Boston, MA (PressExposure) November 12, 2009 -- There is no doubt that the World Cup is the pinnacle of international football. For South Africa, the hosts of the 2010 World Cup, the country is certain to benefit when global attention is turned to the nation for those few weeks in June and July, as international footballers fight to take the Title for their country. With a dramatic increase in visitor numbers and promotion of the country as a tourist destination, the potential long term benefits of the World Cup being hosted in South Africa are huge. Yet, as a direct consequence, there are short-term costs within the country with the loss of volunteer support and funding to many aid-reliant projects on the ground.
Ethical volunteering company GVI runs a number of projects within South Africa which will not see any direct benefit from the World Cup. Instead, the football supporters bring competition for air travel and an increase in flight prices over the summer months, causing travel difficulties for GVI volunteers who want to go to South Africa to make a difference.
GVI's volunteer programs in South Africa range from field guiding internships and conservation vacations to wildlife expeditions on game reserves and working with children in orphanages. The work undertaken by GVI volunteers in South Africa is vitally important to the local communities. Chris Ash, GVI's International Project Director, says: "The local communities are in danger of losing out next summer if all the flights are taken by football fans, and not by GVI volunteers who want to go to South Africa to benefit the locals. Volunteers teach primary school children to bring them up to the required standards and work to educate young orphans. They volunteer with injured monkeys and undertake conservation work in South Africa's National Parks. It will be a great challenge and very difficult for the locals if volunteers are not able to get to South Africa next summer because of the World Cup".