1. Travel

VolunTourism - The United Nation’s World Volunteer Web

A gateway to organizations with information about volunteer travel

By

The United Nation's World Volunteer Web is an online clearing house for volunteerism, self-described as "a global clearinghouse for information and resources linked to volunteerism that can be used for campaigning, advocacy and networking." Here, you can link to dozens of organizations that list volunteer travel trips, and service-based trips and vacations. The site is also the gateway to learning more about International Volunteer Day, which is celebrated every December 5.

What Information Will I Find on the Site?

If you want information about where you can take a volunteer vacation click on the "Take Action" link. The "Join the Network" link accesses a Speaker's Corner where one can discuss social and volunteering issues. "News and Views" covers timely volunteer experiences and volunteer stories.

The site is managed by the United Nations Volunteer program, a volunteer arm of the United Nations created in 1970. The hub is run in partnership with several groups including CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the International Association for Volunteer Effort, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent. According to the Website, "With a constituency comprising of over 20,000 organizations and individuals, the World Volunteer Web helps catalyze partnerships among volunteer stakeholders from all continents."

Who Are The Volunteers?

Volunteers are a mix of travelers who want to take a volunteer or service-based vacation, and skilled professionals involved in assignments specific to their profession or trade. Every year, since 1971, about 7,000 qualified and experienced people of almost 160 nationalities have participated. At this time, about 30 percent come from the industrialized world and the rest from developing countries.

Where to Learn More About World Volunteer Web

Visit World Volunteer Web .

Where to Find More Volunteer Vacations

VolunTourism - combining traditional travel with volunteer work - is a rapidly growing trend because combining a vacation or trip abroad with volunteering on local projects is one way you can immerse yourself in local cultures and make a difference. Are you among the one-quarter of the travelers queried in the Voice of the Traveler survey by the Travel Industry Association who said they were currently interested in taking a volunteer or service-based vacation? No matter whether you're in your 20s, a baby boomer (the group expressing the strongest interest), or parents who want to introduce their children to other cultures, there's a company offering volunteer vacations for you.

These trips and experiences are as close as building homes in New Orleans or a far away as helping in orphanages in Romania or elephant camps in Africa. To see a list of organizations that offer volunteer travel trips and vacations (where you spend a few days of a trip volunteering and explore a new country the rest) click on Top Sources for Volunteer Vacations.

Are You a Voluntourist?

Returning travelers say volunteer travel is a life-changing experience. If you are wondering if Voluntourism is right for you, here are suggestions for the route to helping you decide. Click on How to Decide if Voluntourism is for you.
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Adventure and Outdoor Travel
  4. Volunteer Travel
  5. VolunTourism - Find Volunteer Travel Via The United Nation’s World Volunteer Web

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.