Posts Tagged Volunteer
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 don’t 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 person’s 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 it’s 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 person’s home while the owners are on holiday or are traveling. The volunteers’ take care of the house and forward mail to the owners.
Volunteer Abroad Online Fundraising
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”- Winston Churchill.Fundraising is a concept that is not strange to many of us; it’s basically a form of raising money towards a given cause. There are newer more popular ways coming up which a volunteer can use to fundraise; one of them is online fundraising. Fundraising through online websites is a way for you as a volunteer to get more money, and people involved. It also helps you to build a network of well wishers and donors to your cause. There are a number of websites that can help you to do your fundraising online. A brief description is provided below.
The first website we will look at is Crowdrise empowers online fundraisers to reach out to their friends, family, classmates, co-workers and other members of the Crowdrise community. Crowdrise’s online fundraising tools allow you to tell your story using compelling photos and videos to connect with your supporters.
You can also share your projects with everyone you know by sending them a link to your project page via email, Facebook and Twitter. All you need to do is create your own personalized Profile Page. Your profile is meant to showcase everything you’re doing as an online fundraiser and volunteer.
Another website you can look out for is Give2gether was founded in 2007, and to date it has enabled various Non Profit organizations to successfully raise funds for various purposes. The process here is quite simple; the first step for you on this website is to customize your web page. Through clicking on the icons provided, you can upload your organization’s logo, and then add a text of what you want to go with your main image. The next step is for you to upload your donors’ details, and then set up your introductory email announcing the campaign to existing donors. This will enable you to get the word out there of your cause, as your donors will start to reach out to their own networks. Once this is done then you only need to give your donors a thank you note, and get your fundraising on the way. Don’t forget to put a link to your website on your fundraising page. So that donors have proper access to you.
We also have FirstGiving was founded in 2003. It is founded by JustGiving, the UK-based pioneer of online fundraising. Together, FirstGiving and JustGiving form The Giving Group. This group is dedicated to one purpose: empowering passionate nonprofit supporters to raise more money than they ever thought possible for the causes they care about. They partner with nonprofit organizations to allow them to plan, execute, and measure successful online fundraising campaigns and charity fundraising events with. For individual fundraisers, they aim to make it easy, effective, and even fun to raise money online
Lastly we have Ukvirginmomneygiving, this idea came as a result of Virgin Money’s sponsorship of the London Marathon. Having taken a look at how runners raised money, it became clear to them that there was a better way of doing things. One that would help people involved in all sorts of fundraising activities and leaves everyone better off in the long run. It works through you linking up your cause with their website and spreading the word to your friends who get to more donors for you, just like the other sites we have looked at.
Volunteer Charity Work
Charity Volunteer Work can even be that you are willing to help a present or potential employer recruit volunteers. This is such a great step in the right direction!
Doing Charity Work is like being an intern. You raise your awareness plus you are raising your knowledge while increasing your experience. You might not get green paper in return for your efforts but you gain a lot. You not only gain experience and Knowledge, but having this hands on experience is looked upon like being book smart. It shows that you are out there applying yourself. Charity work can really get you ahead of the others. Showing that you are willing to spend your free time doing something worthwhile says a lot about you and who you are.
From my own personal experience I know that “No Experience Necessary” is invisible ink for ‘two years’ of hands on experience.
So don’t ever count it out. Add Charity Volunteer Work to your Resume. Also any list of personal references can include people you dealt with and worked with while Doing Charity Volunteer work.
Some places do state that the person cannot be a Relative for a personal reference. The above suggestions would work for such a place. This will enhance your List.
Although some places do state that you need to have known the person for a minimal amount of time in order to be able to list them. In which case I would list a neighbor or a relative. Long term friends can count as well. Also if you have worked more than one Charity event but it has been with the same organization, list those with whom you interacted with during this time.
Many charities are looking for help in the office, raising money, out in the field, publishing their work and working with local agencies such as government. You can help in all of these areas. Just make sure they know that you also want payment as soon as a position becomes available.
You should never forget how tough it is for any philanthropic organization to get money. Getting money into the charity is tough. Which makes it look even better on your part that you are willing to help.
It’s FREE to help. Help you help yourself.
Volunteer abroad transportation
It is important to consider means of transportation and commuting when planning your volunteer abroad trip. There are various means of transport available depending on the country in which you are going. You could travel by road, rail, ship or plane, depending on the location of your program project and country you are going to. If you are going to stay in a foreign country as a volunteer, back packer, study abroad student, gap year traveler or just a traveler, for a month or longer you should find out what are the best means to travel while you are there. The most common means of transport is public transport which is sometimes run by the national government, or sometimes could be run by the city and in some case the tourist centres. Choosing the best way to travel depends on your budget and the resources that are available to you. While you are abroad you could travel by:
Travelling by plane is the most popular especially if you are going to travel over long distances.
Unfortunately it is also the most expensive way to travel. Younger adults (26 years and younger) can use International Student Identity Card (ICIS), International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) and Youth Hostel Association (YHA) to get discounts on flights. Booking in advance can allow you to take advantage of flight deals and discounts. During the long flight hours try to make yourself comfortable by wearing loose fitting clothes and carry anything that would entertain you during the flight. If you suffer from airsickness, get motion sickness tablets, they will help you during your flight. Follow the airlines’ regulations and rules for everyone’s’ safety.
Travelling by boat is common in areas that have islands, or in places that don’t have access to bridges. In places like Italy there are many waterways and the preferred way to travel is by boat. For safety, you should check whether the vessel has been registered for voyages; the marine conditions of the area; and travel advisories at the dock. To overcome seasickness you can get medication from a doctor, wear a special wrist band that controls your pulse rate and try to stay on the deck to a catch of the breeze. In some remote villages on islands, you will have to travel by boat. In these places, there will be dhows available and you have to be very careful when travelling by them.
Train and buses
Public transportation is different in every country and is through trains and busses. Trains are sometimes the best means of transport because they are cheaper than planes and more comfortable than busses. When backpacking across Europe travelling by train is the most effective means of transportation. You can save money on trains by using ICIS, IYTC and YTH cards if you are a young adult. Trains are relatively safe, with very few accidents occurring but you should keep your travel documents and personal documents very safe in your hand luggage. In trains you are more prone to be robbed or pick-pocketed especially on the train stations. Traveling by bus is more comfortable especially if you are travelling for shorter periods. Although the new rules and routes could be intimidating, take a local friend with you to help you navigate. You can get a public transportation map, to help you and learn how to stop the bus.
Car and motor bikes
Travelling by car is very comfortable especially for short distances. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from AAR so as to drive any part of the world. You could either buy or rent a car for the period of you volunteer abroad. Traffic rules and regulations vary with the country for example in some countries they drive on the left while in others they drive on right side. When renting or buying a car, insure it and don’t rent something too exotic that will attract attention. For safety, follow the traffic rules, don’t leave valuables in the car, and don’t drive at night. Motor bikes are great for avoiding traffic jams and parking fees.
Bicycles and walking
This is the most inexpensive mode of transport. It’s the best way of keeping fit and works best if you live close to your school or volunteer project. For safety don’t walk at night and follow the pedestrian traffic rules. Also don’t wear clothes that will attract too much attention; wear expensive jewelry and carry your handbag close to you.
Volunteer Abroad Advice
Traveling is a disease that is not easy to cure; some say its caused by being bitten by a travel bug. Travelers could be those who are going to: volunteer abroad; gap year; study abroad; intern abroad; tourist abroad; career break and boomers abroad. Many of the travelers especially those who are going to stay for a long period of time like for months or years fail to plan. Most volunteers who are abroad plan to: pay the air fare, get travel insurance and for accommodation. They forget about planning for small things that make a big difference like: carrying extra money; bathrooms could be different; having your passport all the time; travelling in the host country; manners and minding locals; and realizing you are the different one not them. Other than these there are more important things you should know that will help you enjoy your volunteer abroad vacation
Reading the fine print when you are using a travel agent is important because you would want to know who will take care of you when things go wrong. As a volunteer going to work abroad you are most probably going to use a volunteer travel organization that organizes volunteer work. Most of these organizations plus other travel and tour operators have travel policies or terms and conditions. Knowing these will help you to plan how you will take care of yourself when things go south. Things like political coups, racist movements, natural disasters, being robbed, when you fall sick and riots are not common but they could happen. When these things happen you would want to know how the agency will take care of you. You should also find out about the refund policies, something might happen that could make you not to travel and you dont want to lose your money.
This comes when you are planning where you are going to stay. The most common places to stay are hotels, hostels, and homestays and group homes. Many hotels have minimum set of standards and its easy to find out what you are paying for. Choosing a hostel, homestays and group homes are the ones travelers should pay particular attention to. Most people dont take their time to look into what they are and not paying for. For example in group homes and homestays, they could offer you a bed or a bed mat, a table and electric outlet. In other occasions they could provide you with these things and more or not. Also hostels dont give out much information on what they will offer you, or sometimes they provide you with false information.
Getting around is hard for the first weeks in a foreign country, especially if you are going to be using public transport to get around. In some countries when you use buses or trains they are normally overcrowded and crammed and this can come as a surprise to you. While you are abroad get maps and book guides of the country you are in. Reading and understanding maps can become useful especially when you are lost. If you plan to ride a bicycle or a car, try to find out the traffic rules. As a pedestrian look out for signs to help you navigate through the city. In some countries motorists dont pay much attention to pedestrians and extra care should be taken.
Before you travel abroad contact your bank or Credit Card Company and inform them that you are travelling abroad. Inquire from them what their policies are abroad and what happens when you lose your cards either through robbery or bad luck. Ask them how you will be protected against fraud. Before you volunteer abroad ask if their cards can be used where you are going. Some credit card companies provide you with medical insurance; ask them if you also need additional travel insurance. Before you leave, contact a tax expert or accountant about taxation and find out if you will still be paying tax while you are abroad. This is mainly for volunteers who are planning to stay for a long period of time.