There is another way of traveling: to countries in need. There are many good persons that work as a volunteer in different ways, but how about travel for the purpose to enlighten ourselves and to recover our compassion?

We see so much disasters in the news that we’ve gone somewhat numb, no feelings for other humans left other than the ones in our nearest surroundings. We’ve become more selfish. Despite the fact that we nowadays can spread the news more far away, our feelings seem to be the opposite.

Whatever your opinions are, political or not, you can’t close your eyes for the humans living – or dying – in miserable conditions. If you’re human.

Some of those countries are possible to visit as a tourist and if not, we can always travel in mind, by videos or other peoples telling us how it is.

Blogs are such wonderful sources. I decided to write this post when reading the blog about Darfur: An Unforgivable Hell on Earth started by Cooper.

Darfur is just one of too many places around the world that needs our support and that we open up peoples eyes for this inhuman suffering that is going on and is allowed to continue. Sure, it’s complicated and difficult to stop, but we should never stop trying.

Read some suggestions of What You Can Do Now here.

You can start with reading and subscribing:

Darfur: An Unforgivable Hell on Earth

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Then have a look at the site Eyes On Darfur, to see the horrible proof with your own eyes.

Despite the fact that Sweden is a very small country, about the size of California and with only around 9 millions inhabitants, we’ve always been handling quite much international help, including accepting a lot of refugees to stay in our country. Sweden’s support for Sudan has been going on for about 30 years now.

Sweden has now said yes to increase this support for extra humanitarian support in Chad where the refugees is counted to be around a half million persons. Of those are at least half of them refugees from Darfur. The support (32 million SEK) is being distributed by different FN-organs to cover the most emergency needs like water, food and health care.

What’s stopping us from going to those countries in need, to help them? When I Googled “volunteer work africa”, Google delivers pages after pages, so there is no lack of need obviously… Considering how many people there are around, it’s clearly not enough of them becoming volunteers.

Among other things, it’s security as well as health issues that might stop us – and our families. You have to be healthy (both physically and mentally) to try something like this. When I was young, I was to unsecure to do it alone and when becoming older, I already had a lot of health issues unfortunately.

So, if not if had been, I could have done some travel this way when I was younger healthier. It’s without doubt a great way to see the real world and get some real life experience that is totally unbeatable.

I wish that it were more opportunities to travel to recover our compassion and our humanity without the must of doing volunteer work. Maybe more of us would go then?

Any one that knows of any travel agency that arrange those kind of trips? Me neither….

Captain Lifecruiser

Some sites with Volunteer work abroad: – Action Without Borders
Working Abroad
Voluntary Service Overseas
UN Volunteers
Doctors Without Borders
Engineers Without Borders
Habitat for Humanity
Cross-Cultural Solutions
Peace Corps

17 Comments on “Volunteer travel for humanity”

    RennyBA said:

    This is a very interesting subject and I know Norway and Sweden has contributed a lot, also financially in Darfur. However their government has refused, so we are we are now compelled to withdraw our offer :-(

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Oslo Winter Festival

    Lynda Lehmann said:

    I admire you for publishing such humanitarian posts. You are right to say that it’s quite complicated. By the time we have the courage and determination to help, or have raised our children, we have health problems or aging parents or ongoing concerns about adult children. But you’re right also, that we must keep these tragedies in our awareness and always be part of the fight for justice, even if it’s just in small and peripheral ways. It’s always better to do something, than nothing.

    Thanks for the post and the sites to inform us!

    Lynda Lehmann’s last blog post..Almost Perfect

    Kango said:

    Captain, this post should have had a picture of Angelina Jolie in Africa. :mrgreen:

    Seriously, for all the glitz and glamour she brings, Angelina Jolie has singlehandedly done more to promote volunteer travel to Africa than all the governments and federal agencies put together.

    Kango’s last blog post..Alright, Mr. DeMille . . . I’m ready for my close-up

    chase said:

    I am all for volunteer work since I used to volunteer for the needy as well.

    chase’s last blog post..Rewind, Recaps And The Lot Part 3

    snes said:

    You article is great and obviously well informed but how do you get the opportunities to volunteer relaid to a wider audience so more people can take part in the UK there seems to be little or no profile for volunteering in Africa

    Carmi said:

    I often wonder what I’d do if I were independently wealthy and didn’t have to work 9 to 5. Volunteer travel would be first on my list.

    Sadly, the travel agencies and related organizations are too focused on cruises and resorts – neither of which does much to give back to the so-called developing societies that fuel their profitability.

    Maybe if we keep it on our collective radar, that will begin to change. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing so that the dream of independent wealth allows me the time to devote to this noble and worthy cause. Thank you for getting my mind racing!

    Carmi’s last blog post..Underwater flight

    TorAa said:

    Where the big human created catastrophes are, it’s is allways a danger to help people, women and children. The combatting parts does seldom allow. And money, equipment and food given are to seldom chanelled to the locals that need it the most, due to corruption. That’s a very sad fact. And also a political and religious

    What can we then do?
    One way is to help poor people by buying their goods, handicraft or food. All our christmas gifts this year were bought from locals (indigious) in the Andes. And checked whether it was locally made or not (We needed in fact to buy a need large bag for all the goods we bought). We stopped at the smallest shops in tiny settlements, and did buy some food and water. Far more than we needed. And at small “cafes”, to have a coffee, empanada, water. A couple of dollars extra turnover means more than most of us can imagine.

    Anna y Tor

    TorAa’s last blog post..Wine

    DianeCA said:

    Thank you for engaging us in this global problem. We sit so well in our safe little homes and are able to forget for a while that others live in fear and tradgedy.

    A major problem is that that the Justice and Equality movement (JEM), a military group in Darfur which opposes the Government of Sudan, often station themselves in civilian areas for camouflage. A result of this is that counter attacks by Janjawid and SAF do not discriminate between military and civilian areas and for example just on January 24 Janjawid and SAF forces carried out an attack which claimed 24 lives – “mostly farmers”.

    As if the military killings are not enough tens of thousands of women are subjected to rape and sexual violance as a war tactic in Darfur. Religious views make women who are victims of rape outcasts and break down the local society. Rape is commited for its effect on the local population to break the people through their women, and women are used as tools in the never ending violence! It’s inhuman!! (ok end of rant)

    What we can do as global activists is to support our national efforts as well as Amnesty International at which is a group we know of experience we can trust and support in international issues.

    On the home front we can greet the refugees of Darfur as well as other countries in conflict with respect and care. We can see past the color of their skin and their ‘broken’ Swedish, Norwegian, English, or whatever to understand that all people are worth equal respect and have equal human rights despite where they came from and the color of their skin. Thank you for bringing up this most engaging topic!!

    DianeCA’s last blog post..Role confict in modern society

    DianeCA said:

    The midnight editor (me) was so impressed that I added a shameless plug to you on my blog!

    DianeCA’s last blog post..Blogging activists – lets make the world a better place!

    claudie said:

    Of course we have to do something. First because we are humen. Can’t see those visions of horrors without a big reaction! Second because before colonisations, all these violence didn’t exist. Have these people lose their soul? Why?
    I have to say people who go to help around such conflicts are very courageous. all the possible preventions must be taken to do their life be protected. Thursday, I watched a reportage on TV about the “without papers” in France on TV! A human tragedy! what should we do if we were at their place? Why there aren’t loteries to save lifes when people who win here all this money don’t know how to spend it? What are waiting our politics (i just speak about my country) to inovate in human way whereas to spend their time with dictators or in luxious travels!? Luckily anonymous persons have the courage to engage in humanity aid.

    claudie’s last blog post..Vacation again

    cooper said:

    Thank you for posting this, I started grad school and so have been busy and get around less than usual, which is the reason I saw this late. ;(

    The IRC also takes volunteers,

    At this point in time, with the conflict not getting any better, we need to do all we can for the refugees in Dafur. With a conflict in Southern Sudan now spilling over the borders and increased violence it becomes more problematic.

    Those in the United States need to ask their candidate what their plan is for Darfur.

    The history of conflict in Darfur goes way beyond Darfur, it speaks to poverty, lack of potable water, and corrupt greedy governments empowered by those such as China who have great need of Sudan’s oil. The United Nations has been virtually useless in their attempts to do anything about this situation spending much too much time on a diplomacy which is bound to fail.

    To give people in third world countries power we need to give them first water, health – which speaks to water foremost, and ways to make a sustainable income. Seventy dollars per individual not as a handout but as an investment would significantly change the lives of many.

    The humanitarian efforts via many groups are certainly channeled properly, the corruption does not come from such but from the large investments in the oil of Sudan among other things.

    It is hard for me to believe the world is not fully informed on this matter really, but the conflict is only one among so many it seems.

    The American Refugee Committee – Norwegian Refugee Committee
    Doctors without Borders and
    are places where donations also get used well.

    cooper’s last blog post..Current Darfur

    SwordMama said:

    I’m hoping to do some when the kids are older. :mrgreen:

    SwordMama’s last blog post..Looks like…

    Sueblimely said:

    I was so proud of my daughter when she volunteered for some hard work, helping to dig and lay water pipes for a village in Northern Thailand. She found it so satisfying especially when the first tap ever in the village was turned on on Christmas Day. What an amazing Christmas gift – to her as well as the villagers.

    She volunteered through ADRA – an international development and relief agency

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    Jason Pearson said:

    Thanks for posting this. I have some friends that are serving as missionaries in Sudan and I am glad that you are bringing attention to the plight of this country. Keep up the good work.

    Jason Pearson’s last blog post..Jason Pearson Online

    Rose said:

    snes: FYI I volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions back in 2005 and most of the people in my program were from the UK. They offer great programs and I helped out at an orphanage in Tanzania for 5 weeks, but you do pay a fee for room, meals, etc., though I fundraised for my fee.

    Sofia said:

    Thank you for writing this.
    I will take action


    I’d love to do something like this but like many other people I have a hectic working life. Despite this I always try to be responsible when travelling and I think this is an improtant part of being a world citizen.

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