For whom is voluntary work in countries of the “Global South” interesting?
– For those who are aware of their privileged position to live in a prosperous part of the earth and to show themselves grateful.
– For those who want to actively contribute to reducing injustices regarding the distribution of goods and opportunities in the world.
– For those who want to develop and gain new experiences.
– For those who are looking for intensive contact with other cultures.
– For those who want to find out the benefits of being in an unfamiliar environment for their own personality.
– For those who are looking for a meaningful bridging between two phases of life (between school and studies or between studies and working life, for example).
– For those who are allowed to regularly “celebrate” extended holidays (seasonal workers such as entertainers, tour guides, waiters in tourist areas and others who have a longer time between two “seasons”).
– For those who have the opportunity to be released from work for a longer period (sabbatical year, for example).
Especially the work with children is particularly suitable for teachers or educators. In addition, as a volunteer, you make an important contribution to helping children of poor regions to have better chances for their own future development as well as improving the abilities that are important for your future professional life. And for your potential employer, a corresponding entry in your CV makes you even more interesting.
What are the benefits of such a commitment to you as a volunteer?
– Your ability to adapt to new situations will improve.
– You get new (sometimes surprising) insights about your own personality.
– Your understanding of other cultures matures, your tolerance increases.
– You feel gratitude and positive energy that is brought to you.
– The highlights of a foreign country are waiting for you in your spare time.
– Your CV will have a positive and very interesting entry.
– You improve your foreign language skills.
– You develop a better karma 😉
What possibilities are there to find suitable projects?
– Over the past few years, an economic branch has been developed which is known as “Voluntourism”. There are agencies that have good contacts and a lot of experience and are responsible for the organisation (flights, visas, accommodation, transfers, insurance, etc.) for a volunteer. In addition, these agencies provide advice and support the helper if problems arise.
http://www.freiwilligenarbeit.de/ (German Homepage)
http://www.projects-abroad.org/ (English Homepage)
– Classic “volunteering” faces “voluntourism”. In this form of support, there is no intermediary with economic interests between the helper and the project leaders. Through their own research, through friends or acquaintances or through beneficial organisations in their own country, a contact to an aid organisation / project is created on site. For the volunteer himself, this kind of organisation is somewhat more complex but also more favourable.
Another interesting article on volunteering. (By Lee Crawfurd).
My personal recommendations
Since last year, when I started “Help ‘n’ Travel”, I can recommend two addresses from my own experience and from deepest conviction. With both organisations, assistance from third parties is urgently needed and the team is incredibly warmly welcoming. If you contact the recommended places you will save any “mediation costs” that would arise through an agency (like the one mentioned above).
Fobeni Village, Limpopo Province, South Africa – The work that is done here for the poor
population of the area is outstanding. The founder of the NPO (= Non-Profit Organisation) “Tshega” is called Ellanie van Rooyen. She and her team engage themselves passionately for the needy. And, of course, the volunteers have also made a contribution to the fact that the rural population has experienced many serious improvements in their simple living conditions in the last few years (wells, school, kindergarten and much more!).
First and foremost, helpers are needed for the “Lighthouse Academy”, i.e. the school built by the NPO. You actively help to increase the children’s learning success here.
Jacky van Tonder is the first contact person for you. Jacky advises you and organises your stay. In addition, she lives in the same building with the volunteers and is therefore always very close to the needs of volunteers.
Jacky’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Tshega’s homepage for more information
If you would like to receive a consultation in German, I recommend you to contact Sabine Uriot. Sabine is the first chairperson of the charitable association “Mohau e.V.” and supports “Tshega” in different ways from Germany. Among other things, Sabine and her colleagues are constantly looking for volunteers who want to help on site.
Mail address: email@example.com
Visit Mohau’s homepage for more information
Gouves, Crete, Greece – In Gouves, a sanctuary for stray animals was lovely built. The
person responsible is called Manolis and I would call him a kind of “animal whisperer”. It is unbelievable what sense a man has for the well-being of his about 200 protégés. He feeds, nurtures and protects his animals day and night and is of course happy about any support in “Gouves Animal Shelter”.
I have already described the fact that life as a Greek street dog is far from easy in the chapter “Dog Life in Crete“. I hope to be able to mobilise you in Crete for some weeks of summer 2016. The accommodation during your stay could be very cheap in the same complex in which I also live. In that case, I would bear the costs for the first beer after work on one of your two sunny balconies!
And also here, you can have a consultation in German. The association Strassenhunde Kreta e.V. has made it its task to support Manolis and its animals from Germany.
Strassenhunde e.V. (German Homepage)
Please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to help you with your plans.