Gap Year Programme

How would you like to experience overseas travel and volunteering rolled into one project abroad? The last twenty years have seen a huge explosion in the number of schools and college leavers taking gap year programmes before joining university. The incorporating of some formal period of volunteering into these gap years is fast becoming an expectation – not just of the students themselves, but university admission departments and employers alike.

Volunteer helping to teach children or adults in the Buturi Academy. Volunteer to care for people with disabilities in orphanages. Buturi is looking for qualified Special Needs teachers. Volunteer on a programme, coaching football, rugby, cricket, volleyball, basketball and a variety of other sports. Buturi Academy will welcome volunteers from any sport education background. Join our agriculture and farming project. Help a community maintain all aspects of farming and gardening. Can you help design the school’s garden? From herbal to fruit and vegetable? Get involved with our building project, which really helps volunteers to be immersed in, and feel a part of, the host community. Volunteers work with local people often using traditional building techniques. Are you a bricklayer? Can you plaster and render? Are you a carpenter? Can you teach Buturi Academy to make tables and chairs? This can be an extremely rewarding experience, to gain vital skills and an opportunity for new cultural learning, both from the volunteer’s point-of-view and that of the local community.

Volunteering allows you to make a positive difference within a community and help those who are really in need. So what’s in it for you? It will enhance your CV. You will gain valuable work experience. It makes you stand out from the crowd. You will meet new people. It’s a great opportunity to try something new. The one thing that employers’ value is work experience. A 6-8 month work experience placement will make your CV or application form stand out from the crowd and differentiate you from others. Also the work experience and skills you will have gained will provide you with a head start at any interview, giving you lots of examples to draw from. It will gain you an early advantage. CSV surveyed former Gap Year volunteers and found their Gap Year to have been highly positive with 9 in 10 stating the experience has boosted their job prospects. Other key findings are:

84% say the experience increases employability
96% say the experience develops skills
77% say the experience helps distinguish from other job seekers
73% say redundancy would make them more likely to volunteer

Young people are looking for more from a gap year than just a holiday. They are well aware of the competition for university places and are looking for a way to use their time wisely. Rising university costs mean young people are also really keen to get experience that is free and that will help them get a job or support their further education.