We cannot believe it! This year, it has been 20 years since Vicky McNeil and Andreas Kornevall started WorkingAbroad on top of a barn in Switzerland. At a time when volunteering companies weren’t as abundant as today, they wanted to provide everyone the opportunity to assist organisations around the world with their time and experience, just as they had themselves. People that have volunteered at our projects in the past two decades, have contributed greatly to the work and goals that our local partner organisations aim to achieve.
Some of those achievements include:
• The release of over 15,000 turtles caught accidentally in fishing gear at our Watamu Sea Turtle Volunteer Project partner in Kenya since 1998, and seen over 57,000 hatchlings crawl into the ocean.
• The ability for our Ocean Research and Marine Conservation project partner in South Africa to pay for 11 teachers' salaries in the local community each year.
• Making it possible for our Community Development project partner in Nepal to hand out food and basic shelter to more than 2,000 people in three different locations in the weeks that followed the 2015 earthquake, rebuild 4 homes and livestock buildings in two villages that were destroyed, as well as an 8-classroom school that was re-opened in April 2017.
• Our Amazon Basin Research and Conservation project partner in Peru successfully preventing deforestation of 4,460 hectare highly-threatened virgin rainforest, despite the surrounding areas of the rainforest sadly experiencing increasing rates of deforestation. Former volunteers even come back to join as members of the Forest Ranger team.
• The creation of the PEACE Education Project at our Desert Elephant Project in Namibia, which helps communities understand how to live safely with elephants. Thus far, around 2,000 local community members have taken part.
Now, we are ready to celebrate with you for our 20th Anniversary! Therefore, we have a great competition in store. We want to see the pictures of the people, places, animals and landscapes where you have helped as a volunteer. So, to all former volunteers, whether via WorkingAbroad or not, send us your picture(s) from the project that you volunteered at. It should come with a short paragraph stating the name and location of the project, why you took this picture and what emotions and feelings – be it joy, wonder, sadness, happiness, fear, exhilaration etc, that it brought out in you, when you took the photo. An example can be a photo of you saying goodbye to your homestay family that you have spent weeks/months with, or a photo taken on a research vessel when a dolphin jumps out of the water, or the joy on children’s faces when you are teaching them a song from your country and so on.
It is simple to enter, you can submit your photos online via social media, or by emailing us!
Enter via Facebook:
1. Like/Follow our Facebook Page: WorkingAbroad Projects
2. Upload the picture(s) on your own Facebook timeline
3. Tag WorkingAbroad Projects in the picture(s) and use the #WAHappy20 hashtag
Enter via Twitter:
1. Follow our twitter Page: @workingabroad
2. Upload the picture(s) in a tweet
3. Tag WorkingAbroad in the tweet(s) and use the #WAHappy20 hashtag
Enter via Instagram:
1. Follow our Instagram Page: @workingabroadprojects
2. Upload the picture(s) in a post
3. Tag WorkingAbroad in the picture(s) and use the #WAHappy20 hashtag
Please make sure that that your Facebook picture, Twitter or Instagram account is public, so we have access to see it, and make sure that your picture is in high quality. If you don’t have an account on social media, you can still enter by sending us the photo(s) and text to the following email: WAHappy20@gmail.com
You can submit max. 3 photos by Monday 5th June 2017. We will choose the top 20 photos, which then will be published on our Facebook Page on 6th June 2017. You and your friends, families and pets will then have 1 week to generate the most likes for the picture you prefer, and the top 12 will be selected based on likes. From these, we will select the top 3 and ultimately the final winner.
The grand winner of this competition will get a 1 week paid trip to ONE of the following projects of your choice:
1. Playa Tortuga Turtle Conservation Project in Costa Rica
2. Ocean Research and Marine Conservation in South Africa
3. Blue Lagoon and Reef Monitoring project in Mauritius
4. Bear Tracking project in Sweden
5. Elephant Sanctuary Project in Thailand
6. Cloud Forest Project in Ecuador
7. Ecology and Conservation project in Australia/New Zealand
8. Teaching English project in Laos
The winner will also be featured in our WorkingAbroad Magazine alongside the two runner ups. The final winner will be announced on our birthday Tuesday 20th June 2017. The contestants with pictures from our own volunteer projects will also be in the running of featuring in our WorkingAbroad 2018 calendar, which they will be sent a copy of.
Here is an example of what we are looking for...
"A small group of us volunteers decided to join a park ranger to locate elephants, which had been around the area we were located. This shot depicts a family of elephants headed up from the water after having a swim together. I had always wanted to see elephants in the wild, and it was a breath-taking moment. However, I didn’t realise at the time how precious the moment was, until the next day, when others at the park wanted to go on a walking safari. The elephants were gone and had disappeared into the forest. It illustrated how nature doesn’t act according to our schedule, and in a brief moment, I was lucky enough to be at the right place to witness up close such a beautiful animal that is sadly disappearing so rapidly from our World." Mole National Park, Ghana
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