Sunday, November 04, 2007

Volunteering Abroad

Lacey and I have been doing some research recently on volunteer travel opportunities. We're thinking of planning a trip for March, though we haven't yet decided where, or even specifically what sorts of projects (e.g. environmental conservation, building homes, working with kids in orphanages, etc.). Here are some of the organizations we've been looking at so far, though:
  • Globe Aware - Looks good, but they pretty much only do 1-week trips. (I'd rather go for 2 or 3.) Also says that even the airfare is tax deductible. I don't know how standard that is, but it's cool.
  • i-to-i - Some interesting touring/volunteering combinations, though I'd probably go for something more work-oriented with maybe just free time to run around on weekends.
  • United Planet - I'm particularly interested in the Turkey trip.
  • Volunteer Visions - Some really good prices, e.g. for India.
Has anybody had any experience with any of these? Good? Bad? Any other organizations to recommend, or other advice to share? Let me know!


C.A.F. said...

Can I introduce you to a new humanitarian cause? It's called Buy Shoes. Save Lives. We're two young guys from Texas/California and we're living in Iraq trying to make a difference. We've gone into the shoe business and we're selling hand Kurdish shoes and all the profits we make go straight to fund heart surgeries for hundreds of children here that are dying without them. Find out more at or e-mail us at I love your passion for things like this. Keep it're making a difference. Peace. -Cody Fisher/BSSL

Anonymous said...

If you want to volunteer in Costa Rica I recommend looking at uVolunteer they are reasonable priced and have quite a few testimonials where you can contact past volunteers directly without the company as go between.

You should also check out volunteer Latin America ( they sell a booklet with cheap or free volunteer placements in Latin America .

Do your due diligence for choosing.

the gypsy vegan said...

my friend Essau Pwelle, the director of the African Orphans Fund and who will be speaking for the Peace and Social Justice Center here in December, is organizing a volunteer trip for March to Tanzania (where he is from and where AOF is based), Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Uganda. he would be able to help you decide which week(s) to go based on ease of joining in the trip, travel costs, etc... and would love to meet you since i've been telling him you're both wonderful for the past 4 months :) let me and/or essau know if africa is something you might be up for, you can reach him through his website:
ps. if you're looking for volunteer work that could begin right away, he definitely could use some help with web building, site content and layout, grammar/phrasing, etc., i've been giving him tips but can't take time away from both centers to do the job properly...

Anonymous said...

Do not forget you can change the world, with efforts in the United States as well. And with no cost.

Check out

for just one example. These folks actually help with the training of people who go overseas and respond to disaster world wide, including the military and Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams.

They also have another blog

Claire and Lara said...

I run Hope Runs (, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages, and we've got volunteer opportunities. You guys were kind enough to give our kids blog (the first on the net by orphans and vulnerable children) some press last year.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

how about global volunteer network?

Anonymous said...

You might also try ABV out of Australia, my company worked through them. It was a great experience.

Some of the photos and articles are available on

By chance, in the past year, were you able to go on a volunteer vacation? I suspect more and more people are going to consider it, with the cost of everything.

Hope all is well.