Last time around (Click here to start at Part 1) we explored a few international destinations where you’ll find Volunteer Vacation opportunities for a wide variety of focuses, interests, ages and more. Following are a few more where you can lend you time and talent, and truly enrich your life in the process.
Working together to find a Solution
According to organization Cross-Cultural Solutions, connecting with people and finding commonality for a shared goal are among the most meaningful and impactful ways to approach volunteering abroad. That’s why their international programs address a wide variety of areas of impact designed to improve and/or enhance the quality of healthcare, infants and children, people with disabilities, those affected by HIV/AIDS and other areas through their individual, group and teen volunteer programs.
Destinations include Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Guatemala, Brazil, Costa Rica, Morocco, Thailand, Peru and India.
In Cape Town, South Africa, for example, volunteers are needed to help support children and their families by providing teaching assistance and care for children in a safe environment while their parents peruse full time employment opportunities. In Salvador, Brazil, volunteers help support abandoned elderly women in the favelas or “shanty towns”—overrun and over populated makeshift homes built in polluted areas which pose serious safety and health risks to their occupants—by providing healthcare, food and housing.
Habitats for All of Humanity
Most people in the U.S. are familiar with Habitat for Humanity International, the world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing since the 1970s by helping low-income people find affordable housing. In addition to their efforts here in the U.S., the organization also offers volunteer opportunities in Canada, the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Their programs are numerous, some designed specifically for volunteers who are women, youth, veterans, for short and long-term assignments, RV Care, church groups, disaster relief and more. Providing building assistance and financial education are among the efforts in Kenya, working in urban communities in the Greater Amman area in Jordan, and upgrading urban slums in Madagascar are just a few of their worldwide programs.
Helping in the Great Outdoors
Those desiring to connect with the great outdoors might consider a volunteer stint with the Sierra Club, reportedly the country’s largest, most effect grassroots movement. The organization reports close to 90 service trips a year to a variety of state and federal land agencies where volunteers are teamed up with park service personnel or forest service rangers to help maintain trails and restore wilderness areas, remove non-native plants and other duties. According to the organization, their annual efforts equate to roughly 27,000 work hours with an estimated monetary value of $405,000.
Featured trips this year include refurbishing both highly used and remote areas of Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah, working under the direction of a Terrestrial Ecologist in the Kalaupapa Peninsula in Molokai, Hawaii, and, for those who prefer to stay close to home, planting and weeding trees, flowers, shrubs and other duties in Riverside Park in conjunction with the Riverside Park Conservancy, just to name a few. (Click here to start at Part 1)