Although its not necessary to volunteer abroad in order to contribute to the betterment of the world, it can be a really amazing experience connecting volunteers with new corners of the world, increasing international understanding, tolerance, and increasing empathy and awareness of all sorts of international issues.
So many people from all walks of life desire to find deeper meaning in their lives, and participating in mission trips and volunteer projects does that and so much more.
Unfortunately, the market for organizing volunteer projects and connecting said projects with volunteers with the time and money to participate has BOOMED in recent years, and I, for one, dont think its cool at all to capitalize on a person’s desire to do good.
Below are a few websites that connect viewers with different types of international volunteer projects that are either free to participate in, provide things like food or housing for volunteers, or are at least affordable.
Volunteer South America – A database containing a huge amount of varied opportunities
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – just like it sounds
Work Away – volunteer opportunities mixed in with other types of travel projects
True Travelers Society – focused on volunteer opportunities in Asia
Openmind Projects – with over 60 projects in SouthEast Asia
Check ’em out!
Also, here is a great little article on the true cost of volunteering overseas.