PROJECTS ABROAD RECEIVES STRONG BOOST IN VOLUNTEERS FOLLOWING HAITIAN CRISIS
Volunteer Placement Organization Sees Nearly Fifty Percent Increase In US Project Applications
NEW YORK – March 2, 2010 – Volunteer placement organization Projects Abroad has seen a remarkable increase in US applications to volunteer abroad following the recent earthquake which devastated the Caribbean island of Haiti. The organization expects the increase could continue due to the recent earthquake in Chile, as Americans continue to seek ways to donate their time and efforts to help rebuild and support areas in need.
According to data from Projects Abroad’s US recruitment center, for the period Dec. 1, 2009 – Jan. 15, 2010 applications were down by approximately 25%, compared to the same period the previous year. However, the period Jan. 15 – Feb. 28, 2010 received a 25% growth over the same period in 2009. These figures represent a swing from -25% to +25%, or a nearly 50% spike, in just a few days, likely a result of heightened awareness among Americans for the need to help overseas resulting from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Director of Volunteerism Initiatives at Idealist.org, Erin Barnhart, reports that an increased interest in volunteering abroad has been experienced by many in the field. “In the wake of global disasters such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, many organizations, including Idealist.org, have seen a marked increase in international service inquiries from those who are willing and able to lend a hand. Given the positive impact international volunteering can have for global communities – as well as for volunteers themselves – it is gratifying to see organizations like Projects Abroad provide such meaningful opportunities for engagement.”
In its almost 20 year history, Projects Abroad has undertaken a variety of projects in the developing world, ranging from teaching to conservation and the environment to the performing arts. The program has not only positively impacted the regions in which it sends volunteers, but on the volunteers themselves.
According to a former volunteer Lyla Brech, who participated in the Arts & Crafts program in Mexico, “My experience with Projects Abroad was one that I will never forget. It gave me the opportunity to not just visit another country, but to better understand and appreciate a culture different than mine. I was a bit nervous to be traveling alone to a new country for the first time but Projects Abroad was more than accommodating and extremely helpful during the planning process as well as my stay.”
About Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
A UK-headquartered company, Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 24 countries and recruitment offices in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Holland, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s Web site at www.projects-abroad.org