There are Many Reasons to Volunteer: Here’s a Few Good Ones to Consider

So then, you’ve come seeking some reasons to volunteer. The idea of doing volunteer work overseas may have been bouncing around your head for a while, but the real push to get you out there and doing it may have been alluding you. Let me help you out – a few quick reasons:

At the most basic level it’s wanting to help others and the sneaking suspicion you might be happy doing it! You won’t know until you do.

reasons to volunteerReasons to volunteer; there are many - understand yours before leaving. Photogragh courtesy of Médecins Sans Frontières

For me it was a mix of altruistic and personal motivation that set me on a course to overseas volunteer work. I wanted to see how my profession could be applied beyond the confines of my 9-5 existence. How could my professional background (in my case, it’s architecture) truly benefit people in need?

For a look at how I approached this, see my page Volunteers Organizations Part 2.

Volunteer work provides an unparalleled opportunity for cultural emersion that you wouldn’t otherwise get if purely travelling. Really spending time in one spot, getting involved with a community and its people gives a breadth and depth of engagement and understanding that you ordinarily can’t have.

This enables a broader and ultimately much more satisfying travel experience. Many people are drawn to volunteer work as a means of personally ‘giving something back’, but whatever the motivation or justification it’s an experience that two parties can get a great deal out of; for you, a level of cultural interaction that would be hard to otherwise have and the opportunity to develop new perspectives and skills. For the volunteer organization, it’s the ability to tap into skills that may not be readily available to them and of course the chance to harness your optimism and drive for the organization’s and community’s benefit.

Volunteer work can also benefit your career development, whether it’s by boosting your confidence or through leveraging new and unique skills gained through the course of your work. Prospective employees with overseas voluntary experience bring with them a wide range of skills including, decision making and communication (skills honed in a foreign environment – not easy!), project management and develop important leadership qualities.

So I hope this has helped to equip you with a few more reasons to volunteer (I'm sure you’ve got a few of your own!). Really think about the rational and motives behind what you’re considering undertaking. Volunteer work overseas is a reasonably big commitment, so being clear of these for yourself will help boost your resolve and confidence in your adventure.

Volunteers Organizations: Find a Volunteering Opportunity Part 1

Volunteers Organizations: Find a Volunteering Opportunity Part 2

Volunteers Organizations: Find a Volunteering Opportunity Part 3

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