Have you ever felt the need to contribute something back to the world? To make a positive impact in someone’s life? To selflessly help people in need with whatever potential you have? Volunteer travel programs are your answer!
What if I told you it’s possible to travel abroad, experience the world, and at the same time, help people out through volunteering without any age restriction?
In today’s world, age is just a number and doesn’t decide our capabilities. No authority can prevent you from volunteering worldwide at the age of 50, 60, or even beyond. These senior volunteer opportunities allow ageless involvement and open up so many opportunities for boomers who are willing to make a change in someone’s life.
We have seen a lot of young people volunteering and sharing their fresh energy, as well as the will to change the world. Similarly, you can support such organizations to make even more powerful and bigger impacts in countless lives with your life-long experience, knowledge, and wisdom.
The volunteering opportunities are endless—you can contribute through teaching unprivileged communities, participating in human rights worldwide, bringing electricity, preventing HIV, fostering grandparents, educating the community about health, protecting wildlife and nature, and whatnot!
Volunteer vacations are a win-win situation; it’s not strenuous work all the time; these volunteer programs additionally grant individuals a taste of the world and different cultures simultaneously.
How realistic is it to volunteer abroad as boomers?
With good health, it’s very realistic for any retiree or senior to volunteer abroad and contribute to selfless deeds. Many such organizations have completely removed the existence of upper age limitations—you can be 70 or beyond and still would have no shortage of volunteer work.
Before you go overboard and sign in for every possible volunteer trip, make sure to check what you are capable of giving. At the age of 60s or 70s, our mind is soulful and full of ideas and youth. However, there’s a limitation for our body, physical strength, and strenuous chores.
Choose the kind of volunteer program that doesn’t exhaust your stamina and gives you happy hours of helping. Please remember, offering someone a piece of your knowledge, wisdom, and life experience is no less than contributing your presence in riots or other exhausting physical tasks.
Offer what you can and select programs depending on your area of expertise. If your strength relies upon teaching the youth, unprivileged communities, choose a program that designates you a similar responsibility.
Or, perhaps, if you want to contribute to nature and devote your life to saving animals, look that up in your possible volunteer posting. Trust me; they are abundant.
Learn more of the 21 Best Volunteer Opportunities for Retirees in the US
How to Volunteer: Realistic Step-by-Step Guide
Honestly, there are endless possibilities for senior groups! While participating in volunteer programs, set realistic goals and don’t succumb to overbearing emotions. Balance your volunteering life along with your family, friends, and job (if any).
- Decide the right time: If you are close to retirement or are willing to take a career break, it’s best to wait until you are completely free before joining.
- Figure out what you’d like to volunteer for: Choose your area of expertise, skillset, and what you can offer at best.
- Destination country: Decide the country you’d like to visit while volunteering. Every country has its beauty and a lot to offer. However, this must be a balanced volunteer+traveling opportunity, not any other way around.
- Flexible time frame: How many hours can you dedicate to volunteering? There are both short-term and long-term projects. Choose wisely, depending on your capabilities.
- Budget is important: Don’t spend more than the amount you can afford. Although there are several free volunteer programs like the United Nations, overseas volunteer programs may require program fees and other traveling expenses.
- Please note: If you cannot support an overseas volunteer trip financially, there are numerous FREE abroad volunteer programs as well: United Nation Volunteers, Peace Corps, VSO International, Senior Corps, and CESO.
- Ask questions and be sure of your trip: Thorough yourself with the trips and the complete project plan, including the cities you’d visit, work hours, added group traveling, site seeing, etc.
- Don’t hesitate while saying NO: It’s completely normal to decide how much you’d like to help. You shouldn’t be forced into things beyond you.
Read 16 Ways To Have Fun and Stay Active in Retirement!
10 Best Volunteer Abroad Organization and programs for boomers
“An old young man will be a young, old man.”—Benjamin Franklin.
There are volunteer companies and organizations that access throughout the world, especially countries in great need of education, human rights, powerful resources, hospitals, medical assistance, earthquake builds, nature conservation, etc.
These volunteer organizations have easy-to-use websites, and most of them will offer you the liberty to choose volunteer-related activities depending on the country. After choosing the country, you can choose the budget. On average, a volunteer abroad program may cost you anywhere between $200-$5000.
A single country can provide multiple volunteer programs across different cities with different resolutions. Most of these volunteer associations have an evaluation process.
The selection process is simple and decides whether you are fit for the trip and the volunteer activities. You will be asked to submit your health records as well.
- Choose the program: After deciding the country and preferred volunteer program, you will have to fill out an application form.
- Fill out the application form and required documents: The said association will confirm or review your application and respond within 48 hours.
- Payment: You will either have to pay the registration fees or full charges after the acceptance letter.
- Once the legal processing is done, the project association will help you throughout the program, hand out useful itineraries, provide local/international assistance, and provide every piece of information related to the program.
Some advanced volunteer organizations have website dashboards to give you complete access to the program and step-by-step guidelines. Not to fear, most of these volunteer programs also include fun activities along with volunteer work, including leisure activities, artistic exploration, and cultural tours.
Julian and Kelly, the co-founders of this organization, wanted to provide affordable volunteer vacations to people; their main aim was to surpass overcharging associations. In fact, their welfare trips actually start at only $199/week overseas!
Love Volunteer has worldwide projects in over 39 countries, including some top-rated locations—India, Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, United States of America, Brazil, Croatia, Jamaica, and many such exciting countries.
With over seven years of dedicated work, Love Volunteer covers all seven continents to provide better lives and stable growth to under shadowed local communities. In this span of time, the organization has successfully placed 20,000+ volunteers in different countries.
From animal welfare programs, educating unprivileged kids, providing medical care and HIV prevention in the affected areas, and constantly working on under-developed countries’ growth, LOVE VOLUNTEERS has numerous programs and services to proffer.
Among them, there are many knowledgeable volunteer programs for seniors and retirees:
- Education Support in Tanzania: Starting at $199, this education program asks for your assistance teaching conversational English and other subjects to the impoverished kids in Tanzania.
- Women Empowerment in Kenya, Nairobi: As a woman, if you want to connect and support other women alike, this program is a great opportunity to empower women through education, self-love, and stories of your own. The trip charges $299 only.
Visit their website and learn more about the medical internships, dental internships, and other uplifting programs.
Africa is a great continent to start volunteer work as a baby boomer. Agape Volunteers majorly focus on underdeveloped countries in Africa and provide them with education, medical care, sports, art, and other prospects of life.
The organization was founded in 2011 and is also a registered UK non-profit charity. Agape covers four African countries, including Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Along with volunteering, Agape plans and internships also include:
- Site seeing
- Safaris in Masai-Mara
- Mountain climbing Kilimanjaro
- Gorilla tracking
- Rain forest tours
- The Serengeti
Agape doesn’t charge any additional fees or registration fees from older volunteers or volunteers in general. The one-time payment mode includes food, accommodation, airport charges, travel insurance, and other recreational activities. Agape strongly sustainably believes in adventurous volunteering.
GoECO is a famous voluntourism company covering more than 150 volunteer projects across 36 countries. If you have immense love for wildlife and nature conservation, GoECO has many programs to support and nurture animals, including:
- Sea turtle rescue in Ecuador.
- Animal rescue and conservation efforts in Costa Rica.
- The wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.
Not only wildlife conservation, but GoECO also has teaching programs, coral reef conservation, medical healthcare programs, national park services, community service, etc.
Jonathan Gilben and Jonathan Tal co-founded GoECO in 2006, and since then, they have been offering many trustworthy overseas volunteer vacations.
The organization has sent thousands of willing volunteers worldwide to aid communities, wildlife, nature, and whatnot. GoECO has a separate 50+ Volunteer’category on their official website to promote ageless volunteering, along with other easier program bases:
Check the official GoECO website to learn more about their projects and their evergreen team.
Specifically based in South Africa, Via Volunteer believes in and promotes ethical volunteering through childcare, wildlife conservation, and community development projects. With over 17 years of professional experience, the organization has placed thousands of volunteers from across 60 countries.
Heather and Ed Scott co-founded the organization in 2013 and made many major changes in people’s lives. They developed volunteer projects for unprivileged kids, local communities, and wildlife. Some of the notable projects include:
- Homeless feeding program in Cape Town.
- African penguin and seabird rehabilitation near Cape Town.
- Lion Sanctuary in Cape town.
“Ed and Heather are truly two of the most selfless and hard-working people I’ve ever met, and their dedication to supporting ethical projects while ensuring their volunteers have an unforgettable experience abroad is seamless.”—Brianna Polden.
Visit their website to learn more about their ongoing projects and how you can participate as a senior or retiree. Via Volunteer supports long-term projects that ethically aid the community and conservation.
A Broader View Volunteer
With 345+ social and conservation programs, ABV provides volunteer internships and projects in over 26 countries, including Cameroon, China, Egypt, India, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, etc.
These various programs consist of special group support, animal care, wildlife conservation, learning/teaching a language, social programs, etc. Sarah and Oliver co-founded the company in 2007 as a non-profit US organization.
- HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care in multiple countries.
- Language and Culture Immersion in Honduras, Argentina, Nepal, Ecuador, Chile, etc.
- Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment Projects
“Don’t just Volunteer. FRONTEER.”
Fronteering is a unique experience for individuals who are looking for something more adventurous and out of the box. The organization covers less known countries and areas that are full of risky adventures and lost paths.
Fronteering contributes and organizes volunteering for wildlife conservation, community programs, environmental services, indigenous local people support, and official internships.
Some breath-taking destinations and volunteer programs are:
- The jungle of Guyana Amazon—Amazon Amerindians in Guyana. The project requires you to volunteer with indigenous people along with witnessing the undiscovered wilderness and safe paradise of Amazon forest.
- Some other wildlife conservations: Abandoned Pet Care in Canada, North America, Arctic Husky Ranch in Canada, Bear, Dear, and Wolf Haven in Canada, Horse Therapy in the USA, Care and Release the Endangered Animals Tasmania, Australia.
Global Volunteer has placements and welfare programs across 16 countries. They have access to many needy homes, classes, local schools, libraries, government firms, clinics, community centers, hospitals, orphanages, administrative professional offices, childcare centers where you can contribute knowledge, wisdom, and help to many unprivileged individuals.
Global Volunteer has a unique structure that classifies different volunteer groups, placing individual travelers, boomer couples, and groups of people in different countries depending on the volunteer work needed.
The organization has a unique program base to support and embrace different cultural styles: gardening projects, women’s knitting & sewing cooperative, teaching English, building repair and painting, etc.
I love the way Global Volunteer offers a unique platform for seniors and retirees to choose volunteer programs worldwide depending on their specialties.
Global Vision International
The organization has projects in 13 countries and 17 specific locations in need and was founded in 1998. It’s associated with the United Nations sustainable development goal (UN SDGs) and runs wildlife conservation, marine conservation, women’s empowerment, teaching, sports, construction, etc.
Global Vision International has specific volunteer programs for adults or individuals above 50s. In fact, they also manage different age-worthy volunteer projects for older travelers aged 60 or beyond. These diverse projects combine teaching, conservation, construction, women empowerment, public health, etc.
After two decades of their establishment, GVI has successfully appointed 35,000+ volunteers across the five continents. Not only this, the organization has set up 500+ community partnerships along with hundreds of programs running successfully across the globe.
Go Overseas is a big community not only offering volunteer programs but also jobs, teaching opportunities, and learning opportunities abroad. They have access all around the world from Albania to Zimbabwe, covering every country with multiple sociable projects.
Their community is huge and has 100,000+ international members ready to aid you with volunteer queries. In fact, Go Overseas provides a $200,000 scholarship year-round to support new and old members financially, socially, and internationally.
Some of the surreal programs are:
Go Overseas is unique because it covers 50+ endearing projects, including health care, art, sports, dietary services, sexual health, women empowerment, reforestation, law, journalism, education, etc.
Projects abroad started their journey 25 years ago to make the world a better place. Their goal was to find potential agelessly, transform personality through traveling, build meaningful connections with new friends, and change communities to better the world, humankind, and nature.
The organization is spread globally, providing volunteer programs throughout the Caribbean, Asia, South Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. Projects Abroad run hundreds of volunteer programs each year and partners with 10,000+ volunteers every year!
Projects abroad offer volunteer trips overseas (childcare, women empowerment, wildlife conservation, youth development, etc.), interns abroad (medical and health care, journalism, social work), study abroad (university and languages), Tour and adventures (cultural immersion, family trips, etc.), and ethical consumerism trips.
This gold-old organization believes in ageless volunteering and thus features exclusive grown-up projects for individuals above 50 and 60s.
For a long time, Projects Abroad considered young adults and youth to be great volunteers, but nobody can deny the power of older adults, their life-long experience, and wisdom in every aspect of life. That’s why projects abroad now offer certain programs to older adults. Some of these projects are:
- Conservation and community work in Ecuador.
- Khmer cultural projects.
- Child care and community work in Ghana.
- Child care volunteering in Nepal.
Traveling abroad and taking volunteer responsibilities can be challenging, but it will give you the time of your life and a lifetime of experience! Helping others in whatever means yields inner peace, joy, and self-satisfaction.
These were a couple of volunteer programs for senior citizens and retirees; use your wisdom, knowledge, and life-long experience to educate, teach, and kindle others in need.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”—Mahatma Gandhi.
Individuals profoundly talk about their volunteer vacations and how they completely changed their perspective towards life, changed them into someone better, and gave them a selfless purpose to outshine at the golden age of life!
If you are one of those individuals, what’s stopping you behind? Choose any destination worldwide and enjoy life at the expense of good deeds!
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