During this COVID-19 pandemic some of us are fortunate enough to have lots of time to think and ponder about our lives. Though the reality for a big part of the world has not changed, they live in poverty and live in underprivileged communities. The added pandemic just makes things worse for them and more difficult for us to help them. So once we can travel again it will be a good time to join a volunteer program.
This not only affects human communities but is also making wildlife conservation more difficult for those which are at highest risk. However in general the pandemic is proving to be a blessing for nature, which is thriving with our absence. There are less cars, airplanes, boats, and lots of people staying away from their habitats.
make a change
For us who are blessed to come from wealthy community’s maybe once we can travel again it’s time to give something back to the community. Travel, but also do something to help improve the lives of others and give back to nature. This is something we can do on our own, with friends, but also together with your family.
If you decide to volunteer it will be an adventure of a lifetime. An adventure not only about all the instagramable spots you visited or about an amazing climb you made. Of course you dont need to become mother Teresa, you can combine the two together. When volunteering you will do meaningful work that’s aimed towards the long term development of the communities.
Volunteering allows you to make a real difference by donating your time and your skills to people who need them. This is true regardless of your skills, knowledge, passion or what interests are. You will be able to find the perfect volunteer experience and make a difference.
There are variety of things you can do when volunteering. You can teach English, help at an orphanage, animal and environmental conservation. Also you can help with empowering woman’s projects, healthcare, and building homes. Many communities live with environmental or social issues such as poverty, poor health, inadequate housing and little or no access to education.
Working with these communities will open your eye and see the world from another perspective. You will bring hope and smiles to these communities and experience the real culture of the places you choose to go. Travel and experience the world of the beaten tourist track.
choosing a volunteer program
There are many non-profit Volunteer Programs which have been working with communities around the world. They are organizations where the money you pay goes to the community. When signing up, make sure they have a transparent fee structure. That way you know where the money is going. Below are listed some volunteer program you can join.
Just as people need help, even more so do the animals of our beautiful planet. Animals across the globe are in need of conservation and general care, both wildlife species and domesticated. Many wildlife species are endangered and on the verge of going extinct. Some due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, neglect, and others from abuse.
When you volunteer at a sanctuary for example you will have daily tasks. You will help with food preparation, general maintenance around the sanctuary and the cleaning and maintenance of enclosures. Another important task with conservation is to educate the locals about their wildlife species and the importance of protecting these animals.
best volunteer program
Volunteer HQ www.volunteerhq.org
With 12 years’ experience their volunteer program focus on delivering long-term impact to communities that value your support. You can teach and work with children, join a medical mission, conservation, and wildlife protection. They have projects in over 50 destinations across Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, North America, Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific.
They provide responsible volunteer work with an ethical organization and a very transparent fee structure. While volunteering you stay at comfortable accommodation, filled with like-minded individuals and a welcoming host family.
They have volunteer program in over 40 countries. They are a great organization which will help you to contribute to local community projects. Also you can aid in conservation and care of neglected animals. You can work with exotic animals, teach English to children, and environmental projects. Also they have projects for woman’s empowerment, guided projects for teens, and international internships for students.
Most interesting with them is their diverse wildlife projects. You can work at animal shelters, veterinarian programs, research programs, wildlife sanctuaries, and wildlife orphanages.
Love Volunteers www.lovevolunteers.org
Love Volunteers has been working around the world for over seven years. They are passionate about making a difference in developing communities. Their volunteer program cover everything from community development, conservation, child care, and care of those with disabilities. Also they work with medical missions, women’s empowerment, teaching and educations of communities. They are a honest non-profit organization with full transparency.
Worldpackers offers travelers a chance to find volunteer experiences around the world. They can help you experience new cultures while getting free stays with hostels, NGOs, farms, and eco-villages. There are also many other incredible work exchange opportunities in more than 100 countries. Also it’s a great travel resource and a community with great people who have similar visions.
Grassroots Volunteering grassrootsvolunteering.org
This is one of my favorite resources to find volunteer programs. If you want to travel and want to support honest organizations, this website compiles a list of ethical and responsible local volunteer organizations. There are many free volunteer programs here and the ones where there is a fee, the money is kept within the community and not in the hands of a big organization.
HelpX is a great place to find work and volunteer program opportunities when you travel. They have organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, and backpackers hostels listed. Also you can find sailing boats who invite volunteers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4-6 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.
Project abroad www.projects-abroad.net
Projects Abroad is has volunteering internships and meaningful travel experiences around the world. They have been running for over 25 years. Their projects work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aiming towards a better and more sustainable future for all. Join projects to strengthening children’s education, protecting endangered wildlife, providing essential medical assistance, and many research projects.
If you are going independently or if you are going on a organized volunteer program trip the preparation and planning will be quite different. Of course if you go interdependently you need to plan everything from flights, accommodation, and transport.
Though in both scenarios you need to think about three additional things. You need to go to your local doctor and check which vaccinations you need. Go to the respective embassies and get your travel Visa’s sorted. Also you will need travel insurance, because while traveling many things can happen. Fortunately most trips end only with beautiful photos and memories. Though if you do need travel and adventure insurance and you don’t have it, things can get very expensive.
Read more about Visa requirements for Asia: Visa Travel Information
Read more about Travel Insurance: Travel and Adventure insurance