Volunteering and Healthy Living

Using hard earned-vacation or paid time off to volunteer may not resonate with everyone right off the bat. Understanding how volunteer travel and volunteering both domestically and internationally creates a healthier lifestyle, while also helping and learning from others is important. Working together as equals with host communities is a major focus in all Globe Aware programs.

Read more and find out where to begin with Globe Aware' s volunteer abroad programs CLICK HERE


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Many different reasons for a volunteer vacation

There are many different reasons to volunteer, some of the obvious being that your efforts are good for the community and it makes you feel great. This article discusses how volunteering abroad on a volunteer vacation with groups like Globe Aware is also particularly great for your health and well-being.  As a way for clearing your mind and refocusing, putting yourself into a new and interesting culture while giving back can be as powerful as a yoga retreat. Read here for more on how service abroad can be good for your body and mind:



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Preparing for Volunteering Abroad

One of the most common questions we hear from potential volunteers is, What shots or vaccines do we need before traveling to our destination? In many cases, there are no mandatory shots or vaccines, but we always recommend checking with your general practitioner and referencing the US Center for Disease Control' s website. It' s important to be aware of any recommendations that are not necessarily mandatory for entering a specific country. It is also wise to know about your host community' s geographic location. For example, mosquitos may be prevalent in some parts of a country while in other areas with a higher altitude, they may not be a problem at all.

For more information on how to better prepare for a volunteer vacation, visit https://www.abroaderview.org/prepare-volunteer-vaccinations


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Student Volunteerism

Exposure to new places, cultures, and ideas is vital to broadening the world view of our students and a key component of Globe Aware' s mission. Volunteer vacations are also a great way to develop lifelong skills and passions that may not be realized in other avenues. Read the attached article for insight on these benefits and others involved with student volunteer travel.



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Tourism to change for the better in 2019

volunteer vacations globe wareAs major tourist destinations become overrun with tourists searching for the perfect photo for social media, many are turning to alternate ways of exploring new destinations. Volunteer vacations are a fantastic way to not only see the major sites, but also learn from the local people and culture. Working side by side with local experts on a variety of community driven projects will open your eyes and heart in a way that is incomparable to travel as a typical tourist. The sharing of thoughts, ideas, customs and beliefs will leave a long-lasting impact. Check out this article on predicted travel trends this year and reach out to Globe Aware to help plan your meaningful travel adventure.


National Geographic

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New Year Resolution? How About Volunteer Travel

As 2019 quickly approaches many people are starting the process of setting goals for the new year. One common goal is to be more intentional with giving back and volunteering. To make this resolution happen this year it is vital to assess interests and strengths in order to foster a rich experience for both the volunteer and the recipient community. Globe Aware offers an array of international volunteering experiences that can focus on individual' s skills or strengths. Read this article to see some of the benefits of volunteering abroad and locally.

The importance of volunteering in the community

Volunteering connects you to others

By Reggie Connell
The Apopka Voice

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. However, volunteering is a two-way street, and it can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Volunteering as a family
While it might be a challenge to coordinate everyone' s schedules, volunteering as a family has many worthwhile benefits. Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help others and enact change. It' s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family.

I have limited mobility' can I still volunteer?
Whether due to a lack of transportation, time constraints, a disability or other reasons, many people prefer to volunteer via phone or computer. There are many projects where you can help. Writing and graphic design lends itself to working at home, and in today' s digital age many organizations might also need help with email and websites.

If you think home-based volunteering might be right for you, contact organizations you like and ask what some of the possibilities might be. Some volunteer organizations may require you to attend an initial training or periodical meetings. You also want to make sure that you are getting enough social contact, and that the organization is available to support you should you have questions.

Volunteering: The happiness effect
Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being "very happy" rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy' a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000"$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers. Giving time to religious organizations had the greatest impact.

Volunteering can advance your career
If you' re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you' re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you' ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.

Volunteering can provide career experience
Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you' re interested in. For example, if you' re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.

Volunteering can teach you valuable job skills
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women' s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.

Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, lead local hikes, or help at a children' s camp.

Consider your goals and interests
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Start by thinking about why you want to volunteer. Also, think about what you would enjoy doing. Volunteer opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling for you.




The Apopka Voice

International Volunteers day supported by Globe Aware

Many marked International Volunteers day with celebrations this week. Globe Aware supports the same vision in this article and reinforced by the State of the World Volunteering Report released last week, that this kind of unpaid service supports peace and social cohesion that helps everyone. Here is a great article in the Samoa Observer, on how volunteers celebrate with games, fashion parade.

Volunteers celebrate with games, fashion parade

By Sapeer Mayron

09 December 2018

With the formalities done on Wednesday, International Volunteers Day took on another flavour yesterday at One U.N House in Tuanaimato.

Volunteers from Japan, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other far flung places gathered to be pampered with speeches, good food, and sports out on the field.

They even treated each other to a fashion show, to display the Samoan workwear and accessories they' ve acquired on their journey.

Welcoming the volunteers were the directors of the Peace Corp, United Nations, Japan International Cooperation Agency and diplomatic representatives of New Zealand and Australia.

On behalf of Australia, deputy high commissioner Amanda Jewell echoed the words of acting high commissioner to New Zealand, Nick Hurley.

"Sometimes there are challenges, but they are opportunities to change, and to be changed," she said.

"We are here to commemorate the lasting contribution you' re all making in Samoa."

Simona Marinescu, referencing the State of the World Volunteering Report released last week, said volunteering, especially when unpaid, supports peace and social cohesion.

She urged the agencies and volunteers to map out the work they are doing against the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda to assess where their work was helping the most.

In closing her address, Ms. Marinesu told the volunteers how much they are valued. "We are fond of you; we are respectful of your work, which you do in an unconditional, direct way.

It tells us a lot about your hearts, and values." Peace Corp country director Ginni Wilderson said for the American volunteers who are placed in villages both rural and urban, learning the language and having a good laugh with their host families is just as important as the literacy work.

"It' s all about what we have in common, what makes us laugh, and remembering we are all human," she said. The formalities of the day ended with a fashion show ("Because volunteers are part of the fabric of society," said Ms. Wilderson), and games like tug of war on the field.

Samoa Observer

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Volunteer Travel and Other Strategies for Raising Generous Kids

Globe Aware is one of the few organizations that offer opportunities to families of all ages to participate in our volunteer travel programs. It is important to understand the growth and emotional capacities of children during these vital years and the effect that has on them as adults. How do you raise children to become caring, philanthropic centered adults? Read more here on how to foster a sense of compassion in your children.



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Volunteer Tourism Has Enormous Impact on Travelers and Communities

Inspiring Volunteer Tourism Participation 

Volunteering has an incredible impact for both the volunteer and the community being served. It might be hard to measure in numbers, but Morven Maclean takes a unique approach at assessing this and lays out tools for both volunteer tourism organizations and volunteering groups at large. Take a look at this article for helpful tips on increasing volunteer participation and securing funding.

Volunteering has a crucial impact – so prove it!

Volunteering participation in Scotland has remained largely static over the last ten years, with just 28% of adults volunteering in 2017. If we' re serious about driving participation rates and inspiring new audiences to volunteer, we need to start shouting about the incredible impact that volunteering can have, on volunteers, on our organisations and on wider society. In order to do this, we need evidence.

As volunteering professionals, we often lament that we' re not listened to, our departments are not invested in and that volunteering is undervalued by our organisations. But what are we doing about it?

volunteer tourism
Are we demonstrating to our senior leadership teams how volunteering helps achieve our organisations' strategic objectives? Surely that would grab their attention and put volunteering on the map? As volunteer programme managers, we should spend less time on day-to-day transactional work and more time evidencing the impact that volunteers make. Until we do that, we won' t achieve the profile and investment that volunteering deserves.

Volunteering is crucial, not only to organisations but to achieving the outcomes of a better Scotland.

We need to get better at sharing the positive impact that we know volunteering has on our organisations. We need to showcase to senior leaders, volunteers, stakeholders and the wider world that volunteering is crucial, not only to volunteer-involving organisations but to achieving the outcomes of a better Scotland. It makes sense and is worth investing in. In order to achieve that and to get the attention of senior leadership and funders, we need to gather and share evidence of impact.

Last year the Scottish Volunteering Forum established a volunteering impact measurement sub-group in order to raise the profile of impact measurement amongst volunteer-involving organisations. The group created and distributed a questionnaire amongst volunteer-involving organisations across Scotland. The results of the questionnaire were revealing and demonstrate that a lot more needs to be done to evidence the impact of volunteering.

Responding to feedback from the questionnaires, the Forum has developed a new guide which helps volunteer-involving organisations to start, or improve their impact measurement practices. We' re launching the guide this week, along with a brand new guide for funders which has also been developed by the forum.

Unfortunately, we often find that volunteering is not afforded the value or recognition that it deserves. Despite all of the significant benefits detailed in our new guide for funders, we find that volunteering activity is routinely left out of the strategic planning stage by funders, funding recipients and policy makers, which often means that it is under-resourced and under-measured. The guide for funders demonstrates the significant benefits that volunteering provides and explains why volunteering is a sound investment. It also highlights the importance of adequate and realistic planning, budgeting and measurement to ensure that volunteering activity is successful.

It' s vital that volunteer-involving organisations develop ways to measure the impact of their volunteering programmes on volunteers and beneficiaries, in order to improve performance and demonstrate the value of volunteering both internally and externally. We need to understand what' s working and what' s not; and to act upon any lessons learned so as to drive the quality of volunteering in Scotland.

The more we demonstrate the impact of volunteering on organisational performance, Government policy and wider societal/community impacts, the easier it will be to secure funding for volunteering. The more we demonstrate the impact that volunteering has on volunteers, the more likely it will be that current volunteers continue to volunteer regularly and that non-volunteers start volunteering.

So this International Volunteer Manager' s Day – on Monday 5th November – make impact measurement your pledge. Check out our new guides and start measuring the impact of volunteering. You never know, the evidence you gather could be transformational for your volunteering programme, your organisation and for wider society.

Morven MacLean is volunteering development manager at Children’s Hospices Across Scotland

Third Force News

A Volunteer Vacation Is A Great Travel Option After Retirement

Volunteer Vacations for Retirees

Many people struggle with balancing a meaningful lifestyle after reaching retirement age. Voluntourism trips are a great way to connect with a local community, see the world, and learn from incredible people from all walks of life. Check out this article that dives a little deeper into traveling and volunteering once retired and steps you can take now to ensure a fulfilling experience.

How to Travel the World After You Retire

OCTOBER 14, 2018

Hitting the road after retirement, whether by vehicle or plane, train, or cruise ship, is the goal of many people contemplating a work-free future.

Both retirees and those years away from retirement look forward to relaxation, travel, family time, and leisure activities, according to a survey by Prudential Financial. And another study by Bank of America indicated that 95 percent of retirees would prefer to have enjoyable experiences over buying things. Travel is a way to achieve this ' whether visiting out-of-town relatives or vacationing together.

Travel and Retirement Finances
Funding travel along with basic living expenses on a fixed income is a concern for many retirees. In this age of increased longevity, costly health care, and declining availability of pensions, many retirees find that their savings and investments are not adequate.

 "While working and preparing for retirement, it' s important to take full advantage of savings options including catch-up contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s. That is critical in creating a nest egg," Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride of Bankrate.com told Travel + Leisure. "Travel expenses will need to be funded from those savings." He suggests paying off as much debt as possible to create breathing room in the retirement budget that might provide some latitude for expenses such as travel.

Volunteer vacations with Globe Aware
Asked about how retirees can fit in travel during the early years of retirement when health and mobility might make travel easier, McBride advises pre-retirees to build travel costs into anticipated retirement expenses as opposed to waiting until retirement to figure out how to pay for travel. He warns against pulling too much money from savings early in retirement.

"The risk is taking withdrawals in a falling market during those early years. It' s very hard to recover from that," he said, adding that tax planning is important. "Be aware of tax obligations when you start taking minimum distributions as required after age 70 and a half."

McBride suggests that savvy consumers use credit cards that offer attractive rewards. "They can fund significant travel expenses ' airline and hotel points or rebates can offset travel costs. This works for disciplined consumers who will pay off the balance every month."

Retirement Travel Planning with a Professional
T+L asked Peggy Goldman, president and founder of Friendly Planet Travel about retirees with limited budgets and the desire to travel. "Great experiences can be affordable for almost anyone. We' re able to create programs that even retirees with fixed incomes will be able to manage, with no compromise on quality."

 Since international travel is on many bucket lists, "the number of first-time international travelers is growing each year," Goldman said. "Individuals have to be realistic about themselves, what they' re capable of, and what arrangements they need. We advise them not to limit themselves in terms of selecting programs ' if they feel good and can do it, they should go for it."

Goldman says that travelers are seeking experiences instead of just sightseeing: "People want to interact with locals; they want to get their hands dirty in the kitchen, meet people in their homes," she said. "That' s what is so wonderful about people-to-people experiences and optional excursions. It' s more than just visiting monuments; it' s about having experiences with people."

Asked for some examples, Goldman described how visitors to Hangzhou can visit tea plantations for demonstrations on how agricultural workers select and pick the leaves. Travelers get a chance to do it for themselves and gain a new appreciation for the tea they' re drinking. "And don' t rule out things like zip lines or hanging upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone. Typically it' s the older folks who don' t care how they look, so they' re just game to try something new."

A May 2018 study by Booking.com found "a surge in solo travel, with two fifths (40 percent) of global baby boomers having taken a solo trip in the last year, and another fifth (21 percent) planning to take one in the future." Goldman' s Friendly Planet Travel has already seen more solo bookings this year, with their Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise solo trip bookings up by 116 percent, and A Taste of South Africa package up by 95 percent. "We often find that our solo travelers form close friendships with their group members that enrich their lives and future travels."

Travel Options for Retirees
Cruises offer many choices, from river cruises in Europe, Asia, and South America, to ocean cruises just about anywhere in the world. Nearly all-inclusive with most details planned ahead, the ability to visit many places easily, onboard entertainment, quality dining, and specialized themes, cruises are attracting more travelers each year.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2018 Industry Outlook study showed a steady increase of cruise passengers over the last 10 years, and 27 new ocean, river, and specialty ships set to debut this year. The study also indicates that cruisers come from all income levels, with a third having a household income of less than $80,000 annually.

Train travel takes passengers away from highway traffic and airport crowds, while allowing them to enjoy the surrounding scenery in comfort. Domestic and international routes cover many popular destinations, and for long trips, private sleeping quarters are available. Lounges, restaurants, bar cars, and room to move around make train travel a desirable alternative for travelers.

Many seniors want the total freedom and access to out-of-the-way places that road trips offer. Recreational vehicle sales are increasing each year as more retirees are getting on the road in this relatively low-cost mode of travel. If rolling through the country in an RV sounds appealing, a good way to start is with a rental. Before investing in a vehicle, it' s important to be sure it meets one' s needs and capabilities.

Volunteer vacations offer travel along with an opportunity to contribute skills and experience to others both domestic and abroad. Many seniors are finding these trips to be rewarding, and they can also fulfill the desire to interact with locals and broaden cultural experiences. Others enjoy "learning vacations," traveling for workshops, conferences, cooking schools, cultural programs, or music festivals.

Older travelers are increasingly tech savvy, and many still prefer to book their own trips through airline and hotel websites. They buy tickets online to avoid lines at museums and attractions, and they shop for the best fares, room rates, and last-minute deals. Their flexibility allows them to take advantage of off-season and shoulder season rates, longer stays, and mid-week airfares.

Whatever mode of transportation, destination, or price level a traveler chooses, there are options available for everyone who desires to make travel a goal for their retirement years.

Travel + Leisure