Projects Abroad Introduces New Projects for Volunteers Ages 50+
This spring, older volunteers can choose from worthwhile group trips in Nepal, Jamaica, and South Africa.
TORONTO – February 9, 2015 – Travel as we know it is evolving rapidly. Increasing numbers of North Americans, from millennials to career breakers and retirees, are choosing to move away from established trends in favor of more purposeful travel. No matter your age, volunteering abroad is an opportunity to re-evaluate life goals, help effect meaningful change where it is needed, and adopt a fresh perspective of the world outside your comfort zone.
International volunteer organization Projects Abroad seeks to create a world of respect by promoting cross-cultural understanding between volunteers and the project destinations. To do this, Projects Abroad needs the help of all volunteers, including older volunteers who have a wealth of valuable life experience to share. The organization is pleased to announce the launch of Grown-up Specials, which are organized group volunteer trips designed for volunteers ages 50 and above. These projects are perfect for volunteers seeking an altruistic travel experience in developing countries and provide volunteers with the opportunity to impact lives in a positive way.
“Thousands of North Americans are volunteering abroad annually, and a growing percentage of those volunteers are older than 40,” says Kaisa Partanen, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad Canada. “We are thrilled to offer more short-term volunteer options for that demographic, knowing that they have so much to offer developing communities. Whatever they can contribute, they will make a tangible difference to our efforts in-country and know that they are part of lasting change.”
Each trip takes place over two weeks and follows a set daily schedule arranged by local Projects Abroad staff. This spring, Projects Abroad is offering three Grown-up Specials for volunteers ages 50+:
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world today for a number of reasons. Its hilly and mountainous landscape makes it difficult to develop adequate infrastructure and many people are employed in low-skilled agricultural jobs. Half the population is unemployed or underemployed. Volunteer aid is crucial and this program is a great opportunity for older volunteers to make an impact and share a lifetime of experience with others. The Care & Community program follows a set schedule and involves childcare and renovation work that directly benefits the local community. If you choose to join this program, you will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach work, teaching children about dental care and other hygiene practices.
For volunteers who want to experience something different and meaningful, but who prefer to stay close to home, Care & Community in Jamaica is the ideal project. In Jamaica, you will work alongside a group of like-minded people your age, helping to improve quality of life for disadvantaged children. At the placements, volunteers spend their mornings with the children, assisting with their care and contributing to their educational development. In the afternoons, you will get involved with renovation activities, such as painting a mural or putting in a new floor. In addition, you will also do outreach work out in the community.
South Africa, a country twice the size of Texas, has developed rapidly since their first democratic election in 1994. However, there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done in underprivileged communities. As a volunteer, you can use your time and energy to help effect meaningful change in the lives of children and in their communities. Based in Cape Town, Grown-up Special volunteers divide their time between teaching young school children and doing renovation work. Your efforts will have a huge impact here and the life skills you will be able to share with the children will prove to be invaluable.
For more information about Grown-up Specials, please visit our website at www.projects-abroad.ca/volunteer-projects/grown-up-specials
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 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, 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