Happy Birthday Working Abroad!
Tomorrow marks the day, when the founders of Working Abroad – Vicky and Andreas – started compiling together information from their travels and volunteering experiences twenty years ago! This was the beginning of a journey that now spans volunteer projects and partners around the World, who all work towards the common goal of making the World a better place through conservation and development efforts.
It all started out with the information that was collected from all over the world, which helped create a volunteer database. It consisted of personalised reports on NGOs and grassroots organisations that were interested in bringing volunteers to their projects. Over the years, the requests for personalised reports grew continuously, and about 100 reports were done each month! Then in 2013, the database went online and has since been searched over 220,000 times. More than 1200 volunteer projects from organisations around the world have been added, which now represents over 120 different countries!
In 2001, Working Abroad started to collaborate with local partner organisations directly. Through our collaborations with local project partners abroad, Working Abroad has managed to assist with many great achievements. These 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 Rural 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.
- 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.
We have collected the achievements of our local project partners in one report. You now have the chance to get to know the difference you have been part of. What they all have in common regardless of location or type of project, is that every single one of our partners are greatly appreciative and grateful for the help that volunteers bring to the projects every year!
As volunteering around the world is getting an even larger sector in the travel industry, compared to what it was 20 years ago, making the right choices have become increasingly more important. Like in any other industry, you will find the organisations and agencies, who are in the business for money and profits. Working Abroad wants to be part of the solution that prevents the cruel exploitation of animals and people alike, and thus continues to value and put strong emphasis on being an ethical volunteer project provider. We hope that YOU as a future volunteer will also be part of the solution, and do your research before going abroad.
Working Abroad works with the aim of bringing people from around the World together. Many of our volunteer project partners wouldn’t be able to keep going without volunteers, and so, a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has volunteered in the past 20 years for your time and efforts! We are excited that we get to continue helping people and our partners alike, to come together in many years to come, and to produce great results and achieve goals in the name of conservation and development.
Cheers to another 20 years for Working Abroad. Let’s discover the world together!