Have you ever had a dream of volunteering away from home? There are plenty of people in need all over the world. They need skilled volunteers to come, offer their talents, and learn about a culture different than their own. You get all of these components together when you decide to volunteer overseas.
Is it for everyone? No. You will have to pay a fee for the experience, but that fee goes into making the program accessible for everyone, as well as the overall administration of the program. It costs time, money, and resources to be able to put on the program, as managers have to coordinate with volunteering tasks “on the ground” in the host country itself. You also will have to deal with not having the creature comforts of home. If you’re volunteering in Tanzania or Uganda, you’re dealing with a very poor nation where you will not necessarily be able to go to the mall or down to a pub with any frequency. Those things just aren’t available.
But if you’re intrigued by the chance to help someone else, then the volunteering experience is something that you should think about.
Thinking about the benefits of checking out gap year volunteering opportunities?
There are plenty of benefits to choose from. First and foremost, you have to remember that you’re going to be getting valuable experience that you just can’t get anywhere else. You get a chance to step outside of your normal surroundings and help someone that often can only dream of having what you have on a regular basis. We often complain and get annoyed at the little things that slow us down but we forget that we have so much compared to others in the world. In our opinion, being from a developed country has responsibilities, not just benefits. If you are fortunate to be literate, have safe drinking water, and not deal with sectarian violence, then it’s your chance to help get those things for someone else.
Volunteering opportunities are all over the place. You could volunteer at an orphanage in Thailand or Vietnam, where you get to interact with local residents throughout the entire day. It’s not just you learning from them; not at all. Be prepared for the local residents to ask you about life where you’re from as well. They want to look through your eyes and experience a taste of what it’s like to live in your country of origin.
Being able to make a difference in someone’s life has deep meaning that will carry on long after the project is over. But to get started, you need to let someone else handle the organization process. It’s tempting to try to “save money” and handle everything on your own, but are you really saving money? Look at what it takes to set everything up: you have to do all of the calling, often getting people that may not speak your language. You then have to submit proposals on what you plan to do. A company that handles the organization for you will have these things already in place ahead of time, leaving you free to spend your time researching the country and its people. Be sure to look at the different ethnic groups that live in a country. There are slight differences in customs and culture depending on where you go, as well as what ethnic group you’ll be primarily interacting with. Some differences won’t be apparent until you get to speak to different tribes or sub communities.
A great company to work with if you truly have a passion for volunteering overseas is LetzLive, as they already have experience in creating unique volunteering placements. Check them out today!