May 7th, 2013
Volunteer Travel: Pro-bono Professional Services
No two travelers make the exact same journey in the exact same way. That's why, when giving back to local communities around the world, we strive to make our contributions just as personal—and as meaningful. To help you hone in on the volunteer experience that taps into both your skills and your passions, we've created this quiz. Once you've completed it, you can see if you most identify with Pro-bono Professional Services (Mostly Ds). You Should: Share your expertise with communities in need Volunteering your expert skills can provide some of the most valuable overseas service—that’s because you are often filling in a gap in local knowledge. You have a highly honed niche skill and your time is best spent training others or offering your services to people and organizations in need of pro-bono work. Many organizations are working on important international issues related to health, human rights and economic advancement and they benefit greatly when professionals like you donate their time and expertise to their cause. International Senior Lawyers Projectallows experienced lawyers to use their specialized knowledge with organizations and communities in need of legal services and human rights support.
- Financial Services Volunteer Corps connects financial advisers and accountants with projects developing the financial infrastructures of developing countries.
- ACDI/VOCA places experts in a wide range of specialized fields with projects promoting economic opportunities for communities all over the world.
Many of the organizations shared here also support volunteering programs within dozens of other niches, including: business development, medical volunteering, construction, disaster relief, social work and other important arenas. Once you’ve settled on a theme and a company for your volunteer trip, all that’s left is the fun part—dig into the cultural research by reading relevant books (start with this list, organized by country) to get you enthused for your upcoming experience. Other Volunteer Travel Personalities: Mostly As: The Educator Mostly Bs: The Agriculturalist Mostly Cs: The Conservationist Shannon O’Donnell has actively traveled around the world since 2008; she travels slowly and volunteers in small communities along the way. She recently published The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook—a how-to guide for ethical volunteering—and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her travel blog, A Little Adrift.com.
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