Issue Areas

Choose from 5 key global issues.

Before you submit your idea for a volunteer project abroad, dig a little deeper on these 5 issues that impact communities across the globe. Learn the basics and get fast facts to inspire you. 

Education

Sustainability

Hunger & Nutrition

Arts & Technology

Human Rights & Cultural Understanding

Issue Area: Education

Education is, “fundamental to development and growth,” according to The World Bank. Recognized internationally as an essential and basic human right, education is the single most important tool that can help lift children and adults out of poverty. Although the right to an education has been recognized by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many countries face paramount challenges in providing access to education for their citizens.
Each year the United Nations publishes its Human Development Index, which includes an Education Index ranking countries according to the number of years of schooling their citizens are expected to receive. While residents of the United States and other high-ranking countries typically enjoy more than 12 years of schooling, some countries’ residents receive fewer than 5 years of formal education.

57 Million
The number of children worldwide who are missing out on primary education
250 Million
The number of children worldwide who are not learning basic skills, despite spending at least 4 years in school
2/3
The portion of illiterate adults worldwide who are women
49
The percentage of fewer child deaths that would occur if all women had access to secondary education

Read our Blog

  • Imagine Change in... Spain

    November 24, 2015 - Spain is quick to reveal its vibrant culture and warm sense of community.

  • Imagine Change in... Turkey

    November 18, 2015 - Begin with Turkey's ancient ruins and trace its dynamic history to the bustling modern-day metropolis of Istanbul.

  • Imagine Change in... the Philippines

    November 9, 2015 - The Philippine archipelago's 7,000 islands offer an incredible variety of landscape and culture, as well as some of the world's most stunning beaches.

  • Imagine Change in... Malaysia

    November 3, 2015 - As the home of both the world's largest flower and tallest twin towers, Malaysia embraces a unique mix of urban grandeur and rich wildlife.

  • Imagine change in... Ireland

    October 28, 2015 - With its rich traditions, green landscape, and friendly atmosphere, Ireland offers both old-fashioned charm and progressive social engagement.

  • Imagine Change in... India

    October 19, 2015 - Indian society, politics, and technology are continuously modernizing, and this progress has been especially remarkable over the past few decades.

  • Imagine Change in... Ghana

    October 12, 2015 - Known as one of the friendliest countries in West Africa, Ghana is a place where people value family and take the time to enjoy life.

  • Imagine Change in... France

    October 5, 2015 - As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is a country of astounding beauty and history.

  • Imagine Change in... Colombia

    September 28, 2015 - With your Project: Change idea, you could help inspire change in Colombia as the country moves toward a bright future.

  • Last Year's Winning Projects

    September 21, 2015 - Project: Change gives young people the chance to follow their own vision and develop a volunteer project in 1 of 10 countries.

  • Imagine change in...Colombia!

    November 5, 2014 - Colombia is emerging as a new South American gem. Yet, there's still plenty of work to be done on several key issues that impact Colombia’s wellbeing.

  • Imagine change in...Ghana!

    October 29, 2014 - Ghana is a vibrant and rapidly developing nation. Yet despite recent growth, there's still work to be done and plenty of reasons for you to take action!

  • The Lesser-Known Impacts of Volunteering Abroad

    October 15, 2014 - Everyone knows that volunteer projects bring help to those in need. But few people realize that volunteering is intercultural learning at its best.

Additional Resources

Issue Area: Sustainability

Sustainability refers to the extent to which people’s habits and actions are able to avoid damaging our natural environment. According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency, “everything that we need for our survival and wellbeing depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.”
Being conscious of our actions’ sustainability has become increasingly relevant, as our global population rises and citizens begin to understand the dire consequences of environmental degradation. More and more, we are realizing that without a healthy, pristine environment, our world has no future. Many initiatives have been launched in recent years to encourage global cooperation on sustainability, including The People’s Climate March, which brought together world leaders, international activists, and passionate youth from 162 countries to discuss the importance of taking action for the environment. Youth in particular are being called on to find ways to promote sustainability, as they will soon inherit a world with even more tenuous environmental issues.

1/9
The portion of the world’s population without access to clean drinking water
25
The percentage of the world’s plant species that could be lost by 2025 due to ecosystem destruction
78 Million
The number of people added to the world’s population every year
950
The number of major natural catastrophes that occurred in 2007 (a 12% increase from the prior year

Read our Blog

  • Imagine Change in... Spain

    November 24, 2015 - Spain is quick to reveal its vibrant culture and warm sense of community.

  • Imagine Change in... Turkey

    November 18, 2015 - Begin with Turkey's ancient ruins and trace its dynamic history to the bustling modern-day metropolis of Istanbul.

  • Imagine Change in... the Philippines

    November 9, 2015 - The Philippine archipelago's 7,000 islands offer an incredible variety of landscape and culture, as well as some of the world's most stunning beaches.

  • Imagine Change in... Malaysia

    November 3, 2015 - As the home of both the world's largest flower and tallest twin towers, Malaysia embraces a unique mix of urban grandeur and rich wildlife.

  • Imagine change in... Ireland

    October 28, 2015 - With its rich traditions, green landscape, and friendly atmosphere, Ireland offers both old-fashioned charm and progressive social engagement.

  • Imagine Change in... India

    October 19, 2015 - Indian society, politics, and technology are continuously modernizing, and this progress has been especially remarkable over the past few decades.

  • Imagine Change in... Ghana

    October 12, 2015 - Known as one of the friendliest countries in West Africa, Ghana is a place where people value family and take the time to enjoy life.

  • Imagine Change in... France

    October 5, 2015 - As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is a country of astounding beauty and history.

  • Imagine Change in... Colombia

    September 28, 2015 - With your Project: Change idea, you could help inspire change in Colombia as the country moves toward a bright future.

  • Last Year's Winning Projects

    September 21, 2015 - Project: Change gives young people the chance to follow their own vision and develop a volunteer project in 1 of 10 countries.

  • Imagine change in...Colombia!

    November 5, 2014 - Colombia is emerging as a new South American gem. Yet, there's still plenty of work to be done on several key issues that impact Colombia’s wellbeing.

  • Imagine change in...Ghana!

    October 29, 2014 - Ghana is a vibrant and rapidly developing nation. Yet despite recent growth, there's still work to be done and plenty of reasons for you to take action!

  • The Lesser-Known Impacts of Volunteering Abroad

    October 15, 2014 - Everyone knows that volunteer projects bring help to those in need. But few people realize that volunteering is intercultural learning at its best.

Issue Area: Nutrition and World Hunger

The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that there are 842 million who struggle with hunger worldwide. Recent data from the WFP indicates that there are approximately 553 million people facing hunger in Asia and the Pacific, 227 million in Africa, and 47 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. These numbers are staggering and concerning, as lack of proper nutrition can significantly hinder human development.
International organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Hunger Project have programs that work to address and respond to the global food crisis. Moreover, global leaders continue to encourage students to become more active in combatting hunger worldwide.

1/4
The portion of the world’s children that are stunted as a result of malnutrition
150 Million
The number of people who would no longer be hungry if women farmers were given the same access to resources as men
66 Million
The number of primary school-age children worldwide to have to attend class hungry
1/2
The portion of deaths of children under 5 worldwide caused by poor nutrition

Read our Blog

  • Imagine Change in... Spain

    November 24, 2015 - Spain is quick to reveal its vibrant culture and warm sense of community.

  • Imagine Change in... Turkey

    November 18, 2015 - Begin with Turkey's ancient ruins and trace its dynamic history to the bustling modern-day metropolis of Istanbul.

  • Imagine Change in... the Philippines

    November 9, 2015 - The Philippine archipelago's 7,000 islands offer an incredible variety of landscape and culture, as well as some of the world's most stunning beaches.

  • Imagine Change in... Malaysia

    November 3, 2015 - As the home of both the world's largest flower and tallest twin towers, Malaysia embraces a unique mix of urban grandeur and rich wildlife.

  • Imagine change in... Ireland

    October 28, 2015 - With its rich traditions, green landscape, and friendly atmosphere, Ireland offers both old-fashioned charm and progressive social engagement.

  • Imagine Change in... India

    October 19, 2015 - Indian society, politics, and technology are continuously modernizing, and this progress has been especially remarkable over the past few decades.

  • Imagine Change in... Ghana

    October 12, 2015 - Known as one of the friendliest countries in West Africa, Ghana is a place where people value family and take the time to enjoy life.

  • Imagine Change in... France

    October 5, 2015 - As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is a country of astounding beauty and history.

  • Imagine Change in... Colombia

    September 28, 2015 - With your Project: Change idea, you could help inspire change in Colombia as the country moves toward a bright future.

  • Last Year's Winning Projects

    September 21, 2015 - Project: Change gives young people the chance to follow their own vision and develop a volunteer project in 1 of 10 countries.

  • Imagine change in...Colombia!

    November 5, 2014 - Colombia is emerging as a new South American gem. Yet, there's still plenty of work to be done on several key issues that impact Colombia’s wellbeing.

  • Imagine change in...Ghana!

    October 29, 2014 - Ghana is a vibrant and rapidly developing nation. Yet despite recent growth, there's still work to be done and plenty of reasons for you to take action!

  • The Lesser-Known Impacts of Volunteering Abroad

    October 15, 2014 - Everyone knows that volunteer projects bring help to those in need. But few people realize that volunteering is intercultural learning at its best.

Additional Resources

Issue Area: Arts and Technology

Arts and Technology are essential components of the global educational priorities known as STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. As we move towards a more interconnected world, Arts and Technology are among the most important topics in preparing students to be global leaders. Many of the world’s most meaningful advancements in recent decades – from smart phones to solar power to advanced prosthetics - have resulted from innovators successfully combining creativity with technical skills.
Most recently, The U.S Department of Education published a Committee on STEM Education to motivate and encourage students to further explore innovations in STEM education. As the world becomes an increasingly complex and interconnected place, and global issues continue to develop, innovative and technical solutions will bee needed to help solve our shared problem. More and more world leaders are encourage students to hone skills in both Arts and Technology in order to make the world a better place.

1/4
The portion of the global population that uses social media
524
The percentage growth of Crowdfunding between 2009 – 2012
1
The Global Art Market’s ranking on the list of top revenue-generating economies in 2012
92
The percentage of surveyed arts organizations that agreed that the internet has increased engagement in art by making art more shareable

Read our Blog

  • Imagine Change in... Spain

    November 24, 2015 - Spain is quick to reveal its vibrant culture and warm sense of community.

  • Imagine Change in... Turkey

    November 18, 2015 - Begin with Turkey's ancient ruins and trace its dynamic history to the bustling modern-day metropolis of Istanbul.

  • Imagine Change in... the Philippines

    November 9, 2015 - The Philippine archipelago's 7,000 islands offer an incredible variety of landscape and culture, as well as some of the world's most stunning beaches.

  • Imagine Change in... Malaysia

    November 3, 2015 - As the home of both the world's largest flower and tallest twin towers, Malaysia embraces a unique mix of urban grandeur and rich wildlife.

  • Imagine change in... Ireland

    October 28, 2015 - With its rich traditions, green landscape, and friendly atmosphere, Ireland offers both old-fashioned charm and progressive social engagement.

  • Imagine Change in... India

    October 19, 2015 - Indian society, politics, and technology are continuously modernizing, and this progress has been especially remarkable over the past few decades.

  • Imagine Change in... Ghana

    October 12, 2015 - Known as one of the friendliest countries in West Africa, Ghana is a place where people value family and take the time to enjoy life.

  • Imagine Change in... France

    October 5, 2015 - As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is a country of astounding beauty and history.

  • Imagine Change in... Colombia

    September 28, 2015 - With your Project: Change idea, you could help inspire change in Colombia as the country moves toward a bright future.

  • Last Year's Winning Projects

    September 21, 2015 - Project: Change gives young people the chance to follow their own vision and develop a volunteer project in 1 of 10 countries.

  • Imagine change in...Colombia!

    November 5, 2014 - Colombia is emerging as a new South American gem. Yet, there's still plenty of work to be done on several key issues that impact Colombia’s wellbeing.

  • Imagine change in...Ghana!

    October 29, 2014 - Ghana is a vibrant and rapidly developing nation. Yet despite recent growth, there's still work to be done and plenty of reasons for you to take action!

  • The Lesser-Known Impacts of Volunteering Abroad

    October 15, 2014 - Everyone knows that volunteer projects bring help to those in need. But few people realize that volunteering is intercultural learning at its best.

Issue Area: Human Rights and Cultural Understanding

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has recognized certain inalienable rights and principles afforded to all humans regardless of their ethnicity, gender, language, religion, or political opinion. These rights address issues of education access, personal liberty, accessibility of resources, and freedom of movement, culture and opinion. The ability to take advantage of such rights has been linked to human growth and prosperity.
Nonetheless, many parts of the world still struggle to uphold and promote these rights for reasons that range from cultural differences to political motives to lack of sufficient resources. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Global Fund for Women, and Developing World Connections work to address human rights violations and spread awareness of the importance of upholding these rights internationally.

27 Million
The estimated number of enslaved people worldwide
101
The number of countries who repressed freedom of expression in 2012
15 Million
The number of registered refugees worldwide
1/2
The portion of the world’s countries that conducted unfair trials in 2012

Read our Blog

  • Imagine Change in... Spain

    November 24, 2015 - Spain is quick to reveal its vibrant culture and warm sense of community.

  • Imagine Change in... Turkey

    November 18, 2015 - Begin with Turkey's ancient ruins and trace its dynamic history to the bustling modern-day metropolis of Istanbul.

  • Imagine Change in... the Philippines

    November 9, 2015 - The Philippine archipelago's 7,000 islands offer an incredible variety of landscape and culture, as well as some of the world's most stunning beaches.

  • Imagine Change in... Malaysia

    November 3, 2015 - As the home of both the world's largest flower and tallest twin towers, Malaysia embraces a unique mix of urban grandeur and rich wildlife.

  • Imagine change in... Ireland

    October 28, 2015 - With its rich traditions, green landscape, and friendly atmosphere, Ireland offers both old-fashioned charm and progressive social engagement.

  • Imagine Change in... India

    October 19, 2015 - Indian society, politics, and technology are continuously modernizing, and this progress has been especially remarkable over the past few decades.

  • Imagine Change in... Ghana

    October 12, 2015 - Known as one of the friendliest countries in West Africa, Ghana is a place where people value family and take the time to enjoy life.

  • Imagine Change in... France

    October 5, 2015 - As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, France is a country of astounding beauty and history.

  • Imagine Change in... Colombia

    September 28, 2015 - With your Project: Change idea, you could help inspire change in Colombia as the country moves toward a bright future.

  • Last Year's Winning Projects

    September 21, 2015 - Project: Change gives young people the chance to follow their own vision and develop a volunteer project in 1 of 10 countries.

  • Imagine change in...Colombia!

    November 5, 2014 - Colombia is emerging as a new South American gem. Yet, there's still plenty of work to be done on several key issues that impact Colombia’s wellbeing.

  • Imagine change in...Ghana!

    October 29, 2014 - Ghana is a vibrant and rapidly developing nation. Yet despite recent growth, there's still work to be done and plenty of reasons for you to take action!

  • The Lesser-Known Impacts of Volunteering Abroad

    October 15, 2014 - Everyone knows that volunteer projects bring help to those in need. But few people realize that volunteering is intercultural learning at its best.