To volunteer abroad in a different country in an unfamiliar setup is bound to leave a lasting impact on our lives. To go somewhere far away, to do things which are very different from what we do back home, meet different kinds of people – all under the same roof and most importantly, make an effort to bring a positive difference to people’s lives. There’s a lot that volunteering abroad teaches us throughout the journey.
Volunteer Sumaiya Matin had an enriching time with the kids at the street children center and made the most of her volunteer travel projects with Volunteering Solutions (VolSol).
‘The reason why I chose this program because I once lived in Bangladesh in my early years and since then I always wanted to do my bit to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. I wanted to be able to give back a little and I chose India because of its diverse culture and history interested me a lot’. She added: ‘Experience with Volunteering Solutions was great, the hosts, their home-made food, their tips and just making you feel comfortable, I am happy I came with VolSol.’
“ Even though I have worked with children before as a social worker, working in the street children program was transformational for me. The kids’ zest for life despite such circumstances was inspiring”.
Encouraging cultural sensitivity and open-mindedness, here’s more what Sumaiya said in her video review :
One of the most loved programs facilitated by VolSol, volunteers often come rejuvenated and transformed after working for the elephants and ‘living like a local’ with the locals in Chiang Mai.
Anna Bishop, our volunteer from the States shared: ‘It’s been loads of fun. The two reasons I chose this program was because I wanted to travel far away and also be able to help somebody while I was doing that. I also wanted to be able to do something I ordinarily won’t do back home.’
One of the most touching things that Ana told us was: ‘It’s so easy for us to get fixated in our own lives, in our own world, in our own careers but it’s important to and get out of our own worlds, at least sometimes, and help somebody in theirs.’
She added: ‘I met so many people from different age groups, different backgrounds, different beliefs but there was one common thread that kept us together – our love for the elephants’
The entire experience of Anna is available here:
True to the loving and benign spirit of family, George, a family physician from South Dakota working for the Federal Government, USA shares his experience of volunteering in Cusco, Peru with his five other family members in the healthcare and childcare volunteer projects.
He shares: ‘‘Cusco felt a lot like Montana in the states and working there with my children was a great experience. While my older ones and I volunteered in the Healthcare project in Cusco where we observed, assisted a public health center, the younger ones worked in the childcare project interacting and playing with the kids there.’’
He added, ‘‘Cusco was safe. Walking with the kids, taking the trip to Machu Picchu, witnessing the feast of Corpus Christi and living with the kids in a safe and hospitable accommodation, I am happy that we took this trip. Hoping to take a mission trip with my kids again soon’’.
George’s full experience is documented here:
VolSoler Tara Dettle volunteered in Cape Town with her brother Andrew Dettle in Cape Town South Africa in child care centers and have shared their experiences here:
‘Each time we told our friends that we are going to Africa, all eyes got really big because there is this general misconception that Africa is unsafe’
Motivated by an email from a former volunteer, both Tara and Andrew quipped, “Being in South Africa was like a flashback to the college days”.
While Andrew taught five-year-olds, Tara volunteered for a toddler care center. Having gotten the opportunity to travel in Cape Town with a group and by themselves, the brother and sister are extremely happy with their experience and are happy to answer all questions over email for all aspiring volunteers.
Steve from Washington DC, US, shared about his experience of working in Moshi, Kilimanjaro area, his first time volunteering abroad. Having volunteered before as a local, Steve pointed out that ‘‘he felt having contributed and being needed in Moshi’’ as opposed to his former experience of volunteering locally in his country. He added, “I felt welcomed and met a lot of nice people, I am going back happy and satisfied, both from Moshi and Volunteering Solutions”. Watch his full interview here:
Rohan Raval from the UK shares his experience of Volunteering in Palampur, India with Volunteering Solutions. He enjoyed teaching to kindergarten children and find his volunteering experience very positive. He found the hosts Amit and Bobby exceptionally friendly and believes they made the trip more memorable and fun for him.
Take a cue from the VolSol volunteers and get set for a transformational journey. Share your thoughts, inspirations, and questions at [email protected] and take the first step to a meaningful trip abroad.
A Culture, Gender And Social Enthusiast, Aparna loves being in and exploring diverse and multicultural setups. She finds solace in humor and reading up all kinds of things, including shampoo bottle directions.
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