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Professionals and Retirees: Use Your Experience and Skills to Impact Lives

Projects Abroad calls for volunteers from the ages of 50+ to join meaningful short-term projects in five developing countries this fall

A Disaster Relief volunteer helps build a house for a family displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A Disaster Relief volunteer helps build a house for a family displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

TORONTO – August 19, 2015 – What can you do toward the end of your career? How can you use the experience and skills built over your career to impact the lives of others? How can you make a difference before and after your retirement? For many established professionals and retirees, a short-term volunteer program in a developing country could be the answer – and it is never too late to start giving back.

Throughout the fall, international volunteer organization Projects Abroad is offering a range of meaningful group volunteer trips across the developing world geared toward older professionals and retirees. These projects work well as career breaks and vacations and are suitable for everyone, including less-experienced travellers.

Although millenials make up the majority of volunteers travelling with Projects Abroad, there are increasing numbers of career breakers and retirees realizing the value of what they can do for others. The organization regards seniority and extensive life experience not only as an asset, but also as a hugely important resource for sustainable development, as Kaisa Partanen, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad Canada, explains:

“What we value most about mature volunteers is their ability to draw on a lifetime of experience and knowledge and use those skills to help and mentor others, including children and young adults. And if you think you are might be too old to volunteer abroad? Think again. In the UK, we have a retired doctor in his late 70s who has travelled to Ghana as a volunteer every year since 2010. The impact he has made by sharing his knowledge and skills with local doctors and nurses has been phenomenal, and saved potentially thousands of lives.”

Soraya, a North American volunteer, was 50 years old when she joined on the Disaster Relief program in the Philippines for two weeks, travelling from California to help build houses for families displaced by Typhoon Haiyan. “I was thrilled to be a small part of a huge project,” she said, adding, “Naturally, it’s physically demanding but working closely with our two local tradesmen, Dante and Amid, made the challenging work fun and worth every drop of sweat.”

From September through to November this year, volunteers can participate on programs in Jamaica, Peru, South Africa, Nepal and the Philippines, giving local communities the benefit of their time and energy on Care & Community and Disaster Relief programs. Projects Abroad provides volunteers with everything they could need: accommodation, a structured project, meals, staff support, and comprehensive insurance. In addition, the organization gives visa advice and can also organize flight itineraries if needed.

To learn more about our short-term volunteer projects for established professionals and retirees, please visit

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 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, 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

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