Tips for volunteering India
There are many people who for the sake of exploring south east Asia are volunteering in India. If you are one of those then here are few tips for you that will help you stay safely in the country. The tips are given below and are as follows:-
Don’t commit too much: – Being a volunteer in India is quite a fun. However, sometimes working in s hot and humid region will drain you out. It is very important that you actively manage the amount of work that you can do.
Be careful with what you eat: – Indian foods are quite spicy and oily. During your initial days try to stay away from such things. Don’t consume non-vegetarian food and try to maximize your yogurt intake. Be careful with water and make sure it’s from bottled sources. Food is good but don’t experiment with it too much.
Traffic is a real mess: – Traffic in India is one of the most nosiest. Honking is quite normal. There are many unimaginable things that you will find on the roads such as cows, beggars etc. Stay at a safe distance from them. Don’t try to touch or move cows, they are considered auspicious there. Keep a distance from beggars and don’t easily give any money or food to them.
Cover yourself: – Shorts, t-shirts, minis should be completely avoided. Go for clothes which are comfortable and cover yourself to the maximum extent. India is a conservative country and women there don’t enjoy much freedom. Society in this country is mostly male dominated, so don’t be too adventurous with your dressing.
Always bargain before making the purchase:- If you are not shopping in any authorised retail shop try to bargain as much as possible. The bargaining level should be more intense in smaller shops. Don’t ever pay the amount the shopkeeper asked you for. Tell them you have been living in this country for a while and know every trick of theirs. This may help you in getting things at much cheaper price.
Learn a few Hindi words: – There are many languages spoken in India. You do not need to learn every one of them. However, Hindi is the most popular and spoken language. Learning a few basic words in Hindi will make the experience easier.
BOLIVIA VOLUNTEERS aids flood victims
In response to the severe flooding in the city, caused by the highest levels of torrential rainfall recorded for many years, BOLIVIA VOLUNTEERS has sent four of its volunteers currently in COCHABAMBA to help individuals, displaced families and the community.
Liaising with community leaders, the volunteers are providing immediate emergency assistance in a variety of ways, to try to help ease the devastating impact the recent floods have had. Recent flash-floods and continuous rainfall have totally changed the landscape. Rivers have burst their banks, and in many locations have changed their course completely – now passing through townships and agricultural land.
It is widely acknowledged that the recent inclement weather is the worst recorded for many years, and the local forecasters predict that there will be several more weeks of rainfall, before Bolivia´s ´Rainy Season´ draws to a close. Traditionally, the rains arrive in the central South American country during November and December, but this year – following severe droughts in many areas – the excessive amounts of rainfall have caused chaos throughout the country.
Bolivia Volunteers, who organize volunteer placements in the city of Cochabamba have answered calls from the community to assist where possible, by assigning additional volunteer tasks to some of its volunteers.
´Just take a look around you – the place is devastated,´ says Tony Lee – in Cochabamba with Bolivia Volunteers on a three month Building Trades project – ´Nothing I´ve ever seen before has been anything like this.´ Tony, along with construction project volunteer Marston Adabaye, will be helping in the massive clean-up operation, and helping local community leaders co-ordinate the construction of make-shift temporary accommodation blocks for homeless families.
Other volunteers, Abigail Harman-Scott and Brigitte Le Croix, are in the region with a focus on health and social care. ´It´s not just the houses that have been destroyed – Community centers, schools and medical facilities have not been spared. We are doing all we can to keep things running as smoothly as possible at this difficult time for everybody here´ says Brigitte.
Bolivia Volunteers continues to monitor the situation, and has several other volunteers on stand-by to be deployed in the area if needed.
Volunteer Abroad Travel Money
Volunteers who are planning to go abroad have a lot to plan for. In their planning they will also plan for how they will be using their money. There are various ways of using money while the international volunteers are abroad. The various methods are through cash, travelers cheque, credit card, prepaid cards and local debit cards. Deciding on which form of money to use depends on a number of factors. These factors are length of stay, security, exchange rate and replacement in case they are lost or stolen. They should inform their banks that they are going abroad and that they shouldnt cancel their credit cards while they are gone unless told otherwise. As a volunteer abroad, s/he should carry the different forms of money for safety. Here are the various forms of money that are available to volunteers:
The volunteers will need the local currency when they arrive in the country. They will need money to pay for small things as taxi fare, buses fare, trolley fares and many others. As the volunteer will be in the local country for a period of time, s/he will need to have local currency. The advantages of carry local currency are: it is easy to exchange; easy to use; available everywhere; and fluctuations in the exchange rate wont make it more expensive. The major disadvantages of carry cash are: the volunteers cant carry large sums of money; during conversion they can lose money due to the exchange rate; and its not replaceable when its lost. When dealing with cash, the volunteer should have money bag or an inside pocket where to hide their money. To be safe they should also not carry all their money at the same place and should have large and small denominations.
These are the most commonly used by travelers worldwide. Credit cards are available and are used in most countries. Cards that have Visa, MasterCard, American express and Access are accepted everywhere. There are many advantages of using Credit Cards for example: they are easy to carry; easily replaceable when stolen; accepted in most parts of the world; the volunteer can get cash advances from ATMs at a fee. The main disadvantages are: credit card fraud; sometimes they are not accepted in some hotels and institutions; there are added service fees by banks when they are used; there are interest fees included and you have notify banks when traveling abroad. The volunteer has to be careful when using credit cards, in that they should be used as few times as possible. Credit cards have hidden costs attached to them and when the volunteer goes back home, s/he will be surprised by the huge fees.
These cards are new to the market and are gaining popularity. Prepaid cards are specifically targeted for travelers. They work the same way as travelers cheques and debit cards. Prepaid cards are preloaded with money from the volunteers home country. They use the standard Visa system, and can be used anywhere there is a Visa symbol. They are much safer to use than Credit cards and Debit cards. With a fixed amount in them, there is no risk in overspending and if the funds run out you can re load the funds through other credit cards. The disadvantages of these cards are: once they are lost they are hard to replace; the commissions are higher than travelers cheques and credit cards; topping up is expensive.
Travelers cheques used to be very common but nowadays they are becoming less and less common. They are still one of the safest ways to carry money as they are not stolen and are easily replaceable. To use a travelers cheque, the volunteers signature is needed. Most of them are issued by American express and can be used in most banks and post banks. They can be replaced anywhere if they are stolen or lost as long as the serial number is produced. They only take 24 hours to replace them. The main disadvantages are: most foreign retailers are not accepting them anymore, in some places they can only be used for changing local currency; and the range of currencies is limited.
Local debit cards and bank accounts
If the volunteer will be staying for a lengthy period of time, they could open a bank account and deposit money there. Using local debit cards is good especially if the volunteer doesnt want to be charged by their home banks when transacting. This method saves money as transactions are only done once and there is no worry of foreign exchange rates.