Goodbye, 2017 - A Look Back On Our Volunteer's Amazing Achievements!

Goodbye, 2017 - A Look Back On Our Volunteer's Amazing Achievements!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on Dec 28, 2017

As we approach the end of 2017, we’re taking a look back at some of the top stories and experiences from the past year. Yesterday we reflected on the top 5 most heart-wrenching rehabilitation stories across our projects throughout the year, and today we are celebrating the incredible individual actions and group achievements of our volunteers!

Here at The Great Projects, we appreciate the hard work of every single volunteer that has given their time to take part on our projects. Your involvement consistently helps to improve the life of endangered animals around the globe, enabling the project staff to continue making a difference with you by their sides. We’re grateful for all volunteers – the following content illustrates the overall effort of every volunteer, including examples sent to us by the volunteers themselves! So, without further ado, check out some fine examples of volunteer achievements below…

From Fundraising Efforts…

Volunteer rainforest fundraiser

On more than one occasion this year, we’ve received word from our volunteers that some awesome fundraising activities have been taking place. First up we have Bella, a young lady from here in the UK who is set to join the Wildlife Orphanage in South Africa come summertime. In addition to committing three weeks of her time to becoming a volunteer, Bella has also been working hard to raise money to give as a donation to the project when she flies over. By running various events (from 60-hour video game marathons, to bake sales, to marathons), Bella has already raised close to £700 – and she just keeps on going! We want to say a huge thanks to Bella for all her efforts, and we can’t wait to hear more from her in the future.

Over in Borneo, the team at Samboja Lestari couldn’t believe their eyes when it was revealed that the volunteers had raised enough money in donations to buy a brand-new cement mixer. Orchestrated by volunteer Colin Baker, this awesome group of fundraisers knew how much this piece of equipment would help those in the jungle. Since raising the funds, the volunteers have assisted the team in creating new platforms at Samboja Lestari, leaving a permanent and positive mark on the project for years to come. To Colin and his ‘family’ of fundraisers: we thank you.

To Raising Awareness…

Rainforest volunteers

One of our lovely volunteers, Tony, has been hard at work not only writing beautiful poems reflecting his time at Samboja Lestari, but also by spreading awareness of the orangutans’ plight in every way imaginable. Tony has taken the story of his orangutan efforts to the papers and to the radio, and we can’t thank him enough for going out of his way to inform others of the tremendous difficulties faced by our rainforest cousins. You can read Tony's gorgeous poem here.

…And Repeat Visits!

Throughout 2017, close to 100 volunteers committed time to conservation efforts on more than one occasion, paying multiple visits to a number of different projects. We massively appreciate every single one of our volunteers for committing any time possible to working with endangered animals, and we seriously applaud those who have kindly spent their holidays with us on more than one occasion to join us in the efforts to protect the future of such threatened species!

Great Group Achievements

Thanks to the hard work of all our volunteers, the projects have managed to achieve some major milestones this year across a number of different areas. You can read about each of these achievements by clicking on the links below!

Animal releases: The orangutans move home; monkey and jackal releases at Lilongwe; 7 orangutans are released in Borneo; lady’s man Romeo settles into his new home; jackals and mongooses are released from the Wildlife Orphanage; and at least 23 animals have made their way to freedom thanks to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

New structures and enclosures: Baby orangutans at Samboja get a new home and a new playground; the sunbears at The Great Orangutan Project get new dens; and volunteers at Namibia help to build an enclosure for the caracals!

More Achievements: A new rhino is born at the Rhino and Elephant Conservation Project; Shamwari welcome an adorable new resident; the herd expands over on The Great Elephant Project; a famous face joins the team at Lilongwe; previously released orangs Long and Arief are spotted in the wild; Mahlahmele High School and its students receive help from our volunteers; a new species is discovered in Bolivia; and The Great Elephant Project welcome a beautiful baby to the herd!

Generous Donations

As you may know, the fee for your volunteer placement serves as a lifeline for the projects we offer. A conservation donation is included in the price of the project, and this provides support for the staff and the animals (you can see how else your money is spent by clicking here.) At the end of the year, we total up exactly how much is donated to each project, and we can happily reveal that our phenomenal volunteers have helped to raise a whopping £282,000 in donations across over 35 projects in 19 destinations worldwide! Give yourselves a serious pat on the back!

Here we have some unbelievable stats and statistics of the exact impact volunteers have had on global conservation this year. Take a look at our volunteers in action!

So that’s it for the 2017 roundup of volunteer success! We want to give one last THANK YOU for everybody who has taken the time and care to join us this year, and we can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. If you would like to take part on a project in the new year, remember that all of our projects are currently subject to the Big Freeze, meaning that this is your LAST chance to get involved and pay the lowest rates before the new year! Which project will you join? Find your dream volunteer holiday by heading to our project finder!

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Connor's Profile Picture
Connor commented 2 months ago
Hi Katie,

If you would like to send an email into detailing exactly what you are looking for and what your budget is, a member of the travel team will be able to help you plan your volunteering trip!

Thanks for getting in touch.
Katie commented 2 months ago
Hi there, we are a couple looking to volunteer late next year. Sri Lanka, India or Borneo would be where we are looking. We are 29 and 31. We are completing our TESOL, however I would prefer to work with animals if possible.
I would love to find some kind of work which is hands on and we are not scared to get our hands dirty with manual work.
Kind regards

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