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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.

 

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.

Five Benefits of Volunteering for Personal Development

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In our last post, we just introduced ourselves as a volunteer organization and we thought it would be nice to share just five personal benefits of volunteering for self development but first:

The late Koffi Annan once said,if our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than just wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever. Wise words from a wise man and we couldn't agree more.

So today, we'll just focus on why it's good even for you and not just the world in general.

benefits of volunteering

So what is this volunteering though and why is it so important?

In a layman’s language, volunteering is setting aside time to providing a service without expecting any financial gain.

It is important because it involves you committing yourself and energy for the well-being of the society.

What are some of the personal benefits of volunteering?

There are many personal benefits of volunteering either locally or of volunteering abroad

Volunteering helps you give back to the community, which is a duty we all have.

We live in a world whereby it’s easy to assume that everything is alright in the event that you can easily access your basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and education. Sometimes we fail to realize that there is a whole spectrum of people who cannot access these as easily as we can.

Participating in volunteering activities helps you spend time with such people and experience what it’s like to be in their shoes. It enables you appreciate what you already have and give back to the community.

Volunteering helps you develop more skills and supplements what you’ve learnt in school 

Honestly speaking, some lessons cannot be fully taught in school. Lessons like how to communicate with different types of people needs exposure to the different types of people. Things such as teamwork can be theoretically taught but you only get to learn the importance through engaging in activities that require everyone’s contribution in order to be successful. Volunteering activities enable one to develop a sense of responsibility and builds your confidence.

Volunteering helps you gain new experiences and insights.

Another benefit of volunteering to your personal development that we can't forget is that volunteer activities often require you to go to the places in which you are volunteering and stay there for some time.

Staying at a place away from your comfort zone allows you to see the world differently. You can learn important lessons just by looking at things from not only your own perspective but other people’s as well. It opens up your mind to more possibilities that could make the world a better place.

Volunteering enables you to create connections with other people.

Participating in volunteer activities often allows you to create new networks as it often involves meeting with other different people from different walks of life with whom you share a goal.

Different countries, cities, towns, work environments, organizations, societies, you name it.It is often said that your network is your net worth and what better way to start building that up than through working for a good cause?

Volunteering creates a sense of accomplishment

Another one of the benefits of volunteering is that you can see the results of your work right in front of you which gives you that sense of accomplishment. When you manage to put a smile on someone’s face by giving them your time, seeing a child say the letters of the alphabet correctly after you taught it to them, seeing crops that you helped plant grow steadily, that is accomplishment right in front of you.

So if you weren't too convinced on whether volunteering is a thing you should try, how about looking for a volunteering organization and start the process of making a difference.

Five Reasons Why You Should Volunteer Abroad

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Having talked about five benefits of volunteering for personal development you might be wondering where to do this volunteer work.

It’s easy to volunteer in your neighbourhood, in church, at an event around you, which is something we at CIVS Kenya encourage but have you ever thought of volunteering abroad?

There are so many reasons why you should volunteer abroad. Have you ever looked into some of them?

Today, we delve a little into a few of those reasons.

why you should volunteer abroad

The first reason why you should volunteer abroad is definitely that you get a chance to live in another country.

It’s an amazing thing to live among different people. You get to learn their different cultures which includes learning a different language and generally their way of life. So, you give and back diversify yourself more in the process.

It gives you the opportunity to share your skills.

Some skills, languages and activities are so common and limited to certain countries but what we do not realize is that some of that knowledge could be very useful to others. So how about consider sharing these skills with people who actually need them more by volunteering abroad.

Often in your own country, so many people could have the same skill and/or knowledge and not too many could be in need of your help in those terms, but it could really make a difference elsewhere and bring you so much more fulfilment.

Take an example of the English language. It is very valuable in communication globally but some people in different parts of the world may not be able to speak it. How great would it be if you are from an English speaking country and just volunteered abroad through teaching it to a group of people who can’t speak it?Just like that, you've made a big difference.

It enables you to be more open minded in your perspectives

Another thing that you gain from volunteering abroad is the ability to look at things from other people’s point of view.

Like we mentioned in the previous post, it’s very easy to assume that everything is fine when you can so easily access basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and education. Volunteering abroad gives you the chance to be around people who do not so easily get these and actually learn to appreciate what you have. It brings a lot more into perspective and you understand more about what's happening in the world.

It enables you to interact with likeminded individuals

In some cases where you choose to volunteer abroad through a volunteering organization, you will often find that there’s a number of you at one project. What you gain is the opportunity to interact with the different people from the different countries and learn a thing or two from them that could build you.

 volunteering abroad

It prepares you for your career

Employers are often so keen in what else you have done other than what you learnt in school and volunteering abroad definitely looks better on your resume.

It gives an impression of a diverse individual who can cope with change and new surrounding.Therefore if you have been wondering what you gain from volunteering abroad , that might be a good answer and motivation, especially if you are in your gap year. 

We hope that the five reasons why you should volunteer abroad inspire you to actually consider it because as you can see, they very easily answer the question, “what do you gain from volunteering abroad?”

If you would like to try volunteering overseas contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or just go through our website first and check out our different projects and what we are all about.

Thank you for stopping by.

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Volunteering Abroad, Centre For International Voluntary Service

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Volunteering Abroad, Centre For International Voluntary Service

Hello!

Has the thought of volunteering abroad ever crossed your mind?

If it has, then we are glad you stopped by our blog.

There are a number of volunteering organizations around and this being our first blogpost, we thought we would start by introducing ourselves.

We are the Centre for International Voluntary Service, a volunteering and community development organization based in Nairobi , Kenya.

We've been around for some time and operate with the goal of fighting poverty in Africa through various volunteering activities and programs.

Volunteering abroad is something one should definitely consider doing at least once or more times in their lifetime, because there is a whole bunch of people here who could definitely use the help.Especially out here in Africa seeing that we are still a developing continent.

We at the Centre for International Voluntary Service have had people from around the world over the years come into our country Kenya,in East Africa participate and we give them options ranging from volunteering with children to volunteering with teenagers among others.

CIVS being a volunteering organization in Kenya, provides programs of different types.One can choose between long-term volunteering or short term volunteering, both programs having their own share of benefits that we will definitely be taking you through in our subsequent posts.

You can definitely look forward to learning more about volunteering from us (the organization and the volunteers who've used our services),why we as a volunteer organization would like to have you work with us and the immense fulfillment that comes with volunteering abroad.

We leave it at that for today but we hope you'll stop by to read our pieces often to learn more about this noble cause.

Thank you for stopping by.