In 2017 we hosted a meetup on Volunteering Our guest speaker was Dr. Kevin O’Neil, the Director of ELI Abroad, a volunteer abroad organization here in Denver.
‘ELI’s full name, Experiential Learning International, reflects our philosophy. We believe that the most compelling life lessons come through experience, and that international experiences are among the most profound influences on our sense of self and our view of the world. We see learning as a lifelong journey: our participants have ranged in age from 18 to 82 and come from all over the world.”
Suggestions and Questions to ask for Volunteering Abroad
- Support a personal cause
- Choose a destination and setting
- Identify credible Charities (use Charity Navigator and/or GoAbroad to help find reputable organizations)
- Ask questions
- What is min commitment (often one week)
- Start and end days
- What does cost includes: (accommodation and/or transportation and/or meals)
- Is there a fundraising opportunity/requirement
- Where does the money go?
- What are the sleeping arrangements
- How many hours a week are you working and are there days off?
- Are you working alone or part of a team?
- What is the name of the local organization you partner with? (If they won’t share that info you should look for another organization).
- Is that organization registered as a non profit by the local government?
Organizations to Consider
- ELI Abroad (Experiential Learning International). Located in Denver
- The Real Uganda
- International Volunteer HQ
- Volunteers for Peace
- Waste Warriors
Blogs and Resources:
Books & Articles
Find Me Unafraid by Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede
I volunteered three different times for two weeks each during my 6 month trip around the word. For my time in Uganda (Lugzai) I made a short video to capture the experience and wrote a blog post about it.