Volunteer in Africa  
 
 

Benefits of Volunteer Work in Africa

Enhancing Your Curriculum Vitae

Are you looking for ways to make a difference while gaining relevant work experience to add to your resume? Do you want to learn new skills? Do you want to explore potential career areas? You can accomplish all of this, and more, by becoming a volunteer in Africa! Doing volunteer work in Africa can be one of the most rewarding and best investments you can make with your time. A volunteer is someone who performs a service for free. Although the type of service can vary widely, many volunteer opportunities provide a vital benefit to the community and to the individual organizations assisted, since without the support of volunteers, a lot of programs or services could not take place.

Helping Others

People have many reasons for doing volunteer work in Africa. Many want to help others and some are looking for ways to be involved or to make the world a better place. Desires for activism, community building, and self-exploration can also be fulfilled through volunteering. Connect with the African community and be a part of the various cultures, activities, issues, etc. that you may never experience otherwise. Perhaps you have a cause you feel strongly about: put your beliefs into action by volunteering your time and efforts toward that cause. Some people volunteer formally through a profit, non-profit, or charity organization, while others volunteer informally by helping a sick neighbor or tutoring a friend. People who do volunteer work in Africa get first hand information about the problems facing Africa like poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, unemployment and environmental degradation. This has been caused by illiteracy, ignorance, high population growth rate, declined rate of manufacturing, excessive exportation of raw materials, unfair international trade, primitive and un-mechanized methods of agriculture, corruption, political instabilities and unjust world economic order. The first hand information of previous volunteers in Africa has contributed immensely to the recent cancellation of Africa's foreign debts of multi-billions of US Dollars by the G-8 rich countries.

Personal Growth and Satisfaction

Besides helping others, as a volunteer you will contribute considerably to your own career development. Volunteer work in Africa can help you more clearly define your career path, while enhancing existing skills or developing a variety of new skills. In today's world of rapid change, there are always new and necessary skills to learn and build. You will also gain hands-on experience and expand your horizons as you become more knowledgeable in the field in which you volunteer. In addition, you will make numerous interesting and valuable contacts that may be instrumental in your job search later on. Last - but not least! - personal satisfaction, a strengthened sense of personal achievement and value, and increased confidence often result from making a positive impact on an organization or directly on a person's life. Some people do volunteer work in Africa because they finds it a pleasure and satisfaction in giving back to the world by traveling to another part of it to volunteer their time, skills and various other efforts to help improve the living standards of the people there.

Farther Field

If you enjoy traveling around the world, trying new things, and exploring various cultures, you might consider volunteering in Africa. Similar to working abroad, you will have the opportunity to see the world with a purpose while changing it for the better. Unlike paid employment, volunteering provides a more flexible schedule and varying time commitments. International volunteer projects generally fall under four main categories: community development, education, eco-environmental work and social welfare. By volunteering in Africa, you may learn a new language or experience a new culture and way of life.

People who volunteer in Africa get the opportunity of learning about the rich culture of Africa and the unique hospitality of Ghanaians since they stay with host families and are treated as members of the family and not just traditional tourists. Our culture includes the kind of food we eat and the dresses we wear, our traditional methods of farming, marriage, herbal medicines, our traditional beliefs, fears, dreams and hopes. Volunteers get the opportunity of adopting a whole or part of a new culture that will benefit them in the area of personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet.

Volunteering in Africa may enable you have a cross-cultural exposure and responsible eco-tourism including taking part in initiatives that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhancing the cultural integrity of local people.  Therefore, in addition to evaluation environmental and cultural factors, the initiatives promote recycling, energy efficiency, water reuse, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities. This is an integral part of eco-tourism.

It is more interesting traveling in a group than traveling alone since some people have fears of traveling alone thousands of miles away from their homelands. Volunteering in Africa offers you the opportunity in meeting other volunteers and becoming travel companions for traveling together in a new country.

Networking

Maintaining contacts with the people you meet while volunteering is critical to maintaining a strong and effective network. As you make connections with others, you will uncover opportunities you may never have otherwise discovered, because every person you meet is a potential lead to new career prospects.

Volunteering in Africa is a win-win situation: you are not only helping yourself, but you are helping others as well. As a volunteer, you can make a difference!

Internship

An internship is a structured work experience that is linked academically. Internships may be part-time or full-time. Students can do internships during the summer, winter term, or even during the academic year. Internships are valuable opportunities to relate your academic studies to the world of work. Internships allow students to see how their liberal arts skills (such as writing, researching, problem-solving, etc.) apply in work situations. Internships allow students to test their assumptions about workplaces and their own skills and values. An internship can help you to: Put to use skills you have acquired, develop new skills, and identify areas for further development; Discover how your academic preparation and theories you have learned in classes apply to a work setting; Gather information about career areas that are of interest to you. Internships are a critical component of career exploration. Internship may help you discover whether or not you really would like to pursue a career in a given field. Internships can also help you build a network of professionals to whom you can turn for advice about future career opportunities; Gain valuable work experience. More and more employers look for internship experience when hiring for entry-level positions.

Advantages of an Internship Volunteer Work in Africa


Cross-cultural exposure; A first hand learning experience living in another society, often at a more grass-roots level than is provided in overseas studies programs is vital. Discovering if the elements that attracted one to a certain culture in linguistic and area studies are still attractive in real life settings is essential to future success in the international arena. An increase in foreign language competency; Nothing enhances language training more than total submersion in the society where it is spoken! Challenges involving adaptability to different environments; Culture shock can be traumatic and affect career performance. An international internship is a good learning experience on what to expect and how to deal with those adjustments. Some people, after completing international internships, realize they do not want to live overseas after all! Contacts for developing future career goals; Determined interns develop a wide network. While they are impressing contacts with their sincerity, loyalty, and initiative, they are also asking plenty of questions about how to begin their own international careers. These contacts become invaluable resources over time. Internships are valuable work experiences that can provide an edge in career placement; Acquire real life experience solving practical problems. Employers value students who have completed successful internships.
       
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