It was a dark and stormy night in the Zimbabwe midlands. The year was 2004 and a handful of well-travelled people sat around a table and discussed their mutual desire to do something great.
This desire grew into a plan, and that night African Impact was born from the passion and dedication of a few to become the pride and joy of many.
When we opened our doors to our first batch of international volunteers we were a small, family-run organisation with big dreams. Those dreams have seen us grow into a trusted and established facilitator of great volunteering experiences in Africa.
We're proud to offer fun, safe and structured placements where volunteers understand their contribution to responsible projects run in partnership with local communities and conservation efforts.
We've been going for over 10 years, run projects in 12 countries and have facilitated over 12,500 volunteers. Every year is a chance to grow, learn and better our offering - both for host communities and for volunteers themselves. Our journey so far has been both inspiring and humbling and we will keep pushing the horizons of what volunteering can achieve.
To us, volunteering is a two-way thing. It's not just about the hands-on help and skills that volunteers bring; it's also about what this amazing continent, its people and its wildlife can give those volunteers in return. For many volunteers it's their first time to Africa, and we want it to be the first of many.
It's our responsibility to make sure volunteers have a great time and are able to make a positive contribution to our projects; it's also our responsibility to make sure that our presence on the ground is in the best interests of the local communities we work with.
To ensure that our projects are as sustainable as they can be, they are all thoroughly evaluated using a detailed scorecard before being set up. This involves analysing the long-term viability and the impact of the project.
Every one of our projects has community stakeholders; we won't run a project unless the community not only wants us there, but actually has ownership of the project. Community buy-in is essential.
We take a holistic approach to the implementation and running of our volunteer programs in Africa. We always aim to integrate ourselves into every level of the community working from grassroots to partnerships with local governments and we strive to maximize the power of volunteer-ing and nurture a culture of mutual respect and understanding, and embracing diversity.
"Working with African Impact was the most profound and fruitful experience of my entire life. I advise any potential volunteers to embrace the culture and keep an open mind in order to learn more about yourself and the world around you through the experience of giving. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to build relationships with so many wonderful people from all ages and walks of life." ~ Stew, Canada
"I loved my volunteering experience with African Impact, I only wish I had volunteered for longer, it's left me wanting more and I'm already hoping to return. If you are looking for a volunteer experience that is legitimate, sustainable and enjoyable all whilst making a truly valuable impact then look no further. Where you want to be and what you want to do is totally up to you, and trust me, you will be in safe hands! Volunteering provides a broader perspective on all aspects of life, it deepens understanding and ignites intrigue. To volunteer is to learn, to enjoy, to experience. To be excited, exhilarated and to explore a sense of awe and wonder. If it does all this for you, just imagine what you can do for others." ~ Sophie, UK
"After arriving and being welcomed by a friendly staff and crew of volunteers I immediately felt at home and never looked back. The two weeks that followed my arrival left me with memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not only were the projects organized and fun, I also felt like I was actually helping people in the local communities." ~ Anthony, Canada
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