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Voluntourism: Africa

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Africa is filled with voluntourism opportunities, whether you are interested in helping humans or animals. From lemurs in Madagascar to kids in Kenya, here are some options to get your mind spinning. Some of these experiences allow you to lend a helping hand for a day or two, while others are designed to take up the majority (or entirety) of your trip.
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
I volunteered with this children's organization for 5 weeks, and it was an amazingly fun and enlightening adventure. If you're looking for part-time volunteering (which I did as I was living across the city), or if you want to do it full-time,...
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Kitgum, Uganda
I recently spent 10 days in Uganda working with Outreach Uganda (OU); helping women displaced by the LRA war. Although my third visit to Uganda with OU, this was my first visit to the villages up north. This photo was taken in the village of...
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Highridge Village, Kenya
Kenya will change your life. I took my first trip to Africa with in 2009 with a service organization, Heart for Africa. We worked with AIDS widows and street kids who have been placed in a home. It will break your heart and open your eyes. I have...
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Kampala, Uganda
Joining www.cardiostart.org on their mission to Uganda means spending your time encouraging patients, visiting wards and generally helping whereever it's needed. You can do outreach to local schools or help the children recovering from surgery. As...
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Mahatalaky, Madagascar
Some children in the rural region of Mahatalaky in Madagascar must walk up to 12 miles a day to reach any school. Illiteracy here is among the highest in the nation. Volunteers with the nonprofit organization Azafady work with members of...
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Just south of the Botswana border, in the Kuruman River Reserve, you’ll find meerkats so friendly they occasionally jump on volunteers’ heads. Visitors study the effects of the mammals’ cooperative breeding, in which adults help raise each other’s...
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Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique
I volunteered for two weeks in the beautiful Ponta D'Ouro Mozambique. We were renovating a primary school with 8 classrooms and 940 children. The poverty surrounding the school was eye-opening. There were no bathrooms, one communal water pump for...
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East Africa
In February 2013, my husband Michael and I set off on an 8-month trip around the world. Here’s one of the many highlights of our adventure… I volunteer with an NGO that creates cultural tourism opportunities in rural Uganda (www.cobatiuganda.org)....
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Jimma, Ethiopia
While volunteering in Jimma, Ethiopia, I had the good fortune to visit the Missionaries of Charity. This program (originally started in India by Mother Teresa) has homes all over the world. The wonderfully kind and strong nuns that run this...
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East Africa
Though most visitors to Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage (http://www.chimfunshi.org.za/) visit for a few weeks or more via an organized university group or long-term volunteer agreement, my renegade, four-night visit was a definite highlight of three...
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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is a non-profit research and conservation organization dedicated to the facilitation and promotion of sound conservation and management plans for the African lion. They offer opportunities to...
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Masai Village, Kenya
Working with the Born Free organization I had the opportunity to help a local village by building a lion proof boma to protect their animals from lions. This experience was life changing, not only did I create friendships with the local people,...