The Power of Voluntourism: 11 Heartwarming Examples of Giving Back

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Travel enriches your life by exposing you to many new things, from sights and sounds to people and experiences.

But travel can also impact the community you visit, and there are plenty of opportunities to pay it forward.

Here are various examples of giving back during your trip abroad

1. Public Health Volunteer

Health problems are rampant in many parts of the developing world.

And despite their best efforts, health services in those regions struggle to tackle various health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, and provide people with vital care. 

As a public health awareness volunteer, you’ll educate locals on various health issues and how to keep them from spreading.

You may also be involved in tasks such as:

  • Providing treatment
  • Conducting seminars
  • Food distribution
  • Assisting with various health-related tasks

Volunteering in public health awareness programs is an excellent way to give back during your travels.

While anyone can do it, working as a public health volunteer during your trip abroad is ideal for medical professionals or those looking to pursue a career in the medical field. 

2. Education Volunteer

Another brilliant way to give back to the community you’re visiting is by serving in educational institutions.

Education volunteer Voluntourism
Education volunteer

Depending on your expertise, you can teach various subjects, from language to life skills and disease awareness. 

Volunteering in education abroad differs from your typical teaching job in many ways. For instance, it doesn’t have to take place in a classroom.

You’ll conduct lessons in various environments, including rural community centers, orphanages, etc. 

You’ll also deal with students of all ages and backgrounds, including orphans, out-of-school youth, and sometimes adults.

Again, teaching abroad as a volunteer is ideal for teaching professionals or those looking to pursue a career in education. 

3. Working with Children

In addition to teaching or volunteering in the education sector, there are many other ways to work with children.

If you love kids, looking for volunteer opportunities that involve working with the little ones makes sense. 

Volunteer programs that entail working with kids usually involve youth development and childcare.

In most cases, you’ll be dealing with children who don’t have parents or anyone else to look after them or kids from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Be ready to perform typical childcare tasks such as handling diaper changes and giving baths. You’ll also provide essential life skills to the young and help organize special activities.  

4. Community Building Volunteer 

Another great way to give back during your travels is by participating in events and exercises that foster camaraderie in the community.

Community building Voluntourism
Community building volunteer

Even helping with minor tasks can make a real difference in people’s lives. 

Volunteer community work puts you right in the heart of disadvantaged communities, helping boost resources like:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Clothing 

You’ll be working with local leaders and community members to build structures, hold workshops or seminars, conduct medical missions, etc., for the betterment of the community. 

5. Protect the Planet 

Are you concerned about environmental pollution?

Your conservation efforts don’t have to take a break because you’re on vacation.

What can you do to help protect the earth while traveling? 

There are plenty of environmental issues all over the world.

What’s the pressing environmental issue in the community you’re visiting?

Be part of the efforts to tackle the problem. 

For instance, if you’re visiting a coastal community, you can organize or participate in beach cleanups to create awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans. The’re many conservation efforts to join in. 

6. Caring For Wildlife

Still, on Mother Nature, are you looking for an adventurous way to give back to the community you are visiting? 

Animal rescue Voluntourism
Animal rescue

Consider volunteering in wildlife and marine conservation. Wildlife and marine conservation focuses on nature, both on sea and land, rather than people and communities. 

Your day-to-day as a wildlife and marine conservation volunteer will include tasks such as:

  • Animal rescue.
  • Conducting surveys in wildlife and marine reserves.
  • Helping researchers in various aspects of their work. 

7. Human Rights Volunteer 

Human rights are threatened worldwide, and you can do something about it during your travels.

If you’re particularly invested in justice and equity, you can serve the community you’re visiting by taking part in the fight to protect human rights.

Volunteers engage in hands-on human rights campaigning, helping human rights defenders accomplish critical research and advocacy.

You can address several topics from a human rights perspective, from LGBTQ+ to women’s rights. 

Working as a human rights volunteer allows you to change something in communities that need it the most. You can work with renowned groups such as the UN or local grassroots organizations. 

8. Volunteer At A Homeless Shelter Or Soup Kitchen

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that not everyone is guaranteed three meals a day or a roof over their head.

Volunteer homeless shelter when travel
Volunteer homeless shelter

It may not seem like much, but volunteering at a homeless shelter can go a long way to help those in need. 

Soup kitchens and homeless shelters rely on volunteer services extensively. Expect to perform tasks such as cooking, cleaning, serving food, etc.

Just a few hours of your time can go a long way. And while you are at it, be sure to offer genuine compassion through friendly conversation. 

9. Volunteer With Local Groups

Volunteering with a local group is another way to give back to the local community during your vacation.

Volunteering with various local groups helps you connect with the neighborhood you’re visiting and make it a better place.

It’s easy to start giving back to the community this way. You must list the causes you care about, identify the skills and knowledge you can offer, and start looking for the perfect volunteer opportunity. 

You have all kinds of volunteer opportunities and projects to choose from when volunteering with a local group, including:

  • Medical/Health Projects
  • Teaching English in Rural Schools
  • Help in an Orphanage
  • HIV/AIDS Awareness 
  • Local Red Cross Projects 

10. Visit A Charity

When traveling, finding a volunteer project and giving back to the community is easy. Local charities are great places to start.

Visit charity Voluntourism
Visit charity

Senior centers, hospice facilities, homeless shelters, etc., all survive through volunteer efforts. 

These establishments need people to volunteer their time and help out physically. Talk to locals to find charities where you can donate your services. All you have to do is make time to visit them. 

11. Raise Money For A Charity

Another way to make a difference in the community you are visiting is by raising for a charity.

In addition to donating your time, you can also consider raising money for the charity. Many charities and non-profits are struggling financially. 

Extra money can help these charities assist more people. The best part is you can see exactly where the money you helped raise is going or how the funds are used.

Giving to charity is more fulfilling when you can put a face on your donations.

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There’s a reason travel is on so many bucket lists. It’s one of the best ways to detach from the pulls and pushes of daily life.

Weaving some service into your vacation time enhances your travel experiences while allowing you to contribute to developing the communities you visit. 

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