NEW YORK: The holiday season is a time of year when many people look beyond themselves and think about those in need. There are a plenty of ways to give back during the holidays, from donating to a local food bank or visiting senior citizens in your community. For those looking further abroad, international volunteer organization Projects Abroad offers hundreds of projects designed to help underprivileged communities. These projects run throughout the year, including the holidays, which means you can make a difference as a volunteer any time you choose. With so many options to choose from, Projects Abroad would like to share three ways you can bring joy to children in the developing world in 2016:
Help rebuild on the Disaster Relief Project in Nepal
Many of the Projects Abroad partner schools in Kathmandu, Nepal, were badly affected by the April 2015 earthquakes and were either heavily damaged or destroyed. The Disaster Relief Project, which launched in mid-June, focuses on rebuilding classrooms and other essential school facilities so that children and teachers can return to a normal routine. To date, fifteen new classrooms and improved toilet facilities have been built for Sunrise School, and volunteers are already working at three new sites. Thanks to Projects Abroad volunteers, hundreds of Nepalese children have been able to return to school and enjoy learning in a safe and clean environment, and hundreds more will be able to do so in 2016.
Contribute to Care Management Plans at a Care Project
Care Management Plans are an essential part of all Projects Abroad Care Projects in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Each plan connects the daily tasks of volunteers to a greater purpose and works toward long-term goals. Each volunteer, irrespective of their destination, works toward achieving these nine goals at their placement:
- increasing literacy
- increasing numeracy
- improving English
- promoting Early Childhood Development
- improving hygiene levels
- raising awareness of healthy living, the environment, and family planning
- increasing emotional support and care to children
- improving the level of stimulation to each child
- improving the quality of life for those living with disabilities
By implementing these plans at care centers, orphanages, and kindergartens, volunteers make a hugely significant and lasting impact on sustainable development and children’s futures.
Participate in a school vacation program
Throughout the year, Projects Abroad staff and volunteers facilitate vacation programs and camps during school breaks, which give disadvantaged children a safe space to have fun. Some of these programs are initiatives from volunteers themselves, such as the Deepmala Club in Nepal. Others, like the sports camp run by teenage volunteers every summer in Jamaica, are established programs that Projects Abroad offers yearly. This December, the organization is launching a new summer vacation program in Cape Town, South Africa, which will accommodate nearly 60 children from the underprivileged community of Vrygrond. For four weeks, volunteers and staff will run educational and creative workshops, play beach sports, hold a sandcastle competition, enjoy a Christmas party, and more. This is a wonderful way to bring joy to children, especially during school vacations and the holidays.
In all communities across the globe, children are an intensely vulnerable group. By choosing to volunteer on projects that aid children in developing countries in 2016 and beyond, you will be making a tangible impact on their lives and on the future of their communities. To learn more about opportunities with Projects Abroad, please visit www.projects-abroad.org.
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org.