Posts Tagged Volunteer
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.
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.
Volunteer in Ecuador
Ecuador is located in the continent of South America, where it borders the Pacific Ocean at the equator, in between Colombia and Peru. With its capital at Quinto, Ecuador boasts an estimated population of 14 million persons, who are mostly a mixture of Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) and Amerindian. The official language in Ecuador is Spanish, while the pre dominant religion is Roman Catholic.
Ecuador has a democratically-elected government and national assembly, the current president being Rafael Correa who was elected in November 26, 2006. The country has used the U.S. dollar as its official currency since 2000, ever since its currency collapsed in 1997. Both U.S. coins and Ecuadorian coins, which are equivalent to the value of the U.S. coins, are used.
The climate and weather in Ecuador is mainly tropical, but if packing for specificity, then a basic idea is thatthe weather is tropical along coast, it becomes cooler as you head inland at higher elevations, and tropical in the Amazonian jungle and lowlands.
For a volunteer one should know that Ecuador has 4 diverse regions: the Amazon Rain forest, the Coast, the highland Andes, and the Galapagos Archipelago, but as there may be some differences in cultural practices within these regions, mainly evidenced by mode of dressing, the Roman Catholic Church has a strong influence on personal and social behavior, making it part of national identity.
Most holidays and celebrations are based on Christian festivals. Due to historical circumstances the Church is also wrapped up with the process of government, however, traditional gender roles still remain, the man is the breadwinner and the wife looks after the home. Therefore from birth, children are raised to understand that they will have different roles and expectations in life, remember this while dealing with local volunteers to avoid meeting cultural barriers.
Ecuadorians are known for being warm and polite. They can be quite tactile and tend to stand much closer to each other when speaking than in many other cultures. As a result they are highly tuned to body language and non-verbal communication, so if you are from a culture that is less reliant on relationships, trust and non-verbal cues then you need to watch what messages you may, or may not, be giving, in order to have an easier time communicating with the local people.
There are many volunteer opportunities that exist in Ecuador include sports coaching, animal conservation, teaching, orphanage work, social work, HIV/AIDS etc. It is also a great place for volunteers or students who want to learn to speak Spanish. They can improve their Spanish by living with the local people and being immersed in their culture.
Volunteer abroad programs for teens
There are teens who want to give back to the society and some want to travel abroad to help those with needs. Teens who want to volunteer abroad could be the age of 13 to 19 years. Teens bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to the volunteer programs. There are many volunteer abroad programs which include: teaching, orphanage work, HIV/AIDS work, Community development, health or medical programs. Many of these programs don’t require any qualifications and anyone can apply for them. Choosing a program depends on the volunteer likes, skills, qualifications and strengths. Although there are various options available for the teens there are some which are best suited for them. Here are a couple of programs that are popular with teens:
Volunteer sports programs
Depending on the country they are going to, there are a number of volunteer sports programs.
In the sports programs the volunteer could be expected to teach various sports to the participants. The participants are normally kids and other teens. The sports include football, rugby, extreme sports, basketball, tennis and other sports. . The main role for the volunteers will be acting as a coach, and they will be responsible for teaching the rules of the sports. Other roles will include: preparing and implementing sports camps, planning sports lessons, fostering local talents and preparing tournaments. Anyone can volunteer in these programs, but athletic ones and those who love sports are the ones who are better placed for such programs.
Volunteer teaching programs
Volunteers will teach public schools, orphanages and community schools.. The volunteer will be involved in teaching English, Math, Science, Music, social Studies and physical education. The volunteers will partner with local teachers and other volunteers to provide proper education to the children. The teens who are best suited for this program are the ones who like kids; enjoy teaching, and prefer certain subjects. The roles and responsibilities include: Spending time with the kids; Work as a teaching assistant; Work as a social worker with the Administrator; Help in cooking and cleaning; Help in sports activities; and Playing with the kids
Volunteer orphanage work
Volunteer orphanage work involves working with kids who have lost their parents or have a single parent but the parent can’t support the family. The kids in the orphanage range between the ages of 3 to 18 years. The volunteer will be expected to help out in the orphanage. Most of the work that will be done will be early in the mornings and in the afternoons, during the day the children in the orphanage will be in school. The main roles and responsibilities include: taking care of the kids, feeding the children, playing with the kids, washing them, helping out with their homework and mentoring the children. The volunteers who do this work are the ones who love kids, patient and fun loving.
Wildlife conservation programs deals with a host of animals. The programs could include land animals and marine life. The programs are in the animals habitats meaning in some programs the volunteers will be working in a jungle, in the ocean, game parks and deserts. The main roles and responsibilities include rescuing animals, help in making censuses, researching on the wild animals, prevention of poaching, rehabilitation of the animals, study behavioral patterns of animals. These programs are for volunteers who love working with animals; don’t mind basic conditions and can stay in the wild for long periods of time.
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.
Volunteer Services ? Tasks & Activities
It is said that one of the best ways to use your skills, knowledge and interests is to opt for volunteer services. This is the reason why business enthusiasts have been choosing the services to get more contacts and practical knowledge that can help in running business later.
Meeting with people, understanding them & their culture, spending time with them, understanding their daily life needs and helping them is something that explains volunteer services. Different volunteering projects are available till date that can be chosen by individuals as per their need and desire.
Certain tasks and activities are there which are required to be performed by volunteers for volunteer services. Tasks are as follows:
The first task is to establish and develop relationships with people living in a region.
Volunteers are required to understand the people, the way they are living, their lifestyle, their livelihood and culture as well.
Another major task is to encourage young people involved in the project. This will help new comers to enhance their confidence and self-esteem.
Support activity & co-coordinator
Next task is to support the activity as well as coordinator in supervision of people at group activities. Using skills, be friendly and calm nature, care and smartness for volunteer programs is something that helps in building healthy relationships with groups.
Now, let’s come to know about the major activities of the firm. Activities are as follows:
Improving local communities
The first activity is to develop and follow the project plan which is meant to improve local communities. The activity of improving communities include considering aspects like employment opportunities in the region, basic needs of food and shelter, education and much more.
Sharing skills and experiences
Volunteer services are directed to help any community against any environmental or social challenges. Volunteers are knowledgeable and experienced enough to deal different complexities of life and thus they act to share their quality sets of skills and experie3nce to help community coming out of any trouble.
Management & environment
In terms of projects, volunteers are also required to focus on home management and environment. So, here, they act as managing or making the contacts for repair, housekeeping and maintenance services. Preparation of meals, grocery needs, accompanying social or recreational event, etc, is some other activities which are considered under volunteer programs and volunteer services.
Hence, it can be said that volunteers are required to perform several useful activities and tasks to emerge as a talented and skillful volunteer.