Leading gap year specialist Quest Overseas has introduced two new summer ‘snap gap’ itineraries to Rwanda and Uganda to its 2013 portfolio of South American and Sub-Saharan Africa placements, to meet the increasing demand for shorter summer volunteering experiences.
The new five week itineraries will run in July and August 2013 enabling school leavers and further education students to join shorter volunteer projects during the school/university holidays, but that are still part of Quest Overseas long-term development programmes, ensuring a tangible impact on the developing world issues they tackle.
Commenting on the current trend in ‘snap gaps’ Quest Overseas African operations director Simon Tierney said: “Last year’s hike in university fees, coupled with the rising cost of living has forced many school leavers to forfeit the traditional ‘gap year’ experience as they just can’t afford it. More competition in a recession hit job market also means only around 12% of this year’s post-uni graduates are considering taking a year out before trying to find a job – a significant decline.”
Despite this, volunteering is as popular as ever amongst young people looking to broaden their horizons and contribute to a worthwhile cause, as well as for employers who see real value in the transferable skills, aptitude and character that an overseas volunteer placement can add to a potential employees’ CV.
“Quest has offered shorter ‘snap gaps’ for a couple of years and our bookings are now 50/50 in terms of our longer placements and these shorter, but just as valuable, experiences. The two new itineraries will see volunteers working with heavily vetted community led projects to construct a new home for orphaned boys in Kigali, Rwanda and participate in much needed eco-construction work with the Rwenzori Mountain range of Western Uganda, helping to conserve and protect this unique environment,” added Simon.
Quest Overseas was established in 1996 and is part of the growing Fair Trade Volunteering movement which advocates that short term and unskilled volunteer placements can contribute to sustainable development if these five key criteria are met: