After four three-hour-plus layovers, a 24-hour flight and two days of fighting jetlag, I finally gathered the courage to unpack and do my laundry. I recently returned to India after a 20-day volunteer...
I have been including volunteer work in most of my expeditions for a while now, and have encountered certain places that were so enchanting that I completely lost track of time. Week-long visits extended to a month, and leaving was a wrenching experience. Here are some volunteer destinations that you'll want to stay in forever.
Dharavi, like many other slums, mirrors our own social prejudices and stereotypes of poverty. By making up our minds about the lives of its people, we aren't just ignoring their voices, we're stripping them of the agency they deserve. The one-dimensional lens of the tourism industry doesn't help either.
The remote district of Chitral in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been left reeling after torrential monsoon rains triggered devastating floods. "Many houses have been washed away in villages across Chitral District. The people here need immediate assistance to rebuild their homes before the harsh winter starts," says Dr Talha Rehman, a Trustee of the Elaj Trust who has stepped up to lead the mission to provide medical assistance to flood victims.
As we begin 2015 and look ahead to all the possibilities of a new year, we all have an opportunity to make giving a part of our lives. Giving, loving, caring, empathy and compassion, going beyond ourselves and stepping out of our comfort zones to help serve others -- this is the only viable answer to the multitude of problems the world is facing.