10 Reasons to GO MAD
1. Preparation & Support
With first hand knowledge of your destination, our experts can answer all of your questions and help you prepare. All madventurers receive comprehensive pre-departure information to help with preparation. All information is accessible online from anywhere around the world and updated regularly; we will provide vital details about your Project, Placement and/or Adventure including information about flights, insurance, visas, what to pack, currency, security, location, local culture and language.
“There are loads of worthy charities that you can volunteer in, but MAD really stuck out to me, I liked it because it was small and family oriented. They give you a lot of support before, during and after the trip.” Cathy Lopez, Three-time Madventurer in Ghana
If required, you’ll receive fundraising guidelines with ideas and information to help you get the funds together. A teaching pack will give you suggestions on how to prepare lesson plans and outline basic principles involved. We provide pre-departure checklists to make sure you’re on-track. We also provide online access to our Travel Health Advice Centre run by our expedition health partners Interhealth for free and professional advice from the travel health experts. It has all the information you need about vaccinations and medicines and best of all you can call a travel health professional at Interhealth to discuss your personal needs.
2. Travel Safe and Peace of Mind
At Madventurer your security is our top priority and we’re justifiably proud of our clean safety record. All Projects, Placements and Adventures have to meet strict safety criteria and satisfy ongoing risk assessments. Our Crew are always on hand to deal with any eventualities and are trained in first aid and our Crisis Management procedures. All of our Projects, Placements and Adventures are located within reach of good medical facilities and our staff can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year in case of emergencies.
3. Sustainable Development
Everyone at Madventurer is commited to the development ethos and that the projects will forever be picked for the intention to assist communities with their development goals. Madventurers are neither missionaries nor tourists, rather they are ambassadors for their country seeking to gain knowledge through a unique experience whilst contributing to the development of communities.
All of Madventurer’s Projects are selected for their long-term benefits to the host community. Our focus on youth development incorporates health, education and sports development projects and our Community Building and Teaching Projects build basic infrastructure that will benefit whole communities rather than individuals.
“Madventurer volunteers really support us from the beginning of the school they help us building, teaching, they do all kinds of things that can promote the community. Madventurer they are so kind and good, they come monthly and yearly to support us.”
Winifred, Director of our partner school in Ghana
We always work in close partnerships with village chiefs, village development committees and NGOs as well as local, national and international charities to ensure that we gain as much local knowledge, expertise and support as possible. We also work together with local government and charities to create income generation and capacity building projects that can aid the economic development of local communities. We ensure that volunteers do not take the place of local staff.
4. Responsible Travel
Tourism is a vital industry in many developing countries; Madventurer is committed to the ethos of responsible tourism and all of our projects and adventurers aim to reduce the negative and increase the positive impact of travel to developing countries. We employ local staff to work alongside Crew on all of our projects and we source all materials, food and supplies from local sources to contribute as much as possible to the local economy.
Madventurer has small groups to ensure that volunteers are welcomed into each community. We ensure that all volunteers are given accurate pre-departure information to increase their awareness of cultural differences.
5. Environmental Policy
Madventurer HQ is becoming more environmentally friendly every day through recycling, energy conservation and by becoming a paperless office. Our Responsible Travel approach is and always has been our commitment to operating and travelling in a way that is socio-culturally, environmentally, and economically responsible. Madventurer’s carbon reduction strategy has a three-pronged approach of endeavouring to reduce our carbon emissions wherever possible. To educate our crew, volunteers and partners on ways they can proactively reduce emissions and their environmental impacts, and offset the balance of emissions through investment into sound carbon offset schemes. We are conducting detailed assessments on our trips to calculate the emissions from these trips.
Travelling in small groups means that we minimise both our environmental and socio-cultural impacts. We use small locally owned accommodation and local transport where possible, thereby minimising our demand for purpose built air-conditioned large hotels and chartered transport, reducing fuel consumption and possible negative impacts of large developments.
6. Madventurer Crew
From the moment you land, our Madventurer Crew are there to make your whole experience as enjoyable as possible. Experienced travellers and often former volunteers themselves, our Crew are trained in all of our operational procedures and first aid; they will ensure your safety and provide support and advice on how to get the most out of your time. They are chosen because of their experiences in the field and because they have a good sense of what to do and how to react to situations. Their main role is to drive the development goals and facilitate the needs and cohesion of the group and they are integral to good projects and the organisation.
As well as looking out for your safety they’ll be the first to get stuck-in whether it’s work or play because unlike many other organisations, your Madventurer Crew will be there living and working alongside you on a daily basis on our Project sites.
7. Direct Contribution and Transparency
Over the years, Madventurer has contributed many hundreds of thousands of pounds to development projects. This money has been used to buy and transport building materials and to hire local craftsmen as well as providing classroom and sports equipment for local schools and supporting local children’s centres. The MAD Foundation (Reg. Charity No. 1111805) was established to help raise additional funds for development projects from volunteer donations, fundraising events and sponsors to help us further the scope of our much needed work in some of the poorest countries in the world.Unlike many Volunteer Travel Providers we are transparent about where the money goes - here is where we allocated costs last year:
Overseas Support and Project Overheads 78%
Includes Project materials or other local contributions, food, accommodation supplies, support vehicles and other transport, international and local communications, wages and salaries for managers, crew and local staff, International travel for staff and project crew, staff and crew training, rent for premises and utility bills including security. Other project equipment including First-aid kits and other services including consultancy fees (crisis management, health and safety, recruitment).
UK Pre-Departure Support 22%
Includes wages and Salaries, Employers NI, rent, office equipment expenses, equipment maintenance and hire, bank charges and international transfer fees, legal and accountancy support, insurances, recruitment, memberships, sponsorships. Website including hosting and maintenance, advertising and PR, promotional items, postage, telephone and other communications, stationery and printing of all marketing materials, vehicle and stand expenses for talks and school/travel fairs.
8. Work Hard, Play Hard & Give Back!
These are TEAM PROJECTS, which means that you have the chance to be together with a group of enthusiastic, energetic madventurers in your village or town. It’s a good way to meet and have shared experiences. You can do both a service project and adventure for a unique experience. It means you can spend valued time serving in one village before doing further travel to experience more landscape, taste more food and explore the continent. We believe that if you work hard you deserve to play hard too. Whether you’ve done a Project and want to travel & discover more or you just want to have the trip of a lifetime we can cater for all your exploration, relaxation & adrenaline needs.
You will have the time of your life! Both parts of the experience present new ways for you to tackle challenges, use skills you didn’t know you had, lets you see your strengths and definitely your weaknesses too. You will have the chance to meet people from very different backgrounds to you and learn about their outlook on life, which might bring some nice surprises. Heightening the senses and introducing you to millions of emotions. This is a chance to go somewhere totally new and different to places that you have been before. Taste the local food in Kenya, smell the rainforest in Ghana, hear tribal drumming in Fiji, touch the sky on Kilimanjaro or watch the sunset in Timbuktu.
9. MAD Tribe
Every volunteer automatically becomes a member of the MAD Tribe giving you a tribal-discount off any future Madventurer Service Projects Trip Cost. You’ll also receive newsletters updating you on the progress of our Projects and any opportunities to get involved in fundraising activities for the MAD Foundation.
On all of our Projects you’ll be living and working with a group of enthusiastic and likeminded volunteers so whether you’re travelling with friends or going solo, you’re guaranteed to share incredible experiences and make lifelong Tribe friends!
10. Award Winning
Madventurer started off from humble beginnings and was proud to be the winner of the Shell Livewire UK AWARD for Sustainable Development (2001) and The Prince’sTrust Best Business Award (2002). Madventurer has gone from strength to strength, being awarded and accredited with:
National Council For Work Experience - UK's Best Work Experience Provider (2008/09)
Full Member of World Youth Student & Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation (2007 to present)
Our Founder, John Lawler, was also winner of the 'Hall of Fame' Award in Shell Livewire's Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2007. Since 1998 John has been the Chief of Development for the Shia Traditional Area in Ghana (a life-long commitment), a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (since 2004) and is a former Chair of the WYSE Work Abroad Association.
is a social enterprise that helps raise funds for the
MAD HQ UK
Newcastle upon Tyne