Why Lattitude?

   

Lattitude Global Volunteering is an international youth evelopment charity. Our mission is to provide unique & educational opportunities for young people worldwide, to make a positive difference to their lives and the lives of others.We do this by supporting them on diverse, challenging and structured international volunteering placements in a community and culture different from their own.

With 40 years of experience (formerly known as Gap Activity Projects) and offices in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Canada, we have supported more than 30,000 young volunteers around the world. We offer various funding opportunities and advice on fundraising so that cost is not a barrier. As a not-forprofit organisation we ensure that we remain cost effective and are transparent about all costs involved.

Whilst young New Zealanders continue to travel in order to grow in independence and confidence, it is evident that this is not the end goal in itself. Many are seeking a far deeper engagement and immersion in new cultures and experiences, with cross-cultural understanding and improving their ability to adapt ranked high on their list of oriorities.

We are always adapting to meet the demands of our volunteers, and have a wide range of placement options to cater for every interest. Placements average six months in duration, with many of our participating countries offering a full year stay. This timeframe allows volunteers to acclimatise, to get to know the people involved, and to really contribute to their new community. We pride ourselves in our conscientious and sustainable approach. Our longer placement durations mean our volunteers get a fuller, more meaningful experience, and more opportunity to exact positive and lasting change.

 

We provide support to our volunteers before, during and after their placement. The support provided is as follows

Before Leaving:

  • We find out about each volunteers strengths, skills and interests through an in-depth interview which helps us select the right people as well as identifying what they are hoping to achieve while away and helps us select the right people to be Lattitude volunteers
  • A second interview with our In Country Programme Manager (often via Skype) helps match them to a placement perfect for them.
  • Once you have been accepted by the in Country Programme Manager you will be looked after by a specialised Volunteer Coordinator in our NZ office who assists with all preparations, support with logistics such as flights and visas, and are there to answer any questions.
  • Everyone attends a predeparture briefing to meet other volunteers, Lattitude staff, other professionals such as our travel agent, travel doctors and insurance company representatives as well as hearing from returned volunteers, learning in person about the expectations and exciting prospects that lie ahead.
  • Volunteers are seen off at the airport, where they travel together to their destination countries
  • All volunteers sign our Term and Conditions to ensure that Lattitude's expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.

While Overseas:

  • Volunteers attend a group orientation upon arrival in-country and, where needed, undertake training such as a local language or teaching skills course.
  • We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
  • Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
  • We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from the Lattitude office in New Zealand.

Upon Return:

  • We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
  • Our debriefing session will include discussions from industry professionals regarding the identification and articulation of the new skills the volunteer has invariably acquired during his/her placement, and how to use these new skills to get ahead.
  • We are always happy to supply written and verbal references to our successful volunteers upon return home, to aid in applications to higher education or the workforce.