“After joining the SLV.Global India programme in 2017, it is safe to say my life has been completely transformed.
Not only have I completed a further 2 placements with SLV.Global in Sri Lanka (2018 as a peer mentor - 3 months) and in Bali (2019 as a Vol. Coordinator - 3 months), but I have also acted as an ambassador for my university, gaining some extra money whilst promoting a cause I strongly align with.
My placements with SLV.Global have given me a real opportunity to explore a massive variety of different areas of interest, whether that’s teaching, activity support work, global mental health, cross cultural psychology, positive psychology or so on. This is NOT just a psychology obsessed company, but a company that places enriching the lives of both its service users, community members and volunteers in a positive way at the centre of what it does. Volunteers continually promote positive mental health whether that’s during projects or even in the community.
Despite what people may think, NO level of qualifications in the west entitles you to dictate how another country or culture should approach their mental health issues. This is what is so refreshing about SLV.Global, as they attempt to shift the focus away from the ‘west is best’ mentality and onto supporting the local communities to grow and develop in their own organic way. It is for that reason that volunteers joining the SLV.Global placements do NOT practice complex therapies, irrespective of their level of training. Volunteers work as activity support workers, helping members of the local community and service users gain vital and useful skills to use in every day life.
In my experience there are no other companies that offer the unique programmes SLV.Global offers. Despite all this however, the programmes may not be for everyone. If, however, you decide to apply, gain your place, pay your fees and attend placement and then realise that it is not the programme for you, then perhaps a certain level of research was not conducted first. My biggest advice to any future volunteers is read the website! There’s information about costs, how the money is spent, what SLV.Global offers and what to expect all on the website, whether that’s in the info packs, general info, FAQs, blogs OR vlogs there is definitely a lot of info out there! By the time I had read all these various things I had definitely got a clear idea of what SLV.Global stood for and what they offered, and if anything I underestimated just how amazing the experience would be.
All in all, I would not be where I am today without SLV.Global and I am extremely grateful for the experience, life-long friends I have made, and for the opportunity to get to know myself that little bit better!
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