Projects Abroad Prepares to Welcome Volunteers to Belize
Volunteers to begin arriving in November to contribute to Care, Teaching, Public Health, and Conservation Projects.
TORONTO – October 28, 2015 – In just a few days, Projects Abroad will begin welcoming the first volunteers to its newest destination, Belize. The Central American nation is an increasingly popular destination for tourists, with more than one million people visiting each year. However, Belize still faces major development challenges, resulting in poverty, a lack of resources, and a high prevalence of communicable diseases such as malaria. As such, volunteers will have a hugely significant impact in Belizean communities, with the introduction of Care, Teaching, Diving & Marine Conservation, and Public Health programs.
"Our goals in Belize are similar to what we want to achieve in all of our destinations,” shares Tom Pastorius, Head of Global Recruitment for Projects Abroad. “We aim to uplift local communities by implementing projects that focus on sustainable development and improving quality of life. These new programs will develop according to the needs of the community and each of our volunteers will be able to use their skills, time, and energy to benefit others. We look forward to seeing the positive change that our volunteers will help effect in Belize, and we anticipate that the country will have just as much of an impact on the volunteers themselves!"
Projects Abroad has opened offices in San Pedro, with qualified full-time staff present to coordinate projects and support volunteers. All placements are located in San Pedro, with the exception of the Diving & Marine Conservation Project, which is based in Placencia. Volunteers can choose from a variety of placements, including supporting children in care centres, helping local teachers raise literacy levels, increasing public awareness of health issues on outreaches, or preserving and protecting the Belize Barrier Reef.
The minimum commitment to volunteer in Belize is two weeks and volunteers can start at any time and choose their own duration. In 2016, Projects Abroad will also be offering specialized programs for high school students during the summer and over spring break for college students.
Projects Abroad is also thrilled to announce a second new destination opening in January 2016: Madagascar. The island is famous for its extraordinarily diverse wildlife, lush rainforest, and extensive coastline. Unfortunately, at least 69% of the population lives below the poverty line, despite the fact that tourism and agriculture are both major sources of growth.
The impact of volunteers becomes even more important when taking those factors into account, says Pastorius, adding, "Education is crucial in Malagasy communities. By giving children this support in care centres and schools, volunteers can give them the skills they need to secure their futures. In addition, we will take steps to help preserve the rainforest, a biodiversity hotspot where scientists have identified hundreds of new species in the past ten years alone, and teach local communities about the importance of protecting rainforests. In doing so, we hope to play a part in enriching the lives of the Malagasy people for years to come.".
Projects Abroad Madagascar will be based in the town of Moramanga, where volunteers can get involved in Care and Teaching programs. The Rainforest Conservation program, as well as a summer program for high school students, is based in the heart of the forests bordering the Indian Ocean, east of Moramanga. Like Belize, the minimum commitment to volunteer is two weeks.
For more information on volunteering in Belize with Projects Abroad, please visit www.projects-abroad.ca/volunteer-destinations/volunteer-belize. If you would like to learn more about volunteering in Madagascar, please visit www.projects-abroad.ca/volunteer-destinations/volunteer-madagascar.
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 just 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 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.ca.