CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya
CIVS Kenya

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Different Types of Volunteering Opportunities In Africa

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As mentioned in our last post on values and their importance in volunteering here in Africa, today we would like to talk about the types of volunteer opportunities that you could engage in.

Arguably, volunteering comes with a lot of fulfillment but the process has to be thought of properly and after knowing where to go and why you should volunteer here in Africa,it is important to understand how the activities are divided.

Before going into the actual volunteer activities list, it is important to know that there are majorly two types of volunteer opportunities /programs that you could engage in.

  • Long-term volunteer activities
  • Short term volunteer activities.

With regards to the types of volunteering opportunities that you can engage in, The Centre for International Voluntary Service offers you three options on the kind of activities you can engage in based on the amount of time you have to spare in doing Africa volunteer work.

CIVS allows you to engage in long-term, short-term as well as the WeltWarts program.

join us infographic

 

So what does the long-term volunteering option entail?

This involves joining the projects for a period of between 1-12 months.These entail Africa volunteer work that also involves informal international learning among other numerous benefits.

This type of volunteering opportunity is more individual rather than group work and involves the volunteer immersing themselves in the local culture so that they are able to make the maximum impact to the community.

What does the short-term volunteer opportunity involve?

Short term volunteering is mostly for people who would like to participate in volunteering activities but either do not have much time to stay around or people who might not have enough resources for a long term stay.

At CIVS, it involves a 2-3 week stay and the program involves group involvement. The group consists of 8-20 volunteers ready to immerse themselves into Africa volunteer work.

These are amazing ways for one to travel with a purpose.

What about the Weltwaerts program?

This is a special one operated by the Centre for International voluntary service involving the German government, which enables young people travelling for volunteer work for them to learn a set of new skills while giving them the opportunity to help people in need.

It mostly helps young volunteers who go for this type of volunteering opportunity to attain the famous Millenium development goals that include:

  • Poverty reduction
  • Environmental conservation
  • Promotion of universal education
  • Creating HIV /AIDS awareness.

We will be delving deeper into these individual types of volunteering opportunities offered by CIVS for those who would like to participate in Africa volunteer work in subsequent posts.In all the three, we will also give examples of the different types of volunteer activities under all of them .

Meanwhile, it is worth acknowledging that all of these types of volunteer opportunities provide an opportunity to learn while making a difference in a whole community.A volunteer gets to touch the lives of people and they are all about togetherness.

This togetherness is attained by spending time together and learning from one another, which is genuinely a mind opening process.

It is also worth knowing that Africa volunteer work is very involving and before you make that step of travelling all the way, we at CIVS advise that you get as much knowledge as possible.

Contact CIVS today for more information about the types of volunteering opportunities available for you when you come to Africa, most especially Kenya.

Thank you for stopping by and do remember to share the link to this post and like our facebook page.

Values of Community Development in Africa and Their Importance

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Having understood what the community is and the purpose of community development in Africa, we are now going to discuss some values of community development in Africa in this piece.

Before delving into the individual values of community development in Africa, we begin by defining what a value is.

Values are principles of standards or behaviors by which people live.

Values can be either individual or collective.

  • Individual values

These are values related to the development of an individual’s personality and protection of the same. They include: honesty, loyalty, honor, etc.

  • Collective values

These are connected with collective norms. In this particular case, the African community judgement of what’s important.

Values of community development

African communities all have different values which they stand by but community development generally has the a number of values involved .

They include:

Respect

For community development to occur in Africa, it is important to value diversity of the African people, dignity and their abilities and understand that as different as they are, they all account for something that makes an impact.

Equity

Community development in Africa requires that everyone focuses less on their inequalities and promotes fairness and justice to all when it comes to decision-making and distribution of resources.

Inclusion

This value is almost similar to equality but emphasizes more on involving everyone who should be involved in development activities.It enables the community to avoid having people being less heard than others and encourages much needed meaningful participation.

Collaboration

It is an important value of community development in Africa because the entire development process is dependent on working together with different partners and most of all members of the community.

 

Open-mindedness

This involves the community’s receptiveness to new ideas which is important as it helps these communities grow and be stronger in their beliefs as well as more understanding towards other people’s beliefs.

Integrity

Community development in Africa requires that all activities are undertaken with utmost honesty and transparency and that we should be accountable to every member about everything we do.

Hope

It is also a value of community development as it enables people to look forward to the future and feel confident in trying out new things and expect the best outcomes from doing them regardless of how long it takes to achieve them.

The values of community development are intertwined, and it is important to understand that for any kind of community development activity in Africa to be successful, the members, volunteers and partners need to work together to ensure that all of them are observed.

So why are these values important in community development in Africa?

  • They guide the beliefs and behaviours of community members on a day to day basis.
  • It helps us understand one another better which is important in.
  • They build up societies generally.

It is therefore important to keep all these in mind in case you are looking to volunteer overseas or travel to Africa to participate in community development as the success of any of the activities in the process depends on it.

Contact CIVS in case you would like to start the process and need to understand more before you leave.We will be discussing the types of community development activities CIVS has in store for you upon your arrival here in Africa, specifically in Kenya in our next post.

Meanwhile, remember to share this post and like our Facebook page.

Six Pros of Volunteering in Africa and Community Development

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In our last post, we talked about factors to consider before volunteering overseas but today, we talk about the pros volunteering in Africa and a bit of introduction on community development.

While we have in our previous posts described the noble act that is volunteering but what is this community development?

Community development is described as the process whereby, members of the community generate solutions to common problems by coming together to take collective action required in coming up with these solutions.

Volunteering in Africa is probably something you want to consider if you have been thinking of volunteering abroad for a number of reasons that we are about to highlight.

Here are the pros of volunteering in Africa

pros of volunteering in Africa

 

It is a beautiful continent

The international media often portrays Africa as a continent faced with death, disease, drought and despair and as a result, people are oblivious to how beautiful a continent is.

The warm temperatures and vast vegetation with amazing animals make Africa an ideal place for someone who is considering volunteering overseas but wants an experience that’s a little more extra. Someone that definitely wants to enjoy nature.

It has many opportunities for community development

Although most African countries have taken strides in development, it is worth noting that most African countries fall under the third world umbrella.

This means that there is still a significant number of people in need of help in finding solutions for the many challenges and problems that afflict them and this is where you can help. Sharing your knowledge and the skills you might have could go a long way in changing the lives of people.

The communities are very welcoming

It is a common African thing to be welcoming to a foreigner or visitor because it is in the African belief that a visitor will always bring them blessings.

That said volunteering in Africa allows you to easily blend with the local communities. They are always willing to learn something new and appreciate it.

volunteer in kenya luo culture

There is rich culture

Having talked about how welcoming the African communities are another pro of volunteering in Africa that we cannot overlook is that it gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture in Africa.

The different way of life of the different African people allows anyone who took the leap of volunteering overseas to be more open minded.

It helps them learn that there’s more to life than what they are used to seeing in their everyday life and this also presents an amazing opportunity to learn something new.

It challenges your character

While we have mentioned earlier that Africa has been portrayed more in the negative light, which shouldn’t be the case, we also acknowledge that there are areas afflicted by so much calamity and so many hardships.

This should not however be taken as a discouraging factor by anyone who is considering volunteering overseas, rather, it should be considered among the pros of volunteering in Africa.

Reason, it makes you develop strength both internal and external. Participating in community development activities in the worst hit areas prepares one for the many challenges that come with life.

Let’s just say, the community development activities help you anticipate situations and handle them with more confidence.

Volunteering in Africa allows you to stand out in the corporate world

Africa is a very well-known place for volunteering activities and looking at it from the corporate world, it is a pro to participate in community development and volunteer in the continent.

Employers are keen in seeing how willing you are to do things out of your comfort zone because it portrays an image of a person ready to face different challenges.

We hope these six pros of volunteering in Africa encourage you to think about it.We also hope from our brief introduction of community development helped you get an idea of what it is.

We will be delving deeper into it in our subsequent posts.Remember to like our Facebook page and share our posts.

 

The Community and Purpose of Community Development

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In our last post on the pros of volunteering in Africa, we did introduce community development in brief.Today we discuss the community and generally the purpose of community development.

Like we said, community development can be defined as the process in which members of the community unite and take collective action in order to generate solutions to common problems.

That said, it is important to understand what a community is.

So, what is a community?

A community is a group of people who live in the same geographical area or a group of people who share certain characteristics such as common religion, social ties, common perspectives, a common leadership and engage in joint actions or work in the same setting.

In brief points, some of the features or characteristics of a community include:

  • Common culture which is inclusive of a common language spoken by all its members.
  • Common geographical area and boundaries.These they use to know who the insiders and the outsiders are.
  • A community has a name that gives all the members an identity among other people.
  • A similar set of laws, rules and regulations by which all members should abide.
  • In some cases, a common religion.
  • A common origin or ancestry.

What are the characteristics that make a good community?

  • A good community is one that is free of poverty, crime and provides high quality of life to everyone in it.
  • It is one that celebrates their heritage. This makes for a very important trait of a good community because it shows gratitude for where they have come from.
  • Another trait of a good community is one that has carefully selected leaders to drive them towards community development. The leadership is responsible for solving disputes and making the right decisions for the good of everyone they serve.
  • Promoting inclusivity and communication is another trait of a good community as the members are able to work towards a common good. This also makes it easier for community development to take place.
  • Last but certainly not least another important characteristic of a good community is that it promotes fairness and equal access to certain rights.

Having now understood what a community is, we can now delve a bit into the reasons why community development is so important.

water project launch 01

So what is the purpose of community development?

The purpose of community development is majorly to build communities on the basis of justice, mutual respect and equality.

That said, we can break this down into simpler points that explain the purpose of this phrase “community development” in such a way that you and the next person all get to understand it before making that important decision to participate in any community development activities.

So the purpose includes:

  • To bring people to motivate themselves through programs geared towards their overall development as a unit of society.
  • Encouraging togetherness and teamwork is another purpose of community development and this brings about a sense of strength.
  • It aims to bring social reforms through discouraging ancient social or cultural practices that are outdated and possibly harmful.
  • We also cannot underestimate the purpose of community development that is creating awareness on various social concerns such as health, poverty, security, hunger among others.
  • It also aims to promote good governance as it ensures the community leaders are on their toes. It makes them aware that they are being watched when it comes to issues related to their people and how they make decisions that affect them.

Having defined the term community, stated the characteristics of a good one and outlined the purpose of community development, we believe that this has somehow given you an understanding of this important term and as such, you can start considering participating in community development activities in Africa.

CIVS will be sharing more on the different ways you can do this and more of what you need to know before taking that bold step.Meanwhile,you can look through our website to learn a bit more in case you would like to start participation immediately or email us in case you need specific answers to some of your questions.

Thank you for stopping by and remember to like our Facebook page as well.

Six Factors To Consider Before Volunteering Overseas

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So, what are these factors one should consider before volunteering overseas?

We talked about a number of reasons why you should volunteer overseas. The process is fulfilling but if not rightfully thought through, it could end up a fail.

volunteering abroad

In order to get maximum fulfilment from undertaking that volunteering journey, there are a few things to consider such as:

What you have to offer in terms of skills and knowledge

This is a very important point because it forms the basis for what you will do, otherwise you will have travelled in vain.

What skills do you have? Can they be of benefit to people?

It is important to do your research on what a given group of people or community are in need of in order to see if you have something to offer them.

At the end of the day, you need to be in a position whereby people can actually acknowledge your presence and help because you helped them satisfy a need they have to an extent.

Not every project is for everyone.

Consider the causes close to your heart

What are you passionate about? You may have a number of very valuable skills to offer but which ones speak more to you?

You will often times find that when you participate in volunteer activities or causes closest to you, you tend to give your all and through this, you get a better response from the community in which you are in and more fulfilment as the results will undoubtedly positive.

Consider how much time you are willing to allocate to volunteer activities.

There’s different types of projects one can engage in. Some are long term, and some are short term, which in actually gives you an option.

It is therefore important to consider before volunteering overseas, how much time you have in your hands.

Are you going to go during your GAP year? Is it going to be during your summer vacation? If so, how long are these periods of time.

In relation to that, how many hours a week or a day can you commit to certain volunteer activities? Some people have an ability to work longer than others and this is important to think through.

Your state of health, both physical and mental

Another factor to consider before volunteering overseas is your state of health.

This is very important because it allows you to carefully select a suitable country or specific area for you.

Do you have any allergies? Do some weather conditions make you sick? Can certain situations traumatise you in any way? If so, which ones?

If you are going to be offering your volunteering services, you need to be in the right frame of mind and state of health in order to be more productive. Different countries have different conditions, so you might want to look them up and even go to your local doctor and ask if you are not certain.

The amount of funds you can afford to put into it

They call it a paradox.

Why do I have to pay if I am going to offer a service for free? You may ask

The truth often times you will be volunteering overseas, you will have to use a volunteer organization. They are non-profit and will often require you to chip in in order for them to facilitate your stay while you are undertaking your volunteer activities.

You need to research on the amount needed and compare it to the amount you already have. This is an important factor to consider before volunteering overseas because nobody wants to set out on a journey across countries only to arrive and have a shortage of funds. It can be really frustrating.

Think about what you want to focus on while overseas

For sure, you want to volunteer overseas, but is that the only thing you want to do while you are there?

Some people like to explore the countries they travel overseas for volunteering activities in addition to the actual cause. Some people only travel for the volunteering reasons.

Getting an idea of what you would like to do while you are in your host country will allow you to determine what your program will be and plan ahead.

We hope these six factors to consider before volunteering overseas are of assistance to you.

In case you have any concerns about volunteering overseas, you could send us an email or post on our Facebook page here. 

Thank you for stopping by.