With volunteer tourism on the rise, the Jamaica Tourist Board has added a dedicated page to its web site for visitors who desire to volunteer during their vacation trip to the island.
Visitors can now easily plan volunteer experiences through this voluntourism initiative. The combination of voluntary service with the traditional elements of a vacation has become increasingly popular in Jamaica. One of the first of its kind in the Caribbean, the page offers a database of faith-, health- and education-based volunteer programs, with more categories to appear as they become available.
“The Jamaica Tourist Board is focused on allowing our visitors to have an enriching experience while they vacation on the island,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s director of tourism. “While our Jamaican people will surely benefit from the assistance of altruistic travellers, we hope that they take home an experience of a lifetime, and share the celebrated Jamaican spirit and warmth with their friends and family.”
From the home page of VisitJamaica.com, visitors can go to the “Feel the Vibe” tab and click “Volunteer in Jamaica.” There are a host of activities for travellers to choose from, along with an FAQ section and guide to volunteering in Jamaica.
A sample of volunteer opportunities includes:
- Girl’s Brigade is one of the available programs that travellers can integrate into their trip to Kingston. Volunteers will participate in empowerment sessions with girls imparting values and principles which equip them for the future.
- The health-based volunteer program, Angels of Love, provides voluntary services for critically ill underprivileged children of Jamaica. Whether it is a visit to the hospital to play with the children, or helping plan a fundraising event, visitors are encouraged to donate some of their time.
- Children First is an organization that caters to the needs of children through education. Volunteers can participate by helping out at the youth wellness centre, the mobile health clinic or through a variety of empowerment and educational programs.