The RGV Team
Meet the team!
Having us here to support you means that you always have a friendly face to go to in times of need. We can give you advice on anything and everything.
To provide further support in helping our UK based volunteers, we're delighted to have a team in the UK. First, Team UK can help find the perfect project for you, whilst giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Once you've decided on a placement that suits you, Team Germany will join in and support you the rest of the way.
Our Munich team is where it all began, and are massively experienced in sending European volunteers to Africa and Asia. Their understanding of places, processes and protocols are the best, and from booking onwards, their English-speaking team will be your go-to guide.
We are all one big international Rainbow Family, with Team UK, Team Germany and the respective RGV Teams within each country all wanting the same thing, to contribute to meaningful projects and allow volunteers to have the trip of a lifetime.
Lets meet the team!
I've always been fascinated by travelling to new countries and being a part of the culture there. I first moved to Australia in 2010 for a year, working and travelling around the country, and I have also spent a year working in the travel industry in New Zealand.I was also lucky to work a further 5 months in the United States, teaching children how to waterski and wakeboard.
Travel has paid a huge part in my life, and helped define a lot about me through the experiences I've had. I love now being able to help others get involved and have their own life changing experiences.
I am massively inspired by travel and have been fortunate enough to visit 25 countries with an ever growing list! In 2016, I spent 3 months in India completing a Yoga Teacher Training qualification and travelling around this fascinating country. The most important part of travelling for me is understanding the lives of others around the world and that forever altered perspective on life that each trip brings.
I am also passionate about the environment and particularly enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitat. I love immersing myself into the places I visit, enjoy learning about cultures, the history and capturing a true essence of somewhere new. The people you meet and the satisfaction of travel carves such a deep lasting impression. Travelling has most definitely shaped my life and I love inspiring people to go on their own life changing adventures.
Germany Team - Programme Co-Ordination
Already on the first vacation trips with my parents, I was enthusiastic about foreign cultures. Above all, the many friendships traveling with open-minded and cosmopolitan people aroused my interest and were groundbreaking for my professional career. During my backpacker tour I gained valuable foreign experiences across Europe. I love music and listen to Hip Hop since before I can even remember. I also do my own beats whenever I have the time.
At RGV I am responsible for the program coordination in Ghana, Togo and Uganda. If you choose one of my destination countries, I am your man for the whole journey preparation.
My best foreign experience: "My first sunrise over the French Mediterranean - just great."
Traveling, traveling, and traveling again: that has always been the highlight of the year for me. That's why I packed my bags right after graduating from high school and it went off to explore Guatemala. I liked it so much that I then went on a tourism course and of course many trips across the world. As a travel expert, I know the best tips to plan a trip! I am always open to any requests and questions that concern you before or during your stay abroad. My tip for you: With a bit of patience and trust, most things settle on the spot.
My best foreign experience: "In Bagan, Myanmar, find your own little temple and watch the sunset - just magical!"
My favorite hobby: traveling - and as much as possible! So it was clear that after high school I wanted to go abroad for several months. Seeing something different and getting to know a new culture was important to me. My choice finally fell on Zambia - a country unknown to me that sparked my curiosity. Through my own experiences, which I was able to gather there during my volunteer work in a school and a hospital, I can now prepare you perfectly for your stay abroad. An important insight that I made there: Do not worry so much and let things come to you.
My best foreign experience: "The sunset over the Zambezi during a boat safari."
I've always been a wanderlust and could not wait to discover new countries and cultures on my own! After graduation, I first moved to Asia. My first destination was Sri Lanka, and I was immediately overwhelmed by the landscape, culture and people. After that, the travel fever had really got me: During my studies, tours through Indonesia, Thailand and India were on the program. After graduation, I also turned to destinations outside of Asia and next traveled to the African continent. There I spent time in South Africa and Zimbabwe. With my own travel experience and the experience I gained whilst working in a travel agency, I can advise you on how to organize your volunteer work!
My best foreign experience: "Watching the sunset over Java from Borobudur."
Germany Team - CSR & Development
Traveling has always been like an addiction for me: the more I travel, the more I realise there is so much more to see. That's why my "Places I want to go list" is always longer after a trip than before. True to the motto: After the journey is before the trip. It was always clear to me that I wanted to incorporate travel into my professional life. With the completion of my tourism studies and numerous stays abroad and backpacking, such as in the US, India and Morocco, I have been working at RGV since 2015. At RGV I am committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and I am committed to sustainable development in our company. This includes ensuring our standards in the RGV programs and target countries, as well as leading our preparatory seminars.
My best foreign experience: "The beach lights on the beach of Palolem (India) - indescribably beautiful - just like magic."
Germany Team - Editorial Staff
Languages and distant countries have fascinated me since my childhood. After my studies I moved to the Netherlands and later to the USA. Back in Munich I started as an online editor in a publishing house. I've even worked as a "sea woman" on a cruise ship. I started working for RGV in 2018, in the editorial office and I am looking forward to inspiring you to take part on one of our volunteer projects! I myself was a volunteer reporter in Costa Rica, reporting on volunteer involvement in a daycare center. This experience has reminded me once again that growing up well and enjoying good education is not a matter of course.
My best foreign experience: "The invitation to a baptism in a Chinese village, when we were on a restaurant search and landed in the middle of the private celebration."
A student exchange and a language trip to England were the trigger for my wanderlust and desire to travel. That's why I decided to volunteer in London after graduation. Through the experience and unique experiences on site, this decision turned out to be one of the best I have ever made! Whilst studying English, I traveled across Europe and completed a semester in Norway. Through my work in the RGV editorial office I hope to inspire and motivate other people for the topic of volunteer work and the related experiences!
My best foreign experience: "The first time I experienced the northern lights in Norway."
Walking through nature - that's how I like to discover the world. Hiking holidays with the family awoke early on my desire to explore other countries far from tourist crowds. Between high school and university, the time had finally come: I set out on a long backpacking tour through Sweden and Norway. That really aroused the wanderlust. During the semester break I was often on short trips through Europe, always with a tent and camping stove. At RGV, I'm co-responsible for the website and the magazine as an intern in the editorial office. Here I would like to inspire other to take adventures in distant countries.
My best foreign experience: "Camping in Scandinavia, with the incredibly clear starry sky above me."
Germany Team - Online Marketing
Since March 2014 I have been responsible for online marketing SEO and SEA at RGV. I also support the online editorial team in the design of new website content. The work at RGV inspires me and I aim to use modern technical possibilities to make people aware of the opportunities to take part in rewarding volunteer projects.
My best foreign experience: "The sunset cruise from the island Catalina back to Long Beach in Los Angeles."
The immersion in foreign cultures is a passion that captivated me many years ago and has not left me since. In 1999, I traveled to Africa for the first time. Completely unexpected, I spent 2 years in Ghana and founded RGV during this time. An experience that I would not want to miss and that continues to shape me to this day. I was particularly impressed by the hospitality of the people and the challenges they mastered in their everyday lives. So the story of RGV took its course! As the founder and executive director of RGV, together with my Munich team, I take care of the daily concerns of our target countries and participating volunteers and interns.
My best foreign experience: "The first big trip to my Abi!"
I was born and raised in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. In Munich, I studied business administration and then joined RGV in the management team. Through my cultural background, I know exactly how enriching it is to get to know foreign cultures and I am passionate about helping aspiring volunteers to discover foreign cultures in their project. Traveling to Africa and Asia has become an important life experience for me. My travel experiences in the RGV target countries make me realise that the standard of living and the mentality of the people in Central Europe are not the measure of all things. Countless interpersonal encounters are waiting for us in Africa and Asia, from which we can learn a lot.
Our team in Ghana has been welcoming RGV Volunteers since 1999. William is the leader of the RGV team in Accra and will accompany you at your voluntary work in Ghana. He is supported by our host mother Mama Mina and other helping hands from the area. Mama Mina was the driving force in setting up the location in Ghana with RGV.
At the beginning of 2016, she handed over the leadership to her nephew William. William is your local contact and is always available for a chat.
Mina continues to be the good soul of all our projects in Ghana and is dedicated to our Street Children Project.
The team leaders in Bang Phra is Neil and his wife Supranee. Together, the two have run the farm for over 10 years and thus have a lot of experience in looking after the volunteers. They are supported by Tulaya and Fang, who in addition to experience in hotel management also bring a lot of warmth and fun to the team. The team are all friendly, open-minded and eager to help you with any questions and support you in your volunteer work.
Cape Town, South Africa
Our RGV team in South Africa consists of team leader Jemaine, his siblings Cindy and Chad, and the two permanent employees Essie and Mina. Jemaine's wife Verena also supports the team and organises social events for our participants.
Jemaine's family comes from the townships of Cape Town. He has worked in the travel industry for many years. Verena knows RGV founder Steffen as they underwent teacher training together. During your stay, the RGV team will be your first point of contact for all questions and concerns, but our host families are also part of the extended RGV team!