Volunteers are people who are always in high demand in many countries across Asia and around the world. Whether you are planning to volunteer in Fiji or India, the principles of volunteering are the same. There are ways in which you can maximize the experience and the impact. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of your volunteering overseas experience:
What causes are most important to you? If you are planning to volunteer in Fiji, or anywhere else, you must determine the opportunities available in those countries which you are most passionate about or where you could make the most impact. Volunteering is about the impact that you make in life. You can research the internet and identify the groups that work in the country you wish to volunteer in about the issues that you care about the most. There are plenty of creative avenues for volunteering overseas; you just have to be a little imaginative in order to find a suitable match.
What Skills Do You Have?
If you are planning to volunteer in India, for example, you must ask determine the unique kinds of skills that you have which you will be able to pass on to the communities where you want to volunteer. If you have a knack for teaching, you could take up a teaching position and if you love kids, you could volunteer in an orphanage. There is no on-the-job training when it comes to volunteer work so you must have this clearly figured out before you begin searching for areas where you could make a difference.
Do you want to learn something new?
Not all volunteer programs are about you giving something. In some cases, you can also learn a great deal in the course of your volunteering India or Fiji stint. For example, a conservation volunteer overseas program can help you learn a great deal about the local cultures and endangered species amongst many others. A lot of nonprofits in the developing countries are generally enthusiastic to take up people who are willing to learn and derive some value from the volunteer program so even if you do not have the skills clearly figured out, you can still land yourself some great volunteer stints from some professional volunteer organizations.
A volunteer program should be taken with seriousness if you are going to make any significant impact. For example, before embarking on a program, set goals on what you want to achieve for the duration of the program.
Avoid Committing Your Schedule
This is one of the cardinal sins that many volunteers make. Whatever commitments you make to volunteer your time, it should not eat into your regular schedule and interfere with your day to day obligations such as school, family or professional work. If unsure about your availability or length of commitment, you can start off with shorter volunteer stints before you graduate into something more committing over time. See how the work suits you before you make any long-term commitments. It is best to have a slow start rather than over-committing on a schedule you cannot sustain.
Be ready to make some disclosures
Some of the organizations that you wish to volunteer for may want to know a little bit of your background. This is generally in the organization’s interest and beneficial for the people or community that the organization serves so it is advisable and to cooperate and volunteer details when requested. If you are planning to volunteer in Fiji in an orphanage, for example, the nonprofit will have to perform a background verification as this is generally a legal requirement.