Offering to work unpaid for a charity or other worthy cause is a wonderful way to help others as well as gain valuable experience that, in many cases, can be found nowhere else. There are many great opportunities available, whether volunteering at home or abroad. Traveling to volunteer has extra benefits, of course, including seeing new parts of the world, getting to know new places, and experiencing new cultures.
Developing countries often need volunteers to help with basic infrastructure projects including construction work, whereas other programs provide a different kind of focus, raising awareness of health or education needs, for example. In communities where the population is economically deprived, children are often neglected and some of the most popular enterprises deliver teaching, social care, or other types of support in an orphanage or adoption center. It is also possible to find opportunities to volunteer in areas such as sports coaching or wildlife conservation.
Volunteering can also provide exceptional opportunities to see different parts of the world. A volunteer project might offer the opportunity to travel to a variety of countries including India, Bolivia, Morocco, or South Africa. Often volunteers combine their project with a backpacking trip or vacation, taking the opportunity to explore as well as benefit from the rewards volunteering provides. Cheap air Flights make it possible to cover a lot of territory and may allow travelers to see several countries before returning home.
What to see
Individuals who volunteer in India can take one of the guided tours to see famous sights such as the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, or the Lotus Temple. Tours also go to the capital of New Delhi with its magnificent museums, ancient monuments, and delicious food, and the royal city of Jaipur, which is constructed of pink stones and marble and is often referred to as the ‘Pink City.’
In Africa, popular destinations for volunteering and sightseeing include Tanzania, with its unique traditional African music and many well-known writers; and Tingatinga and Makonde – famous for its curious local art styles. Many travelers also go to nearby Kenya to visit its pristine beaches and extensive game reserves.
The many rewards of volunteering
Individuals opt to participate in volunteer projects for a variety of reasons. One central motivation is the sense of satisfaction that working on an interesting and worthwhile project brings. Traveling to volunteer is a great way to take a journey of discovery and to become immersed in a different culture, often leaving behind the hectic lifestyle one is used to at home. It is also a worthwhile activity to undertake when decisions about careers or other important life choices are looming – taking time out to work as a volunteer can provide a fresh perspective, enabling an individual to fully appreciate the opportunities they have in their lives. In fact, in many cases, being a volunteer can be a life changing experience.
Whatever the reasons for volunteering, becoming involved with a respected and well-run organization will help to ensure a rewarding and unforgettable experience. As long as volunteers have respect for other cultures and beliefs, they will enjoy a truly memorable trip, make new friends, and experience new and exciting places.