As a mindful volunteer you have certainly acknowledged a problem in a community and decide to take an enthusiastic initiative to support its people by sharing your skills, labor and will. Regardless of whether your decision is volunteering at home or abroad, volunteerism is a service for you and the people that need help around you which consequently brings positive change to all involved. It's likely that even if your community has a high living standard, there will still be overflowing shelters for the homeless during the cold seasons, or green initiatives that need support with their campaigns.
Let's not forget about those schools that need and cannot afford new or more learning staff and resources, or those struggling animal shelters that utilize every last resource to take care of abandoned pets and animals.
However, having this altruistic approach to volunteering is not incompatible with accomplishing your own personal and professional goals at the end of your assignment. In fact, if you have a clear idea of what you hope to learn and accomplish from a volunteering experience, it will be easier for you to find the program that best suits your needs and to make the most out of it. Are you looking into developing new or better skills? Do you wish to boost your professional experience in a specific area, gain college credits or expand your network reach? Or do you wish to learn more about yourself and how you can create positive change in others?
There are countless projects dedicated to different causes at home and abroad. Communities around the world need grassroots organizations and volunteers working together to carry out projects and activities to accomplish their sustainability goals. Don't just support your cause. Make your volunteering term a learning experience and time of accomplishments. Volunteering can become a win-win situation for all parts involved!
Some have problems that may seem far more complicated than those near you, but regardless of how challenging a problem seems, as a volunteer, you'll always make a difference in the community and within yourself.
Why Volunteer Abroad?
Learning through a fun and authentic multicultural experience is one of the most important components that volunteer programs abroad should have. Thousands of people and grassroots organizations are pursuing solutions to their community's issues which are very similar to those found in your country, but in a different context and most likely, at greater scale. Supporting their cause with your skills and labor alongside many other like-minded international volunteers will bring you new perspectives to these global issues and relief to a community in need.
As an international volunteer, you also have the opportunity to learn about the beauty of that location, its people, culture and arts. Whether its a new language, a new skill or even a historical site, the value of your altruistic experience abroad keeps stretching. Besides, taking some Spanish lessons in Ecuador or doing some Muay Thai training in Thailand gives you some cool bragging rights when you get back home.