WHY VOLUNTEER? Emerge yourself in a real-world experience - experience new cultures at the same time as helping others. It has been proven that when you stop thinking about your own problems, and you focus on someone else, your life satisfaction increases! Learn new skills – independence, meeting new people, team work, build confidence, leadership, problem solving, interpersonal skills, learn a new language Career Booster – helps to create a positive impression, makes you appear more innovative and creative. Possible CV Development Make an impact and give to those who need help – become part of a new and different community HAVE FUN AND EXPLORE! Need to consider: You need to travel responsibly. It is important to ask yourself: Is the work you are going to do, actually benefiting the local community? (see Voluntourism) Volunteering abroad can be emotionally distressing – are you ready for this? What is your reasoning behind volunteering abroad? It is not going to be a holiday!
MALAWI CASE STUDY (STUDENT , 21) A student, 21 years old, kindly shares her experience of volunteering in Malawi and reasons for doing so. Here is what she said... ‘It was a fantastic experience which allowed me to develop new friendships that I wouldn’t have made here in the UK’ ‘It was a great opportunity for personal growth, and it changed me as a person’ ‘I experienced a completely new culture – for example I was given the opportunity to be part of a real rural-African ceremony’ ‘The entire experience pushed me totally out of my comfort zone which I loved’
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ORGANISATION When choosing an organisation to travel with, there are a few key things you need to think about. First, ask the question, ‘Does my volunteering package include…?’. This may be things like: Travel Insurance Accommodation Flights Meals Leisure activities Training Courses We know there are some horror stories about organisations ‘catfishing’ students into going abroad unprepared. Here are 8 brilliant ways to enhance you experience and try to ensure that you are travelling with the best and most legitimate organisation possible*:
Top Tip: If an organisation is British Safety ‘BS 8848’ approved, it means that they provide a rigorous framework for adventure providers to properly manage risks on adventure trips abroad (Gov.UK, 2015*). These providers must therefore comply with agreed minimum standards, that ensure participants are kept safe and informed at all stages of the venture. The standard covers all aspects of the venture including planning, transport, staff contacts, accommodation and the actual activities themselves!!!
Research the company – Look at reviews. The organisations versions of the truth can be very different to the volunteers! Compare providers – there may be a package that involves more of your requirements. Some organisations have quizzes that generate what volunteering is best for your skill set. Look at the T’s and C’s - make sure you read the small print! Without, this can get you in some sticky situations if things go wrong. Know if you’re covered! Don’t need to be afraid to ask questions – remember it’s your experience. Find out who is responsible for you and their contact number – try it before you leave to make sure you’ve copied it right. Emergency contacts at home – make sure that your family knows how to contact you while you are away. Look after yourself – take responsibility for your own safety and insurance. Remember to follow your organisations rules and guidelines, they’re there for a reason! Raise concerns – if you have any concerns during your time away, tell the leader/ your organisation contact immediately. *Adapted from: Bsigroup.com. (2014). Safer adventures: Managing the risks of adventure travel. [online] Available at: https://www.bsigroup.com/LocalFiles/enGB/consumer-guides/resources/BSI-Consumer-Brochure-Adventurous-ActivitiesUK-EN.pdf [Accessed 24 Feb. 2019]. *GOV.UK. (2015). Safer adventure travel and volunteering overseas. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safer-adventure-travel-and-volunteering-overseas [Accessed 26 Feb. 2019].
5 FUNDRAISING TOP TIPS START A FUNDRAISING PAGE Websites which can be used to create your own fundraising page: www.gofundme.com and www.crowdfunding.com Share your page amongst your peers and on social media to gain greater acknowledgement and supporters!
TAKE PART IN A FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE This is one of our favourite fundraising ideas because you can be imaginative with this one. You can partake in anything from a local
SELL UNUSED ITEMS This is a quick and easy way of generating money for your trip. Sell your unused items on social selling platforms like Depop, Ebay,
obstacle challenge, to a colour run or even a marathon. This one allows you to pick what suits you best. Sign up to an event and ask supporters to donate money on behalf of you completing the challenge, you set the price!
Amazon to earn some hard cash for a good cause! www.depop.com www.ebay.com www.amazon.com
SET UP A BUDGET For all those mathematicians out there, why not set up an excel spreadsheet to monitor
THROW A PARTY For all those party lovers out there, why not throw a summer garden party with lots of games and fundraising activities. Your guests can decide how much to donate as a favour for your hospitality and planning.
your spending habits! This will allow you keep track of your spending and when it comes to impulse purchasing â€“ ask yourself, do I REALLY need this?
LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Anyone who volunteer’s abroad needs to be aware of Voluntourism. Voluntourism is a form of travel where volunteers may cause more harm than good to host communities. Although an individual may generously volunteer their time, skills and energy to a cause, it may become apparent that the impact of their work results in more of an issue to local communities. Some examples of this are:
It is necessary to gain prior understanding about the host communities’ laws and customs as legislation differs from country to country. For example, in Malawi when outside the main tourist areas, women should cover legs and shoulders to avoid offending local sensitivities. In addition, homosexual acts are illegal in the nation of Malawi. Since social phenomenon and legislations around the world can be very different from those in the UK, people who prepare well and research related information beforehand would unlikely to have problems.
A neglect of locals’ desires Completion of unsatisfactory work Providing patronising and unhelpful ideas Disturbing local communities This is especially true for volunteers who do not commit to long term involvement in projects.
CULTURES It is important that volunteers research and understand cultural norms of other counties before travelling overseas. Enhancing one’s familiarity with local cultures and language prior to arrival, should effectively reduce any potential interpersonal constraints between volunteers and host communities. Local cultures and laws can often be very different to those of a more developed country and can also be something that most people have never experienced before.
PACKING LIST Apart from all the usual's, we’ve gathered a list of a few key items that might be useful on your trip: Passport Light raincoat Sun cream - plenty of rural local communities will not sell sun cream Mosquito Protection Medical Kit – including anti-diarrhoeics and antiseptic Water-purifying tablets Solar-panel chargers for phone and other gadgets Head torch Emergency money (US$ are usually excepted everywhere) Photocopy of passport
TOP TIPS Be open to meet new people from all different walks of life Ensure you exchange your money in advance. If you need a currency that is not provided by UK exchange services, take American dollars to get you started. Dollars are pretty much accepted anywhere in the world. Emergency contacts – know who to contact in case something goes wrong. The embassy – it is crucial you know how to get to your home country’s embassy, e.g. British Embassy, this acts as UK ground Maps.me is an app which can be used without 3G as long you have previously downloaded your desired area
USEFUL WEBSITES GOV.co.uk provides advice regarding the local laws and protection systems. NHS can provide information on advised vaccinations pre travel.