"If you are thinking about SLV.Global, stop thinking and book your placement now! I promise you, you will never regret it! Over my one month placement I acquired invaluable practical psychology experience, I made friends from all around the world, I learnt a language I never thought I would learn, and I fell in love with a culture, its people and... its food! Thanks SLV.Global and bon voyage to those reading this :)"
"The most life changing cultural and rewarding experience having the opportunity to work within an amazing team and in a field thaI I am most passionate upon. I did not realize how powerful non-verbal communication is until I joined the SLV.Global in Bali with the language barrier and the individuals who have severe mental health issues or hearing impairment; this is one of the valuable skills that I have developed for my future career in mental health A lot of the team had graduated or were graduating in psychology however this placement is beneficial for all areas working within mental health or individuals with learning disabilities. The weeks were occasionally challlenging, yet it was definitely worth every minute of it by making that small yet significant differnce on the individual and I would do it 100 times over if I could. SLV.Global were very supportive during the four weeks and I cannot thank them enough for the inspiring cultural experience outside of the westernised world. Not only has this developed my skills for my career yet I have gained amazing friends and memories that will last a life time!"
"I did a month of volunteering with the SLV global in Sri Lanka as mental health advanced placement. It was a unique, strong and intense experience. The team in Sri Lanka has been exceptional, everyone has a strong predisposition for this unique and splendid work. I worked and took part in various creative projects with volunteers and the team in Colombo, working with them and within the psychiatric ward was great. After this my professional and personal experience, something has changed within me and in my life. A month of emotions, a month of relationships, of hugs, of solidarity, of smiles. A unique experience absolutely to be redone. Thanks Slv global for this great opportunity."
Thank you for taking the time to write your feedback, Jay. As you know, the events in Sri Lanka this Easter were unexpected and devastating, and we are sorry that you and your team were not able to join the placement in Sri Lanka this year as planned because of it. Our main aim has always been to be fair to all our volunteers and to offer everyone the chance to join an alternative placement so they can get the experience they were looking forward to.
We have always been clear and transparent with the fact that the Placement Acceptance Fee is a non-refundable fee. The Placement Acceptance Fee is not only to secure your place on a team, but also for costs associated with aspects including but not limited to all marketing, pre-departure support, and administration, communication via phone, email, social media and also checking and collating pre-departure information to send to our teams overseas; all of which has been provided by the SLV.Global London team despite the placement not going ahead as planned.
We are sorry that you were unable to join us on an alternative program this summer but if your future commitments allow, as a gesture of goodwill we would be more than happy to move your placement acceptance fee to one of our alternative programs in India, Bali or Europe. Furthermore, should we resume our work in Sri Lanka, we would be more than happy to have you re-join the team there in the future. Thank you again.
"Very disappointing behaviour from SLV Global. My daughter booked a placement in Sri Lanka for August 2019 and paid the £250 ‘Placement Acceptance Fee’.
Due to the situation in Sri Lanka the placement was cancelled by SLV, quite rightly. However, SLV will not refund my daughter’s £250 fee which they describe as ‘non-refundable’ even though they have cancelled the placement. There are no suitable alternative placements.
She is a student and her resources are very stretched so this mean and petty policy of SLV is quite a blow to her.
I cannot think of another business that takes payments from customers, then fails to offer the product or service but keeps the customers’ money.
Dreadful treatment of student customers. To be avoided."
Thank you for taking the time to write your feedback, Mr. Morris. The situation in Sri Lanka this Easter was horrific and unexpected. We are saddened that it happened and that your daughter and her team weren't able to join us in Sri Lanka this summer as planned. Our main aim has always been to be fair to all our volunteers, and we are proud that despite the events that took place in Sri Lanka this summer we were able to offer everyone the chance to join an alternative placement in either Bali or India.
We are always explicit and transparent that the Placement Acceptance Fee is non-refundable, as this fee covers all the pre-departure support and administration required to make the placement preparations for the team. The Placement Acceptance Fee does not make up part of the costs of her time abroad, but was used to support her from the time she joined our team in January. This includes all the correspondence we had with her, all the advice provided to help her prep for her placement, and all the subsequent support offered after the tragedy to try and find a suitable alternative for her and her teammates. We were sorry to hear that other plans had been made for your daughter and that she wouldn't be able to join us in another destination, but we did agree that as a gesture of goodwill we would be very happy to transfer her Placement Acceptance Fee to an alternative placement in the future.
We are sorry that your daughter was unable to join us this summer, but we would still love for her to join us on one of our teams if her future commitments allow it. Thanks again.
"I would not recommend SLV to anyone. They are highly unorganized and as a volunteer I could see how poorly they treat their staff. Because the staff is treated so badly with little time off and too much responsibility, the volunteers suffer. I was sexually assaulted on a bus going to my homestay from y projects. I was with several other people and "was doing everything right." When I brought it to the attention of my supervisor, she told me "I don't have time for this right now." Later that same week, that same supervisor pulled me aside to schooled me because she said she had heard " I was talking about personal matters with other volunteers. " all in all, I absolutely loved the work that I did there and want to go back! However, I would not recommend this poorly run organization to anyone."
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I was so sorry to read about this experience. This is unacceptable behaviour and, again, I am sorry that you were on the receiving end of this difficult communication when you were already feeling vulnerable.
I would like to highlight that supervisors are also volunteers and that they do work hard, but that is no excuse for this behaviour. I apologise again for this experience, as this is highly unusual and inexcusable. I have been personally investigating this and would love it if you could provide me with more information. I'll message you privately.
"I wish I'd knew where the money goes to volunteers pay. Someone makes a lot of profit, that's for sure.
One of the worst things was that I felt like being in a cult, getting brainwashed.
The international coordinators seemed to be mostly people who enjoyed their "power", bossing people around.
The "homestay" (I would rather say family-run guesthouse) was absolutely overcrowded (19 people), I haven't seen anybody who established a real relationship to a family member other than saying "thank you" and "that's delicious". Breakfast included meant you get bread and some slices of fruits - you bring tea, sugar, honey, butter, jam.. For dinner you bring sth to drink.
Calling a placement "psychology" placement when 90% of the time you do not deal with anything psychology related is a joke, or rather a rip-off. "Guided" psychology projects - there were no doctors you could talk to (except one field trip). You just do occupational therapy: crafts, dancing, singing etc. Can be wonderful, but if you sign up under the impression you will learn about psychology ...
seems to work for graduate students with no travel and work experience and who like to be treated like elementary school children."
Hi Liz, thanks for taking the time to write this. I'm sorry that your time on placement was not what you were expecting. We believe all of the projects where we work have a mental health benefit for service users. In fact, any question on the clinical psychology doctorate application can be answered using examples form the work carried out on placement and many previous volunteers have gained a place by doing this.
We also totally agree that the lack of mental health professionals in Sri Lanka is an issue, which is why we work there, but is also why we don't advertise any "shadowing" as it's simply impossible to do with the current resources. We're sorry if you were expecting something different.
And as much as we would love to house, feed, train, support and transport volunteer team members for free it's just not possible, which is why there is a cost, but we use our funds incredibly carefully and are constantly reinvesting in the communities where we work.
We really appreciate your feedback and are always working to improve, so we have taken your suggestions on board and appreciate you sharing your experience.
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