Travel as Volunteer to The Gambia

Travelling with a purpose is a different way of travelling. It is a combination of volunteering and responsible tourism. It is an exchange of knowledge, broadening of horizons and a marvellous experience. The program offers you the opportunity to get to know a new culture up close and being involved in the local environment. It allows you to gain a lot of new knowledge, be reminded about forgotten values , and get the feeling that you are part of a movement that aims to change people’s lives for the better.

Kids Are the World is a non-governmental, voluntary, unprofitable and humanitarian oriented organisation committed to the cause of improving the quality of life for children, youth and families. Their mission is to give education to the deprived children and help them on their way to their independence.

Photo Credit: Marija Soldat
Their story began in 2011 when passion for change brought together the founders of the organisation. They both shared the same vision, to help improve chances for education for the kids. One year later, a humanitarian organisation was formed and deprived children in The Gambia, who could not afford to go to school before, started to get help from the sponsors, one by one. Many of the sponsors wished to visit new members of their extended family in The Gambia. This is how the idea of Travel as a Volunteer came about.
Photo Credit: Kaja Horvat
Since the beginning, most of their activities have been connected with educational development. Volunteers coming to the Gambia were helping in a local kindergarten. Each year they were more interested in travelling with meaning and spending vacation somehow different, especially with the students during their summer holidays. From there on, summer camps started. Volunteers were formed in groups that would travel in different periods in the year, usually for three weeks, and help with the organisation of the summer camps for children. From one summer camp per year and a team of twelve volunteers, the idea expanded to five summer camps per year with more than 50 volunteers coming to The Gambia, mainly from Europe.
Photo: Milan Njenjic
Through the years, the organisation started collaborating with different institutions and NGO’s in the country, expanding their opportunities to work as a volunteer also in the medicine, environment protection, architecture, IT, media production and construction field. Nevertheless, summer camps are considered as their primary and continual selection.
Travelling with volunteering is becoming a big trend, but Kids are the World organisation aims to keep this type of travelling as responsible as possible. Volunteers contribute not only to the field of work in which they are active during their stay in The Gambia but also to the broader community. The organisation motivates volunteers to use local transport, buy fruit and food from the street sellers, explore the country and its hidden parts that are usually not promoted by tour agencies, and contribute to the responsible tourism industry development this way.
Photo Credit: Kaja Horvat
The Travel as a Volunteer program is favourable to diversity, so it is suitable for volunteers of all generations, nationalities and areas of interest. Whether you are a high school or university student, employed, unemployed, retired, if you want to travel alone, in a group of friends or new people, with a partner or your family, this program is the right choice for you. Do you have no experience or specific knowledge? Don’t worry. Most programs do not require special qualifications and experience, although each program has its own set of mild conditions.
Photo Credit: Petra Hertl

“Travelling with a purpose” benefits both sides, the visitors and hosts. But many volunteers by the end of this journey would agree that they got more from the hosting country than they gave back. Travel as a Volunteer is a perfect chance to gain independence in a foreign country, to gain new knowledge and experiences which are very valuable to potential employers, to achieve a higher level of social awareness and responsibility, but most of all to gain an unforgettable experience.

Why is this way of travelling so different? Because you are a part of the local community, which is very welcoming and open to the visitors. People of The Gambia are why most of the volunteers who came to The Gambia before decided to come back again and again. Volunteers are included in the community’s life; they are working and mingling with the locals, experiencing their way of life, trying local food, getting used to local habits and broadening horizons regarding the perception of life.
Photo: Jana Snuderl
Travel as a Volunteer offers to join volunteer expeditions in groups throughout the year. But you can also travel solo. Most of the camps are limited to three weeks, but in the end, it is up to you how long you want to stay. You can join almost any time throughout the year, except in the Ramadan period.
In 2021, most volunteering programs are taking place in a developing Career and Educational Centre located in a small village of Brufut. The centre is about half an hour away from the main tourist area. Throughout the summer in the time of school holidays, the centre opens its doors to children from surrounding villages who want to participate in educational, fun, or sports activities. The majority of children in the village do not have an opportunity for regular schooling but always desire new knowledge.
Photo Credit: Kaja Horvat
Activities volunteers carry out are reading hours in the library, sports games, a variety of outdoor games, playing on instruments, singing hours, learning about letters, numbers and basics of the English language, actually anything that they can create with equipment and materials available in the centre. Although the local teachers guide summer camps, volunteers should use all of their resourcefulness, adaptability and originality when designing and forming new activities for children of all ages. The ultimate goal is to create a pleasant atmosphere that would be enjoyable for volunteers and children.
Photo Credit: Jasmina Kozinc
So, can you join too? Of course! There is still some space for volunteers seeking to join summer camps. So, all you need to do is check their brochure and decide on a programme you want to join, decide on a term in which you want to travel, check the conditions of participation and apply for an unforgettable experience.

Planned dates of this years’ summer camps are:
– from 26.6 to 17.7.2021 – SUMMER CAMP 1
– from 17.7. to 7.8.2021 – SUMMER CAMP 2
– from 7.8. to 28.8.2021 – SUMMER CAMP 3
– from 28.8. to 18.9.2021 – SUMMER CAMP 4
– from 18.9. to 9.10.2021 – SEPTEMBER CAMP

For vacancies, send an email to info@travelasvolunteer.si.

Travel, experience, volunteer.

Photo: Jana Snuderl

We live in The Gambia and we are happy to help you to plan your holidays. By choosing us, your time, your most valuable asset will be fulfilled with creative suggestions about where to go and what to do. You will know you are making the right choice because we are spending a lot of time on the road ourselves; scouting out new places, deepening relationships with locals involved, and finding places to eat, enjoy and stay. 

Your questions and requests will be considered individually by one of our experts. You will receive special benefits that you can’t get on your own or are not available on automatic booking systems. We will provide you with a wide range of information about activities you can choose to make your stay more vivid. You will have the assistance of a person, which will be there for you, will provide information to the details and use all the knowledge to make your trip memorable. 

Get everything set for your vacation and travel without worries. 

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