If you have always been attracted to the idea of volunteering abroad and making a difference in the lives of others while getting to immerse yourself in new cultures, you may be seriously interested in the opportunity of volunteering abroad with a charitable organization.
Choose a cause which you’re passionate about:
Your first goal should be to choose a cause that you’re passionate about. For example, if you’re passionate about helping families in need you may want to volunteer with Habitat For Humanity, an international organization which provides affordable, safe homes for low income families who are in need. If you choose to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity, you will get to help locals build homes in economically challenged townships around the world. Some examples of areas that you will be able to to travel to include Asia, Central America and South America.
Alternatively, if you’re passionate about female empowerment, you may want to volunteer with an organization that provides mentorship programs from young girls. Such projects are available in Thailand and India, just to name a few countries.
Consider using your skill set to help others:
Another way to choose a potential project is to use the skill set that you have accumulated over your lifetime to help organizations around the world who are in need of your specific set of skills. For example, if you are a doctor, you may be interested in volunteering with Doctors Without Borders. Or if you have taken years of dance classes you may want to teach dance to girls who have been rescued from traffickng in South East Asia, as a form of therapy. No matter what skills you have, you will be able to find a cause overseas that you’ll be able to assist with.
Ask to speak to previous volunteers:
Once you have compiled a short list of organizations that you are interested in volunteering with, you should ask each short listed organization to speak to a previous volunteer. Which will give you valuable insight into what it would actually be like to volunteer with organization. As an example, you’ll learn what your daily routine is likely to be like and how remote the area that you may be assigned to work in will be. You’ll also discover what the accommodation is likely to be like.
Remember to choose an organization which provides accommodation that you’re comfortable with. As if you are not comfortable roughing it in basic accommodation, you may not want to volunteer in a remote village where you may have to sleep on the floor or to share a bathroom with a large group of people. Remember that everyone is different and there’s no shame if you don’t feel comfortable roughing it.
Make sure to learn the local language:
For example, if you plan on volunteering in Costa Rica or Mexico, it’s a great idea to brush up on your Spanish skills ahead of your trip.
In conclusion if you want to learn about a new country and culture while being able to make like minded friends and to help communities and individuals in a far flung destination, it’s well worth volunteering abroad.