Your Voluntourism Travel Tales

Travel tales from locals who've left more than dollars at the destinations they visit. We asked about your experiences giving back abroad. Here's a few travel tidbits from some generous locals.  

Volunteering abroad | BCBusiness

Travel tales from locals who’ve left more than dollars at the destinations they visit.

We asked about your experiences giving back abroad. Here’s a few travel tidbits from some generous locals.


At the end of September, I leave Vancouver and my job at Vision Critical to spent a year travelling and volunteering in India. I’ll be working with at least two charities, one of which is a small charity that was founded here in Vancouver called Paper Kite. Paper Kite provides much-needed supplies and resources to two orphanages in Bihar, one of India’s poorest provinces. The other is the Dalit Freedom Network, who provide education, medical services, care to the Dalits — the so-called “untouchable” caste. They also run campaigns against human trafficking — a major problem in India. — Laura Davies, Vision Critical


As a voluntourist hungry for something different, I’ve been involved in supporting rural sustainable community development projects on the Thai/Burmese border in Western Kanchanaburi, Thailand off and on since 2002 and while living there for six months in 2006. I’ve worked closely with a local NGO called Ananda Vidyadharma, which operates a children’s home for ethnic minority children, a community-based tourism project in a hillside village called Piloki, a Karen women’s weaving enterprise, a farm, an organic garden, a dairy goat project for single moms, Unite of Sight camps, and a voluntourism program. — Lindsay Marsh, AMSSA


I actually just got back from volunteering trip to Lagos, Nigeria, where a group of us from Vancouver (both professionals and students) teamed up with the local community to build a learning center at an orphanage. It was a pretty amazing and humbling experience, and I was inspired to see how the local community rallied around the project to provide a sustainable foundation to support and maintain the learning center after our departure. I think our biggest impact, which was highlighted during the opening ceremony of the center, was that well-off locals were inspired to spend time with the children at the orphanage and even signed on to teach classes. — Harish Raisinghani, Pulse Energy


Through my two years at the orphanage [in Nigeria], I have seen many things unfold. These kids are very talented individuals, and all they need is some comfort, just to be held, and the gift of time. I took it upon myself to encourage peers and coworkers how much impact you can have by doing so little. — Monty Raisinghani, Elite4Africa