Tag

best places for Volunteering

Browsing

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.

# Geography

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?

Planning to volunteer in the land of Gods? Here is your chance to be the harbinger of change. But, there are certain things you need to be aware of before embarking on a journey of volunteering India.

India is a vast country with a diverse culture. From east to west and north to south, the nation is the perfect specimen of unity in diversity. Even though, it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the rising population and challenging topographical feature have created economic discrepancy. The situation has led to the emergence of a favorable condition for volunteering.

It was the first time I was volunteering in India and believe it or not, I learnt lots from my experience. Though I was jittery in the initial stage, it helped me gain an insight into the deeper demeanors of life.

Some Tips for Volunteering in India

Before, I started my journey; I made a detailed research about my destination. Its geography, economy, cuisines, culture, people, etc have a holistic effect on your stay in the country. You can find facts about India from several sources on the Internet.

  • Learn about the popular volunteer programs

If you want to work in the community development program, why try for something else? Is it because someone else did it? Well, the Internet is fraught with information about the different types of work programs in India. You can read all of them and choose the one that suits your purpose the best.

  • Try new food

There are many food items in the country that have not been able to make it to popular restaurants. Visit places that offer unique dishes cooked and served in clean surroundings. Every region has a specialty of its own and every stall prepares it in a different way. Taste the difference in cuisine. If you are in a dilemma regarding the cleanliness of the food, you can accept invitation to someone’s house and immerse in the magic of spicy Indian cuisine.

  • Get your usual stack of meds

The change in food habits and pollution may take your system by surprise. It is best to carry your box of medicines, especially those meant for cold, bowel disorders, headache and nausea.

  • Dress in a conservative manner

Yes, it is true that India is opening up in many aspects. However, there are still many facets, in which she acts conservative, especially in matters of dresses. If you are volunteering in a village, it is always better to adorn loose-fitting outfits. I make it a point to start conservative and slowly open up as the ice breaks. The same attitude goes for male volunteers. Better keep the shirts on. You might have to enter a temple and priests in India do not really like anyone dishonoring their holy sites of worship.

  • Get your earplugs

With the festival of lights and sounds round the corner, you must bring your earplugs. Diwali is a special festivals celebrated by Indians irrespective of their cultural differences. A whole week is dedicated to lighting and non-stop fireworks. Therefore, if you are volunteering in India during the month of Diwali, you must be extra careful about your eardrums and sweet precious sleep.

  • Do not shy away from speaking the local language

No one expects you to be fluent in Hindi, the national language or any other local language. However, there is no harm in trying. It shows the people that you are interested in learning their language. Communicating with children helps a lot in learning the local language. You can also enroll in a language class.

  • Stay away from tap water

I once dared to drink a glass of tap water and trust me, I had to suffer. You have to store water from a water purifier or if circumstances deny this amenity, find a clean well.

  • You may go vegan for a few months

No wonder cows are seen roaming around in the streets with such confidence. Hindus worship cows. So, do not go about boasting about your beef eating skills in front of Indians. Since, you might have to stay in a locality for sometime; I would suggest you to become a vegetarian for sometime. I promise; Indian vegetarian dishes taste equally good.

  • Take a look at India

The last but not the least important thing to do is see India. You might not be able to absorb the beauty of the country at a go, but you might just give it a start. There is plenty India can offer to its guests. Starting from its natural resources to cultural diversity, India is a land of many faces.

I just gave you some tips about volunteering in India. Wondering how you would like India? Why don’t you volunteer in the country and experience the beauty of the land by yourself? See it, breathe it in and immerse yourself in a life never unfurled before. What’s your take on the idea?

Have you chosen India as your upcoming vacation destination? Do you want to experience India in a unique way? Then, be a part of a volunteer organization. There are ample volunteering opportunities in India. A vacation in India has the power to bring out the philanthropist in you.

Here are Ten Best Places for Volunteering in India

# Travel to Teach Project, Rajasthan

This organization is situated around one hundred and fifteen kilometers north of Jaipur at Sikar. Here, you can impart English language education, sports coaching and computer skills.

# Bal Ashram

This place is meant only for boys. It is a rehab centre located between Jaipur and Delhi. Boys living here have a positive outlook of life. Boys from India and Nepal live in this transitional house. If you stay at this ashram and teach English to the children living here, you will realize that what you get from the place is far more than what you give. The love and affection you receive from the boys has more value than any gift. You won’t even realize how time passes by cooking, teaching, doing chores and playing outdoor games with the boys.

# Rural Organization for Social Elevation

This organization is situated in a village called, Kanda near Bageshwar in Uttarakhand. If you want to learn about life in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, you can be a part of this organization. Here, you have to help the locals lead a better life by teaching them computer, English, construction, sustainable farming etc. You have the opportunity to learn about the lifestyle in the village by living with a local family.

# I-Volunteer India Fellow Professional Program

Being a part of this program helps you work with non-governmental organizations operating in rural areas. If you have experience in marketing, administration and finance, this is the ideal program for you to be involved in. You can utilize your knowhow for the development of rural India.

# Sadhana Village

Underprivileged and intellectually challenged adults are looked after in this centre. The centre stands in a village, thirty kilometers from Pune. The organization has been active for more than a decade. Even though, the prime focus of the centre is on education; cultural activities and development of women as well as children is also practiced here. You will get accommodation facilities and fooding as well.

# SMILE

SMILE is a non-governmental organization which offers professionals the opportunity to volunteer. You can volunteer for instructing villagers on health, cleanliness, environment, English language, music training, dance training, basic medical training, sports coaching, etc.

# Salaam Baalak Trust

The trust is located in Delhi’s backpacker region and provides the basic necessities of life to street children. These children are also trained as guides, so that they can earn some money by guiding foreigners through the busy streets of Delhi. Volunteers can teach computer, English, hygiene, marketing, etc to the homeless children. Volunteers are provided accommodation by the organization.

# I-to-I Community Work in Bangalore and Jaipur

The I-to-I Community Work in Bangalore and Jaipur provides holistic chance to volunteers. They teach children and give disable women training to work and make a living. In Bangalore, they also provide health and sanitation advice to the poor. In Jaipur, volunteers get involved in conservational activities such as reafforestation and restoration of Man Sagar Lake.

# Dakshinayan

Volunteers get a chance to work with tribals in the region of Rajmahal and nearby areas. If you are interested to work for the upliftment of the tribal population of India, this is one of the most useful organizations.

Volunteering organizations are responsible for the welfare of street children, women and villagers. You can enjoy and have a fruitful experience on your vacation by doing volunteer work in India.