Obstacles to volunteering abroad
Many people want to travel and volunteer abroad. It is their dream to go, see and experience the world. Most of the potential international volunteers don’t leave home because of the obstacles they see. As they start planning their dream vacation to volunteer abroad, or gap year, round the world trip backpack and intern abroad they are overwhelmed by the obstacles that they foresee. They look at their problems facing them and say “if only” or “I wish” this wasn’t there or if I had this or that. Due to the obstacles they face, many international volunteers stay grounded and don’t leave their homes. Obstacles and challenges are there in everything we do, to get over them we need to look hard at them and come up with solutions. Here are some of the obstacles that many people face and their solutions: Fear Fear of the unknown is what scares most of us from leaving home. This is true especially for first time international volunteers who don’t know what happens while they will be abroad. They are afraid of anything and everything that they can think of. There are many questions we could be having and many of them don’t have answers that keep us from volunteering overseas. Also to increase the level of fear, many government bodies advice international volunteers not to go to certain parts of the world due to terrorist activities. We encourage governments to warn their citizens and we should heed terror warnings. We should use this advice but not to cripple us not to travel. To tackle this problem is by doing what we are afraid of doing. Another solution is to get as much information about where and what you are afraid. With more knowledge you will be able to make a more informed decision. We should follow this saying on our lives “I will go where fear won’t let me.” Responsibility Many international volunteers have certain responsibilities. It could be that they are in school, college, university; at work; and have family responsibilities. Many international volunteers could be parents or soon to be parents. These responsibilities keep many of us from traveling abroad. To travel abroad we could come up with solutions that keep us from abandoning our responsibilities. For student international volunteers they could travel during their summer breaks, or before and after they join universities or colleges. For career international volunteers, they could take a career break to volunteer overseas or use their short vacation period. There are short stint volunteer programs which run from a week to a month. For parents or soon to be parents they can volunteer abroad if they take their kids with them. This will involve looking for programs whereby they can volunteer with their kids. They can also travel during the summer vacations in order to make sure their children don’t miss out on school. Money Many people assume volunteering abroad is an expensive endeavor and they avoid doing it. There are many ways to make your money work for you in order for you to volunteer overseas. There are many volunteer service organizations that are expensive while at the same time there are other organizations that are affordable. To reduce the cost of travelling, one could take advantage of flight deals by booking in advance or during off seasons. Travelling in group also reduces the price drastically. If you don’t have the money available for your volunteer abroad program, you can fund raise or look for sponsorship. While you are abroad you can live on a budget to take care of the money that you have. Bureaucracies There are countries where by you can’t get in to easily because of your nationality. For example an American citizen could face extra restrictions if they want to travel to Cuba and some Middle East countries. When you are in one country and you want to move on to the next one you may not be granted a visa to go to that country. To tackle this, apply for visas early in advance, to take care of problems that you could face. In some occasions ask for an invitation letter from the volunteer service organization that you are using to help with processing your visa. Another alternative is to travel to another country as opposed to your first choice country. All in all we should not look for excuses not to travel but solutions to our challenges. Happy Halloween every one.
Perhaps it’s something in the water but, every time you look at California, there’s a new political campaign claiming an infringement of citizens’ rights to privacy. A while back, it was an attack on red light cameras that collect evidence of the drivers committing offenses. Naturally, people objected to the state knowing the time and place of their passing. Who needs deterrents to improve driving standards? The latest hot potato is the move to introduce usage-based auto insurance. This is a simple offer to drivers. Prove you’re a safe driver and the insurance company will reward you with a reduced premium rate. There’s no mandate, no law to force anyone to fit the technology to their own vehicles. Yet the very idea an auto insurance company is tracking any of their policyholders is enough to get everyone steamed up. No matter what the drivers may think, this is an intrusion too far.
For the record, the insurance industry has announced reassuring figures showing some 70% of the drivers who have sacrificed their privacy have earned a discount. It seems the vast majority of drivers are safe and earn a reward. But the Californian advocates point out the information collected could be used to penalize drivers unfairly. Suppose, for example, your job requires you to be on the roads at night. This is considered a high risk time to drive so you would be denied a discount. Similarly, if you used a multistory carpark in an area with a “bad” ZIP code, you might find your discount reduced or removed. These objections are significant because California represents about 13% of the national auto insurance market. If the local Insurance Commissioner imposes limits, this would seriously damage the development of a national market. At present, Proposition 103 of 1989 restricts insurers to the collecting the total number of miles covered. No other data as to the way the vehicle is driven or where it’s driven can be collected. Unless the Californian lawmakers repeal the Proposition, usage-based insurance cannot succeed in California. As with many things, this makes California unique.
Making Use Of Classroom Volunteers
Often teachers need help in the classroom, the problem is they are too busy to even arrange classroom volunteers to come and help them. Parents that have free time should step up to the plate and offer to help where they can.
Sometimes parents who volunteer can become bored. These parents should not become discouraged, as there are ways to make this a fun and helpful experience for the teacher. As a parent there is a responsibility to the children, they are the future of the country.
This gives the parent a good idea as to what kind of stress the teacher faces on a daily basis. Educating children is a responsibility that only dedicated people are equipped to handle. Some of these responsibilities are administering discipline, proficiency regulating, updating of curriculums, the safety aspect of the children and much more. Teachers could find themselves at work until eighteen hundred hours just trying to keep abreast of the duties they have to perform.
While it is clear that many teachers can do with the extra help, the volunteers can represent more work for the teachers. They have to dispense tasks to the volunteer and this takes time and effort.
It is a bit of a catch twenty-two as creating a roster for the volunteer can represent as much stress for the teacher as not having a volunteer. More so than ever before, schools are in need of volunteers to help with the task of educating the future of the country.
Strategic planning is critical in terms of the volunteers duties. Responsible work should be given to the volunteer in order to lighten the load on the teacher. This will allow the teacher to continue with projects that need finalizing. The principle and some of the senior teachers could draw up an operating and procedures manual. This could be the blue print for all future volunteers to adhere to.
A twenty minute meeting between teacher and volunteer should suffice to discuss the safety policies of the school, special needs that certain learners may have and the expected standard of behavior. Furthermore, grading policies and daily responsibilities can also be discussed. The volunteer should have a list of questions to ask the teacher. Discuss all emergencies including the locking down of the school and fire drills.
Teachers should arrange a workstation for the classroom volunteers. This should be clearly indicated so that learners and other teachers do not use the desk and chair unwittingly.