Volunteering abroad is something that many of us have on our bucket lists. Not only do you get to travel, gain new experiences and have an amazing addition to your CV- but most importantly you get to make a genuine difference in the lives of others. Helping those less fortunate can be a life changing and eye opening experience, and as well as improving things for them it can give you a new perspective on your own life too. Things that you previously took for granted and the opportunities you have had in life can be seen with a new appreciation. Here are some of the countries you could consider for volunteering and the ways you’re able to help.
Ghana has many volunteering opportunities- from health to conservation to building to teaching and so much more. Whether you’re a student looking for practical experience or just have your time and enthusiasm to offer then you could consider becoming a volunteer in Ghana. Teaching is very relaxed; you don’t need to be a teacher yourself to be able to help. Basic number skills, for example, will be useful to the children, many of which will grow up to work in a shop or create their own business selling goods. You might not have had any experience in the construction industry, but you can be shown how to mix cement, or you could pick up a paintbrush and help paint a new building. Even if you think you don’t have anything to offer, chances are you do. Ghana is a fascinating African country; it has over one hundred ethnic groups making it an incredibly diverse mix of people, cultures, and traditions. It is a conservative and deeply religious place, so it’s important that you do your research before visiting to ensure you stay respectful throughout your visit. This includes wearing conservative clothing, and not wearing any kind of military print including camouflage.
Russia is unusual in that it provides a glimpse into the way the west meets the east. While it’s the largest country in the world and offers a fascinating history, there’s a huge gap between rich and poor. There are many orphaned and abandoned children, so if this is the kind of experience you’re after then Russia is a location to consider. The winters may be harsh, and gaining a visa isn’t the easiest. But you can make a huge difference to the lives of others when volunteering here.
If animals are your passion, you won’t be disappointed with a volunteering experience in Australia. There are many animal conservation efforts that are made here, and since many species don’t exist anywhere else in the world, it’s crucial that they are properly cared for to avoid extinction. If environment is more your thing (or you’re looking to gain real life experience in your career), there are programs which include environmental monitoring, tree planting, and disaster relief assistance. If you want to experience a truly remote environment, there are opportunities to help on farms and with people in the deserted Australian Outback. A fantastic chance to see a truly unique part of the world.