There is a lot about volunteering people don’t know or rather assume they know. For anyone who is interested in participating and helping people who are abroad there are a couple of titbits that they should know. Many volunteers would like to go abroad and when they start planning they find themselves hugely disappointed. As they assumed or had different views to what volunteering abroad really entails. This article is to shed a little light about volunteering abroad and some information that you should know before embarking to do it. Although, there is a lot that one should know; here are the most important things to know:
What every volunteer would like to know is the cost of volunteering. There are certain things that are fixed while others vary depending on the options that you have. The costs that you can’t avoid as you are volunteering abroad are Visa fees, airplane tickets; and vaccination. Other costs vary as it depends how you are volunteering abroad i.e. either through an organization or you are doing it independently. If you decide to go to through an organization the fees are also divided into two, as there are some that cater for all your upkeep abroad and you won't pay anything extra; while there are others that would require you to pay them to volunteer abroad. The things that you pay for are accommodation; meals; transportation to and fro the volunteer project. If you are going through an organization it’s important to know what you are paying for.
Your safety comes on top of the list. Many people think that going to a third world country is not safe. There are certain dispositions that make people think of how unsafe a certain country is due to the news they have watched. Most countries are very safe and if one is involved in a volunteer program their safety is doubly ensured as the volunteers are normally placed in safe environments. If the volunteer is going to work in poorer parts of the city, most programs have measures in place to make sure the volunteer is safe while they work. In most cases there is usually a member of staff assigned to the volunteer to ensure safety and general wellbeing of the volunteers. In addition, you as a volunteer should try to keep yourself safe by: avoiding risky situations; not carrying expensive jewellery; avoid walking alone in the night; and following your instincts.
Another thing that a first time volunteer should consider is the vaccinations that they would require for the trip. Some countries do not allow visitors in if they don’t have proof of vaccination. When choosing which vaccination to get one should consider the following: the country(s) you are visiting; date of travel; where you will be staying; what you will be doing during your stay; length of visit; and prevalence of certain diseases. All this information can be gotten by a visit to your general practitioner or nurse and they will tell what you should take before you leave for the desired country. There are common diseases in which you should be vaccinated against i.e. Hepatitis, tetanus, yellow fever, typhoid and cholera. One should also be aware of certain epidemics like flus and try to avoid them.