Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others Paperback – Feb 1 2009
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"[A] comprehensive gathering." Booklist
"Takes the legwork out of finding an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture." The Iowan
"Details thousands of opportunities for anyone wanting to see the world with a purpose." Westworld Magazine
For those who like to get their hands dirty, this is an excellent resource.” Chicago Tribune
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Top Customer Reviews
The second half of the book contains numerous brief volunteer journals where the reader can obtain a clearer picture of how this type of travel impacts the recipients of the service work and more importantly perhaps how these deeply moving and life-altering experiences greatly enhance the life of the volunteer.
I have met people of all ages and from all walks of life on these incredible journeys. If you have a bit of adventure in your blood and a desire to serve and especially to learn from another culture's experience...investigate this book...it may open some brand new doors in your life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I bought this book out of curiosity and was amazed at the variety of opportunities available to travel and contribute throughout the world. The book is a compendium of opportunities of every imaginable type, an incredible resource if you're even thinking about a taking a vacation in which you volunteer.
Each opportunity contains all contact information, include web site, the types of projects available, organization mission statements, the year founded, the number of volunteers last year (so that you can see the scope of the program), funding sources, what kind of work the organization does, project locations, time line (when and for how long commitments are made), cost (including arrangements that must be made like medical examinations), how to get started, needed skills, and the specific populations that could qualify.
The book is very friendly to those with limitations (for example, sight limitations, physical agility, etc.). There are also stories throughout the book from volunteers about their actual experiences while volunteering.
There is a section on long-term volunteering opportunities. There are four indexes: by project cost, project length, location, season, and type.
It is a wonderful book to use to explore what types of things you might like to do, as well as to use as a research base to search out specific opportunities. It is a great value, and an organized way to begin your volunteer journey!
That first volunteer assignment made me aware of the opportunities with all three NGOs that contract with USAID for the Farmer-to-Farmer program. CNFA and Winrock International are the other two NGOs. They are also listed in the book. It wasn't until three years later that ACDI/VOCA contacted me about an assignment in Ghana that fit my experience. That was the fateful assignment. It started me on a retirement "4th" career volunteering with seed companies and farm organizations all over Africa. I'm currently in Bamako, Mali on my third assignment here helping a Malian seed company to mechanize their post-harvest seed processing. In addition to Ghana where I've had four assignments and here in Mali. I've had four assignments in Uganda and one in Angola. My wife has joined me here in Africa after three of my assignments. We've spent a month touring Mali, three weeks touring Uganda, and three weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. Then this February we brought our two grandsons, 9 and 12, to Kenya and Tanzania for a two and a half week safari in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. It was an experience they'll never forget. I now have many friends in each of the countries where I've had assignments. We're part of two families in Uganda. We've been included in family celebrations in many countries. I've been a guest at Ugandan weddings. I am in contact with people in all of these countries on a regular basis. I now spend half my time in Africa. Later this year I'm scheduled to have my first assignment in Bangladesh. Then I return to Angola with returns to Uganda and Ghana early next year. I'm always working on what's coming up next and meeting with potential hosts for my next assignments. I've become half African as many people here tell me. My retirement career is truly now volunteering.
These wonderful adventures were all sparked by the information I found in Volunteer Vacations. Maybe you'll find your dream retirement or a volunteer vacation that's just right for you. I did. Thank you authors. You've done us a great service by collecting this information in one source where we can find a volunteer opportunity that allows us to help others in a program that meets our situation.