Why I want to volunteer?
In my view, volunteering isn’t about fixing the world’s problems and getting immediate results. I think volunteering is really two-folds, where one is under the impression that they are making a difference in someone’s life, but auto magically they make a positive difference in their own life and in the lives of people who surround them by inspiring them and spreading awareness. So as I see it – it is like a ripple effect, started by a person who took the first step and said, “I’d like to volunteer.” And my objective is just that, to make a difference in someone’s life, to make a difference in mine, and to make people around me more aware.
What I will be doing?
My work at Lima, Peru, would start on the 26th of Sept and I would be there till the 16th of October. I will be working through a non-profit organization based in US called the Cross cultural Solutions. I will be placed where help is needed most. This will be decided 2 weeks before I go there. It can be in Health Care where I will support physical or occupational therapy activities for mentally and physically challenged children, or it can be in Educational Activities where I will support educational and recreational activities for disadvantaged children in the center.
However, this program, as any other non-profit organization’s program, has a fee.
Why pay to volunteer, you ask?
This is an obvious question that most of us ask. Why should someone charge you to work for free? But this is a common misconception about volunteer travel – the volunteer work is not what the volunteer is paying for. The truth is that without fees, many NGOs might not be able to afford to spend staff time recruiting, retaining, equipping and supporting volunteers.
Most International Volunteer Organizations are non-profit, which means that they rely on the contributions made by the volunteers. Similarly, the Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS) organization is non-profit, and to run this organization from the home office to each placement site takes a lot of time, energy, and money. Upon signing up for my program, CCS took great care to provide me with information covering the smallest details, in that I got information on the Peruvian history and culture, the placement site, the weather, the currency, contact information for the in-country staff and US contact persons, and phone numbers that I can provide to my family members for staying in touch. At the same time, I was also linked up to a program manager for one to one on any questions I had or will have throughout the program. My Program Manager is Natalie Novak. She helped me feel comfortable with my decision to volunteer and enter a foreign country. So, our money is used upfront to prepare us for the program. It is also used at the foreign volunteer sites where it covers:
- Arranged accommodations
- Daily meals
- Transportation to and from the airport and to and from the Volunteer site
- Support required in a foreign country includes:
– Language assistance
– In country cultural and learning activities
- A safety net which includes:
– Travel/Medical Insurance
– Emergency Evacuation insurance
– Professional locally based staff
– 24 hour Security
– 24 hour Emergency Hotline
Help me create and be part of the ripple effect
We all seek for this world to be a better place, however, the better place has to start from us. When volunteers go from all over the world to a developing country to help a community for nothing in return, it sure makes a wave in the people’s hearts who are receiving help. The presence of these volunteers shows the people in host countries that there are people from other parts of the world who care about their situation. And this arises faith and hope in humanity. These people are inspired from the selfless acts and it changes them positively. Moreover, when these volunteers share their experiences with their friends, family, colleagues, classmates, etc. they create awareness amongst the people they know and hopefully inspire a few to volunteer as well! So, yes we all seek for a better world, but it has to start from a ripple. Help me create and be part of this ripple effect.
How you can help?
You can become one of the sponsors of my journey to Peru. As a sponsor, you would become part of my experience, my support, and part of what I call a ripple effect towards making this world a better place. And I would greatly value that! You can sponsor me by making a contribution that is 100% tax-deductible. You can contribute by credit card by clicking on the ‘Sponsor Me’ image below, or you can send a check to Cross-Cultural Solutions on my behalf, by 25th of Sept, the day before my program starts. For further details on how to sponsor a volunteer, you can visit http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/resources/sponsors.aspx.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or you can call Cross-Cultural Solutions at 1-800-380-4777or 1-914-632-0022.