Want to save the planet? Want to travel around the globe? If you answered 'yes' to these questions, you, my friend, need to volunteer abroad. There's only one problem. Volunteering abroad can take some serious cash. That is just the reality. Paying for the travel & lodging needed for any kind of trip is always a pretty big financial burden.
Fortunately, as international-volunteer, Lizzy Tan, can tell you, if you have a supportive social-network, you can volunteer abroad for free.
And, she should know, Lizzy herself raised $825 for her trip to Moldova. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe with an unemployment rate of over 80%. What will she do there? Here’s what she had to say:
I'll be helping to organize a kids' club for the local children, visiting poor families to take them food and water, as well as assisting with constructing buildings. It's going to be a challenging 2-weeks, but I really want to help make a difference to the lives of these people.
Why was Lizzy able to raise this money?
It is because her friends, family, and community all recognized her desire to serve others, and they wanted to help her get there. If you have the drive, this is possible for you too.
Think about it. Even if you just ask all of your friends for $10 each; If you have 50 friends, that’s $500, enough for a short volunteer trip to a neighboring country.
What would you do there? You could build a school, mentor children, assist with an environmental clean-up, or hand out dental-health products to those in need. These are just a few ideas; volunteer abroad opportunities available are diverse and plentiful. Don’t worry, the programs aren’t all work, many offer exciting tours, learning opportunities, and other fun activities to expand your horizons.
So, what’s the first step?
First, you will most likely want to find a program that matches your goals. You can search volunteer abroad programs online, and then use other keywords to find one that will give you the best experience.
Second, once you have identified a good program, set up a page on GoFundMe and explain to the world why you need the money to help make it happen.
You can be clever about it, too. Check out this video below of Tim Roos, who has almost reached his goal of raising $4,000 for a 6 month stay in Peru where he will teach English to children:
But, while a video helps, it’s not a necessity. Riley Koenig was able to raise $600, three times more than he asked for, when he made a simple page on GoFundMe explaining a weeklong trip he was taking with his church to help out an orphanage in Mexico.
The bottom line is that, when it comes to offering your talents, skills, and compassion to the rest of the world, crowdfunding can make it happen.
Where would you like to volunteer? We want to know! Tell us in the comments below.