Today is the International Day of Charity! What better way to be charitable than volunteering in the developing world. Together we can make a difference in society by helping to eradicate different forms of poverty and partner together to build sustainable futures.
Making a decision to volunteer overseas can be difficult and daunting. We all lead such busy lives, and sometimes the thought of volunteering is not a priority. So we push those thoughts aside and focus only on what is directly in front of us.
However, if you take the time to stop and think about the benefits that you and the people you will be volunteering with will experience, you may find a reason to step outside of your comfort zone and become the deliverer of significant change!
Here are 8 reasons we think may convince you to get involved in volunteering:
1. Immerse yourself in another culture
Volunteering is a great opportunity to experience a different culture and walk of life. You can immerse yourself in the food, arts, history, and culture and have a truly authentic experience.
2. Get to know the locals
Spending time with locals will help enrich your experience as you get their perspective and meet people from different backgrounds and walks of life. The hospitality and generosity of the local people will touch your heart and be an experience you will never forget. This will help broaden your understanding of their culture as well as other cultures.
3. Help a local community
The value you add to the community and the local people is so fulfilling. You can return home knowing that you have contributed towards significant change which may lead to enhanced health, economic, social and environmental outcomes. This experience is bound to change the community you volunteer with.
4. Enhance your technical skills and gain relevant work experience
You will gain practical work experience as you participate in a community development project under the supervision of a qualified professional who will guide and assist you. If you are studying at university you can also use most volunteer experiences to add to your work experience hours and put it on your resume! This experience may not only benefit your career prospects, but will provide you with skills and memories that last a lifetime.
5. Create amazing memories and friends
By travelling and sharing experiences with other people you are likely to form a bond with each other. Through this you make memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. The like-minded people you meet while travelling, and those who you work on projects with, you will likely build good relationships with. They may also provide good contacts in the workforce in the future.
6. Build your confidence
When you volunteer you will work on community development projects that will help you to gain skills and knowledge that will build your confidence in your field. Volunteering provides you with a platform to help practice and develop your skills, with the support from local partners.
7. Exposure to a wide variety of tasks
Most of our volunteers work on a project from start to finish, so you will be involved in the different stages and aspects of project management, and this will provide you with a wide range of knowledge and skills. This will come in handy not only in your everyday life, but also the workforce.
8. Practice teamwork
By working with partners and teams, you will learn how to be flexible, compromise and voice your opinions appropriately. This will help to strengthen your future team work and help you to communicate with colleagues better.
These are only a few reasons why we would encourage you to volunteer on a community development placement. Our past volunteers tell us that the time they have spent volunteering overseas was an experience of a life-time, and the impact they have on local community outcomes is second to none. At Development Together, we are so grateful to be able to provide these services to encourage sustainable community development globally while enhancing our volunteers skills and knowledge.