Projects Abroad is a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 by a geography professor who conceived programs for students to travel and work while on break from study. It’s one of the largest in the world in this field.
If you have a grown-up child with a big heart, a sense of adventure and some free time (on a gap year?), Projects Abroad is calling for volunteers to help with recovery work in the Philippines, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
Through their Disaster Relief project, the students will focus on areas in the northern part of Cebu Island close to the typhoon’s path. The main objectives are to bring educational facilities back to working order and to look after local children while their parents help with clean-up efforts. Volunteers can join anytime and stay as long as they can, for a minimum of 2 weeks. All volunteers will be accommodated with secure and undamaged host families and be supported by full-time local Projects Abroad staff.
These programs are sometimes criticised by saying that the cost of transportation to get to the destination could be better spent locally and they require training on the field when resources could be better used. I think that in times of emergencies, as the ones we are witnessing in the Philippines, such programs are a powerful way to connect ressources and needs.