So why do people decide to do voluntary work?
Volunteering is a very personal thing and people can be quite passionate about it. There are a number of reasons why people choose to volunteer. Learning new skills is right up there. Being devoted to a good cause and making a difference to the lives of others. Wanting to do your bit on this planet instead of standing by and watching the suffering go on around you or in other countries. Whether it’s abroad or at home, the reasons for volunteering a generally the same but volunteering abroad can mean that you come home with a world of experience in other cultures and far greater rewards as you have a lot of fun at the same time, exploring new countries and living the life of a traveller at the same time as helping others.
A volunteer may want to work locally in their own community to better theirs and their families’ lives whereas a volunteer travelling across the globe may be doing their work through a feeling empathy, having seen the suffering and need that exists in those countries. They may have struggled with social issues themselves too. Working with animals in need is another option that tugs at many heart strings of animal lovers and conservationists wanting to preserve endangered animals the are rife all over the world. Many volunteers believe their lives to be fortunate and in turn, wish to give something back to the world by doing voluntary work. Travellers often choose to volunteer as a means of meeting locals and experiencing a deeper relationship with them whilst viewing their culture from the inside. Learning the language, experiencing the food and learning the music. In these cases the volunteers are often able to abide in the homes of locals which would offer a rich experience. They may choose to do stints of travel intercepted by stints of working for free which also offers accommodation.
Volunteering can have a massive effect on personal growth and character definition, mainly opening their minds up to the strife that exists and making them more mindful and aware of the needs of the world. Often a volunteer will, in hindsight, admit to having been ignorant and narrow minded before doing voluntary work. They become more compassionate and willing to volunteer again in the future.
Personal benefits that volunteers stand to experience include discounts on products so that future travels can be cheaper. The most common overall benefit of volunteering is feeling good about one’s self. Volunteers do make a difference and they can return home happier, more confident and outgoing and knowing that they have done something fantastic.
Projects offering volunteer work are extremely grateful for the time given by workers and will show their gratitude in kind.
Strong bonds and long lasting friendships are another benefit of working in a voluntary position. It’s always amazing to meet and interact with others whose hearts are in the same place as yours.