Volunteer & Intern Travel News

reading to orphansIn some countries, especially in Asia, it’s a fairly common sight to see a number of children walking in the street in procession, singing or playing a variety of traditional instruments. They are led along by adults with placards reading "Support our orphans." Anyone who makes a donation is then invited to visit the nearby orphanage, and perhaps even spend some time working there.

lion in game parkAfrica – vast, untamed and mysterious; the Cradle of Mankind - the continent’s very name has produced a thrill in the heart of would-be adventurers and philanthropists for centuries. It’s the home of huge tracts of wild savannah, lush arboreal forests, and of course the so-called Big Five - African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, and lion.

dad volunteerSo you have the opportunity to take your family on an overseas trip. Why not make it a volunteering trip? The concept of volunteering overseas with your family is becoming ever more popular, especially in the last 5 years. Instead of sitting on a beach at a resort until the kids get bored, then sending them off to the “kids’ club”, you could all be helping to change lives. And you can still make time for the beach.

giraffe watchingThere has always been a great deal of focus on, and information aimed at, individual overseas volunteers – brave souls heading out into the wide blue yonder to a foreign country, alone and vulnerable but ready and willing to pitch in where help is needed. Indeed, the whole process of volunteering might well appeal especially to rugged individualists, those who want to dip their toes into strange waters, immerse themselves in exotic cultures, and leave behind everything comfortable and familiar.

schoolkidsIt takes a whole village to raise a child – this is a well-known West African (Igbo) saying, and one taken to heart by volunteers who are drawn to working with children. Children have a special place in the hearts of most people, especially if they’re poor, orphaned or disabled and in need of your love, care and affection.  Generally, it’s accepted that volunteering with kids is likely to be pleasant and easy if you have an affinity with them, and there can only be positive outcomes for the children, their community and your volunteer experience.

blonde ladyThere are hundreds of articles on the Web about the benefits of volunteering – it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s a great way to travel and meet people, you’ll experience personal growth and life lessons, it looks good on your resume, and so on. But it’s not as easy to find information on what many would-be or even experienced volunteers are asking themselves: “What specific benefits will I as a volunteer provide to the communities I’m supposed to be helping?”

So you’ve decided to volunteer overseas – you’ve done your research, you’ve found some projects that intrigue you, you’ve planned what needs to be done to get over there and get busy helping out. Just one tiny little problem – at the moment, you can barely afford a bus trip across town, let alone a plane trip to another country! 

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