Eco and aid travel
Often we pass through a country without ever sitting down with a local, understanding their life and lending a hand. Spending time to assist the local people in the developing world, to survive, rebuild or protect their natural wilderness is a precious gift and can be an unforgettable experience.
How to do it now!
Volunteering projects or assignments to assist people or environments in developing countries comes in all types, durations and locations. Here are some sites to get you started:
- (Everyone - developing countries) – Universal Giving is a social entrepreneurship non-profit organisation dedicated to making giving and volunteering a natural part of everyday life. (Arts, Children, Conflict Resolution, Disaster Relief, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Gender & Equality, Health, Human Rights, Microfinance, Poverty, Technology.)
- (Youth (18 -30) - Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Nepal, Cambodia and Laos) - WYI builds community development projects and has opened a community school in Nepal which currently has over 300 students and two children's homes in both Nepal and Kenya. (Children, Economic Development, Education, Gender & Equality)
- (Qualified skills - developing countries) - Australian Volunteers International (AVI) recruits volunteers to share skills and build relationships with people of developing communities. (Children, Education, Environment, Gender & Equality, Health, Human Rights, Poverty)
- ( Everyone - developing countries) - Adventurous individuals can join over 150 projects including challenging Marine Conservation and Wildlife Research expeditions in Africa and Latin America and volunteer teaching and wildlife projects in over 30 countries worldwide. (Environment, Education)
- (Everyone - Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, China, Thailand, India, Russia, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica) - The Cross-Cultural Solutions operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. (Children, Education, Gender & Equality, Health, Human Rights, Poverty)
- (Volunteering for International Development from Australia) (Qualified skills - Asia Pacific) - VIDA places skilled Australian volunteers in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in the communities in which they work. (Education, Environment, Gender, Governance, Health, Infrastructure, Rural Development, Trades)
- (Skills - developing countries) - The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme offers individuals worldwide opportunities to volunteer and contribute to the achievement of the .(Children, Conflict Resolution, Disaster Relief, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Gender & Equality, Health, Human Rights, Microfinance, Poverty, Technology.)
- (Everyone – Sri Lanka) - The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society offers paying volunteer program including ecological research on elephants, remote camera trapping of leopards, community integrated human elephant/leopard conflict resolution, biodiversity mapping. (Conservation, Environment, Conflict Resolution)
- (Youth (18 -30) – developing countries) - Youth Challenge Australia offers hands-on projects in developing countries to address local communities development issues. (construction, infrastructure support, environmental conservation, education, social development, health)
- (Everyone - Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam) - The Global Volunteer Network (GVN) supports the work of local community organisations in countries through the placement of international volunteers. (Conflict Resolution, Education, Children, Environment, poverty, health, Infrastructure).
Why is this action important?
Well over half the world’s people and many of its animals and plants are living in conditions that we would find intolerable and unsustainable. By visiting these places and lending a hand we are not only seeing the world as it really is, we are also starting to open our hearts, cultivating compassion and exploring how we can help change our world for the better.