CIVS Kenya
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Here Are Some Mental Health Benefits Of Volunteering

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We once touched on the health benefits of volunteering, whereby we mentioned that it was good for your mental health. After discussing the economic benefits of volunteering, today we will be expounding more on the mental health benefits.

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So, what are the mental health benefits of volunteering?

Volunteering reduces stress

We live in a world that can sometimes bring a lot of stress our way. Whether it’s stress from our workplaces, homes, schools, you name it, it could be harmful to our well being. Giving just a bit of your time for a good cause through volunteering could help take your mind off your worries and other things. This is because volunteering involves putting your attention on someone else. It provides a rich experience that gives a sense of satisfaction which results in a good mood.

It eliminates the feeling of isolation

Another mental health benefit of volunteering is the fact that it takes away the feeling of isolation. Volunteering enables you to make new friends and also to expand your social and professional network. You will get to meet people who share the same values as you and the same point of view as well. Whatever activity you choose, always remain consistent and interact with people so that you create meaningful friendships that could last even long after the volunteering phase is gone. These friendships are good for your mental well-being.

It helps in curbing depression

If you find yourself often thinking about negative things then you might want to try volunteering since it will keep your mind distracted from such. It also stops you from being overly critical towards your own self. It also helps you stay more motivated due to the sense of accomplishment it provides.

Volunteering can give you a confidence boost

When you decide to join a volunteering program, you might be required to learn a few more skills. The process could give you mental stimulation that you probably wouldn’t get without the volunteering process. Through the process, you could end up gaining a sense of pride and identity and a positive view of yourself which is another mental health benefit.

It gives you a sense of purpose and meaning

Regardless of the stage of life you are in, volunteering helps you get that sense of meaning and purpose in life. It gives you a sense of belonging regardless of the volunteering activity you choose. As long as you approach the tasks with the willingness to do what is required of you, it could put so many things into perspective which is another mental health benefit. It helps you become more compassionate while you expand your own mind.

Well those are just a few among many mental health benefits of volunteering. We at CIVS Kenya highly encourage you to participate in volunteering for your mental and physical well being.

Here Are Five Economic Benefits Of Volunteering

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After briefly talking about the role of education in community development, we delve into five economic benefits of volunteering.

You may be wondering how it is that a service offered for free could be of any economic benefit. Well, it might not directly put a paycheck in your pocket, but it does help significantly in economic development.

Here are five economic benefits of volunteering

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Volunteering Could Help You Land Your Dream Job

Participating in volunteering activities will make you stand out in an organization. This is because volunteers are usually seen as motivated and hardworking people who can be relied on. Every employer out there wants to hire such a person. Another factor that better places you is the personal network that you will manage to expand during the volunteering process. In the event that you already have a job, volunteering will help you land an even better position, which is a big economic benefit.

Volunteering Helps You Learn New Skills

Another economic benefit of volunteering is the fact that from it, you can learn new skills. Sometimes, when you go into a volunteering program, you have less knowledge on things. However, as time goes by, you end up learning new skills that could be very valuable in the future. For example, you could learn a lot about farming, carpentry work, building, among others. All these could be very helpful in venturing into businesses in the future, among others. It could also help you in saving money that you could have used to hire someone else to do these jobs.

Through volunteering, you are able to help in building the national economy

Whenever you volunteer, you benefit the national economy because for the nation to grow the community development has to take place. Volunteering in education, feeding the hungry, building shelter and in other projects helps people get access to the basic needs and also helps them understand what they need to do in order to develop their own economy.

Volunteering helps in raising awareness

Raising awareness against crime, violence and other social malpractices through volunteering programs helps in development and economic benefit. It helps people stay away from social vices thus creating a sound environment for investment, both local and foreign. Investment helps in nation building.

Volunteering helps you break out of your comfort zone and learn something new

Just travelling to a different country to participate in volunteering or doing it locally broadens your mind. It is also a risk worth taking because it gives you many new ideas as you learn new things. It also builds up on the ideas that you already had. This is an economic benefit as you could use these to start a business, contribute more at your work place, contribute in the government and in many other fields and it could end up improving the lives of many economically.

In case you would love to volunteer, contact CIVS Kenya for more information. We will be glad to take you through the whole process.

Benefits Of Homestay Programs While Volunteering In Africa

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In our last post we talked about ways in which you can give back to your local community . Today, we will be discussing a bit about homestay programs for people volunteering in Africa.

Homestay programs have been around for years in developing countries. They are amazing as they usually give a travel experience like no other. It involves having visitors or in this case, volunteers staying in homes of the local people and through this, the volunteers can actually experience their hosts’ cultures and get to live like them on a daily basis.

It often feels like staying with family and is often a ticket to a new world. A new kind of life. Homestay programs may be great but they are not that easy. We will discuss the disadvantages in another post but today, let’s talk about the benefits of homestay programs while volunteering in Africa.

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So they include:

Homestays allow you to gain a new family, a home away from home

Staying in a host family enables you to develop a new relationship with people who you could end up considering family. Through it you can get a home away from your actual home and it could help you as a volunteer in Africa get rid of feelings of homesickness. Through it you can gain new siblings and relatives that could help you grow as a person.

Homestay programs provide an opportunity to partake in family traditions

When you as a volunteer in Africa get to live with a host family in a homestay program, you will get the chance to experience different celebrations with them such as birthdays, holidays and their routines. You will also get to learn how they communicate with each other and the rest of the community. You learn what they like to do, to eat, how they prepare their meals, among others. All these activities vary from home to home, from culture to culture and you definitely would miss out on these in case you choose to stay alone.

A homestay program enables you to learn about the culture of a nation altogether

Aside from just learning about the traditions of a single family, you can get to learn about the different cultures in general. This is quite fun and will elevate your experience as a volunteer in Africa. While you are living in a homestay kind of arrangement, you will be free with local people. You will find it easier to interact with the locals because they most likely share the same cultural values you see in your host family members. The homestay program will make it easier for you to fit into a different country with more ease.

Homestay programs help you in the process of learning the local language

While learning a local language is of benefit to volunteers in Africa, it can be a bit difficult. However, homestay programs provide an opportunity for you to learn the local language in a safer environment. You can get assistance from the local host family in translating different phrases, in writing and even in speech. The best part is that your hosts will not have a problem correcting and supporting you. Such an environment encourages you to be better.

It helps you learn and enjoy local delicacies

Well, food is a big part of tourism whether volunteer tourism or any other kind. So imagine just how much you as a volunteer in Africa can learn. You get to taste a lot of dishes you had probably never even heard of. You will get a taste of the local cuisines made in traditional style. The best thing is that since they are made at home, they will be of great quality, nice and clean. That is more reason for you to fully indulge.

Well, at CIVS Kenya, we make arrangements for all our volunteers to stay with host families during their stay in the country while they volunteer for as long as is necessary. You can contact us in case you are interested in volunteering in Africa and want to be part of a homestay program.

The Role Of Education In Community Development

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We hope you found our post on benefits of homestay programs helpful. You might have also realized that we have been encouraging our readers and many other people to volunteer and one of the ways in which they can do this is through participating in the education sector of a community. Today. We will be discussing the role of education in community development.

So why is education so important for development in a given community?

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Education contributes to the stability of the community members

For one to get a great job or even reputation among other people, they need to be educated. It’s the best way to secure a promising future because you can land a high paying job through it. That will subsequently help you survive in this world without too much of a struggle.

It promotes equality

With education, all the members of the community will have a sense of equality when it comes to development. The equal opportunities that come with it help in elimination of the differences that normally exist in terms of social classes and different genders. In other words, it helps in women empowerment.’

It makes members of the community get a sense of self dependence and confidence

For anyone to be able to live without necessarily having to depend on others financially, they need a good education. Self dependence definitely contributes to community development as it makes people wiser and they can also make their own decisions. A good education will make it easier for you to express your views and your opinions and improves your chances of being heard and taken seriously.

It promotes peace and security

With good education, members of the community are in a better position to understand the difference between right and wrong and the consequences of doing what is considered wrong, Because of that, they are less likely to get into crime or situations known to bring dispute. In addition to that, it helps people know more about their rights and responsibilities as well as the law in general.

It spares you from exploitation

In a country that has rights and freedom for its citizens, there are a number who still want to infringe on their neighbor’s rights. Some want to fool others and the illiterate often fall victim to this. They may be duped into entering illegal businesses, signing false documents among others because they do not possess the right education to avoid it.

While more and more people particularly here in Africa are realizing that for them to get ahead in life they need an education, a lot is still needed for this to actually be achieved.

Other than that a lot of resources are still needed in order for schools in this developing countries to serve their particular communities.

There is always the need for stationery, staff and subordinate staff. For that reason, any help is highly appreciated. It is for that reason that at CIVS, we encourage those who are willing to volunteer to consider volunteering in schools. Here they can help in teaching how to read, write or even in creating a sound environment for people to study in.

Contact us today at CIVS Kenyaa and we will help you start the process.

Here Are Some Ways In Which You Can Give Back To Your Community

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Last week on our blog, we talked about certain factors that lead to failure of volunteer work. This week, we are giving you just a brief idea, a few suggestions on how you can start giving back to your community through simple ways that will still make a big impact.

Start by helping out your own family

While a lot of people wish they had time to give back to their local community in a big way, they do not. This perhaps owing to the fact that we live in harder times and as a result people are often busy. However, you do not have to go so far. Look within your own family. You will realize that in some instances certain people might be overlooked every now and then. Such people include the elderly. So how about volunteering to cook for your grandmother, clean your grandfather’s compound, fetch water for them, help them organize their house. Even spending time with them to ensure they are not lonely does count. All this counts as volunteering in your local community as a family is the simple, most basic unit in a community.

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Give Back At Your Local School

Did you know that often times the people who work at the schools near you are overworked? There’s always so much for them to do and at times they end up getting stressed out, they end up not spending enough time with their families among other challenges. The problem is that most of us believe it is solely their responsibility to keep the schools afloat. However, volunteering at that local school provides an opportunity for you to give back to your local community. Through this, you will not only be helping those who work at the schools but also the children who get education from there.

Take time to volunteer at a hospital near you

Hospitals are usually not the most interesting places to be at. Unfortunately though, people still get sick and on a daily basis. They often need some encouragement from those who are healthy.The workers in those hospitals could also use your help. Therefore, another way to give back to your local community is to volunteer at that hospital nearby. Best believe, it will make a huge difference. You could help sit with the patients and watch over them, work with the kids, help in serving the food, push the patients using wheelchairs, among others. They would really appreciate it.

Coaching a local team

In just a single community, there could be so many talented people who might not know what to do with their talent. Maybe you as a person who is interested in giving back to your local community is good at a certain activity such as playing football, dancing, acting, among others. How about volunteering some of your time to teach people within your local area how to embrace their talent and use it for their good. Help them find opportunities such as competitions to participate in. Help them find sponsors and most of all to believe in themselves.

Organize a charity activity

It just so happens that some people are great at business. Did you know that you could use that gift to help out your local community? You could volunteer to organize an activity such as a yard sale or a competition, whereby the proceeds of that would go back to the community. The proceeds could be used to buy clothes, food, books or equipment for members of your local community who might be in need of them. This is a great way to give back to your local community while developing your given gift in the process.

So those are just a few ways you can start volunteering in your local community before you ever decide to volunteer abroad. In case of any questions, visit our website or contact us for more details on volunteering.