VWIS (our original name before WorkingAbroad) was established and registered in Switzerland as an independent organisation in early 1997 by two ex-volunteers after we had travelled extensively and worked as volunteers in the USA and India.
"We felt very privileged to have had the chance to work, learn and interact with people from different cultures and social and economic backgrounds. Seeing the vast opportunities to work with various projects or causes, we felt it necessary to communicate this to others.
During our own search for work around the world, we managed to research, collect and compile hundreds of documents and papers from organisations undertaking voluntary work projects. Being in close contact with ex-colleagues, friends and people we had met abroad, we saw a trend towards working in the field as volunteers.
We noticed that when someone shows an interest in the above, they often come across a problem of whom to contact, where to find the jobs, how to go about it, and unfortunately, most of the main organisations and NGOs will decline their applications".
WorkingAbroad believes that the environmental and humanitarian agencies and NGOs play a primary role in educating and communicating to the public and recruiting more people to work on important issues, such as environmental degradation, poverty and disease, education, social problems, wildlife conservation, housing and so on.
It is therefore important that people, especially the young, should be encouraged and be given the possibility to create and develop new ideas and projects, and feel that their contribution is crucial to the continuation of the growing environmental and humanitarian movement. If organisations are unable to encourage this trend, many applicants would be left having to change their direction and accept a secondary alternative in a different sector.
This is why it is important that a proper and easily accessible network of information is made available to help all those looking for careers in these fields. WorkingAbroad, therefore, strives towards providing people with a guide to taking the first step towards a career that is aimed at the betterment of other people’s lives and conserving the natural environment.
In August 2000, WorkingAbroad decided to expand its coverage into the UK establishing a new office in Hove, East Sussex and we created WorkingAbroad Projects, which is a non-profit organisation which is responsible for placing volunteers on our projects all over the world. In March 2010, the office moved to Lewes, East Sussex, UK.