Volunteering Abroad

With so many options for volunteering abroad, it’s difficult to figure out which programs are legitimate — and which ones really do help people in the local communities they serve, for example — and which are just costly vacations with a veneer of volunteerism.  “Every program sounds wonderful, but if you talk to an actual past participant and ask the right questions you can get some meaningful answers,” said Scott Daby, a program director at the Learning Abroad Center. VAOPS—vaops.com— helps would-be volunteers find free and low-cost trips. Site founder Russell Gagnebin says he created the site after spending hours searching for a volunteer opportunity for him and realizing that fees paid by volunteers don’t always benefit the charities they work with. Gagnebin says that one of his favorite volunteer programs is The Light in Leadership Initiative, a nonprofit organization in Peru where volunteers can teach, help kids with their homework, and carry out building projects. The University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center —umabroad.umn.edu— has a wealth of information for would-be volunteers, including a list of high-quality programs that UMN has worked with in the past. Volunteer vacations are a way for travelers to see an area, especially in the developing world, and to get to know its people in a way that would be difficult, if not impossible, for tourists.

Short URL: http://newsplethora.org/?p=2545

Posted by newsplet on Aug 14 2010. Filed under Featured News, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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