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The Pros And Cons Of Volunteering In Orphanages Abroad

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In our last post, we highlighted the few things you need to know about volunteering in orphanages abroad with a promise to talk about the pros and cons of volunteering in orphanages

Should I volunteer at an orphanage abroad?

You may be asking yourself this question, so here are the pros and cons of volunteering at orphanages that should definitely help you get the answer to that.

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The pros of volunteering in an orphanage

It gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young, vulnerable children who need to feel wanted and appreciated.

Most of these children in orphanages understand that their situation is different from that of most other children and they often need the tenderness and sense of acceptance and love that they feel from volunteers. When you volunteer at an orphanage, you give the children much needed encouragement.

It enables you to make a difference in the community as a whole

Children are generally part of the community and use the community facilities. For example, they could go to the local school, local church among others. Therefore, when you come in as a volunteer at an orphanage, you might have to teach at the local school which includes other children in the community; serve in the local church that is attended by the members of the community, e.t.c.

It is a way for you as the volunteer to build your confidence

It is generally not the easiest thing to leave your country and travel to another with no idea as to whether or not you will be accepted. You might meet children who might have issues trusting new people as a result of rejection or abandonment. Managing to get past this stage and winning their trust gives you a sense of confidence and understanding of different people while just giving back.

It enables you to develop your skills further

Amazing just how much you can learn from teaching or interacting with just one child. Orphanages present an opportunity for you interact with quite a number of them and through activities like teaching, cooking and other activities undertaken during this period, you get better and also learn to look at the world from other people’s perspective.

It builds a foundation for the future, both yours and that of the children

In our last post, we emphasized the importance of recognizing that every single move you make at the orphanages should be made with the long term in mind because every one of them has an impact in the future of the children.

It can also shape the direction you as a volunteer will take in terms of career and the decisions you make in future having received a better understanding throughout the entire process, of the world and issues that affect different people regardless of their ages and origin.

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So what are the cons of volunteering in orphanages?

The whole idea of institutionalizing children is exactly what brought about the difference in opinion on whether or not it is a good idea to even have orphanages, with some arguing that better options like finding foster families for the children is a better idea as it keeps the children in that much needed family unit.

Well, here are some cons of volunteering in orphanages.

It brings about an emotional attachment between the volunteers and the children

This wouldn’t be such a bad thing except, the volunteers are often around for just a while and would have to leave at some point. This often leaves the children suffering emotionally from the effects of the separation as they have to go back to a life without the volunteers they were used to or to adjust to a new set of volunteers.

Some volunteer organizations only operate with the intention of making money

It is highly likely that you will prefer to travel overseas as a volunteer with the help of a volunteer organization. They will often appear as wanting nothing but to make a positive change in the lives of young orphaned and vulnerable children but actually have alterior motives, making extra coins.

In other words, they just take advantage of the popularity of volunteer tourism.

You might , as a volunteer, not be able to finish up what you started

Due to the timed periods that a volunteer can be around, some projects you start might actually end up not being completed .

It is quite possible to be in situations where you run out of time before finishing something you started and in some cases, it is difficult for another set of volunteers to carry on with it exactly according to what you envisioned.

Volunteering abroad can orphanages can be expensive

In a case where you are working with a nonprofit organization, you will find yourself having to pay some participation fees because they depend on this to keep the projects running. So this becomes an additional expense to what the volunteer would have to pay for their flights, certain items they might need while they get to their volunteer destination.

We hope this post on the pros and cons assist you in making a decision.

We at CIVS would love to hear from you whether it is through inquiries or whether you have made your decision.

For more information, email us or visit our website, www.civskenya.org

What You Need To Know About Volunteering In Orphanages Abroad

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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..">

Our Long-Term Volunteer Projects for 2019

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Happy New Year

We hope 2019 finds you well and we here at CIVS are ready for more volunteer activity.

We talked about long term volunteering in Africa in a previous post published here late last year and are very glad to announce that we already have a list of long term volunteer projects that are the best for you, if what you are looking to do is long term volunteering abroad. Volunteer in Africa with us.

As we have said, long term volunteering abroad is a fulfilling activity, definitely worth the participation and we have carefully selected the projects in the infograph from among a diverse selection.

Our goal is to work with different types of communities in order to give those interested in long-term volunteering in Africa an opportunity to select from a variety in order to get and make the most of the time they spend here in Kenya.

The long term volunteer projects are also located in very different places with diverse cultures and conditions.

We encourage you to look through these individual long term volunteer projects here to get more information about them so that you start planning early.

 

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Feeding Program Activities in Africa with CIVS

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We at CIVs hope that you’ve actually taken a look at our list of long term volunteer programs from our last post. Today we would like to talk about feeding program activities in Africa.

So, what is a feeding program?

A feeding program is a program aimed towards providing nutritious meals to those who do not have access to it in order to decrease malnourishment.

Feeding programs can be carried out in two ways:

  • On-site meals
  • Take home ratios

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There are many factors that contribute to the inability of certain groups of people to access food in Africa. One such cause is HIV/ AIDS which has rendered many children orphans.

It is for this reason that the Center for International Voluntary Service started the Ahero Resource Centre Food Program. If you are looking forward to participate in a volunteering activity in Africa dealing with feeding program activities this year, you might be interested in knowing that this particular one from time to time and depending on availability of funds, the center provides lunch to over a hundred orphans and vulnerable children who go to a neighboring primary school. In addition to this, the center also provides day meals to another group of 70 children comprising of orphans, vulnerable children, and those that have been affected or infected by HIV AIDS.

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What is the purpose of feeding program activities in Africa?

The Centre for International Voluntary Service started the school feeding program at Ahero Resource Centre with its activities geared towards the following:

  • Reducing hunger among children.
  • Enhancing the performance of children in schools.
  • Promoting healthy nutrition among the children.

What is the importance of school feeding programs?

  • They increase school enrolment. Children are more encouraged to go to school when they know that a much needed meal will be provided for them while they are there.
  • Not only do they facilitate an increase in enrolment but also sustain the attendance and performance of the children in school.
  • Feeding programs such as the one CIVS has in Ahero also provide the children with an opportunity to interact with their peers and share their experiences as it helps them psychologically.

Challenges faced in feeding program activities

  • Shortage of people to cook meals for the children.
  • Inadequate facilities for the preparation of the food e.g. kitchens and kitchen equipment.
  • Shortage of food to provide for those hoping to be fed.
  • School feeding programs are often very context specific and depend on certain demographics and areas. Therefore, it requires a lot of planning which is time consuming.

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In order to beat the highlighted challenges among many others, the Centre for International Voluntary Service needs participation of volunteers to assist the orphans and vulnerable children get a meal everyday.

To be part of the feeding program, you can contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .We would love to have you on board in making a difference in the lives of children.

You can also learn more about the rest of our programs by visiting our website www.civskenya.org and encourage you to like our Facebook page.

CIVS Thank You Note, Wishing You A Happy 2019

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It’s almost unbelievable that this year, 2018 is soon coming to a close. It has been an eventful year and we at CIVS would like to close the year on a note of gratitude to everyone we worked with.

We started the year with the intent to touch many more lives than we did in 2017 through the help and contribution of our volunteers, partners and hosts and are glad to let you know that we achieved that.

We had more people from all walks of life and countries participate in community development as well as volunteer activities.

Our partners also have been of great help in as far as getting volunteers and other interested parties to work with us and it is through these partnerships, that CIVS grows stronger in increasing projects that actually facilitate the bettering of lives that need assistance.

We cannot forget the host families, the people who very genuinely opened their doors to receive people from the other side of the world. They have managed to look after foreigners and given them a home away from home.

To the entire CIVS staff, your facilitation is notably what makes this achievable.

Thank you very much our beloved volunteers, partners, host families and communities as well as the entire CIVS family. This wouldn’t have been possible without you all being committed to working towards a common goal of assisting communities in Kenya.

May you have happy holidays and a prosperous new year. Enjoy the holidays and we definitely look forward to having more success in 2019 of course with your help.