Global Volunteers, a private, non-profit organization partnering with local leaders in communities around the world to provide crucial services with the aid of short-term “volunteer vacationers,” has launched International LGBT Volunteer Vacations and People-to-People Programs. These ground breaking programs will engage lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in meaningful short-term exchanges with local partners worldwide. The first “volunteer vacations” trips will send LGBT “citizen ambassadors” to countries on five continents including Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Peru, and more, offering LGBT tourists an opportunity to promote tolerance and understanding around the world as they enjoy an unconventional vacation.
“For the past 30 years, Global Volunteers has promoted understanding between different races, ethnicities, cultures and religions as part of their mission to create a more peaceful and just world,” said Linda Schlapp, Director of LGBT Programs and Development. “The creation of an LGBT-focused program – the first of its kind in the field of volunteer vacations – will help build bridges and understanding for the communities where our LGBT citizen ambassadors are able to make a difference,” concluded Schlapp.
As laws evolve to promote LGBT acceptance worldwide, Global Volunteers’ LGBT Volunteer Vacations and People-to-People Programs will unite LGBT people to encourage a culture of understanding and mutual respect. Working and sharing side-by-side with others from different ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religions, participants and the local community learn that ultimately, people are all more alike than different. The result not only benefits the partner communities, but facilitates a vital, vibrant exchange of ideas and cultures that chips away at the barriers of prejudice and fear.
Among the many potential opportunities available to LGBT Volunteer Vacationers:
- Support a childcare center for children of single mothers in Ecuador
- Teach students conversational English to students in , Italy or Peru
- Help maintain a friendly center for handicapped youth and adults in Greece
- Help improve the conversational English skills of young, visually impaired adults who are in training for professional massage therapy careers in Vietnam.
A complete catalog of LGBT Volunteer Vacations is available here.
Additionally, LGBT cultural activities scheduled during the program, potentially including outings to local LGBT establishments and speakers from the local LGBT community, will provide opportunities to learn about the successes and challenges that LGBT communities face each day. Program participants and the local community can incorporate what they learn into their everyday lives – leading to long-term friendships and partnerships within the global LGBT movement.
For more information about the LGBT program, click here.
This article is brought to you by The Seattle Lesbian