Descriptions and links to volunteer and community tourism, travel and humanitarian programs worldwide.

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Volunteer and Community Tourism
Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies

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Volunteer and Community Tourism  ||  Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies

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Volunteer and Community Tourism

There are many organisations worldwide, most non-profit, which offer travellers the opportunity to experience living in a community as a "local".  While some are highly localised, others are international.  From social and educational programs to environmental projects, there's something to suit everyone.

Programs range from casual and flexible, through to those which are structured and charged for much like a standard tour package.  You "earn your daily keep" by dint of your physical labour, or by transfer of some of your knowledge and skills to residents in your host community.

At the apex are the long term overseas volunteer programs, where you live and work in a community for up to two years for local wages; and the Humanitarian Aid and Non Government Organisations (NGOs) providing support where a natural disaster or human conflict has occurred, resulting in displaced persons and refugees.

  • Australian Business Volunteers  "ABV is an overseas development agency ...[that] exists to help alleviate poverty in developing countries and create sustainable development. We do this ... by offering the work skills and experience of mature Australian men and women who are experts in their various fields. ... ABV believes that practical work skills training is the best form of aid we can provide because it enables our clients to run their businesses or organisations more effectively and efficiently. Benefits then flow through to the larger community, with a more highly-skilled workforce, better governance practices and the creation of more employment opportunities. The long-term results are an improvement in economic stability, confidence, prosperity and independence. We particularly focus on capacity building within micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the private sector, but we also work with public sector agencies, local NGOs and other community-based organisations. "
  • Conservation Volunteers Australia Updated "Conservation Volunteers Australia has partnered with individuals, businesses and governments in the conservation of our unique environment since 1982. In that time we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around Australia and across the world and supported their participation in a diversity of important projects to protect and enhance our environment."
  • Cross Cultural Solutions Updated "As a leader in the field of international volunteering for 20 years, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. We believe that the local people are the experts. In every community in which we work, we have long-standing relationships with local organizations who communicate real-time needs and objectives to the CCS team. Our in-country team is made up entirely of local nationals and volunteers work alongside local people. This community approach was specifically designed to make sure our programs generate sustainable impact."
  • Dental Aid Abroad "The [New Zealand Dental Association] NZDA supports a number of regular overseas dental aid programmes in countries such as Nepal, Fiji, Cambodia, and many other regions. With the help of volunteer dental professionals and donations, these programmes help to provide much needed dental care to people who do not have access to basic dental resources."
  • Global Vision International (GVI) Updated "Since 1998, GVI has been running multiple-award winning, high quality and high impact conservation and community development programs worldwide. At the core of who we are and what we have managed to achieve is of our team of passionate individuals."
  • Global Volunteer Network is a non profit organisation based in New Zealand. "The Global Volunteer Network offers volunteer opportunities in community projects throughout the world. We currently provide volunteer programs through our partner organizations in Alaska, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. The network continues to expand with new programs currently being researched and assessed." Smartly designed, fast loading and comprehensive web site with lot's of projects for you to choose from!
  • Habitat for Humanity International "Since its founding in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 150,000 houses with families in need, becoming a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. ... A nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need." Whether you're a student, independent traveller or RV/caravanner, HFHI has a project for you to participate in, just about anywhere in the world!
    • Habitat for Humanity Australia Updated "Our Australian programs are delivered through our State Partners in NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and WA. With the help of our generous sponsors and volunteers we help low-income families achieve the dream of building and owning their own safe, secure home. We also help disadvantaged families through our repair and maintenance program, Brush with Kindness."
    • The Fuller ReBuild Center New listing"The Fuller Center for Housing, faith driven and Christ centered, promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organisations in an unrelenting quest to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide."
  • Help Stay New listing "We're a contact platform between host and helpers. We hold a database of Farms, Homes, Art Retreat Centres, Eco-villages, Backpacker Hostels, Surf Lodges, Vineyards, Ranches, Schools, Monasteries and Kibbutzim, all who are looking for a few hours of honest help and offering accommodation and food in exchange."
  • HelpX New listing "is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts."
  • ISTC - International Student Travel Confederation A nonprofit confederation of student travel organisations around the world.  "Student travel services, discounts, information & inspiration for young independent travellers The ISTC network - 5000 offices - 116 countries - 10 million student and youth travellers."
  • Pacific Crest Trail Association Not only a great deal of info. on the trails and how to walk them responsibly, but you can help with their upkeep too.
  • PEPY  Updated "PEPY Empowering Youth is a Cambodia-based education and youth-leadership non-profit organization (LNGO). Since we began, PEPY has represented different acronyms, but it has always embodied our vision and mission of improving the lives of young people through quality education. Today, we are more than just what those letters stand for—PEPY Empowering Youth is who we are: passionate, transparent, and open. Empowering Youth is what we do. We empower youth to pursue a bright future, improve the quality of their lives, and achieve their dream careers. We are PEPY Empowering Youth."
  • SolarAid "Power to the people.  Two of the biggest threats facing humanity today are climate change and global poverty. SolarAid helps to combat both, simply by bringing clean, renewable power to the poorest people in the world." The best ideas are simply brilliant and brilliantly simple.  Great idea, great web site!
  • Transitions Abroad "Now well into its third decade, Transitions Abroad Publishing has spawned not only the renowned magazine, but also a selection of other essential resources for the person who wants to travel, really travel, without being a tourist." Work, Study and travel overseas. A comprehesive web site focussed on the print magazine, but with oodles of info. for anyone interested in international study and work.
  • UNV Online Volunteering Updated "The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Online volunteering is fast, easy – and most of all, effective. When skilled, passionate individuals join forces online with great organizations working toward sustainable development goals, everyone wins."
  • Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) Australia, " is a form of cultural exchange in which WWOOFers live and work as family with host farms, and learn about: the skills of organic growing, the area they are visiting.
  • New listing "Workawayers typically are interested in cultural exchange and learning and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months. Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit. Put your existing skills to good use, or try something new you'd never normally get to do and pick up new skills along the way."
  • Working Abroad ... "is an international networking service for volunteers and travellers on volunteer projects in over 150 countries worldwide. On this site, you will find professional and personalised information on voluntary work abroad, including: organisations that are looking for volunteers TODAY, personalised reports on grassroots organisations in Latin America & the Caribbean, Asia & Pacific, Africa & the Middle East, Europe & North America, volunteer feedback stories, teaching English courses, WorkingAbroad Projects and lots more!"
  • WWOOF Korea Updated "WWOOF Korea was first established in 1997 and has grown exponentially in the last few years. WWOOF Korea not only runs the basic WWOOF system but is also very active in helping raise awareness for organic farming, sustainable agriculture and slow food. There are currently about 60 WWOOF farms in Korea (as of 2014, winter)."

See also Activism, Development and EnvironmentEcologically Sustainable Development and Ecotourism Projects


Humanitarian Aid, Non Government Agencies (Non Government Organisations - NGOs)

  • AUSTCARE's " programs focus on improving lives for refugees, returnees, internally displaced people and those affected by landmines. Our humanitarian work in post-conflict countries, for returning refugees and landmine impacted communities, is vital for peace building and ending the refugee cycle."
  • Australian Himalayan Foundation "Our vision is, simply, a better life for the people of the Himalaya. Our goal is to achieve this through improvements in three key areas: education , health and medical services, environment and sustainability. We want to give something back to the Himalaya—a region which has touched the lives of millions of people from all over the world."
  • Oxfam Australia (Community Aid Abroad) "is an Australian, independent, not-for-profit, secular, community-based aid and development organisation. ... "Australia's leading agency working with communities around the world for solutions to poverty and social injustice."
  • International Red Cross Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Site Languages; English, Franšais, Espa˝ol. "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance."
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Australia (Doctors Without Borders) "Internationally, through its network of 18 offices, Médecins Sans Frontières sends out some 3,000 volunteers per year. Working alongside over 15,000 local staff in teams around the world, our volunteers bring life-saving emergency medical assistance to populations who would otherwise be denied access to even the most basic health care.
  • Mercy Corps "saves and improves lives in the world's toughest places. Since 1979, we have been helping people in the world's toughest places survive the crises they confront and turn them into opportunities to thrive. Our staff — 93 percent of whom are local — work in failing states like Somalia and Zimbabwe. Conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo and Iraq. And countries that have endured natural disasters like Indonesia, Pakistan and Haiti."
  • Australian Volunteers International (AVI) Updated "A leader for 65 years, AVI is an Australian not-for-profit organisation committed to achieving economic and social development outcomes across Asia, the Pacific and the world."
  • ReliefWeb  Updated"... is the leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters. It is a specialized digital service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). We provide reliable and timely information, enabling humanitarian workers to make informed decisions and to plan effective response. We collect and deliver key information, including the latest reports, maps and infographics and videos from trusted sources. ReliefWeb is also a valuable resource for job listings and training programs, helping humanitarians build new skills and discover exciting new career opportunities." 
  • United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.  UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, and to return home voluntarily.
    • Australia for UNHCR "was established by UNHCR in 2000 and raises funds to support the humanitarian programs of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. We also undertake educational and public awareness activities to promote greater understanding about the situation of refugees worldwide."  Vibrant colour scheme which may be hard for some people to read, OK once you click on an area of interest.  Also laods ActiveX scripts.
  • "Humanitarian aid From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" Brief definition and background, with links to many other organisations in the field.

See also Democracy & Human Rights, Development and Environment, Sustainability and Ecotourism Projects.