American University of Kuwait

About the American University of Kuwait

The American University of Kuwait is based in Kuwait city and is an independent, co-ed liberal arts institution which offers a wide range of courses and all instruction is in English.


Volunteering in Ghana

A group of 32 students from the University decided to do a weeks volunteering in Ghana in June 2013. They arranged their trip through Original Volunteers to be able to share their energy and ideas with underprivileged children in communities in the Kwahu region of Eastern Ghana near Lake Volta.

Student achievements

The focus of the group’s visits was the Fulani community next to Lake Volta where the literacy rates are poor and no schooling available until the school built by volunteers had been completed.

The students aged between 18 and 19 completed a wide variety of activities and visits in the short time they were there and made a huge difference to the poorer communities they visited. The group also kindly distributed toys and materials to children in need.

Risk assessment for colleges and universities

Contact us to request the Risk assessment for colleges and universities Information in a PDF document.

North East Worcestershire College


About North East Worcestershire College

North East Worcestershire College is split between two campuses, one in Redditch and another in Bromsgrove just north of Worcester. The college offers a range of courses, which focus on school leavers and adult learners from University level to employer training.

Volunteering in Ghana

A small group of students and tutors from the college decided to arrange a short volunteering trip to Ghana in June 2009. They booked with Original Volunteers to stay for a week in the Kwahu region of eastern Ghana, an area much in need of volunteers.

Student achievements

The two tutors and seven students set off on their life changing experience at the end of June 2009. They arrived armed with footballs, football t-shirts and stationary to donate to the orphanages and schools in the area.

Although they were only volunteering for a week the group still managed to make substantial progress on a new school roof in a remote village. The school, which was originally constructed out of tree branches, was an ongoing project for many of our other volunteers in Ghana.

The college group spent several days working on the wooden frame of the roof before securing metal sheeting on the top. Other volunteers helped to construct and fund the roof, which took around two weeks to complete. Around 75 primary school children learn at the school and have benefited greatly from their new school.

The group also spent time teaching and donating supplies at some of the most deprived schools in the region. Some of the male students also visited the local boys orphanage, where they arranged a football tournament for the boys.

Risk assessment for colleges and universities

Contact us to receive the Risk assessment for colleges and universities Information in a PDF document.


West Nottinghamshire College


About West Nottinghamshire College

West Nottinghamshire College has sites located across Mansfield and Ashfield in the East Midlands. The college offers education and training to over 20,000 students every year, providing them with qualifications including, GCSEs, A Levels, and apprenticeships. Students come in a variety of ages and can study a range of subjects from brickwork and construction to maths and computing.

Volunteering in Ghana

The college decided to arrange their second trip to Ghana with Original Volunteers after the success of their first back in 2009. The idea was to take over a larger group of students and staff to help continue where they left off teaching and building in the remote and highly deprived region of Mpraeso, Ghana.

The entire college set about fundraising for the trip and from sponsored bike rides and fashion shows to car boot sales, they managed to raise £12,000, with the college adding a further £5,000! Nine students and five members of staff took two weeks out of their summer holiday in August 2010 to volunteer with us and transform the lives of some of the poorest communities in Ghana.

Student achievements

With a lot on the agenda and only two weeks volunteering, the group divided in two, with one half based volunteering with children in schools and orphanages and the other half helping on their main building project.

One of the college’s main aims was to reconstruct a school originally made from tree branches, in the remote village of Kofi Nyina, near Lake Volta. Children who used the school were forced to sit on on the floor in an unstable building where children of all ages learn together.

With the college providing all of the necessary materials, resources and furniture and with the help of other Original Volunteers on the Ghana project, the building soon took shape. The school, which only had one classroom, was transformed into a large timber-framed, brick building with several classrooms and a corrugated plastic roof.

Brickwork, joinery and carpentry students all contributed to the build whilst academic studies, childcare and hair and beauty students focused on helping in the local schools, day centres and orphanages. The staff and students taught the children literacy and numeracy skills as well as engaging them in arts, crafts and outdoor sports and games.

“The teaching in Ghana was a really good experience and we played games and got to know the children,” said Helen Gibbons, one of the childcare students on the trip.

“The people in Ghana were very friendly and welcoming. When we headed into the village where we were going to build the school, I had never been made to feel more welcome or important in my life. The people were lovely, saying how happy they were that we had come to try and improve their lives,” she added.

The group also took along teaching resources such as pens, crayons, books and craft materials donated by local businesses. Two Aquabox water filtration systems were also donated by the Safe Water Trust, which each will provide 70 people with clean and safe water for three months.

Risk assessment for colleges and universities

Contact us to request the risk assessment for colleges and universities Information in a PDF document.

Cambridge Regional College


About Cambridge Regional College

Cambridge Regional College is based in the heart of the city and offers a wide range of courses including vocational training and apprenticeships. With 3,000 full-time and 12,000 part-time students, the college accommodates school leavers, adult learners and international students from all over the world.


Volunteering in Morocco

A group of 14 Sports Leadership students from the college decided to do a weeks volunteering in Morocco in June 2010. They arranged their trip through Original Volunteers where they would be able to share their sporting knowledge and skills with underprivileged children in Marrakesh. An eye-opening contrast to the placements the students were used to back in Cambridge.

Student achievements

The students, who were all aged between 16 and 19, spent their trip visiting orphanages, children’s homes and street kids projects organising different sporting activities for the kids.
They also travelled with numerous colouring books and sports kits, which were handed out to the projects before they left.

“Our main aim was to bring over lots of sports equipment and teach the children some new and exciting games,” said Kelly Taylor, one of the students.
“All the children we worked with were extremely friendly and eager to learn.
“Seeing their faces light up as we walked in was one of the most amazing feelings, you realise by doing the littlest of things you can really make a difference,”  she added.

The trip was a great success. The students not only managed to make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children, but they also learnt a lot themselves: “It really opens your eyes on how bad poverty really is and how lucky we really are,” explained 18-year-old Kelly.
“I experienced things that I never thought I would and it was such a rewarding thing to do. Going to Morocco was one of the most amazing experiences of my life”.

The college were so impressed with the work the students did in Morocco that they have already begun planning a return visit next year. On this trip they plan to go one step further and train some of the local children as sports leaders!

Risk assessment for colleges and universities

Contact us to receive the risk assessment for colleges and universities Information in a PDF document.

Sports volunteering

Other projects with spaces for activities and sport

  • Uganda  ages 3 to primary, large green space on site at school
  • Malawi  ages 7 to primary, some space outside schools
  • Tanzania  ages 7 to teen, large spaces at schools
  • Cambodia ages 7 to primary, large grassy space at village school
  • Merida  ages 7 to young teen, large concrete space at most projects
  • Kenya, Mombasa  age 7 to teen, inside space or travel for outdoor space
  • Argentina  ages 8 to young teen, small outside space

Got a question about volunteering and sport?

Call for advice today on 01603 280702 or Ask a question about sport volunteering and we’ll get straight back!

Building Projects

Got a Question? Want to find out more?

For expert advice please call us on 01603 280702 or get in touch with any question via our Ask Us a Question form.
For example, did you know our local support team in Ghana can also help volunteers with their own project. Over the past few years they have helped volunteers build complete water boreholes from scratch for remote villages and install water irrigation systems?! If in doubt – get in touch.

Working with children

Got a Question?

For expert advice please call us on 01603 280702 or Contact Us with your questions.
We will be happy to discuss any of our projects in detail and we really do know our stuff.
We will be happy to answer any question, make suggestions and help you find the right volunteer project for your interests, or budget.
Did you know for example, that many of our local support teams can set up volunteer projects tailored around your interests or that in Peru there are quicker ways of visiting Macchu Picchu than trekking there for 3 days?

For colleges and universities


Information for University and College Groups

If you are thinking about organising a trip with your College or University then why not volunteer abroad with Original Volunteers. Whether you’re looking to volunteer as part of your course, would like a variety of experiences during your visit or if you simply want to make a difference in underprivileged communities. The case studies below are just a small selection of the groups who have travelled with us.


Cambridge Regional College – Case study

Sports students make a difference to Moroccan street kids.


West Notts College – Case study

Students and teachers raise money for the Ghana project.


NEW College – Case study

College group mend school roof in a remote Ghanian village.


AUK – Case study

American University – Large group work on projects all over Ghana.

Risk Assessment For Colleges And Universities

What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a systematic assessment of the volunteer activities and environment surrounding the volunteer during their volunteer placement. It considers what can go wrong and the controls required to eliminate, reduce or control risks.

The aim is to reduce the risks where reasonably practical. Universities and other organisations sending their members abroad often require a copy of a risk assessment or their own form to be completed confirming details and the local in-country coordinator’s details. Up to date risk assessments are currently available for Ghana, Morocco and Peru.

We are also happy to complete any form required by the University or organisation’s placement support team.

For any forms to fill in please e-mail us on: [email protected] or phone: 01603 280702 local number, and ask to speak with Natasha, appointed General Administrator for Colleges and Universities.

Useful links

How to apply

What do you need to do? If you need any help please call us on 01603 28070 or Ask a question about group volunteering.

Gap Year

Kenya Masai

Gap year volunteering – stronger than ever – but make it count!


As the UK’s largest independent provider of gap year volunteering placements we have a broad range of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds and everyone is welcome to have a go!

Gap year volunteering is a unique experience and volunteers often recall afterwards how much more they got out of the experience than they thought possible. For example, in Africa, playwork volunteers may decorate the nursery walls, take part in local celebrations and make friends for life amongst their fellow gappers.


But…..can you make your trip count? Here’s how in 3 easy steps.


Not everyone knows that gap year volunteering can offer more than your average backpacking holiday so don’t be shy on your CV and at interviews.

Don’t leave your volunteering at the bottom of the page resigned to one line, “I volunteered in Africa for 2 weeks with X company”.

Gap year volunteering can provide valuable work experience during a period of fierce competition at home for jobs. A working gap year can also provide a far wider skill set than doing the same activity at home. Whilst a nursery worker at home may assist the qualified teacher, in Africa by contrast they may work alongside other volunteers just like them where there are opportunities to discuss, organise and negotiate activities on an equal level and get involved in things outside of the classroom from decorating to repair work which would be possible as a volunteer at home.


Don't let someone else paint their own picture of your trip!


Your employer or recruiting officer may know nothing about gap years or volunteering, or worse still they may know all too well from their own experience and might assume you just had a jolly good time partying on yachts like they did (above)!


1.How to include volunteering on your CV


Now it seems everyone is volunteering abroad you will need to work harder and smarter to stand out but it can be done easily!

Be specific – describe what you did as if it was a job like any other on your CV.


1.Name of sending organisation.

2. Name of school, project or a location name.

3. Responsibilities and tasks you had to complete each day.

4. Describe in some detail an achievement on your project or a challenge you overcame which does not sound vague and generic or copied from the description of your volunteer agency’s website! Aims, results and detail is hard to make up. Aims and results prove that you are a goal focused individual. The detail and will help your CV stand out in their memory. Compare the following two descriptions on two different CVs, what do you imagine as you read each?


We built a toilet block for the school during my stay which was an incredible experience and very rewarding.


Noticing the children were using the bushes at play time we asked the school director how much it would cost to build two drop toilets and whether he would be happy to support us. We spent two days buying the materials, hiring a couple of labourers (they come with their hire tools!) and a week digging the pit under the toilet as there was no mains sewage outlet. The children were able to use the toilets the following week with ten of us working dawn until dusk. Total cost £200. Incredible!


You may also want to include a personal achievement which achieved results. For example, did you stay after class to help off your own back to improve learning or provide support? Compare the following two excerpts from two different CVs:


I set up an evening class on how to find work for local people which was extremely rewarding.


In the evenings I singlehandedly set up a class for young adults who were at work all day and could not attend our daytime classes. I had done some research chatting to families closeby and discovered the young workers wanted help with preparing CVs and how to find better jobs in the capital city. I gathered some materials from the net and gave two long workshops each week and set some homework. 15 to 25 attended each session all coming after working twelve and in one case fifteen hour shifts at local factories! I kept in touch with all those I could and two now have jobs in the capital and new careers! 


2. Teamwork – Independence – Leadership


Make sure you can demonstrate team work, leadership and independent-working in even amounts. No one wants to hire a bossy boots, a sheep-follower or a social recluse. You ideally need to show you are happy in a group, can supervise or take control if you need to and are happy to work independently.

Over the first few days look for opportunities to demonstrate all three. Not got enough time? A lot of volunteering abroad projects end around 4pm providing you with 7 more hours until 11pm to get more work and ideas in!


volunteer teacher at blackboard teaching

3. Make a video to prove what you did


A short (and it must be short!) video is a great way to make your CV stand out. Who couldn’t resist to click and look when your application comes through?

Make sure your video focuses on an achievement or task. No one wants to watch you strolling around a busy African market, however interesting the foreign fruit and vegetables were. Keep the holiday video completely separate!

Do plan your video that it has a beginning, middle and ending which tells a story. Your ending should clearly show a result, whether it is a building finished, good school test results, animals rescued, a beach cleaned or a presentation/performance staged.

You do not have to speak in front of the camera if you are camera shy, you could simply be filmed by a fellow volunteer. And do not worry about too much being filmed. The more footage the better as it will be easier to find clips. It can be useful if your assistant who is filming has a list of shots you need and tries to get as many clips as they can for each of the shots you want. It will be frustrating if for example you have a section missed out. For example if you have not one shot of anyone smiling or doing work in the class but plenty of you meeting families initially and handshaking at the end of the last session!


For the evening class example, with another volunteer to assist, you could aim to have very short 2-3 second shots of each of the following:


You speaking with a local family about what they think their son/daughter would benefit from by a workshop.
You speaking to a young worker when they return home.
At the local internet cafe googling job websites and printing off materials and CV samples.
The first session itself when the young people come into the room.
You demonstrating/explaining from the front.
A shot of the young people discussing or working together in pairs and groups on something you have asked them to do.
A shot of some class laughter and smiles somewhere!
You praising a student.
A student asking you a question.
Some handshaking and exchanging of contact details at last session.
A message from one of the students announcing they have found work!


A 30 second video of the type above which tells a story and is concise might just blow the mind of your interviewer. Do include a link on your CV and do double check it has nothing holiday-like in the video.


This needs to be a standalone video for formal purposes only which makes you look like an utter professional who went for it and got the results you wanted! If it is extremely professional and this was your first time making a video – include a mention of this too.


And we are sure we don’t need to remind you that you should get the permission of anyone who needs to know (project staff, school directors) and those who will be filmed. It can be helpful if you explain your final video will only be one minute long although you need to film much more to be able to edit it. Also that you will not include full names, contact details or locations and the video will only be used for your personal use for your own job application and if they do not want to be filmed that’s fine too!


No ideas? Not sure how you could set up your own standalone project?


We will be happy to try to suggest ideas based on your current job or subjects you are studying.

Tell us a bit about your background including courses studied (whatever the level) and your work history and we’ll be in touch to help! The more background the better as there may be a little gem you hadn’t realised you could make use of.


Quick test on what you’ve learnt here:

Which of the three photos (girl and children, group on yacht, volunteer at blackboard) on this page say “professional, organised and focused?”?
If you can see the clear winner – then you know what you have to do.

Nursing Volunteer Projects

Nursing and Health Volunteering

Case studies


First year student nurse with a two week elective to fill. Lauren volunteered on our Ghana programme with one week at the hospital in the maternity department and one week at one of the poorer schools teaching the younger children where at break times and after lessons she put into practice basic first aid.

A health care studies student, 17 years old, planning to study nursing the following year, Gemma wanted some experience work shadowing to gain confidence which she could add to her CV but was struggling to find an affordable programme which also offered hands-on practical experience. Gemma chose our Uganda programme which offers complete beginners to opportunity to get hands on at the clinic next to the school and work shadowing at the hospital in the local town whilst taking some time out at the school to play with the children!


A recently qualified nurse, Gillian wanted to put something back into the communities where facilities and access to health were non-existent or lacking. She volunteered in Ghana for three weeks. Weeks one and two were spent at the poor schools alongside our teaching volunteers doing health checks on the children and their families. For week three, assisted by our team and another two student nurses, our team set up outreach clinics even further off the beaten track to clean up wounds and make diagnoses.

A bio-medicine student, Faisal had been looking for some time for an opportunity to gain hospital experience for his application to study medicine but could not find an affordable programme to fit his student budget. Faisal applied for our Ghana programme and spent two weeks in the hospital’s laboratory testing blood samples with afternoons doing observations on the wards and in theatre.


Further help and advice?

For further advice on finding the right elective placement or to check whether you have the right qualifications or level Get advice! or call us on 01603 280702 and we will be happy to help to find you the right placement!