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Reg Charity 1143560

Our Work

Agape Volunteers is not like any other volunteering organisation. We are a registered charity who specialise in overseas development work, utilising volunteers to meet our aims.
#bepartofit
Successfully sending volunteers abroad for 10 years

The Agape Story

Click through the images below to see how Agape Volunteers developed from a handful of volunteers to one of the world's largest overseas volunteering organisations.

The seeds are sown
July 2009
The seeds are sown

Agape Volunteers founder, Guillaume Lefevre, first travels to Kenya to volunteer with a large organisation who specialise in teaching and orphanage work. While there, Guillaume meets Izzo Mwangi (who will later become the Kenya coordinator for Agape) and many other people who support humanitarian work in the Dagoretti area of Nairobi. While Guillaume hugely enjoyed his time in Kenya, he and Izzo felt that there were a number of things which could be improved about the volunteering model; specifically ensuring that as much volunteer money as possible reaches projects on the ground, and a more professional approach to project planning and administration. After many late night meetings, the concept of Agape Volunteers in born.

Agape Volunteers founded and registered with the UK Charity Commission
May 2011
Agape Volunteers founded and registered with the UK Charity Commission

Following an 18 month long process of negotiating with projects and host families in Kenya, and getting up to speed with the legal and financial requirements of operating a charity, Agape Volunteers with officially founded in May 2011. The original board of Trustees comprised of several close friends and family of founder Guillaume Lefevre, who also took the Chairman position. Agape started by offering teaching, orphanage and medical programmes in Kenya and placed only a handful of volunteers in its first few months of operation.

Expansion to Ghana and Tanzania
January 2012
Expansion to Ghana and Tanzania

Very soon after Agape begun to attract its first volunteers, the team realised that in order to be a major player in the volunteering market, they would need to offer a wider range of destinations.

"Even if prospective volunteers want to volunteer in Kenya, they also want the benefit of have a range of options and also want to be safe in the knowledge the organisation they are volunteering with is large enough to support them; therefore, we needed to expand out of Kenya." - Amyus Bale, Chief Trip Adviser (2012 - 2015)

After a period of research and consultation, Agape Volunteers launched a volunteering programme in Ghana in partnership with Mansek music school, and one in Tanzania, in partnership with Ujuma Hostel. While volunteer numbers in these locations were low, this was an important first step in Agape's development towards one of the largest volunteering organisations in the world.

Our 100th volunteer
June 2012
Our 100th volunteer

A little over a year after full registration as a charity, and after a rapid increase in volunteer applications (driven by a new website and marketing campaign provided by Inspira Digital), Agape placed it's 100th volunteer. There will still numerous challenges to come and further expansions in the pipeline; however, Agape had successfully got itself off the ground and was ready to play in the international volunteering market.

Partnership with Marifiki to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) of Kenya
August 2012
Partnership with Marifiki to support the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) of Kenya

The 2007 presidential election in Kenya was one of the country's darkest chapters, with a disputed result leading to weeks of violence which has thankfully never been repeated. As a direct result of this violence many Kenyans were unable to return to their homes and communities. In response to this, the Kenyan Government and United Nations (UN) set-up the IDP camps to house these internal refugees. Unfortunately, little thought was given to the long term sustainability of this plan, and refugees were only provided with plastic tents and no access to food or water. Since 2012 Agape Volunteers with other partner organisations has taken responsibility for one of the larger camps in Mahi Mahu, including providing weekly food deliveries, constructing a fresh water supply and constructing numerous building including houses and schools. IDP continues to be one of Agape's primary targets for funding and volunteers to this day.

Agape Adventures and Agape Insurance
January 2013
Agape Adventures and Agape Insurance

As the organisation grew, the team realised that many volunteers were spending additional money on trips such as safaris and things like travel insurance. In order to improve the volunteer experience and generate additional revenue, Agape launched two subsidiary organisations:

  • Agape Adventures: a subsidiary dealing solely with the provision of additional volunteer trips including safaris, rafting and mountain climbing. Volunteers were able to add these as extras to their volunteering package to make their trip even more memorable; and
  • Agape Insurance: in partnership with Endsleigh and AXA, Agape launched a industry-leading travel insurance product which was offered as standard for all volunteers and provided a tailored policy designed to protect against all eventualities while volunteering.

Today both of these subsidiaries have been absorbed fully into the organisation, with nearly all volunteers now booking additional trips and benefitting from world class travel insurance.


Expansion to South Africa
February 2014
Expansion to South Africa

Following significant growth in volunteer numbers and demand for a dedicated wildlife programme, in early 2014 Agape launched it's South Africa wildlife programme. For the first time volunteers were able to work up close with endangered species across South Africa, with activities including tracking, monitoring, tick balling, education programmes, and animal capture and transport. 

Launch of world class HIV testing and counselling programme in Nairobi
July 2014
Launch of world class HIV testing and counselling programme in Nairobi

HIV and AIDS continue to be one of the most pressing issues affecting life in Sub-saharan Africa, affecting over 24 million people in the continent. In 2014, Agape launched a flagship volunteering programme to allow volunteers to work on the frontline of fighting and preventing this disease in Kenya. In partnership with the University of Nairobi, volunteers are enrolled in a two week HIV testing and counselling course in order to learn the skills required to help dedicated staff on the precipice of one of the world's most substantial health crisis. After training volunteers assist with testing programmes in the slums of Nairobi, delivering food and medical supplies to affected families and educating children and adults in affected areas.

The Agape Volunteers Football Academy and new volunteer house
September 2015
The Agape Volunteers Football Academy and new volunteer house

Following several years of a low key sports programme in Kenya, intern Jack Murray travelled to Nairobi to develop and launch the Agape Volunteers Football Academy. The programme provided local children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to train on a daily basis with volunteer coaches, play in local leagues and most importantly, stay off the streets in the evening. At the same time, Jack worked with the local Kenyan team during the development of the new volunteer house, which replaced the old accomodation model of host families and placed all volunteers together in a large complex.

1,000th volunteer
October 2015
1,000th volunteer

As the charity continued to grow, Agape placed its 1,000th volunteer, with numbers increasing year on year. Volunteers could now choose from four countries, and over 15 different programmes, including: teaching, orphanage, medical, HIV and AIDS, sports, music and wildlife. Volunteers also had easy access to a variety of additional trips, including safaris, mountain biking, rafting, mountain climbing, trekking and even bungee jumping.

Reorganisation, professionalisation and marketing expansion
January 2016
Reorganisation, professionalisation and marketing expansion

Following several years of steady growth, Agape was now fully established within the global volunteering scene. However, having been founded by committed yet inexperienced individuals, some processes and policies were out of date and not fit for an organisation looking to revolutionise the overseas volunteering market. Over the following year, a number of projects were launched to help modernise the organisation:

  • Development of a CRM: one of Agape's first employees was Amyus Bale, who took on numerous responsibilities but by 2016 had risen to Head of Administration. In the same year, Amyus decided to move on, leaving an incredible legacy, but also a large hole in terms of expertise. Agape took the decision to use this opportunity to replace it's booking and management system with a bespoke Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system;
  • Legal and financial professionalisation: alongside technical developments the organisation also undertook a substantial review of its policies, procedures and protections to ensure that it was fit to take the place as one of the world's leading providers;
  • US marketing expansion: in order to grow volunteers numbers, Agape took the decision to expand its marketing activities to the US, where a growing market of young and engaged potential volunteers was developing; and
  • A new team: to support these projects and drive the organisation forward, new members joined the organisation and team roles altered. This included founder Guillaume Lefevre stepping down from the board and becoming the Chief Executive in order to take a stronger role in the day to day running of the organisation. Moreover, Charlie Bishop became the Chief Operating Officer, taking responsibility for the smooth running of humanitarian activities and volunteer programmes.

The Agape Volunteers Music School, Ghana
March 2016
The Agape Volunteers Music School, Ghana

In 2016, after a four year association, Agape Volunteers parted company with Mansek Music School in order to launch a dedicated music programme for children from the poorest backgrounds in Accra, Ghana. The programme allowed volunteers to work in Ghana and hone the development of a new flagship project which would provide access to musical instruments and tuition to thousands of children.

Rebrand and relaunch as AV
December 2017
Rebrand and relaunch as AV

In late 2017 month of planning and hard work came to fruition with the rebranding of Agape Volunteers as AV. In the background to this development, it also marked the culmination of years of work to professionalise and expand the organisation to the point where it was ready position itself as an industry leading voice in overseas volunteering, tourism and development. We are exceptionally proud of our progress to date, but even more excited about what the next few years has in store for us. #bepartofit

The Agape Volunteers Team

Please find the biographies of our most senior staff below. We have split these by country of operation. Please note there are numerous other staff crucial to the operation of Agape who are not listed here.

Our UK Team

The UK team is responsible for the management and development of the organisation, including key functions such as finance, HR, strategy and development planning. However, the primary goal of the UK team is to take bookings from prospective volunteers, ensuring the are fully prepared for their trip.

  • Guillaume Lefevre CEO & Founder

    Guillaume Lefevre founded Agape Volunteers in 2011 following several stints volunteering in Kenya and other East African countries. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford and also holds senior positions within the Global CEO advisory firm Teneo Consulting, the UK hospitality firm Raccoon Investment Holdings and fulfills several non-executive director roles. He is responsible for the overall strategy of the organisation, with a specific focus on finance, marketing and international development. 

  • Charles Bishop Chief Operating Officer

    Charlie joined Agape Volunteers very shortly after formation and has risen to the top of the organisation. He has previously fulfilled the roles of Assistant Country Coordinator (Kenya), Senior Trip Adviser and Chief Trip Advisor, before taking on the COO position in 2017. Charlie is a graduate of the King's' College London where he studied Liberal Arts, before travelling extensively in Africa, Asia and South America. Charlie is responsible for overseas coordination, including assuring the safe placement of all of our volunteers. 

  • Laura Wormington UK Operations Manager

    Laura originally volunteered with Agape in 2013, and has since fulfilled several positions in the organisation including tripadvising and writing our blogs. However, more recently she has risen through the ranks to become the head of UK operations, supporting Charles Bishop in the coordination of UK activities including policies, marketing and our representative network. Laura is a graduate of University College London, and continues to study to an advanced level alongside her responsibilities at Agape.

  • Josh Howard Head of Policy and Development

    A British national who grew up abroad, Josh has done extensive volunteer work whilst travelling across Africa, North America and Southeast Asia. Currently training to be a lawyer he also holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and is an expert on International Development policy.

  • Katie May Head of University Reps

    Katie is responsible for building and running Agape's burgeoning University Rep network. An Exeter University graduate and keen traveler herself, she has been the driving force behind greatly increasing our presence across UK universities during 2018. She leads a team at Roots Creative, who provide wider marketing support for Agape.

  • Andrew Grey Senior Trip Adviser

    Andrew has worked for Agape in various capacities for over five years, including setting up our original Ghana programme and being a lead trip adviser over three different countries. Andrew, a music teacher by trade, is now a senior adviser to Agape and lends specific support to our South Africa wildlife programme.

Our Kenya Team

You can find out a little more about the key members of our Kenyan team below. All of our Kenya volunteers will get a chance to meet this hard-working team.

  • Izzo Mwangi Country Coordinator

    Born and raised in Waithaka, Izzo fell in love with the concept of volunteering and its potential for good works. Putting aside a successful arts and crafts business, Izzo gained many years’ worth of experience working with volunteers and projects before joining Agape Volunteers – we’re very lucky to have him. You probably won’t see much of Izzo, as he has a huge amount to do behind the scenes, but you’ll know when he’s around – a masterful and mischievous storyteller, he’ll have everyone laughing.


  • Marta Hearing Assistant Coordinator

    Originally from Spain, Marta fell in love with Kenya a number of years ago and has lived there ever since. She’s a coordination expert as well as a friendly member of the support team. She’s always on hand to make sure that everyone is happy and productive, as well as helping to organise a number of Agape’s outreach projects.

  • David Wakogi Project Manager

    David is the Project Manager in Kenya and is very involved at IDP. David works closely with Izzo to keep our programmes running. He and his wife and children also host volunteers in their home.

Our Ghana Team

Our coordinators in Ghana are a husband and wife team who are sure to bring a smile to all our Ghana volunteers.

  • Emmanuel (Nii) Quartey Coordinator

    Emmanuel runs the JayNii Streetwise Foundation, as well as being Agape’s Country Coordinator in Ghana. A passionate and caring man, he will ensure that you settle into your placement well and will work alongside you while you volunteer, especially if you choose the music, orphanage or teaching programme. A musician himself, he’s always looking to exchange ideas when it comes to music.

  • Jay Quartey Coordinator

    Jay grew up in Jamestown, and spent much of her childhood on the street. She has long been committed to helping those who find themselves on the edges of society. She runs JayNii alongside her husband Nii, and you will find that she’s an expert at keeping volunteers happy!

Our South Africa Team

Often found out in the bush, our South Africa coordinators having been saving South Africa wildlife for years!

  • Sabrina Colombo Coordinator

    Italian by birth, Sabrina fell in love with South Africa back in 2011 and has been working there since 2012. She has studied alongside her work, gaining qualifications in tracking and as a field guide. Combined with a background in tourism and hospitality, Sabrina is both passionate about her work and brilliant at inspiring volunteer involvement.

  • Koos Niemann Coordinator

    Koos has more than 17 years experience in the bush having worked as a reserve manager and on anti-poaching teams before moving to his current role. He has a deep passion for conservation and anti-poaching, and is an extremely experienced in all aspects of animal monitoring and wildlife conservation. He is determined to provide you with a volunteering experience you will never forget. Koos will accompany you on all the volunteering projects and activities.

Our Tanzania Team

The following people coordinate our programmes in Tanzania, alongside a team of other committed individuals.

  • Jodie Hezron Coordinator

    Jodie is the founder and co-owner of KATzVA and is directly involved in every aspect of the operation. You’ll see her on an almost daily basis. As someone who came to volunteer in Tanzania herself, she is familiar with all the challenges volunteers face when coming to a developing country and an unfamiliar culture. She will go out of her way to ensure you settle in quickly and have a wonderful experience.

  • Kelvin Hezron Coordinator

    Kelvin is Director and co-owner of Maisha Cottage. You’re likely to see him around the guesthouse when you’re not on placement. He was born and raised in Arusha and has travelled extensively in Tanzania. Kelvin will always go the extra mile and takes great pride in ensuring travellers enjoy their African experience in the country he loves to call home.