Right if you are considering volunteering that’s cool, but please do it the right way. You’ve probably just found this site while googling for volunteering projects. We want to make it fundamentally clear we are a very different kind of gap year company from most of them out there offering volunteer projects.
We are 100% against selling volunteer trips. But we do appreciate volunteers. We would like you to volunteer your time and give something back but not pay Western, profit-making companies ridiculous markups.
Xtreme Gap Year offers the Xtreme SAVE foundation which means you can volunteer with a non-profit NGO in South Africa, and not pay anything to volunteer. There is a cost involved; obviously you need housing and food and transport while you’re out on the project. It would be ethically wrong to be a burden on charitable organisation, so there is a fee charged. However, none of it goes to making a profit at Xtreme. Should you wish to waive the fee charged, you are perfectly at liberty to do so, but then you will need to source your own accommodation and food for the duration of the volunteer project. The accommodation rent alone would cost more than accommodation, food and transport fees charged for your time on the project.
Our volunteer projects are some of the cheapest out there. Since you are only paying for food, accommodation and transport. The rest of the money goes directly to feeding and educating the children. No Admin fees, no profit or anything like that goes to SAVE or Xtreme.
If this is of interest to you, please first listen to this audio interview, it is between Oliver and Debby the founders of Xtreme Gap and Carla the founder of SAVE. It details everything you need to know about volunteering in Africa and the rip off practices of gap year companies. It is our policy to be fully transparent, and this will give you an insight into how the Xtreme Foundation was started because it happened during this very conversation, and the reasons behind it.
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Please listen to this, and share it with people especially if they are considering joining volunteer projects because there are plenty of issues that you need to be made aware of when dealing with other companies.
We want you to volunteer your time and make a difference, but we want you to do it right and we want the people who need it the most to benefit from your goodwill. We also want you to have more cash left over to enjoy your travels afterwards.
Xtreme Gap Year is a for-profit company. We are a travel company and we are on a mission to find the most exciting trips, that challenge you personally and make you grow from within while you spend your time away.
We are not a volunteering organisation, and we do not offer paid volunteering projects. In fact, we have an anti-volunteering policy, we don’t want you to pay for volunteering. There are too many gap year companies which put outrageous markups on the actual cost of volunteering. Some companies are charging in excess of 200 to 300% markups and abusing your goodwill.
But as a for-profit company wouldn’t we take advantage of that as well? Well no, we wouldn’t because unlike some we do have some very high ethical morals associated with volunteering. This is covered in the sound cloud interview above, but in case you missed it the founder of Xtreme Gap Year discovered first-hand how destructive paying to volunteer could be. He was placed on a volunteering teaching project in Tanzania, tasked with teaching 60 African kids English, to which he paid a UK registered organisation in excess of £2000. On arrival, he realised none of the money had made its way to the school, and worse to native African teachers had lost their jobs because the school was getting a “free” English teacher.
We think it’s very noble if you want to volunteer, but as soon as financial gain and reward on a corporate level comes into it, bad things happen.
By working with the SAVE Foundation, we can offer you volunteering projects for free, which enables you to save more money to do the more exciting adventures that we offer as you travel. Let’s face it if you are going all the way to South Africa, you might as well take advantage of experiencing everything the country has to offer after your volunteering project, and that’s where we come in.
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