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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

TRAVELLERS OVERSEAS TEAMS

 

ARGENTINA
Melina Klurfan
Argentina Manager

Melina manages our volunteers and projects in Argentina. She is based in Buenos Aires where she lived most of her life and she joined Travellers in June 2011. She speaks fluent English and Spanish. She is very enthusiastic about working with people all around the world and life in general. She is university graduated in Biology and she is currently studying a Masters degree in education. She is very keen on running, tennis, films, music and, very importantly, Argentinean steak and ice-cream, especially the typical “dulce de leche” flavour. But above all she loves cultural exchange and travelling, and has visited Uruguay, Brazil,  Colombia, Mexico, United States, and many countries in Europe and Asia.

"Working with Travellers is like rediscovering Argentina through our volunteers' eyes. I love the commitment of TW helping disadvantaged communities through volunteer programs. We are here to receive you all year around, take you out and show you our culture! We have much more than Messi and Tango! Vení a Argentina!!!!"

 


AUSTRALIA
Annette Bilic

Volunteer Liaison
Annette holds a Bachelor of Business and has also trained as a Morthercraft Nurse. Her love of travelling has taken her to south and central Africa, Asia, around Australia a few times, New Zealand, USA, UK and many countries in Europe.

Now settled in Perth, Annette still manages to travel albeit quite differently with her three young daughters and husband in tow! Favourite things to do include attending festivals and community events in and around Perth and she is also a big foodie.

“She was lovely made me feel at ease when I was nervous on arrival” volunteer Jade Palfreyman





BRAZIL

Karen Herring
Brazil Manager and Liaison Officer
Karen joined Travellers in 2006. Before that she was a bored accountant and having a mid-life crisis when she stumbled across the Travellers website whilst looking at possible ways to work with orang-utans. She did the project, which far surpassed her expectations and she fell in love with Borneo. After a year she came back and applied for a job with Travellers. She spent many years in India and has recently transferred to Brazil.

Continents & Countries Visited: Europe – around 15 countries so far, including Iceland; a country that overwhelmed her with its beauty. She lived in Naples in Italy in 2002. Americas - Dominican Republic. Asia - Malaysia (Orang-utan Project), Brunei, Thailand, Singapore, India.
A Few Favourites: Liguria in Italy - absolutely breathtaking. Sabah, Borneo - the rainforest, beautiful orang-utans and stunning wildlife; Bario in Sarawak; living the life of a local, the serenity, fauna, nomadic way of living - amazing.

Hobbies: Travelling (she wants to do lots more!); mountain climbing, anything to do with nature and the environment, primates
Ambitions: To conquer South America! She's well on her way


 
Ana Castilha
Brazil Administration and Volunteer Liaison, Florianopolis
Anna joined Travellers 'officially' in January 2006, but before that she has assisted her brother, Fabio, in running our Brazil programmes before he relocated to Rio. Before joining Travellers, Ana was an English teacher and also used to give Portuguese courses to our volunteers. She went to Law School in 2000 and graduated in 2004, moving immediately into working with Travellers. Ana's hobbies include dancing (especially samba), reading, travelling (when possible).
When asked about her ambitions for this biography, she replied, “I don't think much about the future. I am really happy at the moment with everything I already have!” (which makes us very happy as well). Ana has visited the neighbouring countries of  Argentina and Paraguay.

“I loved them (the in-country support team), honestly, and they were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They made me feel right at home” Canyon Cugini on her placement in Brazil

CHINA
Jack Liu
Yantai Organiser
Jack has worked with Travellers since 2002. He used to work as a teacher of English in the vocational school, an interpreter in the state-owned overseas construction company in China, the sales manager in the Chinese-German leather garments company and also served the peace-keeping mission in East Timor. He has a BA in English Literature, is a professional interpreter and is a qualified TCFL (Teaching Chinese as a foreign language).
Continents & Countries Visited: Asia: Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and East Timor; North America: Canada and USA; Africa: Kenya and Tanzania and Mauritius; Europe: Austria, Holland and Germany; Oceania: Australia.
His hobbies include Reading, swimming, playing badminton and pingpong, hiking and fishing, and his favourite food is Jiaozi (dumplings).

Nicole Roodenburg, Organiser in Ecuador ECUADOR
Nicole Roodenburg

Ecuador Organiser
Nicole is originally from Holland, but has lived in Ecuador for the past twelve years. Originally she came for an internship, but ended up in love with Ecuador and an Ecuadorian and decided to move back some years later. Travels and study took her through Europe, the Middle East and other countries in South America. She lives in Quito with her boyfriend and their 1 year old daughter and is the director of the school.
Vanessa Monteros
Volunteer Organiser
Vanessa Monteros is our volunteer organiser in Ecuador.  Up until 2013 she was living in California (USA) but is now studying in Ecuador to get her degree in tourism and her license as tour guide. She loves to travel and share cultures, especially about art. The best part of her job, she says, is “working supporting social and animal projects.” 

GHANA
Aloysius Agbavattor
Ghana Manager
Aloysius has been our Ghana Manager since 2004. Prior to that, he worked with a Non-Governmental organization which was into youth activities as well as a micro-finance institution based in Tema. Before that he did his national service in Ho in the Volta region. He has a BSc (Tourism) decree and has had some very interesting articles published. He loves reading books and achieving goals which he continually sets for himself! His ambitions are "To be a great achiever, setting up a restaurant in my home country and doing my masters degree sometime in the future".

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INDIA
Anitha Lakshmanan
India Manager and Liaison Officer
Anitha has been with Travellers for many years, starting off as a host family and looking after our volunteers. She had a natural and deep-seated inclination to ensure that everything was perfect for her volunteers, including the placement itself. Over time she took on more and more responsibilties for Travellers India Program and is now our India Manager

She is married with 2 children and her husband is a chef by profession. As she still hosts volunteers in her home, we gets lots of feedback about how good the food is !! Her daughter is studying Architecture and her son is in his final year of schooling.A

"As for myself, apart from the work that I do for Travellers, I like engaging myself in social work, going to the temple, reading books and watching movies. Basically I'm a very spiritual person and so I enjoy attending spiritual talks or classes and so on.I love my job, which is interacting with the volunteers. I enjoy getting to know new people, their culture and way of life."

MALAYSIA
Albert Aseh
Malaysia Director
Albert joined Travellers in April 2002 after being a full-time lecturer. He has a degree in Hospitality and Leisure management, so you can rest assured you are in the best hands! Albert is very sociable, loves dogs and enjoys nothing more than looking after our volunteers on a day-to-day basis. His hobbies include reading, painting and travelling and he loves a good cider to relax with after a long day’s work. Albert’s ambition is to excel in tourism related business to the benefit of Borneo, which he loves.
He has travelled quite extensively in  the UK, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Cyprus, North Africa, France, Indonesia and Thailand, where he helped to set up Travellers Thailand program.

NEW ZEALAND
Byard James
New Zealand Manager

Coming soon!

PERU
Quinn Meyer
Peru Manager
Quinn has been working in the Peruvian Amazon for over 8 years. A graduate anthropologist with a love for the outdoors, his goal is to ensure the planet is inherited by his children in a better state than he found it. Quinn loves working with volunteer's, rolling up his sleeves and getting involved with the local communities as well as thinking he might see a jaguar today! His favourite quote is: I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

SOUTH AFRICA
Sharon Dreyer
Country Manager, Knysna
Sharon has been with Travellers Worldwide in the Knysna area for over 5 years now. She’s lived most of her life in South Africa, namely Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Knysna, apart from a brief stint in the West Midlands in the UK. She simply loves Knysna and cannot sing its praises enough and thinks the whole Garden Route area is definitely one of the most beautiful spots in South Africa. She’s also a crazy cat lady who will jump at the chance to walk with lions or get up close with any form of wildlife!

She loves meeting all the great volunteers from all over the world that come out to Knysna and finds it very rewarding to see the positive impact they have on the lives of the children living in the more disadvantaged communities of Knysna. Sharon's heart is huge and she affects all our volunteers - through her, they take away with them an even stronger desire desire to help those less fortunate and the confidence that they themselves can make a difference and change the world.

In March 2011, Sharon was voted a Non-Executive Director of Sinethemba, the Street Kids Project that we work with. We're thrilled to see that the positive impact she has on our Knysna program is expanding ... well done, Sharon!

“Sharon in Knysna brightened every day up with her amazing cheerfulness and enthusiasm!. It was great to see how involved she was with all the projects and children.” Siobhan Scarlett

Eleanor Kilduff
Volunteer Co-Ordinator and Care Projects Developer, Cape Town
Eleanor has lived in South Africa all her life except for two years spent working as a teacher in England. She has now retired from teaching, and does craft work and works part-time for Travellers. She is married to Maurice, who is Irish and who came to spend a year in South Africa and stayed for 40 years ! They live in a rambling old house in Rondebosch, near to many of the placement schools. Eleanor, Maurice and their daughter, Sharon (a teacher at one of the Travellers placements), are all involved with working with adults or children with special needs.
Travels : Eleanor has travelled extensively around South Africa and Europe. She has climbed many of South Africa’s mountains, boulder-hopped down several of the country’s beautiful river gorges, but is now reaching the age where she enjoys watching other people reach summits and hurtle down raging rivers. No-one will ever persuade her that bungee jumping off a 250 metre high bridge is fun!!
Favourite moments working with Travellers volunteers : It is so thrilling to see the children surrounding a volunteer and all trying to get close enough to hug and cling to him or her. Another favourite moment is seeing how Travellers volunteers have grown in maturity and confidence during their time at the placements and knowing they will carry the experience into whatever they do back at home.

“Eleanor was very gregarious and friendly, always ready to put a smile on the faces of volunteers.” Sophie Bufton

Pretty
Knysna volunteer House Supervisor
Pretty is our 'home executive', or better known as the housekeeper and 'mother' to many of our volunteers. She really is the unsung hero of our volunteer houses in Knysna. She willingly, energetically and happily keeps order and never complains. In fact, we think she doesn't know how to complain! Pretty lives in the ‘Nekkies’ township, just outside Knysna, with her husband and is a true star!

  SRI LANKA
UPDATES COMING SOON
Ravi Corea
President Chief Executive of our Wasgamuwa Partner Organisation
Ravi Corea is a driving force for change. Ravi can normally be found at the Sri Lanka Head Office in Colombo, where he spends the majority of his time working tirelessly to increase public awareness, both in Sri Lanka and internationally, on the importance & role of conservation work in today’s society and everyday life. On the rare occasion that Ravi’s not toiling away in Colombo, he likes nothing more than to take the trip up to Wasgamuwa to take some time out and to get back to his passion for nature, taking time to breathe-in the splendour and sheer natural beauty of the surrounding countryside and wildlife...it’s another world when compared it to the hustle and bustle of the capital.


Chinthaka Weerasinghe
Project Manager, Wasgamuwa
Chinthaka Weerasinghe is the Field Operations Manager for Wasgamuwa and your main contact for projects based in Wasgamuwa. He’ll be there to welcome you on your arrival and will be responsible for you for the duration of your project. Chinthaka has a love of nature, and be warned, there’s nothing he likes more than a long transect (walk/hike) into the surrounding countryside – he’ll have you clambering through scrub and bush before you’ve unpacked your bags. Make sure you ask to see the observation posts, built into the canopy of the tree, for some welcome rest bite, the views are stunning!

THAILAND
Glenn Angus
Travellers Bangkok Representative

Glenn is our Travellers Bangkok Representative and will help you when you arrive in Bangkok.

Glenn is originally from the Philippines and his wife is Malaysian and has lived in Bangkok for many years. He has two young children who were born in Thailand
olden Banda

ZAMBIA
Lameck Mponda
Zambia Organiser
Lameck joined Travellers in 2006, after he retired as Head Teacher after 30 years. He qualified from the University of Zambia in 1975 with a degree in Education and English Literature. He also studied French Language and Literature at the National University of the Congo (Zaire).
Lameck is our Zambia Organiser and looks after our volunteers from the very start of their arrival into the country until the end of their project in Zambia and provides full support and back up to our volunteers for the duration of their stay. Lameck is very highly regarded and well respected in the Livingstone community.

 

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