“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, and I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service was a joy.” – Mother Teresa
Everyone as a human being can contribute something to the society as well as humanity, only one needs to find his/her passionate area – adopting orphans to teaching and offering support and care to underprivileged and street children, digging wells to the conservation of animals and more.
Volunteerism is one such important action that we can take as human beings. It is the ability where people provide their time and expertise to create an immense difference in the world and within the residing communities. Travel and volunteer opportunities are also a source of exploring and gaining experience, knowledge sharing, and cultural immersion.
Volunteering abroad is emerging as a movement as it provides a chance to the person to connect with others, and reconnect with himself while helping him to advance his career as well.
Where can you practice volunteerism?
There are several organizations that offer opportunities to volunteer work in India, Morocco, Mexico, Australia, Peru, and South Africa and around the world. But to volunteer abroad, each one requires different skills and has a set amount of time to spend in the communities.
In a nutshell, volunteering is not just vacationing. It’s a work that needs your commitment and responsibility to a cause. So, before deciding to serve, you need to consider a few things about volunteering vacations abroad, which we have mentioned below.
6 things you need to consider to volunteer abroad
- Upskill with Impact – choose skill-based volunteerism
Gain a deeper understanding of your skills, goals, and types of projects you want to take up. When you recognize your skills better, it becomes easy to put your talent to work and not just the labor which increases your value as a professional. Also, this will help your organization to benefit from your expertise and create a strong and enduring partnership. So, find meaningful and relevant volunteer work that matches your skills and interests and strengths.
- Be Proactive- Research and Research
- Discover a variety of volunteer programs and make a study of them– There are countless volunteer programs, so to select the best among them, it is wise to define the field of work that encourages you the most and the cause you are passionate about. Use reviews, guides, comparison tools to find the perfect volunteer abroad program and do not forget to look for costs, locations, support, reputation, and culturally responsible opportunities.
- Search and get to know the organization prior to getting into it– Choose an organization which has the ability to support its volunteers abroad by delivering a high service standard, consistently. It should be capable enough of using your talent on projects and allow you to gain new talents in the process, simultaneously.
- Break the Barriers- know about the country, learn the language and about the culture of the destination
To volunteer vacations abroad in a country where you know little to nothing about it, is a huge handicap. Collect required information, learn the local language to break the cultural divide and connect with local people. Pack two-way dictionary, or use downloadable apps for verbal translations.
- Consider the Location- Countryside VS City
Consider the volunteer job location – whether the job is located in the countryside with some access or is it in the middle of a city or is it in a completely remote area. This is an important factor to look upon as location needs to fit with your current desire and your tolerance with the lifestyle. A city always offers excitement whereas the countryside offers complete peace and stillness.
- Manage Your Expenses
Most of the independent organizations have no source for funds neither from governments, companies, and partner organizations. In such a case, they demand fees from enrolled volunteers to function, provide sustainable resources to run projects and long-term assistance to the volunteers. So decide upon whether you are looking for the paid or non-paid opportunities. You can fundraise using digital marketing and social media platforms and reach donors for your projects.
- Some Quick Tips
- Be very selfish and intentional while selecting a volunteer program.
- Be adaptable and resilient to deal with the new environment.
- Familiarize to get along with the local medical system.
- Decide upon short term trips VS long term trips and pack accordingly.
- Research thoroughly where the money goes, and look for transparency in the way they use your fees.
Follow the above-mentioned tips and I hope you can have a very worthwhile experience and your efforts will reap you real and tangible benefits. It will be great if you can add a few more tips, feel free to share them in the comment section.