Could the Youth Development Programme really be the adventure of a lifetime?

Adventure of a lifetime in Africa

The deadline to guarantee a place on our 2020 Youth Development Programme is midnight on Saturday 29th February 2020. Don’t miss out the chance to join the adventure of a lifetime!

You’ve likely seen us promoting our Youth Development Programme on social media over the past few months, which offers 16-19-year-olds the chance to volunteer abroad with other young people from across the UK.

It’s set to be quite the experience, and, as bookings increase and plans at our host destinations are finalised, levels of excitement and anticipation are reaching new heights (and that’s just at our UK office!)

It is often said that travelling can lead to some of the best experiences of your life. Whilst we can’t guarantee this, we do have a plan in place to ensure that our Youth Development Programme lives up to expectations. Here’s how…

Three unique destinations

Ghana could be the adventure of a lifetime.
A beach in Ghana is totally different from one in Kenya or Zanzibar.

We’ve been supporting community projects in Africa for over 10 years, and we now work in three equally beautiful, yet vastly different, countries – each of which is a destination worth visiting in its own right. Travelling and volunteering in Africa will provide you with a totally unique and potentially life-changing experience, as you are immersed in an entirely different country and culture. Better yet, the meaningful volunteer work you’ll be assisting with during your trip will help you develop new skills, values, and perspectives which you might never have gained from a  traditional ‘gap year’ experience.

Supported by expert staff

Our in-country staff are on hand to help you on your adventure.
Some of our Zanzibar team.

If you want to do some solo travelling, but are feeling nervous about where to start, the Youth Development Programme could be the perfect option for you. Our UK team are on hand to answer any questions, regardless of whether you’ve booked onto the programme yet or not. If you do decide to book, they take care of nearly everything (including flights and accommodation) for you, meaning you can relax and prepare for your upcoming adventure.

In addition to our UK team, we have staff based permanently in each of our destinations, who are local to the areas where we work. The benefits of this are tenfold for both our volunteers and the communities we work in. For you, it means that you’ll receive a rare insight into life at your host destination, making your trip totally unique as you explore and learn about the local people and culture. What better way to experience a new place than by doing so alongside those who are the most knowledgeable about it?

Finally, you’ll be accompanied on your Youth Development Programme by two of our trained, UK-based Group Leaders – who all have experience of working or travelling with African Adventures. Apart from being on hand to deal with any emergencies or incidents that may occur, they’ll also be a source of reassurance and guidance, and ensure that your trip really is the adventure of a lifetime.

Travel independently, but safely

One of the main attractions of our Youth Development Programme is its structure. It can be difficult to find a way of travelling and maintaining your independence, whilst having the reassurance of knowing that help is on hand if you need it. From the moment you book, there’s a three-phase structure in place to ensure you feel safe and supported, whilst having an unforgettable experience in Africa.

  1. Preparation Phase: This is the time when you can find out all about your destination  (Ghana, Kenya or Zanzibar) and fundraise for your trip. Our exclusive online portal – My African Adventure (My AA) – has all the resources and information you’ll need to prepare for your upcoming adventure. The ‘Trip Preparation’ section will be particularly helpful at this stage, as it contains fundraising ideas and resources to help you hit the ground running.
  2. Action Phase: This phase sees you travel to Africa. You’ll make a meaningful difference at our partner projects, immerse yourself in a new culture, learn about a beautiful country, make new friends, step outside of your comfort zone, and learn new skills. You’ll keep track of all your achievements along the way in a logbook, to help you with the next phase of your journey.
  3. Reflection Phase: With so many new experiences in such a short period, it’s time to look back on all that you have achieved over the past year. Your logbook will provide you with a way to reflect on this adventure of a lifetime, and you can proudly show off your certificate of completion when applying for future education or employment opportunities.

Adventure activities

A safari adventure will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Explore the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.

Whilst the main objective of the Youth Development Programme is to take part in meaningful volunteering, it’s not all work and no play. Our adventure activities provide you with the opportunity to explore your destination and witness first-hand some of its most breathtaking sights.

In Ghana, you’ll visit the stunning Wli Falls and get up close and personal with the local wildlife at a protected monkey sanctuary, before staying overnight in a beautiful lodge. In Kenya, you’ll explore the sweeping plains of the Rift Valley, as you search for the ‘Big Five’ on a spectacular safari drive in one of the country’s biggest, and most diverse, nature reserves. Meanwhile, in Zanzibar, you’ll roam the crystal blue waters in search of exotic sea life on our Ocean Safari Day, before dining on a lunch of fresh seafood and tropical fruit. These unique experiences will certainly help cement the idea that this could be the adventure of a lifetime!

 Meaningful volunteering

Handing out supplies in Zanzibar.
All the work you do has been requested by our partner projects.

We work with over 25 partner projects across our three destinations, and we pride ourselves on the relationships we have with them. Our partnerships are built on a foundation of mutual respect and understanding, and all volunteering work is carefully planned according to the project’s needs and our capabilities.

Knowing that you’re helping to action work that has been actively requested means you can rest assured that the support you are providing is welcomed and wanted, and will have a positive impact on the local community.

Whilst we can never fully guarantee that a trip with us will be the ‘adventure of a lifetime’, we hope that this has enlightened you as to how we will ensure that you have the best experience you possibly can. Book on to our 2020 Youth Development Programme before Saturday 29th February to avoid disappointment!