The act and meanings behind “volunteering abroad” have changed significantly over the years of its existence. For many years people thought of this as a trip with a mission group with a local church or religious group, but as times change so do the actions behind these words. Now with various tourism and volunteer companies, people can volunteer for a wide variety of programs in many countries. These programs range from helping children in impoverished areas learn English to working on a wildlife refuge to conserve local endangered species. Not only are these trips now secular, but volunteers now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of their project destination. Some volunteers even choose to partake and learn about aspects of the local religion of their program location.
The options seem almost limitless compared to their narrow focus on religion in the past. Volunteers have the opportunity to explore their interests and pick a program that suits their physical and mental capabilities. They can even choose their own desired duration and stay for as short or as long of a time they please. These unique programs allow people with minimal background experience in many of these fields the opportunity to experience the work-life or day to day tasks of the people working in these areas. Through our diversified list of programs, they are able to get a taste of what it would be like to be a teacher, a veterinarian, or a farmer. That is just a shortlist of a few of the roles the volunteers will be able to fulfill on their next adventure.
Many young adults and students wish to gain international experience and volunteer abroad but are limited in their options as most people their age find trips with their local churches, temples, or religious groups. The problem is this only serves a small group of the general population and others who are not a part of these groups are sometimes not aware of non-religious mission group trips. Mission trips are a source of benefit for both the local community receiving the help and the person providing the assistance. The community in need of help is able to interact with people from new and diverse cultures and learn from them, while the people providing the help may also take away new insights from the culture in need.
These non-religious trips are different from those involved with religion as people have more freedom on where they choose to volunteer and the type of work they are doing. Now there is the opportunity for volunteers to gain all of the spiritual benefits of completing this volunteer work in a more secular way, without focusing on one religion in particular.
GoEco has 10 top-rated non religious trips abroad for adults chosen based on volunteer feedback each year. Five of these are listed below with information on each of their locations, goals, and volunteer tasks.
1. Cape Verde- English Teaching.
Become an integral part of making the education system in Cape Verde stronger. Help local teachers enhance the status of the education system by providing English language lessons to aspiring students. Many of these students are often neglected and do not receive the education and attention they desperately need. Volunteers provide assistance by helping to make the youth more comfortable in a learning environment and fostering higher standards of learning. Help this community raise their bar on academic standards and give these children the hope for a brighter more educated future. Not only do you get to experience the beautiful beaches of Tarrafel, but all the while making a difference in the lives of these children in the local area.
2. Japan – Wildlife Conservation and Cultural Immersion
Volunteer for community aid and wildlife conservation on one of Japan’s most beautiful Islands. This is your chance to go off the beaten track and immerse into traditional Japanese rural culture. As a volunteer, you will stay in a Buddhist temple set amid stunning landscapes and work alongside Japanese and international volunteers. Help us protect the critically endangered Crested Ibis, while learning about habitat management and traditional Japanese farming skills.
3. Zimbabwe- African Wildlife Orphanage.
Join the highest-ranking volunteer project based on volunteer feedback. This project has been ranked number one for two years in a row! Volunteers have the opportunity to work with one of the largest and most successful rehabilitation and release center in Africa. For example, in recent months, this center took in abandoned vervet monkeys, 11 herons whose homes were destroyed by desforestation, an injured young kudu antelope, and three crocodiles which were rescued from a nearby illegal tourist attraction. Here volunteers can learn how to ethically handle various wildlife species and contribute to rehabilitation and conservation efforts. Give back to the local community by protecting their wildlife and the general ecosystem. Help educate the public on their environmental surroundings and the various animals that inhabit the local area. Ensure that young and old generations understand how their own actions can affect the environment and wildlife around them.
4. Nepal – Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries.
Volunteers looking to work with children in a teaching atmosphere should look no further. This program combines a culturally immersive experience with teaching in a unique country. Interact and engage with Buddhist monk students and help them practice their English speaking skills while actually living in a Buddhist monastery! Take your cultural experience to the next level on this program and learn about another culture through the youth who practice it devoutly.
5. Peru- Cuzco Health and Medical Care.
Help contribute to the health care system in the popular Cuzco area of Peru. Improve the health and medical care system of the community. This program allows volunteers to give hands-on assistance to those in need within the local area. There are various placements that volunteers can choose from including local hospitals, clinics, elderly homes, or related institutions. This program allows volunteers to experience work in the medical field and assist doctors and nurses in important health tasks. Volunteers of all backgrounds have had only good things to say about their time and rewarding work in Cuzco.