Monthly Archives: September 2010

IVPA Member Convenes UN Forum on Women’s Empowerment

By | IVPA Members | 2 Comments

IVPA Member, Child Family Health International (CFHI) recently convened a forum at the United Nations on the Empowerment of Women.

Held on September 15th, the forum followed the July meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which concluded with member states stressing the need for greater investment in women and girls to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide – also the specific objective of the Millennium Development Goal #3.

The forum featured women who are assuming leadership roles in non-government organizations (NGOs), from high organizational roles to grass-roots levels, who talked about the challenges they face, and specific strategies for how they are succeeding.

The forum was a great success and CFHI has been asked to return and continue to support such important issues.

For more information on CFHI, please visit

Book Review: The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations To Enrich Your Life

By | Book Review, Tips for Volunteering Abroad | No Comments

This post marks a new series of book reviews for the blog. There are a variety of books related to international volunteering and voluntourism. By providing a summary and review my hope is to facilitate potential volunteers in their search for resources and programs to fit their needs.

“The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations To Enrich Your Life” by Pam Grout was published in 2009 by National Geographic. The book is divided into seven chapters representing world regions. In each chapter there are detailed summaries of projects from a variety of organizations. The summaries provide background information on the volunteer sending organization as well details about the activities and highlights of the featured program.

“Volunteer Vacations” is fun to flip through for those who, like me, like to imagine all the places they might go. I would recommend this for someone just starting to think about taking a volunteer vacation because it opens to the reader the many possibilities when choosing a volunteer program. For example as a volunteer you can get in the water to observe and record great white sharks with Greenforce or work on community projects with the marginalized Roma people (Gypsies) with Globe Aware. The possibilities are endless and this book just might help you narrow it all down or make your list of  places to visit even longer.

Can You Deduct a Volunteer Trip?

By | Genevieve Brown, IVPA Executive Director, Tips for Volunteering Abroad | No Comments

A question many people ask when they are thinking of volunteering abroad is “Can I deduct my volunteer trip?” And the two most common answers I give are…1. “It depends.” and 2. “Consult a tax professional”.

That being said there are provisions that allow an international volunteers to deduct the costs of volunteering abroad. recently posted some of the issues of such a deduction and I thought they summarized the details well.  You can find more here.

In the article they made sure to point out that just as if you were going to deduct a donation of physical goods or money, your time must be given to qualified organization. Also the purpose of the trip must be for charity work not a vacation that means keeping track of how your time is spent. (One day of service and five days spent on the beach probably wouldn’t qualify.)Some other useful tips included keeping receipts and careful track of expenses because you will need to itemize your deductions.

These are useful tips so if you are thinking about deducting the cost of a voluntourism trip or volunteer vacation and make sure to do your research before hand to see if you qualify – answers 1 and 2 still apply.