My experience with Original Volunteers

This company is possibly the worst, and if you are searching for a good experience I suggest you ignore their cheap prices because otherwise you will come to regret it. I travelled to Kenya for the Mombasa project in the beginning of March 2017, from the get go the company showed little interest after payment had been made. They would take ages to reply to e-mails and phone calls were non existent. Upon arrival (following an 8 hour flight from London) my supposed airport pick up, was no where to be found. Turns out the lack of communication between OV and their connections was as bad as they were with me, they failed to communicate that I was to arrive in Nairobi and not Mombasa. I had to take another 8 hour coach ride to the coast to meet my pick up, luckily I am a experienced traveler and was able to get on a coach without any guidance.

Upon arrival I was told that the volunteer house that had been out of use for over 5 months and that volunteers had been staying at the White Castle Hotel (the Kenyan welcome pack from OV stated all volunteers had to stay at the volunteer house). To make matters worse, not only did they not tell me the volunteer house was out of use, Emma also lied to me and told me there were another two volunteers already at the supposed ‘volunteer house’. It turned to to be only me and absolutely no project to volunteer, as the Grandsons of Abraham Rescue Center was recruiting street kids and so there was nothing for me to do.

One day on my lack of volunteering I was out doing touristy things as a way to kill time and I was robbed and beaten near Fort Jesus. When i repported the incident to OV they completely ignored my pleas, screened my calls and refused to refund me my monies. Luckily I had payed via paypal and they found in my favour.

The second project I had with OV in Tanzania, I contacted the projects directly and did end up working with them and they explained that they have had problems with OV for years! All the money OV takes from you claiming it is for the projects is a LIE, the project manager told us they never transfer the funds, which confirmed what I had been told in Kenya by the manager there. I fundraised on for the Tanzanian project for some construction their are currently undertaking, because I felt extremely bad for them because they were surprised by how much we said we paid and the **nothing** they received.

I have a police report and will be taking further action against this so called company for negligence and misrepresentation. I would definitely not recommend them to anyone, **DO NOT** let the prices fool you!

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