Is volunteer work good for you? So where can you find the best?
You want to travel the world, you have no money and, most importantly you have some good in you, then do some volunteer work.
You may have some proper savings, that allow you to travel for a while, still consider doing some volunteer work, you will not regret it.
Even if you are a thriving digital entrepreneur consider giving back some of your time, online volunteer work is a reality too.
Before you decide check the benefits and do a quick test to find out if you are made for this:
Personal development – you are going to explore new skills, either soft or hard. Relational skills by dealing with very different people that you are used too, you are going to meet life changing people. Stress and anxiety will happen, but you will learn how to deal with them in dire situations, doing more with less is the motto for all these experiences.
Networking – you’ll increase your social capital, you will meet people from many different backgrounds. Who knows how your professional life will turn and all the parts that people you meet along this way will have. Social enterprises are business opportunities very unexplored, which are great opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Mind and Soul – yes, the feeling good effect is real, and it is very powerful. Your purpose in life will reach record levels, and your self-confidence will be pumped up. And this is all good, you are helping others, you are giving back so you should feel that way.
Remember doctors prescribe it, so it must be good for your health. 🙂
Based on the great Sian Ferguson’s article ask yourself these 4 questions:
1- Would you still volunteer if you did not have a camera with you?
2- Does the institution you are joining have the same values as you?
3- Are you going to do more harm than good?
4- Would you trust yourself to do the same work
If you have a positive answer for all of them, you are the one! 🙂
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The danger of voluntourism
Before you make any decision you need to understand the problem to the volunteer community that voluntourism represents.
Voluntourism is a type of tourism where you pay to have an experience, not necessarily to real help the local community.
Voluntourism main motivation can be real noble, but it is normally an organisation making money out of you rather than solving a social issue.
Instead of hiring locals which costs money, they lure the foreigners with experience packages which make them pay to do the work. Isn’t it an appealing business model? Yes if you are a heartless person.
Local communities don’t need imported unskilled labour, they need empowered local skilled labour with or without the help of foreigners.
Long term change happens when people solve their own problems, not when others come and do everything for them.
Try to research well before deciding, and if the prices are premium consider it a red flag.
Where to find the best places to volunteer
These are the main websites databases for all kind of volunteer experiences:
Then you have some trustworthy institutions that run hundreds of projects around the world that you can also apply.