If you wish to get off the beaten track and give something back while you travel, then you might like to try volunteering. If you volunteer abroad you can help people in need, make new friends, learn about the local culture and become more socially conscious.
There are all sorts of volunteer projects abroad, from marine conservation, to construction projects, to working with children. Here are some ideas for volunteering on your trip:
1. Marine Conservation
With a marine conservation project you can help to restore damaged marine ecosystems and protect endangered species. You might find yourself protecting sea turtles in Mexico, tracking dolphins in Kenya or even gaining a professional diving qualification in Fiji.
2. Sports Projects
If you enjoy sport then you could join a sports volunteering project that works with disadvantaged or at risk children. Sports help to give children confidence and teach them important team skills, while also bringing joy to their lives. You could teach a range of sports from football and basketball in Costa Rica to surfing in Cape Town.
3. Healthcare Projects
Quality of health and access to healthcare varies across different populations. By participating in a healthcare project you can help to improve hygiene and water security, bring HIV/AIDS awareness and reduce child mortality rates. Projects might include setting up healthcare workshops or leading excercise classes for children with physical disabilities, illnesses or injuries.
4. Construction Projects
If you’re a hands on person, you might prefer taking part in a construction project to provide communities with a proper infrastructure. You could find yourself constructing anything from wells and stoves to homes and brand new schools. The smallest things can really make a big difference.
5. Teaching & Working with Children
Being able to read and write English gives people more chance of getting jobs and improving their standard of living. You can help to fight poverty and improve the standard of education by teaching basic English, maths and other subjects in schools, orphanages and communities.
photo by SteveD. on flickr