For everyone who has vowed to travel or make a difference in 2015, a volunteer trip with the international volunteer organization Projects Abroad may provide the perfect way to do both at the same time.
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by geography professor Dr. Peter Slowe 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 of sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, Projects Abroad expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
New projects for 2015 include:
Nutrition in Bolivia
Malnutrition is on the rise in Bolivia and increasing numbers of children are suffering as a result. At the root of this problem is a general lack of awareness of good nutrition and limited access to nutritious food. To help affected children and their families, Projects Abroad has partnered with Centro de Nutrición Infantil Albina, a nutritional day care centre in Cochabamba, for a new Nutrition internship. Here, interns support families by rehabilitating malnourished children, doing outreach work, and improving nutritional awareness in the community.
Microfinance in Cambodia
In early 2014, Projects Abroad joined forces with Khemara, one of the oldest locally registered NGOs in Cambodia. Since 1991, Khemara has played a significant role in working for the advancement of Cambodian women and children by working directly with local communities. Together, Khemara and Projects Abroad run nine successful day care centres in Phnom Penh that care for the children of working mothers. In 2015, the two organizations are working together on a new project, Microfinance in Cambodia. On this project, interns work alongside the Projects Abroad Microfinance Officer and help small-scale entrepreneurs create and develop sustainable businesses. On a daily basis, interns will get involved in a variety of tasks, including reviewing loan applications and meeting beneficiaries, monitoring and mentoring the targeted individuals and groups, conducting workshops, and more.
Care & Community in South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa, is a fantastic destination for high school students looking to fulfill a sense of adventure and purpose over summer vacation. A Care & Community project allows volunteers to work at day care centres in underprivileged communities, helping to care for children and promoting early childhood development. The project also involves some practical work such as painting, cleaning, and renovation work. Volunteers will also contribute to the local community outside of the centres by assisting with the running of a soup kitchen.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs, with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in Canada, the UK, Australia, 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 website at www.projects-abroad.ca.