Today I am sharing with you a piece about volunteering abroad written by travel author Astrid Halliday. Astrid shares her love of travel with the world and debunks myths that travel is only for the wealthy. She has articles all over the internet about her travels, sharing tips and tricks to see the world on a budget! She is a great writer and I am so excited to share this piece she wrote for me to share with you!
I have always been a big fan charitable work, and when she pitched her idea for this post with me I just about jumped out of my seat! I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did!
Where To Volunteer
With volunteering available globally, travelers are free to choose from any location and include helping others and seeing a new part of the world on their holiday. Volunteers can help overseas on a gap year or for a couple of weeks on a short-term get way.
Here are some top destinations to volunteer abroad:
Australia is home to The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. Arguably the best place in the world to volunteer in marine conservation with over 2,900 individual reefs, there is plenty to get stuck into. Volunteers are invited to collect important information on everything from mangroves to manta rays and coral to coastal habitats. This information helps both the community and decisions based on the reef.
Did you know that there are more sheep than people in Australia? There are many volunteer options to help at a sheep station. Similar to volunteering on an agricultural farm, volunteers can help the hosts around the house and with their family, or more hand on at the station with the sheep.
Africa is a very popular destination for volunteering. As the least developed continent, there are many different projects available from building and teaching to health care and animal care.
Building, repairs and maintenance projects can be found throughout Africa. Schools are often built by volunteers and regularly need maintenance such as re-plastering a wall and floors and fixing plumbing problems. In poorer communities’ locals may ask for help fixing things around their house or even help to build a new home.
Many schools in Africa lack funding and supplies. Volunteers can help by bringing over resources, textbooks and worksheets, coloured pens and paper, and flashcards. The lack of funding discourages locals from joining this profession and qualified teachers get jobs in the cities where the locals are wealthier, and schools are private and can afford to pay teachers. Volunteers can step in and teach a subject of choice in schools with fewer or under qualified teachers.
Conditions in hospitals and clinics are poor, similar to the schools they lack funding and supplies both of which are graciously donated by volunteers. Health professionals are invited to come over and help hands-on performing health checks on the locals, donating whatever they can. Workshops can also run promoting health education, aids prevention and awareness of diabetes.
Booming in popularity, the tourist industry in Asia is growing fast. Many tourists are choosing this continent as a destination and with them more and more volunteers choosing to travel and help.
Fluent English-speaking volunteers are needed to help in Asia to come and teach English lessons to local children. Children with good spoken language can go on to apply for scholarships for higher education and apply for jobs in tourism.
The English language is a highly regarded skill and essential to gaining jobs in towns and cities. Many larger employers who pay better wages expect to see the English language on CVs, even if it is not a requirement for the job itself.
Volunteering is not limited to teaching projects, there are also many animal projects in Asia which welcome an offering pair of hands. Elephant sanctuaries allow volunteers to observe elephants in their natural environments. Improve the lives of elephants and help to free them from the burden of tourism elephant riding and locals riding them for work.
One of the main reasons that volunteering in Asia is so popular is because of the affordability of the continent. Accommodation and activities are both affordable and typically don’t spike in costs for tourists. Traveling around the continent is also very reasonable with low-cost airlines.
America is home to many different types of volunteer projects. The country is big on sports and summer camps, making lots of opportunities to volunteer abroad teaching new sports and getting more involved in coaching sports you already know.
The lack of a language barrier in America makes sports volunteering easier, you don’t need to translate anything and can explain difficult rules without any confusion. This also means that you can introduce more unusual sports which perhaps the locals have never heard of before.
Europe is great for first-time volunteers who aren’t too keen on a long-haul flight. Close to the UK, most of the flights to Europe don’t last more than a couple of hours. There are also many low-cost airlines which fly within Europe meaning that if you book in advance flights needn’t be expensive.
Volunteer projects in Europe are typically more expensive than others that can be found elsewhere around the world. However, affordable projects can be found, European Voluntary Service is free and offers many projects.
Expats love to rehome in countries in Europe and some have set up animal sanctuaries welcoming volunteers. They may not have accommodation provided for volunteers, but hosts can help volunteers search for accommodation close by and hostels are not expensive.
There are also many hostels in Europe which welcome work exchangers to come and help with housekeeping, maintenance, greeting and welcoming guest on the front desk. Accommodation and sometimes food is provided in exchange for a few hours working every day.
Volunteering abroad is an incredible opportunity to combine seeing a new country and culture with helping others and giving back.
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