For many participants, contributing to a project is the most special part of their expedition experience and has a huge impact on their lives. Over 90% of our teams choose to carry out project work as part of their itinerary and there's nothing that gives us greater pride than the inspiring projects and people we're lucky enough to be involved with around the world.
Contributing to a project means you not only get the opportunity to really help those in need, you also get to experience the tremendous warmth and hospitality of different cultures. Be ready for cooking, painting, dancing and football! Work can range from basic construction to teaching English in a local school or environmental projects that support conservation work. Many of our teams have formed long term links with projects and continue to raise money and follow the work being done.
There have been recent reports and warnings in the media about the potential pitfalls of 'voluntourism'. As a company, we have always been acutely aware of this issue and one of our core values has always been to work with partner projects who make a real difference.
Our Expedition Planners ensure every project is of genuine benefit to, and the benefits stay within, the communities we work with. Our Expedition Planners source each project directly, visiting to see the work in progress and meet with the in-country project leader. We do not run projects if we don't believe the work is worthwhile to the community, environment or the participants, or if we suspect the benefits won't stay within the community.
"Personally I think that the best part of the expedition was the project. The community were really welcoming and they were just lovely and so grateful for what we did. Then they organised a dance for us on the Sunday after we had played football and they had a band for us. While there we gave the children bouncy balls, skipping ropes and some other small things to play with, it was great seeing how happy they were with such small things. I loved how we all worked together with the community and made a positive difference to their lives".
Charlotte Bunnett - Participant