Thursday, September 23, 2010
Volunteering with Children
Working with kids is one of the most fulfilling jobs that are available. When you work with kids you will have the opportunity to shape the life of a child. The influence that you will have on a child will last forever. The small things you do to kids as a favor have a huge impact on their lives. There are many programs out there that give you the chance to work with kids. There are the big brother programs, mentoring programs which are available in your local volunteer centres. There are also government organizations or institutions that help kids, like foster homes and group homes which could be a great resource for you to work in. Some of the activities you could do while you are at home include: forming a child care group; mentoring a child at the local Y; tutoring kids; reading to kids in the library; contact the local homeless assistance centre and help the homeless kids; and help in a local child advocacy group. When you want to travel abroad and work with kids the opportunities are endless. There are many non profits or not for profit organizations out there which offer you the opportunity to volunteer abroad. You could partner with a volunteer travel agency, a charity organization or a grass root organizations which have programs with kids. The volunteer opportunities are for all ages you could be 18 years up to 60 years old to be able to volunteer. Although many women would prefer this jobs there are also men out there who are embracing these new jobs. When you want to work with kids you should have the following qualities: open and kind demeanor; willing to care for the kids; open minded, patience; and loving. The opportunities are mainly in third world and developing countries, where you will go to Africa, Asia, and South America to volunteer. The kids who you will work with don’t have any one to care for them, they are not loved and they don’t have any special attention. When you volunteer abroad to work with kids you will be working in:
Most of the volunteer work that is done with children is in orphanages. Most of the kids are orphaned because of famine, diseases, wars or natural calamities and social calamities. Many of the kids you will be working with are orphans and some could be having only one parent. They are vulnerable as they have no one to take care of them. The children especially in Africa are orphaned because of HIV/AIDS. Their parents die of the disease and their grandparents are left to take care of them. The only institutions available to take care of the kids are orphanages. The orphanages are normally understaffed working with a large number of kids. The ages of the kids in the orphanages range between 1 – 18 years. A large portion of the kids are often younger because the older ones are sponsored and go to boarding school. The kids could also be disabled, suffering from an untreatable disease, mentally handicapped or challenged in some way or the other. As a volunteer you will be required to perform a various number of tasks: providing one on one attention to the kids; helping them with their homework; feeding the kids; washing the kids; playing with the kids and mentoring them. It’s best to volunteer for more than one month because if you volunteer for a shorter period you won’t have any impact on the kids. Also the constant change will affect the kids negatively. When you volunteer with the kids you will form a bond that will last forever and when they are grown up and successful they will also help other unfortunate kids.
Other ways in which you will be involved with kids is through teaching. You will volunteer as a teacher, and educate the children. You will teach the lower grades since it will be easier for you. The lessons will be done in schools where you will have basic resources, and sometimes they won’t be available. You will have to come up with imaginative ways to engage your students. You will be teaching English, Maths, Social sciences, Music or Physical Education. Also you will be asked to help with their homework; tutoring the slower kids to help them catch up and in some case help in providing lunch.