Bamboo was built on a cornerstone of a combined experience of almost 40 years in international travel and global volunteering. The three co–founders; Colin, Steve and Mark, each share the same visions and agree it’s essential that travel in developing countries must be giving–back to the communities that it visits. This, combined with having the most fun possible, is the priority of all Bamboo’s tours. Each tour is designed around the positive impact that creates, the legacy that it leaves behind and the way that travelers and communities work together. This is as much about a cultural experience as it is a holiday.
The history of Bamboo is as interesting as the tours that we now operate. Colin is the real trailblazer having launched Global Volunteer Network almost 15 years ago. GVN, as they were known, was the first of its kind, paving the way for other volunteer travel companies to follow suit.
Mark and Steve met in 2009 whilst working for a small volunteer–travel company. They quickly became friends and realized that the only way to ensure that what they had their name on was operating honestly and with the very best of intentions was to do it themselves. They took a huge leap of faith and launched the now world–famous, Bamboo Project.
GVN and The Bamboo Projects worlds’ collided in 2015 when the three founders met up in Thailand. It wasn’t long in to that first meeting they realized that by working together, with the principles on which Bamboo is founded, they could effectively begin to change the face of international travel. Bamboo was born.
GVN is one of the oldest and most well–respected volunteer placement organizations on the planet. They became and held that position to become a trusted brand because of the commitment they have shown to their volunteers and their projects. The Bamboo Project reached incredible heights in a very short space of time due to being different, being fun and taking every step with a huge smile on its face. This was recognized in 2015, after operating for just 16 months, when they were awarded the much coveted ‘Worlds Best Volunteer–Tour’ by Tour Radar!
Over the last 15 years, GVN and The Bamboo Project have placed 26,769 volunteers on projects around the world and opened the eyes of international travelers to new cultures and customs globally. They’ve raised almost $2.5 million in project donations and have generated tens of thousands of volunteer hours for needy and worthwhile projects.
Since GVN and The Bamboo Project have joined forces the effect has been incredible. As one, in the first six months, they’ve signed up over 3,000 new and returning volunteers and travelers. In the first full year, they will have signed up over 5,000 new volunteers!