Voluntourism

DIY Voluntourism — the series

Over the past weeks I’ve been writing about my experiences of DIY Voluntourism. What is DIY Voluntourism, I hear you ask?

In a nutshell, it’s finding volunteer placements to turbo charge your travel experiences. And doing the finding yourself. As travellers search for richer experiences, a whole industry has sprung up offering ‘voluntourism’ — for a fee, of course. Don’t need to fork out the cash, save that for your travels. Do it yourself!

I’ve put together a series about my experiences of DIY Voluntourism

In 2007, I took a mid-life, gap year ‘career break’. I had great fun meeting new people and learning new skills. Even picking up some local lingo along the way. I estimate that about six months out of the twelve were taken up in volunteering. I had fun, made friends and my volunteer stints stretched my travel dollar.

I’ve also done one great stint at home in Australia — the Great Cane Toad Muster — and I’ve found two new opportunities for voluntourism that I’m looking forward to trying.

So, with out further ado, here is my series for your reading, and travelling, pleasure. As my Nana used to say, “May the road rise up to meet you!”

DIY Voluntourism and your career break

‘Voluntourism’ may not be the right word for what I’m going to talk about in this post. I’ve never considered myself a tourist. But ‘voluntraveller’ doesn’t really work, so here goes anyway. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #1 Help Exchange

Help Exchange  — HelpX for short — is an online listing of ‘hosts’ and ‘helpers’. It was set up in 2001 by Rob Prince, an English backpacker and web developer. Combining his love of backpacking with his web development skills, Rob created his online noticeboard to match working holiday makers with farms or small holdings in need of help. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #2 Wwoof

Wwoof is a worldwide network to promote organic farming.  Founded in England in 1971, it is now an international movement which encourages sustainable living through organic and biodynamic food production. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #3 Green Volunteers

Green Volunteers is the place to find conservation projects in need of volunteers. Volunteers can purchase the guidebook or a link to the online listings which gives access to the database. Green Volunteers is affiliated with Archeo-Volunteers and World Volunteers. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #4 Idealist

Idealist is not strictly about matching up volunteers with hosts. A project of Action without Borders, it’s a non-profit online community noticeboard where organisations and individuals exchange information and ideas. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #5 – word of mouth

Someone always knows someone who wants to help — don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #6 Your own backyard

The Great Cane Toad Muster took place for a couple of years in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I was lucky enough to go along as a volunteer for two weeks back in 2010. READ MORE

DIY Voluntourism #7 – Workaway and Diverbo

Workaway and Diverbo are two sites I haven’t tried, yet. But they come highly recommended via the best possible way: word of mouth. READ MORE