How it happened to me that I became a volunteer? It’s been my dream for quite some time to visit Asia and not only for 2 weeks. So I was thinking what else could I do apart from only being on “holiday” for few months and I also needed to find a way how to partially cover my costs. At first, I have been thinking about working as an English teacher which at the end seemed to be quite difficult as I am not a native speaker and had zero teaching experience. Then I found out there is a possibility of volunteering.
Start with a research – there are many foundations looking for volunteers across the whole Asia. Not all of them are reputable so before you go somewhere make sure the points below are clear:
Check their website and social channels
See if they are up to date. Search for pictures to get an idea how does it look there. Search for reviews or stories from the previous volunteers and get in touch with few of them. Ask them everything you want to know so you are not surprised later.
Send you full CV, motivation letter and from when and for how long would you be available. Some foundations will ask you to fill in their application.
Insist on a Skype call
You want to make sure they are real and you might want to ask additional questions like if they will help you with visa arrangements, finding/providing accommodation, airport pick up etc. It might calm your mind to know if there will be also other volunteers helping at the same time as you will – you’ll have someone to talk to or make friends.
Get all the contacts
Names, address, phones and pass them onto your family and/or friends so they know who to contact in case of emergency.
Never pay huge amounts in advance
I am talking about the “normal” volunteering here, not the programs which ask for ridiculous money for two weeks of some internship. You might be asked for some small admin fee to secure your place but that´s it.
Why volunteering can be the best thing you have ever done
- Volunteering will open your eyes . You will realize that if you don’t own that Michael Kors handbag the world will not stop to function and that you basically do not need that much materialist stuff for life.
- You’ll be grateful for the great life you have because you have nice place to stay, you have any food you can think of available just round the corner, accessible health care and family which loves you. There are thousands of people who don’t have these and struggle every day to feed their own family.
- You will know that what you do really matters (compared to your actual/previous job….? maybe?)