The global volunteering industry has grown extensively in the past decade as we become more socially aware and determined to better our society. For the traveller wanting to make a difference while overseas, there are several options to look into.
Volunteer with wildlife
The most popular option, volunteering with wildlife satisfies three of our big loves: travel, animals and volunteering. There are plenty of different options around the world, from volunteering with lions in South Africa and wolves in the United States, to volunteering with elephants on Thailand and pandas in China. Make sure you look closely into the organisation you use. Don’t fall for companies that allow you to ride elephants or similar.
Teach English in third world countries
Teaching English to children in places like the islands, South Africa and South America is another beloved option. Often with these sorts of volunteering experiences you will stay with a host family, allowing you to really experience the culture of the country. Teaching English in third world countries is incredibly rewarding – you won’t want to leave.
Volunteer for marine conservation
If you love sea life, this is the perfect option for you. Help protect the ocean – and the creatures that live in it – by volunteering at a marine organisation. Some examples of the kinds of experience you can have include working with dolphins in Australia, rescuing sea turtles in Bali and protecting sharks in Mexico. Usually you will work alongside a trained scientific professional, providing an incredible learning experience.
Volunteer at animal shelters
Different to wildlife sanctuaries, animal shelters house sick, injured or abused animals. This kind of work can be heartbreaking but also extremely rewarding. On a daily basis you may help rehabilitate injured animals, clean enclosures, prepare animal food, play with animals and assist in training them. There are tons of operations around the world, so you could be working with wild mustangs in the United States or bears in Canada.
Volunteer at homeless shelters
Less common than the other options on this list, volunteering at homeless shelters is an important process that travellers can do in countries like Chile. You will do important maintenance work in the building, help with food preparation, provide support for the patrons and more. This is giving back at its best.