Thembani was lucky.

His father made enough money to send him to Hlekweni Training Centre in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

This allowed him to go to university and obtain his engineering degree. He could have moved to Europe, signing up for the ‘good life’ but he chose to stay in the country he loves and use his education to help make a difference in the face of widespread unemployment and political instability.

With his father, he’s set up a dairy farm and distribution business that supplies high quality milk to people with no livestock of their own across the Bulawayo District. The byproducts of his business, he uses to create biogas via a process he has designed himself, meaning that the production side of his business is carbon-neutral.

Thembani is the first person to admit that he’s just an ordinary guy. What makes him different is that he was given a chance in a country where a lucky break can mean the difference between life and death. There are many children not so lucky but who, given the opportunity, could shine as brightly as Thembani. By signing up for IVJ you could help them achieve their potential, giving them the opportunity to one day give something back to their communities.


Irving is a smart guy.

He grows bananas on the Windward Islands. It isn't the easiest life but he loves it. 

He has problems though. Since the birth of the Fairtrade movement he’s found that producers in South America have been able to undercut the prices him and his co-producers need to charge to get a fair deal.

Being smart…he knows that collaboration with his fellow producers is the key to the success of his sector and that Farm tourism has to be an option given the islands’ geography. The producers have pooled their Fairtrade premiums to buy a stunning 18 acre site overlooking the Atlantic. In so doing, they have laid the foundations for a more sustainable future for generations to come. Now he wants to access your skills in project management, marketing and business administration to enable him to launch this project on a global stage.

When you put it like that, doesn't it sound less like a man in need of pity and more like a seriously resourceful entrepreneur looking for partners?


Trouble brewing for Akili.

Things haven't been so easy for Akili in recent years. The world is changing quickly...

Quicker than his traditional methods of tea farming can keep up with and he’s losing ground to growers in other parts of the world. Delivery of a crop in his particular area of Kenya has always been subject to fluctuations in climactic conditions and now average temperatures are rising he’s finding it harder and harder to feed his family.

Using your knowledge of ecology, environment or agriculture you’ll be embedded within communities involved in the CafeDirect Producers Foundation Programme. You’ll be actively helping farmers to manage the devastating effects of climate change through the adoption of smarter working methods.

A large part of your role will be to empower younger smallholders to take the lead in their communities, disseminating knowledge, experience and solutions. In this way, you’ll be leaving a lasting legacy of self-sufficiency in a future where the chances dictate that environmental degradation will be a constantly evolving challenge.


Demba was all at sea.

She inherited her father’s boat when he died of AIDS
five years ago.

It wasn’t easy at first; there’s still a stigma attached to the families of AIDS victims in Gambia and across Africa in general. But little by little she began to make a living fishing the reefs between Tranje and Brufut. When a localised pollution spill 5 years ago meant that she’d have to sail 2 hours up the coast to reach more fertile waters she began chartering her boat and skipper abilities to tourists. Within a year she’d co-opted other fishermen to do the same under the banner of a single organisation and now runs one of the largest indigenous tourism businesses in Gambia.

This is where you come in…Demba needs the know how of people with skills in sustainable tourism, marketing and business administration. She needs people who can help her business and those of other people like her to expand and to best reap the benefits of the tourism boom. She’s looking for a collaborator to help her realise her ideas rather than a saviour. In helping her you’ll be doing your bit to put control of Gambian Tourism back into the hands of the people who should be benefiting.


Chipo is excited.

She is amongst the first generation of her village, one of the poorest in Zimbabwe, to have the opportunity to go to school.

At the moment, Breakfast Primary School isn’t much to look at; a couple of old storage sheds left over from the hunting safari days. There’s no running water and scant sanitation. However, to Chipo it represents an escape from the grinding poverty experienced by her parents and those who went before them.

But things are changing; plans are underway to fund the development of the school through a pioneering Fairtrade wildlife sanctuary. Using and building on your skills in eco-tourism, conservation and administration, you’ll be helping to set up this enterprise to run for generations to come.

In so doing you’ll be taking part in a homegrown Zimbabwean enterprise that can literally change the lives of young people like Chipo.


Ghufira's in the house.

Before she found the House of Talent in Dar es Salaam, Ghufira thought that her singing was just something she did to keep her siblings happy whilst her mother was at work.

The thought that she might one day be able to support them financially through her talent was no more than a dream she felt slightly guilty about harbouring. Now she’s part of a band that’s been touring for the last six months, making each of its members a solid living, allowing them the freedom to express themselves and spreading enjoyment to the crowds they play to.

Ghufira is just one of many Africans looking for a way to make the most of their performing talents. Taking what you know about administration, marketing, the dramatic arts, sound engineering or any applicable field you could help to help to create Africa’s next big star. Simon Cowell you may not be, but with IVJ you can help someone find their voice.


Vijaya's a plucky kid.

She can feed her younger siblings for an entire year with a length of wire and a coconut - she has done since she was 7.

She busks outside shops and bus stations for anything up to 12 hours a day using her ektara; a home-made single-stringed instrument, to earn enough for her family's food. She isn't unhappy, she isn't pleading for help but she could have a real future if somebody gave her the tools to develop.

There are literally thousands of street children like Vijaya in Bangladesh. Using and building on your skills in healthcare or education you’ll be able to help give them a fighting chance.  These are intelligent, resourceful and determined children whom fate has conspired against - you can make a real difference to their lives.

You have much to learn from each other -  you may not be able to feed your family for a year with a single coconut but you can nourish yourself and them for life with Inspirational Volunteer Journeys.

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  • Register to volunteer


  • Step 1 of 10 - Your Contact Details

    Fill out the form carefully and we'll be in touch within 48 hours to arrange a telephone interview.

    Please complete all fields

  • Step 2 of 10 - Your age, gender and ethnic origin

      1. Your age

      1. Gender

      1. Ethnic origin

  • Step 3 of 10 - Disability Ajustments and inspiration

  • Step 4 of 10 - Volunteer Interest

      1. Africa

      1. Caribbean

      1. Asia

  • Step 5 of 10 - Millennium Development Goals

    1. Ending poverty and hunger (micro finance and business skills projects).
      Universal Education (supporting primary education)
      Gender Equity (supporting both primary and secondary education for girls)
      Child health (projects that help to reduce the mortality rate of children under 5)
      Maternal Health (projects that reduce the numbers of mothers who die through pregnancy and child birth)
      Combat HIV/AIDS (health, education and employment projects that support communities living with HiV/AIDs)
      Environmental sustainability (protecting natural resources such as forests, land, water, fisheries and threatened eco-systems).
      Building a global partnership for development (campaigning in your own community to ensure that richer countries play their role e.g. more effective aid, fairer trade rules, debt relief)
  • Step 6 of 10 - Qualifications & Personal Development Programme

    1. Qualifications

      A Levels
    2. Personal Development Program

      ILM Level 7 Certificate Strategic Leadership
      ILM level 5 Award/Certificate in Leadership
      ILM level 3 Award/Certificate in Leadership
      I do not wish to attend a personal development programme

  • Step 8 of 10 - Occupational Status, Sector and Employer Sponsorship

      1. Occupation

      1. Sector

      1. Sponsorship

  • Step 9 of 10 - Current/Last Employer Details

  • Step 10 of 10 - Finally...

    1. Please correct the following fields.

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