I started uVolunteer after 10 years of working for the BBC in London, England. After a decade of corporate life, I felt stuck in the rat race––and at the ripe, young age of 32, I decided to take a career break and backpack through Southeast Asia.
This backpacking trip (and, in particular, my volunteer placement) totally changed my life, and I hope I changed the lives of the people I served while volunteering abroad. I still have fond memories of my time and several great friendships in Thailand and around the world to this day.
I was on such high from my time volunteering that I returned to work full-time for the volunteer agency I previously volunteered with in Thailand and spent the next year living in the Land of Smiles. This time really taught me about a volunteer's life abroad, and inspired my idea of opening a great volunteer abroad program.
I quit my life in England and traveled to Costa Rica to build uVolunteer with nothing more than my laptop, a backpack, and my trusted, all-in-one Canon Inkjet printer!
I know...such a naive idea! You might be asking yourself, “Why did I completely changed my life and risk it all to start this business?”
You see, I am a strong believer in helping people, in education, in youth development, and in getting my hands dirty trying to solve problems. More importantly, I also believe in direct voluntary action as a means of development.
I think that... instead of paying a monthly donation from afar to an organization’s cause, I’d rather get involved personally and form an opinion from the inside. I don’t want to just donate money, but have a direct impact and understanding of the matter I’m supporting.
I also love traveling, seeing new places, and meeting people––learning about their ways and finding out how they socialize. I’m especially interested in learning about how and what they eat! I love food, cooking and hot chilis.
With all of these interests combined, I fell in love with volunteering abroad. I believe passionately that volunteer abroad is, by far, the best way to travel. You truly get to know another culture, and also help (however small) in the development of the country you visit. I know I left my mark on the small community I served in Thailand on my life-changing trip for years to come.
I believe that working and living among other peoples’ cultures is the best way to observe and learn about our differences and similarities at the same time.
uVolunteer was built to enable you to have genuine experiences volunteering and traveling abroad, and it operates like this to this day.
The best way to really get an idea of what its like to volunteer abroad with us it to read and watch the reviews and testimonials of our past participants.