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~ March 2007 ~ Topics

Drop in Young Professional Volunteers Filled by “Golden Gappers”

Drop in Young Professional Volunteers Filled by "Golden Gappers"

The UK's The Guardian recently reported that international development agency VSO has seen a dramatic drop in the number of professionals in their 30's and 40's willing to take time out to volunteer in developing countries. Many of the positions previously filled by these young professionals are now being taken by "golden gappers" – volunteers over 50 taking a break later in their careers or right after early retirement.

Unfortunately, not every position is being filled. In order to attract mid-career volunteers to work in more challenging countries, VSO is creating positions with more flexibility and encouraging employers to offer sabbaticals to younger staff, For more information, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1994075,00.html, or http://www.vso.org.uk/.

Interested in more information on International Volunteering? Check out our online bookstore for Isto da Samba, Corporate Volunteerism: the Brazilian Way by Monica Beatriz Galiano & Barnabe Medeiros Filho and Al Tatawae, Volunteering in the Arab World by Dr. Lobna M. Abdelmagid and Mr. Izzat Abdul-Hadi.

Details for Isto da Samba Book Details for Al Tatawae Book

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Washington State University offers a Volunteer Management Certification Program through the Internet. Individuals around the world can earn a certificate in managing or coordinating volunteers, without leaving home. For more information, visit Volunteer Today's Portal site, Internet Resources. Look for the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link to their Web site.

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Roxanne Hanson is the author of the International Volunteering page. She works at and can be contacted at: The NonprofitCenters Network, P.O. Box 29125, San Francisco, CA 94129, 415-561-6365, rhanson@tides.org.

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