports coaching placement starting on 13th July and finishing on 17th August 2013 where you can coach football, rugby, hockey, netball, tennis, swimming or ultimate frisbee.  You are right at the end of the Garden Route so can take off on the Baz Bus when you are finished and make your way down to Cape Town, stopping off on the way and exploring all the beaches…


Teachers sit on the floor cross legged in India so a NO to mini skirts!

Exotic India offers teaching placements to primary school children in the rural areas of the Aravalli Hills near Udaipur in Rajasthan.  These children are the first generation from their families to attend school.  You teach them English and Maths in the morning and then go on to a very bleak boys orphanage and organise stimulating after school activities to help give these boys a boost (although they can probably teach you more about cricket than you thought you knew and how to play it with a piece of wood and an old ball!).  You can also teach pre-school children in a nursery setting, accompany the health promotion programmes, teach the ladies to sew….  Placements are for 2 to 12 weeks and whilst there you can do the Taj Mahal, Ranthambore Tiger Park, Jodhpur and the desert communities…


At a rugby competition in Krabi

And what about coaching rugby combined with teaching English on Phuket Island, in Thailand? This well respected Christian charity also has child care centres (one for the children of Burmese refugees and the other for the children from Patong, well known for its sex industry) where you can also help give deprived and vulnerable pre-school children a boost.  Phuket is a great base for exploring the islands at the weekend including the famous Phi Phi and James Bond Island. And of course the Thai food is SO delicious!


If you would like to make a difference in one of these impoverished communities and do something meaningful in your holidays, check out our website www.volunteervacations.co.uk, have a good look at the VVBlog and read all about the other volunteers’ experiences, send us an email on [email protected] or give us a ring on 01483 331551 / 07833 208 158.

You could always sip cocktails and chill out on the beach at the end knowing that you have seen how people really live in these countries and not view them through rosey tinted spectacles.

About Volunteer Vacations

Volunteer Vacations send gap year students, university students, families, people on Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and people on career breaks to coach sports, teach and work in orphanages targetting underpriviledged children in South Africa, Kenya, Swaziland and India. New projects coming up in Thailand and Brazil. In Swaziland they offer bespoke rugby coaching placements with the charity Skrum where volunteers (18+) can take their Level 1 rugby coaching certificate and then travel on to other placements and coach rugby. In India, the placements are suitable for families and undeer 18’s are accepted providing they are accompanied by an adult. India is also suitable for Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. We also offer building renovation and reconstruction in India in July. India placements can be from 2 to 12 weeks.

For more information, please visit http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk/ or contact [email protected]

Press Contact

Jill Golding, Volunteer Vacations, http://www.volunteervacations.co.uk/
Tel: +44 (0)1483 331551 / +44 (0)7833 208158, E-mail: [email protected]

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