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GVI Volunteer Case Study

Name: Kerin Eaton

Age: 20

Gender: Female

Country of Residence: U.S.A

Start Date: August 1st 2010

Volunteer Program: South Africa Sports Program

Read on to find out more about Kerin's experience...!

GVI - What were your initial reactions when arriving on the project?

Kerin - On our training day before the first day on actual project, the new
volunteers were given the opportunity to preview what life was like everyday at
the site. After seeing other volunteers work and interact with the kids, I could not
wait to start my first day. At first I was unsure of how the kids would respond to
the sports program, but soon found they could not have been more enthusiastic.
All of the children were so excited to get out of the classroom and play a variety
of sports with the volunteers. Overall, I was so impressed with the participation
and zeal of both the volunteers and the kids.

GVI - What was the best thing about your trip?

Kerin - The best thing about my trip was being a member of the sports program.
I could not have chosen a better project to be a part of and truly had the
experience of a lifetime. All of the projects at our Gordon’s Bay site were
remarkable in their own ways, but I think the kids enjoyed the sports program
the most. Before GVI arrived at the ACJ school in the Nomzamo township, the
children had no physical education incorporated into their schedules whatsoever.
All of the kids were so athletic and had so much energy that working with them
was an absolute pleasure. Seeing the children smile and have fun was such an
incredible reward within itself and made me feel so thankful to have the
opportunity to work with them.
GVI - What do you feel you gained from going away with GVI?

Kerin - Volunteering with GVI in South Africa helped me gain perspective and
come to terms with what is important to me and what I want to do with my life.
Although I donated my time to work and assist the children at the ACJ school,
they gave so much more back to me in return. Their overwhelmingly positive
attitudes despite all they are lacking in life made me realize how important it is
to live everyday to its fullest and not sweat the small things. Quality of life is so
much more important to me than a large paycheck, and I want to find a career
that will allow me to help those in need thrive and flourish.

GVI - Is there a particular memory or interesting story you can tell us?

Kerin - My favourite memory of my time in South Africa was simply walking into
the school every morning. The students and teachers were so welcoming and
friendly to all the volunteers. Every morning as the kids headed into their
classrooms, they would run over to high-five or hug myself and the other
volunteers. It was such an incredible feeling to feel appreciated and welcome in
entirely different culture than my own, and made me realize how fortunate I was
to be a part of such an extraordinary experience.

GVI - Has going away with GVI changed your life in any particular way? (eg: did
you find love, decide to change your career? etc)

Kerin - Before travelling with GVI I was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue
in the future. I was interested in the field of education, but was never quite sure
it would be the right fit for me. After my experience working with the kids at the
ACJ school in South Africa I have made the decision to definitely follow in the
path of education. Although I only had two weeks with the kids, it was by far the
most rewarding experience of my life. I would like to continue feeling that I am
giving back to others in the future, and my experience with GVI made this clear
to me.

GVI – Why would you recommend GVI to your friends?


Kerin - I would recommend GVI to friends because I personally had such a
positive experience on my trip. It was the perfect way to experience a different
culture but also assist in a great cause and help those in need. The people I met
were amazing, both GVI volunteers and locals. I formed incredible bonds and
made great friends after only two weeks. When my time volunteering with GVI
was up, I was so sad to leave and wanted nothing more than to stay. I think it
would be impossible to not enjoy your time on a GVI trip. Assisting others is such
a worthwhile experience within itself, but being able to do so abroad is truly
indescribable.

About Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is an internationally based volunteer abroad organisation which offers


volunteer programs in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Formed in 1998, GVI provides support and services to international charities,
non-profits and governmental agencies through volunteering opportunities and
direct funding, filling a critical void in the fields of environmental research,
conservation, education and community development. Various types of overseas
volunteer work are offered including volunteer holidays, gap year volunteering,
short term volunteering, long term volunteering, volunteer internships, intern
abroad programs, student volunteer abroad programs and employee
volunteering trips abroad. Available subjects include marine biology,
environmental research, teaching and scuba diving courses in various locations
around the world.

For more information on volunteering abroad, please visit http://www.gviusa.com


or http://www.gvi.co.uk.