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START DATES

EVERY MONTH

PRICED FROM

£1630 + £149 REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

12 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD

REAL AFRICA ENCOUNTER

PMGY’s Real Africa Encounter is a chance to spend a life changing 12 weeks of volunteering across the world’s second biggest continent in gorgeous Ghana, fascinating Tanzania & epic South Africa! Something special about Africa touches the soul; it is a continent of 54 immensely diverse countries that is both deeply troubled and profoundly uplifting. On this 12 week volunteering adventure you’ll get the opportunity to visit 3 of those countries..

 

Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing, and reason enough to visit. From the tropical rain forests of Central Africa to the endless rippling dunes and waterless tracts of the Sahara, from the signature savannah of the east to jagged mountains and green-tinged highlands all across the continent, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty.

 

Ghana is your first stop and is a friendly, energetic and culturally rich country, full of diverse wildlife, amazing beaches, gorgeous hinterland and not forgetting the affable locals it’s no wonder Ghana is sometimes labelled ‘Africa for beginners’.

 

During your 4 weeks here you’ll get to experience just how vibrant this country as well as making a hugely positive impact through volunteering. Choose from helping to care for Ghanaian children with special needs; teaching skills that will help children improve their future job prospects; gain first-hand experience and insight into the Ghanaian health care system or brighten up the lives of vulnerable children at an orphanage in Ghana and make a vital and important contribution to their daily lives.

 

Tanzania has many, many highlights but it’s frequently billed as ‘the’ place to safari. Endowed with powdery idyllic beaches and topped off with the stupendous Mount Kilimanjaro, what’s not to love about this magical country. Throw in the exotic delights of Zanzibar and you can see why it will be unforgettable.

 

Not only will you get the chance for adventure but also to make a huge difference volunteering at one of our educational or orphanage projects. Teach in a school or orphanage in one of the most extraordinary places in the world; kick start your medical career combining learning with hands-on activities in a hospital or clinic or leave a lasting impression on the lives of some Tanzania’s most disadvantaged children assisting with childcare and education in an orphanage.

 

Last stop is South Africa. The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces, the Eastern Cape is situated along South Africa’s eastern coast and is the homeland of the Xhosa-speaking nation and birthplace of Nelson Mandela. The diverse landscape ranges from the dry, desolate Great Karoo to the under-developed, lush Wild Coast and offers an abundance of activities, surf experiences, a `Big 5’ safari, or bungee the highest bridge in the southern hemisphere.

 

Despite a number of years of relative prosperity, Cape Town still suffers from endemic social problems and extreme poverty still persists today. Our volunteers contribute to programmes designed to bring long-term support to those who need it most. Help provide essential childcare facilities to struggling families in some of Cape Town’s poorest communities or teach English and a range of other subjects to underprivileged children from government schools in the stunning setting of cosmopolitan Cape Town.

 

You can choose any standard volunteering programme during the online application process but please be advised they are subject to availability and there may be an additional cost associated with some projects. It will be an unforgettable 12 weeks!

ITINERARY

Please make sure you arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (ACC) on the selected Sunday start date.

 

Day 1 (Sunday) Arrival

 

Akwaaba! You will be collected from Kotoka International Airport in Accra by a member of our local team who will be holding a Plan My Gap Year sign. You will be taken straight to our partner hostel near the airport. The journey will take around 20 minutes and will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing country. The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Dinner at the hostel is not included so you should budget around £5 for this.

 

Day 2 (Monday) Travel To Kumasi

 

After a good nights rest and a good breakfast at the hostel we will take a taxi to Accra central bus station. We will be taking the VIP bus from Accra to Kumasi. The VIP buses are air-conditioned, have a TV and are a very comfortable and safe way to travel. The journey takes around 5 hours and our local team will accompany you. Some of the views along the way are really amazing.

 

On-arrival into Kumasi, we will take a taxi to the Volunteer House. The rest of the day is very relaxed. We’ll show you around the local area, help you pickup any amenities you may need and introduce you to life in Ghana.

 

Day 3 (Tuesday) Orientation

 

Today you will have your main orientation. We’ll kick the day off with refreshing your knowledge of the local area, how to locate the nearest shop, ATM, bus stop etc. We’ll then head into town to show you around Kumasi city centre to check out the Manhyia Palace and Armed Forces Museum (entrance fee costs is around £4 for both sites). We will assist you with any currency exchange, help you pickup anything you may need and show you around all the main points of interest such as western restaurants, banks and tourist areas. We will also visit the project that you will be working on and introduce you to the staff. After a traditional Ghanaian lunch in the city we will make our way back to the Volunteer House for the theoretical part of your orientation. In the afternoon we’ll go through the important safety and health information you should follow during your time in Ghana. We’ll teach you more about the Ghanaian way of life, cultural differences and teach you the basics of the main language in Ghana – Twi. We will then give you some tips on what to do in your free time. That evening, you’ll have a traditional drumming and dancing lesson with one of our local coordinators.

 

Day 4-6 (Wednesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

Wednesday is your first day at the project. One of our local coordinators will travel with you to the project showing you how to get there and introducing you to everyone. Your first day is all about introductions, understanding your schedule and what is expected of you at the project. Our local team are always on-hand to assist you should you encounter any problems or just need some help. They live at the same accommodation as you, so are on-call 24/7.

 

Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) Accra

 

Weekends in Ghana are never dull! Whatever you plan to do, our local team can advise you on the best places to go! We suggest budgeting around £50 to £75 per week spending money. You may wish to purchase a copy of the Bradt Travel Guide to Ghana, the only travel book offering a detailed insight into travel in Ghana. The following weeks The volunteering week is Monday to Friday. You will find as time passes you will really come into your own at your volunteer project. It’s important to remain proactive and make the most of your time in Ghana.

 

Day 9-28 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Weeks

 

You will volunteer from Monday to Friday. On average, you will spend around 4 to 5 hours per day at your volunteer placement. As time passes you will become more confident and involved within project life. Weekends are spent at leisure and we’d encourage you to explore this gorgeous country.

 

Day 29 (Sunday) Goodbye Ghana – Hello Tanzania!

 

Sunday is the last day of your volunteer programme. Our in-country team will help you organise your transfer to Kotoka International Airport for your flight to Tanzania.

 

Karibu! On arrival to Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a member of the PMGY team who will take you to our Volunteer House in Arusha. The journey takes around 1 hour. The rest of the day you can relax, meet other volunteers and begin to enjoy your first glimpses of Tanzania.

 

Day 30 (Monday) Orientation

 

You will spend today learning about life in Tanzania and preparing for your upcoming volunteer programme. Our local team will teach you about Tanzanian culture, the Swahili language and safety issues. We will also go on a tour of Arusha, so you are able to locate all of the essential amenities and points of interest. This is also a chance to get your first experience of public transport in Tanzania! Later in the day our team will brief you about your upcoming volunteer project, what is expected from you and what you can expect. Spend the evening getting to know fellow volunteers and preparing for your first day of volunteering. PMGY will provide you with a local Tanzanian SIM card during your in-country orientation.

 

Day 31-34 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering

 

It’s time to start your volunteer placement. Our local team will travel with you to the project on your first day to ensure you receive a comprehensive introduction to the project. This will give you the opportunity to meet your new colleagues, learn about the project and exactly how you will fit in. We will also work with you to develop your weekly schedule and answer any last minute questions you may have. As the week continues your confidence will grow and you will begin to really come into your own at

 

Day 35-36 (Saturday & Sunday) Weekend

 

Your weekends are free time and there are a number of fantastic options for the weekend. Our local team can assist you and fellow volunteers in organising travel plans. Whether you’re looking for an adventure, a cultural day out or a relaxing weekend– you will find it in Tanzania. There is literally something for everyone.

 

Here is an idea of what you could be getting up to:

 

– Climbing Mt Meru, the sister mountain to Kilimanjaro. This is a great option for those who don’t have the time to climb Kili, as the Mt Meru treks generally take around 4 days and 3 nights. It’s also considerably less expensive than Kili and will include park fees, camping accommodation, meals etc.

 

– Arusha National Park – Although the smaller of the national parks in the area, it is one of its most beautiful and most topographically varied. Typical costs are between £100 to £150 per day, plus a tip of around £20 to £30 per day to the guides and cooks.

 

– Shopping at the Maasai Market – A shopper’s paradise; this is the perfect place to find traditional African arts, crafts and paintings. Time to practise your bargaining skills! If you have some extra time before or after your placement you may also want to consider…

 

– Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa – Costs start at around £800 to £1,250 per person depending on group size. This includes all meals, camping accommodation etc. You are also expected to tip between 5% to 15% of the total cost of the trek for the guides, porters and cooks.

 

– Spotting the Big 5 at Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park – It is recommended to spend at least 3 days on safari as the deeper you go into the parks, the more you will see. The cost is around £100 to £150 per day for all accommodation, meals etc plus a tip of around £20 per day to the guides and cooks.

 

– Heading over to paradise, the wonderful island of Zanzibar – You can get a return flight from Arusha to Zanzibar for £150 to £200. Alternatively, the return bus trip from Arusha to Dar es Salaam and a return ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar will cost you around £75 to £80. Typical accommodation costs per night in Zanzibar are around £20 to £40 depending on the area and time of year. Tanzania is your oyster!

 

Please note there is a strong customary tipping culture when it comes to partaking in safaris or climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru. Staff such as the driver, guide, porter and cook are paid reasonable wages, but tips are relied upon by the staff to supplement 26 their wages and so your consideration of their hard work is appreciated. The amounts vary, specific to which activity you complete and can also be relative to the group size; but as a guide budget $25-30 per day for tips at safari and $50-65 per day for tips when climbing Kilimanjaro/Meru.

 

Day 37-56 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Weeks

 

You will volunteer from Monday to Friday. On average, you will spend around 4 to 5 hours per day at your volunteer placement. As time passes you will become more confident and involved within project life. Weekends are spent at leisure or exploring this gorgeous country.

 

Day 57 (Sunday) Goodbye Tanzania – Hello South Africa!

 

Welcome to South Africa! Volunteers will be picked up at Cape Town airport by a local backpacker bus. The driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals section holding a sign with your name on it. You will then be taken to our Volunteer House in downtown Cape Town. The journey will take around 30 minutes and will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing country. The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing and getting to know your fellow volunteers.

 

Day 58 (Monday) Orientation

 

At 08:45 you will be picked up and taken to our local team’s offices for your in-country orientation. Your day will kick off with an in-depth introduction into South African culture, safety issues and local transport. Our team will then tell you all about the volunteer projects, the do’s and don’ts and answer any questions you may have about PMGY South Africa. One of our local coordinators will also show you how to get to and from your project. After your initial briefing it’s time to check out what Cape Town has to offer. You will be taken on a walking tour of this great city where you will see some of Cape Town’s major historical sites and learn about its tragic history. On the completion of your city tour, the rest of the day is free to spend time hanging out with fellow volunteers and preparing for your upcoming placement. Please note that lunch is not provided during your orientation. You will have the opportunity to purchase lunch in the city with your fellow volunteers.

 

Day 59-62 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins

 

Tuesday will be your first day at the volunteer projects. On the Monday, our local team would have shown you how to travel to and from the project and in most cases you will travel to the project with a fellow volunteer. Spend the first couple of days getting into the swing of things and working out your weekly schedule. It may seem all a bit much at first, especially if this is your first overseas volunteering experience, but you will soon get the hang of it all. Remember that our local team are only ever a phone call away! The typical volunteering day is 08:30–14:30 with a one hour lunch break.

 

Day 63-64 (Saturday-Sunday) It’s The Weekend!

 

Weekends in Cape Town are never dull and there a huge number of trips and activities to get involved in.

 

Day 65-83 (Monday-Friday) The Following Weeks

 

The volunteering week is Monday to Friday. You will find as time passes you will really come into your own at your volunteer project. It is really important that you remain committed to the project throughout your time on the programme. Cape Town is a fun place to be with lots to do in the evenings, however we expect you to be committed and punctual at all times.

 

Day 84 (Saturday) Your Last Day

 

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Saturday is the last day of your South East Asia Encounter. We can help you arrange any onward travel so whether you’re planning to travel further around this awesome country or make your way back home, we can advise you on the best transport methods available. The backpacker bus to the airport will set you back around 150 – 250 Rand (£15 to £20).

 

* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

CHOOSING A TRIP

What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –

 

12th March 2017
9th April 2017
7th May 2017
11th June 2017
9th July 2017
6th August 2017
10th September 2017
19th November 2017
10th December 2017
7th January 2018
4th February 2018
11th March 2018
8th April 2018
6th May 2018
10th June 2018
8th July 2018
5th August 2018
9th September 2018
11th November 2018
9th December 2018

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.

 

Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.

 

You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

You should arrive into Kotoka International Airport in Accra (airport code ACC) on the selected Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.

 

Generally the average age range of volunteers is 18-22 but this is by no means definitive.

 

There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

 
 
It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

 
 
It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of £39 and is subject to availability.

 
 
You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
 
 
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

 

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

 

In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

 

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

 

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.
 

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 
 
You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 
 
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 
 
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university of college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

 
 
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on [email protected] to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If however you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course to teaching english abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.

 

As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.

 

The cost of the course is £99. If you’ve already signed up to one of our programmes and would like to enroll on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our UK and in-country team, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.

 

We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowd funding website GoGetFunding.

 

This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.

 

The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

 

The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our JustGiving fundraising page.

 

100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some really invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.

 

There are two to choose from and it is well worth attending both:

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.

 

You will receive an email invitation to join these sessions once you have confirmed your place the programme.

 

The first webinar is designed to cover all of the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.

 

The webinars are hosted by a member of our UK team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, good internet connection and a pair of headphones.

 

If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well then they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

 
 
Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

 
 
For peace of mind, PMGY holds a T-ATOL Licence (T7420) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

 
 
If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

 
 
When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

 
 
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY do everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

 
 
PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 
 
Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 
 
If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

 
 
If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Disclosure Scotland (which serves all people in the UK). 

 
 
This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Disclosure Scotland is outlined in the volunteer handbook you receive once you are signed up to the programme.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 
 
This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that effect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that effect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy in the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

 
 
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

 
 
It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find £50-£100 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

 
 
Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

 
 
Before booking your flights we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.

ACCOMMODATION

GHANA

Volunteer House

 

Your first night in Ghana will be spent at a hostel near to Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Our partner hostel offers basic but comfortable accommodation. You will share a room with fellow volunteers. Rooms are air conditioned here. A member of the PMGY Ghana team will also stay at the hostel to ensure you have 24/7 support and will travel with you to Kumasi the following day.

 

During your time with PMGY in Ghana you will live in our Volunteer House located in a friendly neighbourhood, 45 minutes drive from Kumasi city centre. You will find restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs in the centre of town. There is a small shop opposite the Volunteer House. The local community are extremely friendly. As soon as you step out of the house you’ll be greeted by smiling children! Just one of the amazing experiences you’ll have with PMGY in Ghana.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 6 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Ghana is hot all year-round!

 

The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is a lounge, TV and DVD player and an outside seating area. Volunteers are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare meals or even help out when meals are being prepared. We also have a refrigerator where you can store your personal food items but please remember this is dependent on electricity and power cuts can be a frequent occurrence in Ghana!

 

Clothes can be hand-washed or you request a local maid to wash them for you. Living in the PMGY Volunteer House offers a great social experience. Volunteers are given their own privacy and locks to their rooms, so it is a very laid-back atmosphere.

 

A member of our local team will also live at the house. The house is gated and secure and our local coordinator lives on-site ensuring you have around the clock support and security.  

 

Please note that power cuts and water shortages are very common in Ghana. Whilst we have backup measures to combat this, there maybe times where the power cuts out or there is no water for a while so its important to be aware of this in advance.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

TANZANIA

Volunteer House

 

You will stay at our Volunteer House in Arusha. This is a cosy house located just 5 minutes walk from central Arusha in a quiet neighbourhood.

 

Rooms are shared, up to 6 people per room. Each volunteer is provided with a mosquito net. The shared bathrooms have warm showers and western toilets. The house has a living area with a TV and comfy sofas to relax in during the evening. There is also a communal kitchen where you can prepare meals and store food in the refrigerator. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in Tanzania although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.

 

The house does not have Wi-Fi but there are internet cafes nearby where you can get online for around £1 per hour. Alternatively you can purchase a USB internet dongle for £15 and this will allow you to connect to the internet at all times via your laptop. A weekly laundry service available for £3 per person, or you can choose to hand wash your clothes. We have a cook who will prepare your meals and a cleaner who will maintain the house. There is also a night guard employed for extra security.

 

A member of our local team will regularly visit the house to ensure everything runs smoothly. There is a great atmosphere at the house and you will meet some wonderful people to share your experience with.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

SOUTH AFRICA

Volunteer House

 

During your time with PMGY in South Africa you will live in our Volunteer House located in Sea Point, a great, lively spot in Cape Town. The beach is only a short walk away, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and local amenities in the surrounding area. Long Street, Cape Town’s premier nightlife destination is only 10 minutes away by public transport. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with Wi-Fi (there will be a small charge). Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in mixed-sex rooms. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. During the winter period (June to August) it can get quite cold, so please bring warm clothes and a sleeping bag – although you are provided with a bed sheet and blanket so it’s up to personal preference.

 

The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out with sofa’s, flat screen TV and DVD player. Each volunteer has their own locker to store valuables so you should bring a padlock with you to store away your items. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled.

 

Please note that rooms are mixed gender and we cannot accommodate single-sex or private rooms in the Volunteer House.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

GHANA

Volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day during their time with PMGY. Breakfast and dinner are served at the Volunteer House, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch or the project may provide you with lunch.

 

Please note most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and not so much dairy or meat compared to the UK so please be open minded around this! It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to the local food as well.

 

Pork, lamb and beef are difficult to source in Ghana and usually quite expensive. The main meat is chicken, fish and goat. There is also a real lack of fresh dairy products, so you should be prepared to live without milk and cheese etc. Most milk is tinned.

 

There are a number of western restaurants around a 45 minute drive out from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Chinese and Indian restaurants in Kumasi. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

TANZANIA

Volunteers receive breakfast and dinner at the Volunteer House, which are freshly prepared on-site by our cook. Meals are a mixture of Tanzanian and western cuisine. You should budget around £2 per day for lunch if you plan to eat local meals or £4 to £5 for western food.

 

Generally, we have a two-week rotating menu, which offers a varied choice of meals. For breakfast, you will receive cereal, or fruit salad, or boiled eggs, or a Spanish omelet, or pancakes.

 

For your evening meal you may have pasta, lentils and chapatti, burgers (beef and veggie), or banana and potato stew.

 

There are western supermarkets in Arusha where you can purchase food and store it at the house if you’d like to prepare your own lunch/meals.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

SOUTH AFRICA

You will be provided with breakfast and dinner from Monday to Friday. You will need to purchase your own lunch during the working week (Mon-Fri) and all meals at the weekend. Please note that although the Volunteer House has a kitchen, this is quite small and makes cooking meals difficult if the house is very busy, so it may be easier to eat out. You should budget around £40 per week for meals not included.

 

For breakfast we provide yoghurt, fruit, cheese, bread, jams, tea and coffee, peanut butter, eggs etc. Volunteers just help themselves – all cutlery and crockery etc is provided. Dinner is provided at a local restaurant where volunteers all eat together, the restaurant is a short walk from the Volunteer House. Typical meals include spaghetti bolognese, curry, burgers and chips, fish, salads, pasta and vegetables.

 

If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and local amenities in the surrounding area. Long Street, Cape Town’s premier nightlife destination is only 10 minutes away by public transport.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

VOLUNTEER FEES

DURATION

PROGRAMME FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

12 weeks
£1630
£149
£1779

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

 

You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

I had the most amazing, unforgettable experience of my life so far. I honestly can't thank the PMGY team enough, both the UK and Ghana teams.

NAOMI HOLLAND, 20 - NEW ZEALAND

GHANA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEER

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAMME FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION YES
  • GHANA MEALS (B, L & D) YES
  • TANZANIA MEALS (B & D) YES
  • SA MEALS (B & D MON-FRI) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UPS (24 HOURS)YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONSYES
  • PMGY T-SHIRTYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR UK-BASED SUPPORT YES
  • COMPREHENSIVE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • TANZANIA LUNCH (£2 PER DAY) NO
  • SA MEALS NOT INC. (£40 PER WEEK) NO
  • TRANSPORT TO PROJECT (£0-£4 PER DAY)NO
  • FLIGHTS (£1000-£1500)NO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE (£14 PER WEEK)NO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERS (£115)NO
  • VISAS (£90)NO
  • TANZANIA WORK PERMIT (£130)NO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (£25)NO

PLAN MY GAP YEAR

  • Horsmonden, Tonbridge, UK

  • Phone UK: 01892 722720

  • Mail: [email protected]

                   

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