Travel advice on... Vol­un­teer­ing hol­i­days

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE -

Joan Scales on vol­un­teer­ing hol­i­days

Some­times it is nice to take a hol­i­day that in­volves do­ing things for other peo­ple. VSI. ie is a peace move­ment founded in 1965 in Ire­land and has been or­gan­is­ing vol­un­teer projects here and around the world. It is a great way to travel and help oth­ers. Projects in­cluded teach­ing English to chil­dren in Mon­go­lia, help­ing on a sus­tain­able farm in Ice­land, work­ing at so­cial in­clu­sion for chil­dren in Tan­za­nia. Vol­un­teers have to pay for trans­port to their projects and de­pend­ing on where it is a fee of ¤ 75-¤ 180 with re­duc­tions for the un­waged.

The Na­tional Trust runs a se­ries of vol­un­teer­ing hol­i­days in the UK and North­ern Ire­land. It could be clear­ing brush, build­ing dry stone walls, ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig­ging, gar­den­ing, clear­ing beaches, sur­vey­ing bats, con­ser­va­tion in his­toric houses, the list is ex­ten­sive. Hol­i­days cost from £ 85 (¤ 93) for short breaks and £ 155- 245 (¤ 170 - 268) for a week. The cost in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals, na­tion­al­trust. org. uk.

The World Wide Op­por­tu­ni­ties on Or­ganic Farms WWOOF is a chance to learn about the ways of or­ganic farm­ing, per­ma­cul­ture and sus­tain­able liv­ing. WWOOF is a world­wide move­ment link­ing vol­un­teers with or­ganic farm­ers and grow­ers to pro­mote cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences based on trust and non- mon­e­tary exchange. Guests are ex­pected to help out around the farm in re­turn for food and lodg­ing. There are WWOOFers all around the world that are happy to wel­come an ex­tra pair of hands. You do not need to have ex­pe­ri­ence just a will­ing­ness to help, wwoof. net.

You can com­bine a hol­i­day with a tak­ing part in a vol­un­teer pro­gramme in dozens for in­ter­est­ing places . Re­spon­si­ble Travel runs a range of pro­grammes from teach­ing chil­dren in Ker­ala, sports coach­ing in India, tur­tle res­cue in Sey­chelles, marine and habi­tat con­ser­va­tion in Belize, com­mu­nity projects, re­spons­bile­travel. com.

js­cales@ irish­times. com

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