Volunteering in Africa
Would you like to do more than some safaris, excursions and sleep in all-inclusive resorts while visiting Africa? Then volunteering in Africa can be the right thing for you! Volunteering gives you the opportunity to really experience the African way of life, by connecting with the local community and nature on a deeper level. You will come at other places than normal tourists do and be able to contribute to a worthwhile cause. Volunteering is based on the concept of donating your time, skills, energy or just your presence to help the people and animals of Africa which are in need of support.
You’ll have the chance to spend some time with people you might otherwise never had met and learn how people interact in a local culture. There are also volunteer projects where you can get experience in wildlife research and rehabilitation or learn more about certain animals ecology. Some volunteers also have other interests, like musicians, journalists, writers and photographers who are keen to find opportunities to express and improve on their talents.
The lessons and benefits that you receive while volunteering in Africa are endless and can include increased self confidence and social awareness, development of life skills, personal growth, friendship and building of independence. Furthermore, you can help to enhance career prospects. Not only do you increase your skill base, work experience and international contacts through volunteering, employees often look favorably upon those that are willing to go outside of their comfort zone and give up their time to assist other.
At least as important as the volunteer labor and expertise you donate to the host community, are the cultural exchanges that take place between volunteers and locals. Especially for first time volunteers the so-called ‘culture shock’ can be a bit uncomfortable. You have to understand that Africa is not Europe, nor the U.S.. The difference between poor and rich can be quiet overwhelming and certain cultures have different ethics and views about the position of women in the community. You, as a guest, have to adapt to these conditions and be able to cope with this. You are not here to dictate how you think people should live. Responsible tourism is all about respecting local culture. However, while you have a significant effect on the people you work with, we rarely find volunteers who feel they have given more than they have received.
- A great opportunity to do something really worthwhile
- A chance to escape your busy daily life, the bills, traffic, and social acceptance
- An opportunity to experience new cultures
- Challenge yourself in a new environment and achieve things you imagined impossible
- Meet new people and make new friends
- Gain work experience, enhance your curriculum vitae and career prospects
- Promote global citizenship
- Do something totally different - it could be the best thing you ever do!