Posts Tagged Volunteering
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.
Volunteering Abroad And Relationships
Distance doesn’t matter if you really love the person, what matters most is your honesty and trust for that relationship to work out – Trish. The second international holiday celebrated after New Year is Valentines Day. History has it that Valentines Day came from St. Valentine a priest who lived around 270 AD in Rome and he attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II who ruled during this time. He believed that marriage made the men weak. So he issued an edict forbidding marriage to assure quality soldiers. Although it was forbidden, St. Valentine being a bishop, held secret marriage ceremonies of soldiers and young men. This was in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited it leading to his execution. Before St. Valentine was executed he wrote a letter to a daughter of his jailer with whom he had a deep friendship. In his letter he signed: from your valentine. When a volunteer goes abroad for a while it means they will be cut off from their loved ones for a period of time putting a strain on their relationship. Or when they are abroad they could fall in love with one of the local people and after their work is done will have to leave. The volunteers will be forced into a long distant relationship. Here are a couple of tips to help your relationships survive when you are abroad:
The volunteer and their partner should sit down and talk about the upcoming adventure. They have a meeting and define their relationships. They should define if they just have fun, if they are serious and if they are ready to go to the next level to engagements or marriage. For those who are already engaged or married should discuss the effect of the long distance will have on their marriage. One of the strains of the relationships will be lack of intimacy, no hugging or kissing or physical contact. Being miles away from each other compounds the problems that they could be having while they are together. Also while they are away they should promise to remain faithful to each other during the duration of the volunteer abroad work.
Due to technology the world has been made smaller and smaller. There are numerous ways to stay in touch with each other. The various ways of communications are through, calls, internet calls, text messages and the use of social media (facebook and twitter). These are great ways to communicate and they are also mostly inexpensive. In a relationship, quality and quantity communication is very important and it ought to be frequent. Written communication should be intimate and extensive to give the other partner a good picture of what the other is feeling. Although there could be nothing new to talk about just staying on the line while hearing the other person breathe does wonders. Due to the different time zones that the volunteers and partners are in they will have to schedule when to talk. They could talk once a day, three times a week or once a week, depending on the schedules.
If the volunteer is planning to go abroad for a long period of time like six months to three years, then they will have to schedule to meet with their partners. Extended absence could lead to the death of the relationship. They could organize to see each other after every two or three months. Visiting each other shows that you still care. The volunteer and partner could both go to a mutually exclusive place and enjoy each others company. It is said real connections are made through touching, feeling and smelling and has strong ties to memory; it will be easier to keep the relationship going if they see each other at some point. When the couple is away from each they could still schedule to do some things together, for example even though they are separated by distance they could still watch movies together, and listen to the same songs
The biggest killer of all relationships is the opinion of others. When the volunteers friends weigh in their opinions about the relationship they will often be negative. This negativity adds more strain in the relationship and the couple will lose faith that they can keep the long distant relationship. They could ask for advice from other people but be objective on taking the advice.
An Adventurous Job- Volunteering Abroad
Are you interested in a job with full of adventure and chance to learn new culture? Are you bored of a 9 to 5 sitting job and feeling lack of excitement in life? Are you interested in travelling new parts of world and to live near wildlife? If your answer to these questions in positive then volunteering in abroad is a perfect occupation for you as it gives you lot many chance to learn new culture and explore world. Volunteering abroad is increasing as a career options specially in youth who have interest in social welfare and want to help others. Volunteering programs are usually associated with social causes like rescue work during earthquakes, war, saving the planet, conservation programs for wildlife, educating slum children and much more.
These overseas volunteer programs help you in gaining experience, understanding different communities and their culture, exploring new geographical regions.
This helps in building your social network, keeps to close to nature and also brings a sense of pride.
There are various types of volunteer programs operated by various firms. You can opt to be a part of any wildlife conservation program in Africa or some other region or you can educate children of poor families in under developed countries, or help the need in case of war or any natural disaster. There are lots more ways be participate in volunteer programs. Are you concerned about your resume and thinking that these will not be beneficial for it? Then you are not thinking the other way round. Obviously you can mention all these experience in your resume and sooner or later will find yourself on a serious traveling tour or even have an educational career. By becoming a part of a social welfare society like UNESCO and helping the needy you are paid by government or the society and also get opportunity to explore the off beaten tracks of different countries.
The best thing is to get placed with any agency providing overseas volunteer programs but remember that there are many bogus agencies too that proclaims to the bets but are not even authenticated. So don’t join any agency without proper background check and assuring that they are right to work. Getting references from others is the best way but if you are unable to find any such solid reference then go for proper research to find a suitable agency and try to collect all required information about them before going on any overseas volunteer project. Many authenticated agencies get funds from government and also give required assistance and training before sending you on any project.
Volunteering abroad is a nice career option and is full of adventure and learning. If you are interested in such jobs and in social welfare then go for it. You will find utter satisfaction in yourself.