Volunteer work is an amazing way to broaden your horizons and meet people with similar values. Internal reward and a sense of pride are also connected to benefiting other people, especially if they really need it. Volunteer work is an essence of every community and the networks can operate on organizational activities and performance based. Simply put, it makes a world a better place. Donating your time and energy can enrich your points of view, and those experiences will not only be fulfilling, but also good for your career. You will occasionally be in situations out of your comfort zone, and thereby learn new skills.
Choose your adventure
According to your preferences in terms of climate, languages you speak and how adventurous you consider your lifestyle to be, the first thing to consider is the accommodation. Some programs will be community based, meaning you would be living in host families, who are also volunteering in that sense. The guidance through the new culture your hosts can provide is extremely helpful, especially in the first couple of weeks. Other options are usually dorm-style hostels, with several volunteers being in a room. This can also be helpful, but in another aspect, as you will together learn about this new environment through exchange of perspectives and experiences.
Think about the deeper meaning
Start your brainstorming session about exploring the possibilities and destinations by answering a question of meaning of your spiritual journey. Every community has local non-profit organizations you can donate your time to, but you should explore some other, more extreme and distant locations as well. The satisfaction of diving into another culture and learning about other ways of life is above all a life changing experience. There are so many areas where you can really make a difference with the unprivileged communities. This requires commitment and the availability of spending up to a year abroad.
You should include several factors to be in focus, and decide if your chosen program is centered around conservation, immersion, children, animals etc. and how far are you willing to be from home. Numerous wild and exotic destinations are an option, and if you have a gap year in your career, such experience can be almost cathartic. Search the engines to find about gap year programs which are offered in your area. The weight of your emotional tension will be released, and most people would describe the experience as a successful search for themselves.
From Iceland to Africa
Once you’ve chosen the ultimate goal of this experience, it’s time to be practical and crunch the numbers. Some programs are more affordable than others, and some only require you to cover the travel expenses, such as Maya Pedal organization activities in Guatemala. There are various internship programs for medical and dental students which are affordable and beneficial for your career, such as Medical Internship Project based in Nepal. Mesmerizing landscapes in little Himalayan towns and various adventurous activities you can enjoy in your free time will free your mind of all worries.
Helping the unprivileged communities and working with children is an incredibly rewarding experience by its nature, and you could explore some options in South Africa. There are amazing opportunities for teaching and health care programs in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Kenya is another popular choice if you settle on this continent, with numerous programs based in Nairobi, many of which are related to the local orphanage. You’ll be able to go on wildlife safaris and embrace the thrill of the experience.
If you are in for the spiritual part mostly, we are recommending programs located in India or Tibet, and be immersed in preserving temples, learning about some other perceptions of religion, such as Buddhism or Hinduism. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to work with animals on this journey, you should check out the volunteer job in Namibia, focused on helping in elephant conversation. There is also an incredible and affordable opportunity to be a part of Save the Turtles activities in Costa Rica. Enjoying magnificent beaches and working with baby turtles sounds like a dream come true!
If you are among the true adventurers you should explore some more intense experiences, such as diving programs in Fiji or Mexico, as a part of a marine conservation. These types of programs often offer a possibility of various certificates and it can be beneficial for your career. If you’re up for intense experiences of one to two weeks of duration, check out the programs of exploring volcanology in Iceland! You can be environmentally active through your volunteer work!
Be a change you want to see in the world is the core concept of any volunteer work. Both internal and external benefits are connected to it, and you can learn so much about the world through perspectives of people from different cultures. You will gain new and valuable relationships and probably many friends for life. It will connect you with nature more and especially if working for and with the underprivileged communities, your value system will be altered for life. Learning to truly appreciate small things and enjoy in everyday life is the purpose of all.