Posts Tagged abroad

Family volunteering abroad tips

Family volunteering abroad tips
Families who take vacations together are added meaning to their holidays by adding volunteering to the vacation. The family volunteering abroad could be made up of children, teens, young adults and grandparents. Family volunteer abroad work includes: construction projects, orphanage programs, conservation projects and mentorship programs. The advantages of family volunteering overseas are great rewarding experience; forming the children’s’ world view; empower the kids to see they can change the world; expands the children’s insight; gives families time to bond; and exciting travel opportunities. Volunteers who want to go abroad with their families should look for organizations that can accommodate everyone’s needs and wants. Family volunteers should look into the following when planning their volunteer abroad trip: Precautions If the volunteer family has young children between the ages of 6 to 14 years extra precautions should be taken. Before leaving home, the parents should explain to the children what they are going to do abroad and inform them of safety precautions. With older kids, they should inform their parents where they are going and what time they are coming back. As parents, they should: get bright colored clothes for their kids for them to be noticeable in a crowd; stitch the names of the children on the inside of the clothes; keep a recent photo of the kids; one parent should always keep an eye on the kids while the other parent is doing something else; know what to do in case of an emergency; and keep medicines and other harmful objects away from kids. Attitude Attitude is like expectations, explain to the children what they are going to do and what to expect. The volunteer parents should not give the kids false expectations and hopes; they should be honest with their kids. Also parents should find ways to change the attitude of their children. When the parent sees the child is developing a negative attitude they should try and improve it as quickly as possible. When the child gets a negative attitude, it will affect everyone else’s mood and make the work twice as hard. The parents should find way to make the volunteer work more engaging or stop working when they see the child has become too uncomfortable. During long flights parents should buy extra toys that would distract their kids. If there is something that is stressing the parents they should find ways of hiding their frustration from the kids. One way to change the children’s attitude is by engaging them in the planning process making them feel more important in the vacation. Volunteer work The volunteer family should choose a volunteer program that suits the needs of ever member of the family. There are various programs available to choose from for example: conservation, orphanage, mentorship programs, sports, building and construction and agricultural programs. Depending on the age and desires of the family members they should choose programs that will work for everyone. For example grandparents may enjoy orphanage work more to sports activities, while the children could prefer the opposite. The family members’ capabilities should be put into consideration when choosing a program. Take note that overly physical jobs will be hard for the younger and older family members. Parents should involve their children when picking volunteer work in which everyone can enjoy them. Another option will be to different family members involved in different programs but in the same location. Accommodation Lastly, when planning for family volunteering abroad the volunteers should look into where they are going to stay. The options available to volunteers are hostels, hotels, dorms, homestay and couch surfing. The different accommodations are suitable for different type of travelers. Younger children will require more private accommodation while older kids would be better placed in less private accommodation like hostels. When volunteering as a family the accommodation options are homestays, hotels and hostels. If the volunteers have very young kids they should pick a place which has few potential hazards. When the parents arrive at the hotel or hostel, they should try to make the place child proof. They should teach the kids of emergency procedures just in case something happens and the children should be supervised throughout the stay.

Celebrities who volunteer abroad

Celebrities who volunteer abroad

“Americans, Irish people, are good at charity. We like to give, and we give a lot, even those who can’t afford it. But justice is a higher standard.” Bono Quotes. All human beings feel the urge to act in a humanitarian capacity at least once in their lives; many people feel the noble urge to give back to society, especially if life has given so much to you already. People decide to volunteer and give back for many different reasons; we have those who do it for personal reasons like experiencing a loss of someone special in their lives, while we also have those who do it just to get ahead in terms of their resume. Many people believe that celebrities belong to the latter category, while some may do it just to gain a good public image, we have those who are truly inspired to do humanitarian work, not only at home but also abroad, where their ventures may not really hit the tabloids, here is a brief overview of some of this celebrities who share what they have with the world.

 

When it comes to humanitarian acts one of the celebrities that stands out is Angelina Jolie.

Many celebrities give back mainly through charity work, it is quite rare to find them getting into the thick of things with locals from a different country, this is not the case with Angelina, she occasionally gets her hands dirty and helps out in a number of ways, for instance, Jolie has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced persons in more than 20 countries, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand, Ecuador, Kosovo, Kenya, Namibia, Sri Lanka, North Caucasus, Jordan, Egypt, New Delhi, Costa Rica, Chad, Syria, and Iraq, to name a few, and most recently she visited earthquake victims in Haiti on her latest trip to help rescue workers and survivors of conflict and natural disaster in the country.

 

Angelina Jolie is not the only one who is not afraid to do the gritty work, we have Some, like actor Seth Green, who travels to remote places to help those who are struggling. He has worked for such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and Doctors without Borders, an organization that gives medical care to people who need but cannot get it around the world, especially in war torn and conflicts regions. The American Red Cross has also recruited athletes like Peyton and Eli Manning to help deliver emergency supplies to areas that need it after a natural disaster.

 

Let us not forget to give credit to those celebrities that give back through volunteering their time and talent for worthy causes, we have celebrities who use their celebrity status to act as spokes persons for charities and humanitarian organization, for instance UNICEF has a number of goodwill ambassadors including the entire Barcelona football team, they use these ambassadors to raise awareness on issues affecting children all over the world. I this category we also have Eva Longoria who serves as the national spokes person for PADRES Contra El Cancer (Parents Against Cancer), a nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families.

 

 

 

 

Volunteering abroad myths

Volunteering abroad myths

There many perceived myths that keep potential volunteers from going abroad. The main myths that keep people from volunteering abroad are its too expensive; the volunteers are either too old or too young; the volunteer programs are too long; is it safe and they are making a mistake. Most of the volunteer abroad myths come about because the volunteers are afraid of going alone; they have a limited budget; they are not well informed; a bad experience in the past and a prejudiced opinion. Even though these myths are easily dispelled many people still don’t volunteer abroad. The best way to tackle myths is to get proper information about volunteering abroad. With the information the volunteer will be able to answer any question s/he has about volunteering abroad. Here are some of the volunteering abroad myths that keep volunteers from going abroad and how to dispel them:

 

 

It’s too expensive to volunteer abroad

 

One myth potential volunteers have is that volunteering abroad is for the rich.

They assume the cost of travelling and volunteering abroad is too high for them to afford.  Although some volunteer service organizations ask volunteers to pay hefty fees that prohibit volunteering abroad. There are also more affordable volunteer service organizations that volunteers can use. Another thing that keeps volunteering from going abroad is the air fare. To bust this myth, the international volunteers should look for cheaper options. With regards to Volunteer Service Organizations, there are expensive and cheap organizations, the volunteer should research and find the organizations that can fit their budgets. Volunteers should take advantage of budget deals and try to buy air line tickets in advance, and be on the lookout for great deals. Also the travelers who will volunteer independently off volunteer service organizations, have to research the affordable ways of volunteering abroad for example they will have to stay in budget hostels, and keep their expenditure to a minimum. Bearing in mind that costs that the volunteer will incur are the same as the costs they will incur as though they are at home, as in they will still have to pay for rent, food and other expensive items. Most of international volunteers who go abroad are not rich but are average.

 

 

It’s not safe to volunteer abroad

 

Many volunteers fear for their safety while they are abroad. The volunteers fears that they will stand out and will be victims of crime. They also assume that the countries they could go to are dangerous and unsafe. Volunteering in a foreign country is relatively safe as volunteering at home. When the volunteer is abroad, they will safe because many of the local people will go out of their way to help them. Also while the volunteer will be abroad they will be other volunteers who will teach them how to be safe. An individual will never be a hundred percent safe even if they are at home and there are places that are safer than the others. While they are abroad, volunteers should try not to expose themselves to risky situations that would comprise their safety.

 

Are the volunteers too young or too old?

 

Another myth that is there is that the volunteers fear that they are too young or too old. Volunteering abroad has no age limits. Both the old and the young can be involved in volunteering abroad.  For the younger volunteers, there are some companies that deal with only adults and some that include teenagers and adults. The younger volunteers should look for organizations that accommodate them and avoid the others. For older volunteers, the boomers, they should be involved in volunteer work that they are capable of doing. There are volunteers who are as old as 75 who take part in volunteer work. The boomers should choose volunteer work that will suit them to give back to the society more.

 

 

The volunteers will be too lonely

 

The volunteers fear that they won’t know anyone and might have problems making friends. Volunteers who are planning to go abroad are afraid that they will get home sick and miss their family and friends. It is normal for volunteers to miss home at some point. On the other hand volunteers will meet other volunteers and travelers who are abroad. As such the volunteers will not be lonely, they will also be working closely and in some occasions they will be living with the locals. There will be sometimes where they will be working alone but the volunteers will generally be with other people. To overcome loneliness the volunteers can be in constant communication with their families and they could travel with a friend or a family member.

 

 

 

 

Volunteering Abroad And Travel Warnings

Volunteering Abroad And Travel Warnings
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown. Since the beginning of this year, there have been political and natural problems in a number of countries. The problems have been spread throughout the globe. First there was unrest in Ivory Coast due to the elections they had, second were the floods in Australia and Brazil and lately there has been unrest in the Arab nations (Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon). Some of these situations are predictable for example there is bound to be trouble when travelling to a third world country during an election year. It is easy to foresee problems in such scenarios, but there some which take the whole world by surprise. A good example is what is going on in the Arab world where they are fighting for democracy and also the natural disasters in Australia where few knew the floods would bring so much trouble. As a volunteer in a foreign country these problems are compounded in that; the country is no longer safe; communication in to and out of the country could be halted, the internet could be blocked; media black outs and a curfew could be imposed in the said country. When choosing the country to go to care has to be taken to avoid being in such a situation. A couple of tips to help you choosing a country to volunteer in

Travel bans and advisory

Every government tries to protect its citizens by giving out travel advice on countries. In each government there is a foreign affairs arm that looks into what is going on in the world. They get updates from every part of the world. They monitor what goes on in every country and when there is a hint of problems they advice their citizens. On their publications and announcements, they warn their citizens on which countries to avoid. For example there is Know Before You Go campaign, which is from England, Canada has Foreign affairs and International Trade and the USA has Bureau of Consular Affairs. They all have alerts on certain countries and they each have a different valuation of the risk in the countries. Currently there is a general ban on travelling to countries in the red sea region. When picking a country to go to, it is advisable to visit the governments website to see how safe the country you are going to go to is.

News

Reading and watching news of a country is the best way to be informed. In this day and age there are a lot of sources of News. There is the internet, newspapers, magazines; and televisions all these are sources of News and current events. Although the media channels could be exaggerating what is going on the ground, they are the one of the best sources of information. Keeping abreast with current news of the country will help you to pick the best country to go to. In the news the volunteers will learn about the major things that are happening to the country that they will be going to.

Country profiles

The volunteers who are picking a country which could have security risks, they should have a look at the country profiles. Every country has been listed and there is a measurement to see which country is the safest to travel in. The country profiles are regularly updated and give a sense of how safe the country. The country profiles describe headline facts and figures about the population, capital city, and currency. Then briefly outline the geography and recent history, current politics and economic trends

Travel agencies

The volunteers who choose to use volunteer travel organizations are better placed to get information on a country. The volunteer travel organizations have their employees on the ground and they have first hand information on what is going on. With this information they can help to advice you which countries are safe to go to. They will have first hand information from the ground and will inform the volunteers accordingly. The best part of using travel organizations is that in case of an emergency while the volunteer is abroad is that they have contingency plans. They will help you get out of a tricky situation.

Volunteer abroad awards

Volunteer abroad awards

There are various awards given to international volunteers to recognize their contribution. These awards are given to volunteers who have done work that has the hugest impact in the organization they are working in. Also these awards recognize the various projects that give back the most to the society. The rewards are from private and public organizations, learning institutions, and some volunteer service companies. The awards are in the form of trophies, scholarships, financial grants and certificates. Most volunteer organizations issue out certificate of participation as well as recommendation letters. Not all international volunteers are eligible for these awards. The awards criteria depend on the organization that issue them.  Most of them also have an application procedure to the organization to make them aware of the work that the volunteer is doing.

The rewards are not for financial gain or personal benefit but to acknowledge the work the international volunteer has been doing and to encourage others to do so.

 

 

Photos and blog posts

 

Photo and blog posts are the most common awards that are given to international volunteers. Volunteers who are abroad could take very good photos and send them to various companies and websites. The photos and blog posts are sent to magazines, websites and online publications. The rewards for this kind of competitions are: being featured in their magazine, financial compensation, certificates and recognition. Some volunteer service companies have these kinds of competitions whereby they promote the best photos or blog posts.  They financial rewards could go as high up to $ 500 to $ 1000 for the best photos.

 

 

University and college awards

 

There are some colleges and universities who offer awards to their students who have volunteered abroad. Universities like James Madison University, Concordia University and University of Calgary recognize students who go abroad and help communities. Universities and colleges are proud of the students who involve themselves in community service or extracurricular activities apart from books and academic participation. Such institutions fosters an all round individual who have more to give back to the society. The awards are in the form of scholarships, individual recognition, funding of programs in which the students are participating in, certificates and trophies. The rewards are for the undergraduate students and postgraduate. The people who are eligible for such awards are the ones who are enrolled and alumna of the colleges and universities.

 

 

Charity awards

 

There are charities that also recognize individuals who go abroad to help the needy. The charities could be religious institutions, nonprofit organizations, for profit organizations and companies who invest in corporate social responsibility. These charities could also fund the volunteer work and the stay in the project location. There are various charities which reward guys who volunteer abroad for example Charity awards, African Impact, Volunteer Capital Centre and Volunteer Service Overseas . To be eligible for these awards you have to enroll with the charity, and be an active member. The awards are in the form of scholarships, certificates, recognition and funding of projects.

 

 

Local organization awards

 

Apart from rewards from charities and societies, the volunteer who are abroad could win awards in the nonprofit in which they are working for. The nonprofit or not for profit organizations are at the grass root level and they are the ones who work directly with the local people. They are the ones who come up with programs and projects for the volunteers to work in. since most of the local nonprofit organization have little resources the awards are not in the form of financial rewards, but they are certificates, trophies and public recognition of the work they did. Every organization has different rewards to give to the volunteers who work with them.