5 Unique Volunteer Opportunities in Europe
When living your daily life, it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who need serious aid in order to get their lives back on track. But even then, it isn’t just unfortunate people that need our help – our environment and precious wildlife are suffering under the huge weight of poverty and pollution, and are slowly dying off every day.
Take global warming for example – this disaster has been occurring for years now, and still we have not seen an improvement in the carbon footprint. There are people, and environments, out there that really need your help across Europe where you can make a real difference.
Before you leave you will need to research all opportunities thoroughly and get prepared before departing, be sure to get travel insurance or renew your EHIC card and ensure that you know what you’re letting yourself into as volunteering isn’t always the easiest, but is a rewarding experience nonetheless.
If you would like to give back and volunteer in Europe but you are wondering where you should go check out our top recommendations below:
1. Iceland – Environmental Conservation
Until fairly recently, Iceland was very much under the radar and continued as a relatively remote location. However, the last couple of years have seen tourism soar in this European country, and while that’s positive for Iceland’s economy, the environment is really suffering. We’ve already briefly touched on global warming, and that’s exactly what volunteers aim to prevent when volunteering in Iceland. In this country, environmental conservation includes reducing the effects of global warming on the enchanting Icelandic glacier, as well as cleaning the coastline and ensuring that the fishing industry remains thriving and unburdened by a deteriorating environment.
2. Bosnia – Community Development
Even historical events that happened many decades ago are still affecting the communities for many countries. Back in 1992-95, Bosnia suffered from the Bosnian War, as violence and suffering was brought to the country. While the environment has recovered greatly from the devastation, the community hasn’t, and there’s still a huge divide across the society. Therefore, volunteers in Bosnia aim to reunite the people and eliminate the division left between the people.
A programme worth joining to improve the community in Bosnia is Love Volunteers, which aims to end the racial segregation by completely destroying the prejudice that lingers in the Bosnian atmosphere. By volunteering here, you will learn a huge lesson and learn a lot about the importance of peace and love within a community.
3. Spain – Marine Conservation
I’m sure most of you have visited an aquarium in your life and marvelled at the beautiful, tropic fish that live in our world. Well, in Spain, marline life is suffering, and it’s up to the volunteers to conserve the marine life. Unfortunately, Spanish shores are bombarded by heavy damage due to the incredibly high tourist population that the country receives – a great 8.6 million to be exact. If you’re looking for a full-on volunteering experience, without a single dull day, then this is exactly where you should volunteer. From assisting research into dolphins, to restoring the sandy beaches that Spain is so proud of, marine conservation voluntary work in Spain is full of action.
4. Slovakia – Lynx, Wolf & Bear Conservation
Across centuries, we have lost many amazing species of animal, and the way that we continue to pollute the earth and destroy habitats, the number of extinct species is guaranteed to increase. In Slovakia, volunteers are able to work hard at conserving the unique, innocent wildlife that resides there, including lynxes, wolves and bears. Here, volunteers can track the mammals through stunning landscapes, such as forests and meadow habitats among the mountains. Furthermore, you can learn how to recognise and record any signs of their presence, helping you to ensure that they’re healthy and safe in their environment.
Volunteering abroad is an excellent way to broaden your mind and develop a greater understanding on how our world needs our help. Without our help, wildlife will be gone forever, as well as stunning landscapes and vital ecosystems. Who said volunteering had to be boring – travel to one of these European destinations and help our dying communities and environments now!
5. France - Summer Voluntary Camps
If you have a few weeks free over summer why not consider going to volunteer in France. There are short term placements available at educational summer camps which aim to help children improve their English language skills in a fun and supportive environment. Placements can be found throughout the country which are a great way to experience the French way of life, meet friendly people, help children learn and also get to travel and see more of the country.