Some of us dream of travelling, while some of us dream of making a difference in this world. Why not combine both? Countries around the world offer both adventure, sightseeing and a chance to help its natives- so here you go! Listed here are top five countries that you can volunteer in. Remember, each of these countries have their own cultures and traditions, so respect them!
What hasn’t happened in India in the past couple of years? Landslides, floods, environmental damage and polluted, unsanitary cities. Communities have been impacted with limited access to proper housing, drinking water and sanitation facilities. There are plenty of villages that could use good teachers to teach English to children and also support disabled children who hail from poor families. Get hands on training at urban clinics to provide medical assistance. You can also volunteer at national parks and sanctuaries to protect endangered species. You can take part in a programme that provides computer and vocational training for young women, hence providing them with a chance of education and employment in an otherwise male dominated community.
There are no end of opportunities in Ghana. If you’re good at working with children, then Ghana provides a wonderful opportunity. As a volunteer, you can teach English, support disabled children, provide medical care, help in orphanages, building and construction and help out in mental health and psychology initiatives. You can provide aid in farming, and it’s not just foreigners who can join. Local Ghanaians are also encouraged to join so as to bring balance and empower the younger generation. Some of the volunteer organisations provide the weekends free so that the volunteers can explore the country! You can get the chance to visit Cape Coast, Elmina, and Mole National Park.
Japan in this thriving country with all the modern facilities, it still needs volunteers. You’re not just helping out communities here, you can gain valuable insight into their culture, tradition and lifestyle. Get involved in assisting in local artisan workshops, learning how to craft taiko (traditional drums) or wagashi (confections). You can work in bigger projects like the country’s nationwide wide food bank, which collects surplus food and provides it to those in need. Charity events that need volunteers include supporting marginalised children, elderly citizen and other groups. Other volunteer groups include working with outdoor programmes, mental health and suicide prevention, disaster and tragedy survivors. While the largest need for volunteers is to work with the elderly to provide therapy and physical exercise, the second highest need is for English teachers to help students gain valuable skills and educational resources.
4. Puerto Rico
The island and its natives are constantly torn apart by natural disasters- hurricanes and earthquakes, so there’s no shortage of volunteer work here! Puerto Rico also depends a lot on tourism, so you can work and enjoy your stay at this island. Here’s how you can help. Hurricane Maria devastated most of the island and its inhabitants. Homes and livelihoods were lost. Coffee farms are an important source of income to the island, but most of these were destroyed in the hurricane. So you can lend a helping hand in bringing the farms back to life. Building the washed out roads to help the local fisherman is also an option. Even now, many families are living in tents while they seek help for rebuilding their homes. Adding to this, the earthquake in 2020 shattered pretty much everything, so there are endless places where help is needed. You can help displaced families by helping to distribute food, build homes and also help the government by taking up safety measures to battle natural disasters.
Nepal is a great place to learn and absorb unique culture. Here, there are dozens of volunteer programmes that require services from all walks of life. For one, if you have good English proficiency, then you can volunteer to teach English to young monks. Many monks leave their monastery as they grow older, hence they need to learn English in order to boost their careers in the society. Volunteers stay at monasteries in separate living quarters. Another programme includes rescuing stray, injured or mistreated dogs for rehabilitation in pet shelters so that they can be taken care of and then put up for adoption. Nepal orphanage volunteer programs give you the chance to improve the lives of homeless and underprivileged children who always seem to have a ready smile for you!