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Travellingbug offers students the chance to volunteer in a number of countries
Volunteering in Bolivia
Volunteering in Uganda
Volunteering in Bolivia

Internal News - 11 December 2008

Travellingbug students invited to share expertise in South Africa

Students James Jardella and Ian Woolley have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime after being asked to speak at an international business conference in South Africa.

The MIT Global Startup Workshop have invited the pair to attend due to the success of their venture, Travellingbug, an enterprise that seeks to offer advice and help to volunteers for a fraction of the cost of most specialised volunteering companies.

James, a final year Medical Engineering student, set up Travellingbug in 2006 to fill a gap in the market that he noticed when organising his own gap year in Bolivia.

Faced with the high fees of using the services of existing volunteering businesses, James decided to travel to Bolivia alone and upon arrival came across CEPROSI, a charity that runs outreach centres for children. He began working with them and, through this link, Travellingbug offers now other volunteers the chance to do the same. In fact, there are Travellingbug volunteers in Bolivia right now.

The Travellingbug story is continuing to unfold with expansion into different countries and with Ian, a final year maths student, joining Travellingbug as director. This means that currently, as well as opportunities in Bolivia and Uganda, there is also the possibility to work with charities in the Philippines and Togo.

It is a testament to the success of Travellingbug that James and Ian have been asked to speak at the Start-Up Workshop, proving that the enterprise deserved to win the Most Innovative Start-up Company Award in the 2007 Knowledge West Enterprise Awards.

More important, however, is the service that the company offers to those seeking the opportunity to volunteer for a reasonable cost, a service that is highly praised by those who have used Travellingbug.

James explains more about how the company works: "Travellingbug offers a matchmaking service between volunteers and charities. If you have the time, skills and enthusiasm to volunteer abroad, and one of our partner charities has a role in developing communities that needs someone like you, we put you in touch.

"You don’t end up working on falsely founded ‘gap-experience’ placements that benefit no one but the company that organises it, and we can help you save around £800 on a one month volunteering placement abroad. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, and I think that is really why the venture has been so well received.’

If you are interested in volunteering with Travellingbug, or finding out more about any of their projects, go to the website at

The project runs through the University’s SIFE Bath team.