5 Reasons why volunteering should be your next move

Are you ready for a new adventure?  Are you ready to step outside of your comfort zone?  Volunteering can be a rewarding experience with endless benefits for you as a volunteer

Volunteering promotes health awareness and development, adult literacy and education and the empowerment of women and children.  Volunteering gives you the opportunity to say that you have, “changed the world and influenced the lives of people in a positive way.”  Escape your daily routine and embark on a life changing journey of self-knowledge and a renewed vision for your future.  Create life long memories with people from all walks of life and live every moment to the fullest. 

So why volunteer instead of just travelling?

1. Off the beaten track

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to become one with the locals, even if it’s just for a short time.  Instead of being just a passing traveller you can befriend the local people, be in the centre of the action, uplift the community members and gain a unique insight into the country you are exploring. 

township life1

Volunteer Amina from England had this to say about her experience:

“Honestly, I am lost for words when trying to describe my time volunteering in South Africa at Door of Hope. I can share so many pictures and say so much but it cannot reflect the feeling in my heart.

amina door of hope2

I've never had the opportunity to work with children before and that in itself is beautiful, children are blessings and are so precious. When I think of orphans it saddens my heart because I can't imagine the devastating situations they've been through at such a young age, they've missed out on so much love that we are privileged to get from our parents and some have witnessed traumatic experiences.

Initially it was pretty scary to think I'd be helping orphans, but Door of Hope did not feel like an orphanage, it is a home to these beautiful children and they are a family. Although the kids have had a hard life they are so happy and appreciative. Mama Gladys ensures they are taught amazing values in life and understand the importance of education!

amina door of hope1

These kids value education so much and it was an honour to teach kids who are so eager to learn and want to better themselves. They have become my family and hold a special place in my heart like no other. Mama Gladys is a true inspiration for giving the children an opportunity to have a home and a family.

I have taken so much away from this humbling experience and I wish one day, I myself can have such an impact on children's lives. They have all now become my family and Door of Hope is now my home too!”

amina door of hope

2. Health benefits

The health benefits of volunteering are immeasurable.  Reap these mental and physical benefits when you decide to volunteer. 

  • Increase your self confidence
  • Experience a sense of purpose and fulfilment
  • Relieve stress and fight depression
  • Feel fulfilled from helping others
  • Develop emotional stability

Working on a volunteer project that you feel passionate about and that suits your skill set builds a healthy sense of self-worth and helps to shape your future career path.

3. Broaden your horizons

Volunteering will expand your interests, activities and knowledge.  Step out of your comfort zone and embrace a new lifestyle.  Be consumed by a new culture, increase your mental capacity, explore a new landscape of people and places other than the ones you are used to.  Learn a new language, make new friends and be a part of a new family. 

millenial volunteers

4. Get to know yourself

As much as volunteering is about giving back to the community, it does not mean that you won’t learn something invaluable in the process.  Volunteering offers you an opportunity to explore the unknown and thus be able to recognise strengths about yourself that you never knew you had. You’ll be able to learn new skills like figuring out how to find cheaper flights to your volunteering host country, and so much more!

5. Meaningful adventure

Volunteering is most certainly an incredible adventure.  But it is also a meaningful way of traveling. You get to spend your days touching people’s lives and developing real and lasting relationships with them. Plus, you also get the opportunity to explore the scenic landscape of a foreign country.

volunteering with children

There are so many valuable reasons why volunteering is more enriching than just taking a vacation or trip to another country. It is an investment in yourself and in other people. Whether you want to make a difference in the lives of others, experience a different culture and become immersed in it, improve your skills as an individual or even visit a place in the world you would love to see.   

The act of volunteering is a rich experience and there are many elements that can motivate people to travel and volunteer.    Whatsoever the reasons for volunteering, you will find volunteer projects or internships that will match your goals and will give you the opportunity of experiencing the world in ways which you have never imagined. 

 

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Fundraising to volunteer abroad for free
Volunteer World
WYSE Travel Confederation
SAYTC - South African Youth Travel Confederation
Khaya Volunteer Projects application
Lilizela Provincial Visitor Experience Award

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