Volunteer & Intern Travel News

dad volunteerSo you have the opportunity to take your family on an overseas trip. Why not make it a volunteering trip? The concept of volunteering overseas with your family is becoming ever more popular, especially in the last 5 years. Instead of sitting on a beach at a resort until the kids get bored, then sending them off to the “kids’ club”, you could all be helping to change lives. And you can still make time for the beach.

giraffe watchingThere has always been a great deal of focus on, and information aimed at, individual overseas volunteers – brave souls heading out into the wide blue yonder to a foreign country, alone and vulnerable but ready and willing to pitch in where help is needed. Indeed, the whole process of volunteering might well appeal especially to rugged individualists, those who want to dip their toes into strange waters, immerse themselves in exotic cultures, and leave behind everything comfortable and familiar.

schoolkidsIt takes a whole village to raise a child – this is a well-known West African (Igbo) saying, and one taken to heart by volunteers who are drawn to working with children. Children have a special place in the hearts of most people, especially if they’re poor, orphaned or disabled and in need of your love, care and affection.  Generally, it’s accepted that volunteering with kids is likely to be pleasant and easy if you have an affinity with them, and there can only be positive outcomes for the children, their community and your volunteer experience.

blonde ladyThere are hundreds of articles on the Web about the benefits of volunteering – it’s the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s a great way to travel and meet people, you’ll experience personal growth and life lessons, it looks good on your resume, and so on. But it’s not as easy to find information on what many would-be or even experienced volunteers are asking themselves: “What specific benefits will I as a volunteer provide to the communities I’m supposed to be helping?”

So you’ve decided to volunteer overseas – you’ve done your research, you’ve found some projects that intrigue you, you’ve planned what needs to be done to get over there and get busy helping out. Just one tiny little problem – at the moment, you can barely afford a bus trip across town, let alone a plane trip to another country! 

 

woman and boyEveryone is different, so there are many different reasons why people develop an interest in volunteering.

Here are just a few, I’m sure you can think of more of your own.

orphansSo you’re thinking of getting out into the wide world and volunteering overseas? It’s worth your while to take a bit of time to learn about volunteering both as an industry and as an experience. In all likelihood, there could be things that surprise you, even you’re not a ‘first timer’.

Advice for parents

Your kid has just announced that he/she is contemplating to go on a volunteering trip abroad next summer. Before you shoot the idea down, take a moment to think about the possible benefits. Volunteering abroad can be a life-changing experience. Your child will become more open-minded and independent, and will gain a better understanding of the world. But, parents wouldn’t be parents if they weren’t there to protect their child against a possible bad experiences. With that in mind we’ve formulated this short list with practical advice for parents.

South Africa

South Africa is a rewarding place to volunteer. It has struggled to recover from the many changes that have developed in the last 20 years and many people live on less than a dollar a day. While townships have started to improve, poverty is still widespread. If you're an international volunteer in South Africa you will have the opportunity to provide the underprivileged population access to better education and healthcare. Fight for human rights and help build a working infrastructure!

Visiting a country as a tourist or as volunteer. What are the differences?

There are quite a few differences between visiting a country as a tourist or participating in a structured volunteering program.

Schedule and Responsibilities
games with childrenIf you are part of a volunteering program you will have some kind of schedule of where and when you need to be at your chosen project. There there will be certain responsibilities placed on you as well.

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