Globalteer's founder, Jim Elliott, was an active volunteer in the UK and had previously volunteered through an international company placing volunteers and also independently through a local non-profit. Both overseas volunteer placements had serious issues that made him think that there must be a better way.
With Jim's experience working at non-profits overseas, he was also able to identify those projects doing fantastic, sustainable work and those that lacked in many areas. The plan was to support the great overseas non-profits and ensure volunteers were only connected with projects able to utilise them effectively.
Jim got together with a team of volunteers with specific skills in their own areas of expertise such as animals care, business management and health care. A team of volunteer Trustees was then created to present our plan to the Charities Commission in the UK.
This was the beginning of Globalteer.
Volunteering at Overseas Non-Profits
While supporting overseas non-profits, Globalteer discovered that volunteers played a very important role in the success of the projects. But each project had different experiences of volunteers coming from abroad. Some used commercial volunteer placement companies some found foreign volunteers already travelling or offered free placements.
The commercial companies were expensive and none of the money that was paid went to support the local project where volunteers worked. Volunteering with the local non-profits was free but volunteers often felt unprepared, unsupported and ultimately did not achieve much with their time. This was simply because the project did not have the resources to support and make use of volunteers.
Globalteer thought there must be a better way for projects to receive and utilise volunteers. We created the concept of charging volunteers in a similar way to the commercial companies but providing a decent proportion of the fee to the local project. This meant the project had the resources to support the volunteers and make the best use of them.
The concept was very popular with volunteers and even more so with our partner projects who would now receive well-prepared volunteers as well as financial assistance to help them support the volunteers and provide resources for their work.
Globalteer created a number of initiatives as part of their charitable activities:
The South East Asia Community Programme worked in various fields such as education projects, providing clean drinking water and sports programmes.
The Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Programme was created in response for the need to identify responsible projects so our supporters would know that they would only be supporting ethical sanctuaries.
The Wildlife and Animal Care Programme provides supporters a way of ensuring they are only supporting the best, ethical overseas projects.
The Conservation Programmes includes many great projects working towards responsible conservation efforts.
Globalteer was founded as a UK non-profit organisation in June 2006 and achieved full charity status by June 2007. We are fully accredited by the Charities Commission of England and Wales (1119706) and operate under their guidelines.
Since 2006: Globalteer has placed over 5,000 volunteers at selected community and wildlife projects in SE Asia and South America, and invested almost GBP £5 million (USD $6m) in achieving our charitable objectives. Below are just a few of the milestones in our short but exciting history.
- In 2007: Globalteer founded the Grace House Community Centre near Siem Reap, which now offers free education to more than 250 underprivileged children in three rural villages.From humble beginnings Grace House, now managed independently has grown into a well-respected, holistic community project and model for many new NGOs.
- In 2008: Globalteer formed many partnerships with responsible and ethical projects in South East Asia ensuring only the best projects were promoted to supporters.
- In 2009: Globalteer launched its Siem Reap Junior Soccer League in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with 18 teams from 10 charity projects. The sports project has now grown into a much larger programme roving physical education to thousands of children in rural areas.
- In 2010: Globalteer set up the Picaflor House Community Project in a small village near Cusco in Peru where up to 60 children a day receive free supplementary education and organised fun activities in a safe haven.
- In 2011: Globalteer formed its first ever Malaysian project partnership with a marine and turtle conservation project in Borneo, bringing our total number of wildlife and conservation partner projects to seven.
- Globalteer now works with six community projects in the Siem Reap area of Cambodia, which between them offer free supplementary education and shelter to over 1,000 underprivileged children, and bring clean drinking water to thousands of villagers.
- In 2012: Globalteer launched the first ever girls’ soccer league in Siem Reap, Cambodia along with young adult training programme which aims to teach selected youngsters to be professional soccer referees and coaches.
- In addition, Globalteer has undertaken a number of ad-hoc activities to answer the needs of the communities with whom we work, including accounting, marketing and child protection advice.
- In 2012: Globalteer arranged for a UK-trained intensive care nurse to run first aid training for 135 Khmer and western staff from over 20 NGOs and schools in Cambodia.
- In 2013: Globalteer took on the management of Helping Hands Cambodia. The project runs a school for 230 students, provides breakfast to 100 children attending the school, provides university scholarships and provides agricultural training to the local community.
- In 2013: Following five months of work with two UK teachers and various partner projects, Globalteer produced a bespoke teaching handbook for volunteers assisting English teachers in the developing world.
- In 2014: Globalteer expanded it's operations in Latin America including projects such as the Colombia Kids Programme, including programmes such as building cleaner burning stoves.
- In 2015: Globalteer expanded it's scholarship programme providing dozens of students with university education.
- In 2016: Globalteer connected with a group of qualified UK teachers to train 160 Cambodian school teachers.
- In 2017: Globalteer expanded our Group Volunteering Programme to ensure that groups travelling abroad are provided with the best experience of service learning overseas.
- In 2018: Globalteer opened the Global Hub social enterprise cafe in Cambodia which promotes and supports many great non-profits.
- In 2019: Globalteer created PAWS, the Peru Animal Welfare Society. We purchased a mobile veterinary clinic to reach animals in rural locations.
- In 2020: Globalteer expanded our Child Protection Training to give children the tools to keep themselves safe from harm.
- In 2020: Globalteer was awarded the Innovation in Philanthropy Award by the GoAbroad Foundation for our Pinagua Women's Empowerment Project.
- In 2020: Globalteer was a recipient of the iF Design Social Impact Prize for Picaflor House.