Rahn Mayhew spent five months in Thailand teaching students English and computer skills, his statement perfectly illustrates why volunteering abroad should be on everyone’s bucket list, “Volunteering in Thailand was an experience beyond anything I could have hoped for when I signed up for this project. It gave me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and make great friendships. To be able to become part of a community and learn about the culture and how life is lived in this part of the world was such a privilege. I know that I could not achieve this as traveler and it was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to volunteer. My one piece of advice to future volunteers is, don’t buy your return ticket first. You may find that it is very hard to leave this place.”
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s often very easy to forget that some people live a very different lifestyle from our own. An international volunteer program gives anyone who wants to help an opportunity to travel to countries that many people will never have the chance to visit. It’s hard to believe that some places in the world are not nearly as highly developed and economically sound as we are used to. Costa Rica, Thailand,and Ghana are a few places in need of volunteers, slow economic development paired with rural populations are some of the factors that cause the need for help in these countries so vital.
Volunteers are in demand in each of these countries for some common purposes, but also to fill needs specific to each of these unique nations. The need to learn English, computer skills, and physical education is a must practically anywhere. Tourism is essential to many places in order to sustain their economy, so being able to speak English and operate technology is becoming a must.
There is much more work to do besides teaching. Community development is another area that is in desperate need across the globe. Building and construction, taking care of children in orphanages, and providing medical care might seem like basics, but in many locales, this type of work is more of a luxury and therefore, is in extremely high demand.
“Coming to Costa Rica was one of the greatest times in my life. I did the Construction project for three weeks. It was a really cool project because I was really able to see the impact that I had when the house started to come together.” – Sean Schuttler
Conservation is another key area that volunteers can select as their task in an international volunteer program. Costa Rica, Thailand, and Ghana are home to some of the most diverse and interesting wildlife species and natural environments in the world. It is essential to the balance of the eco-systems that these pristine and rare locations are preserved and protected.
Take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime, volunteer!