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Testimonial from

I’m a third year biology student and an Open Water diver, and for some time now I had been thinking about taking part in a volunteering program. It’s a big opportunity for trying something different, practicing English and help in a place where it’s needed, but I wasn’t sure about the type of programs that there where, I had only heard about the humanitarian help and I didn’t know if it was for me… So I started searching a bit and I discovered that I could mix everything that I wanted to do with what I’m interested in together in a Marine Conservation Program. I went to some agencies along with GVI but at the end it was the one that we liked better and the location was amazing, Seychelles is a paradise! Once I got here, I only have complains about that, I feel like I didn’t receive enough information about the place before coming here so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was actually better than I had expected! Base is very organized and prepared, the bedrooms are more than enough and the island is even better than the pictures. We were assigned with different duties everyday which were quite hard actually, cleaning, cooking for everyone, getting the diving tanks and boat ready, there’s a lot of help needed, and we started receiving our lessons on First and Second Emergencies, Advanced diving, Coral Reefs and Conservation which were amazing, I learned a lot. The challenges were mostly physical; you really have to be in good shape to accomplish everything that you are asked to. The volunteers were all people from 18 to 30 mostly, all interested in the same things, all here for the same reason so it was very easy to establish friendship with them even though the differences in nationalities or languages. The staff was always helpful and very involved with the volunteers. In non-duty hours it felt like all of us were the same and we would always have fun together. Funny and caring I would use to describe them. The project as I said was very organized and we went through a lot of practice before starting the real work, as a preventive measure. All safety measures were always being reminded, and I felt always safe and never pressured. I really enjoyed everything about the projects, but the highlights were the island, diving every day in a coral reef and the people that I got to know here. My proudest accomplishment came every day after every dive, especially when we had to take all the equipment to the boat on low tide! At the moment I’m about to finish the program and I’m already thinking about getting some free time to start a new one, or repeat this one and go further with it, because after this first experience, I have clear that I want to keep being involved in conservation and diving and help as much as I can! For someone thinking about joining GVI I would encourage them because it will be one of the most amazing experiences on their lives, they will get a different point of view about everything and learn things that you won’t anywhere else and gain a lot of experience, professional and for the day to day as well as personal.