VAGT coronavirus message
"Starting over is an acceptance of a past we can't change, an unrelenting conviction that the future can be different, and the stubborn wisdom to use the past to make the future what the past was not."
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Dear volunteer community,
We would like to update our VAGT community about our current situation and position due to the virus Covid-19that is currently shaking up our world. Firstly, amongst all the misery our thoughts go out to those who have been affected by Covid-19 whose lives may be lost or in danger.
We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our global community. We also say THANK YOU to every person who has continued to work tirelessly to help the millions of people who have been affected by this crisis. It is not an easy time for those of us who love to travel, volunteer, explore and adventure. We share your disappointment in the changed plans of 2020, but we are in this together.
As you would be aware, the coronavirus has had an enormous impact on the travel industry around the world. We support and understand the measures taken to put public health and safety first, however the escalating government-imposed restrictions are significantly impacting all travel and tourism businesses and us. VAGT requires and depends on access to international travel to function as a successful volunteer abroad business. In line with local and government procedures unfortunately all of VAGT’s 60+ volunteer projects around the world are now closed and will remain closed until at least the end of May.
There have thankfully been no reported cases of Covid-19 among any volunteer or staff member of VAGT volunteer abroad programs. We have contacted our partner NGO’s in the ten countries we offer volunteer abroad experiences and we continue to keep communication open and transparent.
The VAGT team is assisting volunteers who had been due to travel in the next few months to reschedule their trips. VAGT continues to keep up to date with the Covid-19 virus and follow procedures according to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UK, US and Australian government travel advice, and local government health advice from our operational locations.
Be grateful. Reflect. Looking Forward.
We are being told to #StayHome and while many of us are finding this time difficult, scary, lonely or plain boring, it is important to acknowledge our position in the world. Many of us have the luxury of fast internet connection, fresh water, Netflix or PlayStation, soft sofas and home workout equipment. As we navigate through this unexpected worldly transition please continue to be grateful for all you have.
This is beyond anything we expected. Change is happening for all of us whether we want it or not. And on a certain level, we have to admit that it had to happen. We have been going along unchecked, not looking inward, not asking ourselves essential questions about who we are and what we want and need on a human level. Now, we have been asked or forced - by nature, by environment, by separation and quarantine - to take the time to reflect, regroup and reorganize.
We believe that it is our moral responsibility to actively participate in repairing the world, and while we cannot directly interact to better the lives and futures of our greater global community, we can prepare for our future. We know that things will eventually return to stability, people will find their feet and our desires to adventure and explore grow founder as we are told to stay locked indoors. People will always want to keep volunteering their time to help others, and better the human condition. Volunteer Abroad GT is taking a step back to reflect and process our own situation. We are a small international team here at VAGT. In late 2019 we rebranded and positioned ourselves with big dreams and big commitments to be the most affordable volunteer abroad programs. We stand by our commitments; to our partner NGO’s and friends, our global network of volunteers, and ourselves. We continue to hold ourselves responsible to actively repair our world. We will come out of this crisis strong with clear goals and new visions for when our airways eventually open. Together we can!
Please stay safe, be kind, and protect the health of yourself and others, wherever you are in the world.
Jonathan Dprera and Monique Montfroy
Volunteer Abroad GT - Co-Owners
Posted: 9 April 2020