Back in the bad old days, Jim Elliott, a young Brit, gripped by an incurable wanderlust and an insatiable appetite for helping others, was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the lukewarm, half-hearted international volunteering opportunities he kept stumbling upon.
He’d seen wildlife projects that could hardly look after volunteers, educational projects that barely had any books, and some that barely had any teachers. He’d volunteered directly to overseas projects that had no idea how to use his skills and through organisations that took money from him but didn’t pass a penny on to the projects he wanted to help.
A new kind of international volunteering
So in 2006, when Jim found himself in receipt of a heathy windfall, and without a job, he decided to set up his own volunteering organisation. One that wouldn’t make any of the mistakes he had seen and one that would really have a positive impact on the communities he was trying to help. One that would work with communities to help them achieve their goals while making sure that volunteers’ skills were properly utilised and that people who wanted to help were really given a chance to do something useful with their volunteering time.
In June 2006 Globalteer was born and this month we are celebrating our tenth anniversary by looking back at some of the achievements made by our projects, our partners and beneficiaries and of course our volunteers.
How volunteering has changed
International volunteering has grown enormously in popularity over the last ten years and has evolved much. Sadly, not always in a good way, and there are still a great many volunteer programmes just like the ones that Jim grew so tired of more than ten years ago. Globalteer has evolved too and we are confident that we still provide some of the most impactful, rewarding and responsible volunteer experiences around, whether you have a desire to help disadvantaged children, protect the environment or help to rehabilitate rescued and endangered wildlife.
So this week we invite you to come on a journey through time with us and read about some of the great things that we, and you, have achieved by supporting our projects. Today we are starting with an exclusive interview with the man behind it all, Globalteer’s founder and General Manager Jim Elliott. There’s also a quick look back look at some of the milestones of the last decade so you can see how we go to where we are today.
Don’t for get to check back each day this week when we will be posting articles about different aspects of our work.