About John Dwyer

Odesa, Ukraine

My International Volunteering and Travel Background

In 1991 I joined the Peace Corps. My Peace Corps service in Guatemala in 1991-92 led to work as a United Nations Volunteer in the first elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Bosnian War. I have since worked elections in 12 other countries.

A particular highlight of my international work was managing camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 2002 in Herat, Afghanistan. Development work in Kandahar, Afghanistan also stands out. I have traveled to 58 countries in total.

In the U.S. I have worked with FEMA as a reservist for the past twenty years and have worked on most of the major domestic disasters; currently in a disaster survival assistance management capacity. I continue to both travel and volunteer internationally.

As a writer my work has appeared in the Huff Post, Transitions Abroad, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Orange County Register, Pakistan Link, Peace Corps Online, International Travel News and various other online and print publications.

About This Website

Over50andOverseas.com began in 2008. It is a resource of international volunteer opportunities for persons over 50 years of age. The organizations included on the site have all been contacted to assure that they have programs that include over 50 volunteers.

When I first began volunteering internationally over 30 years ago, I had many personal questions about such things as preparing, packing and what to expect when I arrived at my assigned location. There was very little literature about international volunteering at the time and most of my information was derived from returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Corps headquarters.

International volunteer organizations were also limited and most of the opportunities were either with government, medical or faith-based agencies. International NGOs (non-governmental organizations) did exist, but volunteer positions were limited.

Since my Peace Corps service volunteering, for better or worse, has become an industry that has been defined as voluntourism. A prospective international volunteer has many potential choices. Over 50 and Overseas is here to help make those choices.

Organizations listed on the site are divided into categories and you can also search volunteer opportunities by category, region and country.

On the site you will also find:

  • suggested ideas to help choose an organization and  questions to ask former volunteers
  • considerations for health and safety preparation
  • interviews with former volunteers in which they discuss their service and their tips for new volunteers
  • links and articles expand on important information
  • a bi-monthly blog about my travels and people I meet along the volunteer route
  • A quarterly newsletter provides updates on organizations and new developments in international volunteering.

Over50andOverseas.com is for you, the potential or returning international volunteer. Any ideas or suggestions you have to improve the site are always appreciated. You may contact me through the Contact Page.

I wish you all of the same exciting and fulfilling experiences that have been part of my life since I began my international volunteering in 1991.

John Dwyer

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