Posts Tagged ‘international volunteering’
These once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are screaming out for you. Take charity action for vInspired to a whole new level. And of course there are tons more running this year. Let’s get you out there climbing some mountains in the name of supporting other likeminded young volunteers.
Fancy climbing one of the largest volcanoes in the world? Your challenge is to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro from the newly reopened trail by the border of Kenya and Tanzania. This trail is not for the weak spirited – climbers will be passing through several different climate zones and face a 1000m trek to the top with a 2000m descent back down.
Think you can take on the mountain? Find out more and sign up here.
Trek to Machu Picchu
Hike between the peaks of the Andes in Peru and discover ancient Peruvian life that has remained untouched for centuries. You’ll travel between the communities and to the famous hot springs of Banos Del Inca at an altitude of 2,667m, and have the ultimate opportunity to explore the Lost City of the Incas.
Want to experience the amazing lives of this ancient civilisation? Find out more and sign up here.
Walk the Great Wall Of China
Though its exact length has never been known, the Great Wall of China is the longest manmade structure in the world. This trek will take you along the wall (and up and down the thousands of steps that loop along the mountains either side of the Gubeikou Gateway) spanning from the East to West borders of China, bringing to life that wall’s history as the frontline defence of imperial China.
Got the stamina to cover 12kms per day of the winding wall? Find out more and sign up here.
Dog sledding through Lapland
For the dog lovers and snow bunnies among you, this challenge has a special edge. Aside from breathtakingly beautiful life experiences such as sledding through Swedish mountains and snow topped forests, plus a chance to see the spectacular Northern Lights, find a true connection with wildlife as you tend to your husky dog troop on your travels. Undertake Artic adventures such as coastal fishing, fur trapping and reindeer herding with your trusted companions by your side, learning about the lives of the indigenous Sami people as you go.
Ready to sled your way through an amazing icy challenge? Find out more and sign up here.
Saigon to Angkor Wat bike ride
See the sights of ancient Cambodia and the beautiful
Mekong Delta in Vietnam by bike. Venturing off the beaten track, you’ll visit temples, colourful pagodas, havens of calm and tranquillity and bustling markets whilst being greeted by locals who will have seen few bikes in their tradition-led lifetime.
Inspired to get pedalling? Find out more and sign up here.
It’s a no-brainer that the summer holidays is synonymous with traveling.
Add volunteering to the mix and you’ve got a memorable summer experience that ticks all the boxes; namely, exploring, meeting people and making a difference.
We’re excited to share some of the life-changing summer experiences of volunteers who have recently travelled abroad, to get you thinking about a world waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re just leaving school and looking for a short project in the holidays or you’ve just graduated from Uni and looking for an epic gap year experience – there is quite literally a world of opportunities out there!
Enjoy our selection – and don’t forget to check our international volunteering opportunities pages…
Aimee, volunteered in India with Raleigh International
Volunteering in India with Raleigh was a challenging but incredible 10 weeks. The expedition took me from working on environmental and community development projects, to trekking 250km through tea plantations and mountains. This picture was taken half way through our trekking phase on a ‘survival day’ which involved getting everything we needed from nature, and building our own shelters, cooking on open fires, and eating from banana leaves.
Dave, volunteered in Central America with Progressio ICS
Volunteering with Progressio ICS was a life changing experience, and provided me with the opportunity to see the developing world through my own lens. El Salvador is a country in Central America with a rich tapestry of history and culture. The people have remarkable strength and it was incredibly empowering to witness the strength of solidarity, sustainability and the importance of family. I learnt so much, felt so humble and it was an experience that will shape my life for ever.
Frances, worked with children in Costa Rica via Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange
(Obviously Yarin wanted to be in this picture with her artwork!) I have taught art and a little English to 20 children in a children’s home in Costa Rica. I mainly give love and attention. I now know and enjoy a culture different to my own; a different language and I have lived in a host family which has become a second family.
Morgan, worked in Luxembourg with Youth In Action Programme
I was already a keen volunteer before I went to Luxembourg to meet volunteers from different parts but the experience has really inspired me to get involved in more social action – not just with young people in my own country, but throughout Europe.
Linsday, travelled to Africa with Big Beyond
Volunteering has been an overwhelming and challenging experience. There is just so much back home that people take for granted, such as buying crayons or other materials needed. It is just so hard to find simple items here. The differences in time management and sense of time here is a huge challenge. I’ve also enjoyed learning the daily life of other people.
Further resources and international volunteering opportunities:
Hannah Roberts is currently studying at King John School Sixth Form, Essex.
She and her fellow pupils recently ran a project for READ International, which improves overseas access to education.
Hannah explains how the experience has not only allowed her to help others, but develop her own skills and experience…
I have been part of READ International 2012 at the King John School Sixth Form for the past 7 months. It involved raising awareness for less fortunate students in an attempt to collect books and money to send to them in Tanzania, which will help support their reading and education.
We achieved a book collection of roughly a 1000 books and managed to raise around £1000 through fundraising activities such as cake sales, small collections around college such as non-uniform days, donations from colleges and the main school’s theatre productions.
Taking part in this project, I am extremely proud of myself, exceptionally happy with the amount I am contributing to less fortunate students and I get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing I have helped another’s life and education, as I feel education is a right.
The experience has also benefited me personally, in a number of ways….
Relationships between friends at college have strengthened and it enabled me to carry out tasks I had never had the chance to attempt before.
It has shown me where my strengths and weaknesses are. For example, I understand everything that is needed to plan and run a successful event and can apply it in various situations.
This charity has benefited other A-level courses I am studying such as Music Performance, as I was required to apply my newly learnt techniques for organizing events to a live music show.
The new skills I’ve acquired through taking part in READ International include:
- Organizational skills through planning and holding the quiz night for friends and family
- Communication skills, as I had to liaise with many local businesses for donations for the winner of the raffle, which was new to me
- Initiative, as we were each allocated individual tasks to complete by certain deadlines
- Persuasion and fundraising skills. Our main source of income came from a quiz night we held. We managed to raise approximately £600 from ticket sales and small competitions.
Each new technique I have learnt to improve these skills, I can now bring forward for tasks in the future.
I plan to work in the finance and business sector and feel working with this charity has strengthened my interpersonal skills and will aid me in future jobs.
I cannot recommend enough becoming involved in volunteering as it benefits both parties by developing you as a person whilst helping others.
Help is needed everywhere and by everyone – so why not be that person who actually makes a difference?
Tom Mower, 22, from Leeds is down to the final five of a global competition run by GVI to volunteer around the world for a year.
Over the last four years, he’s given over 1,500 hours of his time to volunteering. Tom tells us all about his extraordinary story so far and why volunteering is so important to him….
My name’s Tom and I’m proud to be a volunteer-aholic. Why? Because I find volunteering to be great fun, really rewarding, and beneficial for myself and others. For me, volunteering isn’t just something to put on my CV or something to do when I’m bored; it’s a huge part of my life and my volunteering experiences have really shaped my view of the world.
My addiction to volunteering has taken me from Leeds (North England) to the amazing Amazon rainforest and to South Africa, to music festivals and government meetings, and to allotments and beautiful countryside.
It started when I moved to Leeds in September 2008 for university. I soon discovered that volunteering doesn’t mean doing boring work for free, it’s about having the opportunity to do something you’re passionate about, having a great time, and meeting lots of fantastic, like-minded people.
Creating real change
In my first two years at uni, I volunteered as part of a human rights and environmental campaign group, People and Planet. I had great fun running a ‘bottled water funfair’ as part of our successful campaign to make Leeds University Union the first in the country to replace all bottled water with re-usable bottles.
After several successful campaigns I realised that creating real change and having tangible impacts locally is a huge motivator for me. So much so that I realised that’s what I want to do with the rest of my life!
That’s when my volunteering addiction got really bad/good…
I decided to take a year out to volunteer as an Environmental Education assistant for a local community charity, Groundwork Leeds. I helped on all sorts of fantastic projects in schools and communities, lasting from a few hours up to 10 weeks.
I’ve also volunteered doing scientific research in Ecuador and helping with conservation on a game reserve in South Africa with GVI.
While in Leeds I’ve also done peer mentoring, first aid, conservation, youth work, festival stewarding and loads more… the choices when it comes to volunteering are pretty much endless!
Here’s what I learnt…
There is very little on Earth that is more rewarding and gratifying than seeing the happiness of others grow thanks to the time and effort you spend with them.
What’s more, through my volunteering, I have finally found a career that I really want to follow in Environment Education.
So my advice would be to really embrace volunteering and do as much as you can – whatever your interests there will be something to suit you.
Try new things. You’ll experience so much more of what life has to offer, you’ll meet loads of interesting people and gain some new friends, and you’ll probably learn a lot about yourself along the way.
So do what I did, get out there and volunteer… but be warned, it’s so good you’ll soon get addicted!