Omidi Brothers Charities

Revealed: The Facts about “Vacation” Volunteering


In today’s post, Julian Omidi takes a look at what motivates people to donate their time to international causes, what they do, and where they end up doing their service.

Doing our civic duty means many things to many people, and even encompasses working outside the borders of our home nation in some cases. An interesting look at what motivates people to volunteer on foreign turf, and what types of jobs they sing up for, is provided by a fascinating article at Moving Worlds website.

The Facts

  • Skill-based volunteering is starting to dominate international efforts. In the past, the majority of those who donated their time overseas engaged in either manual labor jobs or tutoring. Nowadays, we’re seeing more corporate-sponsored, skill-based opportunities for U.S. volunteers. This category includes people who donate their medical expertise, scientific skills or unique talents in other technical fields.
  • About 1,600,000 people are international volunteers in any given year.
  • Most international volunteers are from the U.S.
  • The huge majority of overseas volunteers work in either India or Africa, though places like South America and Mexico are also popular destinations for volunteers.
  • By far, the main cause that international volunteers want to address is poverty. In fact, about 85 percent of these altruistic people work in some type of program that seeks to diminish global poverty.
  • About 40 percent of all international volunteers do so during their traditional 2-week or 3-week vacation, while about 15 percent seek to spend at least a year in an overseas service occupation.
  • The four most common reasons people volunteer overseas may surprise you. In addition to the urge to give back to the global community, people seem to be strongly interested in learning about other cultures and making like-minded friends.

If you think overseas volunteering is right for you, visit one of the many websites where you can learn more about the multitude of opportunities. Moving Worlds is a good place to start. Why not spend your next vacation helping someone in need?

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is the co-founder of Civic Duty, an organization that examines ways all citizens can help their communities, as well as other charitable organizations.

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