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The International Volunteer Organization Celebrates 20 Years of Global Service

NEW YORK – February 3, 2012 - This year marks the 20th year of Projects Abroad, a leading international volunteer organization. Founded in 1992 with just a few volunteers travelling to Eastern Europe to teach English, Projects Abroad is now one of the largest providers of international volunteer placements and internships in the world. In total, over 40,000 students, graduates, professionals, and families from 40 different countries have joined Projects Abroad’s programs to date.

"We are grateful to our thousands of volunteers who have given their time on our projects over the years and are eager to help many more partake in the invaluable experience of international volunteer work," says Thomas Pastorius, Jr., Vice President of Projects Abroad.

Some notable achievements over Projects Abroad’s first 20 years include:

A Benchmark 2011

Projects Abroad enjoyed continued growth in 2011. Supported by over 500 full-time staff, over 8000 people worldwide chose to volunteer their time on Projects Abroad’s service projects in 27 developing countries around the world. Volunteers helped on over 200 projects overseas, including caring for disadvantaged children, teaching in public schools, protecting fragile ecosystems, interning in hospitals, building homes and schools, assisting small businesses on international development initiatives, and raising awareness of Human Rights in vulnerable communities.

Human Rights Work in Ghana and South Africa

Projects Abroad operates its own independent Human Rights Offices in Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa. Supported by volunteer interns, the Projects Abroad Human Rights Offices offer pro-bono, walk-in legal service, help immigrants, refugees, women, children, prisoners and other vulnerable populations understand their rights, and work with governmental and non-governmental bodies to help facilitate positive change.

High School Specials

Over the last decade Projects Abroad has developed innovative programs for 16-19 year olds to participate in group service projects in developing countries under the supervision of Projects Abroad staff. Scheduled for 2-week periods throughout the summer, the High School Special trips allow for young volunteers to experience new cultures in a group of their peers while giving back and boosting their college resumes. There are now over 40 options to choose from in 22 destinations worldwide.

Projects Abroad PRO

Due to the constant demand for international volunteers with professional skills, Projects Abroad has created its own arm devoted specifically to qualified volunteers. Projects Abroad PRO helps social workers, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, engineers and other professionals with at least 5 years of experience to utilize their skills volunteering in communities in need of their expertise.

Reserva Ecologica Taricaya Celebrates 10 Years

Reserva Ecologica Taricaya, Projects Abroad’s own nature reserve site in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Over the years more than 1300 volunteers have helped with conservation initiatives. Notable projects include a nationally-recognized animal rehabilitation program to reintroduce domesticated wild animals to their natural habitats, protecting over 6000 endangered turtles and identifying and recording 443 different species of bird, nearly one for each of the 476 hectares of the reserve.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 27 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, China, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s website at

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