When traveling abroad, you usually have a checklist of what you want to do in each city. You go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and eat macarons, or to Italy to see the Colosseum and eat pasta. But what if you traveled for reasons other than fulfilling your personal bucket list? Volunteerism is starting to become a popular choice, and possibly the best new way to travel.
Volunteerism is the act of volunteering your services, whether that’s at home or in a new country. Many programs are starting to pop up around the world to give travelers a new way to see the world. Staying in the popular tourist destinations may be fun, but isn’t a way to truly experience the culture or get to know the people who live there. Many programs highly depend on volunteers to keep their companies running smoothly. Without this extra help, families struggle to make an income or have enough skills to apply for a job. Here’s a few ways you can volunteer in foreign countries.
A common way English speaking travelers can help is teaching schoolchildren English in poorer countries. These countries typically don’t have the funding to hire someone for their schools, but desperately need someone. Having these children learn English is invaluable for their future when they’re ready to start their careers, whether they stay in the country or move to another one with more opportunity. This skill also allows them to assist with translation for their parents or relatives when needed who might not know English.
Helping Out on a Farm
If you enjoy being outdoors and want to put your manual labor skills to work, volunteering on a farm might be the right choice for you. Organizations like WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) provide opportunities to be matched to farms in need around the world. In exchange for your work, they’ll cover your accommodations and meals. Volunteers on farms are desperately needed, as they’re often the only source of income for families. When the crops are growing rapidly, it can be hard to keep up for the owners. Hosting volunteers allows them to maintain their crops and sell them at markets.
Having skills in current technology is vital for the future generation, as most careers are becoming completely dependent on it. Teaching children while they’re young how to use a computer will ensure they’re prepared for a solid career when they enter the work field. At the WAAW Foundation, we run STEM camps every year to help teach valuable science and technology skills to girls who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to learn these. The success of this program has been incredible and we often hear many happy testimonials from those who attended.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, WAAW would love to hear from you. You can volunteer at one of our STEM camps to help organize it and ensure everything goes smoothly. If you have knowledge or teaching skills in science, computers, programming, robotics, or math, consider teaching one of the courses at our camps to provide these very helpful lessons to the girls. We depend on volunteers to keep our program running every year and to provide a bright future for our young women. If you’re interested in volunteering, find out more here.