Straight from a Volunteer’s Diary
I had won the 10th criminal case in a row and had been looking for some fresh way. So, I decided to take a hiatus from work and explore the world. What can be more enjoyable than making trips to Asia and Africa and also volunteering in the continents? My trips to these two continents taught me to see the world in a different way. Today, I want to share my experience in the two continents and help my fellow volunteers.
Let me first give you an idea of the differences between the two continents.
# Languages spoken
Asia – Some nations like India or Philippines have many vernacular languages, while some nations like Vietnam have only one language. Since, the British had colonized most of Asia; English has turned into a common language. You can volunteer in India and see the numerous vernacular languages in use.
Africa – While French and English are most prevalent, other languages are also spoken in African nations. Most countries have tribal languages.
# Volunteer destinations
Asia – Most Asian nations welcome volunteering aid. Volunteers flock to Asian countries not only because the people in those nations need help, but also because of the affable weather conditions and lack of large-scale political disturbance. Nepal and India are the most favoured destinations for volunteers.
Africa – Very few nations in Africa are safe enough to attract numerous volunteers. Countries like, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria are the most favoured destinations among volunteers.
# Types of volunteering activity
Asia – My trip to Asia taught me that the focus on volunteering activities in the continent is on education, especially on learning English. Countries like, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam emphasize on teaching English to the young generation.
Africa – While imparting education is a part of the activities performed by volunteers, they mostly have to dedicate their time to health care activities. Africa often comes under the impact of life-taking diseases. Therefore, medical attention, proper nutrition and community development are the major activities performed by Africans.
Asia – Most of the volunteering organizations are located either in urban or semi-urban locations. Very few volunteering activities occur in remote areas. In fact, in India, some of the volunteering organizations are located right in the heart of major cities. This ensures that volunteering in India is made easy by access to proper communication.
Africa – You can enjoy Africa volunteer experience only when you are tough enough to stay in difficult conditions. Most of the volunteering locations are situated in rural areas. In fact, some volunteers are sent to live with Masai tribe members in their village. As a result, volunteers have very less communication with the civilized world.
Now, I am about to reveal some of the similarities that I noticed while volunteering in Asia and Africa.
# The category of programs is similar
Most of the volunteering programs revolve around community development, education, women’s education, women’s rights in the society, health, poverty and environmental stability.
# Arrangement of programs is done in similar manner
Volunteer organizations in developing nations hire volunteers in order to face social and economic problems in their society. There are some organizations that act as middlemen in the process of hiring. They hire volunteers and place them in different nations for volunteering. It does not matter whether you are placed in placement is in Asia or Africa; the method of arranging programs is the same in both the continents.
# The spirit of humanism is the same
I have volunteered in Asian nations and also in African nations. But, I realized that the spirit to work for greater good exists in both the continents. Volunteers get involved in the massive participation of helping others in spite of the poor living conditions and difficult weather conditions.
# Volunteering for children
While Asian nations emphasize more on education of the youth, African countries are more into building a physically strong future generation. In your trips to Asian and African nations you can notice that both the continents are concerned about well-being of their future generations.
# Wildlife preservation
Both Asian and African countries are involved in preserving the animal population in the continents. Tigers, lions, monkeys, birds and reptiles are helped by the volunteering programmes. The volunteers work in reserve forests to make sure that the animals get proper treatment when unwell, do not get attacked by poachers, tourists do not throw glass items on the forest ground, etc.
By now, you must have realized that Asia and Africa are stark different from each other. But, the spirit of humanism in both the continents is the same. Why don’t you experience volunteering in the two continents and let us know about your experience?