Volunteer Holidays: How You Can Make a Real Difference

Please note that the following post is written by guest author, Peter Smith.

Thailand building volunteers (Source: realgap.com/volunteering)

Deciding to take a volunteering holiday abroad or in home country is probably one of the most rewarding ways to spend time away. It can be a very life changing experience and can give a completely different perspective on the many different people and cultures across the world.

Choosing to volunteer

Volunteer holidays can take on many guises, from perhaps helping to rebuild communities that have been hit by hardship, to teaching in Africa or even helping disabled people in less affluent countries. There are also many opportunities to help with such things as wildlife conservation or matters of the environment.

Person centered and community volunteering

Costa Rica house building volunteers. (Source: realgap.com/volunteering)

There are many places to find volunteer work opportunities, whether it’s making a difference to the educational lives of children in Africa or helping to support care staff in schools, through to giving up some time to look after disabled children in Asia, or perhaps even gaining some valuable medical experience by going to one of the many clinics and hospitals in Africa that need support, expertise and assistance.

The former volunteer work opportunities are perfect for anyone who is studying to be a teacher or teaching assistant, someone who is learning to teach English as a foreign language, or is indeed simply wishing to learn more about other cultures. Very often, these communities sometimes have large numbers of orphaned or abandoned children who need extra care and support, taking on a volunteer role would mean helping the staff who are already there and making sure these children get the attention they so desperately need.

The latter placement is ideal for someone who is on the road to gaining medical qualifications but who would like to broaden their experiences with both travel and ideas on medicine. This is also an ideal way to find out about the challenges, hardships, and needs of communities who are less fortunate than our own.

Environmental and conservation centered projects

Taking on volunteer work that offers the chance to do some real conservation work can also be extremely rewarding. Opportunities can range from building new houses and experiencing life as it is lived in different communities across the world, but also activities like working to help conserve endangered species or working at animal rescue centers making sure that injured or sick animals get the best chance to recover.

Africa wildlife and community (Source: realgap.com/volunteering)

Countries like Africa and South America offer many such holidays. In Africa, places like Zambia are always in need of volunteers to help with rebuilding communities and providing people with housing, whilst in South America; places like Ecuador very often require willing helpers to care for sick or abused animals. This sort of holiday would be ideal for someone who is perhaps studying to be a Vet or wants to work with animals in another capacity.

Another excellent volunteering consideration might be travelling to somewhere like Australia to help with wildlife conservation, making a real difference to the environment there by helping out with the preserving and planting of many different types of plants, trees, and also caring for species that are becoming endangered.

Peter Smith is an experienced traveler and travel writer specializing in writing about cycling holidays in Europe for a range of different holiday themed websites and blogs.

Worth Pondering…

Life is short and the world is wide.
—Simon Raven

Leave a Reply