In 1994, Wolfgang Graser and Alexander Kratochwil moved from their home in Vienna to the beautiful city of Cape Town. They quickly fell in love with this vibrant city and its friendly, smiling people. They first opened an English language school for foreign tourists to learn English, but soon they discovered that behind the shiny places there are enormous problems and challenges that this country faces for historic reasons. They met with organisations that assist government in the struggle for a better life and a better environment.
When you see what these organisations do, it’s not difficult to feel moved and share in their desire to help. They can’t solve all problems overnight, but they do make an impact and do change people’s lives on a daily basis. What they need, though, are volunteers who share their passion to help and who want to make a difference.
In 2009 we started to supply some of these organisations with international volunteers. What we specifically loved was not only to seeing these organisations thrive with the volunteers, but also noticing how the volunteers themselves benefit hugely from the experience.
Megan Burger joined our team in October 2023. She has over 9 years of experience in the aviation field as a senior flight attendant, thereafter working in logistics, hospitality and technology. She has a deep-seated passion for promoting sustainability and ethics, which ties into her part-time studies towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science. As our Volunteer Manager, with her passion for customer service, world cultures and upholding values, she assists us to grow and keep a keen focus on supporting volunteer projects that meet the strict ethical standards for which we advocate. Megan subscribes to Mahatma Gandhi's directive to “be the change you want to see in the world” and encourages those around her to live by this too. With the help of the volunteers, the projects we support and the strong GHV team, she is doing her best to assist in making a lasting difference, one volunteer and one project at a time.
Vuyokazi Currie has just joined the team in May 2023. Her background is in the area of Community Development. After finishing her Counselling Studies, she had a life-changing experience while volunteering as a Life Skills Facilitator at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town. She then mentored and coached volunteers, connecting with community members, as well as students who came from abroad. Having worked in the most disadvantaged communities in South Africa, and other African countries encourages her to share her impactful journey with others, and to inspire them to "give and gain", by making a difference in the lives of others as well as their own.
She will support management and volunteers, maintaining relationships with existing as well as potentially new partner projects and will also be busy arranging social activities for our volunteers.
It is the love for South Africa and the international travellers that pushes us daily to provide the best possible meaningful experience to the volunteers, but also to support our projects with what they need to do their jobs and to grow into a brighter future.
Today we support more than 25 projects in southern Africa. If you are looking for a life-changing experience, then allow us to assist you in finding the most suitable project on our website and beyond.