CANADIANS have a rich history of volunteering and community involvement.
It doesn't only happen at home though. The work of dedicated volunteers is critical to sharing, to learning, to enriching communities and to working towards a better environment both locally and abroad.
The variety of volunteer vacations available is as diverse as the countries that play host. Whatever your interest, budget, age or fitness level, there is a volunteer vacation opportunity for everyone.
For the animal-lover: Get on the trail of the Giant Panda with the Earthwatch Institute in China. Volunteers will be helping to develop a strategy to restore the dwindling bamboo forests, and might even get the chance to help mother pandas with their newborn cubs. Since Canada will be getting its own panda next year, this will be great training.
For the human rights activist: Volunteers interested in legal research can help women and children in Ghana who have been the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. By helping to compile guides which simplify legal terms, future volunteers will be aided in explaining legal and human rights issues to the victims of violence.
For families: Children can help other children in the impoverished city of Cusco in Peru. Volunteers with A Broader View can experience the magnificence of the archeological capital of the Americas while doing much needed community work. This is a great way for families to immerse themselves in a stunning culture rich in history while helping in orphanages and assisting with teaching placements around the city.
For the adventurous: Combine rewarding community work with an incredible trek to Everest base camp for a Himalayan Adventure with Greenforce. Starting in Kathmandu, the Himalayan capital of Nepal, volunteers will spend their first week acclimatizing, enjoying cultural visits, and most importantly, attending Nepali classes. Then they travel to remote rural regions and undertake key conservation projects like assisting with basic schooling, digging fresh water wells, and agriculturebased projects. Living in homes, trekking through remote villages, and eating in local teahouses will show volunteers the real Nepal adventure.
For the sport enthusiast: Love sport? Ever thought about becoming a coach? Communities in South Africa are crying out for coaches of all sporting types, from soccer to hockey (field), rugby to basketball and tennis. Give budding athletes the chance to learn and develop their talents in a structured environment with Sportforce South Africa.
Flight Centre's responsible travel division, GoVoluntouring is a leading online community for volunteers, overseas teachers, and learners abroad. Its unique search filters allow users to perform detailed and customizable searches from a huge database of projects and programs in more than 60 countries around the world. Find out more at www.govoluntouring. com.