Fifty-five per cent of Millennial Travellers said that their companies’ volunteer policies influenced their decision to accept the job and that given the chance, they’re more interested in working for companies who value corporate volunteer programs, charitable projects and support employees who donate their free time to a cause than those who don’t. These facts are a good indicator of the rise of social responsibility and volunteer travel (aka volun-tourism).
Millennials are environmentally conscious by nature and embrace conscientious consumerism. According to a survey done by Trip Advisor, 71% of their members said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices next time they travel. They engage in responsible travel because it’s their way of giving something back, learning new skills, sharing their knowledge and meeting locals. From lending a hand on organic farms and teaching English to helping protect endangered species, there are thousands of NGO´s that offer opportunities to get involved and help. Here is a list of the best programs and organizations, fit for Millennial Travellers who crave to support a good cause:
- The International Ecotourism Society encourages responsible travel to natural areas that support environmental conservation and improves the welfare of local people.
- World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms links volunteers with organic farms and growers. They offer stays of 1 week to an entire year throughout 53 countries.
- GeoTourism sustains the geographical character of a place, from its environment and heritage to its culture and the well being of its residents.
- Help the Turtles. There are thousands of organizations that help threatened sea turtles and their nesting beaches. When travelling to tropical beaches, make sure you ask the local tourism office for local groups that help endangered species. Or find out before you go by visiting: www.seaturtles.org
- Helping to Empower. Also called Pro-Poor Tourism, travellers seek to increase poor people’s net benefits. Find out what you can do to help.
- Teach English. In addition to teaching, the Sudan Volunteer Programme seeks travellers who wish to engage in community projects in Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries. All your costs, except airfare, are covered plus you receive a monthly stipend.
- Responsible Tourism in South Africa. Does Cape Town sound exciting? Millennials will be able to maximize their experience by helping local communities to conserve their culture, habitat and species.
- United Nations Volunteers, Worldwide Interested in healthcare or economic development? How about assisting after natural disasters? The United Nationals links those who seek to make a difference with international NGO´s.
- Help Exchange, Worldwide links hosts with volunteers to work on a garden or school, build houses and community centres. Board and lodging is provided.
Would you like to read more about other green projects you can get involved with? Make sure to visit the International Projects Abroad.
Will you be taking part of one of a kind experiences? Where will you be lending a helping hand this Summer?