What do you plan to do with your holidays over the next 12 months? Some people will enjoy a spectacular beach holiday while others head to the mountains for a few weeks of skiing. Still others will stay at home and relax around the house. If you are the type of person who enjoys volunteer opportunities, there is another option: spending your holidays abroad, volunteering with kids.
There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering abroad. Organisations on nearly every continent are always in need of volunteers willing to come and lend a helping hand. Participating in a volunteer programme offers you the opportunity to see a new country while also contributing to the benefit and welfare of others.
Volunteering at Orphanages
If you do an Internet search on volunteer opportunities with children, you will likely notice many opportunities to work in an orphanage. Unfortunately, economic conditions and disease in developing countries takes its toll, leaving millions of children orphaned. There are volunteer opportunities throughout Africa, South East Asia, and portions of South America, and Eastern Europe.
In South Africa for example, there are dozens of orphanages reaching out to provide for children who have lost their parents to disease and starvation. These kids deserve a shot at a better life, and that is just what the orphanages aim to provide. You can volunteer to help feed, educate, and just encourage these children.
As an English speaker, you possess a very important skill. English is now the international language of business and politics, so kids all over the world are learning it as a first or second language. That means there are a number of organisations looking for volunteer teachers willing to come spend a few weeks or months working as English teachers. Again, this opportunity offers you the opportunity to explore a new country while helping children better themselves.
We have given you just a couple of examples of how you could spend your holidays working with kids abroad. However, here are some tips you might find helpful before you go:
- Research – There are enough volunteer organisations to make you dizzy if you look long enough. So be careful to do some research before accepting a position. Know exactly what you are getting into before you agree to go.
- Prepare – You will be most effective as a volunteer if you prepare yourself before departure. By this, we mean you should investigate the local culture and environment, as well as the kind of work you will be doing. It also helps to learn some basic words and phrases if you will be encountering a new language.
- Open Mindedness – Lastly, keep an open mind. Your experience will probably not be anything near what you were expecting beforehand; it will probably be better if you just relax and go with it.
Volunteering to work with children abroad is a unique way to spend your holidays. We hope you will consider doing so, at least once.