About

Odessa, Ukraine

My Travel Background

I grew up in a military family and traveled and lived in many places in the U.S. in my childhood.  As an adult, my service in the U.S. Army led to living for six months in Okinawa and a year-and-a-half in Japan.    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 post-war elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Bosnian War.  I have since worked elections in 15 other countries with various international organizations.

A particular highlight of my international work was working for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), managing camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs)  in Herat, Afghanistan.  Development work with IOM 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 since 2003 and have worked on most of the major domestic disasters in that period; 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, The Orange County Register, Pakistan Link, Peace Corps Online, International Travel News, Chicken Soup for the Soul, 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 20 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:

A monthly 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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