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December 2017 Newsletter

Hello All,

I have just returned from almost three months working on the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the U.S. states of Texas and Georgia.  Since 2003 I have been a reservist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) here in the U.S. since 2003.

If there is one common thread that I have been impressed by, in both my international and domestic work, it is the resilience of the human spirit.  I saw it either during, or just after, horrible wars in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. I just saw it again in Texas and Georgia. To observe and be a part of the process of courageous people rebuilding devastated lives is both gratifying and an honor.

A well-chosen program in international volunteering can offer similar rewards.  Now is a good time to start searching for a volunteer program for 2018. Be sure and choose a program that addresses issues in which you have great interest.  Also, do your homework regarding the volunteer placement organization.  Make sure that it has a track record of working with and serving the local communities in which it operates. Talk with former volunteers.  For more ideas that might be of help visit Choosing An Organization

Electing Risk

I have an article in the new book Step Outside Your Comfort Zone published by Chicken Soup for the Soul.  The article, Electing Risk, tells the story of how I changed my life by choosing to participate in an international volunteer opportunity despite my doubts and fears.

Content Information

Among the subjects included in this newsletter are how travel and volunteering has changed a woman’s life; how travelers, by packing an extra suitcase, can combine their journeys with humanitarian work; volunteering in Africa; volunteering with monkeys in Borneo; budget friendly sustainable travel; and voluntourism.


John Dwyer



How Tourists Can Save Lives

An organization that began in Ontario, Canada has found a unique way for travelers to offer direct humanitarian help while on their journeys.  Read the article at CNN Travel
Photo by Not Just Tourists

Monkeying Around in Borneo

The Guardian recently had a fascinating article about volunteering with the UK-based Orangutan Foundation in Borneo.  Find it at The Guardian.

Photograph: Anup Shah

How Travel Changed My Life – Deborah Rodriguez

Author, volunteer and traveler, Deborah Rodriguez, discusses how travel and volunteering has changed her life at 60 Travel at 60.

Why I Volunteer in Africa

Traveler and photographer, Howie Minsky, in a conversation with a friend, found out about international volunteering in Africa. He did it and found it life-changing.  Read
Why I Volunteer in Africa in the Boca Raton Magazine.

Photo by Howie Minsky

Voluntourism – Traveller

An article in the Australian publication, Voluntourism, offers some excellent ideas about what to consider when you are planning your international volunteer trip.
Find it at Seven Things to Know Before You Volunteer Overseas.

Photo: Alamy Stock Photo

 Sustainable Travel
We who are interested in international volunteering are very aware of the importance of sustainable travel.  Lucas Peterson writes as The Frugal Traveler for the New York Times.  His piece in that newspaper shows that one can be a sustainable traveler and budget conscious. Sustainable Travel Can Be Budget Friendly.


International Volunteer Organizations Newsletters and Websites
Bat Conservation
Biosphere Expeditions
Conservation Volunteers
Cuso International
Earthwatch Institute

Go Eco
Doctors Without Borders
Projects Abroad
Volunteering Solutions

You will find more international volunteer opportunities at Volunteer Opportunities.

As I mentioned in my introduction to this newsletter, be sure and do your homework when choosing an international volunteer program.  Be sure and visit Choosing an Organization to get some suggestions about how to pursue your research.

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