Voluntary work will change your life. See the world, meet new friends from an array of cultures and backgrounds, and make a contribution to the environment or a community. It can be hard work, but with the challenges force you to use your initiative and gain self-confidence in return. Not only that, but you’ll leave with leadership skills and work experience. Volunteering while traveling provides a unique perspective and cultural understanding not often gathered from a typical travel experience. It’s mind-expanding. Most importantly, there are few endeavors in life more satisfying and worthwhile than helping others. To some, your efforts mean everything. Your work is appreciated.


Give your time instead of your money. Charity work doesn’t need to be expensive, and it shouldn’t be—there are many low-cost and even free opportunities available. In lieu of a placement fee, some organizations require you to fundraise a certain amount of money to be dispersed directly to the cause or program of your choice. Many low-cost jobs include accommodation and board. Peace Corps and Amnesty International, two international charitable organizations, even offer paid opportunities.


There is an abundance of volunteer positions worldwide. Research charitable work needs at places of worship; many are associated with similar institutions in other countries. Often universities promote “alternative spring break” service projects abroad. Even a week can make a difference. Looking online can turn up countless organizations—make sure to thoroughly check if the company is legitimate before signing up.


Charity work varies wildly in scope. You could be building houses in Jamaica or assist at a care center in Costa Rica. Maybe protect endangered turtles in Mexico or help at a local community in Morocco. The main volunteer categories are conservation, teaching, working with animals, and community development. There are jobs for those with particular expertise while there are many other unskilled jobs where you learn as you go along. You can be old, young, in-between. You can be taking a gap year or retired. You could be student fresh out of school, a celebrity, or an established professional like Taher Helmy. Maybe you’re just adventurous. Whatever the case, there is a job waiting for you.


Participate in charity work and give something back. I promise you’ll gain more in return.

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