Archive for June, 2012
Volunteer in Ecuador
Ecuador is located in the continent of South America, where it borders the Pacific Ocean at the equator, in between Colombia and Peru. With its capital at Quinto, Ecuador boasts an estimated population of 14 million persons, who are mostly a mixture of Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) and Amerindian. The official language in Ecuador is Spanish, while the pre dominant religion is Roman Catholic.
Ecuador has a democratically-elected government and national assembly, the current president being Rafael Correa who was elected in November 26, 2006. The country has used the U.S. dollar as its official currency since 2000, ever since its currency collapsed in 1997. Both U.S. coins and Ecuadorian coins, which are equivalent to the value of the U.S. coins, are used.
The climate and weather in Ecuador is mainly tropical, but if packing for specificity, then a basic idea is thatthe weather is tropical along coast, it becomes cooler as you head inland at higher elevations, and tropical in the Amazonian jungle and lowlands.
For a volunteer one should know that Ecuador has 4 diverse regions: the Amazon Rain forest, the Coast, the highland Andes, and the Galapagos Archipelago, but as there may be some differences in cultural practices within these regions, mainly evidenced by mode of dressing, the Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence on personal and social behavior, making it part of national identity.
Most holidays and celebrations are based on Christian festivals. Due to historical circumstances the Church is also wrapped up with the process of government, however, traditional gender roles still remain, the man is the breadwinner and the wife looks after the home. Therefore from birth, children are raised to understand that they will have different roles and expectations in life, remember this while dealing with local volunteers to avoid meeting cultural barriers.
Ecuadorians are known for being warm and polite. They can be quite tactile and tend to stand much closer to each other when speaking than in many other cultures. As a result they are highly tuned to body language and non-verbal communication, so if you are from a culture that is less reliant on relationships, trust and non-verbal cues then you need to watch what messages you may, or may not, be giving, in order to have an easier time communicating with the local people.
There are many volunteer opportunities that exist in Ecuador include sports coaching, animal conservation, teaching, orphanage work, social work, HIV/AIDS etc. It is also a great place for volunteers or students who want to learn to speak Spanish. They can improve their Spanish by living with the local people and being immersed in their culture.
Volunteer abroad programs for teens
There are teens who want to give back to the society and some want to travel abroad to help those with needs. Teens who want to volunteer abroad could be the age of 13 to 19 years. Teens bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to the volunteer programs. There are many volunteer abroad programs which include: teaching, orphanage work, HIV/AIDS work, Community development, health or medical programs. Many of these programs don’t require any qualifications and anyone can apply for them. Choosing a program depends on the volunteer likes, skills, qualifications and strengths. Although there are various options available for the teens there are some which are best suited for them. Here are a couple of programs that are popular with teens:
Volunteer sports programs
Depending on the country they are going to, there are a number of volunteer sports programs.
In the sports programs the volunteer could be expected to teach various sports to the participants. The participants are normally kids and other teens. The sports include football, rugby, extreme sports, basketball, tennis and other sports. . The main role for the volunteers will be acting as a coach, and they will be responsible for teaching the rules of the sports. Other roles will include: preparing and implementing sports camps, planning sports lessons, fostering local talents and preparing tournaments. Anyone can volunteer in these programs, but athletic ones and those who love sports are the ones who are better placed for such programs.
Volunteer teaching programs
Volunteers will teach public schools, orphanages and community schools.. The volunteer will be involved in teaching English, Math, Science, Music, social Studies and physical education. The volunteers will partner with local teachers and other volunteers to provide proper education to the children. The teens who are best suited for this program are the ones who like kids; enjoy teaching, and prefer certain subjects. The roles and responsibilities include: Spending time with the kids; Work as a teaching assistant; Work as a social worker with the Administrator; Help in cooking and cleaning; Help in sports activities; and Playing with the kids
Volunteer orphanage work
Volunteer orphanage work involves working with kids who have lost their parents or have a single parent but the parent can’t support the family. The kids in the orphanage range between the ages of 3 to 18 years. The volunteer will be expected to help out in the orphanage. Most of the work that will be done will be early in the mornings and in the afternoons, during the day the children in the orphanage will be in school. The main roles and responsibilities include: taking care of the kids, feeding the children, playing with the kids, washing them, helping out with their homework and mentoring the children. The volunteers who do this work are the ones who love kids, patient and fun loving.
Wildlife conservation programs deals with a host of animals. The programs could include land animals and marine life. The programs are in the animals habitats meaning in some programs the volunteers will be working in a jungle, in the ocean, game parks and deserts. The main roles and responsibilities include rescuing animals, help in making censuses, researching on the wild animals, prevention of poaching, rehabilitation of the animals, study behavioral patterns of animals. These programs are for volunteers who love working with animals; don’t mind basic conditions and can stay in the wild for long periods of time.
Volunteering Services ? Selection, Screening & Training of Volunteers
Volunteering services are among services which require standard of care. Without any selfish motive, volunteers opt for a particular program to serve the society. Moreover, programs can be opted among community development, environment & wildlife, learn abroad or any other depending on the choice and need of individuals.
Volunteering services are all about making efforts related to travelling abroad to look at a very different culture. To serve the individuals in this regard, a number of volunteering service providers are available. The services are meant to have individuals with proper selection, screening and training programs to fulfill the program objectives successfully.
In this article, we’ll come to know about the major aspects of selection, screening and training of volunteers.
Legal advice is required to understand about the rights and obligations that volunteers and organizations have.
You should know that rights may vary depending on the province, type of organization and operations being conducted.
Policy for screening
It is the duty of organizations to protect staff, members, patrons and volunteers from harm. Fir this, they follow appropriate screening policy. The policy explains how much training is required for screening, maintaining the information obtained during screening and how to maintain the privacy of members involved in the services.
Description for each and every member is created to identify the preferred qualifications, responsibilities and screening requirements of the members.
Amount of screening
Screening for each position can be analyzed by considerations like will the person interact with vulnerable persons like handicapped persons and children. And if the answer is yes, more screening of the member is required.
Another consideration is whether the person is interested in working with large groups or not. If the answer is to work in small groups, amount of screening is more as compared to persons interested in large groups.
Skills and experience
Standardized forms are there to get filled by the members of volunteering services in which it is asked to mention contact information for at least three references along with skills and experience.
Qualified members are interviewed before their final selection. The interview is directed to gain appropriate understanding of experience, skills and attitudes.
Thus, from the above discussions, it can be said that volunteering services are required to come up with skilled, well-trained and qualified volunteers and thus they are needed to go through various steps of selection, screening and training for all kinds of programs including community development, teach & coach overseas, women’s & youth and much more.