Is this voluntourism?
No. We do not engage in voluntary work. New Lens Travel flips voluntourism on its head by sending people to learn from locals instead of parachuting in to help them. We recognize that locals are much better positioned to support their communities than we are. That’s why we focus on experiential learning by connecting our program participants to local storytellers and change makers.
New Lens Travel is critical of voluntourism and if you're unsure of why, please take a look at some of our favourite resources. We actively engage our participants in conversations about how we can be involved in creating sustainable impact.
Who can participate?
This program is open to anyone above the age of 18. We’re looking for participants who are socially conscious, excited about learning, and who want an alternative experience from the typical tourism or volunteer abroad trip to Africa.
Do I need to have specific skills to participate?
No. Since you'll be engaging in learning activities, your openness to learning, flexibility and adaptability are most important.
New Lens Travel leverages the lens of storytelling to create learning experiences for our participants. It's not necessary that you be a pro photographer or professional writer to get the most out o the trip, you just need to be curious and willing to use media as a learning tool.
Does it matter where I live or where I'll be traveling from?
Nope. We accept international participants to our program. Our pre-departure training is conducted online, so all participants will receive the same preparation regardless of where they’re located.
Do you offer scholarships?
We recognize that program fees can be a barrier to participation. Occasionally, we run contests and offer scholarships to help participants offset costs. We also encourage you to fundraise and reach out to your networks and community groups to support you.
What safety precautions are in place?
The safety of program participants is our top concern. We follow travel advisories and only run trips in regions that are deemed safe and stable. Our field staff also inform us about the latest local safety information.
We require all trip participants to have mandatory vaccinations, medications and comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of their time abroad.
We also have a New Lens Travel staff member lead every group trips to provide 24/7 support and act as an emergency contact. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or homesick, your trip leader will provide support and help you make the most of your experience.
What are the costs involved?
If you're interested in having us develop a custom trip for your group, please contact us.
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Ready to join us on a trip?