Whether you want to teach English, help with animal conservation, or assist with social projects, there are endless ways to give a little back while you travel. Volunteering abroad can be both personally rewarding and fulfilling, and in many cases a life changing experience. But ultimately, whatever you choose to do, you’ll be giving your time to help out with important causes. Here are 5 amazing countries to volunteer in.
Already a firm favourite on the Southeast Asia backpackers route, Cambodia is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination. It’s a country that is well known for its delicious cuisine, pristine string of islands, and remarkable religious sites such as Angkor Wat.
Perhaps less well known is that Cambodia’s recent history is mired in unthinkable tragedy and near constant political turmoil. As a result there is widespread poverty and an infrastructure ravaged by war. Volunteering opportunities exist in areas such as construction of buildings in rural locations, teaching English, and community development programmes.
South Africa is one of the most scenic, historically complex, and fascinating countries on the African continent. It has a remarkable combination of bustling metropolises and stunning natural beauty. But though it is rapidly developing, there remains huge inequality. All of this means there are a wide array of volunteering opportunities you can get involved with, and in numerous different fields.
Owing to a prevalence of HIV/Aids there’s much help needed by individuals and families affected by the disease, as well as education around the issue. If you’re an animal lover then you can get involved in conservation efforts to protect the staggering range of wildlife found here as well as the environments they inhabit.
Many peoples’ knowledge of Mexico is limited to popular package holiday destinations such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen. But it’s a far more diverse country than it’s often given credit for. Mexico has a huge cultural diversity derived from its rich and varied history, as well as wildly differing landscapes.
Another little known fact about Mexico is that it’s home to a large section of the second largest coral reef in the world. If you’re a sea baby then there are endless opportunities to participate in marine conservation, but it doesn’t stop there. There are openings working with deprived indigenous communities, teaching projects, and medical aid initiatives.
India is a country of contrasts. Startling wealth exists directly alongside devastating poverty. Though it’s rapidly urbanising, 70% of its population still live in rural areas. There’s also huge cultural diversity, typified by the existence of 22 official languages and numerous religions.
Despite this, whether you volunteer in an inner city location or an urban area, the problems faced are relatively similar. Particularly prominent challenges include access to clean water, women’s rights, education, and healthcare.
As a country, Colombia is still recovering from a reputation tarnished by powerful drug trafficking gangs and related violence. Despite this and associated stereotypes, it has improbably emerged in recent years as a top tourist destination. This is thanks to its mix of uber modern cities and relatively untouched natural landscapes.
These encompasses everything from rainforest and tropical beaches, to snow capped mountain ranges and barren deserts. Because of this there are frequent environmental projects requiring assistance. Colombia also has numerous volunteering opportunities in areas such as community development, education, and social welfare.
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