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Humanitarian Trips Abroad

Explore these recommended humanitarian trips abroad

Do you want to help improve the welfare and happiness of people around the world? Then it’s time for you to take a humanitarian trip and use your travel to actively engage in increasing access to education, promoting better health and wellbeing outcomes and building capacity within communities abroad.

Humanitarian aid is often thought of within the context of an immediate response to a crisis, such as a natural disaster; however, there’s a long-term approach to humanitarian work that plays a powerful role in building stronger communities. By choosing to support a volunteer abroad project that has a focus on sustainability, you can help address the root issues that impact welfare and happiness of people. This is why you should look for volunteer abroad projects that improve access to education, healthcare, basic human needs and physiological development. Be mindful that when you are volunteering abroad on these projects, your actions are part of a larger picture, so even what may seem like small actions and activities add up to have a worthwhile impact.

You can give back as a medical volunteer, support an NGO Support project, or focus your efforts on Community Development - either way you’ll be working on projects that have the wellbeing of people and their communities at the core. You can take humanitarian trips to Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Central America, or the Pacific, and by choosing to be a humanitarian volunteer, you’ll be participating in a unique and meaningful travel experience. So align your passion and skills with these recommended humanitarian trips:

The benefits of volunteering on your humanitarian trip

What will amaze you about humanitarian volunteer work is not only the positive impact your actions can have, but the impact the experience will have on you. Humanitarian trips for college students, humanitarian trips for youth, and family humanitarian trips are a powerful way to instill the importance of giving, experience a culture to its fullest and gain a new perspective. It’s an experience that will stand you in good stead with everything from college applications to applying for future NGO jobs abroad, as it shows a compelling insight into the type of person you are - someone that lives by humanitarian values and acts on those ideals.

If you are ready to engage in meaningful humanitarian volunteer work and travel with meaning, consider these volunteer projects abroad:

Humanitarian Volunteering On NGO Support Projects

By choosing to support an NGO project, you’ll be helping to build capacity and support the long-term goals of not-for-profit organizations that are driving positive change within their local community. The outcomes of these of these NGOs are often limited by financial and staffing resources, making the support international volunteers provide invaluable in strengthening the impact and extending the reach of NGOs’ efforts within the community. Depending on the organization, and the needs of the community, you can expect to take on a range of tasks, which can include general administration, grant writing, research, marketing, fundraising, IT support, website development and teaching English. This means your connection to the community will be a lasting one, as you contribute to projects with a focus on long-term positive change. NGO Support projects are ideal for volunteers looking to gain international work experience, while sharing and developing their own skills.

Humanitarian work in Italy

Spotlight On NGO Support In Italy

Set in the Italian city of Naples, you’ll have the opportunity to assist a local NGO in either community development, child and youth welfare, immigration and migrant support, or human rights. You can list your preferred NGO field when you apply; however, keep in mind that you will be assigned to the NGO that has the most need for assistance at the time. Regardless of the NGO you work with in Naples, it will be a humbling and heartwarming experience. You will quickly see how a little bit of work can actually make a big difference to a community. During your free time, you’ll be able to explore Naples - imagine wandering through the beautiful alleys, sipping espresso, eating authentic pizza and taking in the history and captivating culture of Italy.

Volunteers who have relevant experience may also have the opportunity to become involved in counseling and providing legal support to migrants seeking humanitarian asylum. The NGO Support project in Italy has a minimum duration requirement of 4 weeks and you will need to bring your own laptop to support your volunteer work.

Humanitarian Volunteering On Medical And Healthcare Projects

Whether you are a dentist, doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist, there are healthcare volunteer opportunities abroad that need you and your skills. You can set off knowing that regardless of your specialty, healthcare volunteers play a significant role in working alongside medical professionals at the frontline of promoting better health and wellbeing outcomes within communities abroad.

You can contact a Volunteer Program Consultant at IVHQ to help select a medical volunteer project that aligns with your area of medical expertise but there are opportunities for:

  • Pre med, pre health and pre nursing students
  • The areas of speciality available include physiotherapy, pharmacy, dentistry, paramedics, clinical laboratory science, emergency medicine (EMTs), speech therapy, optometry, nutrition, public health, orthopedics, radiology, HIV/AIDS support, midwifery and pediatrics.

Medical and healthcare humanitarian trips

Spotlight On Medical Volunteering In Peru - Cusco

Prepare to enhance your global perspective of medicine, to make a worthwhile impact and to learn from experienced Peruvian healthcare practitioners. Clinics and hospitals for low-income families in Cusco tend to be underfunded and understaffed. As a result, volunteers play an important role in assisting local nurses and doctors, dentists and specialists while also learning about the healthcare system. It’s important to set realistic expectations around your volunteer work, which will be dependent on your qualifications and level of Spanish. Being a medical volunteer in Peru will also expose you to an authentic insight into the culture and you’ll be fully immersed in the Cusco way of life. Be prepared to expand your understanding of home, make new friends and explore during your free time.

Give Back On A Community Development Project

If you’re looking for grassroots humanitarian work abroad, Community Development projects are worthwhile opportunities to get behind. Often these projects hold creating and fostering communities where people flourish at the heart of the volunteer work. Think Women’s Education in Kenya, or Food Outreach in Vietnam, Rural Community Development in Sri Lanka or HIV/AIDs Support in Tanzania. The work is usually quite varied and requires initiative to get projects off the ground, but the opportunities are unique and you’ll be driven by the shared purpose to improve the circumstances of the community you are immersed in.

Volunteering in Kenya

Spotlight On Women’s Education In Kenya

Volunteers on this project work to empower women through income-generating projects, education and skills training. You’ll work closely with centers which support women affected by HIV/AIDS. At many of the centers, women are able to learn sewing, tailoring, candle-making and jewelry-making through subsidized courses. The women also have access to finance and small business management courses, enabling them to start their own craft-making or tailoring businesses to generate an income and provide for their families. Not all of the women suffer from HIV/AIDS and some have joined the centers to help improve their overall living situation and learn vital skills to help become self sufficient. You’ll be living in a homestay with a local family and can expect to share a room with two to four other volunteers. This immersive experience allows you the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the​ ​Kenyan way of life - you’ll meet local people, try local food, speak the local language and​ ​engage in local customs and traditions. Weekends provide you with time to explore the stunning and varied landscape of Kenya. You can take a trip to Mombasa to relax on the white sand beaches, eat too much seafood and watch the sunset, or you can embark on an iconic African adventure and take a safari!

Expand Access To Education On A Teaching Project

Over the course of a year, IVHQ volunteers spend more than 200,000 hours supporting education and literacy projects abroad. By volunteering on a Teaching project, you’re supporting this movement to increase access to education in communities around the world. You’ll work alongside local teachers with the objective of promoting greater literacy, supporting opportunities for higher education, building vocational skills and enhancing career prospects among students. The influence that international teaching volunteers have on the communities goes beyond the classroom. Crossing boundaries to work side-by-side with students and teachers from different cultures fosters a two-way exchange, building cross-cultural understanding and global awareness. With more than 40 volunteer Teaching opportunities around the globe, you have the option to give back in a destination with a culture you want to authentically experience and a country you want to explore during your free time.

Volunteering in Ghana Teaching English

Spotlight On Teaching English In Ghana

The focus of the Teaching project is to spark the interest of school children in studying and speaking English, while also offering you the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Ghanaian culture and education system. Although Ghana is an English-speaking country, many school children cannot communicate effectively in the English language. This is common in both rural and urban areas of Ghana and there is a real need for volunteers to assist in communities with a shortage of teaching staff. If you’re genuinely interested in education, or aspiring to become a teacher, this is a great project option for you. As a volunteer on the Teaching project in Ghana, you will be working in both rural and urban communities in Accra, where you will teach solo or assist one of the few local teachers. During your free time, you can explore Ghana. Be sure to add Kakum National Park to your must do list - you can make your way across the Canopy Walkway, suspended 98ft over the forest floor!

Support Special Needs Care Abroad

Special Needs Care volunteers work closely alongside local staff to promote better health and wellbeing outcomes for people living with mental and physical disabilities, while engaging in a cross-cultural learning exchange with the people you are working with and caring for. Special Needs Care projects are best suited to volunteers of a caring and compassionate nature who are patient, hardworking and willing to help with a range of duties. Medical students or healthcare professionals who are seeking physiotherapy volunteer opportunities are also able to support physical therapy while volunteering at the centers.

Support special needs care abroad on your humanitarian trip

Spotlight On Special Needs Care In Sri Lanka

Children and adults with physical and mental disabilities are often marginalized within Sri Lankan society, due to a lack of knowledge and cultural acceptance within the community. Volunteers are placed in special needs schools, homes and care centers within Kandy, a major city and spiritual hub of Sri Lanka. These facilities are under-resourced and benefit from the skills, time and involvement of volunteers. You will assist local staff in classroom based activities, general care, play time, and meal breaks. You can be accommodated in a volunteer house with other volunteers, or experience homestay living. The lakeside setting of Kandy makes for a serene backdrop for your volunteer experience. During your free time you can explore the colorful markets of Kandy, take one of the most scenic train journeys in the world to the lush tea-plantations of Ella, or jump aboard a local bus to one of the chilled out coastal beach towns. When it comes time to leave Sri Lanka, you’ll have a camera roll packed with unforgettable highlights and your memories will speak of the impact your actions have had on the community you’ve become part of.

Support Positive Outcomes For Young People Abroad

Every child should have access to essential care and support and as a volunteer on a Childcare project, you’ll be volunteering your time to help local people and organizations make that a reality. You’ll work to increase access to care and youth development opportunities for young people within under-resourced communities. With Childcare opportunities in more than 40 destinations, volunteers should expect to help provide personalized attention, mentoring, positive educational outcomes, inspire and develop the talents and abilities of the children and assist with daily operations, such as cooking and cleaning. You can set off feeling confident that you will have a meaningful impact, while developing your global awareness and opening the minds of the children to new cultures and possibilities.

Support positive outcomes for young people - humanitarian trips

Spotlight On Childcare Support In Ecuador

For many of the children you will be working with on this project, attending pre-school isn’t an option, as they come from families that work full-time in the local markets and streets selling goods. The purpose of this project is to support the early childhood development of these young Ecuadorians with increased accessibility to educational activities and expose them to new cultures and possibilities through international volunteers. You need to come with initiative and an approach that makes learning fun! You’ll volunteer from Tuesday to Friday, meaning you have long weekends to explore the amazing national parks of Ecuador or venture to the Galapagos Islands.

Whether you decide to support positive outcomes for young people in Ecuador, or expand access to healthcare in Peru, you can set off knowing that by taking a humanitarian vacation, you are supporting improved outcomes for people and traveling with meaning. For more information, see our full range of volunteer abroad programs.

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