Having fun and gaining travel experience while on vacation is one thing, but gaining life’s lessons and giving back while on vacation is another. You don’t have to be a full fledged humanitarian to have the time and money to build communities and lessen the impact of poverty overseas. Many global nonprofit organisations are offering abundant travel opportunities to those who are ready and willing to share their knowledge, skills and abilities with cultures that can benefit from them. These organisations are giving us the journey of our lifetime.
By Penny C
Photo by AsianInsights
Wherever you are in whichever part of the world, organise a travel group and meet travellers who love adventure and would want to make a difference. Bear in mind that even though many organisations provide free or minimal travel arrangements, they will request for donations and fees to cover costs. But what’s that compared to the opportunity to be truly involved in a good cause?
Originally from Matador Change, these are some organisations that cost little or nothing to commune and alleviate the result of compassion overseas. Even if these worldwide resources don’t cater to the region you’re living in, it’s good to be kept in the loop with these links. You never know when you’ll need them.
1. Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF), Worldwide
- WWOOF volunteers do not pay for their stay.
- WWOOF hosts do not pay volunteers for their help.
- WWOOF organisations usually charge a small fee to hosts and volunteers. This fee helps maintain and develop the WWOOF network.
Compassion and goodwill are reciprocated as lodging and food are offered in exchange for your helping hands. Depending on how long you’re planning to stay, hosts are able to provide for you from as short as one week to as long as years. Find an opportunity that suits your values from the thousand over available hosts in 53 countries.
2. Turtle Teams, Worldwide
Thousands of small groups with the objective to save threatened sea turtles go by a generic name – Turtle Teams, Worldwide. To facilitate this cause in the most effective way, most groups are based on one or two nesting beaches which are normally at risk from over exploitation. Every contribution makes a difference and these teams appreciate help even if it just for one night. Help write a species off the long list of endangered wildlife.
3. Conservation Volunteers, Australia and New Zealand
Looking for short-term projects that protect and promote eco tourism in Australia and New Zealand? Look at the Conservation Volunteers to gain valuable experience working in teams with the same pro-environment attitude.
A small fee of approximately AUS$100 (for a week) is usually required to participate, but this fee covers food and lodging. British based British Trust for Conservation Volunteers also has similar opportunities.
4. Sudan Volunteer Programme, Sudan
If your heart’s calling you to work with students and your strength lies in the English language, visit the Sudan Volunteer Programme for opportunities to teach English in one of the world’s most impoverished countries. Placements are at schools or universities but in addition to this, many volunteers help with community projects. This is chance to gain a meaningful experience while doing what you do best. Airfares are born by the volunteers but all other costs are covered, including a small monthly income.
5. Appalachian Trail Conference, USA
Always had a thing for lush greenery and nature’s landscaped playground? Appalachian Trail is a classic 2000 mile long trail in the Eastern US and home to almost 2000 endangered and threatened wildlife species. By volunteering, you get to help build the trail and maintain its natural wonders. In return, food and basic accommodation are provided.
6. Trip Leader for HF Holidays, Europe
This one is for hikers, or in this instance, walkers with leadership abilities and the knack for knowing your way around. Trip Leader for HF Holidays is one of Europe’s most popular walking holiday operators and they are constantly calling for volunteers to lead their hiking and coach holidays. While sharing their passion and knowledge with groups from all over the world, these leader volunteers are provided with accommodation, meals and the opportunity to explore Europe. What are you waiting for??
7. Help Exchange, Worldwide
Help Exchange lists worldwide hosts that are searching for volunteers to help out in any way possible. Lend your abilities and get to stay in numerous locations such as farmstays, ranches, B&Bs and even in sailing boats! With a small memberships fee required to access the details of hosts, Help Exchange primary provides a cultural exchange for working holiday makers the chance to stay with local people and gain practical experience.
8. Peace Corps, Worldwide
Heard so much of the Peace Corps but don’t exactly know what is it? Today’s Peace Corps is more vital than ever as they work in emerging and essential areas such as information technology and business development. Grab your chance to volunteer with a renowned organisation and continually help build a better life for families and communities overseas. A real commitment of 27 months on placement is required, but for those that are willing, this is a life-changing position. Open only to US residents but similar projects are available for other nationals with the Voluntary Services Overseas.
9. United Nations Volunteers, Worldwide
Another world famous organisation to volunteer with is the United Nations Volunteers. Make a difference abroad by joining hands in a pool of projects that range from healthcare to economic developments and even assisting after natural disasters. While many positions are open only to experienced professions, the UN has links to hundreds of international NGOs and QANGOS that are looking for help in similar fields on a less formal basis.
Photo by aripeskoe
10. Kibbutz Volunteer, Israel
Israel offers superb community but as we know, there are complicated politics. Experience this region on a personal and immediate level by volunteering with Kibbutz Volunteer. The region also serves as a good base from which to explore the Middle East and North Africa.
To ensure a fulfilling experience as a volunteer abroad, remember to carry out a comprehensive research of the available options to help you decide on a cause that speaks to your heart. Volunteering with a cause that you support immensely makes things easier and the willingness to serve others and the community will come naturally.
Goodwill is a remarkable aspect of life and it pays to give back any amount of what you have. So if you’ve got the time, think about travelling as a volunteer – it’ll be an adventure for sure!