Reasons to Volunteer Abroad
If we’re honest we can’t think of many reasons not to volunteer abroad, but then we’ve read all the volunteer stories and seen what a great experience everyone has had. There aren’t too many things that are fun and worthwhile and fewer still take you to some of the world’s best locations.
There are plenty of worthwhile things to get involved in without going abroad to do it, but why not do both? Our hope is that volunteering abroad will give you a real taste for it and that you’ll continue in the same vein once you return home. While it’s true that volunteering is something that can be done at home, it is also true that the wider world is the battleground for the biggest issues in the fight to stop climate change, protect traditional communities and increase social development. Below is a list of reasons to volunteer abroad in places like Ghana, Thailand or even volunteer in Costa Rica:
1. Make a difference to people
If you’ve watched many Hollywood films you’ll be familiar with the basic story; traditional culture is swept aside by big business and erected in its place are huge constructions better equipped to shake the last few lira from the tourist’s pocket. Unfortunately it’s not just fiction, but a very real problem for countries around the world. Helping to create sustainable tourism by taking part in volunteering projects helps make international travel work for tourists and locals. Volunteering abroad/volunteer in Ghana is your chance to get to the heart of a quintessential problem of the modern world; how can somewhere survive economically without losing its traditional way of life?
2. Make a difference to the environment
There are people around the world living in poverty that we can’t possibly imagine and places of extraordinary natural beauty in real need of volunteers. It’s a real irony that the areas of the world that attract the most visitors are normally those least equipped to deal with them. The world’s most beautifully lush places are mostly found thriving in the tropical heat of developing countries which lack the infrastructure to either protect them or survive without the tourist industry. Add to that the fact that the most diverse and stunning eco-systems are often the most fragile and you have a recipe for disaster. All of these reasons make it essential that more of us donate our time and effort to helping the most vulnerable places around the world.
3. Personal development
Travelling is not just great fun; it’s also the best way of developing personal skills, Managing difference, dealing with new places and overcoming the inevitable twangs of homesickness will furnish you with the confidence to tackle most things in your life. How difficult can a new job be when you’ve helped build houses in the monsoon or taught a classroom of noisy children?
4. Get recharged
They say a change is as good as a holiday. There’s nothing like doing something entirely different, like volunteer in Thailand, to put the spring back in your step. Whether it’s the clean fresh air, the excitement of travelling independently or the inspiration you get from making a real difference in people’s lives. People who go travelling return with even more enthusiasm for their lives at home.