Descriptions and links to volunteer and community tourism, travel and humanitarian programs worldwide.

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Volunteer and Community Tourism
Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies

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Volunteer and Community Tourism

There are many organisations worldwide, most non-profit, which offer travellers the opportunity to experience living in a community as a "local".  While some are highly localised, others are international.  From social and educational programs to environmental projects, there's something to suit everyone.

Programs range from casual and flexible, through to those which are structured and charged for much like a standard tour package.  You "earn your daily keep" by dint of your physical labour, or by transfer of some of your knowledge and skills to residents in your host community.

At the apex are the long term overseas volunteer programs, where you live and work in a community for up to two years for local wages; and the Humanitarian Aid and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) providing support where a natural disaster or human conflict has occurred, resulting in displaced persons and refugees.

  • Australian Business Volunteers  "ABV is an overseas development agency ...[that] exists to help alleviate poverty in developing countries and create sustainable development. We do this ... by offering the work skills and experience of mature Australian men and women who are experts in their various fields. ... ABV believes that practical work skills training is the best form of aid we can provide because it enables our clients to run their businesses or organisations more effectively and efficiently. Benefits then flow through to the larger community, with a more highly-skilled workforce, better governance practices and the creation of more employment opportunities. The long-term results are an improvement in economic stability, confidence, prosperity and independence. We particularly focus on capacity building within micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the private sector, but we also work with public sector agencies, local NGOs and other community-based organisations. "
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia "Conservation Volunteers Australia offers a number of different volunteer opportunities from one day local environmental projects through to two week expeditions to remote outback locations that provide and amazing working holiday experience."
  • Cross Cultural Solutions was "founded in 1995 ... has been operating international volunteer programs for over 10 years, and has more than 10,000 alumni who have traveled to countries around the world. CCS has a worldwide staff of over 200 people in 10 countries, with administrative offices also located in the United States and United Kingdom."  From community projects in India to Humanitarian Aid in Kosovo, Cross Cultural Solutions have a variety of programs available, and an email list to keep you updated.
  • Dental Aid Abroad "The [New Zealand Dental Association] NZDA supports a number of regular overseas dental aid programmes in countries such as Nepal, Fiji, Cambodia, and many other regions. With the help of volunteer dental professionals and donations, these programmes help to provide much needed dental care to people who do not have access to basic dental resources."
  • Global Vision International (GVI) "... was formed in 1998 to provide support and services to international charities, non profits and governmental agencies. Through our international network of over 100 personnel in over 30 countries GVI continues to support many of the most critical conservation and humanitarian projects around the globe."
  • Global Volunteer Network is a non profit organisation based in New Zealand. "The Global Volunteer Network offers volunteer opportunities in community projects throughout the world. We currently provide volunteer programs through our partner organizations in Alaska, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. The network continues to expand with new programs currently being researched and assessed." Smartly designed, fast loading and comprehensive web site with lot's of projects for you to choose from!
  • Habitat for Humanity International "Since its founding in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 150,000 houses with families in need, becoming a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. ... A nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need." Whether you're a student, independent traveller or RV/caravanner, HFHI has a project for you to participate in, just about anywhere in the world!
    • Habitat for Humanity Australia
    • Tabitha Foundation Australia was established in 2002 to support Tabitha Cambodia, a non-profit organisation active in Cambodia since 1994. In 10 years of operation, Tabitha Cambodia has lifted over 250,000 Cambodians out of poverty and despair into lives of dignity, joy and active participation in their communities. One goal of the foundation includes encouraging volunteer house-building teams to work with Tabitha Cambodia.
  • Into Africa This page gives links and short descriptions to websites maintained by organizations having work and study opportunities in Africa.
  • ISTC - International Student Travel Confederation A nonprofit confederation of student travel organisations around the world.  "Student travel services, discounts, information & inspiration for young independent travellers The ISTC network - 5000 offices - 116 countries - 10 million student and youth travellers."
  • Pacific Crest Trail Association Not only a great deal of info. on the trails and how to walk them responsibly, but you can help with their upkeep too.
  • PEPY  PEPY stands for "Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself".  PEPY's mission is to aid rural communities in improving their own standards of living, with a focus on increased access to quality education. Through our partner government schools, and our informal education initiatives, PEPY is supporting education for over 1,700 families in 12 villages and 6 schools in rural Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  • SolarAid "Power to the people.  Two of the biggest threats facing humanity today are climate change and global poverty. SolarAid helps to combat both, simply by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world." The best ideas are simply brilliant and brilliantly simple.  Great idea, great web site!
  • Transitions Abroad "Now well into its third decade, Transitions Abroad Publishing has spawned not only the renowned magazine, but also a selection of other essential resources for the person who wants to travel, really travel, without being a tourist." Work, Study and travel overseas. A comprehesive web site focussed on the print magazine, but with oodles of info. for anyone interested in international study and work.
  • UNV Online Volunteering "United Nations Online Volunteering service connects development organizations and volunteers over the Internet and supports their effective online collaboration.  ... It is a free service for development organizations and individuals worldwide."
  • Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) Australia, " is a form of cultural exchange in which WWOOFers live and work as family with host farms, and learn about: the skills of organic growing, the area they are visiting.
  • Working Abroad ... "is an international networking service for volunteers and travellers on volunteer projects in over 150 countries worldwide. On this site, you will find professional and personalised information on voluntary work abroad, including: organisations that are looking for volunteers TODAY, personalised reports on grassroots organisations in Latin America & the Caribbean, Asia & Pacific, Africa & the Middle East, Europe & North America, volunteer feedback stories, teaching English courses, WorkingAbroad Projects and lots more!"
  • WWOOF Korea "More than 200 foreign WWOFERS experienced the Korean WWOOF program and many foreign WWOOFERS visit Korea each year. There are many kinds of WWOOF hosts such as organic farms, dairy farms, training centers for Korean traditional martial arts dance, educational institutions of English and Japanese including dormitories, etc.. WWOOFERS can enjoy traveling and experience Korean traditional culture when he participates in the Korean WWOOF program." Slick, fast loading Flash base web site in English and Korean, with extensive listings of participating Korean WWOOF hosts, and more.
  • Yahoo's directory of volunteerism A selected list of links, some with descriptions, to a large number of orgranisations offering volunteer and overseas programmes.

See also Activism, Development and EnvironmentEcologically Sustainable Development and Ecotourism Projects


Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies (Non Government Organisations - NGOs)

  • AUSTCARE's " programs focus on improving lives for refugees, returnees, internally displaced people and those affected by landmines. Our humanitarian work in post-conflict countries, for returning refugees and landmine impacted communities, is vital for peace building and ending the refugee cycle."
  • Australian Himalayan Foundation "Our vision is, simply, a better life for the people of the Himalaya. Our goal is to achieve this through improvements in three key areas: education , health and medical services, environment and sustainability. We want to give something back to the Himalaya—a region which has touched the lives of millions of people from all over the world."
  • Oxfam Australia (Community Aid Abroad) "is an Australian, independent, not-for-profit, secular, community-based aid and development organisation. ... "Australia's leading agency working with communities around the world for solutions to poverty and social injustice."
  • International Red Cross Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Site Languages; English, Franšais, Espa˝ol. "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance."
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Australia (Doctors Without Borders) "Internationally, through its network of 18 offices, Médecins Sans Frontières sends out some 3,000 volunteers per year. Working alongside over 15,000 local staff in teams around the world, our volunteers bring life-saving emergency medical assistance to populations who would otherwise be denied access to even the most basic health care. Find out more ..."
  • Mercy Corps "saves and improves lives in the world's toughest places. Since 1979, we have been helping people in the world's toughest places survive the crises they confront and turn them into opportunities to thrive. Our staff — 93 percent of whom are local — work in failing states like Somalia and Zimbabwe. Conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo and Iraq. And countries that have endured natural disasters like Indonesia, Pakistan and Haiti."
  • Overseas Service Bureau "From accountants in Papua New Guinea and teacher trainers in Timor-Leste to speech therapists in South Africa and vets in Viet Nam, our range of assignments reflect changing needs in developing countries around the world.  AVI volunteers work in a wide range of occupations in response to job requests from overseas employers. We are seeking volunteers with recognised trade or professional qualifications and experience in their field of work."
  • ReliefWeb  ... "is the world’s leading on-line gateway to information (documents and maps) on humanitarian emergencies and disasters. An independent vehicle of information, designed specifically to assist the international humanitarian community in effective delivery of emergency assistance, it provides timely, reliable and relevant information as events unfold, while emphasizing the coverage of "forgotten emergencies" at the same time.  ...[and] offers various resource sections specifically targeted to relief professionals ". Welcome to the world of international humanitarian aid and volunteering.  A smart, clean, slick web site which is the authorative gateway to Govt and NGO aid organisations worldwide, with one of the best databases for finding organisations by type, country, field of expertise, current emergencies, issues, policies, and professional resources including vacancies.
  • United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.  UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, and to return home voluntarily.
    • Australia for UNHCR "was established by UNHCR in 2000 and raises funds to support the humanitarian programs of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. We also undertake educational and public awareness activities to promote greater understanding about the situation of refugees worldwide."  Vibrant colour scheme which may be hard for some people to read, OK once you click on an area of interest.  Also laods ActiveX scripts.
  • "Humanitarian aid From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" Brief definition and background, with links to many other organisations in the field.

See also Democracy & Human Rights, Development and Environment, Sustainability and Ecotourism Projects.