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Forum > Projects for a better world > Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic
#0 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Fri 18 Jul 08 22:52:11
jmk60
Toronto
Canada
I have seen so many inquiries on this forum by persons seeking short-term
volunteer opportunities in Third World countries, that I decided to share what I
have learned.    

Free volunteer opportunities are very rare because non-profit organizations in
poor
countries don't have a budget to feed and accommodate you.  And if you are
there
for 1 to 4 weeks you will not have enough time to learn how things work or
generate
value for them.  I did a short stint at Projimo in Mexico and I paid them $100 a
week. They had to find a village family and pay them part of that in exchange
for boarding me.   If I
were going to stay long-term I would have asked for free accommodation in
exchange for providing an essential service, like fundraising to foreign
charities for them.  At least then I would be bringing money in, rather than
just costing the program money.  

The situation will perhaps be different if you are a medical doctor, or perhaps
a few other professions. 

I strongly suggest raising money in your home country to pay the non-profit
agency you wish to visit.  After all, they are doing something really great for
people who lack money to pay.  Why not hold a HC party and pass the hat around?


Time is money, at least for those of us living in prosperous countries.  You
could waste a lot of time searching for something that is not likely to be
found.  

Happy trails. 

Reply
#1 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Wed 23 Jul 08 20:14:57
uwie1898
Jakarta Barat
Indonesia
I know what you mean ... 

I am living in Indonesia ... and many people poor in here ... even though you
can see that in the big cities .... many are living in a luxury life ... 

and it is really weird when there are foreigner that want to work volunteer but
they have no money ... many local volunteer in here so the only we need is money
... and many goods, foods, and the real one that they can use to help their
living ...

But i really appreciated for everyone that want to help my country ... 

cheers.
Reply
#2 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Fri 25 Jul 08 16:06:57
davenyc
New York City - Manhattan
United States of America
Here is a better idea. STAY HOME!!! TAke the money from ur airfare and all ur
living expenses and send it to the 3rd world country. Unless u r a doctor or
have some special skill, u will be STEALING work from some poor 3rd world
resident who earns maybe 1 or 2 dollars a day. Not to mention u will create less
pollution.

Sorry, but most volunteering falls into the category of 

"101 WAYS TO EAST UR GUILT RIDDEN UPPER MIDDLE CLASS WHITE WESTERN MALE
CONSCIENCE...WITHOUT DOING THE WORLD A BIT OF GOOD WHATSOEVER!"

When considering volunteering, consider the hypocratic oath...

First...TO DO NO HARM!


BETTER STAY HOME!!!


Cheers
Dave
Reply
#3 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Sat 26 Jul 08 11:43:39
kyrmyt
Philadelphia
United States of America
You CAN have a great impact in third world countries! Have a look at kiva.org.
Reply
#4 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Mon 28 Jul 08 23:28:11
beduinka
Bochum
Germany
Let me add my point of view to this discussion as i do work as humanitarian aid
worker. now it is full time paid work but while being a student i volunteered in
some places
i always founded my volunteer possibilities locally

as i was writing my master thesis about Palestinian refugees and i was staying a
lot in their camps and had free time beside my researches i started to volunteer
in local NGOs. I was helping with administration, activities for children,
project proposals etc.
i was not getting for this any money but neither i was paying anything, i was
staying with Palestinian families, transport from home country was covered by
myself (but i was not going there in order to volunteer, but to make researches
and volunteering was my extra activitiy)

when Israeli attack over Lebanon started i was in Middle East. In Syria, later
in Jordan. While in Amman i registered myself to one of the NGOs for
volunteering in campaign of planting olive trees in Palestine. But the day after
they called me if I would like to volunteer with ICRC (International Committee
of Red Cross) by prepering convoys for Lebanon. I was not payed, but neither i
didn't have to pay fr anything, ICRC was providing us with meals, transport and
water. I was staying at that time with HC/CS members in Amman

last year I registered myself to be a volunteer on youth camp in Iraq organised
by Ministry of Youth and Sport of Regional Goverment of Kurdistan. I needed only
to reach border of Iraq - and from there I was picked up by representatives of
organisers of the camp who took care of my legal status in Iraq, accomodation,
transport, food etc.


When I came back from Iraq it was already easy for me to find a job in
humanitarian field - as I had experiences gained while volunteering and also
good education plus additional courses... now i'm managing and coordinationg big
projects.


In the past I wanted to find for myself volunteering possibilities in order to
gain experience (and of course because i was feeling i wanted to help those
people)... but when now i look back - i can see that organisations don't have
much profit from taking unskilled volunteers who just want to help but often
even don't know what they are able to do, what kind of skills they have...

i would recommend for want-to-be-volunteers to sit and think what skills and
knowledge and abillities that you have, but probably local people (or most of
local people, i don't speak of well educated minority) doesn't have... it's
alays better to come with some skills that while volunteering you can teach
other - cause i belive it is very important in every country where are emergency
or development projects to build local capacity, to pass your skills to local
people so that they will be able to do this kind of projects someday without us,
without expats... 

for those who would like to search for WORK in this kind of field i suggest
visiting this website where vacancies of international NGOs, national NGOs, UN
and other agencies are posted: http://reliefweb.int/rw/res.nsf/doc212?OpenForm

Mirka
Reply
#5 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Tue 29 Jul 08 11:01:41
strawberryfields3
Castletownbere
Ireland
SIGN UP HERE KIDZ.

Got a skill? We need it. People here want to work but dont have any basic
skills. We need carpenters, cement workers, plumbers, electricians, english
teachers, agriculturalists, ecologists, well motivated, educated, experienced
people 

NO CHARGE AT ALL! Just get here and we can work with you.

DONT send your money to corrupt NGOs and governments who will blow it all on
nice cushy new 4WDs and MASSIVE fuel bills.

Free Volunteerig is available, but not for any old freeloading drifter. The
question is what do you have to offer?
Reply
#6 Free Volunteering in Third World is (usually) Unrealistic Tue 29 Jul 08 11:04:03
strawberryfields3
Castletownbere
Ireland
Sorry, just to be clear, we are running training programs for local perope in
the Konso wareda, southern ethiopia in IGA (Income Generating Activies) if you
are interested in participating and imparting your skills to local people in our
area come along!
Reply

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