Silver and Gold Magazine Spring 2015 - Page 28

TRAVEL TRAVEL: WITH PURPOSE Travel as we know it is evolving rapidly. Increasing numbers of North Americans, from millennials to career breakers and retirees, are choosing to move away from established trends, in favour of more purposeful travel. Regardless of age, volunteering abroad is an opportunity to re-evaluate life goals, help effect meaningful change where it is needed, and adopt a fresh perspective of the world outside your comfort zone. International volunteer organization Projects Abroad seeks to create a world of respect by promoting cross-cultural understanding between volunteers and the project destinations. To do this, Projects Abroad needs the help of all volunteers, including older volunteers who have a wealth of valuable life experience to share. The organization is pleased to announce the launch of Grown-up Specials, which are organized group volunteer trips designed for volunteers ages 50 and above. These projects are perfect for volunteers seeking an altruistic travel experience in developing countries and provide volunteers with the opportunity to impact lives in a positive way. “Thousands of North Americans are volunteering abroad annually, and a growing percentage of those volunteers are older than 40,” says Kaisa Partanen, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad Canada. “We are thrilled to offer more shortterm volunteer options for that demographic, knowing that they have so much to offer developing communities. Whatever they can contribute, they will make a tangible difference to our efforts in-country and know that they are part of lasting change.” Each trip takes place over two weeks and follows a set daily schedule arranged by local Projects Abroad staff. This spring, Projects Abroad is offering three Grown-up Specials for volunteers ages 50+: Above: Conservation and Environment volunteers with sharks in Fiji. Below: Culture & Community volunteers learning drumming in Senegal 28 Care & Community in Nepal Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world today for a number of reasons. Its hilly and mountainous landscape makes it difficult to develop adequate infrastructure and many people are employed in low-skilled agricultural jobs. Half the population is unemployed or underemployed. Volunteer aid is crucial and this program is a great opportunity for older volunteers to make an impact and share a lifetime of experience with others. The Care & Community program follows a set schedule and involves childcare and renovation work that directly benefits the local community. If you choose to join this program, you will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach work, teaching children about dental care and other hygiene practices. More articles, recipes & resources: