Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

Welcome to the Volunteer Capital Centre

Monday, August 30, 2010

Volunteer Abroad for free

Many people want to give their time to help others. Most of them volunteer at home, helping in the local volunteer centres and the local organizations. Others want to take their experience to another level and volunteer in another country. They want to volunteer abroad for free. One of the assumptions many people make is that volunteering abroad is like volunteering at home in that they expect not to use any money while they are abroad. They hope not to be charged for their expenses. It is not easy to find an organization that will help you volunteer for free. There are many volunteer service organizations that charge some fees for them to plan and coordinate your volunteer abroad work. The problem comes when these organizations charge too much; they charge thousands of dollars for their services. In some cases the organizations use the money to benefit their pockets, very little or no money goes to the project you are going to volunteer in. They prohibit many potential volunteers to travel abroad. If you want to volunteer abroad without paying huge fees, search the internet for affordable volunteer abroad service organizations or travel independently. It’s a lot harder to organize everything for your volunteer abroad work program but it is possible. Here are things to consider when you are planning for your trip to volunteer abroad for free.

Independent traveler

Many first time travelers assume they are independent and can travel by themselves. They don’t put into consideration that when they are out there they will be very lonely, family and friends will be very far away. When packing, take everything that you will use. Do not assume when you reach your destination you will find what you want. Carry things like sleeping bags, mosquito nets etc. Go to your local physician and ask for advice on medication and vaccination that you will need. Independent travelers should be eighteen years and older. It will also be better if you can travel with a friend or a group of friends. For more experienced travelers, being independent is easier. They know the problems that they will encounter and how to solve them. As an independent traveler, get everything that you need and try to plan for the unexpected. To enjoy your experience try to be open minded.


This is the most important part in your planning. As you will be going to a different country without any help it is important to research. Start researching the country where you want to go to. Try to find out as much you can about the country, research about the culture, currency and language spoken. Try to find ways to orientate yourself. When you have picked the destination of your choice e.g. Kenya, start your research. Go to your laptop or computer, point your browser to Google, yahoo and AOL and research about your destination. There is a lot to plan for and you will need to research a lot for the trip. You have to search for suitable organizations where you will be working in. the best organizations, are grass root organization which don’t use middlemen to get volunteers. Identify the projects they are running and try to match them with your likes and desires. When looking for organizations, try to find out their locations, the distance from the main town and essential services like hospitals, internet cafes, and restaurants. Look for referees and past volunteers it will give you a better picture of the organizations.

Accommodation and meals

After you have picked the organization that you will be working in, the next thing is to plan where you will be living and eating. Some grassroots organizations will offer you accommodation at a cost. If you want to plan your stay for yourself, look for hostels, hotels and homestays. Look for hostels that are near the organization where you will be volunteering. In the hostel, try to find out about the meal times, and if they can accommodate your dietary requirements. Most hostels offer breakfast and supper or dinner, lunch is not included. Find out also about the sleeping arrangements, if they require you to have a sleeping bag, your own mosquito net and beddings. Choose a hostel according to your budget. Many hostels can be booked online, while others you have to go there personally to book. Looking for a homestay is the cheapest option but it is the hardest to organize when you are not in the host country.


You should look into the transport system in the country. Try to find out what is the main means of transport. Whether taxis are available and what type of taxis they are. Find out about public transport like buses, trains and airports. You will need to know how to get to the organization where you will be working and also how to move around in the country. Some guys will rent a car for a couple of days.


Other things you should look into are how you will be talking to your family and friends. Try to find out how the people in the local country communicate. If they have mobile phone networks, if there are many cyber cafes available and what are the international call rates.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Volunteer abroad group volunteering

A group of volunteers could be you and a couple of your friends, family, church members and coworkers. Many corporate companies offer their employees a chance to volunteer abroad as a part of their corporate social responsibility. They use this as a part of their team building and have their employees more motivated. Many employees after coming from their volunteer holiday are more open minded and are rejuvenated by their work abroad. It also introduces your employees to new opportunities and cultures. Volunteering as a family is also a great way for all of you to bond together and at the same time help other people. It gives you the chance to open the eyes of your kids to the problems of the world and to help them appreciate what they have. Handling and tackling problems together with your family helps to improve each other’s maturity level, character and gives them a chance to grow. Whether you and your friends have just finished high school, are in college or with your neighbours volunteering abroad together is one of the experiences that you will never forget. It will cement your friendship as you will live together and “suffer together” When you are ready to go abroad; you have the option of going independently without any help or use a volunteer service organization. When you travel independently, you will have to find out where you are going to live, eat and work in advance. When you use an organization, they will take care of all of your travel experience, they arrange where you are going to eat, sleep and work. If you decide to use a volunteer abroad service, inform them in advance and ask if they have the capacity to accommodate all of you. To make sure they place you in an organization where you can work together and live together. The main benefits of group volunteer are:


Travelling as a group reduces the cost of your travelling. You will get group discounts on most things. When you travel in a group you can get more value for your money, flights are cheaper, hotels and hostels are cheaper; safaris and tours are cheaper. Pulling your resources together in a group, each one gets to use less. Also when buying gifts and curious you will get discounts since you will be buying in bulk.

Safety in numbers

When you travel as a group you will always to be safe. In a group you are not as vulnerable as when you are in a group. The numbers reduces the danger that occurs from potential risky situations. Also when in a group thieves and pickpockets will not be able to steal from of you. In a group you will be always looking after each other.


During your volunteer abroad you will be asked to do work in certain projects e.g. orphanage work, community development, teaching, TEFL. Your work could be for a week or for a couple of months, when you volunteer as a group you should ensure that all members of the group are working in the same project. You accomplish more when you work as a group. In a group you have more resources to work with, tasks and projects are completed faster. Also your work will be more efficient

Easy to adjust

Since you will be staying in a foreign country it is normally difficult to adjust to the new environment in the first days. As there will a number of small difficulties in which you must overcome for example language barriers, cultural conflicts and home sickness. You will be missing your family and friends company, but when you travel with your friends you will not be feeling that way. With your friends you will be able to find out things faster and adjust to the environment. You will be able to learn some of the words in the local language, customs, culture and traditions. When you encounter a problem your friends who are with you will help you solve it.


As a holiday, it will be great fun for you and your friends working together. As a family you will experience new things in an exciting way. It is generally more enjoyable when you are in a group rather than by being yourself.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Choosing Volunteer abroad organizations

There are many opportunities that are available for those who want to volunteer abroad. When you type volunteer abroad on Google you are get around 481,000 results and on yahoo it’s about 21,600,000. There are about 270 organizations or more which provide volunteer abroad programs. These organizations offer a variety of programs in different countries. The reason for this is because the volunteer service industry is new and is rapidly growing fast. In the last ten years there has been increase on the number of organizations that provide volunteer abroad services. Many of are made up of past volunteers and who want to make volunteering easier for the next volunteers. All these organizations are market themselves well, they have really good websites, pamphlets and recruitment drives. When you are looking for the right organization to use takes too much time and energy. You are normally overwhelmed with all the information that is out there, making your decision to be difficult. When choosing which volunteer service organizations that you are going to use consider the following:


After you make the decision on where you want to go you can narrow the search on which organization that you want to use. When you search on Google and type volunteer Kenya you get 200,000 results with much fewer organizations. There are many organizations that provide volunteer abroad services in different countries. There are problems all over the world and many places where you can volunteer. Deciding on where to go shouldn’t be difficult as you would already have had an ideal place to go and volunteer. After picking the place to go, start sorting through the list and finding out which organizations work in that area. Also when choosing on where to go the language they speak is important as you don’t want to be in a place where it is hard to communicate. Other things to look out for is whether you prefer a rural setting or an urban setting


How long you want to stay will influence which organization you will pick. There are different organizations that offer you the option of volunteering for one week and there are others that offer 2 to 3 years. Short volunteer programs are for those who are on their holidays which can be up to a month. While those who go for 6 months and more are the guys who are on a gap year. Very few organizations offer you both short term and long term volunteer abroad periods. The short term projects could be teaching, working in a hospital, and child care. Long term projects include construction and community development programs. Time of the year also matters as it means that some programs don’t operate in December like for example schools are closed. Time of the year also depends on the season of your volunteer holiday. You could travel to another part of the world and find its winter.


Choosing the right organization depends on your budget. There are some organizations that charge thousands of dollars for a month long volunteer program while there are others that charge a few hundred for the same period. They charge differently depending on the motivation of the organizations. In that some are not for profit while others are for profit organizations. The charges differ depending on the services they are going to be offering you. Some organizations include travel insurance with their package as well as flight fees and other expenses. When choosing the organization, ask which services they will be offering e.g. room board, health insurance, emergency evacuation, in country support and transport to and from location. Ask how the fees are being spent and does any of it go to the program projects or the community. There are some organizations that help in fundraising and some offer scholarships for the high costs. There are some organizations that offer paid volunteer work, whereby they help ease the cost of volunteering abroad by giving a stipend and out pocket expenses. Lastly find out if there are any financial penalties if you cancel your trip or whether you want to leave early from your program placement.


This is the volunteer abroad program that you will engage in while you are in the host country. Choosing the right program that matches your skills and interest will determine which organization you will work with. When you decide what you are going to do will help you to find out which organizations are providing the services that you want. If you have professional experience as a teacher and you want to teach look for organizations that offer volunteer teaching programs. Also if you want to improve on your skills by doing something in which you have no experience in, choose an organization that will help you do that.


Look for an organization that has 24/7 support in the host country. Ask if they have representatives both locally and internationally. Just in case something happens you will have somebody who will be there to help you with your problems. Look for organizations which have a representative in the host countries. In that when you have a problem you don’t have to call home because they won’t be able to help you as well as somebody who is there for you locally. Support also comes in the training they give you on the culture and language, pre departure information and orientation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The best places to volunteer abroad

In the past volunteers used to comprise of older and mature guys who have retired. Nowadays it has changed in that there are volunteers as young as 12 years. Volunteers who go abroad are changing due to the number of increasing opportunities that are available. Volunteers are different in very many aspects; they vary in age sex, experience and much more. The volunteers are about 14 years young to 70 year olds. They also very in their education level, some have high school diplomas others go as far as professors. Another difference of volunteers is their stage in life, some are mature and want to retire while helping, and others are younger who want to experience life in full. What they all have in common is their passion to travel and their desire to help others in the process. They all want to experience different cultures; environment and meet new people at the same time help the world at large. They all know the benefits and the advantages of volunteering abroad. Their main problem comes in choosing where to volunteer abroad. There are many volunteer service organizations that offer volunteer abroad opportunities in the world. There are organizations which offer opportunities in Africa, Asia and the Americas. With so many options and too much information it becomes difficult to choose where to go. Here are my best destinations where to volunteer abroad:


Charity begins at home; there are many opportunities near where you live. Where you can go and help out. When you are at home, you will know how well to put your abilities and skills to benefit your community. There are many volunteer centres which will help you identify needs in your society and help you address them. You could work in a community shelter, work with elderly people and much more. Also you could volunteer outside your home, you can coach the little leagues, help your elderly neighbour with various chores or just pick up litter you find in lying around. There are unlimited numbers of options in ways you can help your community. With this option you will not travel, meet exotic people and exotic cultures. But volunteering in your home country will give you the experience you require to work with charities.


If you are bitten by the travel bug and you must travel, then Kenya is one of the premier hot spots to go. Kenya lies on the equator, making it a tropical country; it has diverse topography with glaciated mountains, the Great Rift Valley and wonderful coastal beaches. The climate is mostly warm and humid; and cool and humid. It’s known for its safaris and tours, where you will get to see the big five animals: Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe and wildebeest. Also you will get to see the great migration which said to be the eighth wonder of the world. With all the magical and beautiful things Kenya has to offer there are still humanitarian issues needed to be addressed. Kenya has the second largest slum in Africa called Kibera. Although the Rate of HIV/AIDS infection and spread is lower it still affects most of the population. Malaria kills more people than AIDS in Kenya.


India is the 7th largest country with a population of 1.18 billion people. It’s a multiethnic and a multilingual society. Most of the people speak English; the culture is the one of the oldest in the world. The Indian people maintain their culture, traditions, and values. Indians are known for sharing everything e.g. in happiness and in sorrow. The beauty of India lies in the diverse cultures, there tolerance. India has a growing influence in global markets due to their massive buying power. They have the most diverse and modern health care systems. India lies close to South East Asia, China, Singapore, Thailand and Maldives are close to it. India is still plagued with problems like poverty, disease and cultural problems. As a volunteer there can be a lot you can do and see while you are there in India.


Spain is the best place to learn Spanish, with its exotic culture and love for the Arts. Spain is a constitutional monarchy which is rich in culture and tradition. Spain’s history, culture, topography and climate make it the second biggest tourism industry. In Spain there are also diverse regional identities. Madrid and Barcelona are cosmopolitan cities; they hugely attract young people because of their night clubs. If you appreciate art and culture Spain has a lot to offer. In Spain you can live in a home stay and teach English as a foreign language while at the same time learning Spanish. It is said to be a back packer’s heaven.

Volunteers who go abroad are changing due to the number of increasing opportunities that are available. Their main problem comes in choosing where to volunteer abroad. Here are my best destinations where to volunteer abroad

Monday, August 16, 2010

Volunteer abroad Personal Qualities

Many volunteer abroad program and opportunities have very few requirements for you to volunteer for them. The volunteer service organizations could ask things like: “the applicants should be 18 years and older; or “the applicants should speak English fluently.” Many of the requirements they ask for are to make you fit well in the in the community. There are other requirements they need from the volunteers in order for them to do their work more easily. The requirements are the qualities and the character of the prospective volunteer. The qualities or character of the volunteers are important in that there are things they should have. These qualities help will help you whether you are working in your volunteer program and your stay. They help you adapt to the new culture. These qualities depend on the volunteer’s personality and expectations. To make sure you enjoy most of your volunteer abroad experience these are qualities that you need to have, or to cultivate:


This is mainly for teen volunteers who are constantly surrounded by their friends. Many of the teen volunteers are not fully aware of independence, and they assume they will be comfortable out there by themselves. When they leave home and go to the host country for their volunteer abroad program they find themselves to be extremely lonely. The first few days or week are hard for them, since they are not in constant contact with their friends who are miles and time zones away. Even though they travel as a group or as family, there may be times where they will have to be separated due to their volunteer work schedule or the living arrangements. Before you leave home the volunteers should be aware that they won’t be seeing their friends for a while. Also even though they could always communicate with their friends, they should consider the time zones. It could be day time in the place you are volunteering but it might be at night where your friends and family are. Being independent is key to enjoy your experience. But after some days you would have made friends in the host country and you won’t be lonely any more.


When you are at home there are things that you are used and accustomed to. When you leave home you will be giving up modern conveniences like a comfortable bed, high speed internet and plumbing. But when you are arrive at you volunteer abroad program location the things change. The facilities and the conditions that are there are very basic, for example in rural areas, there is no running water, no toilets and sometimes no electricity. Volunteers need to be flexible and cope with the changing environment. They should be willing to do what is needed and live in basic conditions. Also the customs and the culture in the host country could be very different to what the volunteers are used to, as such the volunteers must be willing to conform to their standards. They should be open to the different cultures. A successful volunteer should not judge but should be willing to adapt to new ways and to learn.


In many developing countries things don’t move as fast as you expect. There are a lot of loop holes and beaureacracy. Projects and tasks take time to be accomplished. Most people in developed countries are not punctual and they don’t meet deadlines. Having high expectations of when things should be done will lead to frustration and disappointed. In some developing countries they have a different work ethic and social customs. For example in Muslim nations during the month of Ramadan work is normally dragged and done slowly. Being patient and open minded will help you during your volunteer abroad program. To work and live in such places is by being innovative and finding ways to work around the system.


Many volunteer programs work with vulnerable groups of the society. They work with kids, women, poor, the sick and the disabled. Many of these groups live and work in desperate conditions, they are the less fortunate. Some of them could be afflicted by some incurable disease like Cancer, AIDS etc. others could be orphans, unemployed. They may also not have adequate education and formal skills to improve their well being. As a volunteer in such project, you should be sensitive to their plight and their suffering. The volunteers should be understanding and open minded to their situation. Telling them how good your life is at home doesn’t help them but makes them feel less of themselves. The volunteers should try not to offend the people they work with.


This is very important especially if you are going to volunteer for a long period for example for 6 to 12 months. You will need a lot of commitment to work in the program. Being committed helps the program as well as you making it easier for you to work. The volunteers can have fun but they should know why they are there in the host country

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why pay to Volunteer Abroad

“Why pay to volunteer abroad?” this is a common question asked by those who want to go and volunteer abroad. As a volunteer it means giving your time and energy to some project or to someone for free. Also when you are volunteering it means you are giving up your earning potential by giving your time to work for free. In that same time, you would be making money if you are working for yourself or working for somebody else. With these see reasons it is hard to why you should pay if you are to volunteer abroad. But the thing we normally forget is that we are not paying for the volunteer work. We are paying for the services during our volunteer abroad trip. For example when we are at home we pay for food, rent, transport and other things. Also when we are abroad, we should expect to pay for the same things and some more depending on the level of comfort we expect. When you look at, you will understand why people pay to volunteer abroad. The volunteer abroad cost goes into paying:

The organizations

The Volunteer service organizations incur a lot of cost when they are providing you with their services. Most of the organizations don’t get government support or support from other organizations to pay for their expenses. They are financed by volunteer contributions. They have a full time staff who are there to look after you in the host country. They give you 24 hour support throughout your stay in the host country. Other costs they incur include website fees, web maintenance, administration, marketing, pamphlets and brochures. The volunteer service organizations look for host countries, and local organizations which have appropriate projects and this is time consuming, requires experience and professional expertise. The local nonprofit organizations in which you will be working in don’t have the resources to accommodate the international volunteers. Also they don’t have resources to market themselves or their programs to volunteers directly.

Food and Accommodation

Accommodation normally varies depending on the one you prefer. Depending on your volunteer service provider you will be staying in either a homestay, hostel, group home or a hotel. The most common are staying in a homestay and group homes. In group homes you will be staying with other volunteers in a home where you will be sharing the rooms. The sitting area and kitchen will be also be shared. The homes have locally trained staff. The meals are normally prepared by a cook and are served three times a day. Depending on the group home you are living in laundry could be free or you will be charged for it. In a homestay, you will be living with a host family. The family will give you a single room or share with a member of family or another volunteer. Many organizations prefer homestays because this is the best for a full cultural experience. Meals will be shared with the family, and they are served three times a day. The meals vary depending on the culture of the family you are living with.

Orientation and training

Many international volunteers are trained before they depart their home countries. The volunteer service organizations set up meetings where they will train the prospective volunteers. Some organizations offer accredited TESL courses to the volunteers who are going to teach English. They also teach about the culture and the language that they will be speaking in the host country. They give instruction on the currency and the exchange rate in the host country. They give out manuals, pamphlets and brochures to help the volunteers to prepare for their work. In the host country, the local staff will train the volunteers on the culture and language. The volunteers are taught a few basic words that they would use when they are there. They are also shown where they could be getting their meals, how the transportation arrangements will be.


There will be somebody to pick you up as soon as you arrive in the host country, and take you to your volunteer placement. There will be someone who will be in charge of your stay. The member of staff will take care of your accommodation and your work program. In the work program, he will handle any problem that you may have during your stay there. The person will be there for you 24/7 during your stay there. In case of an emergency, whether you fall ill or something happens to you, the member of staff will be there to handle everything for you. If you have to go back home early or leave due to something out of your control, you will be helped by the member of staff to arrange your departure.

Other costs not included

There are other costs that the volunteer service organizations don’t include. These costs are meant to be met by the volunteer. Although the organizations can advice the volunteer where to get good deals, the costs are undertaken by the volunteer. These costs include flight fees, visa fees, travel and medical insurance fees, vaccinations, personal spending, laundry, personal drinking water, to and fro the program placement.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Volunteer abroad diseases

There are various diseases and infections we could attract while we are travelling abroad during our holiday. We could contract diseases because of the different climate, environment, presence of insects, eating in less sanitary places, less hygienic facilities, joining in risky behaviors and being exposed to infectious diseases. When planning your trip abroad to a different place, whether you are planning a safari, tour, volunteer abroad, gap year, intern abroad, and backpacking trip you should consider vaccination and medication. Before you leave your home country there are various vaccinations and medications you should have. You should go to your General practitioner ask for advice for which medication you should take with you. There are various vaccinations available to prevent you from getting sick against certain diseases. Although there are diseases which you could still attack you. Here are a couple of travel related diseases and prevention:

Medication and Vaccination

Before you leave, go to your doctor and get vaccinations that are suitable to the area you are going to. The vaccinations that are required depend on the place you are going to visit. For example Vaccinations against Malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tuberculosis, Rabies, Meningococcal meningitis, cholera and Encephalitis are common if you are going to visit tropical countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. If you are already on prescribed medication, before you leave get double the dosage so that in case you lose the first set you will still have back up. This also applies for reading glasses; carry an extra pair for emergencies.


It is a disease transmitted by bacteria. The bacteria are common in untreated sewage which is directed to the water ways like rivers and lakes. If the water is consumed the person becomes sick, also if the water is used for cooking. The symptoms are severe muscle and stomach cramping. To prevent this disease, the water should be treated through sterilizing. The sterilizing process involves boiling or filtering.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is caused by a virus found in the tropics. It is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and fever along with a bright red rash (although this is not always present). Currently, there is no vaccine available for the prevention of dengue fever so the best way to avoid this disease to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in affected areas. Carry a mosquito net with you if you are to travel to such areas to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes.


It is a viral disease which is spread through transfer of blood, sexual intercourse. There is no cure or vaccination to the disease. The symptoms take time to be seen and the rate of infection is very high. The best way to avoid the disease is through abstinence. Having protected sexual intercourse reduces the rate of infection drastically.


Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Symptoms include joint pain, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite, nausea, and jaundice. There are numerous types of hepatitis but the most common form contracted when travelling is hepatitis A. Hepatitis A can be spread through personal contact, consumption of raw seafood or by contaminated water. A vaccine is available to prevent infection from hepatitis A for life. A vaccine is also available to prevent hepatitis B.


Malaria is an infectious disease found in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It is generally spread by mosquitoes and is particularly common in Sub-Sahara Africa. Symptoms include fever, shivering, joint pain, and vomiting. No vaccine is currently available for Malaria however, preventative drugs are available to help reduce your risk of infection.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral disease spread primarily by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and a slow pulse. Yellow fever is preventable by a vaccine which gives immunity for around 10 years. Vaccination may be necessary for travelers to certain regions in Africa, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.


Typhoid is a common bacterial illness transmitted by ingested food or water contaminated by the feaces of an infected person. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, and diarrhoea. You can be vaccinated against typhoid fever and vaccination is recommended for people travelling to certain areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Volunteer Abroad Cultural Experience

Culture has various meanings depending on the context it is put in, for example culture can be said to be excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities, also known as high culture; or An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning; The main definition of culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group or country. In this context you will learn to appreciate the various cultures we have in different parts of the world. The diversity makes all of us special. As you plan for your volunteer abroad, intern abroad or gap year work to which ever part of the world, knowing the cultural behavior of the local people is important. It will help you embrace the cultural experience more fully. The culture of a country or of a group of people is a generalization of how they behave but it shouldn’t be used as a standard for everybody because everyone individual is different and behaviors differently. They should be used making quick decisions. Here are examples of how different cultures behave:


Kenya has over 60 tribes which speak different languages. The most prominent tribes are the Kikuyu, Luhya and the Luo. The main languages spoken are English and Kiswahili. Kenyans are known to be kind and polite people. As a foreigner they will let you have your way, welcome you to their homes for as long as you want. Kenyans are warm hosts and will treat you like a close member of their families. In some case you will be treated better than the members of the family. They are also hard workers in that they wake up very early in the morning to go to work and come back very late in the evening. The other countries in the Eastern Africa regarded Kenyans as people who work too hard and they are very aggressive.

South Africa

They are a mix of black, white Asians and mixed race. The blacks are the majority while the others are the minority. The whites lead European lifestyles; they are the richest of the group. Although you can find whites in poorer suburbs like Ruyterwag, Goodwood, Maitland, Boksburg and Alberton. The most popular sports played in South Africa are Football, they hosted the 2010 world cup, Rugby, they are the current world cup winners, Cricket and surfing. The official languages spoken are English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. When dealing with foreigners, most South Africans shake hands while maintaining eye contact and smiling. Greetings are leisurely and include time for social discussion and exchanging pleasantries. When you are invited for meals, you should be punctual.


They consist of white, mixed white, black and Asian people. They all speak Portuguese except for a few who haven’t learnt the language. Brazilians have intermarried to the point that it sometimes seems that almost everyone has a combination of European, African and indigenous ancestry. The Brazilian families tend to be large and the extended families are very close. When greeting, the men shake hands when greeting one another, while maintaining steady eye contact; and women generally kiss each other on the cheeks. When invited for a meal in a Brazilian home, arrive 30 minutes to an hour later. The Brazilians are not big on punctuality. They dress elegantly; the women should wear suits or dresses that are elegant and feminine with good quality accessories. Manicures are expected and the men should wear conservative, dark colored business suits.


There are 56 distinct recognized ethnic groups in China; the Han are the most predominant tribe. The languages spoken are Cantonese and Mandarin. While many deities are part of the tradition, some of the most recognized holy figures include Guan Yin, Jade Emperor and Buddha. They play a number of games and Mahjong being the most famous. Their new year changes this year it was celebrated in February. They have a variety of meals but the most staple food eaten is rice.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Volunteer abroad programs

Volunteer work means giving your time and energy to work in a project without payment. The programs of the volunteer work are made by the organization in which you are going to volunteer in. Most of the volunteer abroad programs are flexible. As you will be putting in your time, energy and sometimes money, the volunteer programs available are flexible. The flexibility comes by choosing the numbers of hours that you are willing to work in a day or in a week and the duration of the volunteer program. Also most of the work that you will be doing does not need any academic qualifications, meaning anyone can apply. Most volunteer abroad programs involve a lot of traveling, you don’t want to go to another country and find yourself being ineffective. You should put considerable research in to the work that you will be doing abroad. In that, you want to choose a program whereby it emphasizes on your strengths, skills and abilities. Here are examples of the most popular volunteer abroad programs that are available:

Volunteer Teaching programs

This is the most popular volunteer program. Volunteers will work in private, public schools, orphanages and community schools. The volunteer work involves working with kids who are 7 to 18 years. The volunteer will be involved in teaching some of the subjects like English, Math, Science, Music and physical education. The volunteers will partner with local teachers and other volunteers to provide proper education to the children. The main duties involve Work as a teaching assistant: teaching classes, grading books, work as a social worker with the Administrators, help in sports activities and playing with the kids. For this program, you will need to like kids, loving teaching and to be patient with the kids. Sometimes some training for this program is needed but it’s not mandatory. Those who have done TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) classes have an advantage. Schools are not open throughout the year; you should time your volunteer work in order to coincide with the school calendar.

Volunteer Health/ Medical programs

The volunteer work will be done in hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, and public health offices. The volunteer health programs target the poor and those who don’t have access to medical facilities. There are many clinics and volunteer organizations in such areas that offer medical help to the poor. In conjunction with the clinics and the health centres (dispensaries) the volunteer will work alongside them to provide medical services. Other duties include filling in forms and charts, diagnosing diseases, giving out prescriptions and consultations. In this, the volunteer will need to have a medical background in order to work with the patients. This program is best for health professionals like: doctors, nurses, medical students and clinical officers.

Volunteer HIV/ AIDS program

As a volunteer you will be asked to help in the outreach programs to help educate the members of society and create awareness about the disease. The volunteer work involves supporting the infected and affected through provision of food and medical supplies. As a volunteer work, you will be counseling them, encourage and help empower them. Other volunteer duties will involve: intensify advocacy; demystify HIV/AIDS by encouraging people living with HIV to talk for them and advocate for greater understanding by the society; design, develop and disseminate materials fighting stigma and discrimination. For this volunteer program, you will need to be compassionate about the disease and understanding to those who are infected and affected. There are no academic qualifications that are needed to work in this program.

Volunteer orphanage work

Working in children’s orphanages is very popular, and it’s the most fun and engaging. If you like kids and want to change their lives for the better then working in an orphanage is the best place. The kids are active and love the attention they get from the volunteers. The volunteer work involves: spending time with the kids; work as a teaching assistant; work as a social worker; help in cooking and cleaning; help in organizing sports activities and playing with the kids. This program involves little mental work and organizing. Most of the programs activities are already arranged and you will have a supervisor to help you all the time.

Volunteer Community development work

Volunteer work involves education, empowerment, construction, and vocational training; providing sex education to the girls and the local community which you can assist with. It also involves empowering women through activities that make them financial independent. This is done through marketing their products, skills development and giving them access to information