Lattitude Global Volunteering Reviews - www.lattitude.org.uk

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Lattitude Global Volunteering - www.lattitude.org.uk

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Latest Reviews

★★★★☆

“Challenging but rewarding ”

Written on: 16/03/2015 by cpCullen391 (1 review written)

I volunteered in Japan for 6 months from September 2014- March 2015. It was both the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. Upon arriving at a placement in the first few months any volunteer will come to realize that to succeed you have to maintain a positive attitude and face problems head on. I found my in-country support was amazing, both my volunteering host/mentor and in-country manager were always available to help, being extremely supportive. It is important that… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Horrific Experience”

Written on: 09/02/2015

I went to Cape Coast, Ghana at the end of 2014. The activities that I had volunteered for did not take place and I was left sitting around doing nothing for most of the day. As a result of the conditions there my health deteriorated to the point where I had to request to return home. I was made to feel that everything was my fault and was even told that I wasn't ill as the coordinator had read a book. Eventually they agreed to send me home but the night before leaving I was forced to have… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“PLEASE CONTACT ME”

Written on: 08/02/2015 by sbarnett77 (2 reviews written)

We are currently gathering information regarding the safety of volunteers with this company. Our daughter and her friend died whilst in their 'care' 2 months ago. Another of their friends was stabbed and another attacked. We have MANY questions that remain unanswered regarding volunteers and their safety and well being. Lattitude are proving to be evasive, insensitive and uncaring regarding all our concerns. Their honesty is highly questionable and their capacity to provide any evidence to… Read Full Review

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Mawal's Response to sbarnett77's Review

Written on: 09/02/2015

I messaged you on Facebook.

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Sbarnett77's reply to Mawal's Comment

Written on: 10/02/2015

I'm sorry, I can't find your message. Please try again. Is your name Mawal?

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Latitudeconcerns's Response to sbarnett77's Review

Written on: 12/04/2015

My daughter has paid to volunteer with this company. She hasn't left yet. Would love to hear your story and I'm a journalist too.

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Sbarnett77's reply to Latitudeconcerns's Comment

Written on: 13/04/2015

How would be the best way to contact you? Are you in the UK?

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Katelyng's Response to sbarnett77's Review

Written on: 18/03/2015

Please contact me via facebook as I may be able to assist you.

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Sbarnett77's reply to Katelyng's Comment

Written on: 13/04/2015

I've just seen your comment but am not sure how toccontact you.

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Sbarnett77's Response to sbarnett77's Review

Written on: 10/02/2015

I think I've just found your message, Mawal, and have replied. I hope you receive my response. x

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★☆☆☆☆

“PLEASE CONTACT ME”

Written on: 08/02/2015 by sbarnett77 (2 reviews written)

We are currently gathering information regarding the safety of volunteers with this company. Our daughter and her friend died whilst in their 'care' 2 months ago. Another of their friends was stabbed and another attacked. Please contact me via Facebook and I will give you more information and further contact details. We have MANY questions that remain unanswered regarding volunteers and their safety and well being. Lattitude are proving to be evasive, insensitive and uncaring regarding all our… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Horrible”

Written on: 08/02/2015 by LeslieLloyd (1 review written)

Their treatment of volunteers is horrible as they have no respect for them whatsoever. The company's top priority is not to ensure the safety of their volunteers, it is to protect their name, leaving people to go through traumatic experiences. Horrible people - stay away… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Horrific Company ”

Written on: 23/01/2015 by Braidenm457 (1 review written)

I feel it is important that any person considering volunteering with Global Latitude read my story. In January 2013 I embarked on what was to be a journey of a lifetime to Ghana, Africa with Latitude. I spent three glorious months volunteering at Western Royal Montessori in Sekondi-Takoradi before I was attacked at knife point on a street near another volunteers home stay. Now I recognize there are dangers that come with being a foreigner in any country and my issue is not that this happened to… Read Full Review

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Ssuttonjones's Comment

Written on: 06/02/2015

As the head of the Canada office of Lattitude and as the person who recruited this volunteer, I must respond to this review.

The basic facts are accurate, but this is not the complete story. The volunteer was one of 19 Canadians/Americans volunteering in Ghana. She was the victim of an attempted mugging in Ghana.

The volunteer and a friend decided to walk from the city centre back to their residence even though it was dark. It is part of Lattitude’s safety protocol that all volunteers in Ghana are told to take taxis after dark, even for short journeys. This was emphasized to all volunteers during the 7-day arrival orientation, including this volunteer.

The attempted mugging, luckily unsuccessful, was on a Friday evening in Ghana. The volunteer returned to her residence where she reported the incident to her host family who provided sympathy, but nothing more. She told other nearby Lattitude volunteers who again were sympathetic, but did not respond with the seriousness the volunteer was seeking. The volunteer did not report the incident to the police.

We have a local rep living in the same city, and our Country Manager lives in the capital, Accra - but no attempt was made to contact either of them. The first contact with Lattitude was an email to myself in Vancouver – some 7,000 miles away - more than 25 hours later. By that time it was late Saturday evening in Ghana, so the local Lattitude rep could not get to her residence until Sunday.

By Sunday the volunteer had succumbed to fear and depression and did not want to leave her room. She, and the other volunteer, decided they must return home as they felt unsafe in Ghana. Further, they felt so insecure that they stated they could not travel unaccompanied on a local flight to Accra, or go by State Transport (similar to Greyhound). So Lattitude paid for them to travel by car to the capital to get their flight to Canada.

I felt then, and still believe, that returning to Canada was the wrong response. In my professional opinion as Director of Lattitude, but also as a parent of a similarly-aged daughter, it would have been greatly preferable for both these volunteers to have found the strength to put this incident – difficult though it was – behind them. The reality is that that the attempted robbery was unsuccessful and happily no one was injured. Lattitude had local supports available, and It would have been appropriate if the volunteer had availed herself of these supports at the earliest opportunity. This did not happen.

Ghana is a very safe country, much safer than urban North America where such incidents are far more common. This attempted mugging was the first such incident in the 12 years of the Ghana program - and it remains the only such incident. I truly regret that her sense of insecurity remains with this volunteer almost two years after the incident.

Stuart Sutton-Jones

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Mawal's Comment

Written on: 09/02/2015

In response,

Regardless of it being dark or not, this happened to me. So ridiculing me for walking at 7:30pm on the street infront of a volunteer host accommodation did not and still is not going to help this situation.

You are incorrect. I did not receive one once of sympathy from my host family. My host family told me "in American movies you people are always killing each other so why does this upset you?" They also tried to shift the blame "this wasn't a Ghanaian, it must have been a Nigerian" what's further more when I succumbed to tears in front of my host family they laughed like it was some kind of comedy show. Sympathy is so far from the reaction I got. Ofcourse I was seeking seriousness. Can you please tell me what is not serious about being pushed down to the ground grabbed at and having a knife held to your neck?

The one thing that you said that has been correct is that I did not file a police report. I had no description of the person who did this to me so taking that action, in my eyes, would have done nothing.

The reason I did not contact the country manager or local rep is because previous attempts to receive support/advice from them by other volunteers had been unsuccessful/unhelpful. What's furthermore is by this point I was seeking help/support from a Canadian. This is because as demonstrated by my host family, Ghanaians have a very different way of dealing with issues (sweep it under the rug) and emotions (hide them). As for the visit from your local representative, you may as well not have one. He literally did nothing. He came for all of 6 minutes and the "support" he had to offer me was "don't be scared". I felt even more awkward, confused and isolated after speaking with him.

You have also assumed here that I returned home because I felt "unsafe". That is not the reason I returned home. I tried to stay, I wanted to stay. I was having an amazing time before this happened and it was very difficult for me to make the decision to leave as I felt I was giving up on the children. The reason I left Ghana was because I wasn't receiving adequate support for this traumatic experience and I needed to go home where I could be with my family who seemed to be the only ones who cared enough to help me through this. Yes I declined a flight from Takoradi to Accra when it came time for my departure. This was not to be difficult as it seems you are trying to make it look. My good friends father is a pilot for a major airline and before leaving for Ghana he made me promise that I would not fly out of any smaller airports in Africa. It's great that you didn't fail to mention the one thing that you did do for me, pay for a car ride to the airport. This is really minuscule compensation for what I had been through, in fact I wouldn't call it compensation at all. An adequate compensation would be a refund on the fee I paid to Latitude for "in country support" which I did not receive.

I agree with you strongly that it would have been greatly preferable for me to find the strength to stay in Ghana. However, as I've already said I felt I couldn't due to the sheet lack of support I received from Latitude. I know that it is probably very easy for you to say that no one was hurt in this incident but the reality of it is that I am hurt. Permanently psychologically damaged from this.

Ghana is wonderful. Yes. Without a doubt the most amazing place I've ever been and it still holds a special place in my heart. This isn't about whether or not Ghana is safe or not. I am well aware that this could have happened to me in Canada too. The fact of the matter is that had it happened in Canada I would have received proper support and the trauma would have been lessened. This is something the Latitude team in Ghana seems to be ill equipped of. If you truly regret anything it should be the way that Latitude handled my situation.


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Sbarnett77's Comment

Written on: 10/02/2015

I would like to know what qualifications and experience you have that can justify your comment that you believe that this young person's choice to go home was 'the wrong response' and that it ' would have been greatly preferable for both these volunteers to have found the strength to put this incident – difficult though it was – behind them.' Are you suggesting that this volunteer wasn't strong enough? I'm assuming that you have some professional experience in counselling/psychotherapy in order to support your statement.

I would also like to know what Lattitude offered the volunteer in the form of support upon her return home, considering that this young person was under your duty of care when the incident happened?

I look forward to your reply.

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Petebarnett's Comment

Written on: 10/02/2015

As a teacher and leader of many groups of young people in various circumstances, what appears to be missing here is the understanding that you did NOT take a group (single entity) of young people to another country, rather a collection of individuals who each require a different approach in times of trouble. That is what training is for - even the most basic of man-management understanding teaches us that one person requires an arm round a shoulder whereas another may require an inspirational 'keep calm and carry on' speech. Crucially it is knowing the difference that separates the human response from the corporate and the prepared from the ill-equipped. When an alien environment is involved especially - and the bedrock of most people's safety removed - the utmost care needs to be taken to identify which approach is appropriate. It sounds like this young lady needed something more human. It is sad that this is playing out on a public forum, although ironically may prove useful as it may stop others trusting which may, in turn, save their lives. Sadly, it is too late for my own daughter who trusted her life to your company's 'care' and is now no longer with us to argue her own point re: research, local knowledge and risk assessments. Should those things have been in place, which would seem to be a minimum requirement after such bold safety claims on your website and in your literature, perhaps she would be alive today. Shameful behaviour.

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Sbarnett77's Comment

Written on: 08/02/2015

Another volunteer has said:

pretty much exactly the same experience
my friends were attacked and two drowned and the support any of us have recieved is absolutely nothing. I was left to stranded in South Africa for almost two weeks with no way home. Don't let this organisation shift responsibility for this - we were under their care. I am traumatised and undergoing counselling, I am forever changed as a person.

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Sbarnett77's Comment

Written on: 08/02/2015

Please contact me urgently on Facebook and I will give you my contact details. I believe that it is extremely important that we communicate. My daughter and her friend drowned in December whilst 'under the care' of Lattitude, in entirely preventable circumstances. Two others were rescued in a state of near drowning. Another volunteer was stabbed, another was attacked and several are traumatised. The 'after care' and 'support' has been atrocious and we are pursuing our concerns and complaints through every means possible.
Suzie Barnett.

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Rochelleg's Comment

Written on: 18/03/2015

Suzie, I am so sorry to read about your loss. I'm not sure how to find you on Facebook. My daughter who volunteered in Vanuatu through Lattitude in Australia had a traumatic experience while there and our biggest concern was the lack of assistance and support while there and on her early return home. I would love to give you any assistance I can on having this company held accountable for their absolute disregard for the safety and well being of their volunteers. I can be contacted on Facebook, my details are Rochelle Giddens from Australia

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★★★★☆

“The best of the best times”

Written on: 22/08/2014 by ChanaKincaid (1 review written)

Where to begin! Through volunteering with Lattitude I was able to go on the most amazing journey of my life - I had a truly unforgettable experience, the people that I met and the memories that I've made are ones that will last with me forever. In terms of value for money - volunteering with Lattitude is expensive in comparison to organisations that are free, however sometimes you get what you pay for. For me, generally speaking this was the case... After deciding to embark to the one of… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆

“Lattitude was a fantastic experience. Lattitude was my...”

Written on: 17/07/2014 by Khalil438 (1 review written)

Lattitude was a fantastic experience. Lattitude was my first time away from home and traveling by myself and the company enabled me to do that with some degree of confidence. The support I received from my Volunteer coordinator was very valuable. He was polite, friendly and would reply to any concern I had very quickly. However, I do also feel that it was very very overpriced and a lot of the time I found myself paying a lot of money for things I don't think I needed. If I had travelled with… Read Full Review

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Kirstygrant's Comment

Written on: 07/08/2014

I'm really sorry to hear that your experience with Lattitude wasn't entirely positive. We aim to give a consistent experience to all the young people who volunteer with us and it seems we've fallen short on this occasion. Please do get in touch with us to provide more feedback so that we can ensure that any issues are addressed.

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Sbarnett77's Comment

Written on: 11/02/2015

Hi,

I would be very interested to hear more about your experiences, particularly where you were and who your in country manager was. You are certainly not alone in having reservations about the treatment and support you received.
If you could contact me, on Facebook if you'd prefer, I would be most grateful.

Suzie Barnett.

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★★★★☆

“Take the opportunity!”

Written on: 09/10/2013

Lattitude offered me exactly what I wanted - a long term volunteer project in New Zealand. Great! They were very helpful when I was researching, and throughout the pre-departure stage. There were costs involved - visas, flights etc, as expected, and yes, there is the payment to Lattitude themselves - but I got a LOT out of my year away. I also wanted a longer placement than normal, which they helped me organise. All the volunteers arriving in NZ at the same time had an orientation together… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Amazing adventure”

Written on: 12/09/2013

Had such a fantastic time in Fiji volunteering as an English teacher. The kindness of the Fijians was something that I will never forget. I'm so glad that Lattitude managed to place me in a setting which they thought would suit me, it did. Living so rurally without much at all taught me so much. I think the length of the placement was right as well as I'd heard from others who had done the 3 months that it really wasn't long enough. The problems I had with Lattitude were: The huge fee that you… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“appalling ”

Written on: 31/08/2013

I found Lattitude horrible ! It is a rip off, you pay an overly amount off money which most off it goes to lattitudes back pocket! if you say you cant afford it they will fund it for you for free, so its ridiculous how some people have to pay and extraordinary amount of money and some none. they try to make them self's look professional while really there just scamming every one who goes with them its a joke. i recommend if you want to go some where apply directly to where you want to go not… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Cannot fault Lattitude!”

Written on: 24/07/2013

Right from the beginning they responded efficiently to every query I had. A week after submitting my application I had a phone interview and then 2 weeks after that had a phone interview with someone in Australia. It was a few months before I heard I'd been accepted somewhere but that was expected. The pre-departure pack was great as it outlined step-by-step everything I needed to get sorted, this made everything simple and stress free - great when I was stressing about my exams. In Australia… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆

“Good without guarantee.”

Written on: 18/05/2013

I applied for a placement in New Zealand and they told me that I am confirmed 99%, so I thought that I will get a placement. But unfortunately 2 months before the departure they told me that I could not get a placement because some schools could not finance the volunteering anymore. I was really shocked and frustrated... and a bit angry, too, because they could have told me earlier... Before the refusal there were some other problems with the communication, because they did not answer my mails… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“Life changing, great value Gap year! ”

Written on: 14/01/2013 by Stephanie_Cuenca (1 review written)

I did my gap year with Lattitude in Ecuador Sept 2007- March 2008 and have never looked back! I had two placements during my 5 months in Cuenca (south of Ecuador): teaching in a primary school in the morning and helping in an orphanage in the afternoon. My placement also included accommodation with a local family, where I was given three meals per day. I really loved my placements, especially looking after the children in the orphanage, and learnt some tough life skills (including how to change… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“An excellent once in a lifetime experience”

Written on: 27/08/2012 by K.Bolade (1 review written)

I wanted to live in Japan to experience life in one of the most fascinating countries in the world, whilst doing something helpful and productive. I searched online and found Lattitude Global Volunteering (LGV). LGV are a charity that help in the personal and professional development of 17-25 year olds’ through comprehensive overseas volunteer placements in a local community. I went through LGV because it is a charity, thus its focus is not on money alone but more on making a lasting… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“One of the single best decisions of my life, amazing...”

Written on: 25/08/2012 by deano_1987 (1 review written)

I approached Lattitude Global Volunteering with little hope for any outcome that would benefit me but I immediately fell in love with the staff, their friendliness and willingness to help find the perfect opportunity for my situation. The interview day was very professional and I felt Lattitude approached each and every aspect to volunteering as all the "big-name" companies should do (but unfortuntely do not, as far as I am aware). They found me a unique but fantastic opportunity in Costa… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“An Amazing Experience”

Written on: 17/08/2012 by reganator5000 (1 review written)

Lattitude helped me embark on the best experience of my life so far. I volunteered in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Indian Himalayas, and it was both a life changing experience and a ridiculous amount of fun. It's a great start to being able to volunteer abroad, and they provide lots of support before, during and after the placements (the after part is important-reverse culture shock is unsettling, to say the least). I ahve them to thank for a fantastic time, in which i learned new… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“The best overseas volunteering experience”

Written on: 16/08/2012

I decided to take a gap year between school and uni and wanted to do some overseas volunteering because I wanted to give something back to a community very different from my own. I chose Lattitude Global Volunteering (formerly GAP Activity Projects) because I had been recommended it by my sister who also went with them. Because I was given an interview I was able to specify where exactly I wanted to go (India) and what I wanted to do (teach English) and what type of school I wanted to go to… Read Full Review

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