Best Volunteer Reviews 2017

Volunteer Name: Don & Samantha Shipman
Project Location: Belize      
Volunteered At:  Children’s Home

What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Don: Watching my daughter, Samantha (age 20), follow in my footsteps as we taught a 3-hour block of instruction to the staff on Pediatric First Aid, CPR and Epilepsy Awareness.
Sam: Teaching medicine to the staff and playing with my favorite child (Down’ Syndrome).

What was the most difficult thing you experienced?
Don: Nothing really. I have spent many years operating in underdeveloped countries.   
Sam: Not being able to take pictures of the children. I understand the reasoning behind this rule, but would have cherished pictures of the kids for the rest of my life.

What was the one thing you wished you were better prepared for?
Nothing. The information provided by ABV was 100% accurate. You are to be commended for “No Surprises!”

Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
1.      ALWAYS stay tied in with your respective State Department to know what is going on in the country before you get there. If you are a U.S. resident, I strongly recommend that you sign up for their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Seeà
2.      I always take Doxycycline. Traveler’s Diarrhea prevention (also an anti-malarial in some areas).
3.      I take soccer balls with me all over the world. It is THE universal game and kids will come to you like bees to honey! I also give them a new pump and plenty of needles.
4.      Bug spray, bug spray & bug spray. Did I mention bug spray? Primetherine impregnation for your clothing is also recommended. The soak/saturation impregnation method is much better than the spray-on.
5.      The diet is rice/wheat. Virtually no veggie or fruit. In short order you may begin to crave these things. There is an excellent Chinese restaurant about a mile’s walk away. Two supermarkets are co-located here as well. There is a Lebanese place at the Manatee lookout about 1 ½ miles away. Choc’s Grocery (a shack) is located 200 meters from the front gate of the Center.  Choc’s was our refill point for all drinking water (jugs/bottled), cola, a fantastic chocolate milk and other snacks.
6.      Great Wifi on-site. Remember to always keep your phones on Airplane Mode to avoid roaming charges. Bring your laptops/tablets.
7.      Electrical outlets are 110V (same as U.S.), so recharging in as simple as just plugging-in.
8.      We were there 8 days and took one day off. We rented a mini-van and driver for a day ($163) and drove across Belize (east to west to east). We went to the Guatemalan border, visited the Mayan ruins at Xuantunich, did the open-air market at San Ignacio (best on a Saturday) and generally just enjoyed traveling across this beautiful country.

How would you describe/rate your experience working with the ABV staff in the USA?
The ABV staff is easily one of the best groups I have associated with over the years. Very professional: Responsive, timely and continuous with relevant information.

How was the local ABV Director and the support provided in-country?
Agatha is a gem! Wufie is great…a true asset to the organization. Numerous others. Here is an example: The main cook, Ms. V, heard that our team was comprised of medical professionals/students. She came and talked with us regarding her concern about a newly arrived child with epilepsy. As a result of our discussion, Agatha asked if we would develop a presentation for the staff. Ultimately, we provided a 3-hour training session in Pediatric First Aid, CPR & Epilepsy. The staff was highly engaged during all facets of training and we were constantly answering questions throughout. Very dynamic, lots of laughter. Great experience for both teachers and students. One lady brought us homemade tamales later in the day as her way of saying thank you. We were very touched and accepted them most humbly.

Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
See above. Additionally, probably the best testimonial we can give is that we will definitely go with ABV again if they are servicing an area we want to visit.

Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?

Money Matters

A Broader View Volunteers work tirelessly year round to support our volunteers, and also to serve the local communities where ABV projects are based. As a tax-exempt 501 c(3) organization A Broader View receive 100% of our funding from volunteer contributions. Through your program fee contribution our non-profit charity organization can operate beneficial humanitarian aid programs which are successful and continuous supported year round.

Local, professional full-time coordinators, placement logistics, airport pick up and departure transportation, arrival orientation, food & local accommodations, are a major part of providing a safe, meaningful volunteer experience. When you join A Broader View, you will receive pre-trip visa and vaccination support, assistance with flights, fundraising planning, through our interactive online volunteer portal. Our local partners not only benefit from volunteers valuable contributions at the project, they benefit financially with year-round monetary support from A Broader View. In the last decade A Broader View has donated over 3.5 million dollars in international aid.

By joining A Broader View you are not only helping to make a difference during your own trip, your impact will last even after you go home.

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