V O L U N T E E R I N G
WHAT DOES VOLUNTEERING MEAN?
Volunteering means that you donate your time by supporting projects for a good cause on a voluntary basis and without payment. Everyone can volunteer, regardless of age. But everyone has to meet the requirements. If you choose a project abroad, you will also get to know a new country and a different culture. You will gain unique experiences during your volunteer work and in your free time.
CULTURAL EXCHANGE FOR YOU AND THE LOCAL PEOPLE
The organizations or institutions are mostly dependent on donations and therefore have no financial means to pay volunteers. Accommodation and meals on site are organized for you in most cases, but you have to pay for it yourself as a volunteer. Volunteers should under no circumstances take away the jobs of the local people, but should only be an additional help. The support of the helpers is very much appreciated. Depending on your skills and qualifications, you can get involved in various areas. It should be taken into account that the selected project is ethically justifiable.
“EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SMALL STEP AND A BIGGER PURPOSE”
WHY BECOME A VOLUNTEER?
There are many reasons to become a volunteer. It is important that benefits arise for you as well as for the local people.
BENEFITS FOR YOU
Support a charity project
Experience a different culture up close
Work together with local people
Make new friends (locals and other volunteers)
Do something good in the host country
Gain valuable experience
BENEFITS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
Projects can be implemented with the support of volunteers
Locals experience a cultural exchange
Children and adults improve their English skills
Locals enjoy sharing their knowledge and culture
Jobs are created, e.g. local contact person for volunteers
Locals make new friends
WHICH AREAS CAN I SUPPORT?
As a volunteer, you support local educators in kindergartens or in afternoon groups. The reference person of the children is always the educator in the respective institution. Your task is to pay attention to the children by playing, painting, singing, or reading to them. In this way, the children get to know other nationalities and cultures. You can teach them new games or songs from your country. In order to be able to help out as a volunteer in a kindergarten, you should have experience in childcare. We want to make sure that you already have some previous knowledge, such as babysitting, or internships in kindergarten. In addition to the qualifications mentioned above, patience, creativity, and social skills are also required in the childcare sector.
(Experience in childcare is required)
You help prepare and hold the lessons. Educational games bring the language closer to the students. The lessons usually take place in the afternoon and are voluntarily attended by the students. Adults who are interested in learning English but do not have the financial means can attend a course offered by organizations free of charge.
Due to low donations, it is unfortunately not possible to employ a larger number of paid teachers. In order to be able to support local teachers as a volunteer, you should have experience. We want to make sure that you already have some previous knowledge, such as tutoring, supervision of children and youth groups, teaching in the field of sports, music, art. In addition to the qualifications mentioned above, enthusiasm, justice, and patience are also required in the teaching sector.
(Experience in teaching is required)
Latin America has a significant problem with stray cats and street dogs. Sadly, these animals go hungry, their health suffers, and they create safety issues for the public. Dog and cat projects take place with grassroots organizations that take in these lonely and suffering animals and provide veterinary care and love for these total innocent and vulnerable animals. As an international volunteer, you groom, exercise, and help bathing, brushing, and walking the dogs; you also need to be ready to clean kennels! You may get involved with medical treatment, spay/neuter programs, education, and fundraising. Animal care projects depend heavily on volunteer efforts, both local and international volunteers. Your work is greatly appreciated.
If you enjoy working with your hands and love to literally see the impact you are making, then volunteering in construction is the right project for you. With or without construction experience, a local construction foreman leads volunteers in building and renovating community centers, schools, clinics, and assisted living facilities. Construction work is physically demanding and includes digging, removing dirt, mixing cement, carrying brick, painting, and various other activities as needed at the site. Get dirty and have fun while contributing to the expansion and development of physical buildings and facilities that directly impact the well-being of local people.
SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION
Known for being one of the most biodiverse countries, Costa Rica is home to 5 of 7 sea turtle species in the world. Each turtle species faces threats from poachers, habitat destruction, and commercial fishing. Conservation volunteers help reverse the risk of extinction by taking an active role in protecting our sea turtle friends. Volunteers work alongside biologists, researchers, and local residents to manage turtle nesting grounds. At sea turtle projects the work can be quite demanding. You take part in beach patrols, tagging and counting turtles, relocating nests into hatcheries, doing beach cleanup, as well as supporting other activities and outreach programs. Join the movement and help future generations of sea turtles flourish in their native land! Costa Rica
The government provides universal healthcare to its citizens, however, some areas still have limited access and not enough resources and staff. If you are passionate about accessible healthcare for all people, making a community impact, and helping vulnerable populations, a medical volunteer project is a great place to begin. A Medical Specialist leads volunteers at assisted-living facilities for the elderly, HIV patients, and other rehabilitation centers. Volunteers shadow medical professionals and help provide general check-ups, take blood pressure and other vital signs, organize patient records, and prepare materials and equipment. Volunteer groups can also get involved in medical campaigns providing medical services, distributing supplies, and teaching good hygiene to underprivileged communities. To participate in medical projects, you should have experience in this field, e.g. medical/dental education, medical student, etc.
Healthcare projects usually focus on the elderly and special needs populations. Volunteers work with general patient care, physical therapy, and provide other support and assistance as needed. Working with these often stigmatized populations improves their overall care, and gives emotional encouragement and companionship where it is needed most Volunteer tasks include assisting during mealtimes, conversation-talk therapy, exercise workshops, arts and crafts, as well as sorting and distributing medicine. The most important qualities healthcare volunteers need to bring are compassion, understanding, and kindness. Being “different” or “disabled” is never easy in any society and as an international volunteer, you can help show these amazing people how truly special they are.