Volunteering is one of the greatest gifts you can give to others. You help out those in need and provide assistance where it’s needed most. While the local soup kitchen is a great place to start, some volunteers want to expand their gift throughout the world.
Traveling abroad and giving the gift of aid will not only take you to new and extraordinary places, but also introduce you to completely different cultures. This raises the importance of being prepared for a change in lifestyle. The experience isn’t going to just be an adventure, but will be an opportunity to completely change the way you live.
Getting to know yourself before you get to know others
Ultimately, it is vital that you understand what changes in regular life are going to take place. You may be up for a lot of traveling, especially if you’re headed for locations in Africa or Asia. Here, the cultures can be extraordinarily different. Not only will people act differently, they will often speak a completely different language.
Simple things that we take for granted may now be luxuries. Instead of a warm shower at the end of the day, you may find yourself bathing in a nearby river or washing yourself with a bucket of cold water. Keep in mind that luxuries such as electricity could be difficult to get. This often leaves you without your cellphone and without regular service even if you can get power. While power and warm water are things you can do without (thinking back to a few camping adventures of your own), being able to talk to your family and friends may not be. You want to know that they’re safe, and they, of course, will want to know that you are too.
Luckily, you can still stay in contact with your loved ones back home. Pingo is a prepaid international calling service that you can take advantage of in this situation. International calling services like these can be accessed from any phone, both landline and cellular, and are easy enough to use that they make using your smartphone seem difficult.
Why should you pay to volunteer?
Another question that arises when volunteering, is the cost. While you are able to volunteer on your own as a sole individual, consider that many locations where volunteers are needed can be difficult to get to. Sometimes there is also a lack of quality direction and safety. While going with an organization can cost more, they can provide you with a structured environment in which you can enjoy practicing the art of volunteering. These are especially effective if you are fresh to volunteer work, and can provide you with the necessary learning experience.
Another benefit to volunteering with an organization is that you are more likely to get access to some of the amenities that we take for granted back home. For communication reasons, this can be extremely valuable, even if you are only able to talk for limited amounts of time.
Who are you volunteering for?
This leaves the question of who you are volunteering for. Questions are important, and vital to ensure that you are spending your time in the right place and providing help to those that truly need it.
Start by researching your target organization. What efforts do they specialize in? Teaching? Medical assistance? Be sure that your skills will become an effective part of the organization. You’ll also need to ask about what communication would available for you. Is there power at your location? Are there phone services available for you to access? These questions can help you decide what you will need to prepare for.
Also consider where you you are going. How will you get to your destination and might you be traveling through dangerous areas or by dangerous means. Keep in mind that when traveling to areas like Africa and Ghana, vaccinations to prevent disease are necessary. It is important to be well educated about the area and native culture prior to your journey.
You should also look into where your donations are being utilized. Are they benefiting the project and in what ways are they being spent? Funds may be spent locally, but they can also go towards providing you with a safe and helpful experience. Understanding where your money is going can help you decide how practical and effective the organization is at providing assistance abroad.
Volunteering abroad doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in touch with your family and friends. Pingo EZ Dial provides a great way to stay connected directly from your mobile phone. Access all of Pingo’s Prepaid International Calling Service strength and benefits to stay truly just a phone call always from home. With the right arrangements and making sure that you are prepared for the journey, everyone will simply be a phone call away while you’re helping to make the world a better place!