If you want to make a difference while traveling the world, volunteer projects abroad may be the answer. Projects abroad allow you to visit unforgettable, exotic destinations while doing your bit to make the world a better place. One of the most popular destinations for volunteers is Africa, with its fantastical landscape, unique wildlife and strong, vibrant peoples. If you have ever dreamt of falling asleep to the sound of roaring lions or watching a herd of buffalos stampede across wide-open plains, projects abroad in Africa are a great way to experience this magical continent while giving something back to the communities that live here.
There are dozens of different projects abroad in Africa to choose from, whether you want to work with endangered animals, experience daily village life, teach children to read, or collect data on wild sea creatures. You could travel anywhere from South Africa to Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique and beyond. Volunteer programs generally provide you with accommodation and meals, and you’ll also get plenty of time off to explore the local area or go on safari.
Here are a few top ideas for African projects abroad:
Working with Kids
Education – particularly English language skills – is in high demand throughout much of Africa, so many projects abroad involve working with kids. You might be in a school teaching children to read or write, or spending time in their homes supervising homework. If you’re more the athletic type, you could consider sports projects abroad. Because many children in Africa are disadvantaged, they don’t have access to proper sports coaching; you might teach them to play football, netball, athletics or whatever you’re most interested in. Some of these kids have never seen a football before, so if you bring some basic equipment along, it can make a real difference to their lives.
From lions and cheetahs to elephants, monkeys and sharks, Africa’s wildlife is famous for its diversity. Due to logging, poaching, disease and other threats, many of these magnificent species are now endangered and there is a real opportunity for animal lovers to make a difference. On wildlife projects abroad, you might find yourself caring for injured primates, bottle-feeding orphaned baby elephants, monitoring big game in a safari park, or scuba diving to collect data on coral reefs, turtles and whale sharks.
If you want to really immerse yourself in the African way of life, community projects abroad are a great idea. Depending on your skills and interests, you could contribute to medical projects, HIV/AIDS awareness programs, orphanage work, or construction, to name just a few. Volunteers might also help with basic tasks like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, supervising children, and singing songs. Living among local families while supporting their community through projects abroad is an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that helps you to see the world from a different perspective.
Whatever your interests, there are dozens of different projects abroad to choose from in Africa.
Madeleine Clague+ is looking forward to her next adventure overseas