Arts , Sports and recreation , Energy conservation , Media , Environment , Community development , Research and science , Museums and history , Job and workplace , Social enterprise , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , More
Boutique Volunteer Projects in Rural East Africa - Uganda & Ethiopia
A unique high impact initiative investing the ideas, skills and experience of international volunteers in remote corners of Africa to create empowered local communities and protect the wildlife of national parks.
This is the opportunity to become part of an organisation through which you can get involved in grassroots sustainable development and conservation projects with a programme thoughtfully customised around your personal abilities, experience and interests. This is personalised and specialist service. You will be placed in roles that contribute genuine and positive impact in rural Africa.
International volunteering is an innovative platform to grow yourself personally and professionally and if you choose the right programme, you will be able to make a positive impact on the world at the same time.
It is the ideal solution for vacations from school, a career break / sabbatical from work, corporate annual leave or after retirement. It is also a probably one of the best ways to travel the world where you can truly learn from a different culture and experience behind the scenes of a destination.
Why does Big Beyond exist?
To work hand-in-hand with remote communities living next to national parks towards sustainable conservation and development.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park World Heritage Site and its gorillas need greater support from its local community to ensure an optimistic future. Neighbouring villagers, including the indigenous Batwa tribe who once lived on its rich natural resources, also deserve to be part of today’s conservation efforts and rewards. This organisation comprises of a combination of projects that aim to empower the local communities to have a better life without using forest resources and to support conservation efforts of the national park. All projects are long-term with sustainability at the heart.
The Hamar Tribe live in the Omo Valley of southern Ethiopia - they still live like they have for ever. Whilst there are no plans for them to leave their culture they are so proud of, they do have plans to improve their quality of life through better health, education, business and more. Hamar live alongside Mago National Park and today its a popular grazing ground for their cattle. The lions, leopards, elephant, buffalo and other wildlife is struggling to survive and if we’re not quick will disappear into history - devastating for the locals and the planet. This project is hoping to empower Hamar and help them conserve what is important to them whilst at the same figuring out ho to enable Mago and it’s wildlife a future.
The Big Beyond Philosophy
Big Beyond’s approach is to invest in Africa, beyond handouts, towards simple, innovative and sustainable solutions to local challenges. We believe in Africa’s people, we believe they have to lead their own development and we believe in the power of cross-cultural ideas and collaboration. As an organisation we build skills and knowledge amongst local communities, made possible through our brilliant dedicated volunteer team working alongside ours. Our project approach is holistic to balance the bigger picture so we're leading and supporting health, education, enterprise, culture and environmental work.
Big Beyond facilitate bespoke & full-board international volunteer programmes to ensure each individual joining our team achieves their goals, and the local projects do the same.
We warmly invite individuals from around the world who also have a passion for our philosophy and want to continue to make this fusion of cultures and ideas in such remote places a reality.
Who volunteers with Big Beyond?
Age, gender and nationality do not matter - attitude and motivation does. Volunteers range from professionals and retirees, to students and graduates and they come from all around the world. The minimum age is 18 years and there's no maximum as long as you're healthy and up for the adventure. It is likely you will be part of a down to earth team oozing passion, energy and adventure.
Motivations vary from personal skills development, philanthropy, just time out and/or travel adventures. It’s up to your why you come as long as you can respect the projects and ways of working in the part of the world you go. And are ready to embrace every amazing and challenging moment!
What do volunteers do?
We're looking for many different skill-sets and interests to aid the success of a diverse range of projects. You'll be working right at the grassroots of remote development - that's both fascinating and challenging.
Depending on your specific experience and interests, you could work across initiatives to…
- strengthen community health through education sessions or events
- help generate sustainable income for subsistence farmers
- write basic business plans for community enterprise ideas
- create teaching aides for school classrooms
- help run a fun but impactful event
- plant indigenous trees in the community
- explore and design hiking trails for a community tourism project and train local guides
- research and help understand cultural heritage way back before colonial times
- run a film and debate session around water and rainforests
- carry out research and listen to what’s important for the local people not us
- .. and many more opportunities to get involved
When can I join the Big Beyond team?
We recruit year-round for projects. There are one or two intake dates each month.
How long can I volunteer with you?
From just 2 weeks up to 6 months.
What does it cost & what's included?
It depends on how long you join for. Fees are from £995 (GBP)
Big Beyond facilitate and manage top-notch and full-board expeditions. This means you're well looked after before and during your trip, you can concentrate entirely on the projects you came to do, have the biggest impact and the rest of your time will be left for amazing leisure activities outside your work.
The fee includes your personalised volunteer programme, pre-departure preparation guide and assistance, arrival and departure airport transfers, orientation programme, three meals a day, drinking water, local project transport when necessary (much is reached on foot), a big amazing team on the ground to facilitate your work and play, travel and leisure advice on tap for incredible weekends away or exploring the area, and... a unique platform to easily integrate right into the community from day one.
How to apply to join us?
STEP 1 Schedule a call with Lizzie (email email@example.com) to talk about you, us, the projects and exchange questions. Or you can call us+44 (0)1395 206565 - we’re often in the field so you’ll have to leave a message.
STEP 2 Receive an invitation letter to join the team
STEP 3 Confirm your place on the team for the available dates by putting down a deposit of £350 (the balance 8 weeks before your arrive).
STEP 4 Complete an online questionnaire to create your profile so we can get to work on your bespoke placement
STEP 5 Book your flights and rightly so, get hugely excited : )
We hope to see you soon!