CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya

What You Need To Know About Volunteering In Orphanages Abroad

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Category: Blog
Written by Sophie Atieno

We hope you had the chance to go through our article last week on feeding programs in Africa and today we would like to shift your attention to volunteering in orphanages abroad, or what others may refer to as children’s homes. What do you need to know about volunteering in an orphanage?

A person who wants to undertake a volunteering abroad activity such as volunteering in an orphanage abroad surely has good intentions right? It is a noble cause with the aim of, to some extent, making life a little better for the orphans and vulnerable children right?

Interestingly though, the issue of volunteering in orphanages abroad has brought about controversy among some people with a select few arguing that it does more harm than good. Note, a select few.

kaya kinondo ecotourism project

That said though, every single activity of volunteering has its ups and its downs. This one mostly has ups as the children definitely need it.

We will delve into the benefits of volunteering in orphanages overseas in a subsequent post as well as the down sides but first, we at CIVS feel the need to tell you a few things you need to know about volunteering in orphanages.

You Will Be Among Vulnerable Children

Most of the children in the orphanages in Africa especially, are there because they were victims of diseases and epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, natural calamities such as drought that may have killed their parents and/or caregivers and in some cases, abandonment.

As such, you need to be considerate, and ready to put a smile on the faces of such children, some of who might be traumatized as a result of the circumstance that led to them being sent there.

You need to make them feel that despite their situation, they are important members of society and they should not feel unwanted.

You might have to do more than what you expected

You may be thinking that you volunteering at an orphanage abroad will involve you just spending your time with the children, playing with them and teaching them.

However, you should know that it takes a whole team to ensure that these vulnerable children survive in those orphanages and you might find yourself having to help those who cook for them in the kitchen, those who clean, helping in first aid as children often have accidents, disciplining the children but reasonably. You might have to act as intermediary when some of them are not getting along which is normal among children, among other roles.

All these are for the benefit of the children.

There are going to be consequences of everything you do at the orphanage

As a volunteer, say in Africa, you should have the intention of making a difference even though you will not be there for long.

Understand that any of the activities that you undertake have some kind of impact in the future of the orphaned children you work with. Whether you came as a teacher, a counselor or any kind of helper, your contribution will result in either something positive or negative depending on your conduct during the period of volunteering.

In short, you need to always think of the future and not just the present, therefore make the most of your time there.

It is an amazing opportunity to learn

When you choose to volunteer at orphanages for example in Africa, you find yourself among people or children who are used to a certain way of life, in other words, children from different cultures.

In working with them, you get to learn about these people and how they view life; you could end up learning about their language, their beliefs and other lessons that will definitely shape how you view life.

It opens your mind thus making you a much better person.

It is not easy but it certainly makes for a worthwhile experience

Taking care of a child is generally not the easiest thing because every child is different in their own way.

Taking care of those in an orphanage especially abroad is even more challenging because you have to take the time to understand them first before actually instilling certain perceptions and values in them.

Some of them, despite being so young, will not be immediately receptive towards you as a volunteer and this will require you to exercise patience until you slowly get acceptance.

Once you do though, it gives you a feeling of pride and achievement which makes it all the more worthwhile.

So, having gone through these points, we hope you will keep these in mind.

At CIVS, we have a number of children’s homes and centres as part of our volunteer projects this 2019 and we would like to have you work with us to offer these vulnerable children a chance to feel accepted.

We encourage you to go through our website http://www.civskenya.org for more information on these centres. In case of any inquiries, feel free to contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">iThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.."> .This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">