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Why GVI?

It is our mission to build a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

About Us

GVI tackles critical local and global issues by operating award-winning education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world, working in partnership with renowned international partners.

We operate our own programs and partner with local and international NGOs, government organizations, and educational institutions including Save The Children, WWF, The Red Cross, PADI, Project AWARE, and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. We have also partnered with the National Parks of South Africa, Costa Rica, Seychelles, Mexico and Thailand, among others.

Founded in 1997, over 25,000 participants have traveled with us, with over 3,000 participants every year. We are very proud that the vast majority of our participants describe their experience with us as life-changing, with over 95% stating that they want to travel with us again.

We are an extremely tight knit, friendly, and passionate organization that is made up of an amazing team of people from all over the world. We are true experts in our fields, ensuring that your experience with GVI will be truly life changing.

Further Information

For Parents

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For Teachers

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For Students

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We also run service-learning programs for individuals in locations all over the world. For individuals 18+, please see our volunteering and internship pages, or for those aged 15 – 17, please visit our under 18 page.

Every year, we work hard to ensure that we provide programs that meet the expectations of all participants. We are proud to announce that in 2015, we had a satisfaction rate of 98%.

Meet Our Team

Our staff are experts in service-learning and international sustainable development. We are regularly called upon to consult with educational institutes, governments, NGOs, and aid agencies around the world. In addition, we frequently speak at conferences such as WYSTC (World Youth Student Travel Conference) and The International Ecotourism Society, as well as commonly advising schools on employability through our outreach teams. Our staff have been actively involved in setting industry standards on Work and Volunteer Abroad best practices with WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad, International Volunteering Guidelines through TIES and researching the positive impact international service-learning courses can have through work with the likes of the British Council and WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad. The full expertise of our team can be seen through their LinkedIn profiles below.


Richard Walton

Richard Walton

Founder

An experienced entrepreneur in youth travel with a keen interest in international educational initiatives, with over 15 years of experience in the industry.
Andy Woods-Ballard

Andy Woods-Ballard

Director of Educational Partnerships

An international business development and service learning specialist with 15 year of environmental and development based experience.
Tyrone Bennett

Tyrone Bennett

Director of Alumni Services

An experienced manager with vast expertise in youth engagement and event management. Ty is in charge of alumni engagement, HR, outreach and the GVI Charitable Trust.
Shayle Havemann

Shayle Havemann

Assistant Director of Programmes

With a comprehensive background in community development, international education and traveling, Shayle now overseas all of our operations in South Africa.

Lluvia Soto

Lluvia Soto

Mexico Country Director

A PADI Divemaster and Biologist with a background in environmental education and passion for marine conservation, Lluvia now overseas all of our operations in Mexico.

 

Katelin Ryan

Katelin Ryan

Service Learning Manager Cape Town

A sustainable development extraordinaire with a Master’s degree in International Education and a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities.

Steve Gwenin

Steve Gwenin

Chief Executive Officer

A passionate leader with 15 years of experience starting and managing mission driven sustainable development projects and educational programs in remote locations.
Daniel Ponce-Taylor

Daniel Ponce-Taylor

Director of Programs

A specialist in setting up, managing and evaluating high impact conservation and community development projects, with a passion for conservation initiatives.
Alice Hawkes

Alice Hawkes

Director of Marketing

A keen traveler, passionate about international educational within the world of conservation and community development, with experience in social enterprises and start ups.
Cynthia Arochi Zendejas

Cynthia Arochi Zendejas

Costa Rica Country Director

A certified veterinarian with an International Environmental Science Masters, Cynthia’s devoted to supporting critical causes and overseas our operations in Costa Rica.
Cheryl Martin

Cheryl Martin

Nepal Project Manager

A former teacher and special needs educator with a passion for youth educational experiences, Cheryl oversees our operations in Nepal.
Erin L. Barnhart

Erin L. Barnhart

Senior Advisor

Erin L. Barnhart, Ph.D, is a professor at the University of Oregon and Concordia University-Portland who sits on the Board of Directors for the Building Bridges Coalition.
Jill Walker

Jill Walker

Assistant Director of Programmes

An experienced teacher, passionate about providing educational opportunities and managing community development programmes for local communities.
Laura Dix

Laura Dix

Director of Program Enrollment

A detail orientated and organized individual, passionate about conservation and community development, with over 8 years experience working with diverse, international teams.
Molly Plexico

Molly Plexico

Thailand Country Director

With a degree in family development and psychology, Molly is passionate about volunteering and contributing to local communities.

Zeno Wijtten

Zeno Wijtten

India Country Director

With a passion for community development, and extensive conservation experience around the world, Zeno now oversees all our operations in India.

Passionate about educating the next generation about critical global issues?

Join us at the forefront of international education and sustainable development.
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