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Global Crossroad program?

any info on trips arranged by Global Crossroad? Any bad experiences?
14 years ago, May 11th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #34980  
Hi all-

I'm an undergrad possibly interning in Morogoro, Tanzania this summer. I might be going through a group called Global Crossroad, but I'm having trouble finding information about them. Has anyone ever used them or heard anything about them? Any problems/bad experiences/great experiences?

I'd really appreciate hearing anything about them--my trip is in just over a month so I'm trying to figure everything out quickly.

Thanks so much!

Meg Schmitt Reply to this

14 years ago, May 14th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #35256  

13 years ago, August 26th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #46841  
N Posts: 1
I know that this is a late reply to this post but I want to say that my experience with Global Crossroads was not a positive one. I just spent the last few weeks in Tanzania, Africa working in an orphanage with seven other people from my town. Everything that Global Crossroads was involved with in regards to our trip went wrong. There were many things that happened that shouldn't have such as ending up at an orphanage that we knew nothing about instead of going to the one we were told that we were going to, having safari drivers who were not registered and very unorganized causing us to have to end our safari after one game drive because they didn't have the money or the permits to continue, and also the fact that Global Crossroads were very poor in communicating with us what we needed to know. Every other volunteer that we met along the way were also very dissapointed with their Global Crossroad experience. I just want people to understand that Global Crossroads is very unorganized and unreliable based on my own experience with this company. Even though we were dissapointed with Global Crossroads we loved our time spent with the children at the orphanage. That part of the trip was definitely an amazing experience and our hearts were touched while being there. Reply to this

13 years ago, September 17th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #49090  
Do not go anywhere with Global Crossroad. My name is Courtney and I just got back from a volunteer program in Tanzania with Global Crossroad/IFRE. The company is a scam and Yotam, the coordinator for Africa is a corrupt man who is not allocating the money to the orphanages. I met other volunteers from other programs while I was there. Check out Global Volunteers, I've heard good things. Just be very cautious. If they tell you that you only need a tourist visa, they are wrong. You need to have a volunteer visa. Good luck. If you have more questions, post them and I will help you out. Reply to this

13 years ago, October 7th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #50986  
I would have to second that. Look into other programs. Read these
Reply to this

13 years ago, April 11th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #69194  
Hi Meg,
I am a medical volunteer and I went through global crossroads. I am doing lots of cool work in hospitals, ambulances and event leprosy colonies in Faridabad, India. I don't know what goes on in the Africa program but here in India everything is going well. Even the other volunteers that I live with (who work in the orphanages) have said that the program is great. I think a lot of people just show up to these projects expecting to be spoon fed all of their tasks and volunteering agendas. For example, I wanted to do medical volunteering in India and I am a registered EMT as well as a pre-med student. There was another volunteer who had no medical background, interest or experience and she did not have a good time volunteering. An effort is also required when doing these types of volunteering projects. For example, another volunteer who used to go to the hospital with me became very distressed and gave up because she did not understand Hindi, whereas another volunteer who despite not knowing what the nurses or patients were saying made a full effort to help (and made a huge impact). If you show keen interest and are sincerely there to help and not just waste time then I think that the volunteer projects can be life changing and amazing. It just depends with what intentions you go with. Reply to this

12 years ago, July 23rd 2009 No: 7 Msg: #80749  
N Posts: 1
hi everyone,

Yes this is a super late reply but I just want to inform all the people out there who are interested in volunteering with Global Crossroad to BEWARE!

I went to New Delhi in 2006 with my high school friend. We spent about 2 months there and I have to say that the volunteering experience at Salaam Baalak Trust (working with street kids) was absolutely amazing. Will I do it again? Yes definately. but will I go through Global Crossroad again? HELL NO!

Global Crossroad claims to donate parts of the program fees to the local charity/organisation that you are going to work with. You see, Salaam Baalak Trust has NEVER EVER heard of Global Crossroad, let alone receiving donations from them. Global Crossroad has extremely poor management, actually it is almost non-existent.

$2000+ USD is a large amount of money, especially in developing countries. that amount of money is more than enough to keep a bunch of kids in school for a whole year. Global Crossroad is more like a middle man that takes all the money and chuck you at the doorstep of the local charity. But don't worry, your local charity will always take good care of you. So I guess if you don't care about how much you are paying for the program and how much is going to the charity, then i think Global Crossroad is the one for you.

Momin, I am very glad that you are having a good time volunteering in Faridabad. However maybe you should ask the people at the hospital if they have received any donations from Global Crossroad.

Advices? I think the best way is to research about local charities and organisations before you make any decisions. Contact them DIRECTLY if possible and arrange your own accomodation and transport. This way, instead of feeding Global Crossroad with all your hard-earned cash, the money can go to where it is most needed.
Reply to this

12 years ago, August 6th 2009 No: 8 Msg: #82397  
hey! im a canadian citizen, and i went to bolivia to work in an orphanage in santa cruz - AVOID GLOBAL CROSSROADS!!!!!!!!!! i was lucky enough to have gone through a middleman organization that took care of all the interactions between me and them, but other people i met there often never spoke to the ground co-ordinator, and one volunteer i met had to abandon her research project altogether. definately volunteer abroad, but do it through somebody else. Reply to this

12 years ago, August 8th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #82540  
also, avoid Operation Crossroads Africa.. I would not say it is a scam really.. just very poorly organized and the team in the US is not quite aware of how things truly pan out on the other end. Rather look into NGOs that are locally based and contact them, find your own adventure and desire.. often it is more fulfilling and less costly. Reply to this

12 years ago, January 5th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #98417  
I have spent nearly 9 months working in Vietnam through Crossroads, I did not have any problems from them getting me a job here. My main problem was from the 'volunteer' organisation that operates here. Volunteers for Peace Vietnam. The job I was given it was great, I enjoyed the teaching and the friendliest from the teachers. From VPV manager Cuong absolute shabby treatment, from placing me in a room with NO aircondition in summer weather (three months). I complained for weeks about this and requested and found alternative accommodation, but he didn't want me to move. He finally moved me to an apartment devoid of ANY furniture. I had to stand eat and do my teaching work. I had four light bulbs working. I had complained, he came round and saw the condition of the apartment I was living in and he ignored my requests for someone to put in new bulbs (I was unable to reach the bulbs), a table and a chair came three weeks later. My pay was always three weeks late from month one, he always had some story. he never answered my emails or sms, I had trouble with piping in the apartment, Waited weeks for someone to come round and fix the problem. I have heard from other teachers from VPV who also have had shabby treatment from this organisation. I emailed Global Cross Roads, CEO of VPV cuong and President of VPV. Nothing had changed. I resigned this week for another organisation. In a sentence avoid teaching jobs through VPV. Reply to this

12 years ago, January 17th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #100092  
N Posts: 1
For anyone wanting to use Global Crossroads;

I can't say I'm surprised to hear what everyone has been saying about Global Crossroads.
I travelled to Nepal with them about 5 years ago. My experience was amazing! But this organization has to be the most unorganized group ever. I ended up having a lot of issues with my placement. But I have to agree with "Momin's" comments. Just understand that in a lot of these countries you'll be thrown out of your comfort zone almost all the time....but it's how you approach and deal with the situation that will end up defining your experience. I'm happy I went through global crossroads because it got me out there....which otherwise, I wouldn't have done on my own. When I do this type of trip again however, I would do a little more research and find a local non-profit organization within the country itself. Global Crossroads are just the middle man...like most other volunteering agencies. The unfortunate reality is that with ALL of them.....a VERY small portion of your money actually goes to the cause. They just find or partner up with local non-profit organizations who end up doing all the work, for almost nothing. They are typically unorganized as well, but they are just a group of local people running an non-profit....it's not the Red Cross. So just understand that! When I went to Nepal they put me with an organization call RCDP. When I got there I found out that other people went directly through RCDP and paid 1/3 of the price I paid through Global Crossroads...and I had the same placement and same experiences they had! Soo, more of my money could have been going directly to the cause.

Anyway, there's soo much to say.
Hope this helps.....but don't be discouraged!
I'm still grateful to Global Crossroads, even though it cost a lot more money and I had to deal with the disorganization,
it got me out there!

That's what's important....remember that!


Reply to this

12 years ago, January 24th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #100999  
B Posts: 15
Meg, There are so many international for profit volunteer organizations that are quite expensive. The bulk of the money does not even enter the country. I admit that the first trip that I made to Tanzania, I went with one of them. I didn't really do too much shopping around (actually I didn't do any). Once I got to Tanzania, I realized that it is really quite easy to organize volunteering and housing independently or through a local group for a small fraction of the cost and having a much more genuine experience. I wish you a great trip. Reply to this

12 years ago, February 3rd 2010 No: 13 Msg: #102260  
N Posts: 1
DO NOT GO THROUGH GLOBAL CROSSROAD IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN VIETNAM. The organization, VPV, is the worst volunteer organization. They: stay at your flat WATCHING you, you have NO PRIVACY. They also DO NOT PAY YOU ON TIME-if at all. they like to house people for several months and then randomly kick them out without pay. They give you 24 hours to vacate, no money and no explanation as to why you are kicked out.

Also, they make money for every hour you work, around $20 an hour is the going rate for teachers in vietnam. IN THE EVENT you actually do get paid you only get $300 a month even if you worked 20 hours a week. Everyone else I know makes $300 A WEEK.

Speaking of hours. They tell you that you need to work 20 hours but then keep increasing it. They have no issue for you to work from 8-4 at one school and then 5-8 at another on the same day.

There are plenty of other LEGIT organizations you can go through...DO NOT GIVE GLOBAL CROSSROAD OR VPV you money. You will regret it. Reply to this

12 years ago, February 18th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #104173  
My volunteer experience was absolutely amazing. The US staff was very helpful. Anytime I had a question prior to departure I would call the team and they would help me.

Franklin and Richard are responsible for the volunteers on the ground. The first week, Richard brought me everywhere and answered to all my needs and questions. The language and culture program is very helpful, especially if you’re staying for more than a month. Ghanaians are very happy when you can say a few words in Twi.

Franklin, the country coordinator, picked out internships for me in three different hospitals. I worked in a malnutrition centre in Accra and two rural maternity/women’s clinics in Kasoa. I had an fantastic experience and learned so much in only a few weeks: much more than in one semester of school. The hospital staff answered all my questions, told me about their daily life as well as Ghana and Africa’s problems, traditions etc. I was allowed to do so much: injections, prescriptions, feeling the baby’s heartbeat, pulse taking etc. I even saw a few births (now that’s one amazing experience). Work is not always easy, especially in the malnutrition centre where kids are very thin and some have HIV and won’t have a long life. People are very poor and hospitals are sad places. Many women had anaemia yet cannot afford to buy blood so the mother's and the baby’s lives are at risk. However, I don’t regret anything. It really changes your perspective on many things. I decided to go to volunteer in order to make sure I wanted to have a job linked to human rights, women’s rights and development, etc. Now I’m sure that’s what I want to do.

Ghanaians are amazing people. They welcome you with open arms and make you feel at ease. The kids are hilarious and yell “Obruni” (white) every time they see you. I almost felt like home after a couple of weeks. Everything is chaotic in Ghana but simply accept it and open your mind and you will have no problems fitting in.

The accommodation on the ground is rather basic but compared to everyone else in Ghana it’s almost luxurious. Sure, there is no running water but taking a shower outside (with a bucket) when it’s so hot is pretty funny. The rooms are clean (no cockroaches like in some hotels I’ve been to). Joyce, the cook, prepares very good meals. Ask her for Fufu with red stew: it was delicious. The pancakes, red-red (plaintain and beans), egg sandwiches and spring rolls are excellent as well.

I recommend Global Crossroad to everyone. I really had a life-changing experience and met wonderful people. The first few days are hard, but as long as your open your mind and don’t give up, you’ll be just fine.
Reply to this

12 years ago, March 16th 2010 No: 15 Msg: #106523  
Wow Mariepims, good that u had a good time in Ghana. But really reading ALL 12 adverse comments from different ppl who travelled with Global or had a raw deal from NGOs in the country they went to. I find it amazing u had so much positive vibrations from Global! I wonder if your blog is genuine or you an office worker in Global. They were in touch with me, saying they have reported VPV to the US state dept, they have cut ties and will not send anymore volunteers to Vietnam. Have offered to recompensate me (January) and have not seen $1 and they have ignored to pay me. Seems all 'rain but no thunder' just words and more words. Yes AVOID GLOBAL CROSSROADS AND VPV (VIETNAM) Reply to this

11 years ago, July 6th 2010 No: 16 Msg: #114967  
N Posts: 1
Hi all,

I'm writing an article about volunteering experiences in India and Nepal, and came across this forum through a search. Global Crossroad, as with many other NGO organizations, sounds like they are more disorganized than fraudulent, and this also seems to differ with each region and company they are working with. If anyone has had positive or negative experiences working with them in India or Nepal, please do get in touch with me at . Laxman (Tyler), Gumibear, or Momin Shakoor-- if you are reading this, please email me asap! Thanks very much!
Reply to this

11 years ago, November 25th 2010 No: 17 Msg: #123705  
Hi Guys, in addition to Global Crossroads, I strongly suggest NOT volunteering for GLOBAL ADVENTURES operated by Peter McHendry. Whilst not strictly a scam (you will do some volunteer work), Peter McHendry has a very dubious background and has recently been acused of fraud and apparently there's a warrant for his arrest in a few countries (google his name for the blog). I paid $US 2500 for 3 months and spent most of the time sitting around in an isolated bush camp (in cheap tents), eating pasta with veges and doing nothing - the new employee and I were left by Peter, without a car, fuel or any resources or networks to do a project. Whilst the website looks good, it contains an extraordinary level of false and misleading information.

Here's the full story:

I saw an ad in Lusaka for Global Adventures (www.globaladventures.co.za) and went about calling the CEO (“Dr” Peter McHendry, aged 56 years) on skype to see how I could join the program. He sounded friendly, helpful and very enthusiastic to have me volunteer, particularly as I had a background in science and could do a project on wildfire management. I paid the upfront fee of $US 2,500.00, to volunteer for 3 months (with the possibility of a 3-month extension at no charge). I was encouraged to look at the website to get background information (and maybe to see how great the company was!).

Things started off well enough. He and his new employee (Justin) met me in Katima Mulilo, where we drove to the Western Province of Zambia. We spent about two weeks getting adjusted and planning the work, staying at Sioma Camp, a mid-range safari camp run by an always-friendly guy named Hans. Then Peter left for South Africa, to run errands for his other business interests. Justin and I found ourselves stranded.

A few days after Peter’s departure, we transferred ourselves to the nearby ‘volunteer base camp’, using Hans’ resources (note that Hans has no connection to Global Adventures). The camp consisted of a few cheap camping tents and a couple of thatched sheds for storing things. The elaborate descriptions of typical accommodations on the website, such as luxurious chalets, are completely false; they do not exist. Perhaps they exist as a grand plan, but they do not exist at present.

On our own, Justin and I spent about a month at the base camp, twiddling our thumbs. Without the necessary resources to carrying out a project, we were unable to leave the confines of the camp. We had no vehicle, fuel or technical equipment (like a GPS) to undertake a field project on wildfire management. One day I walked 10 km (return) to see a potential colleague, only to find he was not in the office. I had planned field work on one of Peter’s blocks of land nearby, but I backed out later, having the belief he did not own this land.

We ate very basic food, which was disappointing given the money I spent to be there. A typical day would be porridge and an apple for breakfast, and pasta with pumpkin and tinned fish for lunch / dinner. I lost about 7 kg and I wasn’t overweight to start with!

On a positive note, I did manage to have a meeting with a community action group (on natural resource management issues), gave a talk to some high school students in Sioma, identified lots of plants (including a new record for Zambia) and developed a plant trail for Hans at Sioma Camp. After several weeks bored out bush, Justin and I went to Livingstone and had a great week, de-stressing from our issues (accommodation here was provided free as part of the program, though I think it’s doubtful the accommodation provider will actually be paid by Global Adventures). Peter eventually returned to Zambia and partly made up for his absence by arranging a free bungy jump over Victoria Falls.

As the weeks went on, I started to get very suspicious of Peter and his business activities, in that a lot of things just didn’t add up or make sense. For example, for someone with a PhD (like me!), his spelling and grammar is atrocious. We kept hearing lots of stories about how many cars he owns, though only ever saw one, which doesn’t seem to be his anyway! It was in this environment and nightmares of spending more time alone out bush eating pasta, that I broke ties and came back to Australia a month early.

Given my first-hand experience of Global Adventures, I strongly suggest NOT volunteering for this company. The website (www.globaladventures.co.za) provides an extraordinary level of false or misleading information. Here are some truths: at least one of the testimonials (“Justin”) was written by Peter without Justin’s knowledge (and the others seem to be written by him too, although they may be real people); many or all of the previous volunteers weren’t genuine volunteers at all – they typically stayed for just a few weeks, apparently on Peter’s invitation and at the expense of his investors for other businesses like bio-fuels production; the number of previous ‘volunteers’ for this company is very low (perhaps < 5) and there are no current volunteers; the company has not been operating volunteer programs for “20 years”, the true figure is more likely 1-2 years, with very few ‘volunteers’ having participated; Peter’s PhD is apparently in Theology from a non-accredited university (i.e. online tuition); accommodation at the base camps does not exist as Chalets, nor is there a ‘liquor bar’ – accommodation is merely cheap tents and BYO alcohol.

In addition, at least once during my time with Peter, I saw a young, good looking woman feeling uncomfortable with his flirting, which was not ideal for her in an isolated area of a foreign country.

Upon my return, I discovered a blog accusing Peter of business fraud and ‘crimes of deception. His replies appear to indicate the site is some kind of smear against him. However, it’s not just one person who has made comments on the blog.

If you want to volunteer in Africa, I suggest going it alone with a specific skills-set, such as in Education, Medicine or Social Work. Go to Africa and when on the ground, find local NGOs or Government Departments, speak to them in person, and see how you can help. I have spoken to people who have also done other organised volunteer programs (e.g. African Impact operating out of Livingstone, Zambia), and many have also been extremely disappointed with the activities and management of the organisation. There’s no reason to pay for the privilege of volunteering in a poor country.

Hope this helps someone!!
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8 years ago, July 23rd 2013 No: 18 Msg: #173208  
N Posts: 1

In response to: Msg #69194

Hi! I am looking to volunteer in the health area in India as well with global corssroads. However I am looking at the program in Delhi or Jaipur.
I am a pre med student and will be EMT certified by 2014.
Did you hear anything from the program in these two places? Reply to this

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