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Join Charity Travel

Charity Travel is about friendship and inclusion
We are promoting a concept/movement rather than an organization. You can join us simply by incorporating the idea of "charity travel" in your own journey. We have done our world trip in 2010 and hope we can inspire you. Personally, we will keep doing what we can whenever we travel to empower the poorest communities on this planet knowledge.

What we offer here is a step-by-step guide for the beginning charity traveler.

0. Be motivated for Travel as well as for Charity

Everybody has their own motivation to go make the world a better place. This motivation can be kindled by a person, a book, a movie, an article, personal loss, or a travel experience. We have compiled a list of resources that have inspired us in the course of our journey. Of course, we hope you are a little bit inspired by our own journey as well.

1. Find the right charitable projects

Use online platforms that profile charitable organizations. Bear in mind that smaller organizations might benefit more from your visit because they will benefit from the publicity (and trust) you can generate for them. To start, sign up for couchsurfing.org, (or hospitalityclub.org, or bewelcome.org, or trustroots.org).
Use their "keyword search" to find members that are involved with charitable projects/ngo's. We use keywords such as: "charity volunteer volunteering ngo environment orphanage street children"

Also become a member of platforms like
www.kindmankind.net (Our very own platform made after Charity Travel)
www.idealist.org (American. They are working on a vouching system)
www.causes.com (high tech, facebook-related)
www.wwoof.org (well-known platform for "willing workers on farms")
www.helpx.net (cultural exchange for working holiday, sign-up fee)
www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=9949 (rural couchsurfing in the developing world)

An Internet search will quickly yield many more results. It is essential that you use a platform that has a working system of references/testimonials to generate a network of trust. Feel free to use another platform, and please do suggest it to us. Remember, Charity Travel is an idea, not an organization. Also, you could browse the projects that we worked with, they  are generally open towards volunteers/contributors.
Knowing all this, you should be able to find a relevant, deserving, and efficient project.

2. Decide what you want to do

Volunteer
Yes you can! You can teach, translate, build, paint, cook, clean up, sew, make music, repair, dig a well, set up an Internet connection, organize a library, ghostwrite, drive, write, knit, make manure, install a solar panel, introduce rainwater catchment, play with children, make theater, sing, dance, lay bricks, make a bio gas tank, pickle, sensitize people on child abuse, women's rights, HIV and other issues, teach how to make handicrafts, help someone setting up a micro business, and so on. Browse the Charity Travel projects for examples.
Make sure you behave responsibly and discuss things with the local people whose guest you are.

Even without "professional experience" you often have more resources than you realize or can prove, but once you learn how to use them you can make a valuable contribution. There are many smaller ngo's (where the decision makers are actually on the ground!) that value this.

Donate
You can donate in cash or in kind. If an organization has a convincing program, such as a scholarship program or income generation, then you can simply donate your money, or the money you raised back home, to that program. In other cases, where you work with small startup initiatives, you better donate goods you buy locally or bring with you from home. Examples of things to donate are a sewing machine, a tricycle, tools, paint, stationary, library books, computers, solar panels, clothes, mobile phones, building materials.

But you can also donate something that you get for free: knowledge and ideas. For example, the best practice how to start a small library project at a rural school, how to grow low-maintenance crops on dry soil, or how to do effective HIV sensitizing in a slum, and so on. Bear in mind that donating expertise and ideas can often make a sustainable difference.

Connect
For already established ngo's it doesn't harm to have some extra connections. But for the really small organizations you support, connections can be vital. Once they are given a chance to present themselves, they will often do a much better job, distinguishing themselves from the scams.
Travelers - even if they don't want to invest much time or any money - can make a small detour, and visit projects and write references and recommendations for them, thus connecting them to the world.

Publish
Only networking is not enough. We advise you to keep an up-to-date travelblog as well. If you use the right keywords, it will be found by others and read by people who take your story as their example. Also make sure to share your audience with other bloggers by exchanging links.

3. Prepare your journey

If you have a limited time frame, it is better to plan your journey. Here is a list of typical preparation steps:
- Booking tickets. Try to avoid flying if possible. If you need to, a round-the-world ticket is an affordable option, and can be booked through STA travel or any other agency. Also consider carbon-offsetting.
- Contacting couchsurfers/organizations in advance. Sometimes it is better to plan ahead at least a month. However, you can also be spontaneous and contact your project on short notice once you are in the country.
- Visa issues. Some countries require you to issue a visa in your country of residence. In our case, India did. Other countries don't issue visas at the border. For a comprehensive overview of EU visa requirements, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_visa_lists. Americans can use travel.state.gov.
- Vaccinations. I went to a German doctor specialized in travel medicine. For information on specific countries, browse http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.aspx
- Store your stuff if you don't keep your apartment. There are plenty of selfstorage companies. Alternatively, you can organize a charity auction of course.
- Pack your bags. We suggest you travel very lightly: only one medium-sized 8 kg backpack is enough. It is accepted as carry-on luggage. Make sure it has a rain pouch. The contents, apart from clothes and hygiene stuff:
  • netbook. Any brand would do, however look for the longest battery life. Don't forget universal adaptors (US, UK, OZ, EU);
  • miniprojector. A nifty gadget that allows you to show movies on a large surface, ideal to 'edutain' children in rural areas. We use the tiny samsung mpb200; for example on aliexpress.com.
  • travel medicine. Mosquito repellent, disinfectant, aspirin, plasters, broad-spectrum antibiotics, (Imodium in case of sudden diarrhea), (malaria pills), painkillers (aspirin). Read about toothache relief. Don't forget international vaccination pass if you're visiting to tropical countries. Use a transparent bag for medications if you fly;
  • mobile phone+charger. For international SIM-cards see http://www.onesimcard.com/ or any other provider;
  • camera. A handheld camera is all we need. Don't forget charger and spare battery;
  • light sleeping bag (1.2kg) - just in case. You can buy  blankets and warm sweaters along the way and donate them to someone living on the street before flying out ;
  • personal cards with your email and blog addresses, to hand out en route. Easy to order online;
  • t-shirt with your own logo. Most photocopying shops can print t-shirts from a PDF file;
  • plenty of pens and paper - believe us.
- Keep your valuables safe. Best get a strong wallet and sew a strap to it that attaches it to your belt, hidden under your pants. It is invisible and some extra cash (US-dollar or euro) can really save the day.

4. Go!

Once you are on the road, your perspective will change and the new cultural context will give you wings.
To cut down the cost of traveling, we suggest the following:
  • go couchsurfing, of course, read their Newschannel-article on budget-traveling;
  • hitchhiking. use hitchwiki.org for basic information and the best spots;
  • use one of the many ride sharing-platforms if you don't feel like thumbing;
  • buy food in local stores, not in expensive tourist areas;
  • read the blogs of experienced travellers such as our affiliate bloggers;

If you are supporting a special project, please let us know so that we can showcase it on our website.

Thank you for learning about Charity Travel!

We wish you GOOD travels...

...and in case you stay at home, you can still contribute to kindmankind.net!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to be volunteer on something, but I don´t know how, on other hand I could improve my english.
Fabio-São Paulo-Brazil

santoshkumar said...

hi,
well i can serve my serbices as a doctor. plz tell me abt the projects coming up.
Dr Sharma.
9322 821971

Mike said...

I believe we can be better than simple people watching suffering situations of humans. Let me know the comming projects in Africa and how to help them personally. Thanks.

Abiezer Junqueira
lembrar@hotmail.com
Curitiba-Brazil

Anonymous said...

I am willing and able and passionate to serve and volunter in an orphange or school for one month, anywhere, anytime!
Let me know which organization/which country will want to take me up on it.

Muriel Martin
mmartingold@aol.com
Denver, Colorado, USA

Anonymous said...

i am committed to volunteering in an orphanage somewhere in Eastern Europe for 7 to 10 days. I want to go an vacation yet help out underprivileged people. I hope to get moving on this soon but there are so many programs so I need help.

Anonymous said...

hello
i am traveling to bali on the 13th of october. i would like to do something useful in indonesia, therefor i would be really really intrested in a charity project in indonesia! i there something in that time?
lg lena

Kamiel Verwer said...

Thank you for your comments! Please use an email address or contact me directly (kamielverwer@hotmail.com) so that I can respond personally.
@lena YES please contact Project HOPE directly. You find it on our site. Let us know how it goes!

Enrique said...

I would really love to help too! Just tell me what I have to do and I'm there! contact me to my email theskinbook@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Pini and i wanna help !! So just contact me no matter where !!

Lets get started !

cetin.pinar@hotmail.de

Pini

Anonymous said...

I am willing to help anywhere in the world and you can contact me on gilmore@classicmail.co.za.Get intouch will all requirements.

Lloyd said...

I would be glad if myself is really useful to my fellow human being. I can teach Maths, science, English school level and professional level in my engineering subjects. I am a professional NLP practician, i can help people to come out of problem or perform better.

Russ Martin said...

It is such a nice thing to hear when somebody helps other people who are in need. Good luck to your plans.
Feeding the Homeless Ft. Lauderdale

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if you work in groups that travel together or how.
Contact me if you can by e-mail: paulina_guevara_15@hotmail.com

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