ISV A Big Winner At The 2015 WYSTC Awards

by isvolunteers on Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Once a year the World Youth Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) takes place to celebrate excellence in the youth, student and educational travel industry. This three day international event culminates in a highly coveted awards ceremony – and this year, International Student Volunteers won the Extraordinary Experience award and was awarded 3rd place in the most Outstanding Project category!


ISV took home the ‘Extraordinary Experience’ award and came third in the ‘Outstanding Volunteer Project’ category for our work with Volunteer Africa 32° South in Chintsa, South Africa. (c) ISV

The WYSTC conference is a 230x160_WYSETC-GlobalYouthTravelAward-Logo-2015creative space for like-minded organizations to network, share innovative ideas and work towards sustainable learning programs that generate a better world through our youth. This year it took place in Cape Town, South Africa, and ISV entered two award categories for our collaboration with ‘Volunteer Africa 32° South’ (VA32).


ISV volunteers celebrating the completion of a new playground with Volunteer Africa 32° South. (c) ISV

In 2015, ISV and VA32 have worked together to bring about meaningful long-term change through assisting local communities with education and sanitation infrastructure. Hosting a total of 98 volunteers across 7 two-week children’s program projects, ISV and VA32 constructed and installed a new playground and jungle gym for the local crèche, a new classroom, renovated and constructed a community soup kitchen and installed 3 long-drop toilets for the local school.

The ‘Extraordinary Experience’ award is the most coveted award at WYSTC, and entries are judged on what an individual volunteer put into their experience and what they took away from it. Originality, inspiration, and tangible engagement with the host culture are all important factors for judging.

Jordan Luongo from the University of North Florida volunteered with ISV on VA32 this season, and shared an innovative way for youth to wash their hands and learn about hygiene at school through the use of a ‘Tippy Tap’. A Tippy Tap is a hands free way to wash your hands via a foot lever made out of basic materials to assist rural areas without running water. It’s also fun and engaging for children to use.


Jordan Luongo demonstrating how to use a ‘Tippy Tap’ with local children. (c) Jordan Luongo

Jordan located the resources needed to make this device while in South Africa and worked in collaboration with staff, her volunteer group and the local teachers and children to build it at one of the schools. (If you haven’t already read our blog from Jordan, click here for her inspiring first-hand account.)

Jordan and her group not only completed the ‘Tippy Tap’, but also a jungle gym and playground for the children at the school in just two weeks.

“The feeling of satisfaction and joy I received from that was unbelievable. The amount of knowledge I learned about the country and myself is amazing,” said Luongo.

It was her extraordinary experience that won this award.

But that’s not all. The incredible VA32 project was awarded third place in the Most Outstanding Project Category, which showcases some of the world’s most exceptional volunteer projects for young travelers. ISV is extremely proud to work with VA32 and are delighted to be acknowledged for this partnership. It’s also incredible to always have such extremely motivated and passionate volunteers, like Jordan Luongo choosing to volunteer with us. We congratulate her and the ISV team on helping create an extraordinary experience not only for herself, but to all involved.

Smiling Faces

The VA32 project was awarded third place in the Most Outstanding Project Category, which showcases some of the world’s most exceptional volunteer projects. (c) ISV

ISV’s mission is to support sustainable development initiatives around the world through life-changing volunteer and responsible adventure travel programs designed to positively change our world and to educate, inspire and result in more active global citizens – and what a wonderful example of this being accomplished.

To learn more about ISV, our responsible travel principles and volunteer projects please visit our website at


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