We all have our plans for life that include the checklist of things that we wish to do and the places we wish to visit. We surely aspire to do something for our pleasure and also things that would add some happiness to someone else’s life. The act of volunteering, as we all know, is not just a noble deed to help the underprivileged ones, but also a self-satisfying task that would change the way you look at life.
For students and gap year travelers, volunteering can be an important step in the career graph that can be achieved while contributing something to society. For others, it’s a way in which one can experience the meaning of true love while becoming more empathetic, compassionate, and humble. If you haven’t yet experienced the goodness of being a part of a volunteering journey, then it’s not too late!
Here are the 10 best projects for which volunteers have worked for over a decade and now, it’s your turn to be a part of these. You can choose any of the programs mentioned below, that would align with your choices and preferences.
Undoubtedly, the Turtle Conservation Program in Galle, Sri Lanka, is one of the most popular programs! If you have always wanted to play an active role in conservation programs, then now is your chance to be a volunteer and contribute meaningfully towards the wellbeing of the Sea Turtles thriving in the south-western coasts of Sri Lanka. In the recent past, excessive commercial fishing and poaching of turtle eggs by humans and predators (dogs, monitor lizards, etc.) have resulted in their numbers dwindling significantly and thus, these turtles are considered to be an endangered species. Being a volunteer, you’ll support the hatcheries through conservation efforts which are valuable for their sustainability, and also goes a long way in helping them financially as we pay these hatcheries a placement fee for each volunteer we send to them, which allows them to generate additional income. You’ll also get to teach the local communities about the prospects of nature conservation and how to keep the environment healthy.
Travelers have always loved India and the Street Children Program is one of the most popular projects among those who love spending time with kids. In India, there are about 100 million street children who don’t get their basic needs for food, shelter, and education. In New Delhi itself, there are nearly 1,75,000 street children who are victims of unknown circumstances and surely deserve a better life. Being a part of this project, volunteers get to work at Street Children Schools and shelter homes where they have to look after the kids, feed the little ones, teach them basic lessons of maths, English and General Knowledge and give them the attention that they deserve. And needless to say, a volunteering trip to India would definitely give you a chance to understand the culture, heritage, and much more about the country.
A beach lover’s paradise as it can be called, the Summer Volunteer and Adventure Program in Thailand is a 3 weeks program with an additional beach extension week! Imagine traveling all the way to one of the gorgeous destinations in the world where the turquoise water kisses the golden beaches and the warmth of the people have fetched the title of “The Land of Smiles” for Thailand. Thailand, without any doubt, is the most preferred volunteering destination and this program will give you a chance to teach the kids in a school in Surin and also volunteer for elephants at a village where you’ll get to stay with the local mahouts who take care of these gentle giants. Go for trekking at the Khao Yai National Park party hard at Koh Phangan while volunteering in Thailand.
This program would give an opportunity to peep inside the orphanages of Nairobi, where several little ones (from the age of a few months to 12-year-olds) have been provided shelter. Unfortunately, these children have either lost both their parents or one of them, and the other denied to look after the child due to the poverty-stricken conditions. Being a part of this project would make you realize the fact that not all are born with a silver spoon in mouth. The main task of the volunteers would be to look after the kids, nurse them, shower and feed them, play with them, and shower them with endless love. Participants can also assist the orphanage staff with works like cooking, cleaning, wash clothes, etc. Visit the Maasai villages while volunteering in Kenya, and know about their lives in more detail. And of course, how can one miss going for wildlife safaris while in Kenya!
If you wish to spend your summer at a beachside destination and volunteer for an environmental cause, then there can be no better option than the Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica. Volunteers will either get to work on the Pacific Coast or the Caribbean Coast, depending on the availability of seats. The project sites are all at a distance of 5 to 6 hours’ drive from San Jose. The main tasks would involve – taking care of the baby turtles, monitoring the eggs and saving them from the predators, keeping a track of the hatching period, cleaning the beaches, and night patrolling. It would be an exciting task to do as the volunteers will mostly spend time on the beach! Soak in the sun and do something worthwhile for Mother Nature while volunteering for this project.
Who would not love to explore the ruins of the ancient Inca Civilization while volunteering for the host communities? For those who have a time crunch, yet wish to volunteer abroad in 2020, can join the Short Term Volunteering Program in Peru. Participants will get to spend ample time with the locals, knowing about their culture and heritage, and how things have changed with time in the country. You’ll also get to teach the children at a local school where the teacher-student ratio is extremely poor. The average age of the kids attending these schools is between 3 – 5 years and all they need to love and care. This project is a perfect amalgamation of work and travel, thus you’ll get to explore Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley along with the architectural grandeur of Cusco.
It’s not just volunteering, but you can choose to intern abroad as well, in order to gain first-hand work experience while serving the society. Pre-med and medical students can travel to this Himalayan nation and work as interns at the local hospitals and healthcare clinics. Interns will be mostly shadowing the professionals and assist in the daily chores like suturing wounds, giving vaccinations, taking rounds of the hospital wards, routine check-up of patients, etc. Interns will be divided into work on the basis of their knowledge and efficiency. Interning in Nepal will give you international exposure and also open the doors for you to understand the healthcare scenario in Third World Countries.
If you are an avid animal lover and always longed to live in the middle of the jungles while working for the wildlife, then this is your chance. The Wildlife & Conservation Project in Port Elizabeth will give you an opportunity to live in the Wildlife Reserve Area. The main tasks would involve monitoring the animals including lions and elephants, feeding the lion cubs, cleaning alien vegetation, and planting trees inside the reserve. You will have a coordinator and mentor who will be guiding at every step. Experience the bliss of living amidst nature and the thrill of being surrounded by Africa’s BIG 5.
Public health is a matter of serious concern in Third World Countries. Those who are studying Public Health or enrolled in any Nutrition-related course can join this project in The Philippines, where the main task would be to raise the awareness among people about nourishment and healthy living. You will have to organize awareness campaigns in the suburban and rural areas around Tacloban City. 3 to 6-year-old malnourished kids will have to be provided supplementary foods and parents have to be taught how to properly feed the kids. Volunteers will have to enlighten the community folks about the importance of a balanced diet and how to maintain a nutritional diet within a low budget.
Love to play the game? This is your chance to train the little ones – and who knows, one of them can turn out to be tomorrow’s Messi or Ronaldo! The Sports Coaching Program in Ghana is for those who love football and have the confidence to teach children how to play the game. The main focus should be on improving the football skills of the young players and assisting the local coaches. Participants should conduct practice matches and encourage the kids to play better. Spend time with the kids and know about their dreams, inspire them. And while in Ghana, you can also go exploring the Mole National Park, Kintampo Falls, and other beautiful destinations.
So, what are you waiting for?
Start planning for your volunteering trip abroad once the pandemic ends and be a part of the change in 2021 – 2022. You can write to us at [email protected] for more details and our Program Advisors will get back to you.
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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