When you hear about people going abroad to volunteer you might imagine a 20-something-year-old taking a semester or summer to give service. Statistically young people (15-24 year old) are more likely to volunteer but people 55 years old or older are also a significant portion of volunteers that go abroad.
Mature volunteers have a lot to contribute. A lifetime of experience and knowledge and a desire to give back make older travelers committed voluntourists.
So what opportunities are there for more mature volunteers? There are so many opportunities it is helpful to narrow down your interests before beginning your search.
Is there a certain type of service that interests you?
- Building sustainable housing (Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village)
- Working on health related projects (Child Family Health International)
- Laboring along side Indigenous Communities (Global Citizens Network)
- Volunteer teaching in needy communities (World Teach)
- Helping with HIV/AIDS (Global Service Corps)
What about certain countries you would like to travel to?
Some organizations, like Amigos de las Americas focus on a specific geographic region but many organization have locations throughout the world. Cross Cultural Solutions, Projects Abroad and ProWorld all offer a variety of service opportunities in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
How long would you like to be away?
There are a range of option for length of stay from one week to a year or more.
Globe Aware is an organization that offers 1-week programs perfect for looking for a volunteer vacation. Many organization have a range for option and can also customize opportunities to fit your needs.