The travel world has changed over the years, and more and more of us are willing to trade volunteer time in a foreign country for the chance to really experience the land and people in an interesting location. By volunteering to help with a local project travellers get real interaction with the people of the region, and a cultural immersion experience.
Volunteering abroad travel experiences are available in many areas of the world. Many parts of Africa, Asia and South America, make excellent, safe opportunities for western visitors. Other countries throughout Europe and the Caribbean may also present fantastic opportunities.
A little research on your part will produce a great experience and a worthy result for both you and the area you are volunteering in.
The so called “Voluntours” offer the most structure but can vary a great deal in how much effort on your part is expected.Ask lots of questions before you book, and remember most of your fee will go to the tour company.
Socially responsible travel still requires research on your part even if you are an independent volunteer. Ensure that the project you are getting involved in is appropriate for the area. It should also meet your moral and ethical values as well of the cultural needs of the region. Not every project is really valuable culturally or high on the eco-standards list. Even non-profit driven projects are not always doing the best work. Some areas have become dependent on Western aid to ongoing projects, which reduces the intent of developing independence for local peoples. Do some research and choose carefully. This can be difficult at times, especially when you are eager to get started. But a wise choice is better for both of you.