The diving world is vast and many individuals who access it at any time in their life either have or start to have an appreciation and passion for marine life and conservation. It is not always easy to branch out into this field without support, whether that is from an educational support system including schools, colleges and universities, from family support or from an organisation like Global Vision International (GVI).
GVI offer routes to go into fields that interest you in a safe and structured way. They target areas of importance and interest and help volunteers to gain the necessary field work that they need to progress in particular areas as well as professional and local knowledge of the type of work they are engaging in. All projects are centred around making a positive impact. Each site and project has goals and targets which are communicated and settled on with local and international partners. Volunteers help to make those goals realties and to really make a difference in all sorts of areas including, environmental and cooperate sustainability, climate crisis, clean energy awareness, wild and marine life conservation and much more.
Travel is a gateway into seeing problems and successes for yourself. It is hard to describe what a human impacted reef looks like in Fiji without actually seeing it first-hand. You have to go there and witness the destruction with your own eyes to want to change it. GVI is motivated to make things better in sustainable and locally managed ways to support longevity of success.
It can be enormously daunting to set off on a trip or down a path alone and travel, especially now when travel can be complicated post Covid. I wanted to get more insight into the benefits of joining volunteer programmes from the best people to ask, the volunteers. I was not surprised by what they told me but more overwhelmed by how much they took away from their experiences. It was nothing short of a pleasure to hear from others with passions just like mine, what inspired them and continued to inspire them and hopefully how their positive experiences would spring board them into careers to help make change.
If you are thinking about contributing your time in a positive way, visit GVI and find out what they can offer you. Here are some really encouraging testimonials from various GVI volunteers and projects.
‘GVI has taught me so much from learning my open water to monitoring the 91 fish species we study here. We help out with the coral restoration project, spotted eagle ray & coral disease watch project which have all taught me so much about marine conservation. However as amazing as the science is here the people you share this experience with truly make it. You go from strangers to family within a matter of days & make incredible friendships. I cannot recommend this programme more, I’m so glad I took the plunge & booked it!’ Gabrielle Fuller
‘I am a serial GVI volunteer, having done stints on far-flung marine conservation programmes in Mexico, Fiji and the Seychelles since 2018. Last year, with all the uncertainty from the pandemic, I decided to try a base and programme much closer to home in the UK – the GVI’s sea turtle conservation programme in the Peloponnese, Greece.
I had such a rewarding two weeks in August and felt I really contributed to the important work done by GVI’s local partner, Archelon, which has been protecting loggerhead turtles since the 1980s. And as usual with GVI bases around the world, the staff were fantastic – hard-working, welcoming, motivated and always eager to share their knowledge and experience, and keeping us all safe amid Covid.
We did morning surveys where we checked on recorded nests, put protective measures around new nests (there were still turtles coming to shore to lay eggs even that late in the season), or excavated nests that had hatched to check on hatching success – where we sometimes encountered hatchlings still making their way out into the world. Watching these tiny creatures scramble out to the sea was such a heart-warming experience. There were also beach cleans and night surveys, and on one magical afternoon a swim where we saw adult loggerhead turtles, which made me feel my conservation experience had come full circle.’ CHL
‘I did an internship at the GVI hub at Tenerife. It was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone! The work you get to do is very rewarding and incredibly interesting, and three times a week, you actually go out on the boat and look for marine mammals! Seeing all these whale and dolphin species is so special, and made me even more motivated to contribute to their conservation. We also spotted some turtles and I got to see some of the beautiful nature that the island of Tenerife holds. The team is very professional and always ready to teach you new skills, but also available to relax and have some fun with! The support that GVI provides you with beforehand and afterwards is also really nice, it really helps to prepare for your trip and make the transition as easy as possible. Would recommend this experience to anyone!’ Christine Nijenhuis
‘I recently travelled to Greece with GVI to volunteer with loggerhead turtles. We participated in morning surveys where we would protect new turtle nests and we had night surveys where we would assist in tagging mother turtles. I had a great time, meeting new people and making friends. The staff were also so friendly and helpful! I also loved going into the nearby towns of Olympia and Kalamata where we learnt more about Greek culture. I 100% recommend this trip to Greece with GVI if you are into marine conservation and are ready for a good time!’ Jenna Zandstra