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Voluntourism Spotlight: Transformational Journeys

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Traveling Like a Local can even mean leading helping hand. In this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight, we look at an organization that puts volunteers in touch with local communities. Check back every Thursday for our voluntourism spotlight and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio to hear more of these opportunities.

Voluntourism involves traveling, experiencing new culture, getting to know the locals and contributing to your destination. Keeping true to these values, Transformational Journeys offers trips for everyone from individuals to companies, student groups, families and churches. A trip with Transformational Journeys is often centered on a building project while other opportunities to engage with the community arise throughout the trip. In the Dominican Republic, volunteers build homes in Villa Nizao and have found themselves participating in arts and crafts projects with children, working in health clinics, leading recreational activities for children and even taking unplanned lunch breaks with locals. Transformational Journeys ultimate goal is to bring you so close to others so that while lending your helping hands, you feel more like family than a tourist.

Founded by a former campus minister who lead mission trips for about 12 years, Transformational Journeys is based on his belief that volunteers who bond with locals gain more than the community they originally set out to help. Transformational Journeys’ goal is to give volunteers an enlightening experience based on close day to day work with locals.

Trips are designed for groups of 12-25 volunteers and range from about one to two weeks. Transformational Journeys welcomes volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, including families and volunteers with disabilities. There are no skill requirements as training will be provided. Custom-designed trips unique to your interests can also be planned with a minimum of three months lead time and a group of 12 or more. Scholarships for trips are also available.

By Naomi Frieda Kahlon for