African Adventures' volunteer experiences

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1. What is different about African Adventures' volunteer experiences?
2. How do you ensure that the work your volunteers do is ethical, sustainable, and responsible?
3. Tell us a little about your host destinations.
4. How will a trip to Africa complement students' learning and the curriculum?
5. Do your trips offer anything else besides volunteering?
6. Which ages are your trips suitable for?
7. Is it safe to take students to Africa?
8. How much work is involved for teachers?

african adventures teaching





1. With so many school trips abroad on offer, what is different about African Adventures' volunteer experiences?

Our trips give your students the chance to take their learning beyond the classroom as they discover a new country, immerse themselves in an unfamiliar culture and contribute to meaningful development with a life-changing volunteering experience in Ghana, Kenya or Zanzibar.

We firmly believe that volunteering brings mutual benefits, both to our partner schools in Africa and our volunteers from the UK. During your trip, you and your students will have a lasting impact at our partner schools by assisting with teaching and sports coaching, or building and renovation work. In the process, you'll get to know the community where you're volunteering, giving you the chance to go far beyond the normal tourist trail.

We work in partnership with the schools we support to help bring about long-term change. Our partner schools set the direction for their own development, and we provide the support needed to make their goals a reality (see below for more!).

We're not bothered about being the biggest volunteer travel organisation, but we're committed to being the best. When you choose to travel with us, we work closely with you to design your ideal trip, and our friendly UK team will provide a personable and friendly service to ensure you feel supported from start to finish.

Our volunteering experiences offer so much more than a standard school trip, and we've seen hundreds of students return home as more mature, resilient, empathetic, and globally aware young adults as a result of their African Adventure.





2. How do you ensure that the work your volunteers do is ethical, sustainable, and responsible?

We're proud of our unique model of volunteering which puts our partner schools at the heart of everything we do. The schools we work with in Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar are all run by members of the local community. We don't own them, and we never will. The reason for this is simple – our partner schools know the needs of their local communities far better than we ever could. The schools set the direction for their own development, and we provide volunteers from the UK to help make their goals a reality. Whether it's building a new classroom or installing new sanitation facilities, we put their needs first.

We also exclusively employ local people to run our trips in Africa. This means you'll benefit from local knowledge when you travel, your experience is authentic, and our trips directly benefit the communities we work in. We further support the communities where we work by using locally owned accommodation and transport, sourcing food locally and using carbon offsetting schemes which directly benefit those we work with.

We're a proud signatory to the United Nations' Global Compact – a voluntary initiative that encourages organisations around the world to commit to more sustainable and responsible practices. This holds us accountable for the work we do and gives us real focus and meaning as an organisation. As a signatory, we've also committed to helping advance the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals – a set of 17 goals which aim to create a better, more sustainable future by the year 2030. As a volunteer, you'll be contributing to these goals through the work you do at our partner schools.

Finally, we also have a charity arm – African Adventures Foundation – which funds infrastructure improvements, microfinance initiatives and key provisions such as feeding programmes at our partner schools. African Adventures covers all running costs for the charity, so 100% of donations go to our partner schools.

african adventures school group





3. Tell us a little about your host destinations.

We work in three unique and beautiful destinations across the fascinating continent of Africa – Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar.

In the vibrant West African nation of Ghana, dancing and drumming are central to the way of life, and there are miles of stunning, unspoilt beaches to explore. In the rural Volta region, where our partner schools are based, fishing and agriculture are the main industries, and children often work alongside their parents to bring in an income, instead of attending school. As a result, many children don't start school until aged six or seven. Our partner schools are working to extend their outreach and encourage more children to start school earlier and stay in education longer.

In Kenya, we're based in Nakuru - the fourth largest city in the country, with a population of over 300,000 people. Kenya is full of contrasts, with a thriving tourism industry on one hand, and extreme poverty on the other. In the bustling centre of Nakuru, small-scale agriculture, manufacturing and tourism form the backbone of the economy, but whilst the city has enjoyed significant economic success over the last 10 years, not everybody has reaped the benefits. Food insecurity, limited access to education and inadequate housing remains a real problem for many. The costs that come with attending government-run schools – such as uniforms, textbooks and exam fees – mean that this is not an option for many children. Our partner schools are working to fill this gap and offer a route out of long-term poverty by providing a free education and daily meals to Nakuru's most disadvantaged children, many of whom live in slum areas near the city's dumpsite.

Finally, the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar – a semi-autonomous island off the east coast of Tanzania - is world-famous for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters, but beyond the picture-perfect scenery lies a different story. Life can be very difficult, and many people are forced to survive on less than 75p per day. We work with three schools near Stone Town, all of which are severely underfunded and overcrowded. In fact, overcrowding is so serious that the school day is cut in two, with half of the students attending in the morning and the other half attending in the afternoon – thereby literally halving children's access to education. It's also common for classes to contain upwards of 100 children, with just one teacher. Our partner schools are working to improve their facilities to reduce overcrowding. As a volunteer, you'll discover a rich and diverse culture which is steeped in history, and a fascinating mix of influences from India, Persia, Europe and Africa can still be seen in the island's architecture, cuisine, languages, religions and culture.





4. How will a trip to Africa complement students' learning and the curriculum?

Our trips can support a variety of subject curricula, including Geography, History, Citizenship and Physical Education. Through our volunteering experiences, students can learn about diverse places, people, cultures, and natural and human environments as they explore our host destinations. They'll contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, leading to them becoming truly global citizens, and gain hands-on experience of assisting with teaching and coaching sports at our partner schools. Our adventure activities further complement students' learning by giving our volunteers the opportunity to explore the fascinating histories and rich cultures of our host destinations (see below for more!).

By stepping out of their comfort zones, your students will have a unique opportunity to develop their cultural capital, as required in Ofsted's 2019 inspection. They'll discover an unfamiliar culture, enjoy a range of new experiences, and gain invaluable life skills that are simply not on offer in most school trips.

Finally, we proudly hold a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge which confirms that our trips provide high-quality, tangible educational outcomes by offering students the chance to take their learning beyond the classroom and enjoy real-world experiences.

african adventures painting





5. Do your trips offer anything else besides volunteering?

Our trips proudly focus on volunteering, but we understand that you and your students want to experience everything that your destination has to offer. With this in mind, we've put together a range of adventure activities which you can add to your trip package:

In Ghana, you can learn about the tortuous history of the transatlantic slave trade at Cape Coast Castle – once a notorious fort for captured slaves awaiting transport to the Americas. You can also hike through Kakum National Park, where you'll learn about the rainforest's flora and fauna, and experience the thrill of walking the treetop canopy trail, 300ft above the ground. There's also the option to feed monkeys by hand at a protected sanctuary, hike up Mount Afadjato – the highest point in Ghana – or take in the spectacular sight of the tallest waterfall in Ghana, Wli Falls.

In Kenya, you can opt to go on safari at Lake Nakuru National Park, witness the Earth's gravitational pull in action at the Equator, and hike down Thomson Falls – one of the deepest waterfalls in East Africa. Alternatively, you can take a lesson in Swahili – East Africa's mother tongue – enjoy a Kenyan cookery lesson, and visit the fascinating 2000-year-old Menengai Crater. You can also visit an elephant orphanage, or spend a weekend on safari in the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Finally, in Zanzibar, you can explore the historic streets of Stone Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – on a walking tour, visit a spice farm to learn how Zanzibar earned its nickname as the 'Spice Island', and stay the night at a tranquil beach resort. Alternatively, you can explore Zanzibar's pristine waters from onboard a traditional dhow boat, with guided snorkelling sessions and a lunch of fresh seafood and tropical fruits included. You can also visit the historic Prison Island, named after a prison for rebellious slaves that once stood there. Nowadays, it is home to 100 giant tortoises, imported from the Seychelles in the late 19th century, and is fringed by a beautiful coral reef!

In addition to our adventure activities, we offer a variety of cultural activities which are included in your trip package. These include drumming lessons in Ghana, feeding giraffes by hand in Kenya, and visiting Stone Town's famous markets in Zanzibar.





6. Which ages are your trips suitable for?

We organise trips for volunteers of all ages – our youngest volunteer ever was seven years old! That said, our school trips are most suited to students aged 14 or above due to the challenging nature of the volunteering work and the unfamiliar environment of our host destinations. african adventures cultural





7. Is it safe to take students to Africa?

The short answer is yes!

Your safety is our number one priority during your trip, and our impeccable safety record speaks for itself. Since 2009, we've organised hundreds of volunteering experiences for thousands of volunteers, so we know how to deliver a school trip that's safe, memorable (for all the right reasons!) and enjoyable.

Our comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS) ensures the highest possible standards of safety and sets out everything we do to keep you and your students safe during your trip. Our SMS is also independently audited by the School Travel Forum each year, so you can rest assured that we've completed all the necessary risk assessments and safety checks.

We also hold a number of accreditations and memberships that should reassure you that you're travelling with a reputable provider. In addition to our Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, we're a member of ABTA, we're supported by Pharos Response in the event of an incident, and we provide financial protection through the ATOL scheme.

Finally, comprehensive insurance is included in our trip packages as standard. This includes cover for travel complications relating to Coronavirus, explicit cover for volunteering activities, access to English-speaking doctors 24/7 via a travel companion app, cover for all pre-existing medical conditions.





8. How much work is involved for teachers?

When you decide to travel with us, we'll support you from start to finish and make organising a trip as simple as possible.

Our UK team will help you complete any formal paperwork needed to get your trip signed off by Senior Leadership, organise your flights, accommodation, in-country transport and volunteering work, and help you and your students apply for visas. We'll also deliver a presentation to parents and students to get your trip off the ground, and another pre-departure presentation closer to your trip to make sure you're ready to travel.

In the run-up to your trip, you and your students will also have access to our online portal for volunteers, My African Adventure. Here, you'll find loads of information about your destination, partner school, accommodation, adventure activity and more, as well as support and advice for fundraising.

When you arrive in Africa, you'll be met at the airport by our friendly in-country teams, who are all local to the areas where we work. They'll be by your side throughout your experience to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Plus, teachers can travel for free, with one fully funded staff place for every 10 students!

If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how African Adventures can help you with a school group tour then why not get in touch here.






Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Ghana
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Ghana
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Ghana

Discover the beautiful coastal region of Ghana, where your students will be immersed in a vibrant community with a proud West African heritage. Spend time working with one of 11 community projects we support and make a real difference.
More about Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Ghana...

Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Zanzibar
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Zanzibar
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Zanzibar

Inspire your students with a life-changing trip to Zanzibar, where they can make a lasting difference at one of the three community schools we work with, and explore this famous archipelago's rich African-Arabian history.
More about Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Zanzibar...

Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Kenya
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Kenya
Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Kenya

Take your students on the trip of a lifetime and immerse them in modern-day Kenya, where they can make a lasting difference at one of the 11 community projects we support in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. They won't want to leave!
More about Challenging and worthwhile volunteering trips in Kenya...



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