Posts Tagged Volunteer
Volunteer abroad safety tips for female volunteers
Safety is a concern for many people who travel abroad. There is always a risk that something could happen to the traveler while they are abroad. Male volunteers are not safe while they abroad but female volunteers are more at risk than them. Due to their small stature (smaller than the average male) they are more at risk while they are volunteering abroad. Female international volunteers are easier targets than their male counterparts. Being a female volunteer requires them to pay special attention to her and the surroundings. There is a lot to fear while volunteering abroad as a female volunteer but it shouldn’t deter you from leaving home. Here are some tips to help: Dressing While you are abroad try and dress up according to the standards that are there. If you dress inappropriately it is seen as offensive. For example in Muslim and Arab nations, women should cover all parts of their bodies. The women are covered from head to toe. In other places, the cultures are conservative and the women there don’t wear tight fitting clothes and showing cleavage. Before going abroad find out how the local people dress up. To be safe, try wearing loose fitting clothes, long pants and long dresses. Avoid also wearing expensive jewelry and clothing as these attract attention, and you may be robbed of them. Try dressing up like the locals. Fake rings Put on a fake wedding ring that will detract many male suitors. As a female volunteer many men will try and get you. As they may assume that most western foreigners from Europe and the Americas are loose women with questionable morals. To avoid such advances put on wedding ring and if still approached tell them of your happy “marriage” it’s also advisable to carry with you photos of a man. The man could be your brother, friend or cousin to detract their advance. Drinking On the occasions you are invited to a party, or you are in a bar or restaurant, avoid to drink too much. When you are drunk you will become more vulnerable and you will have less control of yourself and your situation. When in bars do not accept drinks that have been opened, ask the waiters or the bar tender to open the bottle when you are seeing. As a rule of thumb don’t accept drinks from stranger that are open. There have been cases where drugs are slipped onto the alcohol then you will black out not remembering what happened during the night. Go out in groups or with somebody with whom you trust and will take care of you when you over indulge. Also when you are having a good time know your alcohol limit and avoid taking drinks you are not used. Stay in touch While you are volunteering abroad always stay in touch with a friend or your family. Email, text, call your family to update them of your whereabouts. Always keep updating them on how you are doing and where you are going. Try to keep them informed with almost everything that is going on. When something happens they will try and help you. Also when you are leaving the volunteer program or volunteer home, always inform them where you are going and when they should expect you back. This way, they will always be somebody who is looking over you. Being alert As a foreigner you will be an easy target for thieves and pickpockets. When you are in large crowds try to be mindful of your things and your surroundings. Get to know the emergency numbers: learn the police, hospital and fire emergency numbers. Try and learn some of the local words just in case you might need some help. In the foreign country mind your body language so as not to send the wrong signals. For example in some cultures women don’t look directly in to the eyes of men. When you do so you may encourage the man to assault your or be rude to you. In such cases try to be mindful and when talking to older men try and looking at the floor and being formal. Periods Menstruation can be an issue while you are abroad, because sometimes you might not be able to access pads and tampons during your girl’s day. Also with menstruation come cramps and body ache making you uncomfortable during that time. To reduce the effects of menstruation visit your General practitioner to give you advice on what to do. Generally many female volunteers carry contraception pills to avoid menstruation. Other solutions are a contraceptive implant, and the coil.
Volunteer abroad Organizations
There are a number of organizations that provide volunteer travel services. These volunteer service organizations could be for profit and not for profit. There is no big difference between the two, unless you live in the USA where your trip could be tax deductable. Most of the organizations provide you with somewhere to work, a school, hospital, or orphanage; and somewhere to stay: a group home, hostel, hotel and a home stay. They arrange everything for you and offer you full support during your stay in the host country. Other organizations offer transport to and from the project location, while some just offer you a place to work while you organize where you will stay. Depending on where you want to go and how much money you have there is a huge list of volunteer travel organizations to choose from. As the industry is fairy new there are no rules or guidelines that govern these organizations in their new industry.
There is also no umbrella body in which these organizations fall under whereby you can check an organization’s credibility or also to complain to. When you are planning your volunteer abroad trip here are a list of volunteer abroad organizations to use:
Volunteer Capital Centre
Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC) is an organization that is based in the UK. They provide quality and affordable volunteer abroad work programs in third world countries. The volunteers will be placed in nonprofit organizations, community based organizations, faith based organizations, and government agencies. They make the process of making volunteering in third world countries a safe and comfortable as possible procedure. They provide their volunteer programs in Africa.
Cross Cultural Solutions
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is an international not-for-profit volunteer organization offering short term programs in 12 different countries and 20 different sites ranging from 1 to 12 weeks. CCS is a recognized leader in the field of international volunteering and work with sustainable community initiatives abroad. It is based in USA.
Amizade Places individuals and groups with community projects in ten countries, from Australia and Brazil to Tanzania and the United States. Most service trips are short (about three weeks) but both alternative breaks for college students and long-term projects can be arranged. Volunteers pay for all of their expenses and a percentage of the cost of the project on which they will volunteer. The organization is based in Australia.
A Broader View Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) based non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania. With a love for humankind, and a motivated spirit to help others, A Broader View was created on the belief that one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Our US office is operated by an enthusiastic staff with almost 20 years combined travel and hospitality experience.
BUNAC offers a range of exciting summer camp, work abroad and volunteer abroad programmes. Established in 1962, BUNAC is a non-profit work and travel expert and has been helping young people work and volunteer abroad for 48 years. Popular BUNAC destinations include: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana, Australia, Britain, China, South Africa and many more.
Students Partnership Worldwide
This British organization runs four- to nine-month volunteer programs in India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. All volunteers receive intensive training (up to six weeks) before working together in teams in rural communities, raising awareness of important health and environmental issues. Participants must be aged 18 to 28 years, and pay fees for each program; SPW offers fundraising advice. The basic cost of a placement ranges from £2900 to £3300, including air fare.
Volunteer Abroad Accommodation
Accommodation, where to stay, makes or breaks a good holiday or stay in a foreign place. Travelers who rush into picking a place to stay normally end up regretting because of not choosing carefully. As an international volunteer going abroad s/he should plan on where they will stay. On choosing on where to stay the volunteer should look into the meals, if they are shared or single rooms, price, services like laundry, WIFI connection, and excursions. International volunteers should look carefully at these factors when choosing a place to stay. The various types of accommodation available are homestays, hostels, hotels, group homes, the project location, couchsurfing, and home exchanges. Each of these options have their advantages and their disadvantages. These places offer:
These are the most comfortable but most expensive places to stay in. Hotels are great as they are a home away from home; the staff makes the volunteer as comfortable as possible. The services offered vary from hotel to hotel. Most hotels are ranked from 2 stars to 5 stars, 5 stars hotels are high end hotel and are very luxurious while 2 stars are not as fancy as 5 star ones. Many hotels have websites that show their rooms and the services they offer to help travelers have a glimpse of what to expect. Budget hotels and motels offer basic services as opposed to luxurious hotels. Hotels are a great option if the volunteers are going to stay for a short period of time, need privacy, new to a country and need a bit of pampering or reminded of home.
Hostels are a common option to backpackers, round the world travelers, gap years, international volunteers and students. Typical hostels are made of single, double, and dorm rooms. The dorm rooms have about 6 bunk beds; the beds normally have a heavy blanket with optional sheets. There is a communal shower, while those who choose private rooms have private showers. Some hostels provide laundry services, WIFI, free breakfast and some have a community kitchen. Most hostels are locked during the day so that they can be cleaned. In the evening some hostels offer social settings, with a bar which serves cheap drinks. The hostels are used to travelers and provide needs that suit travelers. Some hostels dont have curfews but some do. They are a great place to meet other travelers and travel with them. Generally hostels are the cheapest form of accommodation travelers can get but they lack privacy as the travel may share the dorm room with 10 other international volunteers. Some hostels are gender specific and they are for girls only or boys only.
These are normally provided by the volunteer service companies. These are homes that are in the host country whereby all the volunteers will be staying. They are normally single and double rooms. They have a caretaker and chef who will help the volunteers for all their needs. Three meals are provided and they are served at a certain time. Volunteer group homes have someone who will do their laundry in some occasion they provide transportation to and fro the project location. Some homes provide orientation classes to help the volunteer to learn about the host country, the language and currency. The price of group homes vary with the volunteer service organization as the price is included with the volunteer program. They are safe, secure and are great for first time travelers.
These are made available by the volunteers themselves. The property could be house, apartment, flats and townhouses. With this option the volunteers looks for a place to stay and buys furniture for themselves. The apartments are a great option if the volunteer is going to stay for a long period of time. There are great deals out there where by a volunteer could commit themselves for two to three months to paying rent in that place. Renting rules and regulations depend on the landlord/lady and the city. These are good especially if the volunteers are in a group whereby they can save a lot of money by renting their own homes. Older volunteers, boomers, prefer this kind of setting whereby they are able to be comfortable and some could even buy a car.
Other options are available to international volunteers but are not too common. One way is through couch surfing. Couch surfing is whereby the volunteer stay in a persons home and they buy food for a couple of days. There is a network of homes that offer couchsurfing opportunities. This is one of the cheapest ways of traveling as its free. There are rules that go with couchsurfing; the volunteer should know them. Another option is home exchanges whereby the volunteer goes to live in another persons home while the owners are on holiday or are traveling. The volunteers take care of the house and forward mail to the owners.