700 Places to Volunteer Before you Die by Nola Lee Kelsey outlines many ways to make a difference in the world from working in an orphanage in Nepal to saving architecture in Albania to small business development in Ghana.
Kelsey is clearly passionate about volunteering abroad and one gets the feeling that she’d like to personally volunteer at each of the 700 places mentioned in the book.
The book is a fabulous resource for planning a trip as it is divided by both country and interest, so if you are going to Liberia, Honduras, or Mongolia you can search by country, and if you’re interested in working with elephants, building houses, or doing public health education you may find opportunities in a country you’ve never even thought of visiting.
The programs have a wide range in costs from many which are completely free such as teaching English to the disadvantaged in Peru to others that are quite expensive such as a wildlife conservation program for teens in South Africa that is $5,380. Most programs have a small fee and Kelsey cautions not to avoid volunteer organizations with reasonable fees as there are many services provided to you when the organization is well established in the community with an office for volunteers that organizes accommodation, meals, transport, and handles any concerns. She does encourage you to ask how much of the fee goes to the community and what exactly it includes when in your planning stage.
So whether you want to do wildlife research, prevent climate change, or help out in a women's shelter this book will help you find a project somewhere in the world where you can make a real contribution to a community and perhaps have a life-changing experience.
700 Places to Volunteer Before you Die, Nola Lee Kelsey, Dogs Eye View Media, 2010
(c) Christina Bolton