planmygapyear.co.uk... are they any good?

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planmygapyear.co.uk… are they any good?

Avatar for jambonhill96
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Joined 2014-05-08

Hello,

I’m currently looking at doing some time in SE Asia and I would really like to volunteer. I’ve done some research and come across planmygapyear.co.uk

I’m interested in their Orphanage project in Cambodia but having done some research there isn’t really much info out there because they are a fairly new company.

Has anyone travelled with them before, if so how did you find them?

Has anyone been to Cambodia with them, if so would you recommend them?

Thanks cool smile

(Please don’t rip me to shreds, this is my first post!! red face )

     
Avatar for m.garratt
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Joined 2004-05-30

I’m not sure why your first thought for a post is about the company and I suspect you work/own this company although I could be wrong. So lets identify some other reasons for not choosing this website… Firstly the reviews on the Review Centre seem very suspicious and just don’t sound authentic. I’m not convinced by their website or everything I can find on the internet. There’s no contact details on their website and I see nothing to make you think they are a good option to choose. The ‘head office’ shown on their Facebook page seems to be a lovely country house (SEE HERE)  that looks far too nice to be an office and if it’s the company owners house, then they are making far to much money for doing very little. There are plenty of reputable companies offering opportunities to travel and volunteer. Personally, I’m very uncomfortable about any company purely making money out of volunteering; doesn’t that make it slave labour, not volunteering?

As for volunteering at a Cambodian orphanage, there are several reputable organisations including Unicef warning against such activities. I posted about this recently with a couple of links:-

“There have been some recent concerns raised by children’s charities regarding volunteering in orphanages that are exploiting children more than helping them. This website has some useful information:-

http://www.thinkchildsafe.org/thinkbeforevisiting/

And The Telegraph has also published an article:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/9055213/Orphanage-tourism-help-or-hindrance.html

Food for thought before selecting your volunteering opportunity.”

If you are genuinely interested in volunteering opportunities then perhaps you would be best off first looking at the volunteering pages of this website which includes links to some reputable companies:-
http://www.gapyear.com/volunteering

And/or look at organisations that others have found/experienced on the volunteering message board messageboard:-
http://www.gapyear.com/boards/viewforum/8

 

     
Avatar for jambonhill96
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Total Posts: 1

Joined 2014-05-08

I have nothing to do with the company I can promise you that. Im sorry if my post sounded nieve, im quite overwhellmed by all the options out there and am paranoid of making the wrong decision. I’m currently doing my A-Levels and have deferred for uni next year and am going travelling and hoping to do some volunteering on my travels. smile The reason I asked about the company was because I’d seen some of their other projects which looked alright and not that overpriced, I just wanted to get the opinion of people who had actually been with them.

Thank you for the links, I stumbled across this information myself yesterday doing some more research. I won’t go to an orphanage having seen the information; the article I found interesting/enlightening was this one:

http://volunteertourismviews.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/volunteer-tourism-greenwashing-and-understanding-responsible-marketing-using-market-signalling-theory/

Thank you for the pointers, I will take a look there grin

Jamie

     
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Total Posts: 1

Joined 2016-08-17

I know this post is a couple of years old but just for anyone who is thinking of using plan my gap year I just wanted to share what I thought. Initially it seemed really good with frequent communication and a comprehensive handbook when you get there it is okay but not as organised as you would would hope.  The handbook needs updating to be accurate as there are many things which are either fabricated or not true. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and the in-house coordination is good. Would i use this company again no, would I recommend this company   No but I did make the best out of my time whilst I was over there. When getting back to England. I decided to leave a review on review centre to share my experiences, however my review came Under fire from plan my gap year and I received an email basically saying no you can’t think like that, which I don’t think it’s fair since everyone is en titled to their opinion of their own experiences.  I have also noticed that the Facebook group they run for the trip I have been removed and blocked from, un able to post my views on there and any pictures to support my views either, which just shows how petty this company can be, if they were professional they would permit positive and negative reviews. I would imagine anyone else who has had issues has had the same treatment so that the glowing five star reviews are not all they are cracked up to be!