“A family that travels together stays together” - This is a much popular saying, and it has been an old practice for family members to take at least one trip a year.
Many American and European families travel abroad on extended vacations, during spring or summer breaks. However, only a handful of families indulge in volunteer abroad activities. While interviewing families about their experience of volunteering abroad, there were some universal themes which everyone expressed:
It taught them compassion
It brought them together
The kids became thoughtful and empathetic
It made their travel meaningful and added a lot more values
Volunteering with family especially when you have children growing up, is an experience in itself.
This is a great way to bond with a family and give your kids the sense of helping people right from the start.
Apart from finding a new way to spend time together, volunteering helps families, especially the kids, to develop interpersonal skills and be more aware.
The kids value and understand little things in life while also having fun at work.
Children and the parents get a chance to be part of something which is immaterial and larger than life. Working in orphanages, old age homes, street children shelters or with the disabled ones - you realize how unfair life can be on some people, and how you help them in your own way.
Volunteering abroad, especially in emerging and developing economies like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ghana etc., where you might have to compromise on your daily comfort and learn to live with the locals, is a life lesson in itself.
Cultural Immersion: You, along with your wife, kids or parents interact with new people, pick up a new language, try a new cuisine and get to understand global cultures in a much better way.
As a family, you interact with new people, get global connections and work for a cause which would add to your life resume.
Which volunteer projects are suitable for families?
We recommend families to take part in child care programs, orphanage programs or teaching programs. You can teach English, play with the children, help out in whichever way possible at an orphanage or work with street children to improve the quality of their lives.
We can also customize the programs according to your family’s choice. The childcare programs would also allow your children to interact with local children and develop a sense of understanding and friendship.
And as per the other requirements, you should know that your kid must be at least 4 years and above to accompany you, so that he/she does not prove to be much of a distraction during your volunteer work. In some cases, where the group is large and has 2-3 families joining us, we can make an exception with the kid’s age. You can choose to bring children aged 4-15 years along with you. While you volunteer as a family, we would make sure that you all stay together and work together on your chosen project.
There are myriad of family volunteering opportunities available worldwide. However, we would recommend families to travel to these countries to volunteer: India, Nepal, Thailand, Peruand Costa Rica.
On a special request we can consider requests for other destinations as well, you can write to us at-[email protected]