volunteer

NGO Update: Two Years after the Nepal Earthquake

Brianne Miers - July 19, 2017

April 25 marked the two-year anniversary of the devastating Nepal earthquake, which left nearly 9,000 people dead and 22,000 people injured, and leveled countless homes and cultural and religious sites. I haven’t been to Nepal in more than 10 years, but it remains a very special place to me. Since I’ve been curious about what life is like there these days, I reached out to two NGOs based …

Continue reading

More Organizations Empowering Women around the World

Brianne Miers - March 8, 2017

Today is International Women’s Day, which is dedicated to celebrating “the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.” However, it also recognizes that in many places in the world – even in the developed world – women are still being systemically denied many of the same rights and opportunities that men enjoy. To honor the day, I asked some fellow travelers to recommend organizations they know …

Continue reading

Organizations Empowering Women around the World

Brianne Miers - March 8, 2017
woman making necklace for Project-Tres in India

Today is International Women’s Day, which is dedicated to celebrating “the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.” However, it also recognizes that in many places in the world – even in the developed world – women are still being systemically denied many of the same rights and opportunities that men enjoy. To honor the day, I asked some fellow travelers to recommend organizations they know …

Continue reading

Best Places to Volunteer with Animals around the World

Brianne Miers - January 30, 2017
La Senda Verde Bolivia

Inspired by my recent visit to the island of Palawan in the Philippines, where I was lucky enough to swim with whale sharks in a completely natural settling, I wanted to spread the word about other tours, attractions and experiences that are encouraging positive interactions between humans and nature. So I asked some fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite responsible wildlife encounters from around the world.  This …

Continue reading

Humanity Unified International: Empowering Women and Communities

Brianne Miers - September 21, 2016
women in Rwanda working with Humanity Unified International

Maria Russo is the executive director of Humanity Unified International, a non-profit organization she co-founded with her husband, Anthony, in 2015 with the goal of lifting vulnerable populations out of poverty through education, food security programs and economic opportunities. She recently took time from her busy schedule – she’s also editor of The Culture-ist – to answer my questions about HU Int’l’s beginnings, programs and plans. 

Continue reading

Beau Miller: How Aythos Responded to the Nepal Earthquake

Brianne Miers - August 10, 2016
Beau making delivery after the earthquake

Beau Miller is the executive director of Aythos, a non-profit organization he founded seven years ago to implement economic development projects in remote Himalayan villages in Nepal. Since 2012, Aythos volunteers and local staff have trained hundreds of farmers – including women – and helped plant thousands of fruit and nut trees, which provide nutritious food and critical income for villagers. I first interviewed Beau after the devastating April 2015 earthquake, and recently asked …

Continue reading

How The Umbrella Foundation is Helping End “Voluntourism” in Nepal

Brianne Miers - May 31, 2016
Caroline Scheffer outside with kids

In summer 2003, I volunteered as an English teacher at an all-girls government school in Pokhara, Nepal. Even though my experience was mostly positive, I’ve since questioned whether my decision to volunteer with children was a responsible one, as I’ve learned more about the ugly side of the “voluntourism” industry.  Caroline Scheffer is a former Country Director of the The Umbrella Foundation, which works to alleviate the impact of trafficking, …

Continue reading