By Abigail Klein Leichman - August 6, 2019

Israelis call it the “big trip” – an extended trek to exotic destinations between completing military or national service and continuing with life. At any given time, thousands of young Israelis are traveling in remote locations, often in poor countries. So why not volunteer while there?

That was the concept that motivated three Israeli army officer veterans, fresh from a trip to Thailand, to establish Heroes for Life (in Hebrew, Fighters without Borders) in 2013 as a vehicle “to show the world the compassionate face of former IDF soldiers.”

When ISRAEL21c first wrote about this unique organizationin September 2016, its English name was Fighters for Life and it operated two-week volunteering gigs in Gondar, Ethiopia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Mumbai, India.

Less than three years later, the renamed Heroes for Life is sending about 5,000 volunteers each year on missions that have so far assisted some 4,100 children.

Read More: Israel21c