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Make Things Happen - Volunteer Work Abroad

buildingvolunteerWant to go travelling but struggling to get enough cash together? Can't get a job and bored of watching life pass you by?  Why not look out opportunities to volunteer?  There are many websites offering projects but often they want you to pay for the privilege.  With this fee maybe you get looked after on arrival and there may be support throughout your stay, or perhaps they are encouraging you to donate to the cause - for some this may be the way forward. But watch for abuse of the system.  Many volunteer projects make a good profit out of you.  If you are independent, motivated and capable there are many places to go for a worthwhile and productive experience at a low cost or for free.

It's important to do some research and avoid the larger voluntourism organisations which have a bad name for doing more harm than good. Even on the 'low cost' projects basic food and accommodation can be offered at an unreasonable price for the area you are in.

A kibbutz in Israel is usually thought of as a bit of a party and you do need to be pretty sociable to choose this as you are with the same people much of the time, usually living in basic accommodation with other volunteers.  But the alarm clock will go off in the early hours and you need to work hard at your designated job to help the community function.  Go to www.kibbutzvolunteer.com to get a feel for it.

teachingvolunteerTeaching is another option but at the least you need to swot up a bit on the structure of your own language before opting for this.  During my one experience in a Hong Kong class room this became rapidly obvious and I was pleased with the distraction of the children laughing at the size of my nose (only compared with theirs may I add.)  But many of you will be naturals at this and there are great opportunities from Cambodia - www.volunteerincambodia.org - to Equador - www.teach-english-volunteer.com...

This site - www.workaway.info - has a range of opportunities from regular jobs like au-pairing in Canada to hotel work in Fiji, or to humanitarian roles like helping empower Rwandan women victims of violence or working with a non-profit youth organisation in Jordan.

Or if you are interested in learning about sustainable ways of living have a look on www.wwoof.org where they pair up volunteers with organic farmers.

For inspirational projects try www.ecoteer.com for conservation, humanitarian and research projects. For general advice and opportunities visit www.volunteersouthamerica.net. Also go to Veyactua for great opportunities to help in India and beyond.  www.volunteer-work-africa.com clearly states the costs involved in being part of each project, some of which are working with the wild cats!

Make things happen. The greatest risk in life is not taking one!