While globe-trotting, I enjoy Traveling with a Purpose by getting involved with local charities if there’s anything I can do to help and give back to the community I’m visiting. My favorite is visiting schools and playing with local kids. Even a smile goes a long way at a stranger. But as outsiders, we also have to be cautious in not disrupting their day-to-day life because of our selfish desire to ‘help’. We owe it to them to do our own research ahead of time and have to be careful as there are many scams out there ripping off tourists by either:
- Charging too much money to volunteer
- Or even hurting children at the sake of getting tourists to donate (ie: some Cambodian “orphanages” or children street beggars controlled by pimps).
In my ‘Charities‘ section, I share tips on volunteering abroad, as well as accredited NGO’s to donate to. This includes many that I have personally visited or worked with, and some that I have done extensive research in their financial transparency.
There are some phenomenal Non-Profits out there that do not take volunteers because they prefer to hire locals to boost the economy. This is the case of my favorite non-profit, Room to Read, who’s mission is to eradicate illiteracy & gender inequality around the world by publishing books in local languages throughout 15 countries in the world. While they do not take outside volunteers, there are allocated dates throughout the year in various countries for donors.
In this section, I have included several other non-profits (locally & globally) that I would recommend donating to, based on your interest. There are also opportunities to volunteer on the local level through fundraising or raising awareness.