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  • Darcy DeLong
  • "Dream volunteer location and work?"

Darcy DeLong

Orlando, Florida

Dream volunteer location and work?

If you could go anywhere in the world to volunteer for one month, where would you go and what would you want to do?

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  • Jillian Geer

    top answer by

    If I could go anywhere in the world to volunteer, it would be in Nepal. Specifically, I'd volunteer at Sunsar Maya, a non-profit that focuses on educating the orphaned and underprivileged children in Kathmandu. From what I have learned, orphanages are struggling financially since they have shut down international adoption. I believe that, like all children, the Nepali children deserve a chance at a better future irrespective of their financial and parental situations. Sunsar is helping to provide education and hope for this future. I would do the work needed most to make an impact, and all that I could to make each moment count.

    I would also return back to Tanzania to see and teach the children of Stella Maris Primary School. I was lucky enough to spend a few months volunteering with the Mailisita Foundation, a self sustaining education project for underprivileged children. It was a once in a lifetime experience and it has shaped who I am today. I will never forget the community. I miss them all and would give up any vacation to give my time here again. If anyone wants more information about volunteering in Mailisita or Africa in general, please let me know!

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    • Nathaniel B.

      Nathaniel B.

      love this · (1 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Thanks, Nat. Planning Nepal for 2015 :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Peter D.

      Peter D.

      Two months in West Africa way back when I was 21 changed my life. It wasn't volunteering exactly -- I had to pay to go -- but the organization, Operation Crossroads Africa, is still around. http://operationcrossroadsafrica.org. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in African culture. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered by

    I had the privilege of volunteering twice with Medical Teams International as a general volunteer and translator for eye surgery teams near Tlacolula, Mexico.The experience was life changing.

    Being a translator, I was able to connect and learn so much from a people who had so little, yet without shoes and with little food, they had each other - family, God, and a smile on their face. Gratitude.

    I also got to help with small medical things and observed surgery, so see the smiles on the faces of children even as foreigners who didn't speak their language prepared them for surgery. (We fixed cataracts in older people and strabismus in children).

    There really aren't words for the impact, lessons, and heart of these trips - I left weary emotional from joy in being there and tears that I had to leave. If I had even a day, a week, a month to go anywhere with Medical Teams International again, I would go without hesitation. The work is good. The people are rewarding.

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  • Camille Hawkins

    answered by

    There’s a program in the Provence area of France that I’ve always wanted to do called “La Sabranenque” which is a program that restores French villages and castles. You spend the morning building and restoring and then the afternoon doing pretty much whatever you want. It’s in a little town called Saint-Victor-la-Coste just outside of Avignon and Uzes so if you want to get out of the village you can (although it’s a beautiful little area where everything is made out of stone). They serve meals at a communal table outside and all the food is Mediterranean. I would love to do this someday!

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  • Mike Rigney

    answered by

    Last year I volunteered with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (www.iapf.org) in South Africa and it was the best volunteer experience I've ever had. I think they are only operating out of Zimbabwe now. We went on night patrols with anti-poaching rangers, did game counts of local wildlife populations, monitored a rhino calf after its mother died, and all while camping in some absolutely beautiful areas. Plus the people of IAPF are some of the greatest and most passionate conservation-minded people I've ever met. Definitely check out their site and watch their founder's TED talk!

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    Unquestionably I would go with one of my all-time favorite organizations, Habitat for Humanity--you can volunteer almost anywhere in the world with them--Addis Ababa, Addis Ababaimage from addisababaonline.comCairoCairoimage from nwtravelonline.comMadagascarMadagascarHondurasHondurasimage from travel.nationalgeographic.comChileChileGuatemalaGuatemalaimage from bugbog.comBoliviaBoliviaTajikistanTajikistanimage from canuckleheads.orgBulgariaBulgariaIrelandIrelandSerbiaSerbiaBangladeshBangladeshAnd just about any other place you can name. They're an amazing organization and no matter what role you choose to take with them I can pretty much promise you you'll have a great time. Building a house for someone is an incredible experience and you'll meet incredible, like-minded people.


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  • Coralie Collignon

    answered by

    HI ! I asked myself the same question : I have always dreamed to volunteer in an orphanage in Cambodia. But when organizing it, I found myself very selfish because it is not ideal for these children to have someone not speaking their native language. Do I really want to be helpful ? Or just realize a dream ? I think it is really important to be able to communicate with locals, to have a real added value. So as a French-speaker, I am now thinking of Africa :) It is not my dream destination I have to say... I'm even a bit scared... but when thinking of volunteering, one also has to think generously !

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    • Ian O.

      Ian O.

      True, and that's one reason I've shied away from that idea, but I've always assumed that if you live in a place, and embrace the culture, you will naturally pick up enough of the language as you go; in a sense they teach you while you teach them :D And the same will be true in Africa; lots of local languages alongside French. Having said which, I met a chap in Kazakhstan who was teaching English, and his Russian was about on the same level as mine - I was getting by on a phrase book an pointing a lot ... · (0 likelikes)

    • Jason R.

      Jason R.

      Regardless of the language barrier I think you could offer great service to Cambodia. In some sense just by being there is a help in itself. Think about it this way... You are conveying to the people that you are placing yourself in a situation of total unfamiliarity, and without speaking their language shows them real sacrifice on your part. That's real generosity and expressionless empathy. And at the same time you are also benefiting from experiencing a life dream, and that will will definitely "translate" and transcend across to the people you care for. :) · (1 likelikes)

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  • Ian Oliver

    answered by

    Being a native speaker, part of me wants to say the obvious standard answer of 'teaching English to children in ...', but given the question says 'dream' and I'm quite boring:-

    My real-life career background involves spreadsheets, databases, fixing processes, and making things more efficient. I think my ideal volunteer-type experience would be wandering from place to place, helping local businesspeople, shops, and communities run themselves better and more effectively.

    As to where, well, the world is my lobster :)

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    • Clifford L.

      Clifford L.

      Would you like to boost a travel company somewhere in Kenya? · (1 likelikes)

    • Ian O.

      Ian O.

      Interesting idea :) What's the background? · (0 likelikes)

    • Clifford L.

      Clifford L.

      Hotel booking, tour planning, tour costing, airport transfers, city tour guiding, emails, prospecting for tour clients and air ticketing. Main focus: Inbound tourism and air ticketing. Perks: Excursions, cultural/village visits. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Drew Corwin

    answered by

    There’s a lion rehabilitation program I want to do in Zimbabwe! As you may know, the lion population has experienced a very dramatic decline so this is a program to help them breed and then get re-released into the wild. It’s a very hands-on program that involves spending a lot of time with the cubs, taking them on walks, etc. It’s right near Victoria Falls so I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to do this, not to mention the education you’d get from it. There’s also an opportunity to teach conservation which would be awesome. I really, really hope I get to do this some day. Here’s the link if you want to take a look.Zimbabweimage from bestourism.com

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  • Dea Gianson

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    I’ve always wanted to see Chile so that would definitely be where I’d start. There’s an organization called United Planet that has great opportunities there—they can place you in a day care, a hospice setting, a woman’s shelter—really wherever you feel you’d like to work (I’d definitely choose the day care, although they also have an English program that sounds like fun). I like that you can choose the length of your stay (from 1-12 weeks) and that you can do a home stay if you want to. You do need basic Spanish skills, but those should come pretty easily when you’re immersed like that.

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  • Gavin Mayeda

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    After my time in the US Navy Seabees, I had always dreamt of returning to a few specific locations. I would like to return to Rota (Spain) or Sigonella, but if I could return to a place and make a profound difference in someone's life, it would be Pohang-si. While I was in Pohang during the 80's, a group of us found orphanages that were built by the Seabees during the Korean War. During the short time that we had, we did what we could with the materials at hand to make the orphanages at least habitable during the winter. We took the kids shopping, bought food, etc. For me, that was a life changing experience.

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  • Tara Craig

    answered by

    I’d work with elephants in Cambodia—there’s a program in Mondol Kiri province that I’ve been looking at that’s kind of a two-fold thing because they not only work to protect elephants in the wild, but they’re trying to create an actual “elephant forest” of sorts so that the elephants that live there have enough food, room, etc. to live happy lives. They also try to make sure the keepers are well taken care of, which I think is great.

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  • Valerie Stimac

    Trippy Ambassadors are elite members of the community, hand picked to help you travel better! Interested? E-mail us at ambassadors@trippy.com.

    answered by

    Darcy, cool question!

    I think for a month, I'd like to head to South America, maybe somewhere like Chile or Argentina, to work with travel startups who can't afford to hire someone to help set up and get their social media working. There are lots of really amazing companies growing in these countries (and all over the world) who don't understand how to use social media, and how important it is to have social media in order to connect with the tourism industry (and the tourists they hope to have visit them!).

    Honestly, this kind of work would probably look a lot like the work I do now--meetings, working from my computer, but I could take my weekends to explore, which would help me feel balanced about my 'voluntourism!'

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  • Beverly Joesten

    answered by

    One cool program in Italy is participating in the olive harvest in the Umbria region. There’s a big olive grove (do they call them farms?) near Spoleto that, from what I understand, has no commercial value but still needs to be maintained, so they have volunteers come and pick the olives during the fall harvest. You stay in this beautiful little stone cottage and best of all, at the end of the week there’s a big olive oil tasting!Umbriaimage from walksofitaly.com

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  • claus andersen

    answered by

    I am at the moment seriously considering going volunteering in Guatemala for Quetzaltrekkers as a trekking guide for their travel agency where all the profit they make goes in to helping street children.

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    • Darcy D.

      Darcy D.

      That sounds great! I hear Guatemala is so beautiful. I'm definitely going to look up Quetzaltrekkers! That sounds like a standout organization. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Valerie Axworthy

    answered by

    I would head to Bulgaria specifically to a village called Mogilino.

    In Mogilino, there was a care home for children with disabilities. I learned about this home through a heart breaking documentary called "Bulgaria's Abandoned Children" in which the film gave viewers insight on the horrendous living conditions these children lived in. Since BBC aired this documentary, the nation mobilized to save these children and petitioned the government to help them. The home was eventually shut down and the children were relocated to better living conditions.

    However, Bulgaria has more mentally and physically disabled children than anywhere else in Europe. I met a man a few years ago who worked for UNICEF in Bulgaria with these children. He said it was a huge issue and that they need more help. I'd love to be able to volunteer to help care for these children and find solutions.

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  • Stanley Conan

    answered by

    There are companies in Zimbabwe that allow you to help capture game in order to treat it and send it back into the wild. I’ve heard it’s a bit more dangerous than your average wildlife volunteer experience and that you really have to have the guts to actually “dart” an animal. But if you keep the greater good in mind, that helps.

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  • Jacqueline Waters

    answered by

    New Hope Cambodia is a great organization (in Cambodia, obviously!) that gives you a couple of different options like community outreach and teaching. There’s another health care option, but you need medical skills which I don’t have. I think they also have a sustainable farming project and a restaurant which is pretty cool (and I just read on their website that they‘re planning on opening a bakery!).

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  • Michael Dangelo

    answered by

    Scotland

    I would love to continue to help people learn how to cook on fixed low budgets. I could learn more about Scottish foods and culture

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  • Ann Nguyen

    answered by

    If I had the chance to volunteer anywhere in the world it would be Liberia to work with the communities on helping during this time of the Ebola outbreak.General Trippy MediaAnn

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  • Romy Levy

    answered by

    I would love to volunteer in an orphanage somewhere in Africa.

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    • Clifford L.

      Clifford L.

      Hello Romy, Can I arrange that for you? Maybe something of the sort in Nairobi Kenya and short cultural trips in the countryside. · (1 likelikes)

    • Romy L.

      Romy L.

      Hi Clifford, Thank you for your kind offer, I am now committed to something for the next year. Hopefully I will be able to volunteer in Africa afterwards. · (0 likelikes)

    • Clifford L.

      Clifford L.

      Anytime next year, Romy. Thanks. · (0 likelikes)

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