How to Become a Volunteer Abroad

How to become a volunteer abroad? Many interested individuals ask. Do not be misguided by the belief that because you are volunteering yourself freely to do some services for the organization, you will be accepted right away without going some qualification process. The truth is it is exactly the opposite way. The organization needs more than that, they need individuals who are in sync with what they believe in and can properly do the job that they are asked to do responsibly.

There are several organizations that offer free volunteering to work abroad.  The Peace Corps organization accepts volunteers for environment, agricultures and education. If you are not qualified with the Peace Corps, you can actually find some Peace Corps alternatives to volunteer with.  Volunteer Africa is one of them that aim to augment the livelihood of the rural Africans, while GreenFORCE and Earth Watch organizations are primarily concerned with the conservation of Mother Earth.

tips on becoming a volunteer abroad

Guidelines on Preparing to Volunteer Abroad

So what exactly does an organization needs from the volunteers? Here are some of the skills as well as characteristics that they are looking for that you need to know, and that can answer your question on how to become a volunteer abroad.

1. Enthusiasm – A positive outlook is very important because you will be dealing with people you do not know and if you are volunteering abroad, you will be facing people with different cultures and beliefs.

2. Reliable – Ready and willing to devote ample time regularly and can be relied upon with the task given knowing that the success of the task is his/her responsibility.

3. Non-judgmental – Being in a position to look at an objective analysis of the people’s issues and tribulations, despite knowing that this happens because of their own doing.

4. Good Communicator – Capable of communicating to both fellow workforce and people you happen to be trying to assist. A good communicator is not afraid to voice out ideas for the improvement and success of the projects.

group of volunteer abroad

5. Compassionate and Committed – Developing compassion of the quandary of the specific individual or perhaps circumstances and thus being able to express it with the passion for the cause that the organization believes in. This is one of the most important aspects on how to become a volunteer abroad, qualifier.

6. Self-confidence and assurance – You must be able to work without supervision and can be flexible to work in a group if it is necessary. Willingness to accept criticism without taking it personally in order to improve skills and ability to help others who are really in need.

7. Common sense – Common sense as many claims it, is not common after all. This is one of the most important traits that a person must possess. One must know what is right from wrong and be able to act rightly for the betterment of others.

8. Awarenessknowing what the people needs and finding ways to satisfy their needs in the right way in line with what the organization believes in.

These are just some of the answers to your question on how to become a volunteer abroad. To know deeper answers, one should know first what organization and type of works that you want to volunteer in.

Tips in Volunteering Abroad

Majority of the opportunities that are offered in volunteering abroad are at no cost. Becoming a volunteer abroad is a great opportunity to grow personally and professionally.  One will experience and come to appreciate as well as understand the culture, languages and ways of life of other countries. Those who want to volunteer abroad but does not have enough money or do not want to pay for it, it is recommended that you look for organizations that offer free volunteering options.

There are actually top ten destinations for the volunteers. These are: Australia, Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Thailand, United States of America, South Africa, India, and Peru.

sweet hugs and smile from children and a volunteer

Top Organizations for Volunteering Abroad

Below are some of the organizations that offer works in volunteering abroad.

1. Peace Corps – Most of the volunteers are sent to remote regions to supervise and develop projects. Peace Corps is an independent U.S. agency that promotes mutual understanding between the Americans and other countries. For most of the Americans, volunteering with the Peace Corps is the essence of volunteering abroad. For those who do not qualify or do not want to volunteer in Peace Corps, there are several Peace Corps alternatives that you can volunteer with. You can easily find them online and some are also listed below.

2. Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – This is a long term chance to potential volunteers. VSO is a global charity development that does the job by means of volunteers. VSO is one of the most revered and leading volunteer organizations.

3. United Nation Volunteers – presents long term opportunities to worldwide professionals. It is generally composed of medical professionals, police and other experts who offer themselves to volunteer with them.  It was created to function as an associate development organization backed up by the globally respected organization, the United Nation.

4. American Red Cross – The biggest charitable group of America is dependent upon volunteers in providing aid to victims of catastrophe and to assist individuals’ reply to emergencies. It is an excellent alternative if you really are keen on volunteering within the country. Most of the programs are in rural parts of the US and supply the much considered necessary health support to individuals in destitution.

short term volunteer on a medical mission

These are just some of the organizations that you can choose to offer yourself to volunteer and work abroad. Remember volunteering abroad is one of the most satisfying things that you can do in your life because aside from the great experience that you get to have, it can greatly change your life’s perspective, too. You will become a more caring and understanding person that have a passion to help others.

WorldWide Volunteer Opportunities

The term volunteer means doing something selflessly without expecting appreciation or payment. There are many volunteer opportunities available today. This largely depends on what you feel you are fit and qualified to do.

raising hand from the willing volunteers

Volunteer Organizations and Causes

Medical volunteer opportunities are types of volunteering that are really something worth pursuing. Here you get to work with sick people and counsel them. There is nothing more satisfying than making a patient’s day. If this is not your field you can take advantage of volunteer opportunities for kids. This entails visiting orphanages, mingling with little ones and making them feel loved and appreciated. This is all that kids require and always longed for. Local volunteer opportunities can also work well. This involves visiting aged people and people with disabilities. Peace corps alternatives is a different type of volunteering service though it takes nine months for your application to be processed, you can be assured of earning a god salary. Below are some other popular organizations that give volunteer opportunities worldwide that you can easily be part of its members:

  • Project Hope is an international volunteering community whose main aim is to ensure that they provide proper and quality health care, medical supplies and anti-biotic whenever they are needed worldwide. Among services offered are, improve health facility, providing medical help when needed and also training health professionals. Volunteers are encouraged to raise funds to support them in order to always be readily available whenever need for their action arises.
  • Habitat for humanity offers volunteer opportunities that ensure provision of affordable type of housing to people around the globe. They greatly encourage their volunteers to revise housing policies such that it becomes easily affordable to people in dire need. They give youth programs, response service in case there is disaster, building program for women and also international volunteer program.
  • Lions clubs international was started in 1971 and it is the largest of its kind, their main objective is to fight against any form of blindness and other types of vision problems that are found worldwide. They also help in saving the planet, usually support different health initiatives and also help when there is need for disaster relief. They have an extensive number of volunteer opportunities for you to choose from.
  • Humane Society of the United States which aims at protecting animals from all sorts of animal cruelty, exploitation and also neglect. They also support wildlife preservation, habitat and farm animals’ protection. In case of any emergency, they provide shelter, educate and also train people on different ways in which they can preserve animals.

willingness to become a volunteer

When choosing any volunteer opportunities, it is always good to be ready for all sorts of challenges that you are likely to encounter. It is a very self fulfilling endeavor for any people who were able to make a huge impact to a person in need worldwide without expecting something in return.

Join the Cause: Volunteers of America

When many people venture into an activity in which they have to invest their money and time, they often expect to later gain profits that benefit them directly. That is not the case for a certain American organisation, Volunteers of America. This is a non-profit organisation ran by the United States government and is aimed at assisting less privileged members of society by helping them rise to their full potential. This organisation serves more than two million people in America. It has set its offices in several states in US, some of which are listed below;

  • Utah
  • Denver
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Minnesota
  • Washington
  • Michigan

helping hand from volunteers of america

This organisation seeks to help homeless children and orphans by providing them with homes to stay in, food, clothes and proper education. For its successful operation and continuity, the organisation is funded by United States government, donations from other organisations and well wishers as well as Volunteers of America internal businesses. Its staff volunteers on their own accord and, therefore, no money is required for staff payments.

Literacy Campaign

There is a unit under this organisation known as the literacy volunteers of America. These are people who are interested and very much concerned with illiteracy levels among adults in America. In a bid to eradicate illiteracy among American adults, these people volunteer to teach adults basic education, which is simple reading and writing, to at least enable them to know what is going on around them by reading newspapers, billboards and notices.

Head Start Campaign

Volunteers of America head start is an office, still under Volunteers of America that serves children and families. It focuses on giving children a good head start by availing early childhood learning to all children empowering them from that time when they are of a tender age, thus developing them into responsible, enlightened adults able to make their own decisions and make them well.

community service from volunteers of america

Volunteers of America jobs on the other hand are available vacancies in the non profit organisation, Volunteers of America. Willing people need to volunteer for these jobs, from where they are going to serve their country as a way of giving back to society. This could be by serving military families, as a way of thanking them for their devotion. When applying, you should be 18years and above and an American citizen. Application can be done online through their website.

Apart from volunteers of America, other people could opt for Peace Corps alternatives. This involves travelling to other nations to work for the greater good of those less privileged in society.

Different Peace Corps Alternatives

There are several reasons why some people are still looking for Peace Corps alternatives even if the organization already provides a rewarding and fulfilling vocation or endeavor. Among the reasons include the stricter or more rigorous screening of volunteers, the longer period of enlisting one’s self to the service, inability to travel, or perhaps, the low or absence of compensation.

Joining the Peace Corps or any other civic organization develops a person’s sense of responsibility towards other people and countries, inculcates the value of helping, and global community development. But ultimately, it provides the opportunity to experience distinct cultures, lifestyle, tradition, or the least, to travel the world. On the other hand, the beneficiary country gains infrastructure, health, agricultural, and educational improvements with the end goal of local peace.

peace corps volunteers teaching

Here are some of the local and international alternatives to the Peace Corps.

United Nations Volunteers Program

Topping the list of Peace Corps alternatives is the numerous volunteer and internship programs of the United Nations. The United Nations has several sub-agencies, which deal with specific international concerns from peacekeeping, economic developments, education, children welfare, wildlife, and several other causes. All volunteers are centrally managed by the United Nations Development Program or the UNDP. A volunteer can either be assigned locally or internationally like in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Compared to the Peace Corps, selection of volunteers is also stringer, at times, even tougher. Joining the UN could be one of the best alternatives to Peace Corps especially for interns because they could eventually land on a full time job within the organization.

united nations volunteer gathering in helping others

Joining Several Humanitarian Aid Organizations

Aside from the Peace Corps and the UN, there are also hundreds of international organizations recruiting the services of civic-minded volunteers adhering to the same goals of providing basic aid to several communities, countries, and cultures.

The Habitat for Humanity for example is one of the Peace Corps alternatives, which focus in providing one of the basic needs of human, shelter or homes. This organization also has a worldwide scope especially on the developing countries. Another good example is the Red Cross, which on the other hand focuses on humanitarian health, risks and disaster preparedness, rescue and relief operations, etc.

men from several humanitarian aid organizations

There is a long list of organizations under this category and an individual can choose whichever he or she prefers. Another good thing about these Peace Corps alternatives is that a volunteer can have flexibility in devoting his or her time without the need to sacrifice work, and regular family activities. These organizations also operate locally and can even welcome the help of the entire family.

Overseas Teaching and Other Project Volunteers

If you’re into travelling but could not commit to more than two years of Peace Corps work, you can alternately volunteer for teaching abroad. International language teachers are a growing demand in almost all countries. Technical, scientific, and IT courses enjoy the same demand as well. Teaching abroad can also be done for compensation.

Other than teaching, you may also volunteer for specific aid or development projects providing Peace Corps alternatives free abroad. They can range from infrastructure, social, economic and educational development or improvement up to the rescue, relief, and peace-keeping efforts.

happy faces children

Local and International Religious Missions

Finally, helping and sharing is not only limited to the physical and material necessities of humans, it also encompasses the religious aspects as well. There are several Peace Corps alternatives related to religion. Several local and international missions or projects related to a particular religion have been established and carried out in the developing countries. The Christian community for example employs not only the clergy to spread the word of God, but the students and ordinary citizens as well who are interested in volunteering. The same goes true with Muslims, Buddhist, etc.

Plastic Bag Holder: Eco-Friendly and Economical

They say a plastic bag holder is a grocery lover’s best friend. Visiting a grocery especially the farmers’ market has always been fun and food for the soul. Browsing through fresh produce and carrying home healthy foodstuff engulfs you with a warm feeling of contentment, just like shopping for clothes. This is however not the final thing, as it is also very overwhelming trying to balance the bags from the market.

A nice holder is in a position to carry up to 45 pounds of your grocery. It helps you transport bags with ease. You can use it to the market especially when collecting purchases from different vendors. The holder happens to be very handy for use when walking up the stairs or even when riding.

red plastic bag holder

How to Make a Plastic Bag Holder

Plastic bag holders are very convenient. You can even use the holder in your garage, when in park or at the beach, just place it somewhere conspicuous for everyone to use. It is a perfect reminder for those around you to be responsible for their refuse.

There are many methods in making a strong environmental friendly plastic bag holder. All you require is letting your imagination and creative drive crazy. With the holders, you can make wall decorations that belong perfectly to the theme of your kitchen. Here are four simple ways of making a plastic bag holder:

best plastic bag holder pattern

  • With a towel

  • With a sock

  • With fabric

  • With a plastic bottle or any other recyclable material

Tutorial on How to Make a Plastic Bag Holder

  • Get a piece of fabric and cut about 11 by 28 inches. These dimensions will give you a fairly long and narrow plastic bag holder.

  • On both ends (11’’ one), create a casing. On the ironing board, place the piece of cloth right side down and fold 1’’ edge and iron it. Then unfold the crease and make another crease, which is about a quarter inch from the edge.

best fabric fabric plastic bag holder

  • Then refold the first crease while the second one is still in place. This creates the casing, use the casing edge about 1/8 inch far from the fold.

  • Since the fabric is still flat with no side seam, this is the time to decorate with plastic bag holder pattern. Select anything of your choice from buttons, ribbons and put it anywhere you like.

  • The next step is creating a handle. You can either use a twill tape or a ribbon or even get a matching piece of cloth of the bag.

  • Trim any excess fabric from the edge to create a straight edge. You can use a serger if you have one.

  • Turn the bag inside out and you will be done. Enjoy using it.

easy tips on how to make a plastic bag holder

Fabric Plastic Bag Holder

This is a homemade and simple fabric plastic bag holder, which is a perfect eco friendly craftwork for beginner sewers. All you need to make a gorgeous and colorful bag holder is just the ability to make a straight line.

There are very many ways, styles of making this fabric plastic bag holder cute. They are all meant to suit your needs and taste. The most popular style is adding some handles to the holder. Enjoy your new plastic bag holder and proudly carry your eco-friendly plastic bag holder on your shoulder to the local grocery store.