Today is an opportunity for you to tell us about your experiences as a volunteer or about someone you know who gives their time and experience selflessly to a charity or organisation…
Being an expat is pretty conducive to signing up to volunteer to help and support people less fortunate than ourselves, because we often live in places that need help, or in places that have become overwhelmed by refugees. It’s a great way to give back to a host country and its people. Whether you volunteer in a local school or at a migrant camp in a far-off, war-affected area of the world, your contribution is recognised today by the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day and the 2017 theme: ‘Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.’
The UN says, “Volunteers are present, all around us, answering calls in times of need, helping save lives today, and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow. This year, IVD promotes the contributions of such volunteers at the local, national and international level.”
In ‘10 Reasons Volunteering Abroad Is an Awesome Idea’, Tom McLoughlin, writing for the Huffington Post, makes some very good points. My favourite of his reasons is this:
“See the Results for Yourself: Unlike sponsoring projects abroad or donating money to charity, volunteering allows you to get hands-on, so you can see the results with your own eyes. Get immediate rewards from your hard work and see for yourself how much difference one person can make when working with others.”
Many expats combine the love of travel with volunteering. Evelyn Medai is an American expat student who is living in London while she volunteers with Arms Around the Child, a charity that supports children in need in Ghana, India and South Africa. You can read Evelyn’s experience in a Guest post published on the blog EatSleepLoveTravel
Follow International Volunteers Day on Twitter: #VolunteersActFirst.
Tell us about your own volunteer experience – in the comments box below – or throw a light on someone you know who really should have some recognition: